Saturday, January 15, 2011

AKB48, "Keibetsu shite ita aijou"

Sorry for disappearing for almost a month! x_x
I've had some rough times irl, but I'll try to update this blog a lot more in the next few days!

Also, do check the new layout, done for me by Sanzo, featuring Miyazawa Sae ♥

Let's move on to the song. I have been requested to do this single quite a lot, and it's a very meaningful song that I honestly believe anyone should know, so here you go.

"Keibetsu shite ita aijou" (The love that used to scorn me)
(from "Keibetsu shite ita aijou" single)
AKB48 senbatsu members (A: Itano Tomomi, Kojima Haruna, Maeda Atsuko, Minegishi Minami, Nakanishi Rina, Oshima Mai, Shinoda Mariko, Takahashi Minami/ K: Akimoto Sayaka, Kasai Tomomi, Kobayashi Kana, Masuda Yuka, Miyazawa Sae, Ono Erena, Oshima Yuko, Sato Natsuki)

words: Akimoto Yasushi
music: Inoue Yoshimasa
point of view: female
theme: social problems
original lyrics

listen to Keibetsu shite ita aijou on youtube

Even the tragedies told by the TV news
Protected by anonimity
Are as normal as using emoticons
When I type an email on my mobile phone

The grownups, looking like they know it all,
Are looking for a motive
But their quite off the point analysis
Is like a joke that makes no one laugh

Our future is decided
By our rank in decimal point-accurate charts1
Even if she did her best
She had no hope of making it
We realized that
Quite a while before
But we did nothing

Without even realizing it
I am longing for the love that used to scorn me
I don't want to be alone
I wanted to be held
By someone...

The girl who tried to turn into a bird
Lined her shoes neatly on the rooftop
Did she want people to praise her for her good manners?
Or was it an insinuation?

Even if they carry out a survey now
Asking if she "was" or "wasn't" bullied
The voice in her heart, which she wanted us to hear,
Is lost in the wind and can't reach us

The process of shifting the responsibility
Makes important people cry
We still don't understand
This way too foolish chain reaction...
The one pointing her finger
Is this me,
Who didn't do anything for her

This love used to scorn me
But despite that, I'm hungry for it
While pretending I didn't notice how anxious I felt
I kept looking for a kind glance
All the time...

Without even realizing it
I am longing for the love that used to scorn me
I don't want to be alone
I wanted to be held
By someone...

All the time...

1 The lyrics use the word "hensachi", meaning deviation value (in the assessment of an exam). It refers to the charts where the whole school's exam results are listed in result order. These charts are usually hung on the wall for everyone to see. In such a competitive schooling system as the Japanese one, where the best marks are essential in order to access the best schools, then universities, then jobs, even ranking one place lower can make a big difference.

"Keibetsu shite ita aijou" is a very heavy, un-idol-like song. It talks about a schoolgirl who commits suicide by jumping from the school rooftop after enduring bullying, through the eyes of a classmate of hers. This classmate points her finger at how adults seem to rationalize the accident and make excuses and accusations, but at the same time she feels guilty because she knew the girl was bullied, yet didn't do anything.
In a competitive, yet uniformized society like Japanese society, bullyism towards who is "different" for a reason or another is a serious problem. Suicides caused by bullyism are, unfortunately, pretty frequent - which is addressed in the first verse (the news do not give out the names of the people involved if they are underage, therefore "tragedies protected by anonimity".
The verses are sung by the classmate/narrator, while the chorus, in first person, is like the last, desperate cry of the bullied girl, longing for love even from the people who hurt her.

And here comes an idol group addressing the issue with lyrics which are feather light and stone heavy at the same time. The PV opens and closes with Yuko standing on the rooftop, looking as if she's about to jump, and shows instances of bullyism.
What makes the song even more haunting is the use of the flute and of "heavenly" sounding harmonies in the back track of the song. The contrast between this instrumental, the severe melody in minor mode and the seriousness of the lyrics makes the song all the more a blow to the stomach.

Just out of curiosity, there is another AKB song about a classmate killing herself (despite not specifying if the reason was bullyism), "Hitei no requiem" from Team K's 5th stage "Saka agari".

1 comment:

  1. amazing work
    This type of song are the reason I became a fan of akb48 , I do not like or did not like the idol scene, but this song was a milestone.