Music videos can be more than just “candy commercials.” Case in point — I want to share this AKB48 solo music video called “Flower” from (now AKB48 graduate) Atsuko Maeda. It’s beautiful. I was drawn in emotionally to the drama and imagery in this little video film. You can do yourself a favor and watch this on full screen on YouTube in the optional 1080 HD!
“Flower” was the first solo single by AKB48 member Atsuko Maeda (now AKB graduate) and was released in June 2011. It took two years for this starlight to reach my world. Atsuko was always one of the most popular AKB48 members, and she was voted #1 member by fans until she graduated in 2013. To many AKB fans, she is still the “face” of AKB48. Maeda-san is now a much in-demand actress and model, and she still records enjoyable pop songs.
“Flower” is an absorbing, heartwarming song. I always loved to see Atsuko Maeda perform it with the group live. The lyrics were written by AKB48 producer Yasushi Akimoto. Although AKB48 is known for fun J-pop song-and-dance numbers, Mr. Akimoto has also written some very poignant ballads, that I believe hold up and translate well into English. Thank you to Stage48 for lyrics in Japanese, Romanji and English translation.
This video has a look like it was taken from a real movie, however it is just a “stand-alone” music video/drama. Interestingly, the song itself was later used in one of Atsuko Maeda’s films. Although the dialog, and the singing is in Japanese, I do not think that an understanding of the Japanese language is necessary to enjoy this story.
You just have to have a heart.
“As for this flower
It’s made entirely of love…”
Music video can be a potent art-form in the right hands. Without providing too many spoilers, there are two compelling scenes I will describe. Both of these are “real moments” that affected me on an emotional level. Such scenes demonstrate the power of the music video format.
At time 3:36: Atsuko and the little girl, are playing out by the gas pumps, waiting for the van to be ready. “Dale” is seated inside the gas station, looking out through the glass at Atsuko and the carefree young girl playing. He feels compelled to get out his wallet in order to look at the photos he carries with him. Dale starts to miss his own little girl, and looks at a photo of his daughter. In might not look like much on the surface, but I connected with that.
At time 3:55: Atsuko knocks on the door of the house, and a male family member comes to the door. Upon seeing the Atsuko character, the actor’s face goes through several different emotions. At first surprise at seeing her, then a brief moment of anger (as if he had been thinking all this time “If she dares to ever show her face at this house again , I’m going to …) , then a moment of acceptance, then empathy, and finally — love. The viewer does not know why Atsuko has been gone, or why she has been on this journey and has taken the big step to return.
Did the ending turn out the way you would expect? I think that even M. Night Shyamalan would have been surprised.
All comments and observations are valued.