Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Posts tagged ‘Floyd R. Turbo’

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AKB48 Historian Floyd R. Turbo recalls Atsuko Maeda’s graduation

Once again I am going to let the cantankerous Nebraskan make a guest editorial here on Denny Sinnoh’s Akihabara Starlight.  Mr. Turbo?

floyd remembers acchan grad

One of the most endearing moments in AKB history was Atsuko Maeda’s graduation and exit at the Tokyo Dome in the summer of 2012.  The song is “Yume no Kawa” which translates as “River of Dreams”.  Mr. Yasushi Akimoto wrote these lyrics for Atsuko’s graduation.  Here is the YouTube link, however you must click on the CC button on YouTube if you want to see the English translation subtitles. You may also follow the lyrics on this from Stage 48 linked here.

I will also include a higher quality video (1080) but with no English subs here.  Acchan says a few words to the audience, then sings the song.  The other members (Yuko, Haruna, Mayu, Mariko, Yuki, Miichan, Takamina, Jurina, Tomochin all join in.  They pause the song near the end, so that each member can have a hug and say a farewell before Acchan gets in her gondola.  Yuko and Minami lead her to the boat, and the song continues.

There is a wonderful, bittersweet moment when Acchan begins to float away.  Atsuko is crying so much that she can barely sing the lyrics. The song is about saying goodbye, she knows this, and is choking on her own tears.  The other girls notice this, and although crying as well, they forcefully sing the chorus. It is a sweet moment that underscores the comradery the team had. Acchan composes herself, and sings the rest.  As her gondola fades away, she sings “when my dreams come true, I will come back for you”.

It should be noted that this is the actual moment that Atsuko left the group. This is not like The Rolling Stones, who have a farewell tour every year.  What is Mick Jagger — 100 years old?  … but I digress.

When Ms. Maeda’s gondola exits the Tokyo Dome – that’s it — no more Acchan.  Of course, when Atsuko’s gondola touches down outside the Tokyo Dome, she is no longer subject to AKB48 rules – if you catch my drift.  I bet every Japanese actor, rock star and assistant prefect was there trying to get her number.

Cantankerous old fans like myself see Acchan’s last performances as the peak of the group’s success.  To many of us who enjoy the early AKB48 music videos, Atsuko Maeda is still the “face of AKB48”.  She could never be fully replaced.  Acchan’s departure would also start a wave of graduations. Several of the original members would leave the group within a year.

AKB48 final goodbye to Atsuko

For more on AKB48 history, please read my AKB biography “Why I Like AKB48” subtitled by Mrs. Turbo as “Oh, You’re Stupid  AND  You’re a Pervert”.

Thank you Mr. Turbo.  I’m not crying, I have allergies. For more information on what Acchan has been up to, see my Atsuko Maeda page on Pinterest here.

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Mr. Floyd R. Turbo comments on Atsuko Maeda’s “chick flick”video

floyd and atsuko 1

Dear Readers: Today I am going to turn my blog over to that cantankerous Nebraskan Mr. Floyd R. Turbo.  Please enjoy his editorial comments on (what he calls)  Atsuko Maeda’s “chick flick” video.  Mr. Turbo has developed into somewhat of an “AKB Historian” recently, and Acchan was his favorite.  As Mr. Turbo puts it: “She has gams like a gazelle”.  Old dudes like us, are always clinging to the past.  The song is “You’re My” – lyrics by Yasushi Akimoto.  Lyrics from Stage 48 are available here.  Mr. Turbo, you are on …

My wife is always dragging me to these Romantic Comedies.  I watched this Atsuko Maeda music video instead. because I was told that it compacts an entire two-hour long“chick flick” movie into a short 7-minute music video.  There are no subtitles, but everything is understandable through body language and context. I had been to Japan during the war, so I can understand a little.  Anyone can still follow the story.

The video begins with a happy young man (played by actor Suruga Taro) at an amusement park with his family.  While his wife takes the kid for a ride, the young father sits on a bench and chain smokes.  I love it when the hero smokes.  He begins to reflect on his life, blows smoke-rings around airplanes, and for some reason begins reminiscing about an old girlfriend/partner he had in his younger days when he attempted to be a comedian. The story is told in a flashback.

Atsuko Maeda plays a young woman “Nabeko” that wants to be a comedic performer.  She has a puppet show act.  At an improv group practice, she meets, and teams up with our smoker protagonist.  After getting “sh*t faced”  together (he does not take advantage), the two decide to become a TEAM.  Now it is very important to see the comedy duo will live together as a TEAM as they hone their act. Not as a COUPLE however.  Strictly business — strictly platonic.

In fact, the Atsuko character has a slew of boyfriends that come into her life as our hero continues to work on the comedy act with Atsuko.  It finally dawned on me that this montage of  men shown with Atsuko were her one-after-the-other boyfriends.  She changes boyfriends and changes hairstyles.  It must have been tough for our tobacco-using hero to put up with this.  Note: This is the type of thing you have to deal with when you are “close friends” with a woman that is not exactly a girlfriend.  Some of the boyfriends are OK, some are idiots, but you can never say anything.  He remains her loyal friend and partner, never taking advantage of the living situation.

One night … well … you know what happens.

The night of the big contest finally arrives!  The crowd appears to like our team! Will they win the top prize and go on to successful careers?

Well, it sure is not a “Hollywood Ending” — and that is what I like about it.  Is it a “happy ending”?  Maybe.  Maybe things have turned out for the best.

Notes: There is pretty liberal use of tobacco products in the video.  No way would this ever be shown in a politically-correct  American music video.  This music video features a chain-smoking Asian guy … as if you would ever really see that.  What is so bad about cigarettes anyway?  “All cigarettes now carry the Surgeon General’s warning label. Who is this ‘surgeon general’ anyway?  Did anyone ever see him? I don’t trust any ‘surgeon’ who becomes a ‘general’, he may remove my hemorrhoids with a hand grenade!”

Thank you Mr. Turbo.  You may also view this video on Jpopsuki at the link here.  This starlight took eighteen months to reach my world.

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