After a brief hiatus, we are back with Music Tuesday’s own Starshine’s Set list, where you can be in the know of all the hottest Japanese and Korean girl group songs. Why no boy groups? Because they are too cute and the whole review would be me raving about how cute they all are. This week, we’ll be taking a look at not one but TWO songs from two different groups under the same company. That company? King Records. Those groups? AKB 48 and their Indonesian counter part, JKT48.
Let’s take a listen to Koisuru Fortune Cookie/Fortune Cookie Yang Mencinta.
Here’s the AKB48 version, with a translation here:
Here’s the JKT48 version (sadly without a translation but it’s more or less the same as the AKB48 version):
Luckily for me, not only do both versions of the song have the same lyrics, but also the same melody, same dance and same awful theme so I can actually rate the whole thing as one one. For those of you who don’t know, AKB48’s company King Records being the giant corporation it is has decided to try what Hello!Project failed at: branching out into global markets. They have set up international editions all over Asian and one of them is in Jakarta, Indonesia called called JKT48. For their third single, and AKB48’s 32nd, they dual-released a song in two languages which is actually pretty savvy and very cool in terms of multiculturalism, something J-Pop is not known for.
The song is, say it with me people, a love song. It’s mostly about a girl feeling down that the boy she likes will never reciprocate her feelings. Then a song comes on and she feels better because she believes in some future they will be together. I have no idea how fortune cookies fit into this other than the premonition about someday being together. Saccharine in all sense of the term, the lyrics are basically what are AKB48’s bread and butter. Hopefully JKT48 will have a bit more variety in their later singles.
The dance is unbearably cheesy but it’s mostly because they wanted people to be able to dance to it and possibly create a trend. Still, you could make it better in terms of the moves and energy. There’s nothing wrong with it in a technical sense – all the girls in both videos dance well together without missing a beat. The costuming is a little off for the AKB video. The costumes look tacky and old, with muted blues, reds, yellows and egg creams.
The JKT48 costumes are filled with sequins, but the bright blue and gold is actually really cute and the style of the costume is less parade-girl and more like cute dance recital, which is more or less the standard of most Asian music videos. The aesthetic of the video is also better for the JKT version – simpler but also better. the AKB version has all the girls going up to strangers and them dancing along, or in a giant crowd dancing. It’s far too cutesy and pandering to be effective. For the JKT version, they inter splice different clips of people dancing around the world(supposedly to the song) with shots of the girls dancing and singing together in a brightly lit room.
The song itself isn’t all that catchy, which is both surprising and disappointing. It’s that sort of sweet melancholy tune with drops of optimism here and there. It sounds very disco, with lots of synth and the easy listening vibe. It’s fine for a relax atmosphere but I wouldn’t say that it is the easiest thing to dance too – there’s just no energy to it.
If I’m going to be 100% honest, I did enjoy the JKT48 version better. It felt more genuine about the dancing around the world bit and they worked better on a vocal level. AKB48 always sounds so polished as a single unit that it’s easy to forget they aren’t one – they’re a group of different people with different voices. The song itself is okay – it’s not good but it’s really not all that bad. I think it’s a cute, appropriate song that works well with both groups and works with their style.
– Fun song.
– Okay costumes.
– Okay dance.
– Disco is dead.
– Sappy lyrics.