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AKB48's Kibouteki Refrain, the 38th major single released by this popular girl music group

Updated on August 27, 2017
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A photo of Sayaka Yamamoto of the Group NMB48

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The significance of the single Kibouteki Refrain

Japanese girl group AKB48 has released lots of singles throughout their career. They released jacket covers and a short video for their 38th single called Kibouteki Refrain. That single was released on November 26, 2014 (Sayumi Michishige’s graduation day from Morning Musume). AKB48 usually releases singles every few months. Their 37th single called Kokoro no Placard was released in August 2014. And AKB48 continues to set records for their singles. Since their 20th single called Sakura no Ki ni Narou, they have released 18 straight singles that have sold one million copies or more. This was the case at the time that I first heard of this news. Sayonara Crawl which is their 31st single set a record at the time for the number of singles released in one day.

A short description of what happens in the music video for Kibouteki Refrain

Former AKB48 members Atsuko Maeda, Tomomi Itano, Mariko Shinoda, and Yuko Oshima make appearances in this short video or PV as it is called. The video or short clip features the members trying to run away from a mysterious group of men. These men are after a black bag that has two golden microphones. It starts with Minami Takahashi passing that bag to Acchan (the nickname for Atsuko Maeda) who then passes it to Jurina Matsui. Matsui was the center for the single called UZA. The bag goes around being passed to different members such as Haruka Shimazaki, Mayu Watanabe, Rino Sashihara, and Haruna Kojima. When these girls get cornered by the group of men, it is Shinoda, Itano, and Oshima who try to help them. The golden microphones are passed to the centers for this new single which was released two days after Thanksgiving in 2014. The 32 girls that were selected to be part of the Senbatsu members perform the song and then they start to run again. There are 950 extras that are a witness to the performance of the song.

The PV or short video was directed by Hiroshi Sasaki. The running scenes that are shown in the video are used as the jacket covers for the single.

Other interesting information about the single

The single comes in eight different versions, Regular editions A-D and Limited editions A-D. AKB48 has still retained its status as Japan’s most popular girl group and chances are that this will be true even in the near future. Congratulations to AKB48! The centers for Kibouteki Refrain are Sakura Miyawaki and Mayu Watanabe. On October 4, 2014, AKB48 revealed their single on the TV program called “All Star Kanshasai” or All Star Thanksgiving. This single also was the return of Rina Kawaei and Anna Iriyama to the stage. Kawaei and Iriyama were injured during a handshake event in Iwate Prefecture in May 2014. AKB48 first performed a medley of songs. They performed Flying Get, Heavy Rotation, and Koi suru Fortune Cookie. Here is a listing of some of the most well-known girls that participated in the singing of the song:

A photo of Mayu Watanabe one of the "centers" for Kibouteki Refrain

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List of AKB48 members that sang in the song Kibouteki Refrain

  • Haruna Kojima (the oldest member of AKB48) Kojima is no longer a member of AKB48 having graduated on April 19, 2017 which was also her 29th birthday.
  • Minami Takahashi
  • Anna Iriyama, 21, of Chiba
  • Rina Kawaei, 20 of Kanagawa
  • Mayu Watanabe
  • Yuki Kashiwagi
  • Minami Minegishi
  • Jurina and Rena Matsui
  • Sayaka Yamamoto
  • Miyuki Watanabe
  • Rino Sashihara
  • Sae Miyazawa (She transferred to idol group SNH48 but then graduated at the end of 2015).

The song Kibouteki Refrain (instrumental version)

What happened after the release and promotion of Kibouteki Refrain?

Following the release of Kibouteki Refrain, AKB48 would go on to release their 39th single called Green Flash. Green Flash sold over one million copies in its first week of release! And after Green Flash came the 40th single called Bokutachi wa Tatakawanai followed by Halloween Night. It seems that whatever AKB48 is doing is working in their favor! They have released several hit singles and are still the most popular girl group in Japan in spite of the graduations of Rina Kawaei and Rena Matsui in August 2015.

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© 2016 Ara Vahanian

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