AKB48 has offered quite a number of songs to its listeners since 2005. The largest idol group in Japan has gained both local and foreign fanbases who have helped in gaining millions of record sales.
Certainly out of those singles, there are some that have made it big. So here, I’ll introduce 5 AKB48 singles you need to know. Whether it made hits within or outside of Japan, these singles will surely make you listen to the songs on repeat.
Heavy Rotation is one of AKB48’s most popular songs with a whopping 120 million views on Youtube. Heavy Rotation became a controversy in Japan when it’s music video was released due to the content it shows but despite all that, the song still became a hit and has also become a popular song in karaoke.
Heavy Rotation is centered around Oshima Yuko earning the position when she won the 17th Senbatsu Election. The song became the 2nd best-selling single in Japan in 2010 and became #1 for two consecutive years in the group’s Request Hour Setlist.
Koi Suru Fortune Cookie is one of AKB48’s biggest songs that made a hit in Japan. It was Sashihara Rino’s first time to be the focus of a song. Koi Suru Fortune Cookie also became a craze because of the dance (onigiri) choreographed by Suzuki Papaya. Koichun as it’s also called, have quite a number of fan-made videos on Youtube both from Japan and abroad!
It is the number 1 song of AKB in karaoke and sold more than 1 million copies on its first day. Koichun was also the last single and senbatsu that Shinoda Mariko and Itano Tomomi participated in before they graduated. Both of their graduation songs are part of this single.
AKB48’s 28th single. Many fans came to love UZA because of it’s cool and hardcore choreography. AKB48 have been known for its cute image, but they unexpectedly nailed this song’s performance. Double centered by Oshima Yuko & Matsui Jurina. Originally Watanabe Mayu was supposed to be one of the centers (instead of Oshima) but was replaced due to the heavy choreo.
Even with Bokutachi wa Tatakawanai, UZA is still considered as AKB48’s most difficult dance performance to date and has been danced live with WORLD ORDER. UZA is also the first single after long time center Maeda Atsuko graduated and the Tokyo Dome Shuffle. It’s better to watch the live dance version to feel the impact.
Sayonara Crawl is AKB48’s 31st single and the first to have four centers in one track and also the first to have 32 senbatsu member single. Centers were Oshima Yuko, Watanabe Mayu, Shimazaki Haruka and Itano Tomomi and this is also Itano’s first center position despite being a quadruple setting.
This is also the top single to have sold over 1.9 million copies and was the last senbatsu of a single for Akimoto Sayaka.
Aitakatta is AKB48’s first major single and signature song. Aitakatta is also well recognized with the public because it is used when AKB are being introduced as guests on TV programs. Centered by Maeda Atsuko, the senbatsu members of Aitakatta were only selected 1st generation and Team K members.
The song was released in 2006, but has gained popularity after some years later and re-charted at the Oricon weekly charts in late 2009 and 2010 and was also certificated Gold for digital downloads. Up to now, Aitakatta is still the theme song used for the group’s show AKBingo since it began.
Suzukake Nanchara is AKB48’s 34th single. SKE48 Center/AKB48 concurrent member Matsui Jurina is the center of the song earning the position when she won the Janken Tournament. Suzukake Nanchara is AKB48’s longest song title with 76 Japanese characters altogether. The original title of the song is ” 鈴懸の木の道で「君の微笑みを夢に見る」と言ってしまったら僕たちの関係はどう変わってしまうのか、僕なりに何日か考えた上でのやや気恥ずかしい結論のようなもの”( Suzukake no Ki no Michi de “Kimi no Hohoemi wo Yume ni Miru” to Itteshimattara Bokutachi no Kankei wa Dou Kawatteshimaunoka, Bokunari ni Nannichi ka Kangaeta Ue deno Yaya Kihazukashii Ketsuron no youna Mono ).
Due to it’s long name it is often called ‘Kimi no Hohoemi wo Yume ni Miru’ or Suzukake Nanchara by the Japanese, with nanchara meaning something. In last year’s Request Hour Setlist, Suzukake Nanchara ranked #2 and this year, out of 1035 songs, Suzukake Nanchara finally became #1.
Is some of your favorite AKB48 songs part of this list? Or were you even familiar with these songs to start with? AKB48 is without a doubt breaking a number of records in Japan. Having been around for a while in the entertainment industry, AKB48 continues to grow and show us what they are capable of.