AKB48 has reached a stage of cultural saturation where they could air a 30-minute show called “Atsuko Maeda Farts,” and people would still tune in to watch it meticulously because you never know if Acchan’s fart this week will be different from Acchan’s fart last week. So I really don’t know what to say about
The Democratic People’s Republic of United Socialist States of Akihabara Ariyoshi AKB Republic, which basically is
(1) That one dude who sometimes appears on that other AKB show gets to poke more fun at the girls. (Don’t we already get enough of this on every idol variety show? How many more unsuspecting teen-to-twentyish Japanese girls must suffer the slings and arrows of smartass male hosts until there is JUSTICE?)
(2) Kenkyuusei (research students / trainees / understudies / whatever you call ‘em).
But what I wanted to talk about, for goodness gracious sakes, was the set design. Also, MY WIFE is in it, but that’s not the point. Rarely are we treated to such a feat of cheapassery, where pretty much the only real thing on the set is the chairs that the cast members are sitting on. Seriously, give this CGI artist a medal or something! Behold the many wonders of President Ariyoshi’s Oval (or …. obtangular??) Office:
- The hilarious skew-and-rotated AKB portraits on display along the sides of the room, which apparently are supposed to give off that “framed photos of famous people” vibe but look more like …. skew-and-rotated AKB portraits. And I don’t know why Yukirin’s one is so huge. Longcat fan on the staff?
- The hot pink CGI chairs that look like they were stolen from a turn-of-the-century Mini Moni vid.
- There’s “too cheap to afford 3D modeling software,” and then there’s “too cheap to afford a graphics artist who understands basic principles of perspective.”
- Standing in the middle of the students is Haruka Shimazaki, better known as Whothe Frigisthat, whose claim to fame is suddenly appearing OUTTA NOWHERE in the Valentine’s 2010 AKB Weekly Playboy shoot. Scientists and metaphysicists continue to debate, to this day, if Haruka in a bikini ever actually happened, or if it was just a trick of the light.
And everyone’s favorite …. wait for it….
- That FREAKING FRIGHTENING portrait of Yasushi Akimoto photochopped into the back wall. Like some kind of ominous Maoist wall furnishing. Yes, nothing helps me sleep at night like the kindly visage of Japan’s most successful wota gazing at me from above.
I wonder if the girls secretly call him “Dear Leader” behind his back.