I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, August 30, 2019

AKB48 -- Tsubasa wa Iranai(翼はいらない)

Commenter Fireminer mentioned this song to me about a couple of weeks ago since he wasn't quite sure what the lyrics were about and if they had anything to do with the official music video.

"Tsubasa wa Iranai" (I Don't Need Wings) was AKB48's 44th single released in June 2016, and the video's setting was a Japanese university in 1972 among the tumult of student demonstrations. Things looked pretty harsh for a while but the magic of AKB48 won out by the end with the two sides locking arms and swaying happily.

As it was, Yasushi Akimoto's(秋元康)lyrics spoke on the opinion that we could have wings to soar into the sky and above the fray but that wouldn't solve the problems. It's better to get back down on the ground, do that walk and face up to those challenges to inevitably solve them. Not a bad angle at all.

In fact, the title "Tsubasa wa Iranai" was inspired by an old and famous folk kayo "Tsubasa wo Kudasai"(翼をください)by Akai Tori(赤い鳥), according to an article in "Real Sound" via the J-Wiki article on the song. Furthermore, I did think that there was that lilting kayo feeling in the arrangement when I first heard it, and sure enough, according to another article in Nikkei Business Publications in July of that year, the melody by Makoto Wakatabe(若田部誠)was based on the music for another couple of kayo chestnuts "Omoide no Nagisa"(想い出の渚)by The Wild Ones and Pedro & Capricious' classic "Go-ban Gai no Mari e" (五番街のマリーへ). Have a listen to those two and you can hear some of the similarity that went into "Tsubasa wa Iranai".

Probably that reason explains why I've started to enjoy this one. If AKB48 can do disco, they can also do folk! And a lot of other folks apparently appreciated "Tsubasa wa Iranai" too since the song not only hit No. 1 on the Oricon weeklies, selling around 2 million copies, but it became the No. 1 song for 2016 proper.

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