Which “Labrador Retriever” Will You Buy?

AKB48’s “Labrador Retriever” (ラブラドール・レトリバー) single goes on sale May 21!

“Labrador Retriever”…there are many jokes to be made about that title, and they’re all sexist and terrible, so I won’t make them. But you can leave yours in the comments.

Here’s the official PV clip:

Looks like that dog’s got a bit of a limp, huh? It’s nice to see media using mutts instead of purebreds.

Anyways, just judging from that clip, the song is a bit meh, but I can almost guarantee it’ll be the #1 Japanese single of 2014. You know why, don’t you? Because when you buy this single, you get the right to vote in the AKB48 General Election (総選挙)! And of course there are always the otakus with too much disposable income who buy 50 CDs so they can vote for Sasshi (Rino Sashihara/指原莉乃) 50 times or whatever, but I’m not that bad. I’m just going to buy one.

My oshimen (推しメン) is Mayuyu (Mayu Watanabe/渡辺麻友). I’ve voted for her in the past two elections. She got up to 2nd place in 2012 and fell back to 3rd in 2013, but with perennial favorite Yuko Oshima (大島優子) graduating this year and therefore not running in the election, maybe this is her year?? She’s the star of the “Labrador Retriever” video so it looks like the people behind AKB48 are supporting her as the next center, but I can also see that having a inflammatory effect on the fans of other girls (“We must beat Mayuyu!”). It’ll definitely be an exciting battle.

The thing with buying AKB48 singles, though, is that they come in several different versions, with different coupling tracks and/or video footage included in each one. This is, of course, a ploy to encourage people to buy all the versions. But like I said, I’m not that bad.

AKB48’s official YouTube channel has clips of each of the coupling songs unique to each track. First up, there’s the Type-A version’s coupling track, “Kimi wa Kimagure” (君は気まぐれ/You’re Fickle), performed by the Team A girls:

Then there’s the Type-K version’s track, “Itoshiki Rival” (愛しきライバル/Beloved Rival), by Team K:

Here’s the Type-4 version with Team 4’s “Heart no Dasshutsu Game” (ハートの脱出ゲーム/The Heart’s Escape Game):

And finally there’s Team B on the Type-B version with “B Garden” (Bガーデン):

Hooray, another Mayuyu center song! But…who’s that to her right?

ikoma rina b garden

Is that Rina Ikoma (生駒里奈) from Nogizaka46 (乃木坂46), who is currently doing double duty in Team B? What’s wrong with her face? She’s awfully tall…and hairy. Is…is that a dude in a dress and a cardboard mask?

Huh.

“Kimi wa Kimagure” sounds like a pretty good song, but I think I’ll go with the Type-B album when I go to buy my copy, because Mayuyu. Plus I want to see the video with the weird faux-Ikoma. Which one are you gonna get? Who are you voting for?

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