Sakura Gakuin – “My Graduation Toss”

This is strange territory for me.  I don’t actually know much about Sakura Gakuin.  From what I have gathered, they are all middle school students or younger and are under Universal Music in Japan (making them not independent idols).  I first heard of the group through their subgroup BABYMETAL (an odd mixture of idol and metal, as the name implies).  I’ll probably be talking more about BABYMETAL in the future, since I think it’s a stellar group.  Nakamoto Suzuka is graduating from Sakura Gakuin, and this is her send-off into the high school!  The song is fun, filled with exuberance, and sends Su-metal off with a burst of joy.  If you are tired of the electro-sounds of Morning Musume, this song is definitely for you.  It’s filled with live instruments playing a poppy rock sound that sounds refreshing in the current idol scene.

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-17h44m43s170

From the outset we see Sakura Gakuin as a group of pint-sized idols showing off their moves in a dimly lit auditorium.  This is the only shot we get of the group dancing all together; it probably serves to make the other scenes featuring Suzuka all the more bright.

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-17h47m04s50There’s the band room.  Notice that the girls are practicing their instruments.  No, they’re not really playing- though they do a darn good job of pretending.  Stellar coaching.  The light streaming trough the window is bright and almost blinding- like the fortunate future after graduation.

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-17h57m48s152Sing it, Suzuka.

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-17h59m21s183Too young.

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-18h02m12s174The chorus brings us back to the auditorium, where we get this wonderful tableau.  What a spirited group of young girls!  And, for the record, I like the school uniform look.

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-18h06m23s130The girls run around the school and, I assume, wreak havoc on the campus- in that cute idol way, of course.

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-18h10m42s240Then we get a scene where the whole group has cardboard guitars.  It’s like a  Guitar Center invaded by a girls school where no one plays “Stairway to Heaven”.  This is a really cute idea (that may or may not be inspired by Berryz Koubou’s “Rival“) and the guitars all look like they came out of the Sugar Rush scenes from “Wreck-It Ralph”.

During the bridge, the girls get really freaky ….Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-18h15m38s46

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-18h14m52s43I’m a little scared of this one …

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-18h15m27s184AAnd a little overwhelmed with awesomeness on this one ..

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-18h17m33s164Main point: she can stomp roaches with the best of them.

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-18h17m18s6I suppose the mustache fad has hit Japan?

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-18h16m54s248Well, it can’t last forever, so the girls of Sakura Gakuin give Suzuka a salute.

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-18h26m31s169One by one, as the video reaches its end, the girls wave goodbye to their soon-to-graduate friend.

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-18h28m42s114We see Suzuka alone in the band room.  This is the end, and someone is gonna cry.

Sakura Gakuin - Grad Tpss2013-03-10-18h31m23s85Our last image from the PV is the girls together waving goodbye to the camera in their last PV with Suzuka.

I greatly enjoyed this single, and I hope you take the time to look into the group more.  The PV does a great job of conveying the emotions of graduation- the joy of the event, the sadness of friendships lost, and the hope of the future.   I’m planning on keeping an eye on Sakura Gakuin, and I hope they have more delights in store for the future!

You can purchase “My Graduation Toss” at CDJapan.

2 responses

  1. “…a Guitar Center invaded by a girls school where no one plays “Stairway to Heaven”. ”

    Ha! I laughed aloud at your description. If only Guitar Center could exhibit such youth and kawaii sunshine…

    Also of note, the frame which you were “a little scared of” depicts Yui Mizuno doing her “Fox Sign” pose from Babymetal (in which she is “YUIMETAL”).

    Sakura Gakuin started out on the Toy’s Factory label in 2010, but was signed to Universal in 2012.

    Oh… and as a SG fan, I cried when minna-san waved their fond farewells to Suzuka.
    Sayonara, Suu-chan~ you will be missed… \ (; _ ; )


    • Glad I could provide teh lolz.

      Unfortunately I’m not well-versed in the ways of SG- I didn’t want to ID YUIMETAL nor MOAMETAL. And, even with my lack of experience I found the closing scenes tear-inducing. My interest is definitely piqued, so I’ll be checking out SG more in the coming months. I can’t wait for more!


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