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.
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.
There’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.
Then 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”.
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.