AKB48 Team Surprise – Hatsukoi no Kagi (Web Version – M4) (a J!-ENT World Groove CD Single Review


“Yume wo Miru Nara”, the third AKB48 Team Surprise CD+DVD release for the second stage is recommended for those who don’t mind that there is only one single vocal track on the CD and DVD, and also recommended for Takamina and Tomochin fans who want to see this unlikely, but now a reality, pairing of original AKB48 members!

GROUP: AKB48 Team Surprise (AKB48 チームサプライズ)

CD SINGLE: 初恋の鍵 (Karaoke Hall Version) / Hatsukoi no Kagi (Karaoke Hall Version)


CATALOG #: AKBS-10107/8


RELEASE DATE: September 27, 2014

1. 初恋の鍵

2. 初恋の鍵 (off-vocal ver.)

DVD INFO: 16:9 LB, Region 2, Duration: 5:05

  1. 初恋の鍵 Music Clip

To commemorate the release of the latest Pachinko AKB48 game machine for 2014 and a tie-in with Pachinko company Kyoraku, 16 senbatsu members of AKB48 would form a special team known as “Team Surprise” and songs featured in the pachinko game will be released each week via a CD+DVD single beginning in September 2014.

Fort this second stage release, the members chosen to participate in this special project are (note: the songs were recorded prior to Oshima Yuko, Shinoda Mariko and Itano Tomomi’s graduation from AKB48):

Team A: Takahashi Minami, Kojima Haruna, Shimazaki Haruka; Team K: Kitahara Rie, Yokoyama Yui; Team B: Watanabe Mayu, Kashiwagi Yuki, Takajo Aki; Team 4: Minegishi Minami; SKE48 Team E: Matsui Rena; NMB48 Team N: Yamamoto Sayaka; NMB48 Team BII: Watanabe Miyuki and HKT48 Team H: Sashihara Rino

Each week from September through mid-November, a single plus its music video will be released via a pachinko hall version (which can be won or sold at pachinko halls) and a web version, each featuring two different covers and will come with exclusive collectors cards for the pachinko hall and another for the web version.

It’s important to note that because these releases are not sold in regular stores, the best way for those living outside of Japan to purchase these singles is through eBay.

The fourth AKB48 Team Surprise CD single for the second stage is titled “Hatsukoi no Kagi” (which translates to “Key to Love”) and is sung by Watanabe “Mayuyu” Mayu and Shimazaki “Paruru” Haruka.

The single that I am reviewing is the web version and features Mayuyu and Paruru on the front cover with a heart background. The 8-page booklet featuring lyrics, production credits and liner notes from Ishigami and pictures of the group on stage. The back cover of the CD features Kitahara Rie in a red dress.

Also, by visiting the official website for “Hatsukoi no Kagi”, you can get access to liner notes, gallery (a few photos are what is featured in the CD insert), wallpaper and poster.

“Hatsukoi no Kagi” is what you would expect from a Mayuyu and Paruru pairing.  A sweet and cute, upbeat song about unrequited love and is about being an adult and bumping into a person you have liked a long time ago.  But now as adults, can you confess to the person that you liked them long ago?

The second stage singles also come with a second vocal-less track of the primary single.

As for the DVD, the music video features both Mayuyu and Paruru wearing cute lolita outfits with stuffed animals on them.  While they perform, we see an unnecessary CG of insects and animals dancing behind them on the big screen.  But while it’s cute to see both of these idol singers together, the CG could have been left out of the equation in my opinion.

It’s important to note that this is a region 2 DVD and will not play on a region 1 player (unless you have a non-region DVD player) but can be played on a MAC or PC using free video playing software such as VLC or Daum PotPlayer.

Overall, the AKB48 Team Surprise CD singles may not be for everyone, primarily because there is only one song and one music video and they cost the same price of a regular single. But yet, if you are an AKB48 collector and you gotta collect them all!

For the most part, “Hatsukoi no Kagi” is a fun pairing of both Mayuyu and Paruru.  The song is actually quite funny and uplifting and as expected, sweet and cute.  The music video also showcases that cuteness of the two idol singers but I felt that it was a bit too much with the CG backgrounds.

“Hatsukoi no Kagi”, the fourth AKB48 Team Surprise CD+DVD release for the second stage is recommended for those who don’t mind that there is only one single vocal track on the CD and DVD and for those who can’t get enough of Mayuyu and Paruru (without the saltiness).