- Watashi Datte Idol (私だってアイドル！) by Sashihara Rino
Legendary Sashihara Rino’s graduation single, Watashi Datte Idol served as a B-side to AKB48’s 55th Single, Jiwaru Days (which was a Sashihara Rino graduation A-side as well). The song is a smack in the face to all the people who thought that Rino was a bad idol over her illustrious career. Watch her perform it live below!
2. Hitsuzensei (必然性) by IZ4648
Where Kpop meets Jpop. ‘Nuff said. Above you see the one and only performance of this song. Video removed. Click here to watch!
3. Sustainable (サステナブル) by AKB48 Senbatsu
The announcement of newly promoted Yahagi Moeka as the center for AKB48’s 56th single was met with a hugely negatively confused reaction. Moeka was lovable, but according to many fans, never proved her worth in the groups theater, only appearing a handful of times, while her kenkyusei peers had dozens of performances under their belt. When the song came out, however, the sound and concept brought back such a nostalgia. Many people applauded it as a nod to the past and a start of a new future for AKB48. See a live performance below!
. . . . Unfortunately Yahagi Moeka announced her graduation mere weeks after the singles release and ultimately left the group.
4. Sukida Sukida Sukida (好きだ好きだ好きだ) by Team 8
A B-side on AKB48’s 56th single and centered by Tokyo Representative, Oguri Yui. Watch a live performance below!
5. Yake Bokkui by Team N
A B-side on NMB48’s 20th single and centered by Ota Yuuri. The chorus choreography is extremely catchy, making it a shoe-in for this list. Watch a VR live version below!
6. Update (アップデート) by Team BII
Another B-side from NMB48’s 20th single! This one centered by Yamamoto Ayaka, many people call the song the spiritual predecessor to the later released AKB48 A-side, Sustainable (also on this list).
7. Pan Pan Papa Pan (パンパン パパパン) by Team M
A B-side of NMB48’s 21st single, centered by Shiroma Miru. The unusual arrangement along with the brief rapping bridge shocked many, including myself.
8. Jugon wa Jugon (ジュゴンはジュゴン) by Team BII
The second song by Team BII to make the list, and once again centered by Yamamoto Ayaka!
9. Ishi (意志) by HKT48
After a break in singles that lasted over a year, HKT48 came back in a haste after the announcement of Sashihara Rino’s graduation. The music video is brilliant, depicting Center Sashihara Rino handing the HKT48 flag over to younger HKT48 frontgirls Tanaka Miku and Matsuoka Hana. This sadly was HKT48’s only single release of 2019. If I had a choice, Ishi could maybe take the rank of best song of the year. Watch the live version from Sashihara Rino’s graduation concert below:
10. Always By Your Side (いつだってそばにいる) by HKT48
Yet another, and not the last, music video dedicated to Sashihara Rino’s graduation. A B-side on the 12th single, Ishi (also on this list), there’s a special moment in this music video in which Sashihara Rino gifts flowers to Tomiyoshi Asuka, another member who announced her graduation around the same time.
11. Kaze wo Matsu (風を待つ ) by STU48
Along with HKT48’s Ishi, I will place STU48’s 2nd single as the best song of 2019. The one-take music video is beautiful and brilliant, centered by Takino Yumiko. Watch closely and you can witness Okada Nana trip running up the stairs. The video took 9 takes before they were able to cut, and I commend the girls for running up those stairs as often as they did! Watch a live performance below:
12. Daisuki Na Hito (大好きな人) by STU48
STU48’s 3rd single, centered by Takino Yumiko, is a beautiful example of how STU48 can really bring their water concept to their music and choreography. See a live version below!
13. Yume no Arika e (夢の在処へ)by Nojima Kano
Singing a solo B-side to SKE48’s 25th single, Nojima Kano is the first winner of AKB48’s Singing Competition and arguably the best singer of 48 Group.
2019 was a very rough year for 48Group and the hardships were reflected in the small amount of releases we had. Share your favorite 2019 48Group songs that did not make the list!