**Vote for your favorite bikini singles at the end of the article!**
After a rather long break, 48 Group West is back to bring you more of AKB48’s beloved bikini singles! As mentioned in Part 1 of this article, which you can read by clicking this link, AKB48’s integrity was at question by concerned international voices, which brought an end to singles such as the ones mentioned here.
Nagiichi (ナギイチ) by NMB48 Senbatsu (2012)
First on our list today is NMB48, a group that is no stranger to the bikini concept. Serving as the group’s fourth single, the song was actually NMB48’s first run in with the concept on a promotional stage. They have since donned the outfit (or lack thereof) numerous times, nearly beating AKB48 at their own bikini game! Watch the NMB48 subgroup Queentet perform the song last year at their concert!
And if it suits your fancy, you may watch the dance version of the music video by clicking here.
Sayonara Crawl (さよならクロール) by AKB48 Senbatsu (2013)
Sayonara Crawl is special for many fans, as the details surrounding the lineup for the single were quite unique. Four centers exist for the song, with Itano Tomomi being one of them. Unlike the other centers present, Tomomi was a long time Kami 7 member with less than a handful of center positions on her belt. AKB48’s 31st single, only a couple of singles before her graduation, made Tomomi’s first A-side center position. Below you can watch a more modern AKB48 perform the song in 2020.
Masaka Singapore (まさかシンガポール) by NMB48 Senbatsu (2017)
In what may be one of our favorite Bikini concept music videos, Sayaka questions whom among the rest of NMB48 should have the golden microphone (a concept representing the center that could be called a staple of AKB48 folklore). I would tell you to watch to see the ending, but there is no surprise that the golden microphone ends up resting in the hands of current NMB48 center: Shiroma Miru. Watch her lead her group in the song below.
Labrador Retriever (ラブラドール・レトリバー) by AKB48 Senbatsu (2014)
After many years of being a part of the AKB48 fandom, we have come to learn that 48 Group fans do not necessarily love AKB48’s 36th single. There are many reasons as to why that may be, and we would implore you to share your reasons in the comment section of this article. There is a great consensus in the 48 Group West office that although the song may be sleepy, Labrador Retriever brought one of AKB48’s most enjoyable music videos to the discography. If you do not care to watch the live performance that follows, be sure to watch the music video above. Does your oshi correspond to the dog breed you thought she would?
Pareo wa Emerald (パレオはエメラルド) by SKE48 Senbatsu (2011)
In what is one of the most beloved songs in the 48 group discography, SKE48 opts for covering their bikinis with vivid watery blue sarongs. At this point in time, NMB48 was at fetus age and JKT48 was yet to even be announced, so SKE48 bravely took the torch from the flagship Tokyo group to sport the summer concept. Watch the full music video by clicking here or listen to the volume of the audience cheers as SKE48 performs in concert below!
Ponytail to shushu (ポニーテールとシュシュ) by AKB48 Senbatsu (2010)
We’ve reached another AKB48 staple song. If there were a list of ten songs that each AKB48 member should know, Ponytail to Shushu would be one of them. With a shocking locker room opening skit and fantastic helicopter shots of the group on the beach, the song truly does not need a visual number to qualify as a legendary idol song. Irrelevent, but nevertheless interesting to note are the similarities in the structure of this song and AKB48’s newer single, Sustainable. Watch the entirety of AKB48 perform the song in 2017 at Kojimatsuri!
And watch Current AKB48 perform the song along with Everyday Kachuusha and Manatsu no Sounds Good (both of which also mentioned in Part 1 of this article) during COVID times below:
Utsukushii Inazuma (美しい稲妻) by SKE48 Senbatsu (2013)
SKE48 closes out our bikini countdown with a song that blurs the concept of bikini. Adorning themselves in leaves and leopard print, the girls dance in covered swimsuits at night by a fire. The song proved to be extremely successful as a sister group song, showcasing a new and fierce face for the group. Matsui Rena and Matsui Jurina (WMatsuri) center the song at Request Hour below!
BONUS! Heart Gata Virus (Swimsuit Version)