AKB48 Request Hour Set List Best 100 2012 was quite the anticipated event. Hearing news about the move to a larger venue and removing subunit songs for a separate concert was quite the delightful surprise. Of course, news about no graduated members returning to perform caused a commotion as well and there were mixed feelings going into Request Hour this year. What songs would retain their titles? What songs would drop entirely off the list? Which members would perform which songs? What song was going to win #1? We at NSK had feelings that the top contenders were going to be either Flying Get, Everyday Kachuusha, or  Heavy Rotation. Read on to find out what happened!

As for the list of songs that ranked, here it is:

100. Theater no Megami (B5)
99. Pajama Drive (B3 –¬†Watanabe, Nakagawa, Hirajima)
98. Dakishimeraretara (K5 –¬†Kasai, Kuramochi, Sato N)
97. Dear my Teacher (A1 Рline-up from A5, Takajo center)
96. Anata ga ite kureta kara
95. AKB Sanjou! (A5 – Old A + Sato S, Matsui S, Nakatsuka, Nonaka subbing other positions)
94. Higurashi no Koi (H1 –¬†Takahashi M, Masuda Y)
93. Wasshoi E! (E1)
92. High School Days
91. Kataomoi no Taikakusen (B4 –¬†Nito,¬†Komori, Yonezawa)
90. Seifuku Resistance (K6 –¬†Itano, Yokoyama, Nakatsuka in Nito’s position)
89. To be continued (K5 – No Ohori nor Noro though)
88. 16nin shimai no uta (K4 – Sato N, Matsubara, Kobayashi K)
87. Seventeen
86. Nakeru Basho (DIVA)
85. Ice no Kuchizuke (Maeda At, Oshima, Takahashi M, Watanabe, Itano, Shinoda, Sasaki)
84. Hikkoushimashita (K6)
83. FIRST LOVE (KKS: Kato Rena)
82. Iikagen no Susume (Kojima H, Shinoda, Matsui R, Miyazawa, Akimoto, Katayama)
81. Kimi ni tsuite (MINT)
80. Blue rose (K2 –¬†Akimoto,¬†Masuda, Miyazawa, Yamauchi in Ohori’s position)
79. Sougen no Kiseki (K3 – Minegishi, Yokoyama, Kikuchi in graduated members’ positions)
78. Nagisa no Cherry (A2 –¬†Maeda At, 13th gen. Hasegawa, Murayama, Aigasa)
77. Overtake (Team A)
76. SKE! Koi wo Kataru Shijin ni Narenakute (Team S)
75. 1!2!3!4! Yoroshiku (SKE48)
74. Wagamama Collection (Watanabe, Matsui J, Sato S, Oota, Komori, Maeda Am)
73. Tenshi no Shippo (B3 –¬†Oota, Nakaya, Nakatsuka in Noguchi’s position)
72. Gomen ne, SUMMER (SKE48)
71. Himawari (H1 –¬†Matsubara¬†(Oshima M),¬†Akimoto, Shinoda, Kuramochi (Noro)
70. Tsundere! (A5 –¬†Itano, Kitahara, Sato A)
69. Saishuu Bell ga naru (K4)
68. Locker Room boy (B5 –¬†Kitahara, Takahashi J, Morikawa, Omori, Nakamura M)
67. Sasae (K4, with Ohori and Noro!!!!!)
66. Kimi no Senaka
65. Arashi no Yoru ni wa (B5 –¬†Miyazaki, Komori, Sato N, Suzuki M)¬†(thank you Togachan /o/)
64. Yankee Soul
63. Banzai Venus (SKE48)
62. Kanojo ni naremasu ka? (K6)
61. Honest Man (B5)
60. UHHO UHHOHO (K6)
59. RESET (K6)
58. Namida Surprise! (13th generation KKS)
57. Seishun to Kizukanai mama
56. Only today (A4 – performed by Team 4 + KKS)
55. Korogaru ishi ni nare (K2 – old K + Yonezawa, Nonaka, Kikuchi, Yokoyama, Fujie)
54. RIVER
53. Kurumi to Dialogue (Team A)
52. Chance no Junban
51. End Roll (K5 –¬†Oshima, Noro, Umeda, Sato N)
50. MAMMOTH (K4 – graduates’ spots subbed by Ishida, Nonaka, Uchida, Tanabe, Chikano, Oya)
49. Omoide Ijou (S3 –¬†Matsui J, Kinoshita, Hiramatsu)
48. Zannen Shoujo (B4 –¬†Watanabe, Nakatsuka, Uchida for RS position)
47. Kuchi Utsushi no Chocolate (B4 –¬†Kashiwagi, Oota, Hirajima)
46. Gyakuten Oujisama (K6 –¬†Minegishi, Nakatsuka, Uchida)
45. Ookami to Pride (S3 – Yagami, Kizaki in Mori’s position)
44. MARIA (K3 –¬†Masuda, Kasai, Umeda)
43. 10nen Zakura (performed by HKT48)
42. Dareka no tame ni ~what can I do for someone?~ (single version)
41. Kuroi Tenshi (A5 –¬†Maeda At, Fujie, Takajo)
40. Yuuhi wo miteiru ka? (performed by Team 4 – speech: Oba)
39. Pioneer (A6)
38. Temodemo no Namida (B3 – Kashiwagi, Matsui R in Saeki’s position)
37. Enjou Rosen (A6 – Sashihara, Takajo)
36. Enkyori Poster (Team PB –¬†Kashiwagi,¬†Takajo, Miyazawa, Oota, Miyazaki, Nito, Maeda Am)
35. Shoujotachi yo (Kojima H, Shinoda, Matsubara, Akimoto, Itano, Oshima, Kikuchi, Matsui S, Yokoyama, Kitahara, Komori, Sato A, Sato S, Suzuki M, Suzuki S, Watanabe)
34. Itoshisa no Accel (A6 –¬†Takahashi M¬†solo)
33. Oogoe Diamond (Chikano, Iwasa, Oota, Oya, Katayama, Nakata, Nakaya, Tanabe, Natatsuka, Nonaka, Fujie, Miyazawa, Yonezawa, Ishida, Kobayashi K, Hirajima)
32. CANDY (B5 –¬†Kasai, Masuda, Sato A)
31. Choose me! (Team YJ – Minegishi, Kasai, Kuramochi, Kitahara, Nakagawa, Sashihara, Kikuchi)
30. Sakura no ki ni narou (subbing: Nito, Nonaka, Fujie, Matsui S, Yonezawa, Sato N, Suzuki S, Suzuki M, Chikano)
29. Oki Doki (SKE48)
28. Junai no Crescendo (A4 – Kojima H, Takahashi M, Minegishi)
27. Kimi to boku no kankei (Maeda At, Itano)
26. Shonichi (B3 – old Team B + Kikuchi, Uchida, Komori, Suzuki S)
25. Ponytail to Shushu
24. Kiseki wa ma ni awanai (K6 –¬†Miyazawa, Yonezawa, Nonaka)
23. Seishun no Laptime (NMB48)
22. Zetsumetsu Kurokami Shoujo (NMB48)
21. Omatase Setlist (Team KII)
20. Mushi no Ballad (K5 –¬†Akimoto Sayaka¬†solo)
19. Oh My God! (NMB48)
18. Beginner
17. Kareha no Station (S3 –¬†Matsui Rena¬†solo)
16. Pareo wa Emerald (SKE48)
15. Heart gata Virus (A4 –¬†Kojima H, Kitahara, Takajo)
14. Kurukurupaa (K3 –¬†Kobayashi K, Ohori, Matsubara – Sato N, Umeda and Akimoto in graduates spots)
13. Bird (A3 – Takahashi M, Shinoda, Miyazawa in Oshima M’s position)
12. Kimi no koto ga suki dakara
11. Iiwake Maybe
10. Yokaze no Shiwasa (B5 –¬†Kashiwagi Yuki’s solo)
9. Nakinagara Hohoende (K3 –¬†Oshima Yuko’s solo)
8. Dakishimecha ikenai
7. Kaze wa Fuiteiru
6. Itoshiki Natasha (B4 –¬†Sashihara, Katayama, Tanabe)
5. Team B oshi (B5)
4. Flying Get
3. Kodoku na RUNNER (SDN48)
2. Everyday, Kachuusha
1. Heavy Rotation

List sourced from Everyday48. They have a more comprehensive list of MCs, announcements, before/after, and encore songs. Check them out and show them some love!

MELOS no Michi also covered all 4 days during the event via tweets and a comprehensive list.

Also, shout out to AKB48 Journal, who live tweeted the rankings and translated the MCs. Their list is in 4 separate posts.

Heavy Rotation took #1 again, becoming a 2 time champion of Request Hour. I think this might actually solidify it as, “the greatest idol song of all time.” I was a bit disappointed that Flying Get didn’t get #1 due to the whole gimmick of election single = request hour #1. However, Heavy Rotation is an incredibly worthy song to lose to, and I think Heavy Rotation deserves the #1 spot again.

Noticeable announcements made during the 4 day event are: All 47 prefectures of Japan will be toured by AKB48 this year, DiVA’s next single, “Lost the way” will be released on March 7th and will be the theme song to the new Ultraman movie, there will be Saitama Super Arena concert from March 23-25, and SDN48 will hold a graduation concert at NHK Hall.

Naturally, a few of us were waiting for some sort of “huge announcement” at the end of the 4th day, little did we know that it was going to be a revelation of a project that the members had been working on in the shadows.

A VTR was shown about GIVE ME FIVE, AKB48’s upcoming ¬†single. Apparently, the original plan was to have the senbatsu members learn and play their own instruments. The footage showed the members being assigned different instruments from bass guitar, to keyboard, to trumpet. The members practiced long and hard and most of them had no practice with instruments in the past.

I was reading on Twitter that some of the staff said that they could make the composition easier to play so the girls could finish in time (I am assuming for recording), but the girls refused and said they wanted to play it the way it was meant to be played. The single couldn’t be recorded with their live instruments of course, so the project was basically scrapped. However, after the video finished playing, the members of the band, “Baby Blossom” revealed themselves and introduced themselves to the crowd.

Rythym Guitar: Maeda Atsuko
Lead Guitar: Takahashi Minami
Bass: Oshima Yuko
Drums: Kashiwagi Yuki
Keyboard: Kojima Haruna, Watanabe Mayu
Trombone: Sashihara Rino, Minegishi Minami
Trumpet: Yokoyama Yui, Matsui Rena
Tambourine: Shinoda Mariko
Shaker: Itano Tomomi
Percussion: Matsui Jurina
Chorus: Takajo Aki, Miyazawa Sae, Kasai Tomomi, Kitahara Rie, Yamamoto Sayaka

Source: Everyday48

They performed GIVE ME FIVE with live instruments and live vocals for the first time. I personally thought it was totally awesome, since I really like GIVE ME FIVE, especially with its upbeat Ska background. Of course, my only gripe would be that the instruments in GIVE ME FIVE’s preview are not real. Therefore, this performance really made my day. It was fairly weak, since the guitars and vocals were not being recorded as well as the other instruments, but overall it was an A+ for effort from the girls. One thing that idol groups always get ragged on for is that they don’t play their own music. I hope that this is an example of things to come and that this “reform of AKB” is about expanding the skill sets of these girls. It was an incredibly pleasant surprise and I’m reminded of the idol conference that I attended, since it felt like I was watching the girls grow up, after having practiced so long and under such pressure.

Speaking of GIVE ME FIVE, the covers have been released!

(Click to enlarge) From left to right: Limited A, Limited B, Regular A, Regular B, Theater Edition.

Source: Oricon, MELOS no Michi

I’m a fan of these covers, especially since it puts them in a band setting. I dig the simple colors and the black and white look. It’s a bit plain and obviously photoshop chopped, but I think it presents what it needs to. Also, I may still be on the high of AKB48 playing live instruments, and GIVE ME FIVE is looking to be one of my favorite songs already. GIVE ME FIVE comes out on February 15th. Here’s to 2012 and another good year for AKB48!

Check out  more photos and reports (in Japanese) of Request Hour 2012 at Oricon, natalie, and the AKB48 official blog. Also, take a look at the instruments that the girls used.

A big shout out to those who joined us on Google+ to watch the Request Hour stream of day 4. Unfortunately, we only had room for 10 people so in the future we might need to rethink how we do this. Leave us comments and let us know what you thought of Request Hour and if you have any ideas on how to watch more streamed events like this in the future!