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Ever since AKB48 released the "Koi Suru Fortune Cookie" ("Fortune Cookie in Love") music video back in June, it's gained a life of its own as a peppy and indestructable meme.
It all kind of started when a video was shot featuring all the employees of the AKB48 media giant, including cafe workers, security guards, theater managers, staffers, and more:
Since then, it's spawned hundreds of other "Staff" versions, featuring employees from other companies, like the Samantha Thavasa fashion company, the folks from the AKB48 Video Center, Japanet Takata, Cyber Agent Group, Take and Give Needs, the Kyushu Asahi Broadcasting Corporation, Hikari TV, GMO Internet, the Japan Travel transportation company, and tons of others. If anything, this seems like the best team-building exercise ever, and much more fun than an awkward company retreat.
But perhaps none are as heartwarming as the ones made by entire Japanese towns and cities, which involve city employees, farmers, schoolchildren, marine life, happy babies, happy old people, happy housewives, and just about everything in between. And, for those who want a quick tour of each town or prefecture, each video also showcases some of the most notable tourist sites and attractions.
This one features the people of Inagawa, a small city in Hyogo Prefecture. The video was created to drum up publicity for the town, and was shot entirely on smartphones by volunteers.
Here's one with the employees of the city of Oita in Oita Prefecture, which also includes dancing walruses... and the mayor of Oita:
Here's one made by the Saga Prefectural Government, that ends with a giant gathering of local mascots:
Here's a subtitled video for the Kanagawa Prefectural Government that starts with a cheeky boardroom meeting between Governor Yuji Kuroiwa and his staff discussing strategies for the video (and a well-planted cameo by Olympian Kenzo Shirai):
Here's one for the city of Kunitachi:
The original music video was shot in Fukuoka, the hometown of graduating member Mariko Shinoda. It involved 3,800 extras.
Oh, and if you want a glimpse at the future of AKB48, here's a version starring the current crop of next-gen candidates.
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