There’s black comedy gold waiting in the titles of AKB48 idol hits, and our one tiny trick reveals it.

Few aspects of Japanese culture are more divisive than idol music. After some initial awkwardness, most people eventually embrace eating raw fish and taking communal dips in the country’s natural hot springs, but even among people who were born and raised in Japan, listening to idol pop tends to be a love-it-or-hate-it endeavor.

Among fans, idol music is upbeat and encouraging, with energetic tempos and lyrics that are incessantly optimistic and validating of the listener’s latent wonderfulness that goes unnoticed by his real-world peers. But to detractors, all that saccharine devotion is so unrealistic and unrelatable that idols may as well be singing about magical unicorns that will happily carry you to an endless supply of fried chicken if you’ll just muster enough gumption to climb on their back.

Really, if Japanese idols’ messages of youthful effervescent devotion sound less than genuine to you, it can be a major roadblock to enjoying the genre…unless you follow this strategy developed by our Japanese-language reporter Seiji.

▼ Say hi/nyan pasu to everyone, Seiji.

Like a lot of people, Seiji just can’t relate to the idea of having a whole team of pure and perky maidens whose hearts beat only for him. So what he’s done is taken a collection of drippingly sweet song titles from idol mega-group AKB48 and added “A, omae janai desu,” or “Oh, but I’m not talking about you,” to the end of them.

Let’s take a look at the revised list of AKB48’s greatest hits:

● “Aitakatta…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“I Wanted to See You…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You”

● “Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“Because I Love You…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You
● “Boku no Taiyo…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“My Personal Sun…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You
● “Anata ga Ite Kureta Kara…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“Becase You Were There for Me…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You
● “Senaka Kara Dakishimete…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“Hold Me From Behind…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You

● “Dareka no Tame ni…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“For Someone…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You
● “Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“You Taught Me…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You
● “Kimi ni Au Tabi Koi wo Suru…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“Every Time I See You I Fall in Love…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You
● “Ai wo Kure…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“Give Me Love…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You
● “Sagashite Ageru…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“I’ll Search for You…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You

● “Kimi no Tame ni Boku ha…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“For You I Would…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You
“Suzukake no Ki no Michi de “Kimi no Hohoemi wo Yume ni Mieru” to Itteshimattara Bokutachi no Kankei ha Dou Kawatteshimau no ka, Boku nari ni Nannichika Kangaeta Ue de no Yaya Hazukashii Ketsuron no you na Mono…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“I Spent Several Days Thinking About How Our Relationship Would Change If I Were to Say ‘Your Smile Looks Like a Dream’ on the Platan Tree-Lined Street, and Arrived at a Slightly Embarrassing Conclusion…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You
● “Dakara Kimi ga Suki na no Ka…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“Is that the Reason I Love You?…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You
● “Dakitsukou Ka?…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“Shall I Embrace You?…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You
● “Gomen Ne, Suki ni Nachatte…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“Sorry, I’ve Fallen in Love with You…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You

● “Anata to Kurisumasu Eve…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“Christmas Eve with You…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You
● “#Suki Nan Da…A, Omae Ja Nai”
“#I Love You…Oh, But I’m Not Talking About You

Granted, this transforms AKB48’s sonography from a collection of near-blank-slate love letters into a cynicism-tinged dark comedy about the potential follies of believing in puppy love, but that’s something Seiji is used to by now.

Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: SoraNews24, Pakutaso (1, 2, 3, 4)
[ Read in Japanese ]

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s trying to decide whether his Satomi Fukunaga CD counts as idol music.

[ Read in Japanese ]