• PAKSA Staff

THINKING OUT LOUD: Reviewing the “RIVER” music video

Some things are truly worth waiting for.

That is exactly what MNL48 proved as the official music video for the idol group’s sixth single “RIVER” was unveiled last week. The music video was directed by Miko Pelino who was also behind the music video for “High Tension,” which was released last February.

Despite pressing concerns and limited resources set by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the group and the stakeholders who are involved in the making of the music video went above, over and beyond to produce a piece worthy of praise from the whole MNL48 fan community who have set their expectations high prior to its release; and from external observers as well.

In this edition of “Thinking Out Loud”, our writers and some fans provided insights about the music video and if they think it’s the best that MNL48 has produced.


The “yay” things: The music video was great in terms of technicalities, they had great locations, great shots, effects that fit the vibe, and the girls also did a fantastic job.

The “nay” things: The direction was a bit off in some scenes where it could've been acted or directed or shot in a better way, but overall, not that much to say (or nay).

What shocked you: Nothing much.

Verdict (1 lowest, 5 highest): 4


The "yay" things: High quality MV content; the lighting and color change in every scene sequence gives off a strong and unique vibe. The seifuku was more than what we expected it to be. Good MV film location. Nice choice of effects: lights sparklers, smokers, etc.

The "nay" things: Dance: some girls looked stiff and lacked energy. As for the film, less with the sudden scene change (it ruins focus). For the audio, I couldn't hear the lyrics well and it sounds mixed up, it hurts my ears. Also, the groupings of the girls like whenever they appear on screen so some looked out of place from each other.

What shocked you: The production quality, seifuku, and concept.

Verdict (1 lowest, 5 highest): 3.5


The "yay" things: The settings, color palette, seifuku, and dance choreography. I also liked the "Coming of Age" storyline, with stepping on the hourglass from "High Tension" as a good symbolism.

The "nay" things: Audio, audio, audio. It is a music video, but it became a visual video only. The highs are okay but the mids and lows felt and sounded like a tin can. The audio killed the majority of it.

What shocked you: The cinematography, the angles, the color palette, and the smokes used.

Verdict (1 lowest, 5 highest): 4

Teddy C.

The "yay" things: Great integration of color theme change, from dark and gritty to lively and bright. Choreography spot-on, and can we talk about how amazing their new "seifukus" are? Also, a great choice of MV set, and the lyrics now have never felt "forced translated" for the first time.

The "nay" things: Not so much of a fan of the sudden scene switch and some parts that are shot like "jiggly" (minimize I suppose).

What shocked you: Aside from the overall theme of the MV, the aspect of symbolism shocked me the most. The initial scene of destroying the hourglass from "High Tension" gave me chills, as it signified the rise of a new era. It reminds me of the Lion King scene of "Long live...the king!", but in a different light. It was a symbolism that puts the High Tension era to rest (not forgotten) and welcoming to a fiercer MNL48. Truly, a storyline lives in the timeline of these MVs.

Verdict (1 lowest, 5 highest): 4.5


The "yay" things: Um, everything. Even the song's syllabication and translation (no Japanese accent!). Overall the best MNL48 A-side yet.

The "nay" things: There's a bit too many twitch cuts in my opinion but maybe that's just me being nitpicky.

What shocked you: Everything too. The seifuku and secondary costume (so badass!), the cinematography and colors, the girls' dancing and visuals. Also, Marikina Sports Center also proved to be a great location for the music video especially during those scenes set outdoors.

Verdict (1 lowest, 5 highest): 5

Endy Factor

The "yay" things: The members gave justice to the song, where they went above and beyond the music intensity and the message of strength thereof through an energetic and synchronous performance. Director Miko Pelino outdid himself from the High Tension music video, and Coach Angel Pancho provided the proper mental motivation and physical conditioning to get going amidst challenges.

The "nay" things: Syllabication is a persistent challenge in the creation of a localized AKB franchise song.

What shocked you: The usage and highlights of colors in a traditionally dark-themed River music video. The shots and angles made Marikina Sports Complex a glamorous space beyond its intended public purpose. Snappy ng combat boots ni Ombeng. Taga-Final Fantasy si Gabbo. The best MNL48 A-side music video.

Verdict (1 lowest, 5 highest): 4.5

John Rabelas

The "yay" things: Everything.

The "nay" things: The camera cuts are a bit fast-twitching, sometimes you'll have a hard time finding a specific member on the scene while you're enjoying the song's beat.

What shocked you: The urban warfare theme of the music video, and we have the best costume for RIVER among the sister groups. I expect a music video for 10nen Zakura as well.

Verdict (1 lowest, 5 highest): 5

Kent Garcia

The "yay" things: Everything about it was great. I had moderate expectations at first but all my doubts were gone when I watched it. The seifuku looks stunning. The various smokes, flares and pyrotechnics used adds a lot to the aesthetic value. The members performed in sync with one another. If this was a statement of intent from MNL48, they left no doubt and made us all believers.

The "nay" things: Some camera shots made me a little dizzy. But as you watch it more, you’ll get used to it. Besides that, nothing else.

What shocked you: Considering the challenges they faced in making this music video, they really did this well. Talk about creating a masterpiece like this, we have to thank all the people in the production crew that worked hard to provide us the best end-product possible. RIVER is already up there when it comes to the best music videos MNL48 had.

Verdict (1 lowest, 5 highest): 4.5


The "yay" things: The girls lived up to the hype and outdone themselves again.

The "nay" things: The micro-synths in the audio used are a bit overpowered.

What shocked you: The colors, post-processing, and the MV's concept.

Verdict (1 lowest, 5 highest): 4.5

Pat Ocampo

The "yay" things: I liked the transitions to be honest and the vibes of the music video, it's definitely one of the best besides 365 Araw ng Eroplanong Papel and High Tension. I also liked the symbolism they did with the hourglass from the High Tension era.

The "nay" things: For camera angles, there are some shots where supposedly all the members should be seen but they're not.

What shocked you: The "rain" effect used and some scenes where pyrotechnics are used.

Verdict (1 lowest, 5 highest): 5

Von Adler (AQL)

The "yay" things: This may sound as a statement clichè but in my personal opinion, the entire MV itself is a "Yay". The cinematography, the intricately crafted narrative, the fine, crisp audio mixing, every aspect of the production is a masterpiece in its own right that constitutes a magnum opus grand, a marvel of artistry that exceeded expectations.

The "nay" things: Having watched the MV more times than I did all their prior single music videos combined, and combing through every detail in scrutiny, I can say that all but two of my yearnings were satisfied. Those two being A.) A single frame wherein the members of Baby Blue are featured and B.) Witnessing the Captain actually belch out the battle cry as opposed to merely hearing her roar the iconic intro.

What shocked you: When I first granted my eyes view of the MV, the fleeting shot presenting High Tension's hourglass shattered beneath a brazen boot captivated me in awe and elicited a gasp of delight from me. It's underlying symbolism was poetic, signifying the end of an era prolonged and heralding the entry of a new (hopeful) phase. And of course, the seifuku was a breath of fresh air and an overdue sight for sore eyes.

Verdict (1 lowest, 5 highest): 4

Mister K

The “yay” things: The MV portrayed the song in its purest manner as a fight song from all the trials of life. Also, the MV’s spacious location did a good contribution to make sure the dance heavy song would have a much clearer vantage point.

The “nay things”: Seeing the new leathered blazer seifuku of the girls makes me think of the uniform’s comfort. Since our country is tropical I find it very uncomfortable for the girls.

What shocked you: The MVs cinematography, the girls’ visuals, the High Tension hourglass prop being stepped on and the very much anticipated seifuku.

Verdict (1 lowest, 5 highest): 4

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and does not reflect the views held by the entirety of PAKSA MNL and fellow MNLoves.

57 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle

PAKSA MNL aims to be the main media platform in providing entertaining, informative, and insightful pieces made by the fans and for MNL48 fandom.

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now