Takamina Announces Her Graduation

8 12 2014

takamina

Hello everybody. I’m back again with my occassional posts to this blog.

I think today’s announcement by Takamina that she intends to graduate from AKB48 next year is the end of an era in many ways in the group’s history and one that I’m really sad about. Takamina is only one of three that’s left from the 1st generation (Kojima and Miichan the others). She might not be the most popular member amongst the fans but she sure as hell is the hardest working out of all of them. If there’s one person that I’ve admired over the years of being an AKB48 fan for her sheer hard work it’s Takamina. As fans we only get to see one side of Takamina – the crybaby/goofy character she portrays but away from the cameras and the public eye I’ve got the feeling that she’s a determined woman who genuinely cares about the group and her fellow colleagues. She rallies the girls before a performance, scolds them if necessary but also is quick to praise if they’ve given it their all. It’s obvious that’s why Aki P gave her the job as General Manager even though she’d been doing it unofficially for years. I’ve been thinking for years what if a young teenage Japanese girl asked me to pick a female role model from their own country they should aspire to be and you know what, it’s probably Takamina I would choose. It’s not the performing side as an idol that I’m talking about here but what she does backstage. I’m sure I’ve read or heard somewhere that she’s the first to come to work everyday and the last to leave. A bright and intelligent woman that’s embraced the role that’s been thrust upon her. She’s given blood, sweat, tears and more besides in fulfilling her job as General Manager. As she said in her graduation statement, the job as General Manager isn’t easy, it’s a tough role for a young woman but she’s risen to the challenge and made it her own. I just couldn’t have seen anybody else in that role but her.

So the baton of her job will be gradually handed over the next 12 months to a worthy successor in Yui Yokoyama. It’s a wise choice as I can see many of Takamina’s qualities in her. It’s true they could have chosen the old stagers in Kojima or Miichan as the next General Manager but I think both might also be graduating in 2015. I’m sure Yuihan will do a fine job and make Takamina proud. Even though I know AKB48 hasn’t been the same since Acchan, Tomochin and Yuko have gone, it will be strange not to see Takamina’s face amongst the members performing from 2016. I’m sure we will eventually find out what she intends to do after she graduates. I wish her the very best in whatever she does.





The Fallout Continues After AKB48 Handshake Incident

27 05 2014

annin

Ohisashiburi, it’s been a long long time I know but I just had to say something after what took place on Sunday.

By now every AKB48 fan will have found out what happened on Sunday evening at an AKB48 handshake event in the Iwate Industrial Culture Center Apio building when a 24 year old man came to the handshake event, hid a foldable saw under his jumper and violently slashed Rina Kawaei and Anna Iriyama in an unprovoked attack which brought terror to what is usually a peaceful and fun event for fans and AKB48 members to interact with each other.

I’m quite surprised that it’s taken this long for such a terrible thing to happen if I’m being honest. There has been minor incidents before in a couple of handshake events but nothing quite as frightening and terrifying as this one. One thing is for certain – things will never be the same again. Believe me, things will change and it’s about time too. Security has been blamed for lack of body and bag checks but to be honest nobody expects AKB48 fans to suddenly attack their idols. The only problem is, this man wasn’t an AKB48 fan. He was a man on a mission to intentionally injure a human being. He picked this venue as there was a lot of people there. He didn’t go on purpose to try and murder an AKB48 member. It’s only thanks to the swift actions of a member of staff that we aren’t reading about a murder incident in the papers. Nevertheless, this unwelcome news has gone global with even the BBC picking it up. Rina and Anna are extremely lucky to have gotten away with minor injuries, it could have been a lot worse. Thank God both girls are fine – physically that is.  The mental scars though will take a long time to heal. Both girls had emergency surgery for wounds to their hands and head and left the hospital yesterday to a scrum of media personnel waiting for them.

So what does this mean for events of this kind in the future? There will be tighter security that’s for certain as this kind of incident MUST not happen ever again. I believe metal detectors are being touted in being used, probably stricter body searches too. Inconvenient for people perhaps but if all this means the girls will be safe then I’m all for it. To cancel all future  handshake events would be a mistake. It’s a big part of the ‘idols you can meet’ concept and would be a huge loss to fans and I’m sure the members as well. They love meeting their fans.

Anyway, I wish both girls and the AKB48 staff member a speedy recovery.

UPDATE: Both Annin and Ricchan have broken their silence online and I’m glad to hear that they are feeling better. I’m sure reading all the well wishes and how concerned everybody is for their well being will make them happy. Don’t rush back to your work girls, please take some time out to recover and get over this traumatic experience. It’s good to know that you’re both smiling once more.





AKB48 Top 10 Members (December 2012)

31 12 2012

Yes I’m still alive just not posting much on this site that’s all.

Has it been 12 months since I last did a Top 10 AKB48 members list? During the last year, 2 members from my last list have graduated from AKB48 and gone to other groups. Sasshi has moved to Fukuoka to join HKT48 after her big scandal and Harugon has even moved country to China to be with Sae and SNH48.

Without further ado here’s my Top 10 countdown:

10. MISAKI IWASA

Wasamin 2012
2012 has been a phenomenal year for Wasamin. Not only did she debut with her first enka solo single which was fantastic but she also moved up the charts in the 2012 Senbatsu Election. With news that her 2nd single will be coming out soon, 2013 looks set to be an even bigger year for her.

9. NITO MOENO

Moeno 2012
I’m so happy that Moeno had her day in the spotlight when she became runner up in the janken tournament in September and got even more exposure by being in the senbatsu for Eien Pressure.

8. MINA OBA

Minarun 2012

7. YUI YOKOYAMA

Yuichan 2012
Yui has been very busy in the past couple of months which has seen her make her debut with NMB48 on stage in which she’s now a member. I still wish they would have made another proper Bimyo series with Honmayan as Yui was so funny in those skits.

6. MINAMI TAKAHASHI

Takamina 2012
Takamina relinquished her job as Team A leader to become the overall boss of AKB48 (something she did unofficially anyway for the past couple of years!).

5. HARUKA SHIMAZAKI

Paruru 2012
Paruru storms into the Top 5 from nowhere. She’d had one of the best years of her life in AKB48 what with having the leading role in Majisuka Gakuen 3 to winning the janken tournament in September and getting the center role in Eien Pressure in the process. Paruru looks to be quite a shy person and she might be the next ace that AKB48 are looking for after Acchan’s graduation. I agree with Takamina and Mariko saying that Paruru and Acchan are similar in nature. I don’t understand why she has so many haters. She’s an adorable girl with a sweet smile.

4. YUKO OSHIMA

Yuko 2012
The new leader of Team K with some saying she was only given the role by Aki-P to make sure she wouldn’t graduate from AKB48. I can still see an announcement being made late in 2013 that she’ll be graduating to concentrate on her acting.

3. MAYU WATANABE

Mayuyu 2012
Mayuyu was Yuko’s close challenger for the no.1 spot in the senbatsu election this year. Could she make it to the top spot in 2013? She was made center for AKB48’s appearance in the Japan Record Awards and a part of Kouhaku. Perhaps she’ll even be center for a future AKB48 single which is something she’s been craving for.

2. YUKI KASHIWAGI

Yuki 2012
I’m sure Yukirin felt hurt after being asked to move aside as Team B leader recently but as some fans have said was she really cut out to lead in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, she’s been great with Team B but I think with the pressure off her now Yukirin will enjoy her work even better. It’s brilliant that she’ll be debuting with her solo single in 2013 as she has such a sweet singing voice.

And still at No.1……….

1. AYAKA UMEDA

Umechan 2012
My darling Umechan!! 2012 couldn’t have gone better for Umechan. Not only did she participate as a senbatsu member for a couple of singles this year, she was given the honour of leading Team B. I’m sure she’ll do a fine job as leader. Her TV profile has been on the rise lately and she’s becoming popular with the fans. What do you expect with her bubbly and cute personality! It’s been music to my ears to see her doing so well. Ganbarre Umechan and I hope you’ll be even more successful in 2013.





Is It Wise To Send Sae & Mariyannu To China?

27 10 2012

Seeing that relations between China and Japan are at an all-time low with all the kerfuffle about the Senkaku Islands, is it a wise move by Aki-P to send two AKB48 members to Shanghai where they could be subjected to abuse and violence against them? We’ve all seen the violent ugly outbursts that has happened in various cities over the past couple of months with Japanese businesses and people attacked. There’s no doubt in my mind that Sae and Mariya will get some kind of abuse by the Chinese nationalists. It’s gonna be like a red rag to some of them if they know some famous Japanese idols are living in Shanghai. I fear for the safety of the two girls I really do. I thought that Aki-P would have at least delayed their transfer. I wonder if the two girls are apprehensive about going? I read that Sae had her farewell party the other night with Team K and said that going to China would give her a chance to do things she wouldn’t be able to do in Japan. It makes me wonder if any of the SNH members harbour any hatred of Japan inside them – how will they feel seeing Sae and Mariya amongst them? I do hope they’ll get some proper protection. Thankfully this transfer is only going to last between 6 months and 1 year.

Sae/Mariya – please be careful and look after yourselves. I wish both of you the best of luck in Shanghai.

Also well done to Sasshi for her 2nd no.1 single. Although sales figures were down compared to Soredemo Suki Da Yo, she still beat KARA by 10k to secure the top spot.

I’m also loving the new AKB48 single Uza. It’s the best thing they’ve released this year.





Paruru Wins 29th Single Janken Tournament And Then The Match Fixing Rumours Begin!

18 09 2012

Many congratulations go to Haruka Shimazaki for winning the 29th single Janken Tournament that took place earlier on today at the Nippon Budokan. In the final she squared off against Nito Moeno. It’s been an incredible year for Paruru – she’s got the lead on Majisuka Gakuen 3 and has now won this tournament as well to become the center for the December single. I really thought that Ucchi was going to perhaps win for a 2nd time but she bowed out in the semi finals. Also well done for Mariko who also progressed very far in the tournament. I’m delighted that Umechan managed to get into the senbatsu. I was willing her on so much to win the tournament but she can be proud for knocking out Kojima Haruna who will miss out on being in the senbatsu for the first time in her AKB48 career.

Some fans are already unhappy with the results and have come out with some stupid comments that the tournament was fixed for Paruru. Come on guys, I’m not happy that Umechan didn’t win but this tournament is just a game of luck and today Lady Luck was with Paruru so I’m not going to start sulking about it and come up about a conspiracy about the tournament being fixed. Let’s just accept the result and move on.

Here’s the complete result of the tournament with each winner highlighted in BOLD. Credits to Everyday48 for this list:

Block A
Iwasa Misaki vs. Minegishi Minami
Nonaka Misato vs. Takahashi Juri
Uchida Mayumi vs. Iwasa Misaki
Shimada Haruka vs. Nonaka Misato

Uchida Mayumi vs. Shimada Haruka

Block B
Itano Tomomi vs. Komori Mika
Itano Tomomi vs. Kobayashi Kana

Itano Tomomi vs. Watanabe Mayu

Block C
Takano Yui vs. Kobayashi Ami
Kimoto Kanon vs. Ishida Haruka
Takano Yui vs. Takagi Yumana
Kimoto Kanon vs. Kawakami Rena

Takagi Yumana vs. Kimoto Kanon

Block D
Chikano Rina vs. Kitahara Rie
Chikano Rina vs. Watanabe Miyuki
Takeuchi Miyu vs. Kobayashi Marina

Chikano Rina vs. Takeuchi Miyu

Block E
Oba Mina vs. Ota Aika
Saeed-Yokota Erena vs. Takajo Aki
Oba Mina vs. Nakagawa Haruka
Takajo Aki vs. Nito Moeno

Nakagawa Haruka vs. Nito Moeno

Block F
Yamauchi Suzuran vs. Kojima Haruna
Kojima Haruna vs. Kotani Riho
Umeda Ayaka vs. Shimono Yuki

Kojima Haruna vs. Umeda Ayaka

Block G
Tano Yuka vs. Kato Rena
Tano Yuka vs. Nakanishi Yuka
Oya Shizuka vs. Shinoda Mariko

Tano Yuka vs. Shinoda Mariko

Block H
Kuramochi Asuka vs. Kawaei Rina
Kuramochi Asuka vs. Oshima Yuko
Maeda Ami vs. Morikawa Ayaka

Oshima Yuko vs. Maeda Ami

Block I
Sato Natsuki vs. Sato Sumire
Nakaya Sayaka vs. Yokoyama Yui
Sato Natsuki vs. Nakatsuka Tomomi
Yokoyama Yui vs. Sato Amina

Nakatsuka Tomomi vs. Yokoyama Yui

Block J
Nakata Chisato vs. Sato Seira
Nakata Chisato vs. Iwata Karen
Natori Wakana vs. Ichikawa Miori

Nakata Chisato vs. Ichikawa Miori

Block K
Moriyasu Madoka vs. Sato Mieko
Akimoto Sayaka vs. Ueno Kasumi
Moriyasu Madoka vs. Shinohara Kanna
Ueno Kasumi vs. Kikuchi Ayaka

Ueno Kasumi vs. Moriyasu Madoka

Block L
Suzuki Shihori vs. Nakamata Shiori
Suzuki Shihori vs. Hiramatsu Kanako
Iriyama Anna vs. Abe Maria

Suzuki Shihori vs. Abe Maria

Block M
Nakanishi Chiyori vs. Yamagishi Natsumi
Miyazaki Miho vs. Matsui Sakiko
Nakanishi Chiyori vs. Shimazaki Haruka
Matsui Sakiko vs. Nagao Mariya

Shimazaki Haruka vs. Nagao Mariya

Block N
Hikawa Ayame vs. Miyazawa Sae
Hikawa Ayame vs. Kashiwagi Yuki
Fujita Nana vs. Suzuki Mariya

Kashiwagi Yuki vs. Suzuki Mariya

Block O
Tanabe Miku vs. Izuta Rina
Tanabe Miku vs. Takahashi Minami
Matsui Jurina vs. Nakamura Mariko

Takahashi Minami vs. Nakamura Mariko

Block P
Kasai Tomomi vs. Matsubara Natsumi
Matsubara Natsumi vs. Katayama Haruka
Fujie Reina vs. Kojima Natsuki

Matsubara Natsumi vs. Fujie Reina

Round of 16
Uchida Mayumi vs. Itano Tomomi
Kimoto Kanon vs. Takeuchi Miyu
Nito Moeno vs. Umeda Ayaka
Shinoda Mariko vs. Maeda Ami
Yokoyama Yui vs. Nakata Chisato
Ueno Kasumi vs. Abe Maria
Shimazaki Haruka vs. Kashiwagi Yuki
Nakamura Mariko vs. Matsubara Natsumi

Quarter-Finals
Uchida Mayumi vs. Takeuchi Miyu
Nito Moeno vs. Shinoda Mariko
Yokoyama Yui vs. Abe Maria
Shimazaki Haruka vs. Nakamura Mariko

Semi-finals
Uchida Mayumi vs. Nito Moeno
Yokoyama Yui vs. Shimazaki Haruka

Final
Nito Moeno vs. Shimazaki Haruka

Center: Shimazaki Haruka

Senbatsu:
01. Shimazaki Haruka
02. Nito Moeno
03. Yokoyama Yui
04. Uchida Mayumi
05. Shinoda Mariko
06. Nakamura Mariko
07. Takeuchi Miyu
08. Abe Maria
– Itano Tomomi
– Kimoto Kanon (SKE48 Team E)
– Umeda Ayaka
– Maeda Ami
– Nakata Chisato
– Ueno Kasumi (SKE48 Team E)
– Kashiwagi Yuki
– Matsubara Natsumi





AKB48 Team Shuffle Shocker!!

24 08 2012

Hello everybody! Yes, it’s been a while I know but this website will no longer be updated daily but only occasionally when something major happens such as today’s shocking team shuffle announcements on the first day of AKB48’s triumphant 3-day Tokyo Dome concerts. I did not see this coming at all and for some of the members not only are they moving team but also moving to another country to work altogether. Aki-P must think that things need to be shaken up again which is why he’s done this. Team 4 has been disbanded completely so AKB48 will return to being a 3 team group but with more members attached to each team. Let’s see how each team looks like now:

New Team A

New Captain: Mariko Shinoda
Minami Takahashi (no change)
Tomomi Kasai (former member of Team B)
Sumire Sato (former member of Team B)
Natsuki Sato (former member of Team B)
Mayu Watanabe (former member of Team B)
Ayaka Kikuchi (former member of Team K)
Nito Moeno (former member of Team K)
Tomomi Nakatsuka (former member of Team K)
Sakiko Matsui (former member of Team K)
Yui Yokoyama (former member of Team K and now a member of NMB48 too)
Anna Iriyama (former member of Team 4)
Karen Iwata (former member of Team 4)
Rina Kawaei (former member of Team 4)
Shiori Nakamata (former member of Team 4)
Juri Takahashi (former member of Team 4)
Yuka Tano (former member of Team 4)
Rina Izuta (previously wasn’t in a team)
Marina Kobayashi (previously wasn’t in a team)
Ayaka Morikawa (previously wasn’t in a team)
Ryouka Oshima (promoted)
Kotani Riho Kotani (will still be a member of NMB48 as well)

Many will obviously think that Takamina has been demoted but that’s not the case. She’s been given the role of being AKB48’s General Manager, something she’s been doing for ages anyway. It’s just from today she’s been given a fancy title with her duties. Congratulations to Mariko on being handed the captaincy of Team A.

New Team K

New Captain: Yuko Oshima
Sayaka Akimoto (no change)
Tomomi Itano (no change)
Mayumi Uchida (no change)
Jurina Matsui (no change – still a member of SKE48)
Asuka Kuramochi (former member of Team A)
Ami Maeda (former member of Team A)
Natsumi Matsubara (former member of Team A)
Chisato Nakata (former member of Team A)
Sayaka Nakaya (former member of Team A)
Rina Chikano (former member of Team B)
Rie Kitahara (former member of Team B but also becomes a member of SKE48]
Kana Kobayashi (former member of Team B)
Yuka Masuda (former member of Team B)
Miho Miyazaki (former member of Team B)
Amina Sato (former member of Team B)
Shihori Suzuki (former member of Team B)
Maria Abe (former member of Team 4)
Mariya Nagao (former member of Team 4)
Haruka Shimada (former member of Team 4)
Nana Fujita (previously wasn’t in a team)
Kaoru Mitsumune (promoted)
Tomu Muto (promoted)

Many congratulations to Yuko on her promotion to team captain. There are rumours going around that making Yuko the captain is to prepare for Sayaka’s graduation from AKB48. I hope that’s not true.

New Team B

New Captain: Ayaka Umeda (former member of Team K)
Yuki Kashiwagi (no change)
Haruka Ishida (no change)
Mika Komori (no change)
Shizuka Oya (former member of Team A)
Miyuki Watanabe (no change and still a member of NMB48)
Misaki Iwasa (former member of Team A)
Haruka Katayama (former member of Team A)
Kojima Haruna (former member of Team A)
Reina Fujie (former member of Team K)
Minami Minegishi (former member of Team K)
Misato Nonaka (former member of Team K)
Miku Tanabe (former member of Team K)
Miori Ichikawa (former member of Team 4)
Rena Kato (former member of Team 4)
Mariko Nakamura (former member of Team 4)
Mina Oba (former member and captain of Team 4)
Haruka Shimazaki (former member of Team 4)
Miyu Takeuchi (former member of Team 4)
Suzuran Yamauchi (former member of Team 4)
Natsuki Kojima (previously wasn’t in a team)
Wakana Natori (previously wasn’t in a team)
Anna Ishida (will still be a member of SKE48)

Obviously I’m delighted with my oshi Umechan being promoted to being captain of Team B. I’m sure she’ll do a great job but I do feel sorry for Yukirin. I’m not sure if any of the members that have lost their captaincy roles today think this demotion has happened because they did a bad job previously. I’m sure that’s not the case – it’s just a case of freshening up things that’s all.

And now we come to the members that are leaving AKB48 completely and moving to another group and another country. Some will have to learn a new language to get along with their new teammates.

HKT48

Aika Oota (former member of Team A)

SNH48

Sae Miyazawa (former member of Team K)
Mariya Suzuki (former member of Team B)

JKT48

Aki Takajo (former member of Team A)
Haruka Nakagawa (former member of Team A)

Some of the members have personally asked to be moved to an overseas group or down to HKT48 so this isn’t something that’s been forced on them. With the tension happening right now between China and Japan over the disputed Senkaku islands, I say let Sae sort it out now that she’s moving to Shanghai. She’ll have the Chinese eating out of her hands!!

So if this is what happened on Day 1, what are the big announcements that are going to be on the 2nd and 3rd day?





Yuka Masuda Wins The Wiz Audition

15 07 2012

As I mentioned very briefly in my previous post, Yuka Masuda won the role of Dorothy against other AKB48, HKT48 and SKE48 members in the musical stage play The Wiz. A total of 186 members from all of the groups tried out for the part of Dorothy but in the end it came down to 6 members in the final audition (Umechan, Yuttan, Nakaya, Mariko Nakamura, SKE48’s Makiko Saito and NMB48’s Sayanee). You may have seen the preliminary part of the audition on an edition of AKBingo.

I really wanted Umechan to win and although her dancing skills was second to none against the other girls, I believe that the director of The Wiz play Amon Miyamoto made the right decision in picking Yuttan. I’m not saying that Umechan has a bad voice at all but it just wasn’t as strong as Yuttan. She has such a great voice, one of the best in AKB48 and she had made a big effort in order to win the part so I congratulate her on her victory.

Wiz ~Oz no Mahoutsukai~ to give the play it’s full name is scheduled to start on September 29th and will run through to November 6th. It will tour the country with Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama as well as Tokyo venues being used. Good luck Yuttan. I’m sure you’ll wow the audiences.