Catching Up on AKB48 TV Shows

25 03 2011

It’s only this week that I’ve had a chance to sit down and start to go through 2011 episodes of AKBingo and Shukan AKB. There’s a lot of catching up for me to do before I’m up to date with everything. I do have some questions though regarding some shows.

AKBingo (2/2/11 – the 1 hour SP) – who is this Bibiko-san person and what did he say to make Kasai cry? Also I know he’s been in AKBingo before but who is that effeminate man who does the heart ‘chun-yuu’ thing? Everytime he comes onto the show the girls adore him like a god. Is he like a one trick pony act that just does his signature move? If so he’s not going to last long.

Shukan AKB (4/3/11 – Dokkiri) – probably one of the best Shukan AKB shows in a long while but even I was shocked when Shinoda squared up to Nito Moeno. You could cut the atmosphere with the knife such was the tension and the other members became so quiet. Was Shinoda on the act or not? I know she’s said in an interview that she did a reverse dokkori but I just did not like it at all. Fair enough if both girls were in on it but if Mariko stood up to Moeno like a brat knowing full well that it was a variety show and Moeno was only acting then it’s wrong. Has Moeno said anything about the incident? I hope I won’t see anything like that again, just hate seeing my favorite idols having a stand-off like that but I admire Moeno for not backing down if Shinoda’s reaction was indeed real.

Shukan AKB 13th August 2010 Summary

13 08 2010

This episode of Shukan AKB is about the Long Rope Skipping Contest that took place on the 6th June 2010 between the new teams A, K, B (after the shuffle) and kenkyuusei. The announcer goes through the dates when each new Team stage debuted.

A couple of taiko drummers go through their paces before each team member is introduced to the crowd in the stands which has been split into 4 sections to represent each team. Your host for this contest is none other than Tongue Man in his ringmaster attire.

The announcer explains how many new members have been moved about and and drafted into each team:

10 into Team A
11 into Team K
13 into Team B

The rules for the contest are simple. 2 teams will face each other over 3 rounds of skipping. The accumulated total from all 3 rounds will decide the winner who goes through to the final. The teams to face each other are A vs K and B vs kenkyuusei.

Before the opening duel between teams A and K, footage of the teams practicing are shown.

The challenge is on. Team A are up first and manage to skip in unison for 32 times with Team K overtaking them slightly with 35. The 2nd round sees Team A skipping for a mammoth 62 times with Team K only managing to do it for 50 so Team A hold a narrow advantage heading into the final round but there’s a disaster as Wasamin makes a huge mistake during the initial skip so Team A score 0. The rest of Team A do their best to console Wasamin that everything is alright. Team K easily overtake Team A’s score and the camera shows tears in Wasamin’s eyes as they pass her team’s total. Team K managed to skip 55 times and they progress to the final. Poor Wasamin but I wanted my beloved Team K to make it to the final. Would Team A have made it to the final if Wasamin hadn’t cocked up? A bit hard to say and I guess we’ll never know but Team A were strong in their first 2 rounds.

Now it’s onto the other 2 teams: B vs the kenkyuusei. There’s a shocking first round performance by both teams who only manage 1. During the 2nd round, Team B manage 16 with the kenkyuusei achieving 54. In the 3rd and final round the kenkyuusei only skip 9 times so Team B only need 34 to go through to the final but they sadly only manage to achieve 16 so the kenkyuusei are into the final to face Team K.

It’s Team K that go first in the 3 rounds of the final and managing 41 in the 1st with the kenkyuusei nudging ahead by 2 when they skip 43 times. Team K don’t do at all well in the 2nd round and only get a lowly 12 with the kenkyuusei racing ahead with 54. With everything at stake in the 3rd round, Team K have to put out all the stops to even come close to equalling the kenkyuusei – needing 43 and then some more if they have a chance of winning but before the deciding round it’s:

Shukan AKB News – Heavy Rotation comes out as a single next week and the Pucho candy announcement that was also shown on AKBingo.

We’re back for the deciding round of the Long Rope Skipping Final between Team K and the kenkyuusei. I think the total by the kenkyuusei is too much for Team K – there’s no way they can do it and sadly my prediction comes true as they come up short of equalling the kenkyuusei’ total by just 1 so they didn’t even have to skip for a 3rd time. The kenkyuusei were comfortable winners in the end – well done to the team. A cup is presented to the captain of the kenkyuusei as the end credits are rolling and that is it for this week.

An interesting episode but there wasn’t a lot of fun to be had in this one.

Shukan AKB 6th August 2010 Summary

6 08 2010

We’re back in the Tokyo Dome area to continue the challenges that were started last week. Clips from the previous episode are shown including Sayaka’s crying!

The first challenge is for Moeno, Akicha, Harugon and Mocchi. Dotted around the area are 3 hidden Japanese letters. Find the letters which spell out a word to win the challenge. The first letter is on a panda. All 4 start looking frantically for the first letter. Akicha thinks she’s got it on a small panda figurine but she’s wrong. It’s Harugon who finds the letter first on the back of a panda on the Merry-Go-Round ride. She directs Mocchi and Moeno to the ride. Akicha is somewhere else in the area.

The 2nd letter can be found by playing the Whack-A-Croc game in the arcade center and once again it’s Harugon who finds the letter first and getting a score of 79 in the game. As Harugon is doing this, Akicha has finally found the correct panda on the Merry-Go-Round. Moeno and Mocchi gets a score of 85 and 86 respectively on the croc game. Akicha being the last on the game gets an 85. To find the last letter, some members decide to go up high to gain a vantage point to see if they can spot it. Mocchi going up on the Sky Hacker and Harugon and Moeno on the ferris wheel Sky Flower. In the end, it was Harugon who consistently got the letters first who raced over to Speedwagon to say the magic word which linked all the letters up – HANABI. She’s given a tiara to mark her achievement.

Next morning Sayaka, Myao, Kitarie and Komori find themselves outside the Haunted House attraction and they’re not happy. They’re split into teams of two – Sayaka/Myao and Kitarie/Komori. Fitted with a special helmet which has a night vision camera attached to them, they have 3 objectives to complete inside the house: find a camera, switch it on so that it can take a picture, make an impression of a Japanese celebrity and lastly spell the word SUMMER on a table filled with plastic letters and of course do the tasks whilst being scared witless. Kitarie and Komori are the first team inside the house which they enter rather gingerly. It takes nearly 6 mins for them to walk down the first corridor in the house. In one room is a man kneeling down and sharpening his sickle – Kitarie freaks out! They find the camera and complete the first task given to them. Suddenly a long haired woman ala Sadako from Ring sneaks up behind them. Both scream loudly and crouch on the floor! Kitarie starts crying. They progress steadily through the dark corridors and rooms but as they stay still in the kitchen, a dead body pops out from the cooker scaring the two of them once more. They complete the impression task here before being allowed to move on to the final task inside the house. A head pops out of a hole in a corridor. They find the table containing the letters to spell out SUMMER. With all 3 tasks completed, you’d think that their ordeal was over – WRONG! A bald headed man who laughs maniacally and the Sadako wannabe come up behind them again. Both girls cling to each other for support. Finally getting out of the house they find out they completed everything in 17mins and 7 seconds. Even though both were scared I think they enjoyed it overall.

Up next is Myao and Sayaka. Myao thinks shouting loudly will help her control her fear but she soon starts getting scared. She gets so frightened she backs out and exits the house swiftly followed by Sayaka. Summoning courage, they go back in and try and do the tasks quickly. Komori and Kitarie play a trick and go back inside the house behind them. It doesn’t work though and the tables are turned as Sadako wannabe and the man appear once more and scares all 4 of them. Myao bolts it from the house on speed and falls to the floor outside crying. Komori and Kitarie win this challenge.

Shukan AKB News: it’s the same as AKBingo.

As the credits roll, Jurina and 2 other SKE48 members talk about NMB48. Not sure what was said but I think they’re going to appear at the NMB48  auditions?

No preview of next week’s episode was shown.

Shukan AKB 30th July Summary

30 07 2010

Speedwagon and 9 AKB48 members in their dark red tracksuit are outside today in the Tokyo Dome area. Apparently there’ll be an AKB48 event coming up there soon. In this episode, all 9 members have to ride the Thunder Dolphin rollercoaster that goes through the LaQua building. None of the girls look pleased and Sasshi seems like she’s about to cry!

The first 4 members to go on the ride are Harugon, Akicha, Amina and Mocchi. They are fitted with a special helmet camera to film their reaction. There’s a challenge for them as well. A production team staffmember will go up with them in the rollercoaster and he’ll be sitting in the middle between the 4 girls (2 in front of the person and 2 behind). At various intervals in the ride he’ll flash them 3 Japanese hiragana/katakana characters on a piece of paper in his hand. At the end of the ride the 3 characters should make up a kanji word which they’ll have to write on a small whiteboard given to them. The ride goes smooth enough for the four and Mocchi loved it. The only one to get her answer wrong with the kanji word was Amina Sato!

This is where the dramatic stuff starts to happen as the 5 other members take to the coaster – Mikapon, Miichan, Sasshi, Sayaka and Moeno. Sasshi is shitting herself and crying. Miichan also looks very apprehensive and starts to cry. As they’re about to go on the ride, a production member tries to ease Miichan’s  fears but she has to back out for now. Once her helmet has been taken off she falls down to the floor. It’s getting too much for her. After 10 minutes to recover, Miichan although still scared plucks up the courage, puts her helmet back on and sits down in the rollercoaster car. Come on Sasshi & Miichan – you can do it! I know how they’re feeling – I’m not a fan of fast rides myself but with the right group of people with me (ones that can make me laugh) I’m fine. The camera pans to Sayaka who’s also looking nervous and then she starts crying. I was very surprised to see this.

Finally the ride gets away with Sayaka sobbing her eyes out. I really felt for her. It’s not the Sayaka I like to see. I’ve seen her cry before but not this hard. Mikapon – bless her heart is smiling away as the car reaches the peak of it’s height at 80 metres before careering down. Moeno also seems to be enjoying herself. As the ride starts to take hold with it’s fast bends, Sasshi and Miichan are closing their eyes. When the ride comes to an end, Sayaka is still crying but fair play to her she still remembered the characters that were being flashed at the intervals so she got the kanji word correct and so did Mikapon and Moeno. Sasshi and Miichan didn’t get it right but that’s because their eyes were closed at the wrong time.

Those that got the correct answer on the coaster now progress to another ride – The Tower Hacker. It’s a vertical ride up a tower 80m high before dropping you down at tremendous speed for a few seconds. The losers from the last round (Sasshi, Sato and Miichan) have to wear a white surgical mask around their mouths.  The first three members to go up the Tower Hacker is Moeno, Mikapon and Akicha. The camera shows that Sasshi, Sato and Miichan are on the kids version of the Tower Hacker which only goes up a couple of metres and back down again. There’s hardly any drop but they’re still screaming away like it’s one hell of a ride!!

There’s a chance though for a member to escape the ride if they get a question right which Moeno answers correctly so in the end it’s only Mikapon and Akicha that get to go up. In the gloom of the evening the girls ascend up 80 metres. Mikapon doesn’t look half as confident as she was on the rollercoaster. In fact she was really scared. Akicha was fine. After coming back down, there’s a twist as one of them will have to go up once more if they don’t answer the next question fired at them! This time Akicha gets the question correct so Mikapon has to take the ride all alone. Mikapon is a good sport, however much she disliked the ride.

The next 3 members going up the Tower Hacker is Harugon, Sayaka and Mocchi. Same rules again with a chance for a member to escape the ride. Harugon gets the first question right. The rest are laughing at Sayaka as her frustration is clear to see. Sayaka closes her eyes as the ride reaches the top and drops down. Once again she’s crying like a baby when the ride finishes. Mocchi finds it rather funny!

Will Sayaka get the chance to escape going up again on the 2nd question – the answer is a resounding no! Mocchi apologises to Sayaka for getting the answer right. Sayaka is crying hard as the ride ascends. Thankfully some members came in to console the poor girl once she stepped off the ride after it ended. I never thought I’d see the day when I saw Sayaka being terrified witless. I don’t think it’s entertainment when you prey on a person’s fears. I think Speedwagon rather enjoyed seeing her scared. That finished the main segment for this week’s episode.

Shukan AKB News – No Sleeves’ new single Kimishika is out next week (4th August) and another plug for the Tokyo Dome AKB48 event.

Next week: more hijinks around the Tokyo Dome area.

Shukan AKB 23rd July 2010 Summary

23 07 2010

Girls Talk II is the subject of this week’s episode with the chit-chat between members taking place in the Garden Cafe & Restaurant “Raphael” which is close to Shibuya.

The first to arrive in the place is Jurina Matsui who looks cool in her clothes. As she heads to the table allocated to the chat she isn’t sure where to sit – she think middle seat but eventually decides on the right hand side seat. I’m not sure if she’s used to dining in such a relatively posh place.

The 2nd member to land at Raphael is Sayaka Akimoto who’s in a nice summery dress. She elects to sit on the left hand side seat and the last member to turn up is Acchan in a short black leather coat and a short yellow one piece dress. She sits in the middle.

Now I have no idea what the three were blathering on about which makes these kind of episodes frustrating for me. I can pick up a word or two but that’s about it. They order some spaghetti to eat. All of a sudden a surprise guest turns up – Tomochin! They continued to talk amongst each other and I know that One Piece came into their conversation but for the majority of the time I didn’t have a clue what they were saying.

I really thought that Jurina might be overwhelmed being with her seniors but she looked at ease and completely relaxed in their company. It was annoying seeing the reflection of the camerman in the glass behind the talking members!

Shukan AKB News: the same announcement that was shown on AKBingo about their new single Heavy Rotation is shown.

To close the show, each member says something about the dinner and chat they had. It wasn’t a great episode to be honest, in fact I think these chats are dull and pointless. I’m hoping next week’s show will be an improvement.

Shukan AKB 16th July 2010 Summary

17 07 2010

Takamina and Myao introduce Speedwagon in the studio. This week’s episode revolves around Sasshi, Lovetan and Kitarie with a challenge for them. Clips from a previous episode in which they had to do a challenge are shown. Tongue Man along with the 3 girls go to Yokohama’s Hakkeijima Sea Paradise. The object of their challenge is a thrilling ride called the Blue Fall which takes you up vertically 107 metres before dropping you at high speed for a couple of seconds! Tongue Man is forced by the girls to try out the ride first and of course he exaggerates a bit when the drop occurs.

Brave Kitarie is the first to volunteer to take the ride but she chickens out and changes her mind. However, Kitarie doesn’t want to do the ride alone so she takes a camerman and AKB48’s female stylist/make-up artist to take the ride with her. Kitarie seemed to enjoy the ride even though afterwards she’s shaking a little bit and can’t speak! Next up to go is Lovetan but she will only do it if she can do the same as Kitarie and that’s to take 2 camerman and the woman with her. Lovetan really loved the ride saying that it was fun. She had a big smile on her face.

It’s left to Sasshi to take the ride but she doesn’t want to go. She’s been apprehensive about it since the beginning which you can tell by looking at her body language. Tongue Man tries to reassure her that she can do it. It doesn’t help that as a reward for taking the challenge Lovetan and Kitarie are eating an ice cream right in front of her. Clips of Sasshi’s bungee jumping experience are shown. In the end, fear takes hold of her and Sasshi bottles out of the challenge so she has to do a punishment game instead.

We’re outside Shibuya’s Mark City in the evening and Sasshi is front of the shop’s entrance. Tongue Man, Lovetan and Kitarie are somewhere watching her on a monitor relaying instructions via an earpiece. Sasshi suddenly announces to the blissfully unaware people milling around outside the shop who she is and that she has to do a punishment game – put a rubber glove over her head, blow it up until it bursts! But on seeing that a small crowd has gathered to watch, Sasshi legs it out of there! She returns and does the same speil only to add a little bit extra when she sees a truck advertising Ponytail to Shushu. This time, she does the game. Only a small amount of people are watching her blowing up a glove over her head.

Shukan AKB News – Heavy Rotation is announced as the title for AKB48’s upcoming new single, a PV preview from Team Dragon’s new single is shown and more clips from the group’s LA Expo appearance.

Back in the studio and Kojima has to do a small challenge. 2 small clear plastic boxes taggedA and B are placed on a table. One contains a pineapple, the other has a large shrimp like creature. She has to put her hands in both boxes and identity what’s in them. What makes this difficult is that the rest of the girls are milking this for what it’s worth by making out that the box with the pineapple contains something far more horrible! Kojima doesn’t like the touch of the shrimp creature at first but does really well in even picking it up. She correctly identifies what it is and the pineapple too.

As we close out the show, clips are shown of the announcement of the janken tournament that’ll decide the senbatsu of AKB48’s 19th single. The matchups in this tournament are also shown including Erepyon’s shock graduation news. That’s it for this week’s show.

Shukan AKB 9th July Sumamry

10 07 2010

This week’s Shukan AKB episode focuses on 3 members from Team B – Kasai, Mayuyu and Myao as they are given a chance to work in a 7-11 store (no doubt this has something to do with the AKB48 food promotion that’s going on right now!). They are each given a uniform but I don’t think Kasai is too impressed with the uniform or even working in 7-11!

The female store manager gives them quick training in a back room at the place. First they have to know how to greet customers and thank them properly for their custom. There’s not much effort from Kasai. Her bowing is poor compared to the others. The three then have to make a display stand and showcase the AKB48 food and merchandise that 7-11 are promoting. The store manager I think says there’s too many gaps in the display so she shows how to plug in the gaps.

They are then shown how to operate a cash machine and Kasai is the first to practice how to serve a customer and give change back. You can see that Kasai is not too bothered and just wants to be somewhere else. Mayuyu has a go and fouls it up but Myao seems to take it in her stride and does well. There’s a small demo of a high pitch device and a small explosive of small sort which is like a red ball if somebody tries to steal something from the shop.

With the training over, it’s time to face real customers at the shop. Myao volunteers to take the first shift and in the back the other 2 girls along with Tongue Man and the store manager are watching her progress on a monitor. It’s typical that the first customer that Myao gets presents her with a situation she hasn’t been shown in training so she asks for assistance by a male co-worker. After this initial set back she settles down quite nicely and is a natural serving customers. Myao does her time without any errors so well done to her.

The next up is Mayuyu who has a lot of nervous energy as she fidgets with her hands a lot. No problems with her first customer although she forgets to close the cash machine and also forgets to ask her 2nd customer if the food wanted to be heated in the microwave. She gets there eventually. Again she has a habit of not closing the cash machine. Mayuyu had a lot of customers during her stint. Apart from some tiny errors, I thought Mayuyu did extremely well and she looked like she was enjoying herself.

Kasai is the final girl to face the customers though you can see that she’s dreading it! She did a big no-no in allowing her first customer to bag the food items herself instead of Kasai doing it. An elderly gentleman comes in with a bag full of coins to pay for some food items. Kasai panics a little bit but recovers and with the aid of her male co-worker manages to get through it.

At the end of the experience, the store manager says that Myao was the best out of the three and I have to agree with that too. She didn’t panic and stayed cool through her stint and did what she had to do properly. Hell, if she’s bored with being an idol she can go and work in a conbini instead!!

Shukan AKB News – more plugging for the Defstar CD and DVD SetList that’s coming out next week and they mention the bearbrick figurines and food that are being sold across 7-11 stores. That concludes this week’s episode which was rather interesting but not much fun.