Shinoda Mariko aka. Maririn pt. 1


I’m taking a small break from the DVD review to bring you all a new profile! This time is Shinoda Mariko!

  • Name: Shinoda Mariko (篠田麻里子)

  • Nickname: Maririn (まりりん)

  • Birthdate: March 11th, 1986

  • Birthplace: Fukuoka, Japan

  • Hobbies: Fashion

  • Audition song: None

  • Height: 165cm

  • Bust: 83cm

  • Waist: 57cm

  • Hips: 86cm

 

Mariko is a special case, because she didn’t join Team A through the usual audition process, which makes her special, and it’s also the reason why I call her the maid-idol

See, Mariko used to work as a waitress in the Cafe next to the theater, and she wanted to audition, but she had to work that day, so she couldn’t attend. She casually told some of the fans who went to see the girls at the theater about this fact, and they all started supporting her and sending letters to Mr. Akimoto, so that he would hold a private audition and Mariko could finally be part of the group. Obviously, Mr. Akimoto realized that this girl already had a fanbase, and she wasn’t even in the group yet!!! So she was added to Team A after their first stage was finished, which is why she doesn’t appear in the A1 DVD…

Of course, for someone who came and joined later than the rest, she sky rocketed to the fron position! Ever since Aitakatta, we have seen her popularity grow! Well, Mariko has a very distinct deep voice, and is quite the good singer. She’s an okay dancer, but what really sets her apart is the amazing amount of stage presence this girl has! When she’s on stage, you will definitely notice her!

Mariko hadn’t joined by the time Sakura no Hanabiratachi was released, so she doesn’t appear in this PV

2. Skirt Hirari:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc5mKEgl9kY Mariko is a backup dancer here, so not much of her can be seen…

 vlcsnap-3797041.png

I figure that she must’ve been really excited about being part of the group she liked so much… I like Mariko, actually, I feel that she was necessary for Team A, because otherwise they’d just be a bunch of cute characters

 vlcsnap-3802677.png

I find impressive that she managed to climb up until she became a front girl… Miichan did it too, but Mariko’s feat seems more impressive when you think about how she joined the group later than anyone else and all. It was certainly her distinct “strong girl” personality that stood out so much whithin Team A.

3. Aitakatta  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwFvpkiNOVU Even though she was one of the girls in the back, Mariko got close-ups and all! I like how she seems to be neutral ground: She’s tough, but not extremely, and she’s also happy and fun to watch, but not cute or squeaky or anything like that

vlcsnap-3839040.png

And her smile is a winner! Really infectious and honest

vlcsnap-3841578.png

I have to say that as far as the song’s lyrics go (about falling in love and stuff) Maririn is one of the best at acting them out, somehow… She makes me remember about the exact kind of things you feel when you’ve just fallen in love, so kudos to her for that!

 vlcsnap-3842332.png

Her part in the PV is to appear in a cafe chatting with Nonti and Kana, they actually look like they are having fun together!

vlcsnap-3843929.png

Oh hi there Maririn! You can tell that this is an oldish PV because almost everyone had black hair XD

vlcsnap-3845577.png

Spiffy hair! I recognized her almost instantly everytime because of her hair… She has long hair now, but I still prefer the shorter hair, this long extensions make her look all… girly

 vlcsnap-3845744.png

And back to the “Half moon” cafe! I wish another light hearted cute PV like this was made… After the disappointment that Romance Irane was, the awesome Sakura no hanabiratachi 2008 was a step in the right direction, but I still hope for more story like PVs or Pvs with footage when we can see the girls have fun with each other

  4. Seifuku ga Jama o Suru: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_1ObyG2-1 Slowly but surely, Maririn climbed up in the general Team A ranking, which got her a position in Seifuku…. as a backup girl!

 vlcsnap-3783295.png

And there she is with awesome Sayaka from Team K…. I actually haven’t noticed mariko very much in the PV or performances of this song, which doesn’t say much because the front girls picked for this song are waaay too cool. They can easily outshine everyone else.

 5. Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLIenqQ2jzs In sharp contrast to her appearance in the former PV, Mariko pwned this song! This was the first time I really recognized her (and her awesomeness) and her only line in this song is so wicked cool that it gives me the shivers…

 vlcsnap-3851594.png

Short but sweet, Mariko’s line in this PV made her an instant favorite! My love has kind of worn out a bit, really, but everytime I watch this I become her ultimate fan again! And that’s it for screencaps of her in this PV??? Damn!

 6. BINGO!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzp6tTAYoF0 Swaying from ubercool to happy mode in this PV, Maririn shows her versatility as an idol.

 vlcsnap-113145.png

Sure, everyone makes their bast bad-ass face for the mugshot… but Mariko actually makes me believe that she’s some sort of gangster girl or something XD

 vlcsnap-1143791.png

Not even Miichan’s sunny smile or Yukirin’s cute pose can compete with Mariko’s “super happy smile+jump combo!”

 vlcsnap-114934.png

Green really suits her, it’s not an extremely loud color, but it’s great on its own right, just like her!

 vlcsnap-1192021.png

I don’t know how close she is to Sayaka, but they seem to be paired quite a bit. Of course, cool girls must go together! I wonder if Mariko would’ve fit better in Team K, considering how “tough” she is, in contrast to Team A’s cuteness and beauty and stuff. However, I think that her presence is necessary in Team A, which would otherwise become kind of dull, with the same type of characters over and over (at least in the front…)

 vlcsnap-122293.png

😀

 vlcsnap-1236141.png

There’s a fun side to Mariko too, as we can see in her Private Video, which was one of my personal favorites, if only for the amount of pure crack in it!!!

 7. Boku no Taiyou:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHKm9FhLo1M  Ehh… I wasn’t even sure if she was in this PV or not, but apparently she was 😀 Still, since only a handful of the girls were chosen to be featured in uniforms and playing around as if they were high school pals, it’s not really her fault that I don’t remember *paperbag memory* Wow! I couldn’t spot her at all! I even strained my eyes and managed to see a bit of blurry Sae and Rina, but no Mariko to be seen! That sucks… the close ups and stuff were kind of unfairly distributed in this PV, but that’s idol life for you, what can we do…

Maririn didn’t appear in yuuhi wo Miteiru ka D:

9. Romance Irane  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7HAsjhTfh4 So to get back for the lack of her in previous PVs she was awesome in Romance Irane, although my crappy screencaps might say otherwise

vlcsnap-39790.png

To the left, next to Saeyaka (as usual) we can see lovely Maririn with long hair! It gives her a whole different image, very classy and ladylike somehow

 vlcsnap-42404.png

And she was paired with ever-happy-to-be-included Yukarin! They work really well as a pair, and I hadn’t noticed, even though they were together in Kikyou and all…

 vlcsnap-43881.png

Close up time… Wow, fierce!!!

 vlcsnap-45029.png

Ok, try not to look at Haruna (yes, I know it’s hard…) and you’ll find Mariko in the far left, doing my favorite step “the chest thrusting thingy”

 vlcsnap-46838.png

Look at those eyes! “What Akimoto? You better not shaft me in the next single, or something veeeery bad could happen to you…” Sexy!

vlcsnap-49101.png 

Behind Maimai and to the left is Mariko again, and I’m amazed at how committed she was to this PV, like she was determined to stand out, and she definitely accomplished that!

 Well, that’s it for now. Next time, Sakura no hanabiratachi 2008 (not many screencaps of her there, sorry) and the Youtube videos, also, as a bonus because of the lack of Mariko pics, I will post some screencaps of her best moments in Stages, so look forward to it!

Ok, thanks for reading, and I’ll be back to the A4 review soon…



AKB48 Team A 4th Stage “Tadaima Renaichuu” Review pt. 3 ~Sweet Songs~


Hi! I’m back for the 3rd part of this review, which includes the first two unit songs: 7ji 12fun no Hatsukoi and Haru ga Kuru Made.

Disclaimer: Again, all lyrics come from http://www.akb48-lyrics-paradise.co.nr/

1. 7ji 12fun no Hatsukoi: “For just 20 minutes, even if our eyes didn’t meet… It was a fun date!” This unit included Acchan and Oh Yay as the leads, and Risa, Kaya and Hii-pinku as the backup girls. This song is really cute, about a girl who falls in love with aboy she sees on the train to school every morning, and she doesn’t have the courage to ask his name or his school or talk to him at all! Well, it is kind of stupid when you are older, but it’s sweet nonetheless.

vlcsnap-10757937.png

To start the song, of course, Acchan appears on stage, looking at her invisible watch and being all “OMG! It’s the tiiiiiiimeeee!!!” It’s a bit of overacting… but we all love Acchan, right? She could be slaughtering all of the other girls with a chainsaw and we’d all be like “Aww…. Look at Acchan! How cute!!!”

 vlcsnap-10758213.png

Acchan sings the first verse while everyone else behind her “dances cutely” And they all have very different concepts of what a cute dance is, it would appear… I like Hiipinku’s Love Machine plagerism XD but a close runner-up is Oh yay’s weird twisted neck pose…

vlcsnap-10758276.png

And the mandatory Acchan close up! I was pleasantly surprised to hear her vocals in this song, because her voice can be kind of weak sometimes (like in Skirt, Hirari…) She has improved a lot, though, and of course, part of it is due to the fact that she’s given songs that are juts right for her type of voice.

 vlcsnap-10758366.png

Oh yay looks so awkward some times… I love her! She’s one of the best singers in Team A, so she should be given more lines and leads (preferably in ballads or songs that are on crack… you know, I think that Oh yay in a rock-y song like Blue Rose would be pretty funny, but it doesn’t really fit her image)

 vlcsnap-10758608.png

Hah! Deep inside, we all knew that Acchan was really bitch material! Poor Kaya, I think I would’ve cried after that look…

 vlcsnap-10758755.png

Acchan’s cam whoring abilities are at its max here, so if you’re a fan of hers, you should probably check out the performance. Nagisa no Cherry was a catchier song and all, but this cute number is perfect for her to charm everyone…

vlcsnap-10758921.png

Narita Risa is lovely, and I was impressed by how professional she looked here. I don’t really know how to explain what I just wrote… It’s like… the other girls seemed like they were just there having fan, but Risa was really committed, like she meant business or something

 vlcsnap-10759079.png

I actually like this part of the dance… because I’m a dork… “Oh look! They are holding on to the train!!! Cool”

 vlcsnap-10759318.png

The 3 backup girls… Shame that they didn’t even get solo lines. Still, they were cute

 vlcsnap-10760455.png

All in all, this is a sweet little song, nothing too special or anything, but still a fun watch. It even made me remember the times when I was younger and had crushes on people who didn’t even know that I existed… Ahh! good times…

 

2. Haru ga Kuru Made: “I wonder if we can meet somewhere along the path where camelias bloom” I’ll try my best not to fangirl so much here, but this song is one of my all-time favorites. Featuring two of the best singers of AKB, Hoshino Michiru and Oshima Mai, the cheerful tune with its beautiful lyrics make for a light song, great for listening on spring days (I guess… there are no seasons in my side of the world XD)

 vlcsnap-10762075.png

The song begins with Mai and Michiru appearing and the girls of the previous songs dance around them prettily. Mai looks heartbroken ever since she steps on stage, poor thing…

 vlcsnap-10762216.png

However, even if she’s really sad and everything, her voice is great as always. Their fairy costumes remind me of the ones Tanpopo wore at the H!P 10th Anniversary Shuuketsu concert. I kind of like these ones better, the small wings and flowy fabric are more delicate.

 vlcsnap-10762387.png

Maimai even tries to smile at some points, but she’s so overwhelmed that it’s kind of impossible. Still, I find this kind of thing adorable, it makes me feel like idols are just normal girls underneath it all, bound to become friends with others like in any other kind of work.

 vlcsnap-10762519.png

In contrast to Mai, Michiru looks happy and calm. Maybe because she was trying to enjoy her last concert to the fullest. She was great in this song too, which is quite a feat, because Mai tends to overshadow the other girls with her performances

 vlcsnap-10762675.png

However, this made me think whether I like to see my idols crying or not… Obviously, I felt sad about the fact that Chiru was graduating, and how badly it seemed to affect one of my favorite members, but there is something heartwarming and moving about this moments, that somehow brings us closer to our idols, right? At least, that’s the way I feel it, like we can share the same sadness (of course, in completely different levels, because I didn’t know Chiru personally and stuff)

 vlcsnap-10762955.png

One of the things I wonder about is if Mai is going to be paired with someone else for the new stage performance of A4. If they truly are going to shuffle members, then I guess that somebody else will take on the song (I’m ready to bet it will be Acchan, somehow…)but otherwise, I would rather have Maimai sing this solo

 vlcsnap-10763108.png

Well, back to the song, I really like the simple choreography, because the hand movements are very graceful and flow perfectly with the music.

vlcsnap-10763408.png 

Here you can see how everyone had yellow glowsticks, which was very surprising to me, because I haven’t really seen one-color only glowsticks in AKB shows. So it’s not really like H!P graduations. It fit the song nicely anyway.

 vlcsnap-10763557.png

I wonder if Michiru decided to graduate before she was told that she would be in a duet? See, she was kind of shafted in the 3 previous Team A stages. Of course, her big break was with the movie Densen Uta, where she got to sing the theme song ALONE, and released a single of it and all, but other than that, she was a background girl for the longest time.

 vlcsnap-10764346.png

As for Maimai, well, I think that she’s a pretty emotional girl, she cried in the 2007 concert tour as well <3 I’m still impressed by the fact that even though she was on the verge of tears and all, she did her best in singing and dancing, and trying to smile during the whole thing. I just post the emo pics  because they are cooler, after all, you can see her smiling everywhere! 😀

 vlcsnap-10764796.png

Well, I wish Michiru the best of lucks, she’s a great artist and deserves some credit for her hard work.

 vlcsnap-10766120.png

I seem to have run out of things to say about his without repeating myself, so I will repeat myself anyway, watch it, because it’s not only a good song with a nice little dance, but also a heartwarming performance indeed.

 

Ok, so that’s it for now! I know that it’s kind of short, but I’m trying to split the songs in groups, since many songs share similar features. Remember: BUY BUY BUY!!!!



AKB48 Team A 4th Stage “Tadaima Renaichuu” Review pt. 2 ~Group Songs 1~


Hi everybody! I’m soooo far behind in what I have to study, that I figured I just won’t study but catch up with my review project first XD

Disclaimer: All lyrics used here come from http://www.akb48-lyrics-paradise.co.nr/. The translations belong to their rightful owners as well. Peace!!

 This part will feature the first group songs, that is Tadaima Renaichuu, Kuma no Nuigurumi and Only Today.

1. Tadaima Renaichuu “You say Aishiteru I say Motto Motto!” Ever since I watched this performed in the spring concert tour of 2007, I thought that this was without a doubt one of the best AKB48 songs, ever! It has a lot of energy, but it’s not your typical cute hyper song, like Aitakatta or BINGO, but it has a bit of a dramatic edge to it, and it sounds very sexy! Because this is a group song, we get to hear how the voices blend perfectly, and the harmonies are very nice too.

vlcsnap-10745562.png

This costumes are epic WIN!! They are cute, but not too fluffy or poofy or whatever, and they are also kind of dated and sexy, in a very idol-ish way, of course. Easily my favorite stage costumes.

 vlcsnap-10745703.png

They obviously had to set Acchan apart, so she was the only one who wore two gloves… Still, I think that so many other girls looked hotter than her in this costumes… (Miichan, Maimai and Hana come to mind) So, Acchan, I’m sorry but you fail here!

vlcsnap-10745905.png 

This song’s choreography is a winner too! It’s very sassy, and the formations are very well done! Also, this song makes you want to dtand up and do all of the hand movements that go along with it! My favorite part is the “Aha Aha” where the girls kind of put their hands next to their skirts and bend down a bit (Ok, you have to watch it to get it, but it’s really cool!)

vlcsnap-10746082.png

Words can’t describe how sexy Miichan and Hana are during this performance, also, Oh yay gets a ton of lines! Which makes me automatically happy!!

 vlcsnap-10746596.png

I know that this is a crappy screencap, I just thought it was funny seeing everyone sit very composed, and then Tomochin with her legs kind of… spread XD She’s still a kid, I guess, but that’s very nice too, because she puts a lot of her kiddie energy into all of her performances. I like this part where they sit and do a synchronised dance bit, but it looks kind of complicated…

 vlcsnap-10746765.png

And of course, I wouldn’t be Cat if I didn’t include a shot of Maimai <3 Those earrings looked amazing on her!!!

vlcsnap-10747091.png

Hana is pure love! This is the chorus part, with all of its weird hand motions and all, it’s my favorite part!

 vlcsnap-10748563.png

More love for Oh Yay!!! I like how they turn their face to the audience during this step, it looks very cool!

vlcsnap-10749129.png

Shake it shake it girls! This is definitely a must watch, genius choreography, I tell you. How can you not love it when a dance includes shoulder shaking?

2. Kuma no Nuigurumi: “You never look out for me! Boo!” Like I said before in the introduction post, this song is very cute, and it’s about a girl who thinks that her boyfriend doesn’t care about her, but still, she’s grown so used to him that she can’t dump him (like the lyrics say, “The fading teddy bear, even though the ears are wearing out, because I have grown an attachment to it, I can’t part from it”)

vlcsnap-10750136.png

The songs tune is very bubbly, and it does sound like a kid’s song at times. I still find it sweet, even if it’s kind of forgettable.

 vlcsnap-10750309.png

Maimai and Oh Yay start the song, and they mimic exactly everything that’s on the lyrics (like… eating a huge hamburger, talking, laughing… then crying XD) That’s very cute of them, and kind of out of character too, since they’re not much of a “cute” type. Still, Maimai’s fake crying motions made me want to huggle her <3

 vlcsnap-10750495.png

Harunyan and Yukarin are a nice pair, even if poor Yukari gets completely outshined by Haruna’s huge stage presence. She looks positively radiant through all the concert, and is very cute in this particular song

 vlcsnap-10750677.png

And the choreography features even more kiddie like dance steps! This is funny because some of the “cooler” girls look kind of awkard dancing to this… Tomochin, being the complete opposite, is uber happy in this performance, and I particularly like the part when Takamina and her poke each other playfully, as if they were mad at each other

vlcsnap-10751126.png

Mariko-sama and Kaya! I like this pic, the difference of height (and character) makes them a cute combination

 vlcsnap-10751219.png

I like the playful mood of the choreography, it looks very fun! I even like the awkward parts where the girls flap their arms and pretend that they’re going to fall forward… That’s so fake, but I like that kind of idol-fakeness, and Nozofisu (the girl in the green shoes next to Acchan) takes it to the next level even making an OMG! face and all! Classic idol moments! I love the pair of Acchan and Michiru, mainly because Chiru’s great vocals cover Acchan’s XD

 vlcsnap-10751306.png

Risa is so sassy! She can’t help it, it’s like… an instinct or something. Even in a song like this. The blur next to her is Hii-pinku, but she was moving so much that I couldn’t get a good screencap to save my life.

 vlcsnap-10751813.png

I have a feeling that these two could actually be great friends, based on their awesome on stage chemistry (they could be great friends… if Acchan wasn’t a cyborg idol girl like she is… XD or maybe they can be friends in spite of that, I mean, who wouldn’t be friends with Mii-chan?)

vlcsnap-10751863.png

The old school guitar bridge is a perfect opportunity for the girls to play around… with a teddy bear, of course. I must be a real wota, because I find the whole plushie thing very cute! They throw it around, while they dance, and I get the feeling that this looks more like a PE class than a choreography… But hell, I’m screwed, I even like Rina’s whistle and all…

vlcsnap-10752236.png

That’s Maimai right there in the front! And I’m posting her because she’s awesome, and she gave her all during this (rather silly) song and dance! That’s all, I don’t really have anything else to add <3

 vlcsnap-10752541.png

Poor Oh Yay got stuck with the bear thing? I hadn’t even noticed… And the final pose, which I happen to find very cool. I like how the first songs are all on the upbeat side, but each of them brings something different to the mix: Tadaima is kind of sexy, Kuma is very childish and Only Today is… very AKB, for lack of a better way to describe it.

 

3. Only Today: “The two of us only today, when tomorrow comes the three of us will just be friends again” Everybody hated on this song when the BINGO single came out, because they claimed that Tadaima Renaichuu would’ve been a better B-side, however, I disagree, because the whole purpose of the B-side is not to overshadow the A-side. BINGO! is a great song on its own right, but Tadaima is very powerful and has a really interesting combination of rythms and harmonies, which sould’ve possibly led to people thinking that it was better than BINGO, which would’ve been epic fail. Anyway, I ramble here. Only today has a lot of trumpets (or brass instruments anyway) included in its intro, and it’s basically a cheerful sounding tune. That is…. until you look at the lyrics

 vlcsnap-10754229.png

The dance begins with the girls doing a can can type of dance to the sound of the trumpet-thingy. Which is kind of weird, but visually appealing nonetheless

 vlcsnap-10754372.png

And Acchan and Takamina take it away from the start! I think it’s interesting how Acchan’s voice gets drowned by almost anybody who will sing with her, except for powerful Takamina. There’s some kind of physics-challenging black magic secret going on there… Still, they are almost always paired, and they sound great together!

 vlcsnap-10754508.png

“I take a can coffee from the vending machine” Maimai keeps acting to everything in the songs lyrics, and looks adorable while she’s at it, so I won’t say that it’s kind of unoriginal…

 vlcsnap-10754584.png

Sure, that trick gets old really quick, but Mai really knows how to work her body language through performances, so she quickly snaps out of it and tries a different strategy. What can I say, it always works, and I’m constantly amazed by how aware of her stage behaviour she is, like a true idol should be!

 vlcsnap-10754695.png

Mariko-sama was pretty cute in this, even though it doesn’t really fit her personality, she went for it with her best smiles and steps

 vlcsnap-10754990.png

The chorus of this song never fails to get stuck in my head! I think that this song’s lyrics are actually its best feature, because it’s something that most songs (and especially not idol songs) touch in their lyrics. This is a song about a girl who is in love with her friend’s boyfriend (ok, Koi no Jubaku was about that too…) so she invites them for trip to the sea, and then she regrets having invited the girl XD Still, I’ve been in a similar situation before, and I can relate to what the lyrics say. She has no intention of getting the boy to love her or anything, but she just feels happy to be able to be with him for a day.

 vlcsnap-10755083.png

Oh, enough of being a sap… Mii-chan brightens your life!

 vlcsnap-10755094.png

Risa-chan, Hii-pinku and Nozofisu: 3 of the most unfairly underappreciated girls in Team A

 vlcsnap-10756317.png

The intrincate choreography is also a plus, and makes this performance very interesting to watch

 vlcsnap-10756588.png

And to wrap it up, Miichan, Acchan, Tomochin and Takamina! I love this song anyway, those lyrics are so… moving! “Today was only a day, but to me it was an eternity”

 

And this finishes the second part of this review project 😀 I hope I can do the following parts soon, but I don’t know about that because my new kitten, Mai, demands lots of attention all the time!



Happy Birthday to Intl Wota!!!


Well, while I’m not much of a cook or anything, I wanted to join in the celebration (in my time zone it’s still March 18, you know…) so I wanted to share with all the wotas, as a personal way to say “Happy Birthday”, my favorite cake pictures of my favorite girls!

1182066372546.jpg 

What better way to celebrate than Harunyan, Maimai and Risa-chan?

1182439704444.jpg

Happy happy birthday to you *sings*

 creme-brulee.JPG

We have some very sophisticated stuff, like Creme Brulée, in case you’re feeling posh

 1st-bday.JPG

Miichan says happy 1st birthday too!

 1181125614476.jpg

And it looks like Maimai and Risa already grabbed their slice of the cake

 1181173241791.jpg

But it’s not a birthday celebration until Acchan in her pyjamas delivers her present(or was it Acchan in her PJs the present?)

Anyhow, Happy Birthday Intl Wota!!! And here’s to many more years bringing wotas together!!



AKB48 Team A 4th Stage “Tadaima Renaichuu” Review pt. 1 ~Introduction~


First of all, I want to wish a happy anniversary to Intl Wota! I promise to find a great cake to celebrate it, and take crappy pictures with my cellphone 😀

I spent all morning screencapping this concert, so i figured I would start this HUGE review project ASAP.

1. The Basics: Tadaima Renaichuu is the 4th Stage that Team A performed, and it ended somewhere around mid-2007, with the DVD being released in November. As interesting trivia, three single A-sides were included here: BINGO!, Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou and Seifuku ga Jama o Suru. As well as a single B-Side, Only Today. two of the girls who perfromed in this stage graduated last year, they are Hoshino Michiru and Masuyama Kayano, and as a special program in the DVD was included the solo song of Hoshino Michiru “Ganbare”.

2. The Girls: Like I said before, 2 of the girls have already graduated, so this was their last stage. The tracklist was awesome, and the girl’s performances in the DVD are solid through the end, which includes some very sweet teary-eyed moments during Michiru’s song. The biggest part of this introduction is right here, where I will talk to you about all the girls and each girl’s highlights or downsides or whatever. This will also help you get familiar with the girls I haven’t profiled yet 🙂

 vlcsnap-10744986.png

“The Fallen from Grace” Risa was one of the leads when team A was just formed, but ever since Aitakatta, she blended into the background as other girls grabbed her position in front of the spotlight. Risa’s performance as a back-up girl in 7ji 12fun no Hatsukoi is very fitting for such a sweet song, but not much more than that. She smiles through the whole concert, even when the others are crying O_O But maybe she just wasn’t that close to Michiru. She has a lot of natural spunk to her, however, so she’s interesting to watch whenever the camera is on her (which isn’t very often, sadly)

vlcsnap-10745013.png

“The Crazy Side of Team A” Ohe (who will be refered to as Oh yay from now on)is so much crack… She’s really awkward looking during the dances, but she puts so much heart into everything that she’s really fun to watch (also due to the fact that she REALLY is dancing to her own drum through most of this…) She was one of the leads in 7ji 12fun no Hatsukoi along with Acchan, and her vocals were a good match for Atsuko’s sweet voice. She was absolutely perfect in that performance, and I was really happy to see her get a lead position, because she’s one of the girls that almost never gets featured on a PV or anything like that. She’s especially funny during Mr. Kissman too, because the wacky choreography becomes even more wacky when she’s around! Overall, a solid performance, and she seemed to be enjoying herself to the max!

 vlcsnap-10745038.png

“The Sweetheart” What can I possibly say about Acchan that hasn’t been said before? 7ji 12 fun no Hatsukoi is perfect for her sweet almost fragile vocals, and she makes lots of cute expressions to adorn the song during the performance. She’s a charmer there, and proves exactly why she’s all that an idol is supposed to be! Other highlights include the awesome DARUIKANJI which she co-leads with Miichan. Sure, Mii completely pwns her, but she’s still cute anyway. The regular solid performance we’re used to see from her in both Keibetsu and Seifuku. She’s basically the same Acchan that everyone has grown to love during this Stage as well, with that kind of perfectly calculated innocent smile and almost gentle attitude that is so typical of her.

vlcsnap-10745079.png

“The only person in the world with a more nasal talking voice than Kojima Haruna XD” All kidding aside, Hii-pinku is one of the groups best singers, but for some reason, she never gets lines. EVER. I seriously don’t get it, but whatever. Maybe it’s because she annoys the hell out of everybody with her ultra-nasal fake talking voice, but my personal opinion is that as long as she doesn’t use it for singing I don’t care about what she says anyway. 7ji 12fun no Hatsukoi was also the song where she appeared the most, she was one of the back-up girls, though. I found it really cute that she stated how she was very happy she could get a pink costume for the song, because pink is her favorite color <3 That’s sweet! She got a fair amount of screentime, though, especially during Mr. Kissman, Seifuku and Nante Suteki na Sekai ni Umareta no Darou (where she looked really cute in her pink pyjamas <3)

vlcsnap-10745094.png

“The AKB48 kid with talent to spare” Kaya graduated in November, and she was going to be originally moved to Team B. I wish she had stayed, though, because she was a very very talented kid! She’s also part of the 7ji 12fun no Hatsukoi unit, where she was a back-up girl. This cutie is always all smiles, and this was of course, no exception. Nothing much to say about her, though, other than what I’ve already said…

 vlcsnap-10745115.png

“The Silent Sweetie” Nozofisu is pure love. I adore that girl like crazy, and not just because she’s the only AKB48 member who speaks spanish (and also, the only one who speaks good english) but because she is a great singer, and performer in general, but she seems like a shy kind of girl, which is why she isn’t featured more prominently in the group. That’s one of the reasons why I LOVE the unit she was in for this stage, Faint. Featuring also Tojima Hana (who’s another one of my favorites), Nozofisu danced and sung her heart out, and she was drop dead sexy while she was at it! I was beyond happy to see her in such a cool song, and see her nail it perfectly! Other than that (like there’s anything else that matters after you’ve seen Faint) she enjoys herself a lot through the concert, and we get plenty of shots of her beautiful smile <3

 vlcsnap-10745142.png

“The Spacey One” Harunyan pleasantly surprised me in this Stage. She’s always a great performer, actually, but she took it to the next level here. She was in the Junai no Crescendo unit, were she was smoking! Even outshining both Takamina and Miichan! She commited to every song, giving wonderful performances of which I especially like her parts in DARUIKANJI, Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta and Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou. Definitely one of the A-class girls of Team A, Kojiharu proves us with this DVD release that she’s deserving of being one of the collective’s leads.

 vlcsnap-10745169.png

“The Happy Soul of Team A” Miichan was also one of the highlights, and definitely my favorite girl of this DVD. Her Junai no Crescendo performance proves that she should be given more solo lines to work with, and she should be put in more duo or trio units. Not only was she terribly sexy, but she also managed to work as a team with Harunyan and Takamina, making this the most solid unit in the whole setlist. If the shuffle version is going to be released after all, they will have a hell of a lot of trouble replacing this 3. They have so much chemistry together that they were picked in Himawari 2 for another song! Aside from all that. Miichan in glasses (or MEGANE! MINAMI! like all the wotas were shouting…)was amazing. She played with them, giving them good use as a prop, especially during DARUIKANJI, hell, she was so good in that one that I simply consider it a Miichan song now. I loved her interaction bits with Maimai, but this is getting awfully long already, so I’ll discuss those in Maimai’s picture 🙂

 vlcsnap-10745199.png

“The tiny girl with a HUGE voice” Takamina is always a reliable performer, and this was of course, no exception. You’ve already heard me hyping about Junai no Crescendo and how much of a great song it is, but without Takamina’s powerful vocals, it would’ve never become what it is. Other highlights of her include the heart breaking Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou, and the steamy Seifuku ga Jama o Suru, where she is always absolutely perfect!

 vlcsnap-10745227.png

“The Best Thing that Ever Happened to Idol Music :D” Damn! That screencap sucks! You must all know by now that Maimai is my favorite, I’m even naming my new kitty after her! <3 Ok, fangirlism aside, Maimai is an amazing performer, IMO the best of all of AKB (maybe only topped by Oshima Yuko). She was all smiles and sexy looks during the first songs, and I particularly like her “crying” bit in Kuma no Nuigurumi , especially after all of the real crying she did in the rest of the concert 🙁 Her duet with Hoshino Michiru, Haru ga Kuru Made, is one of my favorite songs, with a very light atmosphere reminiscent of spring imageries. She was, of course, vocally perfect, and the fact that she was so sad that she cried during the song, made me teary eyed as well. She must’ve been really close to Michiru, because not only did she cry here, but also in Nante Suteki na Sekai  ni Umareta no Darou (damn… what a long title!!), where Miichan noticed her crying and patted her on the head, it was very cute <3 and also during Ganbare, where both Mai and Mii were crying their eyes out, so much that Mai playfully slapped Mii to stop crying! <3 I’m sad about the lack of lines for her in single songs, but I was ecstatic to see her perfect performances in ALL of the songs, without fail!

 vlcsnap-10745261.png

“A true artist, not so much of an idol” Hoshino always was one of the most solid singers of Team A, but her Konkon-like personality also kept her from the spotlight. She auditioned with a song that she composed herself, and is skilled in both the piano and the guitar. So, she was a true artist, the only natural thing to do for her, was to get out of the idol world and search for luck in the mainstream music business. Her voice compliments Mai’s in their duet Haru ga Kuru Made, and she seemed to be really happy in the whole concert, maybe because it was her last one. Her Ganbare performance was beautiful, and she looked very sad during it, it was a perfect graduation song.

 vlcsnap-10745287.png

“The Maid-Idol” I guess I’ll explain that nickname when I profile her, Mariko has a very interesting background story! Anyway, she was in the Kikyou unit, where her strong voice was a perfect match for Rina’s sweet gentle vocals. Other than that, she’s a pretty solid performer, but honestly she didn’t stand out to me as much as she has before in other stages…

 vlcsnap-10745315.png

“The Angel Girl” Rina is always an angel… She made Kikyou a beautiful song (the country background music could’ve ruined it for sure) and she tried to handle Yuko’s lines from the singles as well as she possibly could, but of course, she has her personal style of performing which makes for a different feel for the songs altogether. She got lots of screentime, and as usual, she was very focused during the whole concert.

 vlcsnap-10745347.png

“Taking loli-power to the next level!” Tomochin was really fun to watch as well, she was the happiest girl on stage, even during songs that weren’t all that happy (like DARUIKANJI) but I still find that adorable. Her Faint performance was subject to a lot of controversy due to how young she is, and how sexy she acted for it. I personally don’t find anything wrong with it, and I don’t think that it was too much or anything…

 vlcsnap-10745379.png

“GAO! The lioness!” Hana is one of my favorites, and she was delightful to watch in this concert! Not only did she completely rock Faint, but she was also amazing in every other song! I especially oved her in Mr. Kissman, where she was possibly the sexiest girl on stage, I almost died of happiness when she got lots of lines in Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta, and even though she wasn’t all that filmed during the single songs, the few seconds of her in there were simply amazing! Also, I have a new rule for all of the readers of this blog: You must ADORE Hana. I’m serious. You can hate all of the other girls, think that Maimai is stupid or diss Yuko but you MUST adore Hana. It’s impossible not to.

 vlcsnap-10745414.png

“Wallpaper Flower?” Yukarin never gets attention… at all. I don’t think that she’s bad at anything she does, she’s a decent singer, decent dancer and that’s about it, sadly. I don’t think that this is completely fair, and even though she’s not one of my favorites, I feel like she could become one if we were gicen the chance to know her a bit more! That said, she completely stole my heart with her super-happiness in the unit she was put in, Kikyou. I thought that was both cute and kind of mean, because they put her there just as a back-up girl to Rina and Mariko, and she didn’t even get a solo line! Still, I’m glad that she could enjoy it, and I hope that I can see more of her in the future, because I loved her here and in A2…

 

3. The Songs: I will make this short, I promise. Especially because I will review them in detail in the following posts…

  1. Tadaima Renaichuu: The title song is an awesome pop number with a super catchy chorus, and kind of dramatic feel to it. Very sexy, but in an idol-innocent kind of way.

  2. Kuma no Nuigurumi: A sweet and bubbly sounding song with bitterweet lyrics about loving a guy who doesn’t treat you well (hmm….)

  3. Only Today: The B-Side to BINGO!, a happy sounding, brass driven tune, with dangerous lyrics about going out with a friend’s boyfriend…

  4. 7ji 12fun no Hatsukoi: Still deciding whether it’s a ballad or a mid-tempo song, this innocent number about a platonic crush on a guy she meets every morning at the train is heart warming and sweet.

  5. Haru ga Kuru Made: This cheery song, reminiscent of Card Captor Sakura music, is easy on the ears with its flowy vocals and dreamy instrumental. A song about unrequited love, and a very beautiful one at it.

  6. Junai no Crescendo: The most edgy song in this tracklist, very late 80s-90s sounding, with perfect vocals, and lyrics about *gasp* sex!

  7. Faint: This one goes all R&B, hip-hop on us, making it a very dance-able number. The highlights are the sweet kind of high-pitched vocals from the 3 singers, and the fact that is the only AKB song to feature a full verse in english. (And yes, it is english, not engrish, if you must know… I bet they had Nozofisu translate it and teach a few lessons to Hana and Tomo so that they could handle it alright)

  8. Kikyou: Country music background, soft and kind of bubbly, with beautiful lyrics about returning to hometown, and how important family is… Obviously, Rina’s angel voice makes it a gorgeus song.

  9. DARUIKANJI:  There are so many great songs in this stage! This one has a very powerful bass line, that creates some sort of background noise kind of feel, that goes perfectly with the lyrics, which basically say “I’m sick of my life, everything is so dull…” This is a completely single worthy song. I hope that it gets turned into a single now that A4 is being re-performed…

  10. Mr. Kissman: This is funky! Kind of russian-sounding or something. All the girls got set in pairs and sung a few lines, which makes it awesome to showcase their voices, and also is a very equal line distribution (no H!P style shafting for us AKB fans :P). This one is also about sex, if you must know…

  11. Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta: Another uplifting sounding song, kind of in the rock-y side. The chorus is very bright, and it even has some accordion instrumental! The verses feature the girls in pairs again, and the music becomes a bit more serious and relaxed. This is a cute song about a girl who did something to her bouyfriend and he forgave her <3

  12. BINGO! Well, I’m sure you’ve all heard BINGO! and if you haven’t then GO AND FIND IT!

  13. Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou: A dramatic number, the infamous “suicide song”

  14. LOVE CHASE: Team A’s response to both Korogaru and Hana to Chire, perhaps? This rock song is very cool, but in the sexy type of coolness that Team A can pull off so well. I like how the lyrics are about a girl who is hunting for love, only to find another “black panther” hunter like herself to fall for…

  15. Seifuku ga Jama o Suru: Another classic here… The infamous song about teenagers getting laid…

  16. Nante Suteki na Sekai ni Umareta no Darou: A beautiful ballad, featuring interesting percussion arrangements, and where all the girls sing together. It’s nice to see how it all comes down to something as simple but powerful as being thankful for life and for the wonderful world we live in

  17. Ganbare: A piano is the main instrument used here, and it compliments Michiru’s vocals perfectly. It’s a beautiful song, not boring at all!

 vlcsnap-10745449.png

Well, I hope you read this super long introduction, and I hope that you stay tuned for the rest of the review!! And don’t forget to buy this DVD! Even if you’re not all that much of an AKB48 fan, it’s worth your money and your time, the songs are great and the choreographies are very well thought and performed!

Next Page »

Aitakatta! is proudly powered by WordPress and themed by Mukkamu