Happy Birthday Intl Wota!


Hi! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO INTL WOTA!!! Thanks to all the people who have made it possible! It’s great to have a community that is truly relevant to our wota interests! 😀 This post isn’t only filled with cake, but all sorts of birthday food as well! 😀

Here’s to kick off the celebration

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I’ve said it before, I’m not a big Acchan fan… but the rest of the world is! So here’s a picture of her and some delicious birthday bento!! And there’s supermodel Mariko too! Whoa!

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Birthday strawberries! Yummy! Especially coming from Haruna, Yuko and Mariko!!

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Cindy and Shiho have brought their purikura cake! Yay!

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To keep the couple thing going on, Saeyaka aka. the best damn thing in AKB have a birthday crepe for you!!

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What? Are those Team B ninjas Nakayan, Haachan and Yukirin eating birthday crepes of their own? How awesome! Also, as a little trivia, these 3 girls are my favorite Team B members, with Tanamin added to the mix…

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A birthday wave from the Team A graduates… Plus, yesterday was Hanaday so she deserves to show up here

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Yes, Hanaday! Happy birthday my beloved lion! Keep rocking! /end fangirl sad moment of denial

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Ok, back to Intl Wota birthday XD Here’s some birthday dessert of some kind! Yummy!

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Maimai and Tomochin! They sure make any birthday food look delicious!

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Tiara Mikipomu witha birthday bouquet! XD

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And here’s Naruru crying tears of happiness because she’s ecstatic to see us all wotas come together and leave behind our personal differences in the name of J music!

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For those over 21 (or whatever the legal age for drinking is in your country) Here’s to many more years of wota friendship and many more years of Intl Wota!

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Aww… Still underage? Nevermind, have a sandwich with Nozofisu and Yukarin! But stay away from their PBs until you’re older XD

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Oh but there is a real Birthday cake! Our Team B chefs, Matsuyuki, Mikipomu and Yukirin are working hard on it so don’t distract them!

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And of course, this wouldn’t be an AKB48 blog without some birthday fanservice XD Brought to you by Pervy Queen Extraordinaire (aka Meetan) and her lovely loli friend (Tomomi chan)

 

Well, images count more than words! But still, I’m glad that Intl Wota is ever growing and still staying strong. Let’s hope for many more birthdays!

 

 



So… who’s next?


Hi people!

Today I present you the second part of my Graduation special! Also, a tiny newsflash: AKB48’s latest single 10nen Zakura has sold over 50000 copies already, and its currently positioned in second place in the Oricon chart! We still have to wait for the official weekly ranking, but still, CONGRATULATIONS! To all of the AKB girls! Also, a great farewell for Maimai, who is graduating soon!

Ok, so now, let’s go over some of the girls who might be in a greater risk of graduating soon in AKB48. I won’t do it because of my own predictions, but rather after things I’ve read, rumors and what the general public thinks. We’ll analyze each girl and her possible reasons for graduating.

Team A

1. Sato Yukari

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Whoa. Huge picture is huge XD. Anyway, Yukarin was always Nozofisu’s best friend, and she was also a MAJOR underdog. In addition to all this, she recently got a great gravure modeling deal and has been very busy and into it lately. Objectively speaking, Yukarin is probably one of the girls who might graduate sooner, not because of her friendship with Nozomi, but because she has a better career outside of AKB. She has been chosen for very few singles, and she never gets the spotlight in stages, so I think that she won’t stay for too long. Maybe she just wants to make a bigger name for herself in gravure and then she’ll graduate. One thing is for sure, Yukari won’t be in A6.

2. Shinoda Mariko

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Mariko was recently paired with Maimai a lot. Which is funny because the 2 of them are pretty much in the same position. Mariko is very popular outside of the AKB theater, but she’s also one of the most popular in the group. She’s absent for a TON of the theater performances, and she’s always doing high profile modeling campaigns. She’s gone to Italy and Las Vegas, which is a pretty big deal, considering how she’s just a relatively new model. Mariko will certainly graduate soon, she’s wildly popular as a model, and she might just choose to go that way. She doesn’t need AKB.

Team K

1. Matsubara Natsumi

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Nattsumii has been rumored to be the next graduate for quite a while now. She is one of the biggest underdogs of Team K, and she was an original member, so she’s been at it for quite a while. She hasn’t been signed to an agency, rarely participates in anything different than the theater performances, and always gets “underdog” units in stages… I really love Nattsumii, but she’s really shafted all the time. The only reason why I don’t think that she’ll graduate is because she REALLY seems to love her job a lot. So I don’t see her calling it quits anytime soon. Or so I hope *crosses fingers*

2. Noro Kayo

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Nontii has already hit the dreaded age of 25 (dreaded in the idol world, of course). This fact has  had people speculating a bit. Even though she isn’t one of the most popular members, and she rarely gets chosen for singles, I think that Nontii is quite prominent in AKBINGO, even if it’s only as comic relief along with Nacchi XD I don’t think that they’ll pull an Ohori on her, and make her release a slutty single either, that’s not Nontii’s game, so I think we’re safe 😀

3. Oshima Yuko

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I don’t know if it was just our subconsciousness playing tricks on all of us, but when Oshima Mai announced that she would graduate, everyone panicked because of the other Oshima. Yuko has been absent from most Team K theater performances lately because she’s busy with acting, but I hardly think that this is a reason to worry about just yet. Of course it could be just a denial on my pat, because Yuko is my favorite member, but I don’t think that she’ll leave just yet. Yuko is the quintessential Team K frontgirl, and as long as she keeps being able to balance acting (which is what she loves the most) with being an idol, she should be fine, I think. Also, unlike Maimai, who was starting to look rather tired whenever she performed at the theater because of the exhausting schedules, Yuko is still a little ball of energy, so let’s take that as a good sign 😀

Team B

1. Tanabe Miku

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There was some Tanamin graduation buzz around the massive string of Team B graduations during B3. She was almost in the same position as Mikipomu, getting no solo lines, and being endlessly shafted. Luckily, with B4, she got to prove everyone that she is one kickass girl! Her unit song Itooshi no Natassha is a great rock number, and she also gets SOLO LINES! Yay! So I don’t think that she’s going to leave anytime soon, hopefully

2. Urano Kazumi

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People think that Cindy is too old for the ultra loli Team B. I’ve also heard that now that she’s in a musical or play of some sorts it might be a sign that she could want to be out of AKB and do something else. I’m not a big Cindy follower, but she’s a key member in Team B. She’s the one that keeps them together, and she is a very needed leader figure, especially after all of the graduations of original members. Cindy is very proud of her work, and of her team, so I don’t think that she’s going to call it quits.

Other girls I’ve heard a few people talk about graduation:

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People worrying about Acchan graduating was probably a result of panic after the Team A leaves. However, Acchan’s main gig is still AKB, and she gets tons of love from fans and managers alike so I’m 100% sure that she won’t leave.

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Some of the Sayakers (Sayaka fans <3) have been concerned because she wasn’t a chosen member for AKB’s latest single 10nen Zakura… But I think that Sayaka is the soul of Team K and the driving force behind the whole team, so she’s one of the most important members! Also, her commitment to AKB is unmatched! She’s really in love with her job, the fans, the songs, everything! And remember how she asked of all of us to keep supporting AKB even if she wasn’t in the singles, because she loves AKB <3 <3 <3 OMG I love Sayaka so much!

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Nacchi was on the red line because she was admitted to Waseda. But I think that there’s nothing to worry about, since she’s already said herself that she will stay in AKB! And I want to see her get an awesome unit in K5 too! So I hope that she’ll stick around for longer!

 

Ok, that’s all the members I’ve heard about, but if you think that somebody else should be added to the list, please do tell me!

Team A is still ind anger of losing even more members 🙁 I have to admit that a Team A with no Maimai, Nozomi, Hana and Yukarin doesn’t interest me in the least (except for the occasional Takamina and Miichan awesomeness…) Let’s wait for A6, hopefully that stage will be great and I’ll be a convert again. Right now, I’ve found a new favorite Team A member: Kitarie!!! <3 <3 <3

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I’m just glad that there are very talented Kenkyuuseis around who can manage to keep AKB48 being a great idol group regardless of the members who choose to go a different way. Every girl is irreplaceable, but that also means that every new Kenkyuusei that gets added brings something new and fresh to the group, which is a great thing!



Graduation Speculation


I’ve seen how all of the recent graduations are really making people wonder, both inside of the AKB fandom and out. I have to be honest, with the first streak of graduations I thought “Well, they’re underdogs, so they probably only want a bit more attention” then the second streak, Team B members, were still underdogs, so I stuck to my old theory.

But then Nozomi and Mai from Team A decided to graduate O_O “Holy cow! AKB is pulling a H!P on me!!! Dammit!!!” I even went to the crazy point of thinking that AKB really was going downhill and all the kinds of things you read whenever a MM member graduates 😛

But right now, with my mind a bit more cooled down, I’ve started thinking about the real meaning of this massive exodus. Celestia commented in a recent write-up that the AKB girls were sick of their job, since a quarter of the group quit in less than 6 months. This is relative, IMO. Some of them were obviously sick of being shunned, and thus decided to graduate, but for others staying in AKB simply wasn’t going to give them all they wanted, so they decided to call it quits and pursue something bigger. I’ll get into details about each girl and the reasons why I think she might have graduated later, but first, let’s look into the first theory:

AKB girls are starting to hate their job: Of course, we can’t know this for sure unless we asked the graduates, but we can look for indirect signs of this. Being an AKB girl is a tough job. Actually, it might be the toughest job in the idol world right now (now, don’t hate on me just yet H!P fans, I promise I’ll elaborate a bit more).

The girls have to appear on TV shows as guests representing AKB, they also have to appear in AKBINGO weekly, and additionally, some of them appear as guests in TV shows just as themselves. Lots of work. Then there’s the recordings, they have to record the stage songs and the singles. Since AKB doesn’t release albums with original songs  (there’s no point to that really, having all the stages) it doesn’t get as hectic. But then there are girls in subgroups, like no3b and Watarirouka Hashiritai. Lots of hours in a recording studio. Then there are the lessons, dance lessons and singing lessons often, not to mention the tons of hours invested in practicing choreography and vocals for new stages.

Phew. That’s a lot. But that’s stuff that other idols have to cope with too, right? Well, how about this? On top of all that, the girls have to perform several times a week, twice a day (or 3 times, depending on the season). This is an exhausting schedule, especially when you add all of the extra activities: Like the girls who have acting careers, the gravure models, and the normal photoshoots for every AKB girl because there are BLTs (pictures) of all the girls coming out each month.

So of course, it sounds terribly overwhelming, but imagine LIVING it, and balancing school with that on top of everything.

But the girls who have stayed in AKB have learned how to manage all of this. Some of the early graduates might have left because of this, like Uemura Ayako or Usami Yuki. But I don’t think that this is the case with the recent graduates, because most of them stayed in the group for at least 2 years, and with most of them being underdogs and older girls they didn’t have to worry much about school work or about extremely tiresome schedules with multiple tasks at the same time.

And there’s another fact, but this one is completely subjective. When you watch the AKB girls perform, most of them are just ecstatic to be there, they have fun to the max! They are friends with each other, you can tell that much by just seeing them interact and they seem to really like what they do. Picture Niigaki Risa in a MM concert, and 95% of the AKB girls look THAT excited whenever they perform, so I don’t think that this is the reason, at least not in general.

There isn’t enough retribution when you’re an AKB girl: This is another fact that has been largely considered by non AKB fans. Most of the girls don’t get selected for singles, most of them don’t have stellar management companies, they don’t get PBs or other stuff like that. This is a problem in general with most of the idol groups, there are always going to be popular and unpopular girls, but admittedly, in AKB this gap is way more noticeable.

Popular AKB girls (let’s take Oshima Yuko for example) get to act in dramas, they do CMs, PBs, DVDs, calendars, you name it! They get to be covergirls for great magazines, or juicy advertising contracts. In contrast, unpopular girls don’t get ANY of that. Ever. They only perform at the theater, and that’s it.

But there’s an upside to all of that, even the least popular AKB girls have their die hard wotas, and they can feel appreciated way more easily than inother idol groups, because they get t see their fans live, who cheer for them, take pics with them and give them presents all the time.

So I think that it ultimately comes down to the personal reasons each girl might have had to graduate. Let’s look at those.

Narita Risa

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Ex Team A member

Popularity status: Used to be a frontgirl but after the 3rd single was shoved to the background and never given a time in the spotlight again.

Main reason: Risa must’ve hated her situation in AKB, she’s one of the girls with an easiest reason to guess. She was a frontgirl and then faded into unpopularity. She wasn’t featured in singles anymore, she was only a background character in unit songs and in general. I have no idea of what was the reason for her obvious demotion, but she must’ve gotten pretty sick of it. She was a sassy girl with lots of charisma, so she knew that she could do way better than that. If she had stayed in AKB, she would still be pushed into the background, but out of AKB she actually has the chance to shine in a gravure career, thanks to her beauty.

Conclusion: Risa wanted the fame that was taken from her for whatever reason, and she knew that she could get noticed in the gravure scene because of her “attributes” so she decided to go for it.

Komatani Hitomi

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Ex Team A member

Popularity status: Always an underdog. But she used to get decent lines when Team A first debuted, because of her nice voice.

Main reason: Hiichan has a similar reason like Risa to graduate. She wasn’t popular in AKB, but she was in an idol group before joining AKB, so she must’ve been used to some kind of spotlight… until A2 came along, and she was pushed to the back to never return to the frontlight. Hiichan is a gorgeous girl, so she knew that she could do better than singing back up vocals for Acchan the rest of her life. And so, she called it quits, to pursue a career in gravure modelling!

Conclusion: Hiichan knew that she could get more out of AKB than in, now that she’s a full time model, she gets all the spotlight she might’ve wanted.

Ohe Tomomi

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Ex Team A member

Popularity status: Underdog. Occasionally got some nice lines haned to her (like when she subbed for Takamina) but mostly, background character

Main reason: Another underdog of Team A, but this time there’s a big difference. Ohe had a weak health and she was out due to health reasons for almost half a year, if I’m not mistaken (the whole H2 Stage, in other words). So in her case, AKB’s hectic schedule might’ve played a big role in her departure. She needed something more laid back that was still related to show business but wouldn’t take a toll on her health. She’s now a model, and I hope that she will be back on TV somehow, she’s one of the most entertaining girls I’ve ever seen in the idol world, mainly because of her bizzarre personality.

Conclusion: Ohyay needed to regain her health and never put it at stake again, and this was impossible for her in AKB. Also, she knew that she could do better as a model without struggling so much so it was an obvious choice.

Tojima Hana

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Ex Team A member

Popularity status: She was averagely popular, but actually, Hana was more of a cult idol. She didn’t have legions of fans, but incredibly loyal wotas who followed her every step.

Main reason: Hana was the smart girl of Team A, and everyone in the team said that as well. Comments like “She’s always reading” and “She knows a lot of stuff” prove that fact. Also, being the level headed girl that she always was, it’s only obvious that she would choose a career outside of the entertainment world as her main thing, and maybe do a bit of acting/modelling on the side.

Conclusion: Hana’s graduation is the one that has affected me the most on a personal level. Her popularity was rising constantly and she was appearing on the TV shows and stuff… But she has a really good reason for leaving, having been admitted to one of the best univerities of Japan, her priorities are just different from the usual idols, I guess.

Nakanishi Rina

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Ex Team A member

Popularity status: One of the most popular original frontgirls, featured in almost every single, and lead a subunit. She was becoming less popular but the time she graduated though.

Main Reason: Rinatin… the angel of Team A! She was a frontgirl for a long while, before she had to leave because of various diseases. After that, she was kind of on and off from time to time, and numerous rumors startd circulating about the real reason for her absences. We will never know if the rumors are true or not, but the real deal is that Rina wasn’t as much of a frontgirl, and she was being pushed more and more to the back everyday. I think that Rina was all about the singing part of being an idol, she was one of the most talented vocalists of the whole group, and she seemed to enjoy herself the most when singing as opposed to the photoshoots and things like that. So, she might have gotten sick of the whole “idol” thing, and decided to try her luck as a real singer. She’s said before that she’s going to be a soloist now, which I’m eagerly awaiting 😀

Conclusion: Rinatin wants to sing, first and foremost, but being an idol includes creating a character, abiding by very strict rules and being all about the image in general. She just wants to do what she does best, with nothing else getting in her way (although she has done a bit of modelling too XD But, you know, models can largely do whatever they want with their lives, so it’s a different situation)

Kawasaki Nozomi

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Ex Team A member

Popularity status: Used to be an underdog, but then got noticed because of her awesome gravure potential.

Main reason: Nozofisu peaked in AKB, so to speak. She wasn’t going to get anything else from that, and she was offered to make her dream come true and create her own clothing line and boutique. So it was an obvious choice for her, being a very popular gravure model and managing her own (hopefully) successful clothing brand will report her more earnings than performing at the theater would.

Conclusion: Nozofisu is the girl with the brightest gravure future, also, a boutique is a wonderful business! Good for her 😀

Oshima Mai

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Soon to be Ex Team A member

Popularity status: She’s probably THE most popular AKB48 member, at least for non AKB fans. She’s also insanely popular with the AKB fans as well. She was always  a frontgirl, and also was the unofficial presenter of AKBINGO!

Main reason: Mai became bigger than AKB. She was already absent from most shows at the theater, because of her multiple other jobs. She appeared on several TV shows every day, had calendar, PB and DVD in her resume, got to lead quite a few unit songs in stages… I could go on, but I think you must get my point by now. Mai was always my second favorite AKB member, but I’m oddly numb about her graduation… Maybe it’s because I know that I’ll hear from her again, or because I’m sure that she’ll be fine. Who knows…

Conclusion: It’s pretty simple, and I said it before, Mai is bigger than AKB right now, so she obviously doesn’t need it anyway…

Hayano Kaoru

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Soon to be Ex Team K member

Popularity status: Major underdog

Main reason: Kaorin was probably the least recognized girl in Team K. It was just sad, especially because she tried so hard and was insanely cute, but still, no hope. She announced recently that she was signed to an important agency, and then we all figured out that she would leave. Same as with the Team A underdogs, she wasn’t getting any love in AKB, so she figured she might as well look for it elsewhere.

Conclusion: Another underdog looking for fame outside of the idol group that neglected her for 3 years…

Matsuoka Yuki

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Ex Team B member

Popularity status: The least popular girl in AKB according to the mixi rankings… 🙁

Main reason: See above? Yukki wasn’t only ignored by fans, I also remember reading that some fans actually disliked her because of her open love of everything foreign and her not so idolish personality. I for one, was a huge fan, and it saddened me to hear all of the backlash because she was an awesome performer and a beautiful girl 🙁 I don’t even know if she’ll stay in showbusiness or not…

Conclusion: She probably figured out that she didn’t have to put up with being so unpopular and even disliked by some, she was better off on her own!

Noguchi Reina


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Ex Team B member

Popularity status: Apparently, she was popular in the theater, where she had many hardcore fans.

Main reason: I’ll be honest here, I know next to nothing about Gussan. She never stroke me as anything other than ordinary and she blended in with the background way too much, but apparently, she had some really die hard fans, who were even borderline scary. Maybe she got scared by them? XD I don’t know, your guess is as good as mine. She was kind of an underdog, but she at least got solo lines! That’s more than other Team B members ever got at the time…

Conclusion: No idea. 2 theories: A. Scary fans or B. Tired of underdog status and idol world in general.

Saotome Miki

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Ex Team B member (currently Kenkyuusei)

Popularity status: Like 2 or 3 fans above Matsuyuki in Mixi ranking XD

Main reason: She alledgedly demoted herself. Whether you believe it or not, it’s up to you, but I’m not buying that. Miki was a great performer, and it saddens me to see her out of B. Also, I read that she’s been kind of down and hitting herself too hard so to speak, It’d be really sad if she actually got depressed because of this demotion, but one thing is clear, she loves AKB, which is why she decided to go through the humilliation of being demoted and try again to shine more everyday!

Conclusion: Unpopular team B member needs to be pushed aside inf avor of the more popular Kenkyuusei, but she decides to stick in the group…

Phew. That’s all of the recent graduations, but who knows if tomorrow new ones will pop up. If so, I’ll update this post, I promise XD

This is only 1/3 of the entry I have prepared about this topic which has become very relevant for my little fandom recently…

So I’ll see you next time when I’ll discuss who are the girls whoa re most likely to graduate next, according to the rumors, and of course, my personal opinions on the subject. See you!


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