On the topic of the AKB/SKE aces Chapter 2. Matsui Jurina


Matsui Jurina “The ace of SKE48”

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Back when it was first announced that SKE48 would be formed in Nagoya, everyone was skeptical at best. When the release of the much anticipated “Oogoe Diamond” single came, and this weird little girl was featured ALONE in the cover, everyone flipped out. She was all over the PV, front and center, getting lots of line, and stealing the spot light from the ever leading Maeda Atsuko. People were mostly, raging. But everyone thought that this would just be a phase, a publicity stunt of Akimoto’s to promote the newly formed SKE48, and they lulled themselves into thinking that this anomaly would go away with the next single

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But then lo and behold, Junen Zakura came around, and there was Jurina back in the center! XD The instant rage built up in many AKB wota’s hearts and the started claiming “Get her out of AKB PVs, she’s not even part of the group” and “She was just smacked there in the center for no reason at all!” and that’s pretty much where things still stand for many AKB fans. Jurina is still in the center, and she’s been featured prominently in all of AKB’s PVs after Oogoe. But I do think that she deserves her position in the center, so I’ll try to articulate a bit about that. The first easy comparison one might draw when thinking of Jurina is to Kusumi Koharu of MM, as both were deemed “aces” of their respective groups right after they joined. But reading an interview with Oshima Yuko, where she compared the Jurina situation to when Goto Maki joined Morning Musume, it seems more like that. She was a lot younger than her team mates, she was also placed in the center, and she pretty much pwned everyone else from there XD

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I was surprised with her sudden center position at first, but not too much, because I try to keep in mind that there’s more of a business tint to the idol thing rather than an “artsy” approach. I knew that Akimoto needed to push SKE. Why choosing an 11 year old to do this was what left me puzzled at first, and some wacky theories exist around the internet, that claim that Jurina’s grandfather owns the Sunshine Sakae building where the SKE48 theater resides. But I don’t think that this is necessarily the reason why Matsui is the star of Team S, even if it turns out to be true. One has to watch her perform to understand, she’s incredibly talented! 

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She might not be the best singer, but she’s good enough to stay on pitch and has a decent voice. however, it’s when she dances that she shines the most, it’s impossible not to look at her. She has a lot of stamina, and yet her steps are always precise, and at all times, there’s a huge smile on her face (which has made her haters call her The Joker XD) you can tell that she’s absolutely enjoying herself fully, and that makes her very appealing as an idol. Her very young age might also be a factor for her earning that position, because she’s simply a kid having fun, and I think that she stresses herself a lot less than the other girls in AKB about popularity and things like that.

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And it’s also her youth that makes her refreshing among the other AKB girls, who are all savvy when it comes to show-business. Even though Jurina doesn’t generally perform any cam-whoring stunts, she just kind of exists there, as happy as always, simply enjoying herself on TV shows and the such, and her normal behavior sets her apart from the act of the AKB girls. Let’s look at an example of this, in AKBINGO they used to have a fast word game, much like Shiritori; one of the categories was “scary things” so at one point of the competition, one of the girls in Jurina’s team said something lame to win in that category because of the rush XD So when the hosts pointed this out, all of the girls in the group went “NO, LOOK BUT IT’S REALLY SCARY WAAAAH WAAAAH” but Jurina remained completely unfazed. When the guests asked her about this she replied “Well, I don’t think it’s scary at all”

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In the end of the day, the fact that prominent members like Acchan or Yuko see her as an actual threat to their position in the group should give us all an idea of what Matsui Jurina is capable of. You all might keep hating on her all you want, she’s proved that she’s got the talent to back her front position and also outshine some of her seniors at times! She’s definitely serious about her job, or at least, as serious and dedicated as a 12 year old can be. I’m actually happy that Akimoto is capable of spotting talent like this, it shows that he really has a knack for idols 😀

19 Comments

  1. Comment by eyeless on February 15, 2010 8:21 pm

    After seeing her Matsui vs Matsui Soujiki Shougi game, I realized that she’s smart and sharp. A real idol product that have anything an idol need to have.

  2. Comment by Zuki on February 17, 2010 6:39 am

    My theory on why Jurina’s pushed to the front so much is kinda long but here goes…

    When AKB was first formed, Akimoto picked the frontgirls because of talent and how much potential he saw in them. Teams A and K came relatively early while AKB was still a rookie group, so Acchan and Yuko were picked.

    Then from Team B onwards, all of the frontgirls were relatively younger i.e. Mayu, Jurina and Manatsu. I think this is because since AKB started becoming more well-known, he wanted to pick frontgirls who were young so that they wouldn’t outgrow the group that quickly. A frontgirl needs to always be visible and out there, so he would want people who would stay in their position for a while. This is also why I think he’s touting Oku Manami, another young one, as the upcoming ace of the group.

  3. Comment by Ami on February 24, 2010 7:48 am

    I really wouldnt have a problem with Jurina if somebody just gave her bangs a cut and told her to wash her hair once in a while, seriously more often than not it looks greasy…

  4. Comment by natcaasi on February 25, 2010 5:38 am

    Erm is there a distinction between AKB and SKE .. thought there is …

    Matsui Jurina is in SKE right?

    and that Matsui vs Matsui shoji… game was kinda of one sided … but the fact remains that the perception exists that should Reina have had any dirt on Jurina most would think that Reina would not use it … even if it meant a loss … that said … do fans want an idol who is sweet/demure /kind? or one who will do anything to win …. (this sounds alittle biased but if you discount the undertones of this post i guess the intent of this post is still valid…) and FYI i not a particularly big fan of either girls…

    And can someone clarify if Matsui Jurina’s grandfather owns the buildin AKB performs in cos it would really be LOL if that happened to be the case!!!

  5. Comment by Cat on February 25, 2010 7:33 pm

    @Ami: Yeah, I used to think that too, but she’s starting to gradually get cuter hairstyles XD
    @ natcaasi: Well, they’re exactly the same concept, only a different group of girls. AKB48 is based on the Akihabara district of Tokyo while SKE48 is based on the Sakae district of Nagoya. Matsui Jurina is the front girl of SKE48

    I think that the good thing of a group as big as the 48 franchise is that there’s an idol who will appeal to you no matter what XD And the 2 Matsuis are a great proof of this, they’re like 2 sides of a coin! Jurina is young, energetic, smiles all the time and wants to win no matter what, while Rena is soft, demure and emotional. I guess everyone can take a pick according to their taste, I love them both. The Matsui vs. Matsui shougi was pretty harsh though. Jurina exposed Rena’s evil side, which was a bit of a low blow, especially considering that Rena’s character is supposed to be the epitome of nice.

    However, Rena sharing the Jurina bed wetting story wasn’t particularly nice either XD… These kittens have claws!

  6. Comment by Kuroki on February 25, 2010 9:52 pm

    I’ve never heard about her till “Majisuka Rock Roll” video dance.

    My impression was “wow she’s pretty, she’s dance, I didn’t see her in Majisuka, googled her, 12? what?, oh well, I can’t deny it, I like her, time flies anyway, she’ll have a great future”

    She’s plays sports and is a very energetic girl.

    So, sorry Sae =D

  7. Comment by choco on February 26, 2010 7:39 am

    Hehe, to be short, she is, for me, enough talented to be center. Or she was born to be a decent idol. XD
    But she is too young somehow. However, the way she enjoyed being in AKB assured me.

  8. Comment by Cat on February 26, 2010 7:20 pm

    ^I think Jurina is very talented too. Totally deserving of her center position. I mean, yeah, she’s not a vocal ace, but she’s good enough to not be off tune, and she’s an incredible dancer. Plus, all the energy! WOW!

  9. Comment by Rika on February 28, 2010 1:30 pm

    ^Plus she likes to kiss cute girls!
    When you have enough age, marry me Jurina!! XD

  10. Comment by Yosh on March 6, 2010 11:15 am

    Man. I’m glad that I started to follow them by now.
    They are such pretty girls. I can’t say the same about the former akb Meetan(?)
    I was watching some old vids. She’s not very pretty :/
    I think she had to do a lot to compensate it.

  11. Comment by Shin on March 7, 2010 12:03 pm

    She’s the best dancer.

  12. Comment by Sakamichi on March 13, 2010 8:35 am

    10.02.10 AKBINGO
    The Matsui x Matsui shoujiki shougi was the best!
    It seems Matsui Rena knows Jurina very well.
    She asked to Jurina “Whenever you see cute members, you want to kiss them?”. It was hilarious.
    If you watch some faces after she lost, you can notice a disgusted Minegishi, Maeda and Kasai smiling and conspiring, and Haruna thinking “Oh no, another Yuko…” ^^
    Yuko is famous to kiss Haruna a lot.

    Poor Jurina ^^

  13. Comment by Cat on March 13, 2010 10:22 pm

    @Yosh: Meetan just has a different type of beauty, she’s sexy pretty not cute pretty like most o fthe other girls 😀

  14. Comment by Yosh on March 15, 2010 8:10 pm

    @Cat: Yeah,I know the feeling, nowadays I think Sayaka is a sexy pretty girl/woman. But the others girls keep calling her monkey, gorilla, etc.

  15. Comment by soiukotoda on March 20, 2010 9:58 am

    After Ikemen AKBINGO. I believe Kasai Tomomi is a least bi.

  16. Comment by Cat on March 21, 2010 12:23 am

    ^Kasai is adorable when she gets all MOE all time XD

  17. Comment by Soho on March 23, 2010 8:35 pm

    ^I luv her moe voice ^^

  18. Comment by netto on March 23, 2010 8:47 pm

    I’ll just put this here
    松井珠理奈ちゃん 大好きですよ。
    元気にしてね!他のメンバーと仲良ししてね!^^

  19. Comment by Soho on April 15, 2010 3:59 pm

    She WON the challenger on AKBINGO!!! AWESOME Juri-chan! <3

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