Team B’s Oku Manami is going to Graduate


Oh man. This is… *sigh*

I’ll try to be as articulate as I possibly can. It has been revealed through AKB48’s official blog that Team B member Oku Manami is going to graduate soon. A date hasn’t been decided yet, but the decision has been made.

Here’s her graduation message, translated by loveandcoffee@stage48

Today I have a sudden announcement.
This time, Oku Manami will graduate from AKB48.
I joined AKB48 when I was 10, and without knowing anything, I’ve always done my best with what I was told to do.
There haven’t only been good things, but I have made myself a lot of good memories.
And more than anything, I have been able to come all the way so far thanks first to Akimoto-sensei, then to all the staff, and especially thanks to the support of my fans.
Being in AKB48 for 5 years I’ve met a lot of people and I’ve been able to experience many things.
Without understanding a thing, I’ve just struggled my way to here but somewhere inside my heart, the desire for the
“student life”
I haven’t been able to experience grew bigger and bigger, and the days I spent worrying “What do I really want to do?” have been really hard.
As I stayed in AKB while feeling so half-hearted I felt guilty towards the people who supported me, and after thinking many times and asking many times for staff’s advice, I decided to graduate in order to pursue my new dream: advance with my studies.
For 5 years, I have given you a lot of hard times and made you worry…
But all the time, I don’t know how to say it, but I’ve always been so thankful to all the people who supported me.
Thank you very much.

I think the last time I will be able to meet you is the April handshake event.
I will announce the details of my graduation as soon as they’ve been decided.
Then, there’s just a little time before my graduation, but please keep supporting me.

okumanami

I… really am at a loss for words right now. I can understand where she is coming from though, she’s been in showbusiness for a long time, and maybe she’s tired of it, and wants to live a normal life. It must be really tough on the old AKB members who have worked hard for so long yet get eclipsed by the new ones. Maachan’s situation was particularly hard that way, because she joined when she was 10 years old! And she held a privileged position in Original Team K as the “little sister” character alongside Ono Erena, who graduated last year.

But then things changed in the group, more young girls joined and the shy Maachan became a bit lost in the crowd. The shuffle apparently worsened things for her, because in the Aki Matsuri concert AKB had she confessed that she’d been considering graduation ever since then.

Despite not being a fan favorite, Akimoto Yasushi always held her in great esteem, he deemed her “His future ace” and he always placed her in Undergirls even though she never managed to hold that position herself. She’s also one of the few AKB members who have released a solo CD “Katatsumuri” however, that wasn’t enough to keep her in the group.

I’m really sad about this because I didn’t see it coming (admittedly, I should have, considering Nakamata Shiori’s sudden promotion…) but I still had hope that Maachan would stick in the group for longer, since she’s been groomed to be an idol ever since she was a little girl!

My original Team K ;_; I have a feeling Kobayashi Kana is next… but I should post about that later… My babies ;_;

Oh well. I wish her the best of luck, and really hope she can move past the idol life into normal-ness just the way she wants to and be happy.

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Also, of note, Kenkyuusei Kanazawa Yuuki decided to leave the group today. Apparently she was injured or something? This is another heart breaking news for me. I loved Yuuchan, she was an amazing performer ;_;

kanazawayuuki



Another Rumor lol


So, there’s yet another rumor in the AKB world lately! via AKB 48 Journal we’ve found out that there’s apparently a new group called JPN48 which is supposedly going to become active in autumn. Here are the members and Teams, with my opinions about all the girls and about the teams in general.

Team J

Maeda Atsuko (Team A)

Kashiwagi Yuki (Team B)

Matsui Rena (Team S)

Takayanagi Akane (Team KII)

Ichikawa Miori (Team Kenkyuusei (KKS))

Kasai Tomomi (Team B)

Yamada Nana (NMB)

Ogasawara Mayu (NMB)

Kizaki Yuria (Team S)

Yokoyama Yui (Team K)

Komori Mika (Team B)

Nitou Moeno (Team K)

Oota Aika (Team A)

Takeuchi Miyu (Team KKS, recently promoted)

Shimazaki Haruka (Team KKS, recently promoted)

Thoughts: This team looks like overkill IMO. Acchan, Takamina, Yukirin AND Matsui Rena? Seriously? Other than their high popularity I think most of these girls are the “cute and pretty” type of idols, but it makes me wonder WTH is Moeno doing in here, since she’s such a badass.

Team P

Watanabe Mayu (Team B)

Itano Tomomi (Team K)

Kitahara Rie (Team B)

Matsui Jurina (Team S)

Mukaida Manatsu (Team KII)

Nakagawa Haruka (Team A)

Shimada Haruka (Team KKS, recently promoted)

Miyazaki Miho (Team B)

Watanabe Miyuki (NMB)

Yoshida Akari (NMB)

Kimoto Kanon (Team E)

Akimoto Sayaka (Team K)

Ishida Anna (Team KII)

Kikuchi Ayaka (Team K)

Kuramochi Asuka (Team A)

Ogiso Shiori (Team KII)

Thoughts: Most of these girls are lolis or loli like except for the glaring exception of Asuka and Sayaka, who really stick out. I… honestly can’t imagine this line up together at all O_O

Team N

Oshima Yuko (Team K)

Kojima Haruna (Team A)

Miyazawa Sae (Team K)

Minegishi Minami (Team K)

Takajou Aki (Team A)

Sashihara Rino (Team A)

Yagami Kumi (Team A)

Mori Anna (Team KKS, recently promoted)

Yamamoto Sayaka (NMB)

Hiramatsu Kanako (Team S)

Yamauchi Suzuran (Team KKS, recently promoted)

Satou Amina (Team B)

Ooya Masana (Team S)

Maeda Ami (Team A)

Kondo Rina (NMB)

Ooba Mina (Team KKS, recently promoted)

Thoughts: lol Most of my favorites are here 😀 Also, Team K frontgirl overload xD I have finally realized that I should stop trying to look for similarities for the girls in each of this groups, because there aren’t many haha.


I have to say I hope this doesn’t happen, it sounds really hectic and I’m sick and tired of the constant shuffles, since I’m a fan of the Team concept, which apparently gets screwed over once and again xD I also think I might not be the only one getting a little tired of the huge amount of changes, I understand that they have to shake things up in order to stay on top, but this is getting out of hand!

Some people think that these groups are only for promotional purposes and for touring. But what songs are they going to perform then? And what the hell is up with the girls who aren’t in this list? That is what strikes me as really weird. I mean, Mariko not being there is understandable because she has a ton of work outside of AKB (and then there’s the graduation rumors that started since 2007 lol) but I can’t understand why girls who aren’t very popular like Maeda Ami (although she gets pushed like crazy) or Kikuchi Ayaka ended up here instead of more popular girls like Sato Sumire. This is just really weird.

If it does end up happening, then well, it wouldn’t be too difficult to believe because AKB is all about stirring things up. I just really want to understand the point of doing something like this in the wake of an announcement like the recent one about Regular and Under team and them performing in the theater more often. My babies are getting overworked like hell x_x I’m not that fond of that either.

Oh well, let’s hope it all works out for the best, there’s nothing else to do than wait and see what happens.



Sakura no Ki ni Narou first day sales!


Hello everybody!

Today I bring good news! AKB48’s latest single Sakura no Ki ni Narou has sold 655,344 on its first day of sales!

That makes it the highest ever first day sales ever since Oricon started tracking first day sales 🙂 An amazing record too!

Obviously I’m super proud of the girls for this achievement, and I hope we can get our second million seller soon ^o^ I preordered all versions (yes, even theater version lol) so I can’t wait until they get here so I can celebrate!

In the mean time, I’ll give you a mini review of the single:

1. Sakura no Ki ni Narou (I’ll become a cherry tree): This is the stereotypical Sakura ballad that AKB releases every year since like 2008. This year, the catch is that the song isn’t sung in the usual AKB style of many girls singing together, but instead they are divided in pairs, trios and there are solo lines for Acchan. This is a minor change, but it already gives it a much different sound from most of AKB’s singles.

The song is a very pretty ballad, and the PV features only Jurina, Acchan, Yuko, Tomochin, Haruna and Takamina. The story is that Jurina was a classmate they had back when they were in school, but she passed away. They have all moved on to their lives, and doing different things, but Jurina has never left them alone and has been watching over them all the time. It’s a very sweet PV and the storyline in very touching. The downside is that we don’t get to see any of the other senbatsu members much :/

2. Guuzen no Juujiro (Crossroad of  Chance)~ Undergirls: The B side is also a typical UG song xD Very upbeat and cute, and reminiscent of Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara and Boku Dake no Value. However, I really love the arrangement on the song, especially the guitar riff makes it stand out quite a bit from the other songs. This song is guaranteed to make you feel good and put a smile on your face 🙂

The PV is amazing because my oshi no. 2 Yokoyama Yui is center 😀 /bias no, just kidding, but it is pretty cute! We see the 3 main girls (Yui, Kimoto Kanon of SKE’s Team E and Lovetan) widing their bikes to school and doing typical school things xD while 3 boys look at them from afar and daydream of them 🙂 it’s very cute! And we get a Togasaki cameo! Along with Meetan xD It’s a very nice PV and song all in all!


3. Kiss Made 100 Mile (100 miles to the Kiss) ~ MINT (A version): So, MINT makes a comeback. Yay? Personally I’m excited since Tomo~mi and Haachan are in my top 5, I like Acchan, Moeno and Sakiko too, but seriously? This was just weird, now I’m wondering if they are going to keep releasing MINT stuff with every single, why not make them debut as a subunit already? Anyway, enough of that. This song is absolutely sweet and girly <3 pure pop too!

The PV features the girls having a reunion party of MINT (I think…) and everyone is wearing costumes and just being happy all through the video. It’s pretty cute, except I want to kill whoever did Sakiko’s make up.


4. Area K ~ DIVA (B version): DIVA is back too! yay! 😀 Only this time they are really fiercing it up! While Nakeru Basho was a beautiful song, I wanted to see DIVA tackle on something more upbeat and rockish, and while I didn’t get rock, Area K is a very nice song! Danceable and stuff 8D Also, the vocals are amazing! As expected from DIVA!

The PV is definitely the best of the single IMO. We watch the DIVA girls all wearing amazing trashy clothes and make up as they arrive a secret club, where they have a dance battle and generally party around with some really weird people xD It’s better than it sounds though, I promise!

5. Ougon Center ~ Team Kenkyuusei (Theater Version): Another change we keep, this time from Chance no Junban, it’s an original song by Team Kenkyuusei in the Theater version! This is pretty cool, since they deserve it after all their hard work, and they are also the ones who keep the theater alive with their performances! This time, their song is pretty amazing xD It’s very… hmmm.. how to say it, funky sounding! Also sounds a bit like an anime opening hehe. It’s a really fun song about how they are working hard in order to become part of a Team one day, and senbatsu and center. And it also includes the mix in the lyrics. Insta-win! 😀

To wrap it up, I’ll leave you guys with a live performance of Sakura no Ki ni Narou Team K version. The catch is: Yui is center! ;_; My baby ;_; she’s so amazing!

Sakura no Ki ni Narou Team K Version

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And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t post Not Yet news, right? 8D

well, their song Shuumatsu not Yet was released on Valentine’s Day in recochoku for download and in 2 days they got the weekly 1# in chaku-uta!!! Congrats girls!

Also,the last time this happened was 5 years ago with EXILE’s “Tada.. Aitakute”

Can’t wait for the release date! 😀



Happy 3rd Anniversary Aitakatta!


Yes, ladies and gentlemen, against all odds, Aitakatta is turning 3 years old this year! I don’t know the exact date, but you know, it’s been 3 years already! Yayness!

kanpai

CHEERS!

A lot has happened during this 3 years, to this blog, to AKB48 and to me xD Looking back, the first thing that comes to my mind is the fact that I need to apologize to all of my readers for my hectic update mode, especially during 2010 and the part of 2011 that has already passed! I’m very sorry, really. I always want to dedicate time to the blog because it’s very important to me, and I don’t have anyone IRL to talk about AKB48 stuff. However, real life gets in the way more often than not. I’m currently studying for the residency exams, and it takes up a lot of my time. I have many half made entries, but I don’t like posting half assed stuff so they’re actually sitting in there waiting until I have time to finish them. Sorry! I’ll try my best to update semi regularly, on behalf of all my readers 😀 I used to do a review of every AKB single as they were released, but since I’m working now, and I’m buying them, I figured I would rather review them when I had the real thing in my hands and could screencap the PV etc. That wasn’t a good idea at all ;_; Shipping things all the way to my country takes at least 15 days, and since I’m poor I have to ship a lot of items together: For example, right now, I’m waiting for my Sakura no Ki ni Narou CDs, which will be shipped on february 16, and will probably get here around March 2nd (note that this is all with me paying for EMS shipping which is supposedly the fastest and most expensive!) and with them, my If and Dear J CDs. You can imagine how ridiculous it is for me to be reviewing CDs that were released 2 months ago! When noone cares anymore! ;_; So yeah, I’ll scrap off that idea for good and try to review singles on the release date 🙂

yuko2190

So yeah! I’m going to keep trying my best to keep this place alive! I also have to apologize for my lack of design skills which has resulted in the blog having the same layout for 3 years *shot* I’ve had problems updating to the latest WordPress version and it won’t let me change it without doing that, so I’ll see how I can fix it. I want a lighter layout tbh…

And of course, A big big thank you to everyone who has read my blog at some point, a special thank you to the people who have commented and to all the wonderful people that have me in their blogrolls! It sounds kinda cliche and overly dramatic, but when I started this blog, back when AKB was really unknown and underground, I never thought I would get over 100.000 visits! It really means a lot to me, thank you, and please continue to support AKB48 and this blog!

oshima

So yeah, with those words already said, I would like to look back a bit to the history of Aitakatta! lol I hate writing punctuation marks on names (like Idoling!!!) yet my own blog has the same problem and I never realized it until now xD Back when I started this blog I was a bit doubtful as to whether anybody would read it or not, because there weren’t many english AKB fanblogs back then. AKB were definitely the underdogs, and I thought since I liked them so much, it would be good to start a blog to talk about how great they were so that people would learn about them and support them too. Right now, with AKB’s rise to fame, there aren’t many people into J-pop who haven’t heard of them, but I still feel like the blog has a place in the net because it’s always nice to share your thoughts with other fans, right? 🙂

yui

So with all of the future ahead, I can only wish the best to AKB48, I hope that they keep being awesome and humble and hard working as they’ve always been. Like the girls have said themselves, they know that popularity is fickle and tomorrow they might find themselves already sliding down the ranks, but I’m sure that they’ll work hard until the very end. I’m proud to be a fan and I’ll do my best to keep supporting them in all I possibly can, and in keeping this blog updated to bring them a bit closer to western fans 🙂 Oh, and in case you didn’t know, the 2 girls in the post are Oshima Yuko and Yokoyama Yui, my favorite members <3 Thanks for being amazing girls! I’m proud to be a fan of you two! 😀

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Only in Aitakatta! Anniversary post + latest news xD

1. Not Yet’s first single Shuumatsu Not Yet covers and tracklists revealed!

notyeta

Type A
1. Shuumatsu Not Yet
2. Hirahira
3. Sunao ni Naritai
4 – 6 Instrumentals

DVD
1. Shuumatsu Not Yet Music clip (中村太洸 監督 ver.)
2. Each girl’s Not Yet (Oshima ver.)
3. Each girl’s Not Yet (Yokoyama ver.)

notyetb

Type B
1. Shuumatsu Not Yet
2. Hirahira
3. Warau ga ii
4-6 Instrumentals

DVD
1. Shuumatsu Not Yet Music Clip (入江 悠 監督 ver.)
2. Short Film
3. Making of
4. Member Interview
5. Each Girl’s Not Yet (Sashihara ver.)
6. Each Girl’s Not Yet (Kitahara Ver.)

notyetc

Type C
1. Shuumatsu Not Yet
2. Hirahira
3. Nakinagara Hohoende (Not Yet version)
4 – 6 Instrumentals

The covers are amazing! I love all of them *____* I also preordered all of them! Gaahhh can’t wait!

2. Nakamata Shiori promoted!

shiorin

I’ll be the first to admit that I know very little about kks, not because I don’t like them or think they’re bad or whatever but because I really don’t have time to keep up with all of these groups xD I’ve already given up SKE, NMB is out of the question and kks, well, I’m trying my best to know more about them, because they are the ones who keep the theater alive and they deserve all the credit in the world because of that. So in my kks research, I met this cutie! She looks a lot like the Showa era idols *___* and like Michishige Sayumi too xD I fell in love with her instantly! And my love for her has only grown as I watched her perform! She’s very hard working and incredibly cute! And also, she’s incredibly smart! She was accepted in the Economics major in Waseda University, one of the top in Japan! Congratulations bb!

Not only that, but it was announced today that she was promoted to the Regular Member subdivision effective today! Wow! Congratulations again! I bet she’s going to be in Team B because she’s super cute!



lolwut?


Hi people! I guess you’ve all read the rumors about member demotions and such… so an official announcement was released by the management of AKB to dispel these rumors and actually reveal what is supposed to be happening this year.

I’ll link you guys to a translation from STAGE48 (scroll down a bit and you will see it xD)

So basically, WHAT? This is all very confusing :/ I still haven’t wrapped my head around it, but it seems like a big deal, and I guess it will be effective since March, when AKB’s new arena concert takes place.

The basic points from my understanding are these:

1. AKB48 is not performing in the theater often anymore.

2. Kks (short for kenkyuusei) and SDN48 are the only groups performing, without many Team A/K/B performances

3. As girls become busier with other works, they have even less time to attend theater shows

4. They want to go back to giving every fan the experience of watching the girls on stage, giving their best effort and being close to the fans (the original Idols you can meet concept)

5. In order to accomplish this, they will create a “Regular Team” which will be formed with members who can attend theater shows more often, in order to reestablish the schedule of theater shows so that it is at least similar to what it used to be

6. The girls who can’t perform in the Theater as much will be part of the “Under Team” and will only perform when they can according to their own schedules.

7. So far kinda good, but here is where it gets tricky: Every current Team (A/K/B) will have a Regular Team made of 16 members and an Under Team. The members who are in each will be chosen from the 72 girls currently in AKB48 (Which means AKB members + kks) with the exception made that kks can’t be part of the Regular Team and can only be in the Under team.

8. Meanwhile, Team Kenkyuusei is still going to keep existing the way it has until now.

Uh… sorry what?

In case you managed to get a better grasp of point 7 please comment and enlighten me x_x So far it’s all speculation, and the vagueness of the way it was worded in japanese makes room for a lot of possibilities, even go as far as “reshuffling” the teams.

Now, how do I feel about all of this?

My first thought was actually rather simple. I figured since senbatsu members are probably the ones who are going to end up as unders, we can see the not so popular girls performing more and more 😀 Happy times!

But then I realized something. That means that newly promoted kks (all of 9th gen) will have to fill in for the senbatsu members, so that they will earn their spot in the unit songs, which means they will be center for all unit songs (because in the latest stages all units are lead by a senbatsu member (except for Sayaka)) while the other more experienced members play second fiddle to them? DO NOT WANT! >:(

Another possibility was hinted to me by someone, who suggested that perhaps the regular members who are already unders for the sembatsu girls will get the center spot in units, while kks get theirs. I’ll explain it better using a real life example because I feel this is getting to be a bit complicated so far: Katayama Haruka is Takahashi Minami’s unit under, they are both from Team A. When Takahashi Minami is absent, a kks will replace her in team songs, but in her unit, Katayama replaces her. Going by this lovely theory, Katayama (if she were to be part of the Regular Team, ofc) would perform Takahashi’s unit in theater songs, instead of the newly promoted kks who replaces Takahashi in group songs. Wow, my head hurts. I hope I made this point clear though.

However, it still doesn’t clear up where exactly do the senbatsu stand anymore regarding Theater stuff. Which makes me very worried, since I like Stages a lot more than I like Singles tbqh. Who is going to be in the CD versions, the senbatsu members who front each unit, or the new members who are part of the regular team? Since stages are designed to be for only 16 girls to perform, what will happen to the leftover girls in the recorded material (DVDs, CDs)?

Some people, on the other hand, are arguing that since Togasaki said that the girls for each team would be picked from the 72 AKB members it means a reshuffle. That would be just… absurd. Not impossible, since AkiP is pretty crazy, but it would be pretty ridiculous. The new teams are barely learning to work together, and to break it all up right now makes it seem so pointless!

I really am quite confused by this recent development, but here is my theory:

1. New Teams will still largely remain the same

2. New Stages won’t appear until 2012 or something 🙁 (meaning that the newly formed “Regular” and “Under” teams will still perform B5, K6, A6)

3. Newly promoted 9th gen kks will take the places of senbatsu members in the Regular Team

4. Undergirls and Theater Girls will be part of the Regular Team

I’ll elaborate further. (remember this is just my speculation, nothing else. 100% product of my brain)

Team A senbatsu members moved to Under Team: Takahashi Minami, Maeda Atsuko, Shinoda Mariko, Kojima Haruna (while Sashihara and Takajo are senbatsu, they aren’t media senbatsu and aren’t absent as often as the other 4)

Team K senbatsu members moved to Under Team: Oshima Yuko, Miyazawa Sae, Itano Tomomi, Minegishi Minami

Team B senbatsu members moved to Under Team: Watanabe Mayu, Kashiwagi Yuki, Kasai Tomomi (Kitahara Rie isn’t media senbatsu either, so I guess she might still be available to become a Regular member? Although with the recent creation of Not Yet, it makes me doubt it)

Would leave the Regular Teams looking like this:

A: Katayama Haruka, Nakagawa Haruka (not sure, since she has Watarirouka Hashiritai), Ota Aika (Again, Warota), Oya Shizuka, Sashihara Rino (not sure, she has Not Yet (lol this sentence)), Takajo Aki (French Kiss, so maybe she’s out?), Iwasa Misaki, Kuramochi Asuka (French Kiss, but not senbatsu, so probably will stay), Nakata Chisato, Matsubara Natsumi, Maeda Ami, Nakaya Sayaka

K: Akimoto Sayaka, Fujie Reina, Yokoyama Yui (in Not Yet, but she isn’t senbatsu so she might be staying), Tanabe Miku, Yonezawa Rumi, Matsui Sakiko, Kikuchi Ayaka (Warota), Nonaka Misato, Nakatsuka Tomomi, Umeda Ayaka, Nito Moeno, Uchida Mayumi

B: Ishida Haruka, Oku Manami, Sato Sumire, Sato Amina, Sato Natsuki, Masuda Yuka, Kobayashi Kana, Chikano Rina, Hirajima Natsumi (Warota), Miyazaki Miho, Komori Mika, Suzuki Mariya.

However, this leaves 12 positions to be covered in each team, while only 8 kks were promoted. Maybe some of the lower senbatsu members will stay as Regulars (Kitahara and Minegishi, perhaps?) and some more kks promotions are on the horizon, since some of them are becoming more popular than some full members (Ichikawa Miori, anyone?)

It’s all speculation. What saddens me though, is that maybe this will work against senbatsu girls performing in the theater even more, since they have now a super official back up plan.

In any way, it wouldn’t be AKB if it didn’t shake up from time to time, so maybe it’s best to just wait till March and see what comes out of this.

EDIT: Togasaki blogged today clarifying basically that the Regular Members will be the most popular girls, and the Unders the less popular. Which makes no logical sense, but taking the hierarchy of AKB into account, was to be expected. So fans are thinking it’s going to be more like a Himawari-gumi type of thing, with the REgular Team made up of the senbatsus regardless of how much they appear in the theater. It’s just a label anyway, but I feel a little less happy because the poor theater girls really can’t get a break! I suppose the recordings of the songs in CD and DVD will end up being the famous girls, and hopefully, if it’s anything like Himawari-gumi, they will also include the Under team. Let’s cross our fingers and hope it’s like that…


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