Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Iwasa Misaki, Television Wasamin on NHK’s Utacon (2018/05/22)

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With your hosts Ogo Tomoko and Tanihara Shosuke

I love going to NHK’s TV show recordings when Wasamin performs. I have been to the NHK Kaiyou Concert a couple of times, as well as Music Japan quite a few years ago (where I saw SKE48, SDN48, Perfume, Kara, Speed, Ikimono Gakari, and NEWS, quite the lineup!) This time Wasamin was performing at Utacon, which is more of a mix of pop and traditional music. Tickets for these shows are usually relatively easy to get via the reseller shops, and they are generally pretty cheap. However, I didn’t have to worry about that this time around since one of the Wasafans had an extra ticket and asked if I wanted to come along. Score-a-rooni!

I had a little bit of trouble arranging when he wanted to meet me at the venue. At first he said 2pm, which I thought was really odd. Then he said 4pm, since according to him the show started at 6pm. Okay, I had nothing else to do on Tuesday except study Kanji, so I headed out to Harajuku and to NHK Hall, where he was waiting for me in front of the venue. I found it curious that it was kinda quiet around the hall, and when I looked at his ticket I saw that the show started at 7:15pm, not 6pm. Doors opened at 6:15pm. Why the heck were we here 2 1/2 hours before doors, and 3 1/2 hours before the show?

It turned out that it was his first NHK Hall show, so I guess he was under the impression the earlier you get there, the better off you are. As someone who has been to multiple NHK Hall shows before, I know from experience that this isn’t the case at all. In fact, the best ticket I ever got was when I showed up right as doors opened, and was far back in the queue. Anyhow, there was a small line already, which steadily got bigger as the hours rolled by. The front queue is under a bunch of trees, which was nice since Tokyo is currently experiencing a small heatwave. I spent most of the time playing Pokemon Go! while patiently waiting for 6pm to roll around. (LOL) Finally, at around 6:10, the queue began to move. We were among the first people to get into the venue. And when staff handed us our tickets, my expectations were realized, we got 3rd floor seats, albeit the first row of the third floor, so we at least had an unobstructed view. But you see? We were there 3 1/2 hours early to get nosebleed seats.

The theme of the show was a celebration of Tokyo in the 70’s and 80’s. So most of the songs would be Tokyo-centric. Among the cast were a few 70’s-80’s idols, and a few younger artists. In addition to Wasamin, the cast included…

E-Girls: who performed YMCA.
Hosokawa Takashi: has been on Kohaku 39 times since the mid-70s, and was in one of the famous Tora-san films. In fact they showed a clip from that movie. (I really want to see some of that film series! If you aren’t familiar, HKT48 did a send-up of it during their Spring Tour a couple years ago, with Akiyoshi playing Tora-san!)
Nagayama Yoko: an idol from the 80’s
Oginome Yoko: another 80’s idol
Miyama Hiroshi: A popular enka singer
Nishida Ai and Mori Konomi: who performed a duet.

There were a few other artists, but these were the most notable. Anyway, the director came out at 7:15 along with a few of his assistants, and they spent the 15 minute pre-show going over how the filming works, as well as a couple of key points where were would expected to do audience participation. We practiced our parts a few times before it was finally 7:30 and time for the show to begin….

I’ll spare you too many non-Wasamin related details. Basically the performers sang a bunch of songs related to Tokyo, inter-cut with video scenes of Tokyo in the 70’s and 80’s and old NHK Utacon clips. The main problem for us Wasafans was that aside from the short opening medley, Wasamin was largely absent for the first 2/3 of the concert. She was sitting in a gallery where the interviews take place, but she wasn’t involved in the conversation.


E-Girls

Probably the most awkward part of the show was the transition into E-Girls 2nd performance. Last week Saiji Hideki, who is well-known for his Japanese version of the Village People’s Y.M.C.A., passed away. They did a retrospective of his live on the VTR. It was extremely touching, and a couple people on stage started to tear up, especially Nagayama Yoko who was crying very hard. This directly transitioned into E-Girls, and going from such a depressing moment into such an upbeat and fun song was quite odd. If you have ever heard Casey Kasem’s infamous rant about a dog death dedication, this is exactly what I am referring to. As a former radio host, I am keenly aware of the importance of smooth transitions. This was quite the opposite.

 

Around 45 minutes or so in, it was finally Wasamin’s turn. What she did was kinda different. She and Fukuda Kohei, another performer, both narrated videos about different locales in Japan. Wasamin was talking about Sadogashima, which led into her performing Sado no Ondeko. They had an ‘Oni’ Taiko Drummer on stage too, which was kinda cool. But it was also kind of odd, since the theme of the show was about Tokyo, and most of the performers sang cover songs. Both Wasamin and Fukuda’s performances just seemed kind of tacked on. As cool as her performance was, I would have loved to hear her do something related to the show theme.


Oginome Yoko

Since it was a television show, it ended exactly on schedule. However, they do a couple more non-TV interviews after the show, and we get a couple more performances. Personally, I wanted to get out of there and have dinner, but we had to sit through the new singles of Nishida Ai, Mori Konomi, and Miyama Hiyoshi before our show actually ended.


Wasamin pulling faces with Nishida Ai

Ultimately it is fun to watch these shows being produced for a live presentation, the way the cameramen, directors, and staff work off-camera while the show is going on is just amazing. Granted, I didn’t enjoy this particular show as much because Wasamin was barely in it, but that won’t stop me from going to see these shows in the future if/when the opportunity presents itself. Anyway, I joined a group of Wasafans at a nearby izakaya for a post-show celebration. It was a long-ass day, and I need some rest.

CK in Tokyo

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Iwasa Misaki, Television Wasamin Singin’ the Oldies…Live on NHK

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Oftentimes it can be an extremely dispiriting endeavor being an AKB48 fan who oshis Wasamin.  Everyday there seems to be something new going on with the group, and rarely…RARELY does Wasamin get to participate.  It’s a good thing she has her solo career.  Even if the majority of 48-group fans pay her no mind since she isn’t one of the “chosen few”, not to mention she sings Enka (da hahrer!), those of us in the know have gotten to witness the blossoming career of a highly talented young singer.  So while you won’t find h front and center at any AKB48 concerts, you WILL find her taking center stage for NHK’s many live concerts.  Wasamin has participated in quite a few of those shows is Summer, even servine as a co-MC for one show.  Misaki-chan has treated us to some incredible performances of some all-time classics.

First up, a duet.  Wasamin sharing the stage with another young Enka talent, 16-year old Sakura Maya.  Together they performed an amzing rendition of the 1955 classic “Suki ga Totte mo Aoi Kara”, originally recorded by Tsugawara Tsuzuko in 1955.

 

Wasamin has mentioned that she grew up with her grandparents living in the same house, and they had a huge influence on her choosing the path of Enka singer.  In any case, I am always impressed whenshe performs a classic selection like that one.  Speaking of classics…

Wasamin and a pack of genki cheerleaders peforming Matsuda Saeiko’s 1981 hit “Natsu no Tobira”

 

Misaki once again showing she can sing in many different styles.  The ripple effect of this performance was that it got me started perusing through Matsuda’s song catalog, and I have found a bunch of songs I am really excited about.  So I will very likely be starting a Matsuda Seiko CD collection sooner than later.  Anyway…

 

This is an older performance, but definitely worth checking out.  Wasamin performing Naoko Ken’s hit song “Abayo” from 1976.  Very pretty song, and Misaki-chan does a great job with it!

 

Of course Wasamin wants to promote her own records.  So here is the latest live performance of her 4th single, “Hatsuzake”

This is why I decided to start blogging about more than my trips. I really don’t think enough people are seeing what progress Wasamin in making in the “real world” of music. Hopefully I will have more performances to show in the near furure. And hopefully these YouTube videos stay up for a while.

 

CK in California

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Concerts, Momoiro Clover, Pop Idols, SDN48, SKE48, Television CK in Japan Days 3-4…A Lot of Major Acts in One Big Place + Momoclo!

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Yes, I am still in Tokyo.  I will be here a couple more days.  I have been so busy and have been up to so much that I really haven’t had time to chronicle my trip like I usually do.  Instead I have been highlighting certain events in the forums.  To give you a quick rundown of events I have attended so far.

One AKB48 Team A Show
SDN48 I have won four shows
Berryz Kobo live at JCB Hall
Momoclo Mini-live and release event at Ishimaru Soft
Music Japan TV Taping with SDN48, SKE48, KARA, Perfume, SPEED, Ikimono Gakari, News, AAA at NHK Hall
SDN48’s Sato Yukari DVD Release Event/Handshake/Autograph/Photo Meeting at Ishimaru Soft
AKB48 Chara-ani Handshake event at Makuhari Messe in Chiba
AKB48’s Umeda Ayaka Tower Girl Appearance at Tokyo Tower

Yep, a lot of stuff!

SDN48 and SKE48 at Music Japan

My friend Miitan scored a ticket to the Music Japan taping on Monday. These shows will be airing over the next couple of weeks. The ticket was for two so he invited me. Not only was SDN48 going to be performing. Not only was SKE48 going to be performing. Yeah, the show already sounded awesome. But throw in a lineup of Perfume, SPEED, KARA, and Ikimono Gakari…This was going to be an incredible show.

So the way they do the seating is by random chance. As you walk in with your ticket they exchange it for a seat. You could be front and center or last row of the balcony. Who knows? So when Miitan and I got our tickets they looked as if they were second row of the 2nd section on the floor….

Only there was no first section, that is where the cameras are. And there is no first row of the second section. So actually we were in the very first row. Not only that, we were directly opposite where the groups sit. So we were literally right in their faces! Miitan and I had the best seats in the entire building.

How bout dem apples?

 

 

Anyhow, the show was lots of fun! I have always wanted to see Perfume live, and I liked SPEED before I had ever heard of AKB48. So seeing these groups was an awesome experience. The best part is we got to interact a little bit with the groups as they often talk and wave to the audience members while other stuff is going on. So when SDN finally came out Meetan noticed me there about 10 seconds after we sat down. I also caught Nonti and Chen’s attention early on. I never really succeeded in getting anyone in SKE to notice me, although I was calling for Akane and Masanya. I don’t have a history with them like I do with SDN. Then again, two big gaijin right up front? I’m sure they ALL noticed Miitan and I at some point. BTW, I DID get A-chan from Perfume to wave at me and smile. Such a neat experience!

 

 

It was fun to see each group perform their upcoming singles. Both SKE and SDN did an amazing job! I was so proud of Meetan because I had read her blog earlier in the day. I knew she was nervous about this appearance, so it made me so happy to be that close to her so she would know I was there to support her. Oh, I forgot to mention how hawt the girls of KARA are up close. SKE was really getting into it when KARA performed too, as were the fans. They had the biggest support of the night for sure!

After tonight I will definitely look into doing this again. It seems like every week Music Japan has a great idol act featured on their show. This one had a bunch!

I believe the first episode that I saw is up on the H!O tracker, so check it out!

Momoiro Clover Live in Akihabara…CD Release Day!

 

This was another event I was really looking forward to.   Awesome show!!! Admission was buying a regular version of the CD. Once we were in, for every ltd. version you bought you got handed the CD and a handshake from the girl of your choice.  Unfortunately there were no 2-shots for this event.  They brought those back for the Thursday and Friday events but unfortunately I had other plans and couldn’t go.

 

It was a typical Momoclo show on a tiny little stage.  I lucked out in the seat lottery and ended up in the first group.  Which meant FRONT ROW BABY!!!  The girls performed two of the three songs from the new single, and did a couple of old faves like Momoiro Punch and one of my favorite covers they do Saikyo Pare Parade!


 

I bought all three versions, and recieved my CDs and bonus photos from Momoka, Shiori and Akari. I was hoping they would remember me from the 1st major single release events, but I don’t think they did. :( But it was still a lot of fun. I was thinking of going back on Friday because I hoped to meet Ayaka again! I wanted to go to her, but like last time I saw Akari all by herself with nobody in front of her and felt badly. And I ended up having the best interaction with her too!

More to come…

CK in Tokyo

AKB48, Television Smart Girl :)

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I am always excited when Wasamin gets a chance to participate on one of AKB48’s television programs.  This week she made an appearance on Shukan AKB, which is fast becoming my favorite AKB show.  And the theme?

 

 

Who is the smartest (and dumbest) girl in the group.  Well…maybe not in the entire group, but from among the 12 members who were present for this episode.  How would Wasamin do?  She was the second youngest one there next to Aamin.  But I have always felt she was mature for her age.  Would that translate into IQ style smarts?

 

 

So maybe the questions aren’t ALL out of the Mensa guidebook.  Some of the puzzles looked like they were straight out of an issue of Highlights.

 

 

The girls working hard, even working up a sweat at times.  But who would end up being in the Top 3???

 

 

Wow, Aamin!  The youngest one there beats quite a few of her senpai.  Could my precious Wasamin have a chance here?

 

 

HELL YES SHE CAN!!!  Hehe, check out the looks of “shock” around her.  192 is quite a nice score.  If this were a real IQ test that would put her somewhere in the neighborhood of Bobby Fischer and Steven Hawking.  But somehow I can’t imagine those guys finding objects in pictures or drawing birds.

 

 

I always knew Wasamin was smart.  But wow, almost top of the class!  Misaki-chan, you never cease to impress me!

 

 

And the winner was Kitarie.  But only by ONE POINT!!!  That is one point I’m sure Wasamin could have gotten if she wasn’t distracted by Komorin’s constant cheating.  Speaking of Komori, how did my 2nd AKB oshi fare on this day?  Would she really come in last place???

 

 

Oh well.  I guess my theory about Mikapon being an eccentric genius just went flying out the window.  To be fair I honestly don’t think Komori is dumb, she is just kinda slow and painfully indecisive.  And since there were strict time limits to this test it didn’t really play to her strengths…

 

 

I’m sure if Komori had about…errr, five hours or so she could have found all the objects in the picture.  But that is why I think she’s great.  Mikapon simply looks at the world in a completely different way from the rest of us.

 

 

Wasamin demonstrates how her brain feels after spending the day with Mikapon.  Was that something about her head being caught in a vice? 

 

 

Now go sit in the corner Bakagirl!!!

CK in California

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NMB48, Television The Thrill of Victory, and the Agony of Defeat…

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The human drama of Idol Competition.  This is Star Hime Sagashi Taro, AKA the NMB48 Audition!!!

So for those of you who watched the first episode, raise your hand if you thought it was great…(CK sees many hands in the air)  Yep, I thought so.  It stars the dynamic SKE duo of Jurina and Rena.  But to me the real stars were the girls auditioning.  Oh, and Yamachan as a reporter is pretty funny too.

Like most everyone else, I have picked my favorites, but I was more intrigued by the girls who didn’t get in.  I really felt bad seeing the disappointed looks on so many young girls faces.  I dunno, it just really affected me.  Especially this one…

I’ll be the first to say that she really isn’t idol material.  But I don’t think anyone in the room was more disappointed than her.  I wanted to jump in the TV, give her a big hug and tell her it would all be okay.  Here are more looks of anguish and despair…

Awww, so many broken hearts.  🙁  They’re all so cute.  While I’m at it, how did the next two girls not make it in.  I think this first one is just drop dead adorable.  She has such a cute smile and pretty eyes.  She is just my type! (hehe)

Then there’s good ole’ “glasses-chan”.  That girl has idol written all over her!  How did she not make it to the next round???  I know I’m not the only person who feels that way.  Perhaps if there is enough scuttlebutt around the web she can get a reprieve.  Hey, it has happened before.  Anyway, here are my Top 5 girls from the 105 selected to the next round…

#5: 33/106  The sister of current SKE48 member Saito Makiko.  It may be Jurina’s enthusiasm over her that has me hooked, but I would love to see her make it

#4 105/105  The last girl in the introductions did a cute little bit about Kansai-ben.  It was just so “idol-like” and cute.  She makes me laugh, she gets my vote.

#3: 27/105  The former member of H!P Kansai, Nakayama Nana reminds me of a more mature version of C-ute’s Nakajima Saki.  Already a proven idol (well, sort of)  Her experience would be a great asset.

#2: 83/105  To me she was the cutest of the bunch by far!  What a pretty smile.  She has to be a shoe in to win this audition.  Let’s pray she has at least some singing ability.  And my favorite girl has to be…

#1: 88/105  Awesome voice!  This girl is the second coming of Sato Amina!  She even looks a little bit like her (check the smile)  If she wins she becomes the frontrunner to be my NMB oshi!

That is if my true favorites, the two rejects don’t somehow make it back in.  There had to be a reason why they were so prominently featured in the first episode.  I want to see these girls again sooo much!

C’mon AkiP, you can make it happen!

CK in California


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AKB48, Television For Wasamin FAIL = WIN

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In a special episode of Shukan AKB this week, the girls participated in a Team Jump-roping Challenge.  In the first round we had Team A going up against Team K.  All was well for Team A.  They managed to jump over 60 times without failing in the 2nd round.  But then came the final round…

Everyone jumps high into the air, except the girl on the far left.  Who the…errr

***

Oh no, WASAMIN!!!!!!!!!!

***

Ya know, Misaki is sooooo cute!  She gets so overwhelmed at times, like she doesn’t know whether to “shit or go camping”.  She had almost the same reaction when the girls reacted to her getting into Ogipro at the Yokohama concert.  Luckily her teammates were there to comfort her in her “moment of humiliation”.

Oh Wasamin, I know things looked bleak at that moment.  But this is precisely the kind of stuff she needs to have happen in order to gain popularity within AKB48.  In other words, she needs to screw up and be laughed at once in a while.  Look at what it has done for Mikapon.

The golden rule here is Crying Idols Win Hearts! So keep screwing up Wasamin.  Make mistakes.  Cry.  CRY YOUR EYES OUT!!!  Yes, cry your way to the top baby!

***

Although those words probably seem sort of empty when you are watching the other Team pass you for the win.  Oh well.

CK in California

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AKB48, Television My Favorite Little “Carrot”

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In these “glory” days of AKB48, “pushing” by the management is really the only way a member’s popularity is going to grow.  A recent survey revealed that a great majority of AKB48 fans have never been to the theater or seen the group live.  What does that tell us?  Quite simply, their only exposure to the girls is through the PVs and various television shows.  So how do you get noticed?  I guess you could be involved in a scandal, although that might have a “reverse effect”.  The best way is to get featured on shows like Shukan AKB, Nemousu TV and AKBingo!

Bingo?  Is it on now??? (sorry, inside joke.  don’t mind me)  So why am I so happy this week?  Because the end of this week’s episode of AKBingo! just happened to feature Wasamin!!!!!

While Jurina was holding fort down in Nagoya, Misaki-chan sneaked into the studio and donned the infamous “carrot costume”.  Better still, Jurina’s position is usually right next to Acchan.  Wasamin not only got to make an appearance, she was a front-girl!!!

Baby steps, I guess.  It’s going to take a lot more appearances to push Wasamin properly, but this is a start.  By the way, she was adorable as usual.  The fact that she failed to make Senbatsu or Undergirls this year was quite disappointing.  But it wasn’t surprising.  A great many of AKB’s fans still don’t know who Wasamin is.

She is too talented to waste away in the background.  Although I am beginning to think AKS might be holding her back on purpose.  After all, she IS still one of the youngest members, and she has yet to debut as a full-fledged Team A member.  But again, management saw her as strong enough to be put in the carrot suit, and that’s really saying something, isn’t it?

So congratulations to Wasamin, I am looking forward to your next appearance!

CK in California

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AKB48, Television The Majisuka Gakuen Awards (Ep. 7-12)

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Life happens.  Or so I told myself when I kept procrastinating my writeups of AKB48’s awesome drama series.  Then I went to Japan, and the series drew to it’s completion.  So at this point it would be silly to recommence the series.  So instead I will “complete” it with a few highlights and notable moments from the final five episodes.  As I wait for the DVD Box to be released, here are some of my favorite scenes…

—–

The “This Series Should Be on Blu-Ray” Award goes to…

Matsui Rena and Maeda Atsuko for their “revealing” kicking moves during episode 7.  Actually, Rena deserves an award for the most disturbing character of the entire series (if you don’t count Kiken the school nurse)

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The “I Knew She Was a Rocker at Heart” award goes to…

Shinoda Mariko’s school uniform design revealed in episode 11 couldn’t have been inspired by anything other than the Grateful Dead’s “Uncle Sam Skeleton” logo from their 74′ tour.  Not to mention the “skull and roses” motif, which is also a Grateful Dead trademark.  Mariko gave us a glimpse into her taste when she wore a Rolling Stones tour shirt for the 2009 calendar.  But the thought of her hanging outside Shoreline Pavilion with a “I Need a Miracle” sign is just too funny.

I want to go to a rock concert with Mariko!

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The “Mirror Image?” award goes to…

Acchan and Mariko for the final blow in episode 11.  Most people know Acchan is left-handed.  So why did both of them choose to throw their weak hands for the big punch?  (We lefties notice these things 😉 )

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The “I Feel Totally Gypped” award goes to…

Meetan for only getting a blurred reaction shot in the final scene.  C’mon!  They couldn’t focus on her for a half second?  At least it’s better than what Wasamin got, which was a mention in the credits.  I am still looking for her cameo!

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The “Nod to Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy award goes to…

Maeda’s dad, for always serving food which seem to gross Acchan out.  Actually, that’s not completely fair, as I thought most of the meals looked quite tasty, unlike the dinners from the inspector’s wife in Hitchcock’s film.  However I enjoyed Maeda’s reactions when meals were served.

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The “WTF?  I Don’t Get It!” award goes to…

Miichan, for her inexplicable breakdown during the graduation ceremony in Ep. 12.  Perhaps that moment was designed to redeem Kiken the nurse into a caring guy after all.  But at the end of the day I feel the same way as Daruma…I just don’t get it!

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The “Most Awkward Hug in TV History” Award goes to…

Daruma, for her impromptu intervention when Acchan can’t seem to get the proverbial “blood off of her hands”.  It is actually a sweet scene, but I couldn’t help but snicker at Atsuko’s lifeless reaction to the entire situation!

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The “She Looks Hawt With That Hairdo” award goes do…

Maeda, for the long curly locks she sported during the flashback scenes.  The whole time I kept thinking “she should wear her hair like that all the time!”  It was too bad that she was either crying or covered in bruises in every flashback.

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The “Product Placement” award goes to…

This shameless plug for AKB48’s upcoming single Ponytail to Sushu (aka Ponytail and Scrunchie)  I wonder if they had that planned from the beginning?  The episode aired the day after the single announcement, but the “mystery bracelets” had been part of the show’s plot since January.  Perhaps the song title was inspired when the scene was filmed?

—–

And finally…

The “Most Awesome Character of the Entire Show” award goes to…

Mukuchi, played by the adorably dopey Komori Mika!  No, she wasn’t the star of the show.  And no, she didn’t have that many lines (hehe).  But I simply giggle every time I see this girl on screen.  There is just something intriguing about her personality that I can’t figure out.  Is she an airhead?  Or perhaps an eccentric genius?  All I know is Komori is awesome!

Don’t question it.  Team Hormone didn’t!

CK in California


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AKB48, Television Somebody Call Allen Funt! (Majisuka Gakuen Ep. 7)

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Things are about to get spooky up in here!

***

But first let’s talk about the budding friendship between our anti-hero Maeda and the enigmatic Yuko-senpai.  Yuko goads Maeda into ditching the hospital for a little outdoor fun.  While doing so Yuko attempts to learn what makes Maeda tick.  At the same time Maeda learns a little more about herself.

On the surface it would seem Yuko is merely trying to be friendly and helpful.  She sees this pretty girl all wrapped up in a shell, and she wants to open her up a little.  Make her smile.  Which by the way isn’t the easiest exercise for her either.

The tough but caring Sado overhears the bad news that Yuko is a bit worse off than she originally thought.  Watching this scene, and this entire episode for that matter gives us a few clues on how this is all going to turn out.  But hang on a sec…

Not to go on an unrelated tangent, but I hated Takoyaki the first time I tried it in Japan!  Just hated it, and I got an upset stomach too.  I hated the consistency, and they seemed to disintegrated in my chopsticks.  So why do those Octopus Balls look so round and firm?  Maybe I got a bad batch the first time around.  Most of my friends in Tokyo think so, and they promised to take me for good Takoyaki when I return next month.  Anyhow, sorry for that interruption.  Back to the story…

By the way, it was nice to have the four “shadows” of Rappappa make an appearance.  And they had lines too!  Poor Tanamin gets tortured by Sado.  She was just trying to be nice 🙁

Sado is less than pleased that Yuko is out gallivanting around town in her condition.  Yuko feels her displeasure right across the face.  However it doesn’t take long for Yuko to get there was something more serious than general frustration behind that slap.

Oh yeah, we almost forgot about “Black” and her magical Crucifix didn’t we?  Daruma certainly didn’t, and she has a little plan.  Yes, it’s time to redeem a few past characters…

Nachu has herself a crew!  When I saw this my jaw hit the floor, for it dawned on me how this series might end.  And no, I’m not talking about Yuko versus Maeda here.  In fact the more those two hang out together, the less likely that’s going to happen, at least as the climax to the series.

Like with all good WWE wrestling scripts, the good guys have to take a little bit of a beating before finally winning the match.  And Black’s ninja-like moves are proving to be too much to overcome.  If only they could….

GET THE FRIGGIN’ CRUCIFIX!!!

Damn that was awesome!  Yukirin got “smoked” by Sae and Tomo!  Nachu throws in her patented headbutt move for good measure.  Yep, everyone’s favorite sidekick is beginning to own her power!

Did somebody say symbolism?

***

To quote the immortal Billie Thomas, “Fried Chicken for everybody!”.  Yatta!  Seeing everyone getting along even brings a tiny smile to Acchan’s face! (hence the Allen Funt reference, get it?)

In my reviews of the first six episodes I have drawn comparisons to quite a few gang and crime films.  And watching this installment reminded me of an old film called “The Wanderers”, which was about a bunch of New York City High School Gangs circa 1963.  It was a typical coming of age, high school rivalry type of story.  But by the end of the film all the gangs in school team up to take on an even bigger threat.

Like the above touching Yuko-Sado flashback scene, now we have olive branches being extended all over Majisuka Academy, while Yabakune lies in wait on the outside with their little “Mayuyu-mole” doing their dirty work.  Who’d have thought that Nachu would be the one to bring everyone together???

But before we get there we’ll have to deal with the insanity also known as Gekikara!

CK in California


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AKB48, Television “They Shot Sonny on the Causeway…He’s Dead” (Majisuka Gakuen Ep. 6)

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I can draw quite a few comparisons to famous old “gang style” films.  In fact the 7th episode really brings to mind one in particular.  But watching Rappappa’s resident hothead Shibuya take her starring turn at challenging Maeda, the famous character who comes to mind is Santino Corleone.

Yes, Don-Yuko is the leader of the gang, but she’s in hospital with the cool and reserved Sado (Michael Corleone?) standing guard.  So then who is Enzo the Baker?  Maybe he’s the effeminate character in the hospital?

It turns out Daruma has a past with Shibuya.  She didn’t realize this when she got her butt kicked in episode one?  (Nachu must be portraying the “Fredo” character)  In any case, she leaves a note for her new “Hormone Buddies” to take care of Maeda while she goes off to train…

Hahahaha.  Someone forgot to cue Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”.  Nachu’s training sequence could have been the funniest thing so far to happen in this series if it wasn’t for another little part of the story…

Kuumin!!!

Shibuya sends her flighty little soldier off to find Maeda for the big challenge.  By the way, I love the entire sequence with Dancu and her kawaii gang.  They even threw a token ganguro into the mix! 🙂

Oh no, Tessio…errr, I mean Mayuyu is weaving her evil spell over Tomochin now!  Ya know…she is clever and cunning, but I think it’s a given she is going to get her her butt handed to her before all is said and done.

Nachu accepts Shibuya’s challenge in Maeda’s place.  It’s time for Daruma to exorcise a few demons in her past, which is a theme that is going to carry over into episode 7.  Shibuya is none too happy about the turn of events, but she accepts the challenge as sort of an “appetizer” to the main course.  Which means it’s time for yet another Daruma ass-kicking…

By Daruma’s own admission she isn’t much of a fighter.  But you can’t say that she is unable to take a punch.  No matter how hard she falls, she is always ready to get back up and fight another round.  Which brings us to Maeda.  Where has she been for half the episode???

She’s been off taking life lessons from Don-Yuko at the hospital.  By now Yuko knows who Maeda really is, and she is obviously intrigued by her.  We still aren’t sure why, but all will revealed in time.  As a result Maeda is off to rescue her newly acknowledged friend.  And in so she cannot avoid Shibuya’s challenge.  This is perfect!!!  Maeda has a new move she wants to try out…

Wait for it…

HEADBUTT…GOODNIGHT NOW!!!

“That’s a Sicilian Message…Shibuya sleeps with the fishes.” Oh yeah, doesn’t she look cute when she’s unconscious?  I half expected Maeda to kick her in the face while she laid there.

To the victors go the spoils…and of course the victory wings!!!  Maeda gets another life lesson about true friendship 🙂

You could call it an “ass-kicking of love”  Daruma was certainly touched.

CK in California


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