Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Concerts, Iwasa Misaki, News Iwasa Misaki Monthly Challenge Campaign at Shinseido Kurachi 5, Kashiwa (Chiba Pref.) 2017/05/02

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Iwasa Misaki Monthly Challenge Campaign at Shinseido Kurachi 5, Kashiwa (Chiba Pref.) 2017/05/02

Yes, it is time for Wasamin’s monthly challenge campaign. This is the event she has been doing for like a year now, and this doubled as a Pre-order event for her upcoming concert DVD, which is releasing in two weeks.

I got to the venue around 40 minutes before the event started, and was immediately greeted by another Kaigai fan. He is from France, and has been a Wasafan for around five years. But I don’t remember his name. :( Anyway, I decided that since I had brought along my Wasamin Happi-coat, I would spring for a Blu-Ray preorder, which included a Shamekai and bromide. Here is the setlist…

Setlist 13:00
1. Hatsuzake
2. Yume Shibai (originally by Umezawa Tomio, 1982)
3. Blue Light Yokohama
4. Saba Kaido

Per usual, it was a pretty big crowd at the venue, which is actually held in plain site of a popular shopping street near Kashiwa Station, so it gets a lot of passers-by. A few fans commented that Wasamin’s challenge selection of Yume Shibai was only the second time she had chosen a song that was originally recorded by a male performer. However, it has been previously covered by Naoko Ken and Misora Hibari. Wasamin did her general promotion during the MC’s, including her TV Shows, Upcoming Summer Concert, and her play in Osaka (which I still haven’t purchased a ticket for) However, she again lamented that hardly anyone wears their Happi-coat to events. She counted seven total in the audience, including me. However one person was actually wearing a yellow Watarirouka Hashiritai Happi [hehe]After the performance it was time for the meet and greet. DVD/Blu-Ray got you a Shamekai, Saba Kaido single purchase got a handshake. When it was my turn, she immediately acknowledged that I w wearing my Wasa-Happi. “Happi, Happi, I’m Happy!”


Wasamin tugging on my Happi-coat

After the photo I told her that I finally won a show after such a long time. She was like “Wow, I didn’t know it had been so long since you won! Did you see Mariyanu’s graduation?” I told her no, but that I did see Mariyannu the week before. That was my one ticket, I hung around until the lane ran out, which was like 45 minutes later. Fans kept asking me if I was going to the Wasamin events in Obama this week. However, I am going to skip it. In the meantime, one of the Wasamin “heavy hitters” had a bunch of extra prizes from the Saba Kaido promotion. Last night he sent me a PM asking me which of the prizes I got. I told him I had two pens, plus the tote bag, but I didn’t get the Tumbler. So today he brought me this!


Saba Kaido Tumbler FTW!

And finally one more announcement. Wasamin’s FOURTH CONCERT has been decided. It will be held September 23rd at Inzai Bunka Hall in Chiba Prefecture. Right now pre-order has started for the fan club. I don’t know when regular sales will start. However, Regular Sales for her 3rd concert series in July begin next week. So for people who are coming to Japan in July, here is the chance to see a great show.

Next up for me this weekend.  HKT48 Handshake event at Makuhari Messe on Saturday, followed by a Nagara Pro Concert doubleheader on Sunday in Shinjuku.  First up, Minyo Girls for the matinee, followed by Wasamin’s ‘Love Live’ acoustic concert.

CK in Tokyo

AKB48, News Thirty-Three

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Introducing Team Next Girls’ starting Center…Third year out of Chiba State…Number 33….

WASAMIN!!!!!!!!

I know I said that I usually don’t get excited about the Senbatsu election.  Worried would be a much better description.  I know how hard Wasamin tries, and how down she gets on herself when she doesn’t bring home a victory for her fans.

Last year they showed a few scenes from the election on one of the DVD extras, and in one particular moment they flashed by Wasamin.  She was looking down, completely dejected.  I knew then for sure, how important this was to her.  And then there was her blog post the morning of the election.  At the end of her post she mentioned how hard it would be for her to bring home another apology for everyone.

http://ameblo.jp/misaki-iwasa/entry-11270012758.html#main

You all know how much I care for her, and that post just broke my heart.  It was at that moment that I felt every bit of pain she has been feeling from all the times she has been passed over for Senbatsu.  All of the times she had failed in the Janken.  Just once she wanted to come back with a trophy in her hand.  An acknowledgement that she has been doing a great job.  She wanted to share a victory with us…just this once.

I spoke to my “Team Wasamin” connection last week.  She indeed told me there was a plan.  Wasafans had a strategy.  The goal was to get her not only into a ranked position, but in the Top 40.  I was hopeful, but fearful at the same time.  Sure we had a plan, but then again so do a lot of the girls’ fans.

So after a whirlwind week for myself.  One where I had won tickets to the election, then had to give them up.  I decided to muscle up and go without sleep last night.  Like many of you, I was ready for the all-nighter.  I would stay up at least as long as it took to see her placed.  To me it didn’t matter where.  I just wanted her name called…

I wanted her to be able to stand on that stage with her trophy.  That was all.

As 64 turned to 60, and 59 turned to 50.  My hopefulness began turning to fear.  I was seeing girls who were previously higher ranked taking their spots on the stage.  The closer we got to 40 I knew the possibility of Wasamin’s heart being crushed yet again was becoming a likely reality.  My head would raise every time I heard “Team A” called by the MC, then be disappointed by the fact it wasn’t her.  As #40 passed my fear turned to frustration.  How much more does this girl have to do to prove she is a worthy member of AKB48???

And then came #33.

Despite my utter exhaustion, Every possible positive emotion came rushing through my body.  All I could think of was the relief Wasamin must have been feeling at that moment.  Her dream came true!  And you know what, all of those previous disappointments must have made this victory even more special for her.  The Center of Next Girls, one spot from Undergirls.  Tht is an amazing jump!  And the victory became even sweeter when she posted this adorable photo.  Look at that smile!

I see that photo and wonder if that is the happiest moment of her life.  Certainly it must be one of them.  It makes me feel so good to see her that way.  And of course she spent most of her recent blog posts repeatedly thanking us, her fans, for making this possible for her…

No Wasamin, Thank YOU!

As one of my friends so eloquently said.  It was the least we could do after all of the joy you have given us.  You are amazing, and we love you!

Way to go Center Girl!

CK in California

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AKB48, News, SDN48 CK in Japan Spring 2012…Riding Out the Storm

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So it isn’t like these trips I take never run into the occasional hitch.  The good news was that I had managed to win a Team K show for Tuesday night.  For those of you who pay attention to the goings on around AKB, you know how hard it is to win shows these days.  But a huge storm decided to hit hit Tokyo today, causing much of the city to shut down early.  That includes the AKB48 Theater.  So my win just turned into nothing.  According to the email I received there will be some sort of “compensation”, but I have no idea what that will look like.  (Update: looks like the compensation is an “automatic win” next week.  I hope it works, I leave next week.  So I basically have one opportunity)

And I was so excited to cheer for Moeno and Yui too!  Anyway…

Since I am basically riding out the storm in my hotel, I will post about a few things happening while I am here.  Beginning with this…

The answer to a question I posed on this blog was answered recently by the announcement of this event, and the announcement that Hatakeyama Chisaki, along with SDN48’s Mitsui Hiromi are forming a singing duo called ChaMin.  Unfortunately I wasn’t lucky enough to win a ticket to Chaki’s event tomorrow night.  But I still might head over there to buy goods.  She has a few cute little items for sale.  And one never knows, maybe I can weasel my way in.  I doubt it, but you never know, right?

What’s that?  Takamina announcing the stations for the Yamanote Line?  If you haven’t heard, one of the trains on the Yamanote inner loop (at least it was inner loop when I rode it) is completely adorned with AKB48 decor as a promotion for one of the local conbinis.  Forgive the crappy camerawork as it was basically the first time I was using it and I didn’t realize I was holding the camera sideways.  I will try to get better footage later this week.

Finally, a nice little report on that great SDN concert from last weekend.  I cannot wait for it to come out on DVD!

I am playing the rest of the week by ear, leading up to the big upcoming weekend.  I have a lot of handshake tickets, and one other little event in store.  One thing is for sure, I will defimitely be making an ass out of myself in front of many idols…

and what’s wrong with that?  As long as they remember me.

CK in Tokyo

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AKB48, News A Special Day to Kick-off a Big Week!

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Okay, enough about scandals.  No more news to bring us down.  At least not this week.  Some of us have been looking forward to this moment for quite a while, and I will not have any nonsense steal the thunder from this momentous occasion.  The new release I have been anticipating is finally upon us.  Fittingly, it is coming out the same week as….

WASAMIN’S 17TH BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, has it been this long?  When I first noticed Wasamin beaming on the AKB48 stage, she had just turned 14 years old.  So much has happened in these last three years.  I can vividly remember every interaction I have had with Misaki.  All the handshake events, high-touches, 2-shots, performances.  Just watching her grow as an idol and singing talent has been a total treat.

And she has had so much going on for her over the past 12 months.  From Watarirouka Hashiritai 7, her recruitment to Nagara Pro, an Ameba blog, and now her upcoming Enka debut.  I am so proud of her.  I couldn’t be happier with how well she is doing.

So a big Happy Birthday to my darling Wasamin!  I just know with her new Enka direction, 2012 is going to be the best Wasa-year ever!  I can’t wait to congratulate her in person.  Less than 9 weeks away!

Oh yeah, and please buy her CD.  It comes out tomorrow!!!

CK in California

(p.s. thanks to Wasamin for posting some adorable tanjoubi pics on her new Google+ page)

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AKB48, News The Universe Has it’s Own Little Way of Thinning the Herd

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Here we go again.  Oh boy!  Another year, more scandals.  And this particular scandal may be the biggest one to hit AKB48 since the poster debacle from 3-4 years ago.  Of course, the English-speaking fanbase has no shortage of opinions when it comes to idols and dating.  I have enjoyed stalking the various forums to see what everyone has to say on the matter.  Surprisingly, I find myself agreeing with what a lot of people have to say.

That doesn’t usually happen!  Normally I find myself thinking quite a few of the various inhabitants of Stage48, Ebi48, Nihongogo and elsewhere are a bunch of nimrods.  But like many others, I think the idea of idols and dating (people other than ourselves) causes much conflict between our hearts and minds.  So let’s break this down, shall we?

I will start by revisiting my own history.  When I first started liking this idol stuff, it wasn’t because I heard a song I really liked.  In fact, music had very little to do with it.  I was a “Hard Rock” kinda guy.  Metalhead, Longhair.  You know the type.  So no, it wasn’t about the music.  It was about “who are these adorable girls I am seeing on YouTube?  I wanna watch more of the cute singing girls.”

Well…maybe I didn’t say it quite like that.  I am not mentally challenged…

errr…

The point is that my initial attraction to idols had to do with the presentation of the product.  If someone had handed me an idol CD, I may or may not have found the music listenable, and I would have moved on.  What I was attracted to was the idol image.  I thought the girls were adorable, and I wanted to see more.  I wanted to learn everything about them.  Of course I did find quite a few songs I truly enjoyed as well.  So I bought in.  I believe that it is this image that truly makes the idol industry what it is.  Far more than the music itself.  Idols are created for us to listen to, be entertained by, root for, and fall in love with.  Everybody involved is keenly aware of this, and the entire idol industry is marketed based on it.

So falling in love with idols…this is where it gets tricky.  Because many of us are guilty of “falling in love” with the idols we follow.  Now does that mean we really think that our love is going to be reciprocated, and that we are going to eventually have a personal, romantic, or sexual relationship with these girls?  For most of us, we know the truth.  We are aware that in reality our relationship is simply “idol to idol fan” and nothing more.  But we have bought into the idol fantasy world.  And to be honest, it’s a fun world to inhabit.  We love to be a part of their success.  We love being there to support them.  We will gladly fork over boatloads of ducats for another piece of our favorite idols.  We know it will make them happy, so in a way it is how the idol fan shows his/her love.  By helping the girls achieve their dreams and contributing to their financial success.

Anyway, the reason I point all of this out is because I don’t think I am alone in feeling this way.  In fact, I think most idol fans have similar thoughts and feelings.  We know conceptually what we have invested ourselves into, even if our hearts love living in the fantasy.

I am as guilty of it as anybody.  I want Wasamin to become more popular so she can be a success.  And on one hand, I am happy when I see more fans noticing her.  I want her to win, and I know that she wants to be loved by many fans.  But I must admit when I go to handshake events there is a part of me thinking “Who are all of these assholes invading MY Wasamin line???  Don’t they know that she is MY oshimen???”  Sure I feel silly when these thoughts creep into my mind.  But the thoughts are there.

So when an idol gets into trouble for not acting idol-like, it isn’t because what they did was so scandalous.  C’mon…Hanging out with boys?  Teen romance?  Sexual experimentation?  Even underage smoking and drinking.  This is what young people do.  I did it, and I am guessing most of you did it (or currently do it) too.  The problem is that idols are part of a fantasy industry.  And when their cover is blown it destroys that fantasy…period!  It doesn’t make the girl a slut, or a yankii, or a troublemaker, or even a bad person.  But the girl’s image in our mind is changed forever.

It is interesting that I say all this when among my favorite idols are Ohori Megumi, Tanaka Reina and Yazawa Erika.  The irony is that they are all idols that walk a very fine line when it comes to their sexuality.  However, as close to that line that they may be, they have NEVER crossed it.  At least not in the public eye.  So as much as I know that Meetan is an experienced sexual being, she has always held back enough to keep the fantasy going.  It is one thing for her to act perverted and tease us with her blog posts.  It would be another thing if she posted about her romantic dinner with her new boyfriend, and “yada yada yada” how tired she was the next morning. (hehe)

Or what if Wasamin blogged about some cute guy in her class who took her to the movies on Saturday night?  Is that the type of info I want to hear from my fantasy idol?  Honestly it would sting a bit to hear that, even if I know conceptually that an idol’s personal life is really none of my business.  In the case of AKB48, I don’t think their “idols you can meet” concept would be possible without these kinds of rules.  Even if it did, there is no way their popularity could reach the level of insanity it currently enjoys.

BTW, it’s not like this image is universal either.  There are plenty of performing artists that don’t prescribe to it.  Some of them even idols.  I’m sure you have heard of Ebisu Muscats.  SDN48 even alluded to their sexuality.  Then there’s that other group, OFA21.  Aren’t they idols you can……

But then you have to wonder how popular an idol act could become without this fantasy intact.  There is no way these groups would be followed so religiously by their hardcore fans.  Loyalty between idol and fan, as artificial as it may be, is a two-way street.

Anyhow, back to Yonechan and Nacchan, who are the reason this post is being written.  At the end of the day really just feel sad for them.  I believe they have made a big mistake.  And I believe there should be ramifications for their actions.  Do I think an idol “death penalty” is warranted?  Not necessarily.  But I get why maintaining the idol image is so important in the industry, and how breaking it is such a serious matter.  I am sure at this moment they both feel absolutely horrible, and I am sure many tears have been shed.  That makes me sad.  For so long they have been great idols, and this unceremonious firing errr…”retirement” doesn’t seem like a fitting end for all great things they have done for the last few years.  They deserve better, even if they broke the cardinal rule of being an idol.

But that doesn’t mean that I disagree with the rules.  I completely understand why the policies are in place, and cannot imagine the idol world without them.  In fact when it comes to AKB48, it seems to be the only way to get rid of these girls!  AKB was supposed to be a stepping stone, not a destination.  But the girls are having far too much fun, and nobody wants to leave the AkiParty!  So if this is the way we make room for the trainees to advance, oh well.

CK in California

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News, SDN48 Is There a “Right Way” to Disband an Idol Act?

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A friend of mine posed that question to me yesterday morning.  It’s a good question.  All things must come to an end eventually, right?  When it comes to SDN48, is this “graduation” a premature move by AkiP?  Or is this precisely the right time.  Would it have been better to say they are graduating tomorrow?  Or is the 6 month farewell a more fitting ending?

I suppose the proverbial “writing on the wall” was there, but most of us didn’t see it.  And why would we?  The mass-graduation of an entire unit is an unprecedented event in the world of XXX48, even if it isn’t unprecedented in the history of AkiP.  But here we are, and the announcement has been made.  In less than six months the SDN48 unit that I love enough to call my favorite of all the “48” acts will be no more.

Or will they?

There have been tons cryptic comments coming from management, and the girls themselves.  We have seen phrases like “The members will be embarking on “A New Stage” in their careers.  New Stage, eh?  Even a casual AKB fan can see the double-meaning in that statement.  We have also been told that the details will be explained on the upcoming episode of Suppon no Onnatachi 2.  Details?  The initial announcement was pretty clear.  So I can’t imagine what details could make this announcement any easier to swallow.  Could it be that management is effing with us???

Lord knows, but I am sure all will be revealed in time.  Once again, this is just part of being an idol fan.  So how do I feel about this recent turn of events?  I have probably seen SDN48 live more than any other Western fan, and my love of Ohori Megumi has been well documented on this blog.  Despite all that, I am not sure how I feel about it.

On one hand, I am sad.  Of course I am!  I am sad because I always looked forward to seeing SDN during my many trips to Japan.  With AKB48’s growing popularity, there was always a good chance I would win at least of couple of SDN shows, even if I got shut out on the core teams.  In a way SDN48 was a sanctuary from all the AKB-craziness.

Not to mention the camaraderie I had developed with my fellow SDN fans.  We knew from the start that ours was an underdog team.  And while the masses pushed and shoved their way into every Team A, K and B show on the schedule, we knew we were experiencing the “best kept secret” at the theater.  We were not obsessed with the loli factor.  We had abandoned the illusion of idol chastity.  Not that it was all about the “sex” factor.  We related to these women on a more equal level because they were our peers.  We saw them for what they really were, adults.  Psychologically it freed the girls up to be themselves onstage.  At least I feel it did.  As a result every SDN show felt more like a party where everyone was involved and having fun.  The fans and the idols alike.  We were all partying together.

What about the girls?  Especially my favorite members?  Will this be the last time I get to say hello to Meetan?  Shake hands with Chaki?  Tell my favorite members how much I support them and am cheering them on?  I don’t know.  Maybe, maybe not.  But I will miss the opportunity I had to do that because it is an important part of the AKB experience.  I know on some level it sounds silly.  They are idols, and I am just one of many fans.  But when it comes to SDN, they have always been underdogs, and I think they really did appreciate the fans who came to see them.  I have been to many AKB-related events, and have shaken hands with many idols.  There is no better feeling than when you feel your support is being truly appreciated and even reciprocated.  Most of my favorite idols hold that position because I got that they appreciated me as much as I appreciated them.

So yeah, I am going to miss all that.  I am worried too.  Worried about what the future might hold for these girls…

Let’s face it, most of the members of SDN have turned the corner when it comes to being an idol.  In fact, that was part of the graduation announcement.  It is time for these women to begin realizing their dreams.  As far as AkiP is concerned, if that dream was merely to be in SDN it just wasn’t good enough.  He wants them to dream bigger, reach higher, go for the brass ring (and any other “ganbatte” phrase)

As for Meetan, she is much closer to 30 than 20.  I also realize that she is MUCH more talented as an actress than a singer.  AKB gave her a wonderful foundation.  Now it is time for her to fully spread her acting wings.  So far she has been doing a pretty good job.  She has acted in multiple stage productions, and she has appeared regularly on television.  She also has a damn good talent agency behind her in Horipro.  In a sense you could argue that being in SDN is holding her back.  The silver lining when it comes to “My Precious Tan”?  I feel confident she has the tools to have a fruitful post-AKB career.

When it comes to Chaki, I am not sure since I honestly don’t know what her future goals are.  She was a young gravure idol who sang in a small group pre-SDN.  She is a very good singer, and an even better dancer.  But is that the direction she wants to go in life?  I guess we will find out in due time.  I absolutely adore Chaki, and will truly miss her if I can’t see her anymore.

My guess is that we will see some of the girls acting, modeling, singing and “laughing it up” on variety shows (Hello Nachu!)  But sadly, for many of the members this will probably be the end of the line for them in show business.

So is this the “right time” to be graduating SDN?  I don’t know that I am qualified to make that call.  In the five years I have been an idol fan I have always said “trust the process”.  I don’t see this turn of events as being any different, even if it does involve a group I hold dear to my heart.  AkiP has chosen this moment for a reason.  Only he and the people close to him know what that reason is.  Although I doubt it was merely because “he doesn’t have time for SDN” as many have speculated.  This guy farts out idol units and concepts.  So it isn’t about time  And it isn’t about a lack of success either.  A failure???  Really?

To nobody’s surprise, this announcement brings out the self-titled experts who have deemed SDN to be a huge failure.  Per usual, most of these experts have never been within 5000 miles of the Donki.  They have never seen a show.  They have never met the girls.  They certainly have never been behind the scenes.  So how are they a failure?  Did AkiP call them that?  I don’t remember that blog post.  Was there an expectation that wasn’t met?  How do you know?  I don’t care how smart you think you are.  Unless you are part of AKB’s think-tank, you don’t know shit.  So thank you for your two-penny opinion.  Now stop talking out of your ass!

From where I am standing, the girls did exactly what they were asked to do when it came to SDN.  They worked hard, they put on a great show 2-3 nights a week at the AKB48 Theater.  They sold out every show, not to mention the fact that their tickets became harder and harder to win as time passed.   They put up respectable sales numbers for their singles.  They connected with their fans in a major way.  AND…they never had any scandals.  I fail to see the failure in that.  If there was some sort of goal that wasn’t being met, we as fans weren’t made aware of it.

There is obviously a lot more to be told in this story, and SDN’s management will reveal it in time.  We can all speculate about the future of the current members and the future of SDN48 as a brand.  But at the end of the day we are all just guessing.  In the meantime I plan on enjoying the group for at least another 5 1/2 months.  After that, we’ll see.

I will be heading to Tokyo next month for AKB48’s big handshake event, and I have plenty of Meetan, Chaki, Chen, Nachu and Akiko tickets.  So I will get to tell them how I feel in person.  Not to mention this farewell concert being planned.  I am definitely putting that on my calendar.

CK in California

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News Finally!!! The Historical Moment We Have All Been Waiting For

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Last Sunday was shaping up like many others.  Quiet, lazy, a chance to enjoy myself before I set out to tackle the week ahead.  But then the news broke…the amazing story that I have been waiting for what seems like years to hear…

And there was rejoicing in the streets, as life from this point forward would be forever changed by the amazing news we were all treated to that night…

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Yes!!!  Wasamin has finally gotten an Ameba Blog!!!

http://ameblo.jp/misaki-iwasa/

Finally we can all follow the amazing awesomeness that must be Wasamin’s daily life.  Never again will I be wondering what Misaki-chan is up to, since she will be happily posting her daily experiences, amusing anecdotes, and cute observations.  Plus, I am sure many of her posts will contain stories about her good buddy Mikapon. 🙂

Yes, just another reason to keep me glued to my PC screen 24/7. Yatta!!!  Congrats Wasamin!

CK in California


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AKB48, News, Watarirouka Hashirtai Watarirouka Hashiritai Becomes Awesome!!!

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Okay, admittedly I wrote that post title with a bit of “tongue-in-cheek”.  I have always liked “Lolirouka”, although I didn’t like their last couple of singles as much as the early stuff.  The funny thing is I have never big a big fan of ANY of the girls in the unit.  However, as a group I think they are really cute.  And now…

 

What was four, and became five is now SEVEN!  And I couldn’t be any happier since the two newest members of WH are none other than my two favorite AKB members, Iwasa Misaki and Komori Mika.  I had been hoping for this ever since the two were added to the unit’s radio show.  It was like “what’s the point?  Are they 1/2 members or something?”  Perhaps it was a test to see how the girls would mesh together, I don’t know.  What I do know is that Wasamin and Miporin have arrived, and I am ecstatic!!!

 

By the way, I cannot wait for this DVD to hit my doorstep!!!

Of course I can always rely on my fellow fans to pipe in with a million opinions.  And of course idol fans react to change about the same way I react to a colonoscopy.  Everyone whining about this somehow ruining a “perfect formation” and poor Komorin is being pushed by AkiP beyond her capabilities and talent.

 

Ya know what?  Komori is a lot more talented than people give her credit for.  Oh and something else…Wasamin blows the doors off of all of them “singing-wise”.  They are both Super-Kawaii too, so as far as I’m concerned they are both a perfect fit for the group.

I’ll even take it a step further, they should have gotten their OWN UNIT!!!!  How about that???

Everyone loves to “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” every move AkiP and AKB Management makes, which is why Stage48 has 10 pages of two-penny opinions every time a news story breaks.  I learned long ago that being an AKB48 fan is like a rollercoaster ride.  We are riding the ride, not steering the coaster.  Even with all the high and low moments we experience, you gotta admit it’s a fun adventure.  Why not just enjoy all the ways AkiP keeps things interesting?

So after reading countless blogs criticizing this move (with the exception of Aigon, high-five buddy!)  I for one have become a bigger fan of Watarirouka as a result of the change and will be pre-ordering the single.  BAM!!!

 

And Go Wasamin!!!!!!!!

CK in California

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AKB48, Concerts, News What Beats Rock? Nothin’ Beats Rock!!!

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AKB48 makes the absurd announcement that their 19th single Senbatsu will be decided by a super-sized Jan-ken tournament.  The group sells out Nippon Budokan for the event.  And the show gets massive media coverage, including guest appearances from major Japanese personalities like John Kabira and Antonio Inoki

I think it’s safe to say that AkiP has the golden touch right about now.  And for those of you who think this single won’t be as popular with a lack of regular frontgirls?  The interest in this event alone is enough to prove that theory wrong.  I guaran-friggin-tee it will be as great as any other single AKB48 has put out. 

 

 

Since I didn’t have to work the next day, I made the decision to stay up and watch the event unfold live via five Twitter pages, Stage48 (which I abandoned early on) and the Stage48 IRC.  I considered heading over to Nihongogo, but figured their thread would be as insanely hard to follow as Stage48’s.  I am sincerely thankful I pulled the all-nighter as you could feel the excitement and anticipation even in the chats.  But I can only imagine how awesome it was to actually be there.  Here are the results for anyone (translated-no one) who hasn’t seen them already.  Your Top 16 Senbatsu for the 19th Single…

 

01) UCHIDA MAYUMI
02) Ishida Haruka
03) Kojima Haruna
04) Nakagawa Haruka
05) Maeda Ami
06) Sato Sumire
07) Sato Natsuki
08) Takajo Aki
09) Nakatsuka Tomomi
10) Kuramochi Asuka
11) Kobayashi Kana
12) Tanabe Miku
———————
13) Kasai Tomomi
14) Matsui Sakiko
15) Maeda Atsuko
16) Chikano Rina

 

 

 

Then AkiP walked out with Jurina and Rena and said “I present to you the 18 members of the 19th Single Senbatsu”.  Hehe, JUST KIDDING!  Actually that isn’t my joke, it was one of the funniest lines I read on any of the chats last night!  But I don’t remember who said it 🙁  Actually MY first thoughts were WHAT A CUTE LITTLE TEAM!  I love the fact that so many of these members are relatively new to being Senbatsu.  That said, the fact that a couple regulars like Acchan, Tomo-mi and Kojiharu made it is a good thing as it puts the AKB48 stamp on the product.  As far as the rest of the members are concerned, I hate to use the term “deserving” because all the girls deserve as much praise and success that is heaped upon them.  But I was especially excited to see Nacchi, Tanamin, Kana and Chikarina as the four of them have languished in the background of AKB for a long time now.  And then there’s Uchida…

 

 

 

This girl almost made a career of being a Research Student.  And now this?  Wow, that is soooo awesome, and so out of left field considering you NEVER heard Mayumi’s name in any preliminary event conversations.  It also exposed all the N00bs who immediately shouted “WHO?” at the announcement.  Shut up and listen for a change, N00bs!

 

My Favorite Things About the Tourney

Watching so many of the media darlings get knocked out in the first two rounds.  Not that I don’t like those members.  I just love watching the front-running wota get kicked in the proverbial balls once in a while.  So yeah, when the likes of Yuko, Mayu, Mariko, Sayaka and Takamina lost their matches a big smile crept across my face.  Hehe, Sorry.  (NOT!)

 

 

Harukyan almost making it all the way to #1.  Aw man, just missed!  But it was awesome that Haru “did it” all the way to #2.  She was almost as big of a Cinderella Story as Uchida.  And she IS one of my Top 5 faves.  I can’t wait to congratulate her at the upcoming handshake events.

 

What Didn’t I like?

 

 

Watching 5 of my Top 7 members getting knocked out early.  I was obviously rooting for Wasamin, who is my AKB48 Oshi.  T__T  I hope she isn’t taking the loss too hard.  She is still one of the youngest members of AKB48, and I know her time will come sooner than later.  Same goes for Komorin, who is already making inroads toward Senbatsu.

 

 

 

But I feel especially bad for Haachan, and to a slightly lesser extent Nakayan.  Haachan has always been considered one of the most overlooked, under-appreciated and underutilized members in AKB history.  But even with a Bye into the 2nd round she couldn’t get it done.  Oh well, looks like another appearance in the Undergirls for Haachan.  Unless I’m mistaken, she has been in every UG single, hasn’t she?

 

 

 

At the end of the day, this event far surpassed any expectations I had.  And I am filled with excitement not only for this 19th single, but the 18th single which comes out next month.  The new PV previewed at the show, and rumor has it that the video is a gorefest…Wicked!

I guess that answers the question I posed after the Heavy Rotation single.  “Where do they go from here?”  Hehehe

 

CK in California
(p.s., thanks to all who contributed to making the event a blast for the rest of us.  Especially Shattering, you are awesome!)

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AKB48, News The Team Ogi Mosaic…Where’s CK???

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Similar to the promotion done by S/mileage last Spring, Ogipro has invited fans to become part of a poster mosaic for AKB48’s “Team Ogi”.  And they have made it extremely easy to take part.  You can simply submit your photo online…

Team Ogi’s Photo Entry Page

Apparently the poster will eventually be made for sale, but I’m not sure where…yet.  I read that Amazon.jp has it, which is not my usual buy site.  Anyway, I had noticed that the deadline was coming up, so I decided to submit a photo earlier today.  A few hours later it showed up on the poster.  I won’t tell you where.  My only hint is that I am NOT on the headshot of my favorite member.  Oh, and about that deadline.  According to the Team Ogi site, they just extended it to September 21st at 9:59 jst.  So as of this writing you have a little less then two days to get your photo in.  So hurry!!!  First field is to upload the pic, the 2nd field is for your email address.

See the updated photo here

And don’t forget to copy down your confirmation number.  It is the key to finding your pic after it gets added to the poster.  Have fun!

CK in California

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