performances


When most people think of AKB48, I’m sure it’s the front girls that come to mind. If you’re unfamiliar with the group and have only hear one or two of their songs, seen a few promotional things of them out there (a PV, a commercial, whatever it may be), there are probably a few girls that you might be able to picture. The first one that comes to mind is probably Maeda Atsuko, AKB48’s prized daughter. You’d probably also know Takahashi Minami, another front girl in the group. All the rest is up for grabs. A particular girl might’ve caught your eye in a PV and you may have looked up her name– say, Kojima Haruna, Oshima Yuko, Oshima Mai, or Shinoda Mariko. All get pretty consistent screen time in the PVs. All depends on your preferences, anyway. Maybe you’ve checked out Aitakatta! An AKB48 Blog to learn more about some of the girls. You could’ve gone a few paths from there– became an AKB48 of varying degrees, or, you know, were just content with the knowledge you’d gained about the group as it was and became a casual listener, or even forgot about AKB48 for the most part.

I could spend about a week straight just blogging about all the girls and I’d still probably have more to say, so I’m going to really focus in on one aspect of AKB48 that most people overlook right now. Even among fans– lots of people know Teams A and K, but Team B remains a bit of a mystery. You see their pictures, you hear the occasional fan talk about their favorite Team B members, you may have spotted a Team B member in a PV! But for the most part, Team B remains very misunderstood. A good portion of AKB48 fans know and have come to love Team B, but it’s just not enough in my eyes. So I’m going to try my hand at correcting that. Why? Because they deserve it, simply enough! Too many assumptions are made about this Team because people are too focused on the other two teams. Now, I’m not saying that you all should just give up your favorites and love Team B forever and ever, but just give them a chance! I definitely have favorites on Teams A and K myself and think they’re both wonderful parts of AKB48– the group, quite literally, wouldn’t be the same without them. Each team has their merits, each team has their own style. Even Team B. It’s called AKB48, not AKandthoseotherpeople48.

Disclaimer: I just want to note that this entry is lengthy. This was on purpose. Don’t feel bad about skimming the entry or just reading one or two profiles. If you want to read the whole thing, you’ve definitely got my admiration! But my whole purpose here was just getting out as much information as possible about these underloved girls in hopes of them getting a bit more attention in the fan world. But seriously, even if you just learn about one or two members, I’d be thrilled! 

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No, really. What’s so special about Buono? The question is 100% genuine– not to be taken in a sarcastic way at all, and it’s something that I’ve been trying to figure out for a while now.

When the formation of Buono! was announced back in the summer, I rolled my eyes in exasperation. Just what Hello! Project needed– even more Airi, Momoko, and Miyabi. Because we hadn’t seen or heard enough of them, of course. When I heard about the Athena & Robikerottsu unit, I had a very different reaction. That was a step in the right direction, I thought. Taking Risa, who has continually been overshadowed in Morning Musume, Aika, and Nakajima Saki and Okai Chisato from C-ute and throwing them together for a super-cute unit. This was the way to go about it– put a few of the lesser-known (and newer, in one case) girls in H!P with a more well-known, deserving member of H!P, and you’ll have success. Throwing Miyabi, Momoko, and Airi together into an anime-based unit seemed as redundant as a regular H!P single. These three girls have constantly gotten leading roles in their individual groups or Berryz Koubou and C-ute Suzuki Airi ft. the Rest of C-ute. Buono was neither new nor exciting. And on a more personal level, I didn’t particularly like any of them. Miyabi was the highest on my list out of the three of them, but she wasn’t enough to save the group for me. I just wasn’t interested.

But here I am, months later and loving Buono, without any explicable reason whatsoever.

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The Limited Edition A (with DVD) version of Onna ni Sachi Are finally arrived in the mail today as a belated birthday present (thanks, Dad!), and while I’ve been listening to the song for a while now, I figured it’s never too late for a review, seeing as this song just rocks beyond belief!

This was a fantastic song overall, and a great one for the two new Chinese members to debut on. I actually wasn’t too much of a fan of the song at first, I have to admit, but when the PV preview was released, I was completely hooked. The reasons may sound stupid, but honestly, those gold outfits, the gold set, that awesome dance finally made me fall in love with the song. The dance, especially, made me appreciate the dance beat so much more– that bass makes the song so damn catchy. In particular, I really think it was Risa’s solo line combined with that beat that got me completely hooked; her voice works with the beat in a way that none of the others do. Not that Takahashi isn’t an amazing singer or that any of the girls don’t blend particularly well with the song– it was just really Risa’s voice that finally pulled me in. That and Junjun.

It took me quite a long time to like Junjun, I have to admit. When Junjun and Linlin had appeared on Hello Morning when it was first announced they’d be entering the group, Junjun didn’t impress me very much. In contrast to Linlin, she seemed so lost and emotionless there, while Linlin was there with this awesome, “… NO WAI.” expression on her face. That and having seen Linlin’s photos from when she was sent in as an undercover Egg made me much, much more impressed with Linlin.

It was really up until the Onna ni Sachi Are PV preview that Junjun was never on my favorites list. When I finally saw her in action, though, everything changed. There was just that something about her that caught my eye. From her first close-up with Junjun, I found myself watching for her specifically throughout the whole PV. After having seen the whole PV, she and Risa impressed me the most; those two were able to pull off the silent ‘baka’s best, and just owned in general. Hands down, Junjun was stunning in that PV. While there’s been a lot of complaints throughout the fandom about their overwhelmingly gold outfits, I loved it, and Junjun’s look was just perfect for it. Not to sound corny or anything, but in that PV, Junjun really inspired me. Her entire attitude was amazing, and really– I felt the need to write about the kind of character she was portraying. I enjoy fiction-writing as a hobby, and I’d had a story in the making in my head for a while now, and after seeing Junjun, I felt inspired to go out and start on that story and, of course, incorporate a noble-yet-badass Junjun character into the story.

After that PV, I just fell completely for Junjun. She’s worked her way up so high on my Morning Musume favorites list now. Before that, she was second from least favorite, and now she and Aika are tied for my number one favorite. I’ve completely realized the errors of my past thoughts and accepted Junjun as one awesome MM member.

And Onna ni Sachi Are, like I mentioned before, worked its way up, too. I’d gone from being pretty disappointed with the single to having it become one of my favorite MM songs ever. I’ve been following all of the performances of the song, and I have to say that the Music Fighter performance is my favorite of them all. That performance alone deserves a few comments. Here’s a Youtube upload of it if you haven’t seen it yet:

As much as I like the girl, I have to admit that Koharu can be a bit rough singing live. Honestly, I’ve always loved the “bad singers” of the group, so I never really have minded her live voice– in fact, I can’t stand it when they have one or two members lip-synch when the others are live. But out of all the performances I’ve seen, her voice sounds best in this one.

I also want to draw some attention to Aika here. She’s improved so much since she first entered the group. I can still remember the girl who had a lot of trouble dancing back during the auditions, and how she didn’t have the best live voice when they first let her sing in Egao YES Nude and everything, but look at her go now! Her voice has improved a LOT. Just listen to her “namida wa misenai…” line there– she sounds fantastic! And her dancing is right up there with all of the other girl’s, too! I’m going to have to be a bit of a cornball here again, but, I’m so proud of her! Since I only got into Momusu recently, Aika has been the only member (not quite counting Junjun and Linlin since they didn’t enter MM the traditional way) I’ve really been able to follow from the start. I was rooting for her during the early phases of the auditions, so I was absolutely ECSTATIC when she got in! And the progress she’s made is just awesome. You go, girl!

A few other comments on that performance– Risa is also just plain awesome. She puts her all into her performances, and it shows. And for a bit of lulz, watch for Reina’s “high kick” during the dance break. Sayumi totally owns that kick, Eri does a great job with it too, but Reina…. I’m a little worried for Koharu. Whose idea was it to let the shortest member of the group do a high kick over one of the taller members’s head?! In comparison to Eri and Sayumi there, Reina doesn’t do a too spectacular job of it. All I’ve gotta say is, take cover, Koharu, just in case that happens again! Taking a hit of that heel to the face would NOT be pretty!

Well anyway, here’s hoping that Morning Musume’s next single is as awesome as Onna ni Sachi Are was, and, well, go 8th gen!