Archive for November, 2009

N + Shorts!?
November 30, 2009

Finally!  Himawari-gumi Stage 2’s encore costumes are some of my favorites because they are very mix-and-match-able.  There are a bunch of different tops, bottoms, and sleeves to choose from, as well as one-pieces.  Natsuki has always worn the most conservative, but in a ‘recent’ LOD, it’s shown that now she gets to wear the one that her substitute Komatani Hitomi got to wear!  That means short shorts!

And we’re back to low resolution…
November 21, 2009

I’m in love with a new company: Verbatim
November 16, 2009

Thank you for the pictures, Verbatim and Nacchi!  Newly released pictures from this site.

NACCHI HAS A NEW T-SHIRT!
November 13, 2009

And I sent it to her.

OHMYGODs

 

The original FC Blog picture, and t-shirt information below…

(more…)

My Thoughts on the Team Shuffle
November 13, 2009

I was thinking about the New Teams the other day, and I have a few theories that I’m using to summarize my thoughts on the shuffles.

Team A

Front Girl Theory:
Maeda Atsuko, Shinoda Mariko, Kojima Haruna, Takahashi Minami

The new Teams have an obvious pattern within their line-ups.  One is that the most popular girls stay on their own Teams.  Four Team A girls stayed for various reasons.  First off, Acchan is Team A.  They can’t change that.  Mariko is often more popular than Acchan, and she was petitioned into Team A.  Again, if some girls are going to stay on the Team, she’s one of them.  Harunyan was the voice of AKB for a short time, but now she’s just super popular and a major part of Team A’s history, and lastly Takamina is the captain of the New Team A and all of AKB48.  She’s a natural choice for leadership positions and another big component of the original Team.  These girls have all cemented themselves in senbatsu line-ups and won’t change for the world.

Pushed Girl Theory:
Takajo Aki

The second part of my Front Girl Theory include girls AKS is pushing constantly.  Aki was the only one who managed to remain on her first Team.  I believe that they must have given up on putting Fujie in as the new Acchan and now they’re working on Takajo as she has had a much better reception from fans.

New Team Theme Theory:
Nakata Chisato

The second half of my New Team Theory involves the general concept of the Team.  From the looks of which girls were selected for Team A, they’re continuing the tradition of Team A representing the classic idol group.  In this way, the feel of the New Team A is built around Chiichan.  She’s lovely and beautiful with a nice voice and figure to match.  She’s in many ways the perfect idol, albeit a tad quiet.  I think this new Team will have similar characteristics.

Lower Senbatsu Theme Shuffle:
Kuramochi Asuka, Katayama Haruka

The only somewhat popular girls that were moved to Team A are Mocchi and Haachan.  Both have wonderful, deep voices and along with Takamina, Mariko, and Sasshi, these two will probably be the power behind the lines that all the girls sing.  To fit my theory, these two match Chiichan’s image, and my idea of the new Team A: pretty in every sense of the word.

Correct Team Shuffle:
Matsubara Natsumi, Nakaya Sayaka, Oya Shizuka, Maeda Ami

The filler girls: Natsumi, Nakayan, Shiichan, and Ami also fit the new image.  Natsumi and Nakayan are just like the Chiichan model.  Shiichan doesn’t fit well with the other girls, but I feel this is the right Team for her since she’s been stuck as an RS forever and Team A has always been the most famous third of AKB.  Ishida and Uchida are also old RS, but they’ve had a bit more opportunity in my opinion.  On the other hand, this is the perfect fit for Ami, as she’s being pushed almost as much as Aki at some points.  On a Team with so many major members, girls that get pushed are very lucky.

Wrong Team:
Sashihara Rino, Oota Aika, Nakagawa Haruka, Iwasa Misaki

Some choices are just weird.  Sasshi does not fit with the other girls at all.  She’s totally Team K.  She could easily fill up Natsuki’s position as a strong member in songs and an important part of MCs.  Aika should have stayed in Team B.  She was beginning to get extra popularity there, and I’m sure if she was left there she’d get more spots to shine.  She would also fit my perception of Team B pretty well.  Harugon could be stuck back on Team B or on Team K.  Like Sasshi, she just doesn’t mix with the others well.  And Iwasa is too fierce for Team A.  She needs Team K.  Quickly.

Team K

Front Girl Theory:
Oshima Yuko, Ono Erena, Miyazawa Sae, Akimoto Sayaka

These four are from the two sides of Team K.  Since it’s conception, Team K has always been split between cute songs and cool songs.  Korin doesn’t completely subscribe to either of these genres, but she’s kind of the most popular member from the Team, so in this theory, she has to stay.  If she were to be shuffled, she’d definitely be Team A, as she’s the perfect mirror for Takamina.  Erena represents the adorable side of the old Team K.  She’s also really popular, so she’s stuck here, even though she might not fit the image quite right.  If one were to pick out the members are the epitomy of the original Team K, Erena would be the cute side, Sayaka would be the cool side, and Sae would be the versitile one.  Sayaka is hardcore and unbelievably talented, though she’s been shafted when it comes to senbatsu in the past.  Sae brings the energy and spirit of Team K.  While she doesn’t embody the core characteristics of the Team, as she seems more Team B-like, the other members work as a foil for her and she fits in quite well.

New Team Theme Theory:
Umeda Ayaka

Continuing my idea that the only unpopular girl that gets to stay in her original Team is the one that sets the mood of the New Team, Umeda gives off the fierce part of Team K’s aura.  Though she could fit pretty well with the new Team A, her dancing keeps her in her first Team.  In my theory, this means that the new Team K will focus much less on vocals, but put more attention into their dancing and presence: two things that Umeda is good at.

Lower Senbatsu Theme Shuffle:
Itano Tomomi, Minegishi Minami

Despite the fact that the front girls stayed in their original Teams, these two were moved.  Yes, they fit the new dance-y Team K perfectly, but their popularity, especially Itano’s, would make me think that they wouldn’t be shuffled.  Miichan, though, I’m aware has definitely lost some popularity over the years.  Anyway, these two work into the possible fierce image of the new Team K perfectly.

Correct Team Shuffle:
Yonezawa Rumi, Kikuchi Ayaka, Fujie Reina, Tanabe Miku, Matsui Sakiko, Uchida Mayumi

These girls all are great choices for the New Team.  Rumi’s always been a great dancer and vocalist.  She could fit the New Team A, but is fine here, too.  Kikuchi’s first unit was hardcore, and from fan recordings, she definitely rocked it, so this is good for her.  I’ve seen more of Fujie in her cooler roles, despite her rise to (short-lived) fame due to her cuteness as Mayu’s under, so Team K is a good decision.  Tanamin is… Tanamin.  And Tanamin is fierce.  So… yeah.  Got that one right.  Sakiko and Uchi are both very versitile, but I like them more in cool songs, so I feel they’ll do well in this coming Stage, even though they’ll probably just be in the background for most of it.

Wrong Team:
Nito Moeno, Nakatsuka Tomomi, Nonaka Misato

Moeno is obviously Team A.  She just isn’t in-your-face enough for this New Team K.  She’s perfect for the New Team A, though.  I still haven’t cared about Chris enough to have feelings about where she should have been placed.  I think either of the other Teams would be better than the power-house of this New Team.  And Nonaka is supposed to be Team A.  She should have been placed in Team A a long time ago since she’s been fairly regularly performing an RS position in a unit for so long.

Team B

Front Girl Theory:
Watanabe Mayu, Kashiwagi Yuki

Team B has always had very few representatives in senbatsu.  Mayu’s always been there, and Kikuchi was important for a while, too.  When she left, Kashiwagi took over.  In the beginning of Team B, I believe that the leaders were these two, Kikuchi, and CinDy, but these two are the current important members.  And they’re still on Team B, unlike those other two.

New Team Theme Theory:
Hirajima Natsumi

Nacchan was on Team A for a while, then transfered to Team B when it started up.  As said by nearly everyone, Nacchan is crack.  She is energetic and fun and entertaining.  She is essentially what I think they were aiming for originally for Team B.  Now that they are honing in on specific themes, I think that’s what the New Team B will be like.  Get ready.

Lower Senbatsu Theme Shuffle:
Kasai Tomomi, Miyazaki Miho, Sato Amina

Tomomi-chan getting thrown off Team K is crazy.  She’s popular enough that it shouldn’t have been an issue, so she’s almost sort of proof as to why I think they’re going for certain Team-by-Team images.  She’s too cute for the New Team K.  Miho and Amina, I think, are too energetic for the New Team A.  Here, I think they can prosper under a similarly interesting enviroment.  This also frees them from the shadows of the ever-popular original Team A front girls, as none of them transfered to Team B.

Correct Team Shuffle:
Kobayashi Kana, Chikano Rina, Masuda Yuka, Oku Manami, Sato Natsuki

These Team K girls are generally very adaptable when it comes to performances.  Kana was at one point a real front girl, and now that this shuffle has taken place, she may take a similar position again where instead of just leading unit songs (which she has in many Team K Stages), she may help lead the Team.  Rina was brand new to Team K when she was switched over to the New Team B, but she, similar to Fujie, can carry out any type of song.  Now, I think she’ll focus more on her cute side.  It might not seem like Yuka could fit here, but I think it makes sense.  She’s always been used when a deeper voice is needed, so she’s usually in hardcore songs.  In Team K songs that have a cuter twist, you can tell that she’s versitile enough to pull them off, too.  I think they want to start pushing her again, but this time show off how good her voice is in any song they put her in, not just the ones that were made for her.  Like Chris, I can’t say much about Oku.  She isn’t really energetic enough to be in Team B, but she doesn’t fit the others either, so I think they just threw her in the New Team B.  Finally, much like Yuka, Natsuki does well in most any song, and while they aren’t really taking a chance on her push-wise, since she’s been in a whole range of songs since her popularity peaked two years ago, I think they’re going to use her fun side to their advantage.  And the fact that they need someone to talk a lot in MCs and that she’s good at that helps, too.

Wrong Team:
Kitahara Rie, Ishida Haruka, Komori Mika, Sato Sumire

I don’t pay enough attention to Kitarie to really give thought to her, but keeping her on Team A or switching her to the New Team K makes more sense than putting her here.  Her ownly original unit points to Team B, but I don’t think it showcases her all that well.  Similar to anyone that should be on Team K, Ishida is just too fierce to not be on the New Team K.  I don’t care that she’s cute and energetic: she’s needed where she’s needed.  Komori doesn’t have enough fun to be on this Team.  She would fit with Ami on Team A.  And Sumire is too pretty for the New Team B.  She’s also supposed to be on the New Team A.  I’m not saying that no one on this Team is as pretty as her, but I’m saying that’s her only definable quality, and that’s part of the Chiichan model.

 

So yeah, those are my feelings on this new arrangement.  I’m excited for the new Stages, and I hope they start a little earlier than their currently expected to (K6 in December, A6 and B5 next year).

Infinity and the Navy
November 9, 2009

Itoshiki Natsuki
November 9, 2009

From Budokan… (YouTube will probably take this down. Credit to the uploader.)

Backstage at Infinity! (And more…)
November 4, 2009

The Airstream Passes by Natsuki! (‘Hikouki Gumo’ PV Captures)
November 3, 2009

N-Gata Virus
November 2, 2009

From Budokan… (YouTube will probably take this down.  Credit to the uploader.)