Team K 6th Stage – Opening Day

K6 premiered on Friday, so here are my opinions on each of the songs!

— Lemon no Toshigoro (RS)
01 RESET
02 Sentaku Monotachi
03 Kanojo ni Naremasu ka
04 UHHOUHOHO
05 Seifuku no Resistance (Ono, Itano, Nito)
06 Kiseki wa ma ni Awanai (Yonezawa, Miyazawa, Nonaka)
07 Gyukuten Oujisama (Uchida, Minegishi, Nakatsuka)
08. Ashita no Tame ni Kiss wo (Tanabe, Akimoto, Kikuchi, Matsui S)
09. Kokoro no Hashi no Sofa (Fujie, Oshima, Umeda)
10. Dokugomo
11. Okera
12. White Day ni wa
13. Jigsaw Puzzle 48
14. Hoshizora no Mistake
15. Yume no Kane
16. Hikkoshimashita

New Team K 6th Stage ‘RESET’

— Lemon no Toshigoro (RS)

An 80s ballad-style Kenkyuusei unit is a very interesting way to begin a Stage, with RS leading the way.  I have to wonder if only Team K shows will show this, or if the song will be at the start of all of the New Team performances.  It’d be even better if there was a different song for each of the new Stages.  I really enjoyed getting seventeen songs instead of the usual sixteen.  That being said, though, I hope that all of the new Stages have an interesting way to start things off.

Personally, I love the song: it’s very ‘FIRST LOVE.’  That combined with the simple staging, plain lighting, and duet lines really gives a nice representation of how the girls are still in training to become full-fledged members.  The only thing I hate is the speaking section in the bridge.  It just shouldn’t be there.  Oh, and I definitely thought they were singing the word ‘Raymonda’ instead of ‘Lemon,’ and since that’s a ballet, I thought that was really cute… but they’re not.

As for the performers, I’ve yet to get around to really attempting to learn their names and form opinions, but this quartet does well.  Supposedly they’ll be switching the members in every performance.  It’d be super-duper cool if AKB members could do it once and a while.  (I’m looking at you, Natsuki.)

But the costumes are adorable.  They look like taffee or something.  Something very tasty and cute.  These are probably my favorite costumes of the Stage.  That’s kind of bad, isn’t it?

00 Overture

As usual, the ‘Overture’ helps start the Stage.  This is the first Stage that doesn’t immediately begin with the song, but I’m going to think of ‘Lemon no Toshigoro’ as something like the opening act to a concert.  It kind of fits that description anyway.

01 RESET

Immediately after the ‘Overture,’ Yuko, Sae, and Itano do a little dance as the first few measures of ‘RESET’ are played.  Soon they are joined by everyone else before the first verse starts.  At first, I was thinking this would be a hardcore-ish song, but once the other thirteen members appeared, it got all happy and clap-y.  This opening kind of works, but I think it’d be loads cooler if it were the original Team K members that are still in the Team instead of this opening trio.  It’d be more symbolic that way, too, I think.

These costumes are… interesting.  Kind of like striped band uniforms, but only half of them have the band uniform clasps, while the other half have these double-corset details.  Not my cup of tea at all.  I don’t know when the whole band trend came around in the idol world.  I understand that in real world fashion, military looks were big (a few years ago…), and I know marching band attire is based off of armys’ drum corps and all, but I see them way too frequently in the idol world all of a sudden.  Morning Musume wore black and silver ones to open their tour last spring, and AKB (the senbatsu only) has worn them at three different end-of-the-year music shows.  (Yes, three.  The maroon plaid and white fluff ones, the gray-ish striped ones, and the multi-color band costumes from Kouhaku.)  Anyway: ugly.  And that whole belt-thing.  I like the concept, but it looks too much like a child restraint or something.

I dislike songs that reference AKB… so the fact that they mention Team K is bad for me.  While it’s cute that the title (and I’d assume the lyrics) are just so fitting for the New Team K at the moment, I am not a fan of how so many songs mention the group their in (that, along with when they sing about specific seasons, Christmas, and school).  Otherwise, the song is pretty okay, yet a bit bland to open the Stage with.  For some reason the verses remind me of Iiwake Maybe, while the chorus reminds me of an Idoling!!! song.

It feels so weird to see girls from all of the different Teams join together in the Akihabara48 Theater.  I guess watching a bunch of H2 LODs from G-Rosso was a good warm-up, but now these are all brand new songs in brand new costumes, and this time everyone’s in the daily theater, too.

02 Sentaku Monotachi

This one struck me as being especially odd.  At first I thought they were attempting to do a human knot at the very beginning, but instead they did a snail-like shape and then acted dizzy.  Cute, but not what I had imagined.  Afterwards the girls become mannequins and dance accordingly.  Again (while still remembering my ‘Raymonda’ reference from before), I thought they were doing some sort of homage to ‘Coppelia,’ a ballet about a doll, but apparently the song is about doing laundry, so I guess not.

The rest of the choreography more manniquines (which starts to invoke ‘109’ and washing machines.  How literal was the choreographer trying to make this?  It worked.

By the end of the song, the Team pulls off their butt-ugly toolbelts (with adjoining skirt-capes) and hoists them around as though they had actually just done their laundry.  This all seems dumb, but I’m just happy those are off.  The dresses without the bottom half’s attachment look marginally better.

The song is okay, but it definitely seems to just be filler material.  I’m not really a fan as of yet.

03 Kanojo ni Naremasu ka

With the beginning of ‘Kanojo ni Naremasu ka,’ comes the first on-stage strip change since B4, which really wasn’t all that long ago, but it feels longer (the only other Stage strip changes are in A5 and H1).  I feel like it was originally supposed to be that all of the girls would undo their top costuemes, but it was changed to just half the girls, since the members in the back row look ready to pop theirs off, too.

Underneath the ugly costume is a cute one!  In a very AKB-style, they wear a destructed school uniform, in either red or blue.  Team K has this motif of having red and blue costumes in the same songs (see ‘Don’t Disturb,’ ‘Christmas ga Ippai,’ ‘Return Match.’ ‘Gomen ne Jewel,’ and ‘Furishite Maneshite’), so I guess the New Team K gets the same deal.  These costumes are adorable and have a kind of interesting detail about them: the skirts have some sort of zipper horizontally through the middle that is slightly undone so their tiered grey bloomers are shown underneath.  I don’t know where they got the idea, but it’s cute.

‘Kanojo ni Naremasu’ is amazing.  It’s really cute, but has a nice rythem to go with it.  And it’s so high energy.  The dance is good, too.  The bow at the end of the choruses (after asking permission to be the listener’s girlfriend), is a great, and the wota circle jumping near the end is a perfect ode to the audience.

04 UHHOUHOHO

The song starts with a near-acapella chorus with lots of spotlights.  To tell the truth, I was getting ready for a new rendition of ‘Tsukimisou,’ but all of a sudden, it was up-beat and fun.  The entirety is sung by the entire Team, which is rare for Team K, but the beat kind of harkens back to ‘Rock da yo, Jinsei wa…’ but is about a million times better.

Once the bridge kicks in, the lyrics start adding a few more grunts to the beginning of each of their phrases and go all caveman while Sayaka goes all apeman.  I’m guessing that Sayaka’s part will change to be a different member for every performance, but I could be wrong.  To me it looks like she just happens to be the pick for today, and she possibly has a spot in the formation for when she isn’t the center.

On to the unit songs!

05 Seifuku no Resistance (Ono, Itano, Nito)

More 80s!  Here we have a combination of ‘Tsundere’ and ‘Kuchi Utsushi no Chocolate’ led by Tomo-chin.  Considering how she seems to be one of the two front girls for the New Team K, it only makes sense that she gets a unit.  Even more interesting however: Erena’s in the unit, too.  I’m really not used to seeing her on the side, as the last time that happened for a Stage was H1 in ‘Idol Nante Yobanaide.’  It’s a changing world.

On the other hand, Moeno is also in the unit.  She also seems to get a better part than Ono.  For some reason, the unit reminds me of ‘Dakishimeraretara’ in terms of popularity.  While this groups’ average popularity is much higher than the K5 unit, both have one higher senbatsu, one lower senbatsu, and one non-senbatsu member, with the non-senbatsu member getting more lines than expected for her popularity.  I suppose this also fits ‘Tsundere!’

The song ‘Seifuku no Resistance’ is just all sex appeal in school uniforms.  Actually, when I first heard it, I was convinced that the first line of the chorus was ‘Watashi wa Seifuku wo (blah blah blah) G-Spot.’  Now that I know the title, I’m guessing that’s not what it is, but I still chuckle every time I hear it.  What’s really cool in this unit is how it’s pretty much perfect: the members can all do sultry vocals, all of them dance well, and all of them look great in their costumes.  Personally, I didn’t think Itano’s voice could sound that good, Ono could dance that well, or Nito could look the part, but all three did an outstanding job.

06 Kiseki wa ma ni Awanai (Yonezawa, Miyazawa, Nonaka)

Another three person unit: ‘Kiseki wa ma ni Awanai.’  It’s interesting to see them having trios for their units instead of the usual units of even numbers from Team K.  This set of girls are dressed similarly to a boyband… except way worse.  There’s lots of fake velvet, feathers, hats, and deconstruction going on, none of which are my favorites at the moment.  It all looks really grungy compared to the sparkly song they’re performing.

This unit obviously fits Sae really well, but I wish Rumi would get a better song.  Her voice is amazing, and this doesn’t fit it, nor show it off.  It’s too cookie-cutter for her.  As for Nonaka, I’m glad she got a great part, despite being a fairly un-popular RS just recently.  She would probably fit better in a different unit, similar ot Yonezawa, but her voice sounded perfect in this song, too.

What I don’t get about this unit is it seems so thrown together and random: completely non-feminine choreography (I could totally see NewS doing this), menswear, one tomboy, and two past sexy girls.  I’m getting a very Michael Jackson-vibe throughout the piece, though.  Is it an homage to the late popstar?

07 Gyukuten Oujisama (Uchida, Minegishi, Nakatsuka)

‘Zannen Shoujo’ part two!  Except this time, it’s even better.  (Similarities: Uchida and Nakata are the sides of a three girl unit with microphones.)

Miichan gets her first unit… ever!  I seriously was so happy when she came out on stage.  Even better, she has new-comer Mayumi as one of her underlings.  That makes my day.  They work well together.  On the other side of the stage is Chris, who I’m not a big fan of, but matches the other two perfectly and I like her here more than I did in ‘Zannen Shoujo.’  Actually, this is Chris’s first original unit.  I’m not counting ‘Zannen,’ as her postion in the song was most likely supposed to be Noguchi Reina’s before she had her surprise graduation on the last day of B3.  Anyway, I might start to like her now.  (This is also Uchi’s first unit, but she’s so awesome it doesn’t matter.)

On the topic of RS, in the beginning before the co-ed dancing starts, the boys throw their hats to the girls, and it looks like the only ones who have trouble are Nakatsuka and Nonaka.  It’s cute, though.

In transition between this and the previous song, the boys of ‘Kiseki wa ma ni Awanai’ dance with the girls of ‘Gyukuten Oujisama’ and then go grab their microphones.  Chivalry lives on.

Other noticably great parts of choreography include the random ballet-looking moves thrown in before the first verse, which reinforces the girly-girl mood; the heart Uchida and Chris make with their arms for Miichan to sing through; and the clapping while at their microphones.  I mention that last one because when Miichan does it, it fits her personality really well: she’s all cute and fun from her arms up, but her face goes straight into the audience with a kind playfully menacing look only she can come up with.

I adore the song.  It’s like a sugar-coated ‘Heart Gata Virus’ with excess amounts of plaid.  I do love the costumes, though.  Very cute.  They also look like they would match the end-of-the-year Christmas show performance of ‘RIVER’ with the white fluffy costumes.  I vote for this to be performed at the Yokohama Arena concert with all of the RS non-unit performing members in those costumes.  It’d be adorable.

08. Ashita no Tame ni Kiss wo (Tanabe, Akimoto, Kikuchi, Matsui S)

Totally was not expecting this.  I think just about everyone who knew which girls were to be in the New Team K thought that the Team would opt for more rock-ish songs, and Sayaka was at the heart of such ideas.  Alas, Sayaka is in pastels!?

Akimoto must have wanted to show just how versitile these girls are.  Sayaka is known for being Sayaka.  Her units have all been cool and mature.  Here, we get to see her doing the one thing that she always wants people to understand about her: she can be cute, too.  I love how she’s gotten to control her voice a bit more and can pull off her solo lines in this unit, which ended up sounding amazing.  She’s always had a great powerhouse voice, but it’s usually just a bit too specific for my liking.  Now she can branch out.  And her lines in English were a fantastic touch.

The other three girls in the unit are similar, Ayarin, Tanamin, and Sakippe are known for their harder-sounding songs, and this is a big leap for them.  Ayarin is the only one to get a solo line of these three (hers is in the bridge), but the other two do a great job blending together.  For some reason I never thought of them as a pair, but they work really well.

‘Ashita no Tame ni Kiss wo’ feels kind of like ‘Gomen ne Jewel’ combined with Milky Way’s costumes for ‘Tan Tan Tan.’  It’s a wierd combination.  At first I didn’t think I’d like the song, but I had it stuck in my head all day today, which is a good sign.  Somehow, everything went better than expected.

As for the costumes: I’m so lost.  They’re so disgusting that I love them.  Brightly colored tulle with denim-y fabric and cowboy accessories… who would have thought?

09. Kokoro no Hashi no Sofa (Fujie, Oshima, Umeda)

The song half of the New Team K’s fans have been waiting for: Yuko’s unit!  This is her first three girl since H1, which I personally think is a big deal.  Before seeing these three come out, (as in while the last unit was still singing) I was picturing these last three girls in a unit, and I immediately thought of a cool, dance number, but again, I was mistaken.  Anyway, these three get some sort of electronicly-inspired western faster-paced ballad.

I’m kind of perturbed by how they use the stage.  They seem to focus on stage right most of the time.  And Umeda might even sit with her legs dangling off the stage.  And then she might be standing level with the audience.  It’s a cute interaction, but I’m lost.

The costumes are kind of odd and have a Mexican look about them.  They’re also kind of reminiscent of Chocolove’s ‘Ashita wa Ashita no Kimi ga Umareru.’  I think their relatively cute, especially how they differentiate the lead from Umeda and Fujie with their shoes.

I love Umeda and Fujie as the side girls.  They somehow match-up well and sound similar but both have very different ways of performing.  Line distribution-wise, I am somewhat happy with how it all works.  The first verse is all Yuko with a little duet from the other two, while the second verse has their solo lines.  It kind of works well, since Yuko is leagues more popular than the others here.  Oh, and Yuko has a cute line/word at the end.  That made the unit for me right there.

It’s not that remarkable of a unit, just cheerful and melodic, but I think it may be my favorite unit in the Stage.

10. Dokugomo

Holy crap woah.  Suddenly there’s an amazing song.  About a spider, no less.  This remind me of ‘Shamu Neko’ a lot.  It’s about an animal, is crazy catchy, and has wonderful solo lines.  Twelve of the girls get solo lines, and that means Tanabe and Sakiko, who hadn’t gotten solos in their unit song, both got theirs!  Anyway, everyone sounds amazing and even though the second verse is shorter than the first, it’s a great song.

For me, the costumes actually do work.  They match the white web in the back.  More on the costumes in the next song.  As for the web, it’s ungodly ugly, but a funny little addition.  The only other artwork they’ve posted on the back wall has been the clouds for the second half of K5.  It serves as a nice backdrop for the longer solo lines in the beginning of the verses, and that’s all that matters.

The last chorus where they’re all close together and do the marching is really super-neat, too.  Actually, all the choreography works.

11. Okera

On the topic of dancing, this is the song where it’s at.  The disco vibe throughout is particularly addictive.  I guess the title is translated into something like ‘penniless’ and it kind of makes me think the lyrics may be about not having money to go to a club, so they just make one with friends or something.  I don’t really care, though, since this song just feels so gosh darn groovy.  Yup: groovy.  I love it.

The costumes totally match this song.  It’s kind of in a tongue-in-cheek Las Vegas show style.  The bright colors with the fringe and white accents make it seem less sexy and more flashy.  I for one love them, especially with this song.  The skirts really accent their hip movements well.  The only thing I don’t like are how some of the symmetrical tops are paired with the asymmetrical skirts and vice versa, but AKB’s been doing that for a while now so that shouldn’t really bother me anymore… but it does.

The vocals in this song are a treat.  All of the girls really go for it with some kind of whine-y voices that sound supurb here.  And they’re all duet lines, which means lots of hearing each girl sing.  It all meshes together so well.  I’m crazy about this one.  It makes me want to learn the choreography.

Such a great song.

12. White Day ni wa

The first few seconds of ‘White Day ni wa’ made me think it would be like ‘Fugiri,’ but then it got all light-hearted and cute, only after I thought it was possibly an even worse version of ‘Kimi ni au Tabi Koi wo Suru.’  While ‘Dokugomo’ got a spider web, ‘Okera’ got costumes that matched it perfectly, ‘White Day ni wa’ got a chair.  The world is in order.

Solos in this song are Yuko and Miichan in the first verse and Itano and Nito in the second with three duets in between each verses’ solos.  A cute set-up to be sure.  Miichan sounded amazing again, and I was really surprised Nito would be so pushed in this Stage.  I wonder when they’ll bump her up to senbatsu again, as she seems to be within the top seven girls in the Stage, at least.

I don’t like the costumes here and I think it should be switched… see my note later on.

13. Jigsaw Puzzle 48

Pretty costumes.  Very ‘Kioku no Dilemma.’  That’s something i’ve been wanting to happen for a while now.  And look, they even have different shoes.  ‘FAN LETTER”s costumes are slightly better, but this is a close second as far as ballad costumes go.  Moeno has the best outfit here, with Uchida and Ayarin in second and third.  They all looked similar to a recent Morning Musume costume, though…. but that costume would be way too pretty compared to the rest.

As soon as I heard the title in the MC, I burst out in a little giggle fit.  First off, I knew what she said, and second, there was a ’48’ at the end, so I knew I couldn’t take it seriously.

The mirrors are used for this song, which I think is pretty cool, because that means that the staff had to pull off the spider web plates during the performance, which I think would normally be done after the show is over.  Naturally, when not singing, the girls gaze at themselves in the mirror… and Tomo-chin does a pirrouette.  I was mildly amused.

After the show finishes, the mirrors stay out for the audience to look at themselves.  I found that funny.

14. Hoshizora no Mistake

Where have I seen those boots before!?  They’re somewhere, but I have no idea how I remember them.

The song begins with the girls running around the only slightly-lit stage as Christmas-like music plays.  Then they snake in and out of behind the panels that make up the backdrop of the stage before running and jumping before they hit the front of the stage.  I think the idea here is to get upskirt shots of the bright ruffle skirts underneath their ‘Tomo yo’-esque costumes.  I’m not a big fan of these school uniforms, but they look generic enough to be used for promotional events and the like for a little while.

This is another duet song, which is much appriciated by me, as there weren’t any duet songs in K5.  They seem to have paired up a lot of the same girls often.  Itano and Yuko especially.  I do like how up-beat song is, though.  It seems like a Team B song.  B3 era.

15. Yume no Kane

Some more powerful music comes on and all of a sudden all of the girls violently take off their outer layer school uniform to wear only a destroyed (not to be confused with deconstructed) school uniform with neon skirts underneath.  Without those skirts, I feel like these costumes should have been used in ‘Infinity.’  And they could have used the vampire song from SDN48’s first Stage.  It would have been perfect.

Anyway, they’re dancing around and supposedly singing about some sort of war (which matches the choreography surprisingly well.)  The choruses are surprisingly powerful with quicker phrases than I expected and use lighter choreography.

16. Hikkoshimashita

The last song is a ballad-y song with eight girls getting solo lines.  Mostly they’re the more popular girls, but Misato and Umeda managed to sneak into the second verse.  I kind of wish that Nito got a line in there somewhere, so there could be solos from all four of the previous Teams represented, but no luck there.

I really dislike the costumes in this song, since they’re so depressing compared to a song about moving.  The little ribbons they use towards the end to dance with the audience (more interaction?) match the under skirts, though, so that’s nice at least.

Closing thoughts:

I was really expecting something sensationally different from any other Stage for K6.  Akimoto had mentioned that he was going to try some new things, but for the most part, it’s very similar to previous Stages.  I was thinking there’d be songs that fit with modern pop music rather than normal idol music, but it all seems to be idol music here.  I was hoping for gimmicks like songs without set choreography, cool instruments, acapella pieces, or songs completely in English, but we didn’t get anything like that.  I suppose that there are less powerful songs, which tend to be popular for AKB fans, but that’s the only big difference I can tell.  The songs here are more elaborate than previous setlists, but that’s been going on for a while now and should be expected since that’s the new trend.

I liked a bunch of the songs, but if I were to rank them, ‘Okera,’ ‘UHHOUHOHO,’ ‘Dokugomo,’ and ‘Kanojo ni Naremasu ka’ would be at the top of my list in order.  I love how everyone got solo lines (aside from Ayarin) in the group songs.  That makes the songs better for me, at least.  And for units I really liked ‘Kokoro no Hashi no Sofa,’ ‘Seifuku no Resistance’ and ‘Gyukuten Oujisama.’

Costume-wise, I’m pretty happy.  For group songs, ‘Kanojo ni Naremasu ka’ definitely had the best outfits, but ‘Jigsaw Puzzle 48”s were nice, too.  I only really liked ‘Gyukuten Oujisama”s costumes out of the units, though.

I really liked everything about Lemon no Toshigoro, but I don’t know if that counts as a K6 song yet.

As mentioned earlier, I don’t like where ‘White Day ni wa’ is placed costume-wise, so I decided that it should be placed immeditately after ‘Hoshizora no Mistake,’ using those same costumes.  That way it gets a school uniform.  Everything else can stay the same, but it’d be different than any of the other recent Stages by having four songs in the encore.

With the first New Team Stage out of the way, I’m excited to see how it develops and when the next Stages begin.  The New Team B started rehearsing for their Stage the other day, so  that Stage may premier at the start of April?  I was hoping they’d get all of new Stages started before the Yokohama Arena concert, but they most likely won’t get to them all.  I kind of hope they don’t perform any of the new songs, because I’d like to do my black-out for B5 and A6 without any spoilers whatsoever.

I’m generally very happy with the New Team K.

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2 Responses

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  2. Great entry! I loved the costumes in all of the photos. I would so wear ALL of that stuff.

    I added you to my blogroll and can’t wait to read more!

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