Sorry for the incredibly late post. I'm really sorry. I've been suddenly overwhelmed by work this past few weeks and probably will be for the next few weeks too. I barely have time to check the boards and catch up on AKB media. So sorry again that this post got delayed for 2 weeks.
The Request Hour 2010 concert has ended. It was a blast following it in real time via IRC. By the way in case your wondering why I call it Request Hour instead of the usual AX2010 or similar, there is a rumour (or maybe already confirmed) that the building will be torn down sometime in March. Well I don't think AKB will stop the yearly tradition and instead move it to another concert hall. Then it won't be called AX** any more will it. Anyway I promised to make another post for the concert so here goes. For this post, I will give my opinion on the setlist as a whole.
Firstly, I have to say that I definitely prefer last years concert to this years. Sure this year's had lots of epic moments such as persona's real world debut, more SKE and SDN songs, just to name a few. However I feel that because of the disappearance of some songs, the strange use of substitutes, the unexpected position of songs and such made me favour more for 2009's.
Continuing with the tradition, graduates were invited back to perform their unit songs which were in the ranking. This is one of the main highlights of the whole concert, just seeing your once favourite member perform again and having fun with the rest of AKB again. Graduates who accepted the invitation were (I hope I didn't forget anyone) Ohe Tomomi, Komatani Hitomi, Masuyama Kayano, Narita Risa, Orii Ayumi, Oshima Mai, Watanabe Shiho,Takada Ayana, Hayano Kaoru, Tojima Hana, Kawasaki Nozomi, Naruse Risa, Nakanishi Rina (though she did not appear at the concert due to a sudden illness) However there were less appearances by the graduates, and each of them only performed one song, and a total of only 5 songs. Last year definitely had more graduates performing and they were all spread out over the 4 days unlike this year 3/4 of them were on day 1.
Arsen here made a categorised list of the songs. Team B totally pwned the rest of the Teams in terms of songs. Even though Team B only sand 14 songs, as you can see B has the most number of songs per stage performed (43.9%) compared to A (41.8%) and K (33.9%). I was trying to think of a reason why this was so, then it hit me right when I was playing Supreme Commander. Team K has too many songs and too little frontgirls (going by the Iiwake elections), and therefore lesser fans. Team A has many songs but has many frontgirls while Team B doesn't have much frontgirls but then doesn't have much songs anyway. In short, Team K is spread too thin defending too many songs with too little girls.
One of my disappointments is the disappearance of some songs. Songs like Boku to Juliet, Kissman, Kagami no Naka, Inochi no Tsukaimichi, Shinkirou. Even Singles like Romance, Keibetsu, Seifuku and even Meetan's solo Amai Kokansetsu didn't make it. I'm bewildered especially at the last one as I thought that would definitely make it in. Sure you will say that if the new songs were to make it to the top 100 then some of the old songs have to go too. I don't mind that but what I have a problem with is that there were lots of good songs that were removed. And the wotas voted up the songs which I didn't think were better than those removed. Songs like Manatsu, Sobakasu, Squall, Kioku. (AND WHERE IS MY SONG!!!!!!)
But well the above can be somewhat forgiven due to the appearance of some songs. SDN wotas managed to get 2 of their songs high up enough in the ranking, and one of them made the top 25. For lots of us, the only clips we got of these songs were 5 second previews on the official website. So this is the only time we can actually watch SDN stage songs. Then SKE performed 6 songs. Not really a lot especially for such an awesome stage but well SKE aren't really known compared to AKB. There weren't many K5 songs in the ranking but those that got in were definitely the good ones. Oh and of course we can't forget Kurukurupaa lol.
Then there was song positions. I'm not going to say much about this one because if I do this post would be incredibly long. I'll just say a few things. Generally, I feel that last year's top 25 felt more like a top 25 than this year's. And out of all the days I feel that Day 3 is the best. Last year felt more like a true voting unlike this year, the votes seem to be much more focused on the members than the songs compared to last year. And for the use of substitutes, I don't even want to go there.....
I will do a proper full review of the concert when the DVD is released and I get to see it. Another main highlight of Request Hour is the Commentary by the other members. It helps you to learn more about the girls and really can change how you view a member and even a song. Plus it's just fun to listen to haha. Perhaps this will change my opinions about the concert.