18 November 2011
AKB48 in AFA11
AKB48 members Nakaya Sayaka and Tanabe Miku made a special appearance last weekend at Singapore's largest anime convention, Anime Festival Asia 2011 (AFA11).
Just a short introduction about them first before we move on.
Nakaya Sayaka (Nakayan) is from AKB48's Team A, and Tanabe Miku (Tanamin) from AKB48's Team K. They are one half of OTA4, an unofficial club in AKB48 for anime otakus. The 4 members of OTA4 regularly cosplay and karaoke anisongs. Nakayan and Tanamin also form the one-off subunit BABY GAMBA, which you can read about HERE.
So first up is on the post is the AKB48 special appearance on the main stage of AFA11! Unfortunately, no photo or video recording is allowed :(.
It was quite short, just 45 mins. They didn't perform anything either, it was just a short Q&A session with the members.
Also sadly I didn't bring any writing material to AFA so I couldn't write the questions and answers down. So everything is based on my memory, which is not really great.
Questions I do remember are:
Why did you join AKB48?
Nakayan joined AKB48 because she wanted to use it as a step to become a seiyuu (you can read the full story about that HERE). And Tanamin was because since she is an otaku, she frequents Akihabara and saw a recruitment ad for AKB, thought it was interesting and auditioned for it.
What are your favourite animes?
Nakayan likes Natsume Yuujinchou, a supernatural, comedy, shoujo series, while Tanamin likes Neon Genesis Evangelion, Macross Frontier and other mecha series.
If OTA4 were to release an anime cover album, what songs would you include in it?
Two answers were given. I can't remember the first one but it got quite a loud response from the audience. The second one I remember all too well. It was Happy☆Material from Mahou Sensei Negima. My favorite song from my favorite series. Unfortunately I was the only one who cheered when she said it. :(
Who are your favourite anisong aritsts
Nakaya Sayaka: Nana Mizuki
Tanabe Miku: Ichiro Mizuki
Hmmm is it coincidence that both of them are Mizuki? While everyone was pondering over that... The staff of AFA also arranged a surprise for the two girls, Ichiro Mizuki (Aniki) came out singing "Aitakatta" to the two girls. Seeing Tanamin cry out of happiness and stumble around wobbly in her legs was incredibly touching.
And the AKB48 Special at the AFA11 Main Stage ended with that. Just 45 mins. It was too short, but definitely a good experience.
But the day was not over yet! Along with the AKB48 Special at the Main Stage, Nakayan and Tanamin also had 3 handshake sessions at the AKB48 Official Shop Singapore Booth. Of which we documented! Only videoed the 2nd session though.
At 2.30pm, the first AKB handshake session begins, fans lined up waiting for the girls to arrive. The event went pretty well I guess, since they gave out limited numbers of handshake coupons for fear of overcrowding. After the handshake event, the girls helped out as assistants at the shop booth, where they will personally draw an AKB pin from the box when you purchase them.
There were 3 handshake sessions, with the same number of people every time, looks like the "AKB boom" is also happening in Singapore. After the last handshake session ended, there is a AKB performance put up by the AKB Singapore Cafe girls. They performed a total of 3 songs. The first is "Kanojo ni Naremasuka?" from Team K 6th Stage [RESET].
The second is "RIVER" that song that is said to have gotten AKB where they are now. And we also have Tanamin and Nakayan making a special appearance to watch the cafe girls' performance. Throughout the performance we can see Tanamin and Nakayan dancing and singing along to the songs.
The last is "Pareo wa Emerald", a song by SKE48, released just earlier this year.
And with that, it's already the end of AKB48 in AFA11. Hopefully, there will be more AKB-related stuff next year in AFA, maybe even performing at anisong concert? >.<