Welcome to MELOS no Michi
an information and news blog dedicated to covering the latest news for: AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, HKT48, JKT48


AKB48 Is Looking for a Part-Time Member
Following OtonaAKB, AKB48 came up with a new form of temporary membership: part-time idol. Find out more about this new project here.
AKB48 Team 8 Makes Theater Debut
AKB48 Team 8 performed its first theater show on August 5. Get more information about the shonichi performance here!
SKE48 Announces 7th Generation Auditions
SKE48 is looking for new members and this time the fans will be part of the decision about who joins the group!
AKB48 37th Single Senbatsu Election - Final Results
AKB48 held its election for the 6th time and for the 1st time Watanabe Mayu won it. Check out the full results here!
Details on the AKB48 Group Pennant Race
The AKB48 Group teams will compete against each other in a new event, the AKB48 Group Pennant Race. Points will be awarded based on theater ticket applications, theater version handshake ticket sales and sousenkyo votes.
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30 December 2011

AKB48's [Flying Get] wins the 53rd Japan Record Award

AKB48's best selling single [Flying Get] has won the grand award at the 53rd Japan Record Awards! Congratulations!!!!!

Held by TBS today at the New Nation Theater Tokyo, the 53rd Japan Record Awards is an annual awards show for outstanding achievement made during the year, not restricted by genre. The Japan Record Award itself is given to the top artist.

Also nominated were Nishino Kana, KARA, AAA, JUJU, Mizumori Kaori, Hikawa Kiyoshi, FUNKY MONKEY BABYS, TVXQ, and Ikimono-gakari. We wish the the best of luck for next year.

With AKB48's tremendous growth and all 5 of their singles this year dominating the top 5 positions in single sales for this year, it might be no surprise that they won. Here's the comments from the members during the show:

Maeda Atsuko: "I would like to thank our fans and the staffs who have given us support. And i wuold also like to thank Akimoto Yasushi-sensei. And everyone else who has give us their support."

Takahashi Minami: "It's be exactly one year and everyone has worked hard and I'm very happy that we are able to receive this award. It's all thanks to the support we have received from everyone. I hope we are able to share this sense of joy with the fans."

Oshima Yuko: "We were filled with anxiety and expectations about the award. Flying Get is a Sousenkyo song, I don't think it would be wrong to call it a song chose by the fans. I would really like to thank all the fans."

Akimoto Yasushi: "Everyone really worked hard, I think they really gave their all during the 5 years."
OMG I'm super happy for them. Took them 6 years of hard work and lots of tears but they finally made it. A very great way to end the year. Well the song isn't really that great IMO, but sales wise it's the top of the top. Once again, congratulations to AKB48, and not forgetting Akimoto Yasushi too for their hard work!

Read more ...

AKB48 in 62nd Kohaku Uta Gassen updates

Only one day left till the 62nd Kouhaku uta Gassen! Here's some updates about AKB48's appearance in this prestigious annual show.

AKB48 will be the 5th artist to perform on the show, with their song [Kouhaku 2011 AKB48 Special MIX ~Ganbarou Nihon~]. The song is a special medley of Kaze wa Fuiteiru, Flying Get, and Everyday, Kachuusha.

And accompanying AKB48 (75 members) on stage will be all of their fellow sister groups: SKE48 (48 members), NMB48 (16 members), HKT48 (16 members), SDN48 (39 members), and JKT48 (16 members). That's a total of 210 members on the stage. Do they really want to break the stage so much? It looks quite overcrowded up there.

By the way last year the number of performers under AKB48 was 130. An increase of 80 members for this year.

This will be SDN48's, HKT48's and JKT48's first time appearing on Kouhaku, although HKT48 and JKT48 have participated on the AKB48 Kouhaku Taikou Uta Gassen last week. Both of them just debuted only a few months ago.

You can view pictures of the Kouhaku rehearsal over at Modelpress
Read more ...

28 December 2011

AKB48 Glossary

To help the newer fans of AKB48 and all it's sister groups, I decided to create a glossary of all the terms and other important stuff used in the 48 universe. It may be helpful as you go along learning about the groups.

Feel free to share it around but please credit back. Creating this took countless days and nights of research.

This glossary was last updated on July 2013.

The first group out of the 48 franchise. Formed in 2005, AKB stands for AKihaBara, as their theater is located in the Don Quixote in Akihabara district of Tokyo. They currently have Yokoyama Team A, Oshima Team K, and Umeda Team B. Teams A, K, B, and 4 got lost during the 2013 Tokyo Dome Team Shuffle.
For a few months after AKB48 started out, they were known as Akihabara48. The entrance to the AKB48 Theater still bears the old name.

AKB48's first sister group, based in SaKaE, Nagoya. They were created in 2008 and their theater is located in the Sunshine Sakae building. They have teams S, KII, and E. The teams got shuffled in April 2013.
The second 48 sister group, and the first in the Kansai region, based in NaMBa, Osaka. They debuted in 2010 and have Teams N, M, and BII
The third and newest addition to the 48 family, debuting only in 2011. HKT is short for HaKaTa, in the Fukuoka prefecture. At the moment, only Team H has been formed.

The first legitimate 48 group outside of Japan. JKT48 is based in JaKarTa, Indonesia. JKT48 currently has Team J and Team KIII performing regular stages.
An overseas OOO48 group in the works, but we haven't heard anything about it since October 2011. TPE is TaiPEi, in Taiwan.
An overseas OOO48 group based in ShaNgHai, China. They do not yet perform regular theatre performances (as of July 2013), but do perform concerts and host handshake events.

A more adult version of AKB48, SDN48 stands for SaturDayNight48. All SDN48 members are above 20 years old, and do not have to follow the normal idol rules (no drinking, smoking, etc). SDN48 disbanded on March 2012
Stands for OJiiSan48, they are a group of 16 retired police officers. They released a single [Shinkokyuu] which didn't really sell much, and now work as security guards in AKB48 events.

AKB48's official "rival group", also produced by Akimoto Yasushi. They differ from the 48-groups in that they are not region-based, do not have a theatre, and so do not hold regular performances. They have two generations of members so far.

The company that operates AKB48, SKE48, SDN48, and HKT48. AKS is also the talent agency for AKB48 members until an external agency recruits them.
It is rumoured that the name 'AKS' is actually the initials of the 3 most important men IN THE WORLD: 'Akimoto Yasushi', 'Kubota Yasushi', 'Shiba Kotaro'.
Pythagoras Promotion:
Used to be SKE48's operating company until November 2011, when they merged with AKS and the staff moved over. Pythagoras Promotion is also the talent agency for all the SKE48 girls until the merger. 'Pythagoras Promotion' is shortened to 'PYP'
Yoshimoto Kyogyo:
NMB48's operating company. Yoshimoto is the biggest comedy company in Japan.
The company that deals with AKB48's advertising. Dentsu is one of the biggest advertising agency in the world.

Akimoto Yasushi (秋元康): Google+
Creator and Total Producer (and overall Boss) of the 48 groups. Nicknamed Aki-P (The 'P' stands for 'Producer').
Kubota Yasushi (窪田康志):
The boss of AKS. He is not related to Akimoto Yasushi btw.
Shiba Kotaro (芝幸太郎):
The boss of office48. The '48' in 'AKB48' also came from him (Shiba = 48).
Togasaki Tomonobu (戸賀崎智信): Google+
General Manager. Also known as TGSK. He writes the AKB48 Official Blog, and makes announcements at the end of concerts.
Nishiyama Kyoko (西山恭子): Google+
More commonly known as Saruobasan (サルオバサン), she is in charge of Public Relations in the AKB Theater, and also the AKB48 members well-being.
Chino Shinobu (茅野しのぶ): Google+
AKB48's stylist, in charge of their costumes.
Gunji Yoshitaka (郡司善孝):
Head of theater staff.
Ishitani Yasuhiko (石谷靖彦):
Head of AKB48 Ticket Center
Arai Hiroki (荒井広希): Google+
PR and media. Nicknamed "Pancho".

Yuasa Hiroshi (湯浅洋):  Google+
AKB48 Theater Manager. Ex-SKE48 Theater Manager
Shiba Tomoya (芝智也):  Google+
SKE48 Theater Manager.
Kaneko Takeshi (金子剛): Google+
NMB48 Theater Manager.
Sato Kazuya (佐藤和也): Google+
Ex-HKT48 Theater Manager.
Ozaki Mitsuru (尾崎充): Google+
HKT48 Theater Manager.

Equivalent of the word otaku, wota are the fans of Japanese idol groups.

Don Quixote (Akihabara):
Where the AKB48 Theater is located in Akihabara, Tokyo. Don Quixote is actually a chain of discount stores in Japan. The name is often shortened to Donki. AKB48's Theater is on the 8th floor.
A theater in Tokyo that AKB48 used for some time back in 2008-2009 for their Himawari-gumi stages, and also for the Infinity theater play.
There have been plans to use the G-Rosso stage once again, but so far as of 2012 nothing has been announced.
Sunshine Sakae:
Where the SKE48 Theater is located in Sakae, Nagoya. The building has a giant ferris wheel on the exterior. The SKE48 Theater is undergoing renovations starting August.
Yes Namba:
Where the NMB48 Theater is located. The NMB48 Theater is actually underground.
Hawks Town Mall:
Where the HKT48 Theater is located. HKT stands for the HaKaTa district in the Fukuoka prefecture, but the HKT Theater is in the Chuo District. The theater is located on the 2nd floor.

Meaning 'selection', the Senbatsu members of a single are the members selected by Akimoto Yasushi to promote the single. They are the ones singing the title song. Senbatsu is usually 16 members.
Media Senbatsu:
The top 12 ranked members in the Senbatsu election, who get additional privileges such like performing on music shows, appearing on magazines, and other various media.
The members that did not make the cut for Senbatsu. They get their own B-Side and even a PV, but their song is rarely played in the media. This grouping is not limited to the Senbatsu Election.
Theater Girls:
An additional grouping named the Theater Girls in previous AKB48 and SKE48 singles, which were populated by the remaining AKB48/SKE48 members who did not make the cut for Undergirls. The grouping has since been discontinued.

A loose term used by the fans for the 16 or so girls usually chosen as Senbatsu. They are called frontigrls because they are always at the front.
The top 7 members of AKB48. Kind of like "The Untouchables" you could say. And those members are, in ranking order:
Maeda Atsuko, Oshima Yuko, Shinoda Mariko, Watanabe Mayu, Kojima Haruna, Takahashi Minami and Itano Tomomi.
Kami8 / (new) Kami7:
In the 3rd Senbatsu Election (2011),  Itano Tomomi (ranked #8) got beaten by Kashiwagi Yuki (ranked #3). Some fans came up with the term Kami8, which was just the original Kami7 + Kashiwagi.
Others just removed Itano completely from the Kami7 naming.
Others still just called blasphemy and kept the Kami7 unchanged.
Just your preference which one you want to use.

Team PB, Team YJ / YJ7, YM7:
A collaborative unit, between AKB48 and gravure magazine PlayBoy (PB) / Young Jump (YJ) / Young Magazine (YM), made up of 7 girls each.
In 2010 it was a battle between team PB and Team YJ, and in 2011 it was Team YJ again, now called YJ7, vs YM7.
Selection 8:
SKE48's version of AKB48's Kami7.
NMB Seven:
Just like Kami 7 and Selection 8.
Akagumi / Shirogumi:
Meaning 'Red Team' and 'White Team', it is used by SKE48 and NMB48 in place of Undergirls. The names probably originated from the Kouhaku Uta Gassen

The members of AKB48, and each of their sister groups, are split into 3 teams. The letters assigned to the Teams are from the 3 letters that make up the group name (AKB48: Team A, Team K, Team B).
Team 4:
Because no AKB48 members were graduating for quite a long time, the number of Kenkyuuseis kept rising and rising after every audition. So on July 2011, a new team was formed, called 'Team 4', for the kenkyuuseis . Team 4 was disbanded in October 2012, following the Tokyo Dome Team Shuffle.
Officially translated to Research Students, the Kenkyuuseis are a support team whose main role is to substitute for a member of the main group if she is unable to perform on that day. Additionally, when a member of the main group graduates, a Kenkyuusei is promoted to replace her. Kenkyuuseis have their own shows in the Theater too, performing revivals of previous AKB48 stages.
Substitutes for a member if she is unable to perform during a stage. Usually by Kenkyuuseis but sometimes a main member is a full AKB member.
Usage: Izuta Rina is Maeda Atsuko's under
This is when a member holds a position in two groups simultaneously. This was first introduced in 2012 and the second group position is normally temporary.
Bara-gumi / Yuri-gumi:
Back in 2006, Akimoto Yasushi had the idea of shuffling around the members of Team A and Team K, and naming the new teams 'Bara-gumi' (Rose Class) and 'Yuri-gumi' (Lily Class). That plan was dropped because of heavy opposition from the fans.
Bara-gumi and Yuri-gumi were revived as 'Undergirls Bara-gumi' and 'Undergirls Yuri-gumi' for AKB48's [Kaze wa Fuiteiru] single in 2011.

Meaning 'Sunflower Class', A side team formed in 2008 comprising members from Team A and Team K. They performed 2 stages [Boku no Taiyou] and [Yume wo Shinaseru Wake ni Ikenai], but then stopped.

Stages / Stage shows: 
A group on songs, usually 16, which teams perform in their theater. Each team has their own unique stage. Usually after about a year, a team is given a new stage to perform.
Units / Unit songs:
For a couple of songs during a stage, the team is split up further into 5 units. Units usually consist of 3 to 4 members.
Unit Shuffle:
Sometimes during concerts, the members performing a unit song are changed.

Team Shuffle:
This is when members get moved between teams. The AKB48 Teams have been shuffled twice, in 2009, and 2012, and the SKE48 Teams shuffled once, in 2013.

Kage ana:
Meaning 'shadow announcer', it is the member making the announcements to the audience before the stage or concert starts.
A break between songs during which the members talk about a given topic. This is done so that the other members backstage have enough time to change costumes for the next song.
Wasei-eigo for 'high five'. At the end of stage shows, you get to 'high-touch' with the members that performed.

The very first performance of a stage.
The very last performance of a stage.
When the management decided that they shouldn't have ended the stage so early. So they revive the previous stage.
Meaning 'Birthday Festival', Seitansai is a special stage performance where a member's birthday is celebrated. A seitansai can event take place months after the actual member's birthday.

Short for 'Live on Demand'. It's a service where you can purchase a video of a past performance of the theatre shows. AKB48, SKE48, NMB48 and HKT48 have a LOD service where shows from the past month can be viewed. Theatre shows can also be viewed live, apart from for HKT48.
Where you can buy 48 LODs.

Handshake events. The tickets to these events usually come in Singles. There are two types of handshake event: the tickets that come with Limited Editions are for national events have a short handshake session and include a mini-live. The participating members are only announced a few days beforehand. In contrast are the Theatre Edition handshake events, where you book a timeslot for a particular member. Each of these slots lasts 10 seconds.
2shot events. A 2shot is a photo with 2 people inside. So a 2shot would be you + 1 akb member.
3shot would be you + 2 akb members, and so on.

Senbatsu Election:
Started in 2009, for 1 single each year the fans get a chance to vote for which members they want in a single. The Senbatsu Election is not limited to AKB48 members, so the sister groups get to take part in it too.
Only the top 64 members are shown during the election. The top 16 members get to be in Senbatsu, and the remaining are in groups called Undergirls, Next Girls, Future Girls.

Janken Tournament:
Janken is the Japanese name for 'Rock, Paper and Scissors'. The Janken Tournament is another of Akimoto's ideas to decide the Senbatsu members of a single, purely based on luck.

From 'oshiteru member' which literally translates to 'the member you want to push', generally it means your most favorite member whom you will always be supporting. You should never have more than one Oshimen in the same group.
When you change your Oshimen from one member to another. Generally not accepted and heavily discouraged.
Literally 'God Oshi'. Kami-Oshi is your most important oshi out of all your oshimens (from different groups of course).
Short for 'Daredemo Daisuki', which means 'I love anyone'. Applies to anyone with multiple oshimens in the same group.
Short for 'Minna Daisuki', which means 'I love everybody'. Similar to DD, but with an oshimen.

no3b / No Sleeves: 
Takahashi Minami, Minegishi Minami, Kojima Haruna
Not yet: 
Oshima Yuko, Sashihara Rino, Yokoyama Yui, Kitahara Rie
French Kiss: 
Kashiwagi Yuki, Takajo Aki, Kuramochi Asuka
Akimoto Sayaka, Miyazawa Sae, Umeda Ayaka. Used to be a four-piece including Masuda Yuka. This is a different group that the DIVA unit which appeared on coupling songs fro a couple of AKB48 singles.
Watarirouka Hashiritai 7: 
Watanabe Mayu, Nakagawa Haruka, Ota Aika, Kikuchi Ayaka, Iwasa Misaki, Komori Mika, Urano Kazumi (who replaced Hirajima Natsumi)
Seiyuu (voice actor) unit for the anime AKB0048: Watanabe Mayu, Nakaya Sayaka, Sato Amina, Hata Sawako, Sato Sumire, Ishida Haruka, Yagami Kumi, Iwata Karen, Mita Mao
Team Surprise: 
Team created for a pachinko game, they have one stage Juuryoku Sympathy, which was never performed but each song released individual as a tie-in to the pachinko and pachi-slot games. Shinoda Mariko, Takahashi Minami, Yokoyama Yui, Watanabe Mayu, Itano Tomomi, Kitahara Rie, Oshima Yuko, Miyazawa Sae, Kashiwagi Yuki, Kojima Haruna, Shimazaki Haruka, Takajo Aki, Minegishi Minami, Matsui Rena, Sashihara Rino, Maeda Atsuko
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No Sleeves 8th Single [Pedicure day], SDN48 4th Single [Kudokinagara Azabu Juuban] 1st Day Sales

No Sleeves's 8th single [Pedicure day] and SDN48's 4th single [Kudokinagara Azabu Juuban] both released earlier today. This is the first time 2 48-related groups released in the same week.

SDN48 managed to take the top spot, selling 57k copies. Despite this single possibly being the farewell single, there was barely any increase in sales numbers. Their previous single MIN.MIN.MIN also sold 57k on it's first day (actually it sold 600 more to be exact).

No Sleeves trailed behind in 2nd place, selling 47k. The good news is that it managed to increase it's sales compared to Kuchibiru Furezu... .

I really expected SDN's single to sell more seeing as this could be their last single but then again with the lack of promotion done for them, I shouldn't be surprised. They will be promoting their single in Happy Music next week and Music Japan in three weeks (its already been recorded) but beside these, there have been no other shows.

How will both of them fare for the weekly chart? Let's check back on sunday.

Read more ...

27 December 2011

NMB48 Kenkyuusei Otani Riko to Graduate

As announced in the NMB48 Theatre, 2nd Generation Kenkyuusei Otani Riko will graduate from NMB48. The reason given is that she wants to focus on her studies. The graduation date has not been announced yet.

Another 2nd Generation member, Takiyama Akane, just graduated from NMB48 a few days ago on December 22 for the same reasons and now we have another NMB48 graduation.

I wonder what is happening with NMB48's 2nd Generation. They aren't featured much and instead of moving forward, the members now start to graduate.

Anyways, I wish Riko all the best for the future.

Otani Riko Graduation Message
translated by Miss Moonlight
I have an important announcement to make.

I, Otani Riko, will graduate from NMB48. I am really sorry to everyone who supported me all the time since our appearance at TCD Hall in June until now. Since the audition, repeatedly I felt conflicts inside me. Every time that happened I remembered that I was chosen among so many applicants and that I was able to meet you all, and thinking ‘Alright, let’s do my best’ I worked hard.

I am a 3rd year junior high school student, so I had a big wall called ‘exam’ in front of me. I thought I could balance it with my activities in NMB48, but going to the senior high school I want to go to is difficult while balancing both activities and I could not completely give up on going to the high school I want to go to.

I was able to make a lot of experiences, like meeting with you all as an NMB48 member or things normal girls cannot experience and things that you just don’t know unless you enter (the group).

The theatre shows as an NMB48 member where I had fun with all of you, the handshake events where I could meet a lot of people, those were a great time. Thank you.

I am also really thankful to the staff who supported NMB48. I think that I was able to come this far thanks to you all and to all the members. Thank you very much.
Original Message
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Sashihara Rino to Star in Drama [Muse no Kagami]

Sashihara Rino will be starring in a new late-night drama, [Muse no Kagami] (Muse's Mirror). The show is a 24-episode drama which will be shown on NTV every Thursday at 25:55 ~ 26:10 starting from January 14th 2012.

The story is about a girl with no redeeming features, Mukada Maki (acted by Sashiko), who was discovered by Okita Ryuu (who used to be a famous actor) and how she grew and aimed to become an actress. The style of the drama will be a classic drama acted with a taste of Daiei Drama which was popular in the 70's and 80's. What we can look forward to will be how Mukuda Maki, who is only interested in acting, deter other guys' advances on her as she become famous and people start to realize her charm.

The scriptwriter for this drama series is "King of Late-night Drama", Fukuda Yuuichi, he has written the scripts for many drama series such as Yuusha Yoshihiko to Maou no Shiro33pun Tantei and my personal favourite, 1 Pound no Fukuin.

Personally, I think the script fits Sashiko perfectly, it's probably kinda like how her life in AKB has been like till now, from 27th to 19th to 9th placing in senbatsu sousenkyo, with her solo CM which started airing since December 23rd, and her solo photobook which will be on sale on January 19th. I might actually see this drama as a biography of Sashiko. Lol.

Sashiko's comments about starring in this drama, "This is my first time playing a main-role in a drama, and I'm very worried about my acting skills, whether they are good enough. I will definitely do my very best, in order no to cause trouble to the actors who will be working with me. I'm looking forward to finding out what kind of world has Fukuda-san created for me!!!"

Muse no Kagami (ミューズの鏡)
Channel: NTV
Schedule: Weekly every Thursday
Timing: 25:55 ~ 26:10
Official Website: http://www.ntv.co.jp/muse/
Starts: 14/01/2012

P.S. Filming starts on 06/01/2012. So now you know the date to start stalking her on G+ :)

Read more ...

26 December 2011

SDN48 4th Single [Kudokinagara Azabu Juuban duet with Mino Monta]

repost. the original got deleted somehow.

SDN48 will be releasing their 4th single, and possibly their last too. The single is titled [Kudokinagara Azabu Juuban duet with Mino Monta] (口説きながら麻布十番 duet with みの もんた)*gasps for air* and will feature them with famous TV Presenter Mino Monta.

Well who is he? You could say he is one of the most famous old men in Japan. I don't know why they picked him though... I mean, there are the guys in OJS48... Anyway the duet song is described to be a New Years song, which fits the occasion as the single will release on December 28th 2011.

Senbatsu for this single is only 8 members: Akita Kazue, Kohara Haruka, Noro Kayo, Ohori Megumi, Sato Yukari, Serina, Urano Kazumi, and KONAN. With just 8 members, this is the smallest Senbatsu SDN48 has ever had.

There will be 2 versions for Kudokinagara Azabu Juuban duet with Mino Monta, both with a common B-side and their own unique B-side song. TYPE A's b-side is [Kamujatan Bojou] (カムジャタン慕情). Kamujatan is actually a Korean dish Gamatang, and Bojou means "longing".

And TYPE B's b-side is [Kashaasa de Jihaku suru] (カシャーサで自白する). Cachaça, is a liquor that originates from Brazil that is made from fermented sugarcane. I never knew they have it in Japan. So Korean and Brazilian eh? Hmmmm do I have any readers from Brazil? Do give a shoutout in the comments!

Honestly, I don't know what to say about this single. I mean I'm glad that the management decided to give SDN48 a single before they head off, but of all things it has to be about them swooning over a rich old guy? Also if this is supposed to be the farewell single, why is there even a senbatsu? If it's farewell then it should be the group as a whole. Unless they plan to release another single in 2012. Milking the fans till the end I see.

SDN48 4th Single
Kudokinagara Azabu Juuban duet with Mino Monta
口説きながら麻布十番 duet with みの もんた
28 December 2011


01. Kudoki nagara Azabu Juuban duet with Mino Monta
02. Yaritagariya-san
03. Kamujatan Bojou
04. Kudoki nagara Azabu Juuban duet with Mino Monta (off vocal)
05. Yaritagariya-san (off vocal)
06. Kamujatan Bojou (off vocal)
01. Kudoki nagara Azabu Juuban duet with Mino Monta
02. Yaritagariya-san MUSIC VIDEO
03. Gamjatang Bojou MUSIC VIDEO
04. Recording and MV Making-Of (Type A version)
05. SDN48 skit

01. Kudoki nagara Azabu Juuban duet with Mino Monta
02. Yaritagariya-san
03. Kashaasa de Jihaku suru
04. Kudoki nagara Azabu Juuban duet with Mino Monta (off vocal)
05. Yaritagariya-san (off vocal)
06. Kashaasa de Jihaku suru (off vocal)
01. Kudoki nagara Azabu Juuban duet with Mino Monta
02. Yaritagariya-sanMUSIC VIDEO
03.Kashaasade Jihaku suruMUSIC VIDEO
04. Recording and MV Making-Of(Type A version)
05. SDN48 skit

Senbatsu - Kudoki nagara Azabu Juuban duet with Mino Monta (口説きながら麻布十番 duet with みの もんた)
1st Gen: Noro Kayo, Akita Kazue, Kohara Haruka, Ohori Megumi, Sato Yukari, Serina, Urano Kazumi
2nd Gen: KONAN

Undergirls Team G - Yaritagariya-san (やりたがり屋さん)
1st Gen:Kouchi Masami, Okouchi Misa, Tezuka Machiko
2nd Gen: Aikawa Yuki,Fujikoso Yumi,Fukuda Akane, Hosoda Miyuu, Matsushima Rumi, Natsuko
3rd Gen: miray, Siyeon, Tojima Hana

Undergirls A - Kamujatan Bojou (カムジャタン慕情)
1st Gen: Chen Qu, Hatakeyama Chisaki, Kondo Sayaka, Nachu,
2nd Gen: Akiko, Kimoto Yuki, Takahashi Yui, Tsuda Marina
3rd Gen: Komatani Hitomi, Shinahama Saemi

Undergirls B - Kashaasa de Jihaku suru (カシャーサで自白する)
1st Gen: Imayoshi Megumi, Kaida Juri, Kato Mami, Mitsui Hiromi, Nishikunihara Reiko, Umeda Haruka
2nd Gen: Ito Mana, Oyama Aimi
3rd Gen: Kojo Seara
Read more ...

24 December 2011

Because You Were There for Me: Kasai Tomomi

From Shukan Asahi's interview series, we have a story about Kasai Tomomi talking about a valuable lesson taught to her by Natsu-sensei. Team K is family, 'nuff said.

The difference between "getting along well" and "true friendship" taught to me by Natsu-sensei
Translated by mammothb

In spring 2006, I entered AKB the same time when Team K was formed. Along with me were 16 other girls of various ages and characters. I thought that there were sure to be endless disputes among us, but on the contrary, everyone got along really well from the start.

I was being sensible as well and held back from making too much opinions. Honestly, I thought that as long as I compromise it would all be fine.

Our choreographer, Natsu Mayumi-sensei's hellish lessons were worse than I have imagined. We practised from morning to night, for more than 15 hours a day, these lessons continued for around a month. After overcoming the harsh lessons, it was time for our first performance. We won't lose to our Team A senpais! And so that was what we did......or rather, what we intended to do.

However, after the performance, the words that Natsu-sensei told us was harsher beyond our imagination.

"Today's performance, was the worst. The problem lies somewhere more fundamental than techniques. AKB doesn't need a Team like this."

We thought that Natsu-sensei would definitely welcome us with a smile and say, "You have done your best, good job."...... After hearing Natsu-sensei's words, some members broke down and some were so shocked that they went into hyperventilation. In our own way, we have survived this 1 month of harsh lessons. We worked hard in order not to have any arguments and disagreements among us. Tears rolled down my cheeks due to frustration. Even as a sensei, such words are way too harsh! It really pisses me off! I shall discuss with everyone and go on strike! Looking around me, I realized that there wasn't any member I could discuss this with......

If it's about cakes and TV programmes, we would all be able to talk about them passionately. However, even though we have worked so hard together, there is no one whom I can call a bosom friend. I think it's the same for other members as well. We all felt that there's no one whom we can really open up our hearts to. At that moment, I sort of understood the meaning behind Natsu-sensei's words.

After that, members of Team K began to voice out their different opinions and have disputes without restraints, and became a super sporty team. I no longer compromised and voiced out my opinions. "That kind of MC won't heat up the atmosphere!" "You always lag on the dance step at that place right? Correct it!"

I think I've also said some things that aren't correct. But I've learnt to voice out all my opinions. For example, (Akimoto) Sayaka is weak under pressure, and easily blow her fuse. And there were cases when people around her became victims to that. That's why I said it, "That should be the way right?!" and Sayaka would then apologize. At that point, (Miyazawa) Sae would follow up and say, "Sayaka works twice as hard as others, that's why it became like that, right?"

And our teamwork was born like that. Of course, my weakness was also pointed out, and worked hard to correct it. We would share each other's pain and became "Clashing souls".

After continuing like this for half a year, we performed our first solo concert in Nippon-Seinenkan. When it ended, we saw Natsu-sensei waiting for us. After seeing us, Natsu-sensei cried. "Everyone, you've worked hard...... You've all become one together......"

It was the first time that sensei has praised us. The joy and the memory of understanding each other more by pointing out each other's flaws played in our minds, we all cried......

Right now, we are able to show off our real teamwork instead of putting up a pretense during our performances. We are able to achieve this because of you, Natsu-sensei!

Read more ...

22 December 2011

AKB48's 25th Single's Title is [Give Me Five]

A leak on Chari-ani's website has revealed the possible title of AKB48's 25th single to be [Give Me Five]. An update a few hours later though, the title was changed back to [untitled] (see bottom image).

This is a rather interesting title as it is the first of the 5 sakura-themed singles without the word "sakura" in it.

There has been some speculation about what the "give me five" means, aside from the obvious "high five". For the Japanese readers, "give me five" is English for the wasei-eigo "high touch". Five could just be that this is the 5th sakura themed single. Some people have also noted that a sakura flower has 5 petals.

Some people have gone as far as to say that there will be 5 graduations from AKB48. Which is plausible. Mariko will be 26 on March 2012, well above the usual idol age

Whatever it is supposed to mean, the title feels rather upbeat, so we may be getting something like 10nen Zakura. Really looking forward to this song.

Read more ...

Nogizaka46 Announces Debut Single

Nogizaka46, the "official rival" of AKB48 have announced that they will be releasing their debut single on February 22nd, 2012 right after AKB48's 25th single slated to be released on February 15th. At the moment no details about the single have been given beside the date.

I have absolutely no interest in them and I still have no idea what Aki-P is planning to do. But I'm curious to see how this single will fare because they already have quite a fan following but the question is: as the official rival, will they really be able to rival AKB? That is something we'll just have to wait and see.
Read more ...

Iwasa Misaki Debut Single titled [Mujineki]

The title song for Iwasa Misaki's debut single has been announced to be [Mujineki] (meaning an empty train station). In addition, the single will feature Iwasa's enka rendition of [Heavy Rotation].

The limited edition will come with a DVD featuring a music video and making clips as expected, as well as an Iwasa Misaki history video and congratulatory messages from her fellow AKB48 members.  Further details will be announced later.

The single will be released on February 01 2012.

Iwasa Misaki Debut Single
01 February 2012

Limited Edition

01. Mujineki
02. Heavy Rotation <Iwasa Misaki Version>
01. Mujineki MUSIC VIDEO
02. Iwasa Misaki HISTORY MOVIE
03. Mujineki MAKING VIDEO
04. Iwasa Misaki CD Debut Congratulatory Comment from AKB48
Regular Edition
01. Mujineki
Read more ...

SKE48 8th Single [Kataomoi Finally] PV Previews + Impression

The PV previews for SKE48's 8th single have been released. Let's check them out!

Kataomoi Finally (片想いFinally)

I'm happy that SKE48 is shifting their musical focus away from bubbly idol pop to something more serious and dark. Both the story and dance are beautifully and artistically shot, making this one of the group's best music videos. However, I'm not a big fan of the song. I find the fluctuating tempo of the song highly unusual; I feel like I'm listening to a single mash-up.

Hanikami Lollipop (はにかみロリーポップ)

I've never shown much love for Shirogumi (despite liking Jurina more than Rena), but this is the best PV I've seen from the group. Everything, from the costumes, line-up, solo shots, and backdrop, are pure perfection. I also love the old-school lighting and color palette that are utilized to make the PV appear vintage. Still, I don't believe that Shirogumi will ever break out of their cutesy concept.

Koe ga Kazureru Kurai (声がかすれるくらい)

I'm really loving the rock sound of this b-side. SKE already has some pop-rock under their belt, but this song is much more true to the genre. This song naturally appeals to someone like me who is a fan of female-led bands such as Stereopony and the brilliant green. It's a shame that there's no choreography complimenting this great song.

Read more ...

20 December 2011

DiVA's new song and addition of new members

Today at the AKB48's own Kouhaku event, DiVA opened the event with their new song titled [Lost the way]. Nothing has been revealed whether this will be a new single or not. The opening wasn't live streamed so how the song is, we do not know yet. But that was not the only announcement. If you remember, there were plans to add new members to the unit and apparently the final selections are done and here are the 6 new members of DiVA: Kasuya Satoko, Futami Yuuki, Furukawa Atsuko, Fuku Noramu, Inoue Yuina, Yamagami Ayaka.

I hadn't heard anything about them in such a long time, I thought Aki-P had decided to discontinue them but then they come back with such a big announcement. I wasn't happy with their plans to add members and I'm still not happy that they finally did add members now. I mean its supposed to be "Dance & Vocal Unit from AKB48". Well, we'll just have to wait and see.

Introduction of the new members:

Read more ...

[AKB48 Kouhaku Taikou Uta Gassen] setlist

The AKB48's own Kouhaku event has come to an end with Shirogumi winning. Congratulations. This was by far one of the most interesting AKB48 event ever because the songs were shuffled for the members. We also heard [Aitakatta] by JKT48 in Indonesian! At least we know AKB still capable of shuffling.

Check out the setlist and which members performed which song.
*Red colored names are Akagumi members.
*Blue colored names are Shirogumi members.

AKB48 Kouhaku Taikou Uta Gassen

Date: 20 December 2011 (Tuesday)
Venue: Tokyo Dome City Hall
Time: 18:00 (17:00 entrance)
Price: 4,800yen

(zenza girls) M00 - Lost the way (DiVA)
(zenza girls) M00 - Pedicure day (no3b)
M01 - Dear J (Sashihara Rino)
M02 - flower (Akimoto Sayaka)
M03 - Seifuku Resistance (Shimada Haruka, Takeuchi Miyu, Takayanagi Akane)
M04 - Itoshiki Natasha (Kasai Tomomi, Fujie Reina, Nito Moeno)
M05 - Heart Gata Virus (Shimazaki Haruka, Yamauchi Suzuran, Mtsumune Kaoru)
M06 - Nagisa no CHERRY (Kato Rena, Natori Wakana, Morikawa Ayaka, Kojima Natsuki)
M07 - Kuchi Utsushi no Chocolate (Matsui Rena, Kikuchi Ayaka, Sato Amina)
M08 - Blue rose (Sato Sumire, Nakagawa Haruka, Abe Maria, Nagao Mariya)
M09 - Oh My God! (SKE48)
M10 - Pareo wa Emerald (NMB48)
M11 - Kuchibiru Furezu (Miyazawa Sae, Takajo Aki, Kitahara Rie)
M12 - Perapera Perao (Kashiwagi Yuki, Ota Aika, , Miyazaki Miho, Nonaka Misato)
M13 - Kinjirareta Futari (Kuramochi Asuka, Komori Mika)
M14 - Ame no Pianist ( Minegishi Minami, Katayama Haruka, Suzuki Shihori)
M15 - Te wo Tsunaginagara (HKT48)
M16 - Aitakatta (JKT48)
M17 - Skirt, Hirari (Kawaei Rina, Takahashi Juri, Kimoto Kanon, Kizaki Yuria, Iwata Karen, Tano Yuuka, Kodama Haruka)
M18 - Glass no I LOVE YOU (Iriyama Anna, Jo Eriko, Sasaki Yukari, Omori Miyu)
M19 - Ame no Doubutsuen (Ichikawa Miori, Hata Sawako, Suda Akari, Hirata Rina, Nakamata Shiori, Nakamura Mariko, Mutou Tomu, Kobayashi Marina)
M20 - Dakishimeraretara (Yamamoto Sayaka, Watanabe Miyuki, Yamada Nana)
M21 - Anata to Christmas Eve (Yokoyama Yui, Matsui Sakiko)
M22 - Noel no Yoru (Masuda Yuka, Kobayashi Kana, Nakatsuka Tomomi, Chikano Rina, Hirajima Natsuki, Oya Shizuka, Uchida Mayumi, Sato Natsuki, Ishida Haruka, Umeda Ayaka, Iwasa Misaki, Nakaya Sayaka)
M23 - Yokaze no Shiwaza (Itano Tomomi)
M24 - Beginner (Acoustic ver.) (Takahashi Minami)
M25 - Temodemo no Namida (Watanabe Mayu, Matsui Jurina)
M26 - Tonari no Banana (Kojima Haruna, Shinoda Mariko)
M27 - Itoshisa no Accel (Oshima Yuko)
M28 - Kareha no Station (Maeda Atsuko)
M29 - Flying Get (Team B)
M30 - Heavy Rotation (Team K)
M31 - Kaze wa Fuiteiru (Team A)
M32 - Ue Kara Mariko (Senbatsu)
M33 - Everyday, Kachuusha (All) 
M34 - Dareka no Tame ni (All)

Read more ...

Watanabe Mayu solo debut in February with [Synchro Tokimeki]

It's been decided that Watanabe Mayu will have a solo debut too! Her solo single [Synchro Tokimeki] (シンクロときめき) will release on February 29th 2012.

Mayuyu is the 4th AKB48 member to go solo under her own name, after Itano Tomomi, Maeda Atsuko, and Iwasa Misaki. Of all the members in AKB48, Mayuyu is said to be the most idol-like.

Synchro Tokimeki will be used as the theme song for the drama [Sabadoru] which she stars in. The drama will air every Friday starting January 13thSynchro Tokimeki is said to have a nostalgic '80s melody but arranged to be more upbeat and more modern.

I'm not surprised at this but to be honest I don't really see the point. Mayuyu already has a subunit called Mayuyu & Friends Watarirouka Hashiritai 7, in which she already has like a dozen solo songs. Even without it, 50% of the vocals in Watarirouka is Mayuyu anyway. But my main argument is that she already has a active subunit. What will happen to Watarirouka now?

Oh well. The song description looks optimistic at least. Modern version of a '80s melody? Wants.
Read more ...

AKB48 25th Single to be Sakura Themed as well

AKB48 has announced the details of their next, 25th single. Their first single release of 2012, it will have a sakura and graduation theme, following AKB48's usual release pattern.

As of now, the single is still untitled. The release date is set for February 15th, 2012.

This will be the 5th time AKB48 is doing a sakura/graduation themed single. Starting with [Sakura no Hanabiratachi] in 2006, then [10nen Zakura] in 2009, [Sakura no Shiori] in 2010, and [Sakura no Ki ni Narou] in 2011.
6th actually if you count in [Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2008], which was just a re-release of the original.

The single will come in 4 different versions: TYPE A and B Limited, and TYPE A and B Regular
Read more ...

19 December 2011

Akimoto Sayaka to run again in Tokyo Marathon 2012

While attending a press conference for the [Tokyo Marathon 2012 Official Guidebook] release, Akimoto Sayaka announced that she will be running again in next year's Tokyo Marathon 2012 on February 26th 2012.

Official Website: http://www.tokyo42195.org/2012_en/

Earlier this year she ran in the Tokyo Marathon 2011, shortly after stepping down as the Captain of AKB48's Team K. Running a marathon is a way of restarting your life in Japan. And that's what Sayaka got. After completing her run, which she cleared in 6 hours and 50 minutes, just under the 7 hour time limit, Producer Akimoto Yasushi reinstated her position as Captain.

For next year's marathon, Sayaka plans to beat her previous record, and complete the marathon in under 6 hours. She will be running for the charity organisation [Charity to Connect Lives], which was chosen by her mother. It was also her mother who donated the 100,000yen needed for her to take part in the race as a charity runner.

Read more ...

No Sleeves 8th Single [Pedicure day] PV + Tracklist

The PV and tracklist for No Sleeves' [Pedicure Day] have been released!  It's super cute, and really hearkens back to the days of middle and high school girly sleepovers (dancing around using various household objects as imaginary microphones).  Also, I'm kind of envious of their house ^_^

Needless to say, all three ladies look beautiful.  I find it funny that Haruna is the aloof beauty-obsessed diva while Miichan and Takamina hang out together dancing on the bed.  I'm not really sure what the storyline has to do with pedicures, since it seems more like they're having some sort of pop idol glamour party (but using cleaning supplies for their fake microphones?).  Despite that, I really enjoyed the PV, and found the song to be catchy and fun.  I can't wait to hear the other songs!

The single is set to be released 28 December 2011 (if you didn't notice the hint at the beginning).

Anyhow, PV below, enjoy!!

No Sleeves 8th Single
Pedicure day
28 December 2011

01. Pedicure day
02. Jessica wa Door wo Knock Shinai
03. Madoromi [Kojima Haruna solo]
04. Pedicure day -Instrumental-
05. Jessica wa Door wo Knock Shinai -Instrumental-
06. Madoromi -Instrumental-
01. [Pedicure Day] Music Video
02. [Pedicure Day] Music Video Making
03. Bonus Video 1 Type-A ver.
04. Bonus Video 2 Type-A ver.
01. Pedicure day
02. Jessica wa Door wo Knock Shinai
03. Still [Takahashi Minami solo]
04. Pedicure day -Instrumental-
05. Jessica wa Door wo Knock Shinai -Instrumental-
06. Still -Instrumental-
01. [Pedicure Day] Music Video
02. [Pedicure Day] Music Video Making

03. Bonus Video 1 Type-B ver.
04. Bonus Video 2 Type-B ver.
01. Pedicure day
02. Jessica wa Door wo Knock Shinai
03. Hanbunko [Minegishi Minami solo]
04. Pedicure day -Instrumental-
05. Jessica wa Door wo Knock Shinai -Instrumental-
06. Hanbunko -Instrumental-
01. [Pedicure Day] Music Video
02. [Pedicure Day] Music Video Making

03. Bonus Video 1 Type-C ver.
04. Bonus Video 2 Type-C ver.
TYPE Regular
01. Pedicure day
02. Jessica wa Door wo Knock shinai
03. Pedicure day (French Pop Mix)
04. Pedicure day -Instrumental-
05. Jessica wa Door wo Knock shinai -Instrumental-
06. Pedicure day (French Pop Mix) -Instrumental-
Read more ...

AKB48 Documentary sequel [DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 Show must go on]

AKB48 will release a sequel to their documentary movie earlier this year [DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 to be continued]. The sequel, similarly titled [DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 Show must go on] will open in theaters on January 27th 2012.

Just like the original, DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 Show must go on will follow the girls through the year 2011, and will include never before seen footage from the group's concerts, and many other events. The Dareka no Tame ni Project, AKB48 3rd Senbatsu General Election, and Oba Mina's suspension are just some of the topics covered in this year's DOCUMENTARY of AKB48.

Official Website: http://www.2011-akb48.jp/index.html
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/AKB48_2011movie

DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 to be continued really hit me hard when I first watched it. There were plenty of revelations through the whole show. The amount of hardships they went through for us, made me cry when I watched it. It really changed the way I think of them.

I highly recommend all fans, and non-fans too, to watch the sequel. It really is a side of AKB which you will never see live.
Read more ...

SKE48 8th Single [Kataomoi Finally] Covers + Tracklist

SKE48 will be releasing their first single of 2012 on January 25, titled [Kataomoi Finally] (片想いFinally). The A-side will be a serious and mature track dealing with young adult issues such as violence, bullying, homosexuality, and rebelliousness; its PV will feature kisses between the SKE members and choreography footage shot in the vain of AKB48's [Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou] dance scene, on the top of a skyscraper.

SKE48 8th Single
Kataomoi Finally

25 January 2012

01. Kataomoi Finally
02. Hanikami Lollipop (Shirogumi)
03. Kyou made no koto, Kore kara no koto
04. Kataomoi Finally (off vocal)
05. Hanikami Lollipop (off vocal)
06. Kyou made no koto, Kore kara no koto (off vocal)
01. Kataomoi Finally PV
02. Hanikami Lollipop PV
03. Extra Movie: SKE48 Kouhaku Taikou Maruhi Gei Kakutei Taikai PART 1

01. Kataomoi Finally
02. Koe ga Kazureru Kurai (Akagumi)
03. Kyou made no koto, Kore kara no koto
04. Kataomoi Finally (off vocal)
05. Koe ga Kazureru Kurai (Akagumi) (off vocal)
06. Kyou made no koto, Kore kara no koto (off vocal)

01. Kataomoi Finally PV
02. Koe ga Kazureru Kurai PV
03. Extra Movie: SKE48 Kouhaku Taikou Maruhi Gei Kakutei Taikai PART 2

01. Kataomoi Finally
02. Kamoku na Tsuki (Selection 8)
03. Kyou made no koto, Kore kara no koto
04. Kataomoi Finally (off vocal)
05. Kamoku na Tsuki (off vocal)
06. Kyou made no koto, Kore kara no koto (off vocal)
01. Kataomoi Finally PV
02. Extra Movie I: SKE48 Kouhaku Taikou Maruhi Gei Kakutei Taikai (FULL)
03. Extra Movie II: KII Original Kouen e no Kiseki

TYPE Theater
01. Kataomoi Finally
02. Hanikami Lollipop (Shirogumi)
03. Koe ga Kasureru Kurai (Akagumi)
04. SKE48 8th Single Medley
05. Kataomoi Finally (off vocal)
06. Hanikami Lollipop (off vocal)
07. Koe ga Kasureru Kurai (off vocal)
08. SKE48 8th Single Medley (off vocal)

Senbatsu - Kataomoi Finally (片想いFinally)
Team S: Oya Masana, Kizaki Yuria, Kuwabara Mizuki, Suda Akari, Hiramatsu Kanako, Matsui Jurina, Matsui Rena, Yagami Kumi
Team KII: Ogiso Shiori, Takayanagi Akane, Matsumoto Rina, Hata Sawako, Furukawa Airi, Mukaida Manatsu
Team E: Kaneko Shiori, Kimoto Kanon

Shirogumi - Hanikami Lollipop ( はにかみロリーポップ )
Team S: Ono Haruna, Nakanishi Yuuka, Hirata Rikako, Matsui Jurina
Team KII: Abiru Riho, Ishida Anna, Goto Risako, Wakabayashi Tomoka
Team E: Isohara Kyoka, Shibata Aya, Yamada Erika
SKE kenkyuusei: Saito Makiko

Akagumi - Koe ga Kasureru Kurai ( 声がかすれるくらい )
Team S: Kato Rumi, Kinoshita Yukiko, Takada Shiori, Deguchi Aki, Matsui Jurina
Team KII: Sato Seira, Yakata Miki
Team E: Ueno Kasumi, Umemoto Madoka, Hara Manami, Mano Haruka, Yamashita Yukari

Selection 8 - Kamoku na Tsuki ( 寡黙な月 )
Team S: Kizaki Yuria, Matsui Jurina, Matsui Rena, Yagami Kumi
Team KII: Ogiso Shiori, Takayanagi Akane, Mukaida Manatsu
Team E: Kimoto Kanon

Kyou made no koto, Kore kara no koto
All members of SKE48.
Read more ...

[AKB48 Kouhaku Taikou Uta Gassen] member placements

AKB48 has revealed the team placements for their upcoming [AKB48 Kouhaku Taikou Uta Gassen] concert on 20th December.

AKB48 Kouhaku Taikou Uta Gassen

Date: 20 December 2011 (Tuesday)
Venue: Tokyo Dome City Hall
Time: 18:00 (17:00 entrance)
Price: 4,800yen

Captain: Takahashi Minami
TEAM A: Iwasa Misaki, Oya Shizuka, Kuramochi Asuka, Kojima Haruna, Shinoda Mariko, Takajo Aki, Nakagawa Haruka, Nakata Chisato, Nakaya Sayaka, Maeda Atsuko, Maeda Ami, Matsubara Natsumi
TEAM K: Akimoto Sayaka, Uchida Mayumi, Umeda Ayaka, Tanabe Miku, Nakatsuka Tomomi, Nito Moeno, Fujie Reina, Miyazawa Sae, Yonezawa Rumi,
TEAM B: Ishida Haruka, Kasai Tomomi, Kitahara Rie, Kobayashi Kana, Komori Mika, Sato Sumire, Sato Natsuki, Suzuki Mariya, Chikano Rina, Hirajima Natsumi, Masuda Yuka,
TEAM 4: Abe Maria, Iriyama Anna, Nagao Mariya
Kenkyuusei: Fujita Nana, Izuta Rina, Kato Rena, Kojima Natsuki, Natori Wakana, Morikawa Ayaka, Omori Miyu, Sasaki Yukari
NMB48: 16 members (unknown)

Captain: Oshima Yuko
TEAM A: Ota Aika, Katayama Haruka, Sashihara Rino
TEAM K: Itano Tomomi, Kikuchi Ayaka, Nonaka Misato, Matsui Sakiko, Minegishi Minami, Yokoyama Yui
TEAM B: Kashiwagi Yuki. Sato Amina, Suzuki Shihori, Miyazaki Miho, Watanabe Mayu
TEAM 4: Ichikawa Miori, Kobayashi Marina, Shimazaki Haruka, Shimada Haruka, Takeuchi Miyu, Nakamata Shiori, Nakamura Mariko, Yamauchi Suzuran
Kenkyuusei: Kawaei Rina, Iwata Karen, Saeed-Yokota Erena, Suzuki Rika, Takahashi Juri, Tano Yuka, Hirata Rina, Muto Tomu, 13th Gen Kenkyuusei
SKE48: 16 members (unknown)
HKT48: 16 members (unknown)

It looks like the Red Team has a huge advantage over the White Team in both skill and popularity. The Red Team, led by Takamina, has the heavy hitters like Wasamin and Yuttan, both of them which have won the Karaoke contest at the [AKB48 Tokyo Aki Matsuri] last year.

The White Team, led by Yuko, has Haachan at least. She didn't take part in the Aki Matsuri concert as she had an external stage play going on, but her vocals is really top notch.

2 years as an AKB48 fan has thought me that you can never be completely sure who will be the winner. Good luck to both Teams.

The AKB48 Kouhaku Taikou Uta Gassen is held in the Tokyo Dome City Hall, the location for many of AKB48's recent concerts. It will also be screened live at over 100 theaters nationwide.

In addition to that, fans in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Singapore can also watch the live screening in their theaters too.

So which team are you rooting for? Red Team or White Team?

Read more ...

18 December 2011

Watanabe Mayu to Star in Drama [Sabadoru]

Watanabe Mayu will be starring in a drama, titled [Sabadoru] which will start on 13 January 2012, every Friday, from 24:53 - 25:53.

This will be Watanabe Mayu's first drama in which she is the protagonist. Other information of the drama is currently unavailable. As for the meaning of the title of the drama, there are many guess, the most common one is Survival Idol. (based of Japanese pronunciation).
Read more ...

NMB48 3rd Single Titled [Junjou U-19] + Senbatsu Announced

NMB48's 3rd single, set to be released on February 8, finally has a title! The single will be called Junjou U-19 (純情U-19; Pure/Naive U-19).

Apart from the title, the Senbatsu line-up, as well as the members for Akagumi and Shirogumi have also been revealed.

Team N: Yamamoto Sayaka, Watanabe Miyuki, Yamada Nana, Fukumoto Aina, Ogasawara Mayu, Jonishi Kei, Shiroma Miru, Kadowaki Kanako, Kondo Rina, Kotani Riho, Kinoshita Haruna, Kishino Rika
1st Generation Research Student: Kinoshita Momoka
2nd Generation Research Students: Jo Eriko, Yagura Fuuko, Yogi Keira

Team N: Yamamoto Sayaka, Yamada Nana, Ogasawara Mayu, Kadowaki Kanako, Kinoshita Haruna, Kishino Rika, Shinohara Kanna
1st Generation Research Students: Yamagishi Natsumi, Okita Ayaka
2nd Generation Research Students: Jo Eriko, Yogi Keira, Kodakari Yuka

Team N: Watanabe Miyuki, Fukumoto Aina, Jonishi Kei, Shiroma Miru, Kondo Rina, Kotani Riho, Yamaguchi Yuki
1st Generation Research Students: Kinoshita Momoka, Hikawa Ayame
2nd Generation Research Students: Yagura Fuuko, Murakami Ayaka, Tanigawa Airi

The title of the single sounds interesting, looks like NMB48 is trying to appeal with its overall young members.

The senbatsu line-up is not very surprising: Watanabe Miyuki and Kondo Rina are back, while Yamaguchi Yuki, Yamagishi Natsumi and Murakami Ayaka are out. The only thing that came unexpected in my opinion is the choice of Kinoshita Momoka for Senbatsu.

As for Shirogumi and Akagumi, there have been a few changes too. Kodakari Yuka is completely new in Shirogumi, while several other members have changed the teams. For example, Fukumoto Aina changed from Shirogumi to Akagumi and Jo Eriko the other way round. I am not really sure why they did this, but maybe they want to balance the popularity among the teams.

Read more ...

16 December 2011

AKB48 24th single [Ue kara Mariko] breaks many records + Review

AKB48's 24th single [Ue kara Mariko] has sold
copies in the first week getting the #1 spot as well breaking many records along the way.
From everyday48.net:
"Ue kara Mariko" sold 1.19 million copies during its debut week, becoming the 5th single with the highest first week sales ever in japan. Making this AKB48's 4th "First Week Million" single, this also marks all the singles released by AKB as million sellers.

- Ever since "Sakura no Ki ni Narou" (2011/2 Release, 1.07 million) this makes their 5th consecutive million seller and 6th million seller overall. In the "Amount of Million-seller Singles by Female Artists" category, AKB surpassed Pink Lady, Amuro Namie, Hamasaki Ayumi and Utada Hikaru's record of 5 singles, getting into the top as the first female artist in japan to have 6 singles as million sellers.

- This also becomes AKB's 11th single debuting at 1# in the Weekly Charts, putting them to share the record as the female group with most 1# Singles with Morning Musume.

- In Japan, AKB48 became the first artist to have 5 consecutive Million Seller Singles since GLAY's streak that ended with "Winter, again" (1999/2 Release) after almost 13 years ago.
    Best First Week Sales in Japan (Singles)

    1. AKB48 - Flying Get (2011/8/24): 1.35 Million
    2. AKB48 - Everyday, Kachuusha (2011/5/25): 1.33 Million
    3. AKB48 - Kaze wa Fuiteiru (2011/10/26): 1.30 Million

    4. Mr.Children - Naominaki Uta (1996/2/5): 1.20 Million
    5. AKB48 - Ue kara Mariko (2011/12/7): 1.19 Million

    Most Single Million Sellers in Japan (Female Artists Category)

    1. AKB48 (6 Singles)
    2. Pink Lady (5 Singles)
    2. Amuro Namie (5 Singles)
    2. Utada Hikaru (5 Singles)
    2. Hamasaki Ayumi (5 Singles)

Wow. History of Japanese music seems to have re-written thanks to this single.
 Now onto the review:

Ue kara Mariko (上からマリコ) 

Ue kara Mariko was specially written for Mariko after she won the first Janken tournament. Its a pretty fun generic song. At first I was like "meh" but the song slowly grows on you. Must be the Mariko effect. ;)

Noel no Yoru (ノエルの夜) 

Now we have the Christmas song and probably one of AKB's best b-sides. The simple tunes and acoustic guitar with the verses of the song give it such a wonderful feeling of  Christmas. Absolutely recommended.

Rinjin wa Kizutsukanai (隣人は傷つかない) (Team A)

The exclusive team songs starts from here and I will not deny it but to me [Rinjin wa Kizutsukanai] was the best this year. It's not the vocals that grab your attention, its the instrumentals used in Rinjin. The vocals just add more to the dark and mysterious vibes that this track gives out. Team A sticks to their "cool" image this time as well.

Zero-Sum Taiyou (ゼロサム太陽) (Team K)

I was expecting something like [ALIVE] from last year's Janken single but [Zero-Sum Taiyou] isn't bad either. While its not fierce as last year, this track has a euro upbeat music to it, which somehow strangely fits Team K. The PV was a bit weird though. It was going fine the first half and then the second half just got a bit weird.

Yobisute Fantasy (呼び捨てファンタジー) (Team B)

I am so happy that this time Team B got such a good song. [Love Jump] from last year is probably the least favorite track for me. Yes, even in this song Team B sticks their "cute" image but this song is far far better than what they had gotten last year. This upbeat song is what the team needed and perhaps fits them the most. The chorus is so addictive! Only problem is that the members speak in between the song killing it a bit. Otherwise, its perfect.

Hashire! Penguin (走れ!ペンギン) (Team 4)

Team 4 finally got their own song! I was so happy but after listening to it, I'm not so sure anymore. [Hashire! Penguin] was originally the A-side but had to be changed so as to fit Mariko's image and as much I love Team 4, this track is probably the most boring out of all them. Its too generic. But I still wish there had been a PV to this, the choreography is so adorable.

Overall Verdict:

Compared to last year [Chance no Junban], this single is much better. The A-side is good, the b-side is amazing and I couldn't ask for better versions of the team songs. AKB48 has fittingly ended their 2011 with this single. Also congratulations to AKB for breaking so many records as well as achieving their 6th one million seller!

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