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66th NHK Kouhaku Utagassen 2015~2016: X Japan comeback,Arashi,Golden Bomber and more

2 Jan

NHK’s Kouhaku is one of the most prestigious music shows in a year. Artistes who are invited are chosen according to several factors – the results of this year’s activities, public opinion and performance concept. Take a look at the highlights from last night, have they lived up to expectations?


X Japan – Forever Love/Born to be Free
X Japan disbanded in 1997 after appearing on Kouhaku, but regrouped in 2007. 2015 marks their return to Kouhaku after an absence of 18 years. Remembering their bandmates Hide and Taiji who passed away in 1998 and 2011 respectively, 2 guitars which belonged to them were placed onstage, as if to show that the band was performing as 7 instead of 5.

Leader Yoshiki says “We didn’t think that we’d get a chance at this stage. We’d like to thank the fans who supported us all these time, because of you, we got a 2nd life.

Arashi – Star Wars Collaboration / Sakura/ Ai wo Sakebe
Tying in with the popular movie, the members of Arashi transformed into Star Wars warriors complete with lightsabers and sang their hit songs for the year together with the Droids of the Galactic universe.

Alternative Link
NMB48 – 365nichi no Kamihikouki
I have no idea whether they’re trying to promote “Asa ga Kita”, Yamamoto Sayaka, the song or NMB48, but seeing how the cast of “Asa ga Kita” joined in the performance in the end, i guess the point was to promote the drama! Yamamoto Sayaka still got a huge deal out of this though, the guitar (which is actually unnecessarily in the context of her performance) and her solo opening made her stand out so much that the rest of NMB48 simply faded into the background. Most importantly, she got to stand beside Tamaki Hiroshi who is one of my absolute favourites!

AKB48 10th Year Anniversary – Aitakkata/Flying Get/Heavy Rotation
The concept of this performance was “Magic”. The moment when i read reports about it, alarm bells sounded because god knows how many lame magic tricks AKB48 has attempted in the past year. The real magic came when Maeda Atsuko and Oshima Yuko appeared out of nowhere to join the group. Takamina is shocked, but it is afterall the group’s 10th anniversary so i’m sure we’ll be seeing more Acchan-Yuko in 2016.

Ayase Haruka, Perfume, V6 x Disney Medley
Disney is quite a regular fixture on Kouhaku and Perfume often collaborates with Disney, but we’d never discover how cute Ayase Haruka is if not for this performance.She sings so well and dances like she’s part of Perfume!


Golden Bomber – Memeshikute
Golden Bomber cannot escape the vicious cycle of promoting”Memeshikute” and even Ayase Haruka is innocently asking “How much longer can they continue with this song?” but Golden Bomber always makes it fresh for the audience. In this performance, Darvish Kenji is dressed in a kimono but Kyan and Utahiroba Jun strips him to reveal that he’s actually dressed for a sumo match. The screen shows a computer system randomly picking his opponent from the Kouhaku judges, and it settles on Naoki Matayoshi, an award winning novelist and comedian. Naoki Matayoshi is carried into the ring and he loses to Darvish, but instead of getting a prize, sumo wrestlers pickup Darvish and knocks him against a temple bell,which is sounded traditionally to mark the start of a new year. Darvish ends up in a daze and Naoki describes his state using a scroll with the words “Hibana”(“fire sparks”). “Hibana” is actually the title of his award winning novel.

If you’re interested in the full show, you can view it here.




AKB48 43rd single will see the return of golden girls Acchan,Yuko,Mariko,Itano

16 Dec

AKB48 43rd single will be released in March 2016 and former aces Maeda Atsuko, Oshima Yuko, Itano Tomomi and Shinoda Mariko will be participating as well. Exiting member Takahashi Minami, who has her graduation concert set for that same month, will also be participating.

Takahashi Minami said “I was informed about this yesterday, even though i was told Kuchibiru would be my last single. I’m happy to be able to sing with everyone, but whom shall i apologise to?” Audience laughed because she showed a troubled face.


My interest in this group has been waning recently. This reunion will keep me going for another 3 months.

[Updated]Golden girls of AKB48 return in 38th single “Kibouteki Refrain” Music Video

13 Nov

AKB48 38th Single [Kibouteki Refrain] (FULL MV.) from Valen S. on Vimeo.

In what may be a very shocking but pleasant surprise, AKB48’s graduated golden girls Maeda Atsuko, Shinoda Mariko, Itano Tomomi and Oshima Yuko were featured in the music video of AKB48 38th single “Kibouteki Refrain”, set to release 26th November.
Starting with Takahashi Minami, the centers in the history of AKB48 showed up one after another, running a relay race to pass on 2 golden microphones. This action signifies the passing on of the center position. Watanabe Mayu and Miyawaki Sakura eventually receive the microphones and perform live with the rest of the senbatsu members.
There are lots of running scenes in this music video, which is also the theme for the jacket covers.
The single comes in 4 types in both regular and limited editions. Kojizaka46(centered by Kojima Haruna) will also have their first original song “Kaze no Razen” plus MV included in Type D.
Still Cuts
Jacket Covers

Fangirls react to Oshima Yuko getting a kiss from Kis-My-Ft2 Tamamori Yuta on SMAP 27Hr TV

28 Jul

During SMAP’s 27Hr TV yesterday, SMAP and Kis-My-Ft2 competed in a segment where they are supposed to act as boyfriends to Oshima Yuko. Each member would be given a situation and they are supposed to charm Yuko with their actions/words. The audience will then assess them and give points accordingly.

In the case of Kis-My-Ft2 Tamamori Yuta(starts at 16:06), he had to play out a situation where he had to appease his girlfriend as he returned home late and missed her birthday.

Yuko: My birthday is over..
Tamamori: I’m really sorry. I wanted to come home early, but i had to work overtime and missed your birthday. But i’ve already planned our date for the next time when i’m on leave.
Yuko: Where are we going?
Tamomori: I can’t tell you! It’s a surprise for your birthday.
Yuko: Then i won’t be getting anything today?
Tamomori: Not really, can you turn towards me?
Yuko: Yes..
Tamomori: I’m sorry for missing your birthday. Please bear with me, i hope to erase your sadness. Happy Birthday, Mariko(Yuko’s stage name). *fake kiss*

After the scene was aired on TV, angry fan girls took to Twitter to bash Yuko.

むり大島優子殺す(#`皿´) まじでにくむ。笑 にしても玉ちゃん可愛いぃぃい
“I have to kill Oshima Yuko. Really hate her.Tama-chan is cute.”
-Twitter mikuchi_711 (美空)

Oshima Yuko, if you look at him at way i will kill you, put you in concrete and bury you at the bottom of the sea!
-Twitter angel__yuuh ( かなみつ ) 

まじ最悪(・・;) 大島優子があんなこと言わんとけば、玉森はキスしなかったよ(・・;)
If Oshima Yuko had not said those words, he wouldn’t have kissed her! This sucks..
-Twitter tmr3yt17 (よねたま)

大島優子やだ やだやだやだやだやだ ありえん 最悪 まじやだ 玉ちゃんかわいそう
I hate Oshima Yuko. I can’t believe it, it’s the worst and i seriously hate it. Tama chan is so pitiful
-Twitter ayachi91013 (俺足族 あやたま)

大島優子はまじで終わってるわ!? ほんと玉ちゃん可哀想だった(>_<)
Oshima Yuko is over! Tama-chan is so pitiful!
-Twitter tama0317y1215 (ゆき)

Oshima Yuko is in the wrong, There is no reason to blame Tama-chan.
-Twitter michuuuxx (みぃぽぽ)

While it was really clear that the kiss scene was fake, Johnny’s fangirls have proven themselves to be really scary when it comes to the code-of-conduct with their idols. I feel really sorry for Yuko, who was probably trying to help out Tamamori. But honestly, being that NEAR to Tamamori? How many countries did she save in her past life!! >_<

Graduation is a blessing in so many ways…




Oshima Yuko says goodbye to AKB48, performs for a last time on TV

10 Jun

Yesterday, Oshima Yuko celebrated her last day as an AKB48 member with a last performance on TV. Her last theater stage in Akihabara was also broadcasted live. Like previous superstar Maeda Atsuko, Oshima’s graduation was treated with the grandeur fit for a queen. I guess only those top members deserve such a luxurious sendoff…

(Q&A Segment where Yuko answers the members’ questions)

#1. What can i do to get a bigger chest? 
I like cheese alot! I am still growing so you guys shouln’t worry.

MC:You think it’s okay for others to see you naked?
I have an elder brother and i always play with his friends so i have no sense of a woman’s modesty?

#2. When are you getting married?
Frankly, by 27?It’s next year…it’s my dream since 19 to get married by 27.By 30, i hope to have 2 children. After 30, i hope to have another 3? Minimum 3 and maximum 5 children?

MC: Do you have a partner now? /Don’t say ‘No’ today and have a scandal the next day! We’ll attack you!

MC: You guys are forbidden from getting into relationships rights? Is it alright to get married?
[Takamina] Akimoto san said marriage is fine. [Sashihara] Akimoto san will answer if you are serious about discussing it with him.

#3. What is your toughest job so far?
[Sashihara]Mine was standing in the middle of Shibuya, wearing a plastic bag around my head and being suffocated. Even my parents got worried about me.
[Uchida Mayumi] I ate cockroaches.
[Yuko] Compared to sasshi, i don’t think mine was tough at all. I ate shrimps before i went to to sea to fish. And i vomitted due to sea sickness. But i caught shrimps again and had to eat it.
[MC] What are you talking about? It’s tougher for us to listen to you!

(Segment about the History of Oshima Yuko)

“When we first met, she belonged to the newly formed Team K. We were conscious of each other as rivals. At that time, Akimoto Sayaka led them to greet us, and was talking about how they would work hard in order not to lose to us. From then, we kept thinking of each other as rivals.”

“She was a child actress, and whilst the rest of us came in with no showbiz experience, it seemed like she bet her all on AKB48 and her resolve was stronger than us.”

“She was someone who could do anything. However, because of her background as a child actress, the managers didn’t want to acknowledge her and she was someone who wasn’t pushed.”

-Skip part about Oshima Yuko’s road to stardom-

“When i left, i was very sorry to Yuko. That was the moment when everyone thought there’s no one else left but Yuko. But AKB48 was able to continue so i was very happy. Yuko worked very hard in place of me”

“When she announced i graduation, i thought ‘Ah that time has come’.  For her, the starting is now.”

Letter from Yuko’s father:
“You’ve been working in the showbiz from young, and even though you didn’t land a lot of jobs, you worked hard and i was very happy seeing that. But knowing that you love playing with your classmates, i didn’t imagine that you’d be serious about entering showbiz in future. I thought you’d quit showbiz forever when you entered high school. That’s when you were accepted into AKB48. You have grown alot these past 8 years. I feel energized whenever i see you chasing your dreams. Your dream is also my dream. I feel very blissful to have gone through this route with you.

The Yuko today is won’t be who she is without the fans, staff, members and related personnel. I am thankful for what you have done for her. Please support Oshima Yuko from now on too. Lastly, Yuko, thank you. P.S: Because of me, you turned out to be short, sorry!”

(Excerpts from Akihabara Theater Live)

[Mayuyu]”I really think Yuko is a great senior. You always think of everyone individually. When i first entered senbatsu, you gave me advice on acting. I am very happy to have worked beside you like this. When i heard you were going to graduate, i couldn’t imagine AKB without you…the future seemed dark. I want to send you off with a smile, and without you worrying about AKB. A few days before, i got No.1 in the Sousenkyo, so i thought that i have to lead everyone now. Please leave AKB48 to me. Thank you for everything!”

[Yuko]”You’ve grown up!”


[Kojiharu] “I have sent off so many, now i don’t know what to say. I have thought about what to say 2 weeks ago, and there’s so many things i thought of, but i just decided a few moments ago. [Yuko: Thank goodness u decided.] You are I are the same age,and you have things i don’t have. Because you work hard, i can work hard as well. If you are gone, i don’t think I can work hard anymore. [Yuko: But the other day you just said you won’t graduate!] So, i’ll just work a little bit more. [Yuko: Alrighhhht…] But when i was worrying about what i can do for AKB, Yuko said I just needed to be around. I was so happy because you saved me. I can’t work hard, but i think it’s also okay to just be around. [Yuko:….i don’t know how to answer you.] Today i’m wearing the ring you gave me in Hawaii. [Yuko: Today, I ….] Ah, you can’t wear it because of the costume coordination? [Yuko: Yes! Sorry! But i am always wearing it too!] From now on, lets be together forever. [Yuko: But previously, you didn’t like the design and hated it.] But i treasure it the most so i am wearing it today. [Yuko: You tried to accomodate me right?] Yes..haha. That’s all. Please work hard in Brazil!  [Yuko: I’ll also support you!] *Yuko leans in for a kiss…*


[Sashihara] “You probably don’t remember it, but when i was a research student, the staff told you to cue me to introduce myself, but 90% of the time you’d forget. You’d always run over to me after the theater live and say sorry. I can’t forget that. After that, we gradually got to know each other, and i’d like to tell you that you’re the senior i respect most. I also feel happy to be in the same agency as you. In HKT48, there are alot of juniors who admire you. I will pass on your spirit to them. I really like you, congratulations!”

[Yukirin] -skip the front= “During the rehearsals for your concert, you commented about my lousy dancing skills, but you taught me 1-to-1, so i’m really happy. You gave me new shoes after finding out that the shoes that i’ve been wearing for the past 6 years have worn out. When the members complain about my fashion sense, you gifted me with trendy outfits…but it’s so trendy that i don’t know how to wear it! Please teach me how to wear it next time! I’ll work hard to catch up to you, and i’ll also lead the group so that you don’t have to worry about us.”

[Takamina] You have alot of memories with the rest, but when i think about us, there’s only one i can think of. After Acchan’s graduation was decided, we decided to have a meal together. We talked about the future of AKB at that time. It was the first time we talked deeply, and we realised we were thinking of the same things. After that, in an interview you were asked ‘What is Takamina’s presence to you?’. You told them i am your comrade. I was very happy.  But i have a last request, after your graduation, i hope to be your friend instead. [Yuko: No!] Why?! When you graduate, we won’t be comrades anymore, so i wanna be your friend! [Yuko: I will continue to be AKB48’s supporter. I will understand AKB48 more than anyone, and i’ll also tell give you feedback based on what i see outside. So I prefer to continue being your comrade.] [Sashihara She got rejected 2 times! ][Yuko: Because there’s no one else who can be my comrade other than Takamina!]
Listen to the ‘Yuko’ calls one last time

Messages from fellow graduated members

Maeda Atsuko: “Yuko is so cute! Tomorrow is the day you can spread you wings! Yuko is really cool! You just fall in love the more you look at her. Congratulations on your graduation! I can imagine the glittery you!”

Itano Tomomi:
“I went to see Yuko’s concert.She was shining so brightly. Indeed her smile is the best. Please continue to stay as you are!”

Shinoda Mariko: “I went to see Yuko’s concert with Acchan. We wanted to lend our power as bringers of the Sun. Our prayers worked! Congratulations!”


Yuko’s last google+ entry

I have graduated!
Everyone, thank you for your support.
My theater performance is over.
Frankly, i’m much more relaxed now.

To quote the lyrics from “Ima Made no Melody”,
I have no more regrets.
I have done what there is to do.

When i think about what AKB has given me,
It’s something to be proud of.
I want to thank everyone who has supported me. (*^^*)In my next life, I want to be reborn as Oshima Yuko.
And live this life again.Ah! Also, this is my last entry.
I will try and appear in the members’ posts, so please continue to check them out!
Thank you, this is Oshima Yuko.(Her account was deleted after midnight.)


Yuko i can’t bear to see you leave.. you are truly the best!

Watanabe Mayu surpasses Sashihara, wins AKB48 6th General Elections

8 Jun

On the 7th June, the results of AKB48 6th General Elections(6th Senbatsu Sousenkyo) were unveiled in Ajinomoto Stadium. 80 members out of the 200+ member mega franchise were selected to represent the group in their next single. Of the 80, the top 16 will be able to sing the title track and take part in various media promotions. Check out the list of winners here.

Whilst 2013 winner Sashihara Rino had her sights on defending her title, it was 3rd generation member Watanabe Mayu(20) who did the impossible. Amassing the highest amount of votes in history(~160k votes), her victory was a happy ending fans have been waiting to see for years. Read on for the Top16’s winning speeches below.

1. Watanabe Mayu – the ace who got crowned late

“I said in my speech 2 years ago, that i wanted to win. I wasn’t able to realise that dream last year, despite all the hard work i put in. For a moment, i decided to give up. But fans gave me warm words, told me to grab my next chance. That strengthened my resolve to become no.1.

I joined AKB when i was 12, today i’m already 20. To get where i am today, i experienced alot. I am happy to have walked my path, believed in my fans, worked hard and not give up. When i joined AKB, there were alot of seniors. New juniors came in, sister groups were formed. Over time, the seniors whom i respect have graduated. I often wonder..what happened to the AKB48 that i knew in the past? As one of the leftover members from the 3rd generation, i have to stay strong and look forth. In the past, i followed the seniors around. Now that I have gotten this position, i have to stop leaning on the seniors. I want to become a member whom the juniors can look up to and follow, someone who doesn’t forget her initial passion, and is full of gratitude towards the fans.

To everyone, thank you!”

When asked what she had to say to Sashihara, Mayuyu teared up at one point and said, “Sasshi has gone through alot. Seeing her lead the HKT48 members, she has worked really hard. I want to say congratulations to everyone, and thanks too.”

Exiting member Oshima Yuko also made an appearance, congratulating Mayuyu on her win. When asked to give some advice, Yuko said “This is not advice, but in many ways, please take care of AKB48 from now on.”

Mayuyu confessed, “Yuko chan had wanted to entrust the AKB48 group to me 2 years ago,but i was unable to live up to expectations. Today, i’m happy i can finally answer to her request.”


2. Sashihara Rino – hopes for a winning streak crushed

“Honestly, i’m very frustrated. Awhile back, i overheard a conversation at this bookshop. An office lady was asking her friend who might win this elections. The friend answered ‘Sashihara’, but the lady said ‘If she won, wouldn’t it be weird?’. That lady also said ‘If Sashihara can win, then i should enter AKB and live a easy life.’. If that lady is watching this now, i want to tell you that AKB is not a easy place. Alot of members worry before coming here. Even though i still don’t know who’s going to become No.1, i will support that member with all my strength. No matter how tough it may be, i will not lose. I will participate in next year’s Sousenkyo, and i will certainly become No.1!”


3. Kashiwagi Yuki – the girl who doesn’t need to aim high

Kashiwagi Yuki is one of the rare members in AKB48 who has gained high recognition amongst fans despite never voicing her desire to rank high. In 2011, she surpassed same generation teammate Watanabe Mayu to take No.3 in the 2011 Senbatsu Sousenkyo, and has since kept a consistent ranking. This year is no different.

“I am very happy to be in Top 3. This Sousenkyo is not just a place to decide the center, it’s also a place where we can fight alongside our fans. I am not good with vying for things. But I can work hard because the fans are here. At first i only wanted to be an idol, but i have now become someone who wants to support the fans through songs and live shows. Last year, i said that AKB has become an important place for me.The handshake sessions are also an important place for me.  Today, i also want to show you my gratitude up close. There may be problems, but i don’t want to lose this place where i can interact with you directly. If you guys are here, i’m sure a warm place will be created for us. This year i am in NMB48 and have gotten alot of juniors, i will work hard as AKB48’s 3rd generation and repay you. Please support me!”


4. Matsui Jurina – 17 years old and aiming for No.1

c2b3809a.jpg (1440×810)

Matsui Jurina has been really ambitious since placing 6th in Sousenkyo last year. Considering her tenure in the group and her ranking, she is ready to battle for the throne. But looking at her disappointed frame, it’d be better if she develops some mental strength before coming back as the competition will get tougher next year.

“Even though i am very thankful, I feel frustrated not having ranked No.1. But i think it’s all my fault, i haven’t worked hard enough. Please let me make a promise with you. I will work harder than ever. Next year, when i turn 18, i will be No.1!”


5. Matsui Rena – a flourishing solo career and still flying high

As a fellow teammate of Matsui Jurina in SKE48, Matsui Rena has always been neck-to-neck with Jurina during Sousenkyo. This year she confessed to being worried about her placement, since her solo career has been impeding group activities. No wonder she was so happy when her ranking was called.

“I’m very happy to see so many of you here today, despite the heavy rain. Thanks for the support. Not only me, but alot of the other members have bet their lives by standing here, choosing a lifestyle different from that of a schoolgirl. I have the confidence to bet my life here, and work actively in the 48group, as well as in Nogizaka46. Just like how u guys have given me this present today, i will work hard to gift you the same present in future. This year, SKE will be doing a nationwide tour. Please wait for us!”


6. Yamamoto Sayaka – Osaka representative with overflowing ambitions

“This year, people have had expectations of me ever since the prelim results, some even guessed that i would win. On the other side, others have said it’s too early for me to win. I am really honored to have gotten this rank, but i’m really frustrated about not being able to refute those who said it’s impossible for me to win. When i entered senbatsu last year, i was able to work more and enjoyed every day. This time i am the only one from NMB48 to be called into senbatsu. I really love NMB48 and want to bring it to greater heights not only in Japan but also overseas.Last year, i said i wanted to be more active in my media work but i am sorry not have delivered the promise. My hopes to lead the group and become number 1 has never changed since i entered the group. I want to become someone worthy of the absolute center by next year. Please support me”


7. Shimazaki Haruka – ‘I am blunt but you will forgive me’

The member nicknamed “Ponkotsu Paruru”(Clumsy Paruru) is infamous for her blunt and less-than-friendly personality. Her army of fans continue to remain devoted by pushing her into Top 7. However, don’t expect her to contend for No.1 anytime soon. She works at her own pace.

“I don’t know what to say honestly. I am bad at this. People say i’m salty but having attained a great rank like this, i feel somehow satisfied instead. I tried to work hard at handshake sessions, but as expected i can’t do it. My fans always try to make me laugh instead. I think my fans are kinder and more forgiving than others. That’s the end! Thank you!”


8. Kojima Haruna – ‘I will graduate..’

The last beauty from the 1st generation apparently knows how to twist her fans around her finger. Talk about her graduation has been going on for months, so is it time?

“As usual, my prelim rankings isn’t good, but as usual the fans will always work hard for me towards the end. I am really happy. I don’t have any more regrets in AKB…I, Kojima Haruna, will announce my graduation here…..but i won’t! Sorry for the joke haha! I actually wanted to graduate here, but looking at the stabbing incidents recently, i think i will do what i can and stay on awhile more. I will graduate when everyone can smile from the bottom of their hearts. There is one more reason. When i looked on the internet, i was No.1 on the rankings for member most likely to graduate in the elections. I didn’t want to let that report come true, so i pulled back. I too, want the fans to be surprised when I announce my graduation. So please don’t spread rumors of graduation during big events like this. I don’t know how long i have with AKB, but i will work hard to the end.”

MC continued to asked when she started to consider graduation.

“I started to think about it when Acchan graduated. This time round, when the costume for Labrador Retriever was handed over…i am 26 but when i saw the dog prints, i thought ‘omg it’s about time’…LOL.”

MC asked her to declare her lifelong career as an AKB idol.

“That’s not going to happen! I’m just going to work abit more..”


9. Takahashi Minami – Hard work will definitely be rewarded

“This year i asked to be ranked within Top7. Even though i wasn’t able to reach that goal,i thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. As you know, recently a bad thing happened. At that moment,i thought AKB48 was over. I wasn’t unable to cheer up for days.Because of the fans my heart grew stronger. Even on such a rainy day, you guys are willing to wait for us. Because of you we are able to move on. There are people who asked me why i’m still here. I’m here because i love AKB48. AKB48 is the best! There’s a big challenge infront of us. If everyone is here, i think we can overcome this. Please let me support AKB48 a little while more.  Finally, let me say the words which i wasn’t able to say last year. Hard work will definitely be rewarded!”


10. Suda Akari – I’ll shine from any position

Suda Akari has the brightest smile amongst all the members and is so professional she smiles even when the camera is not on her. She is known for being a “fisher”, kind of derogatory for a girl but over the years I can really see the sincerity in her. Still, i’m not used to her over enthusiastic personality.

“I am not good at talking. When i googled my name, people say i’m not cute at all. I can’t imagine saying that to a person who got so many votes. Last year, i got into into Top16 due to the help of everyone. After getting  Top16, i was even able to move up front within SKE. I wonder if that was a good thing, and cried everyday. Some have questioned why i am up front. But still, i left an impression on them isn’t it? In future, in order to become the center in your eyes, i’ll work hard to shine from any position.”

She cried at the last part because she thought she’d never rank in senbatsu again.


11. Sakura Miyawaki – My rival is Sashihara

Sakura is probably the only member in HKT48 who has a fanbase so strong that she doesn’t need to rely Sashihara’s help. She hailed Sasshi as her rival, but as the original ace of HKT48, she should probably challenge the beasts of sister groups Jurina and Sayanee instead.

“I’m really shocked to receive this rank. I’m always nervous, but the fans are always here for me. If you guys aren’t here, there won’t be me. Someone asked me who my rival is. I can only think of one. My rival is Sasshi. She is all-rounded. I think that if there’s no one who can surpass Sasshi in HKT, then there won’t be growth. I am still not there, but i will work hard so Sasshi can call me as her rival. I’ll show you that i can surpass Sasshi!”


12. Miyazawa Sae – A formidable presence despite zero TV appearances

“Thank you! This year has been an unforgettable year! I met alot of people…experienced alot of feelings. I’m really thankful for it. Again, i want to be a source of strength for many in AKB48. To be able to stand on this stage, i feel very happy. I want to repay everyone, and I hope to show the juniors my cool back!I am also happy to be featured on the LINE stamps!”


13. Yokoyama Yui

-Skip translation because it’s kinda boring-


14. Ikoma Rina – Shocker of the night

As the former center of rival group Nogizaka46, Ikoma was offered a concurrency with AKB48 in February. She accepted it thinking of creating more opportunities for Nogizaka46. No one thought that she’d go far in these elections, but the Nogizaka fans are obviously hungrier that we thought. Catch the priceless expression on her face when her ranking was announced. Even exiting member Oshima Yuko was amazed by it.

“Do you know me? Oh, that’s great, thank you very much! Um… I-I-I never thought, e-even a tiny bit, that I would enter senbatsu, so when I heard just there “Nogizaka’s…” I didn’t know what to think and I still don’t know what to do. But… ah… um…. um, the reason that I’m here is that my fans supported me in all sorts of places, making and handing out flyers, cycling all the way to their home towns, even to places I don’t know, they did all that hard work for me. Members… well, I’m here on a concurrency from a rival group so this surprised a lot of people and no one really knows how this is going to go. But now I feel glad I went through with it… thank you very much. There’s a lot of people I feel grateful to. But I think there’s also a lot of people in Japan who don’t know who I am. I want to take this opportunity for, well for myself as well but I’m from a group called Nogizaka46 and I want to work hard in order to get more people to know who we are! Thank you very much!”


15. Shibata Aya – Another cinderella story

Shibata Aya is one of the cinderella girls in this year’s senbatsu. She is not favored by management but moved into the limelight last year due to fan support. She placed 17th in last year’s general elections and has since been included in the senbatsu lineup for SKE48’s singles.
“Last year, i experienced alot after placing 17th in the elections.I felt very blissful becoming an idol. But seeing the difference between 16th and 17th positions, i felt frustrated realizing what entering senbatsu is all about. This year, i promised to enter senbatsu and is finally able to have that dream come true together with the help of my fans. I won’t waste the chance from the fans. I will work hard to aim higher.  I like the saying ‘If you don’t aim for No.1, you won’t become 2nd or 3rd.’,so i will become everyone’s No.1 idol.”


16. Kawaei Rina – A bounce back from adversity

The baka center had a poor placement in the preliminary results of this year’s sousenkyo despite receiving much push the past year. The recent stabbing incident threw her back into the spotlight as she was one of the 2 injured, together with Iriyama Anna. I don’t know if it helped to get her sympathy votes but the girl definitely hopes it was not the case.

“I’ve worried everyone! I am very healthy now. Honestly, when i was ranked 52 in the prelim results, i had been worrying and crying every day. When i was thinking of what to do, this incident happened. I think God was telling me to stop waiting around and to wake up. I think everyone converted my adversity into a chance for me. In this year, i will not lose no matter what happens. Thank you.”

MC asked if she was afraid during the stabbing incident. Kawaei said, ‘It’s ok! I wasn’t afraid!”

“Actually i was thinking i shouldn’t care about the results anymore. But the fans created this great position for me. Thank you!”

“This year i had done alot and had no regrets, so i was really afraid of the sousenkyo results this year. But now i am no longer afraid!”

“This time, i entered senbatsu because fans had expectations of me and were worried for me. Next year, i hope to enter senbatsu without the help of any adversities!”
And this concludes my translations for their speeches.

Oshima Yuko Graduation Special on Mecha Mecha Iketeru

23 Apr

“Mecha Mecha Iketeru” is a variety show which played a big role in propelling AKB48 members Kawaei Rina and Shimazaki Haruka to stardom. The concept of this show changes according to the characteristics their guests, and this time round, they’ve invited Oshima Yuko to do a graduation special.

I’ve always found Mecha Mecha Iketeru to be unpredictable, so no doubt this is going to be one great episode.

So the show starts off with Oshima Yuko meeting up with comedian combi Yabe and Okamura. They decide to take her on a 2D1N trip to “celebrate” her graduation. In the bus, Okamura asks her if she’d be all high and mighty after becoming an actress, which she obviously denied. Yabe asks if she’d do anything and everything if she was invited to “Mecha Mecha Iketeru”, which Yuko agreed to without hesitation. Unfortunately she did not sense the evil intentions behind the giggles of the comedians.The bus takes them to their first drop-off point named “Water Tank”. A few minutes later, the scene changes to Yuko walking in unwillingly in swimwear. The MCs announced that she’d be challenging herself to a diving game which requires her to navigate a maze underwater to retrieve various items. Yuko asked why she had to do it, and Okamura said “Don’t you know Amachan?”(a hit drama series in 2013 based on a female diver.) “Don’t you want to appear in Season 2? You might have a chance you know?” Yuko had no choice but to agree…


Unfortunately it was pretty hard for her to continue holding her breath while maneuvering the maze, so it took a few tries before she was able to succeed. The difficulty of her challenge was increased later as they switched the fish to a bowling ball. By this time Yuko was already too tired to succeed so the comedians brought in Minegishi Minami to cheer her up.  Without a word, she burst into a dance version of Ayame Gouriki’s “Tomodachi Yori Daiji na Hito”, which she has been getting popular for over the past year. Yuko was considerably energized and even joined in the dance. After that, Yuko returned to her challenge. She was unable to lift the dumb-bells from the water so Miichan climbed up the water tank to dance for her again. Unfortunately, she did not realise she was stepping on styrofoam floorboards, so she broke through the floorboards and fell into the water. Since the tank was destroyed, they decided to abandon this game.


In the bus, they asked Yuko about her acting experience in “Ando Lloyd ” with Kimura Takuya. Yuko said she admires Kimura for taking on such a difficult character so the comedians asked if she would like to become an “Ando Lloyd”(a robot). By know Yuko knew what she was getting into but had no choice but to say yes. She was brought into a room to watch 2 comedians acting out the role of a elderly man and his robot girlfriend. The elderly man tries to persuade his robot girlfriend to go to the hotsprings with him, but the only words which the robot girlfriend can say is “Dame yo! Dame Dame!”(which means no). Eventually the robot girlfriend goes haywire. Yuko was informed that she’d need to act out the same role as the robot girlfriend. Unglamorous yes but Yuko did it all the way. In the end she got so into the role that she competed with the comedian to see who is better at going haywire.

In the 3rd segment, Yuko was tasked to buy crepes in public dressed in her robot costume. She found it very embarrassing but had no choice. Suddenly, this comedian(i suppose) who won the title of “dumbest member” in an academic test on a previous episode of Mecha Mecha Iketeru, appeared and started laughing at her, taking photos of her and sending it to Okamura. Kawaei Rina, who was also crowned the “dumbest center” in another episode, appeared too and both took great delight in ridiculing Yuko’s looks. Kawaei even tried to send a picture of Yuko to Akimoto Yasushi. Yuko then returned to the bus, only to find it driving away without her. She was forced to run after the bus with a handful of crepes in her arms, terrorizing strangers along the way with her zombie makeup.

The night is about to come to an end. Yuko and the comedians were asked to alight from the bus and take a taxi to a nearby hotel instead. In the taxi, Yuko talked about a time when she wondered if it was right to pursue a singing and acting career at the same time. Akimoto Yasushi gave her a piece of advice – between the tough and easy road (to success), she should choose the tough one. At this point, the taxi driver suddenly asked “Excuse me, there is a tough road and a easy road ahead, which one will you choose?” I think you guys know which she was forced to choose now. Yuko was taken on the most terrifying ride of her life, which caused her to break into tears. Okamura commented “That was definitely a tough road!”.


Next morning, the comedians decided to enter Yuko’s hotel room secretly and film her while she was still sleeping. They invited Kentaro, Yuko’s fan to join in. Kentaro is quite funny because he admitted that he had actually switched oshimen to Yuko after Shinoda Mariko graduated. Yuko was then woken by the smell of Kawaei Rina’s shoes…ewww. She was quite shocked to find a stranger (Kentaro) in her room, but after finding out then he was a fan who had never been to handshake sessions, decided to fulfill his wish.

On the way to breakfast, Yuko looked out the window to find Watanabe Mayu and Kato Koji(another comedian) involved in a brawl. (This segment is another followup to the long-running “feud” between Kato and Mayuyu, which started when Kato kicked Mayuyu in the head while filming for another variety show.) Turns out they were arguing over whether to serve Yuko a western or Japanese breakfast. Whilst arguing, Kato also made digs at Mayuyu’s idol image, accusing her of having a ugly face in the morning, and spending too much time in the toilet. Mayuyu went ballistic upon hearing these and started sending invisible attacks to Kato. Yuko approached the 2 to stop them, but Mayuyu caught her by the head and pushed her face into a cake. They finally managed to stop violent Mayuyu after showing her a pic of cute babies.

Back in the bus, Yuko decided to give up on breakfast and requested to remove the cream from her face. Her wish was granted as her bus seat suddenly tipped backwards, into a pool of water. The expression on her face was priceless! I truly believe she didn’t expect that coming. Whats worse, she was made to promote herself as an actress later, looking all wet and messed up.


The bus reaches National Olympic Stadium, where Yuko was to hold her graduation concert. Here Yuko is welcomed by the rest of AKB48 members. Team K also showed up to express thanks to their leader. I will just translate the most touching part here.

Kobayashi Kana: I came into AKB48 in the same generation as you. I was also once the center before you took the position away from me. The fans and staff talked about us and thought we were on bad terms. Last year’s October, i called you for the first time. I thought you looked depressed. “How did you know?” you asked. Of cos i knew. My eyes have followed you more than others ever since my position was taken by you. That was the first time you talked about graduating. At the end of the call, you said you were worried about Team K. You said sorry and told me to work hard.I thought it was very like you to worry about others. But the one suffering is actually Yuko. People may think i have lost to you. But while you were working on your movies and dramas, i stood on stage and danced and sang more than others. I will not lose to you. So leave the rest to me. Look forward and realise your dreams.

Yuko: I think you guys will really work hard without me. Thank you for creating this opporunity for me!

Oshima Yuko’s last stage on Music Station

22 Mar

In today’s 3-hour special on Music Station, Oshima Yuko performed on stage for the last time. As per previous graduation stages, she sang a medley of songs which she had centered for (“Mae Shika Mukanee” and “Heavy Rotation”), as well as a solo song “Ima Made no Melody” which was specially written for her by Akimoto sensei.

In the solo song, Yuko basically reflects on the journey with her members and concludes that she has done everything under AKB48, with no further regrets. Her last performance stays true to her personality, full of energy and positivity.

Now if you’re asking whether Yuko will continue singing (either as a solo artiste or as part of Not Yet), i can tell you the answer’s a NO, cause she addressed the question in the interview segment.

“I won’t be singing or doing a solo debut. Compared to expressing myself through singing, i want to express myself through acting. I have already done alot of singing through AKB.”

She also talked about when she first thought about graduating.

“When i was 19. I filmed alot of music videos in AKB and found it interesting. So i thought about furthering myself in acting then.”

The MC then commented that she’d have alot of time after she graduates, so Yuko asked the MC what she should learn/experience. The MC said he’d be very free too(as one of the regular programme he hosts is getting cancelled) so Yuko invited him to do something together.

For starters, Yuko revealed that she’d be interested in picking up Japanese traditional dancing/sparring, which would help her in action scenes later. She wants to do something which makes use of the body.

At the end of the show, Fukuyama Masaharu congratulated her and said “Can i call you the phoenix of AKB?”, making everyone laugh. Yuko is well-loved by everyone!

Yuko’s official last day as a member of AKB48 will be on 2nd June, which is the day when a special performance will be held in Akiharaba’s AKB Theater. Till then, she’ll continue to attend handshake events. Her graduation ceremony will be held end of March during the group’s concert in the National Olympic Stadium.

Fans in favor of Yamamoto Sayaka being Oshima Yuko’s successor

9 Mar

It seems fans of Oshima Yuko have already decided that the person who should takeover Oshima Yuko after she graduates should be Yamamoto Sayaka, captain of NMB48 and newly appointed AKB48 Team K member.

Appearing at a PR event on the 5th March, Yamamoto Sayaka said “It’s a pity i had to enter Team K when Yuko is not there.She taught me alot. I will work hard and not cause their spirits to drop.”

It seems like she has inherited the Yuko spirit, but many fans also agree that Yamamoto is the successor to Yuko.

A publisher said “As the center of ‘Mae Shika Mukanee’ single, Oshima Yuko is of course the highlight of the jacket covers, but if you look inside, the center is Yamamoto. Also, there is significance looking at how Yamamoto’s been appointed to concurrent in Oshima’s team. Fans are wondering if this is a conspiracy by the management.”

In addition, the first singer in “Mae Shika Mukanee” is Oshima Yuko, followed by Yamamoto Sayaka. Is Yamamoto really the successor to Yuko?

Shimazaki Haruka was said to be the successor to Maeda Atsuko, as to how Yokohama Yui is to Takahashi Minami. There is certainly no end to the guesses on the topic of successors.



Update: In another article, it is mentioned that Yuko was surprised when she saw Yamamoto taking the center position for the inner pages of the jacket cover. Even though she had a clear idea of who should succeed her(Muto Tomu i guess), it seems that management decided to choose Yamamoto instead since Yuko had also praised her as a good leader.


Yamamoto Sayaka indeed has a similar vibe to Yuko, but I always thought Jurina was the one since they’ve always been paired together. And how did Paruru become successor to Acchan?? Isn’t it Mayuyu? O_O

Oshima Yuko explains decision to announce graduation on Kouhaku

9 Jan
Yuko Oshima (25) has updated her blog on the 4th and talked about her reasons for graduating from AKB48 and for announcing it at the Kouhaku.

This is Oshima’s first update in the new year. Along with her new year’s message to her fans, she also proceeded to apologize by saying, “I think I surprised everyone after suddenly announcing my graduation at the very end of the year 2013.”

The reason why she chose to announce her graduation at the Kouhaku and not the AKB Theater is: “The Kouhaku has always been a dream and an aspiration for me, even during the time when we were not yet called AKB48 but Akihabara 48. It is a very special and memorable place for me. And because I wanted to properly bid farewell to that special place from that special place, I decided to announce my graduation at the Kouhaku Uta Gassen“.

Oshima’s goal now is “to be an actress who could represent Japan”. “I don’t think I’ll be able to get any more chances to participate in the Kouhaku after I leave AKB”. “If I do get that chance, then that would be the time when I have properly accomplished my goals and dreams after graduating. I am hopeful that I’ll be able to join the show someday, as ‘Yuko Oshima, the actress’–as a judge…”. She also did not clarify when she will officially graduate and said, “It’s not clearly decided yet, but I will immediately announce it once it’s finalized”.

About the reason for her graduation: “I have strongly felt the urge to take on the next step. I’m not saying that there are no more possibilities with AKB, it’s that this is the last step that I could take as a member of AKB, and it is also my duty to make way for the members who will be taking over the next generation”. She also revealed that producer Yasushi Akimoto’s (55) words of advice helped push her towards making this decision, which was: “If it’s a choice between taking the easy way and the hard way, then take the hard way. Choose the path of thorns”.

“For everyone of us who has stayed as a group, going solo is the path of thorns. I now have the same resolve that the previous members have had.” “Even when the circumstances change, my beliefs and my feelings will never change as I proceed towards a new stage in my life.”