Tag Archives: Matsui Jurina

Mayuyu, the center who pulled out from “UZA”

27 Feb

There was a brief period of time when i was thinking why Matsui Jurina and Oshima Yuko were the double centers for AKB48’s 28th single “UZA”. Based on the rankings of General Elections 2012, Watanabe Mayu, who placed 2nd after Oshima Yuko, should be rightfully pushed alongside Yuko. But looking at the style of “UZA” which requires strong dancing skills and a fierce aura, Jurina seems like a better fit instead.

Yesterday,Yahoo Japan posted an article which revealed that the real center of “UZA” was supposed to be Watanabe Mayu. I’ve translated it with my limited Japanese…so pls don’t mind if you find my translation awkward.

[Interviewer] I’ve interviewed you for so many times. Recently, your face seems to have changed?
[Mayuyu] Really?

[Interviewer] Seems like you’re showing the face of someone who has been entrusted with the responsibilities of a center. Did you even notice that you’ve changed?
[Mayuyu] I’ve changed. I’m from the 3rd generation so i’ve always relied on the 1st and 2nd generation seniors. But now i have to think deeper about the group as compared to the past. My time spent thinking about the group has really increased.

[Interviewer] Is it tough? Thinking about the group?
[Mayuyu] Yes

[Interviewer] The first time when you knew that you’d be the center for “So Long” was in November last year when you were shooting for the PV?
[Mayuyu] Yes

[Interviewer] What were you feeling at that time?
[Mayuyu] I was abit nervous, but i looked forward and told myself to work hard.

[Interviewer] Your dreams of becoming the center of AKB48 has finally come true!
[Mayuyu] Really…i’ve worked hard all these while so i’m happy that everything has turned out well. Just like what Takamina-san said (“If you work hard, your efforts will be rewarded.”), i truly feel the meaning of her words.

[Interviewer] Actually, you were entrusted with the center position of “UZA” last year, but as you were unable to perform the difficult dance, it ended with Oshima Yuko and Matsui Jurina taking over as double center right?
[Mayuyu] Yes

[Interviewer] Do you regret that moment?
[Mayuyu] Yes, i thought that i have to work harder than ever at that moment. It became a great experience actually.

[Interviewer] At the backstage after last year’s General Elections, Oshima Yuko said that she wanted to entrust you with the title “Next Generation Ace”. Have you thought about carrying the burden of leading AKB48 after that?
[Mayuyu] Yes, having placed 2nd in the General Elections, i’ve in fact thought much more about that.

[Interviewer] You made an impression when you were crying at last year’s Japan Record Award?
[Mayuyu] I took over Maeda Atsuko san’s center position for “Manatsu no Sounds Good!” after she graduated, so i thought i had to do a good job and was pressured by that. It was the first time we “challenged” the Japan Record Award after Acchan graduated, so when i heard we won, my nervousness and happiness just spilled out in the form of tears.

Source

NTV airs special drama for AKB48 “So Long” single & who wins the best actress award?

14 Feb

To commemorate the release of their 30th single “So Long”, each team in AKB48 took part in a 3-episode drama special, which aired during midnight from 11-13th February on Nihon TV. To make it more exciting, viewers are asked to vote for the best drama and best actress after watching the series. Now this is one big opportunity for those aspiring actresses in the group to showcase their talent, but unfortunately, only the rising stars and the senior members got major parts in the drama, which is not a bad thing cos we now get to see how much talent these girls got aside from singing and dancing!

Check out the 3 episodes below and let me know what you think!

Leads: Team A- Watanabe Mayu(18) & Shinoda Mariko(26)
Plot: Watanabe Mayu discovers a cassette tape recorder in her school’s broadcasting room which somehow transmits voice messages from a boy living in the era of 1995. After they get over the surrealism of this cassette tape recorder, they start communicating regularly, talking about life in 2013 and the people they know in common, for example the teacher who forced them into participating in broadcasting club. Friendship grew into love and Mayuyu eventually gathers the courage to record her confession for him. Just as she was about to send this tape into his world, the boy sends her a tape of his own, telling her he’s fallen for a girl in his era(Shinoda Mariko) who is also a ballerina like Mayuyu.(In 2013, Shinoda Mariko is actually Mayuyu’s ballet teacher.) He asks her for advice on how to ask Shinoda out. Mayuyu became disappointed and stopped communicating with him for awhile. One day, she discovers that the boy had actually died years ago due to an accident while going out with Mariko. She hurries to send a msg to warn him about the accident, but somehow he interprets it as a warning that Mariko is going to die and hence sacrifices himself to save her. After that fateful day, Mayuyu passes Mariko a tape from the boy which contained his confession for Mariko, and Mariko ends up crying after listening to the tape.

I personally like this plot the best.As cliche as this time travelling thing may be, the plot succeeded in catching my attention throughout. Only bad thing is Mayuyu’s acting. She needs to show more expressions….other than her standard smile and standard frown!

Leads: Team K – Matsui Jurina (15) & Oshima Yuko(24)
Plot: Yuko is a music major who wants to give up piano and start looking for a proper job. Her sister, Matsui Jurina, visits her one day and starts poking her nose into Yuko’s life. She tries to stop Yuko from giving up piano, turns up at her job interview and spills ice-cream on her clothes, knocks into her friend in school, goes on secret dates with her boyfriend etc. Yuko has this impression that Jurina is trying to steal everything from her and gets into an argument with her. Jurina left the apartment after that and gets into an accident. Yuko hurries to the hospital and discovers that Jurina has a degenerative eye disease, which meant she was almost blind already, thus resulting in those incidents which Yuko thought was part of Jurina’s plan to turn her life upside down. She tearfully makes up with Jurina, who revealed that she wanted Yuko to continue playing the piano since that was what makes her happy when they were younger. Hearing this, Yuko decided to take part in a piano competition and played the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” as a tribute to their memories.

I don’t think this plot matches up to Team A’s drama but Jurina & Yuko’s acting are very impressive indeed! We already know that Yuko has something to show since she has acted in dramas before, but Jurina is really good as well  for someone so young!

Leads: Team B – Shimazaki Haruka(18) & Kojima Haruna(24)
Plot: Kojima Haruna is the form teacher of Paruru’s class and she announced one day that she has tendered her resignation, 2 months before their graduation ceremony. Her students talk about her behind her back, not knowing that Haruna actually quit because she only had 2 months left to live. Paruru came up from behind, told them about the truth and chided them for being so mean especially when Haruna really cared for them despite her “aloof” and “irresponsible” demeanor. One by one, the students think back on incidents when Haruna saved them from embarrassment/loneliness by secretly helping them out, sometimes at the expense of creating a negative image for herself. They finally come to sense and decided to hold their graduation right outside Haruna’s hospital. While Haruna shied away from them, she was able to hear her students’ words of appreciation from her hospital bed. And as her students sang a last graduation song, tears rolled down her cheek.

Plot-wise, i think this wins hands down. This is as cliche as the drama for Team A’s, but somehow more realistic and moving. People had said that Paruru is bad at acting, but i think she’s a natural. Kojiharu can improve though…i’d expect more tears when she was lying in that hospital bed.

P/S: The votes are in for best drama and best actress, look out for it in my next post!

AKB48 reveals sakura song “So Long” on 火曜曲 (and the emergence of next gen Aces)

23 Jan

On the 22nd Jan episode of 火曜曲, AKB48 performed the first stage of their new single “So Long”!

Not digging the song as much as last year’s “Give me Five”, but i’m sure AKB48’s selling power will work it’s magic anyways.
One thing is clear after watching this performance though, the new pillars of AKB48 are:
So Long

Shimazaki Haruka, Watanabe Mayu, Matsui Jurina

And the center is of course:

Mayuyu

Mayuyu!

Being a Mayuyu fan, i’m more than happy to see the position she’s gotten for this single.Other than being in the center position, she even has a solo line in the middle!

I’m glad that Watanabe Miyuki is not featured prominently here because i absolutely cringe when she unleashes her fishing skills on the camera. She is just not as charismatic as Mayuyu, period.