Tag Archives: Shinoda Mariko

March “anan” issue features the legends of AKB48

25 Feb

Some of the interviews in this feature.

mayu shinoda acchan


Maeda Atsuko on Sakura Miyawaki 

What are her charms when you saw her for the first time?
Maeda: She was really small and i was so touched thinking “she is the icon of pretty girls”. She grew day by day and I always said “you’ve grown taller again~!” when i met her(laugh). She grew by 20cm and is now taller than me.
When you see her activities elsewhere, what other charms did you discover?
Maeda: I like the Sakura in “Majisuka Gakuen”. Anyways, she’s cute! When i told her straight to the face, she got embarrassed and didn’t like it. But from this reaction, you can tell she takes acting seriously, and i remember thinking to myself that she’ll become a great actress.

What charms can she improve on?
Maeda: Like…dyeing her hair as she ages. I was like that too during a period when i wanted to look more mature. But i also want her to continue the orthodox style of being cute with black hair. Also, i hope she can become a solid center, as i feel like the “center” of AKB48 has not been decided yet. So i hope she can aim for “immovable center” with a positive mindset instead of questioning herself. If it’s Sakura, she can do it!

Sakura Miyawaki on Maeda Atsuko

Your thoughts on Maeda?
Sakura: Initially i was more of a fan than a member. After that, i remember tearing up when i listened to Maeda san singing “Yume no Kawa” on stage. At that time, even though we didn’t have much interaction, something welled up in my chest.

When you see her activities elsewhere, what other charms did you discover?
Sakura: Last year, i went to see her butai “Aoi Hitomi” alone. It was a play with very difficult and thought-inducing plot. To be able to appear in something like that is something only real actresses can do. Not only me, but all the members also want to become like her.

What else do you wish to see in her?
Sakura:I want to see her acting as an OL in dramas or movies(laugh). For the MV of “Kimi wa Melody” this time, both Maeda san and Oshima Yuko san supported me and made it more enjoyable that i could imagine. Even if they’ve graduated, i hope to work with them like this in future too!


Watanabe Mayu x Itano Tomomi on Shinoda Mariko

tomochin mariko mayu

What are her charms when you first met her?
Itano:Mariko came slightly after the first generation members. Up till then, we were taking dance and singing lessons and worried over how many songs we could remember. But i remember that you were able to memorize all of them.

When you see her activities elsewhere, what other charms did you discover?
Mayu:It was really lonely after she graduated, but i always watch her on “PON!”. Indeed, her talking skills is really good.
Mariko: Eh, really?
Mayu: Yes! I can’t really talk, so your program helps me to learn.

What else do you wish to see in her?
Mayu: During AKB48, Mariko sama was always called the “Mariko from above”, but i always thought that she had the cute charm too. I want to see the mischievous Mariko sama from now too!
Mariko: Now that i think about it, Mayuyu used to do the Kancho(*Japanese prank)on me.
Mayu: That’s right. I did that to the Mariko sama i admire…i was really happy(laugh).

Shinoda Mariko x Itano Tomomi on Watanabe Mayu
What are her charms when you first met her?
Shinoda: It was an event to unveil Team B i think. There was a rumor about this girl who exudes an aura when she dances – that was Mayuyu.

Mayu: Ehh!

Shinoda: She was like the Acchan during her debut – simple at first glance, but somehow her presence draws attention. I remember thinking that she’s cute.

When you see her activities elsewhere, what other charms did you discover?
Itano: To me, Mayuyu of yester years and now is still the “orthodox idol”. She’s cute like a doll so i hope she remains like that.

Shinoda: But she’s surprisingly mature infront of her peers and juniors.

Itano: Yes. I also think it’s very fresh and charming when she pokes fun at her peers with a smile.

What are the charms that she can improve on?
Shinoda: On the contrary, i want to see a blank Mayuyu.
Itano: Blank Mayuyu!?
Shinoda: Yes. When people learn about her human side, maybe they’ll feel that they have more in common with her. I thought about this too when i first met her, but she seems to harbour alot of power.
Itano: Mmm….it may be good to break that shell.

Shinoda Mariko x Watanabe Mayu on Itano Tomomi

What are her charms when you first met her?
Shinoda: When was the first time you both talked?
Itano: We were always standing next to each other during filming.
Mayu: I was nervous and she said “Are you alright?”
Itano: Mayuyu was very quiet(laugh).
Mayu: Tomochin san had a very cool image but actually she took good care of the juniors. I think this gap in her image is very charming!

When you see her activities elsewhere, what other charms did you discover?
Mayu: I think it’s really cool now that she’s a solo artiste.
Shinoda: Indeed, it’s different from when we do group performances. It’s great.
Mayu: Yes. Her professionalism is different from when she was in AKB48. I feel the strength in her!

What else do you wish to see in her?
Mayu: Of cos her cool beauty, and personally, i also wish to see her “my pace” side and more of her real personality.
Shinoda: Something like “Mojimoji kun?” (*i have no idea who is mojimoji kun)
Itano: no~!!
Shinoda: Fufu, just joking(laugh)


Credits to Mayuyu.Org for scans

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

Shinoda Mariko’s fashion brand “ricori” goes bust, stores have ceased operations

17 Jul

Ex-AKB48 member Shinoda Mariko’s self produced fashion brand “ricori” has shut down its retail stores in Japan with effect from 15th July, according to their official blog.

Shinoda Mariko has been working as the designer and producer for this brand since 2013. The brand is also named after her. Reacting to this piece of news, she tweeted “I was very shocked to hear that ricori had ceased operations. I was the advisor for this brand up till last year so it’s a pity. Thank you for the support so far.”

Despite leaving “ricori” after 2013, Mariko had continued to endorse the brand in 2014, as seen from various pictures on her twitter from Feb to May. Therefore, fans are actually surprised to know she had stopped producing for the brand.

Ricori started operations in Feb 2013, with a retail store in Lumine East Shinjuku. Shortly after, the brand expanded to two other branches in Shinsaibashi and Umeda HEP Five in Osaka. Another branch in Hakata Hankyu Department Store was opened in Aug 2013. However, the Shinsaibashi branch closed down within half a year. The brand is expected to file for bankruptcy later. The amount of debts accumulated is unknown.


Kinda shocked this didn’t work out…she was such an inspiration back then, sleeping 3hrs each day to juggle her activities and business. I don’t know if this is simply the impact of leaving AKB48, but i think her business expanded too fast …and the prices of her clothes are too expensive. 

Shinoda Mariko turns into blonde yankee for new drama

14 Jun

Usually i don’t post anything non-related to jpop, but this one’s worth a look.

Ex-AKB48 member Shinoda Mariko(28) has been casted in TBS drama “Kazouku Mamori” (Premieres 4th July, 10pm) as a yankee(wild/rebellious) mother.

For this role, Shinoda went through a dramatic image change. From hair extensions, bright red lipstick, purple lenses to a gothic chain piercing that runs from her earlobe to lips, it is a complete transformation from her usual look.

“During the filming, i changed into a tough character and was afraid of nothing. Maybe it’d have been better if i became even tougher,” she said.

The drama focuses on the story revolving around 3 families, and aims to search for the meaning of “family”. Shinoda acts as someone who hates her father after her brother committed suicide. She lives happily with her husband and children, but continues to blame her father in her heart.

“There’s anger and hate because of love. Please look out for the scenes when i become violent,” she appealed.


Shinoda Mariko wants Jurina/Mayuyu to win Sousenkyo

7 Jun

Ex AKB48 member and model Shinoda Mariko revealed her preferences for the new AKB48 Queen at a press event on 6th June. She named Matsui Jurina and Watanabe Mayu as the contenders to win the annual AKB48 popularity contest, which takes place on 7th June this year. The winner of last year’s event was HKT48 member Sashihara Rino, who hopes to defend her title this year.

“Sashihara is good for the position so pls work hard,” said Shinoda as she tried her best to pay compliments when asked about Sasshi.

“I hope everyone’s ranking goes up, but my Oshimen is Matsui Jurina,” she added.

“The ones who can topple Sashihara are probably Mayuyu and Jurina. They are conscious of being the next generation aces, and they are improving rapidly. Mayuyu was very frustrated having lost out to Sashihara last year, so she should betting her all this year. I met Jurina last week and she told me she wanted to get No.1 no matter what.”

When asked about her good friend Kojima Haruna, Shinoda said, “It’d be interesting if Kojiharu got no.1. She might show her some determination to word hard…”

Source: http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20140606-00000041-dal-ent



Matsui Jurina wins AKB48 Jankan Tournament, becomes center of 34th single!

19 Sep

SKE48/AKB48 next generation ace Matsui Jurina clinched her first Janken Tournament title yesterday, making her the face of AKB48’s 34th single (to be released towards the end of this year).

The annual Janken Tournament is an event organised by the management of AKB48 to give an equal chance to all members to earn a spot in the single senbatsu. Rounds after rounds of “scissors, paper, stone” is played until the eventual winner is crowned. This year, Matsui Jurina faced off against NMB48’s Team B captain Emika Kameida, AKB48 Muto Tomu, NMB48 Yagura Fuuko, AKB48 Shimada Haruka, NMB48 KKS Uno Mizuki, AKB48 Tano Yuka and AKB48 Hirata Rina, winning all of them with simply “paper”. This is unbelievably similar to how Shimazaki Haruka won the Jankan Tournament last year, simply with “scissors”.

After realising she’d won, Jurina collapsed to the floor in happiness and cried.

“I can’t believe i actually won the center position!”
“I’ll work hard to be recognised as a true center, not just the janken center.”

Graduated members Shinoda Mariko and Maeda Atsuko also took to twitter to convey their congratulations.

Shinoda Mariko: “I received a call from Acchan. Congratulations Jurina! Because i couldn’t go, i gave you my janken power!”
Maeda Atsuko seems to have watched it live and tweeted “Good luck Jurina!” before congratulating her after she won.

Who says that Acchan and Jurina weren’t on good terms?!

Anyways, the rest of the senbatsu members are:

Uno Mizuki, Tano Yuka, Furuhata Nao, Abe Maria, Kitahara Rie, Tsuchiyasu Mizuki, Hirata Rina, Oya Shizuka, Oba Mina, Yumoto Ami, Sasaki Yukari, Natori Wakana, Kikuchi Ayaka, Fujie Reina,Kameida Emika

This lineup has several up-and-coming faces but i’m doubting how well the single can sell, since Jurina is the only “famous” face fronting the whole lineup. However, this is the chance for Jurina to shine and if she does well..lets just say that the top 3 of AKB48 will face another shakeup next year. I have high hopes for Jurina and i hope she shows Sasshi what a true center is all about!


And here’s the last portion of the Janken tournament with Jurina’s win.

Shinoda Mariko’s graduation footage: “I’ll still choose AKB48 in my next life”

23 Jul

Shinoda’s message from Fukuoka Yafuoku Dome:

“Graduation is something I decided, but i felt like staying on after enjoying the past month with everyone. I want to graduate in my own style. I will work hard to become someone whom my juniors can look up. AKB48 is still the best group out there and it has more to show. My time here has been very happy. To my parents, family, friends, members, staff and fans who have supported me the past years, thank you very much. I’ll still choose AKB48 in my next life.”

Sharing pictures and messages from the members’ SNS accounts:

Pic of the remaining 1st generation members (from Mariko’s Twitter)

2 Shot of Maeda Atsuko and Shinoda Mariko (From Mariko’s Twitter)

Acchan’s message: “You’ve worked hard Mari chan! Your graduation is firmly burned in my mind, cheers!” (From Acchan’s Twitter)

Another first generation pic (From Itano Tomomi’s twitter)

Itano Tomomi’s message: “Your graduation is so depressing..” (from Itano Tomomi’s twitter)


Jurina’s message: “I don’t want you to go! I can’t do anything without you.I want you to stop worrying about me, but i can’t bring myself to say it.”  (From Jurina’s blog)

Mariko at her last theater performance in Akihabara today.

Kojima Haruna’s message: “I went to the graduation performance of the Mari chan! It was a performance filled with smiles, just like Mari chan! Congratulations on your graduation ♪ love!”

Taking down her portrait from the AKB48 Theater.

Empty spot on the wall.

Saying her goodbyes to the fans outside Akihabara’s theater for the last time.

Watanabe Mayu’s message: “This is from Mariko sama’s graduation stage. Somehow, i can’t feel the reality it. I don’t want to believe that you aren’t here anymore. I’ll take what Mariko sama has left behind in AKB and use it to grow the group. Thank you for everything so far.”

Message from Miyazawa Sae: “Congrats on your graduation! Thanks for your love and smiles! I might never be as professional as you, but you’ve given me much push so i’ll work hard. Lets be good friends forever!”

Message from Kashiwagi Yuki: “Mariko sama, i really respect you and like you! Maybe this was not expressed to you clearly, but thanks for taking care of me! (From Yukirin’s Google+)

Sato Sumire’s message : “I’ll still follow you even though you’ve graduated!” (from Sato Sumire’s Twitter)

Party shot of members who turned up at Akihabara Theater today. (From Shinoda Mariko’s Twitter)

If you’re interested in the last theater performance of Shinoda Mariko in Akihabara, pls click here.

[Updated]Shinoda Mariko graduates, appoints Yokoyama Yui as new captain of Team A

22 Jul


Translating a flurry of articles on Mariko sama’s graduation..

Shinoda Mariko & Aki P come to a decision on Team A’s new captain

AKB48’s Shinoda Mariko(27) announced the official successor to Team A’s captain position in her graduation concert at Yafuoku Dome today. This person is none other than Yokoyama Yui(20), a member of the 9th generation who hails from Kyoto.

“She’ll be able to carry on my will. If it’s Yui, she can do it.” explained Shinoda.

In response, Yokoyama Yui said “I’ve never been a captain in my life. No one has nominated me before. I may not be fashionable, but pls look out for Yokoyama Team A from now on.”


Fans ditch Japan’s Parliamentary Elections to send off Mariko sama

Fans gathered early outside Yafuoku Dome to prepare for AKB48’s concert. Even though today was the polling day for Japan’s parliamentary elections, alot weren’t interested and chose to give up their votes instead.

A man who voted for Shinoda Mariko in this year’s general elections came to the concert with his friend without casting his vote for the parliamentary elections. “I wanted to send off Mariko sama no matter what,” he said.

A nurse from Northern Kyushu also ditched the political elections and said “As Mariko chan’s fan, it’s more important to send her off.”

A housewife from Kumamoto who voted for Takajo Aki(21) in this year’s elections came to the dome concert with her husband. “As fans, we’re already too busy thinking about the AKB members, much less the parliament elections.”


Tomonobu Togasaki talks about his first impressions of Mariko “She loved Hamtaro…”

AKB48’s theater manager Tomonobu Togasaki, who has been around ever since the founding of AKB48, talked about Mariko of 8 years ago.

“She was an ordinary girl who came to Tokyo from Fukuoka bearing her dreams. She loved Hamtaro…and always carried a Hamtaro bag to the theater.”

Although she failed the 1st generation auditions, Mariko didn’t give up on her dreams and continued to work as a waitress in the AKB48 cafe next to the theater. During popularity polls, her name was nomiated even though she wasn’t yet a member.

The T&C for her debut in Jan ’06 was to learn the choreography for 12 songs in a matter of 4 days. “It was only 4 days,but I saw how professional she was because she memorised it all. She was already good in dancing, and hated to lose. She’s a hard worker, but she doesn’t show it to people around her,” he reflected.

AKB48’s music director Yuasa Junji also commented “She takes care of everyone like a good sister. When SKE48’s Matsui Jurina joined AKB for “Oogoe Diamond”, she was the first person to talk to Jurina and get close with her. Having been a 1.5th generation herself, she must have felt something for Jurina.”

With regards to Shinoda’s possibility of a music career, he said “Actually she can sing both high and low notes. I’d be happy if she can continue to sing after graduation.”


Shinoda Mariko on possibility of a lightning marriage …

Q: What do you intend to do after graduation?
I want to live my own life. I’m actually bad at working in groups, but i’ve managed to survive so far. I’m almost 30 now, so i wish to change things around. I had dreams to start a fashion brand 10 years ago, and i’m beginning to realise it now, so it’s a starting point for me.

Q: So you’ll be increasing your fashion related activities?
Yes, because i like being a model.

Q: Have you thought about becoming a solo singer?
No way! I’m bad at singing,so never thought about it.

Q:What about getting married quickly?
Never thought about it…but actually,that’s not a bad thought. If i’m asked why i’m graduating, i’d be great if i can say i’m getting married, but i don’t have a partner yet. (Laughs)

Q: How about a last message to fans?
In these last 2 days, pls take a good look at my achievements these 8 years and keep them in your memory. I’ll also take a look at each and everyone of you and remember your faces in my heart.


[NEW]”I’ll get married by 32″, says Shinoda Mariko

After her last performance at the Akihabara Theater, Shinoda Mariko returned to where it all started – the cafe where she worked as a waitress 8 years ago, to greet her fans.

The cafe, which is now closed, was specially opened for 1 day so Shinoda could give her fans a high five. “I told Akimoto sensei that i wanted to hold a high five event at the cafe after the performance, and he said i had good sense. After so many years,i finally understood the feelings of Akimoto sensei.”

About the fights that she had with Oshima Yuko, Itano Tomomi, and Takahashi Minami, she said “Even if there are disagreements amongst us, we don’t hate each other. This is what you call a bond. We are a group whose bond deepens with every fight. To me, this bond is a treasure.”

With regards to the lifting of love-ban rule after her graduation, she said “I have no interest in getting into relationships now, so i’ll take it slowly. When I wear a wedding dress, i’ll feel like getting married. I want to get married by 32, to someone who has a who is able to control and lead me.I have quite a strong personality myself, so i want to be able to lean on someone.”

She later clasped her hands infront of the wall where all the members’ portraits are hanged and said “Thank you for the 7.5 years,” before taking down her own picture.


[NEW] Chances of getting tickets to Shinoda Mariko’s final theater performance is 200 : 1

-Skipping most of the repeated parts-

Basically the article is saying that the number of people who balloted for tickets in Shinoda Mariko’s last theater performance was over 200 times the available amount of seats. (Available seats is 250 only.)

As per Acchan’s graduation last year, fans who couldn’t get a seat gathered outside the theater to send her off.


You may also be interested in these articles:

Shinoda Mariko’s graduation footage: “I’ll still choose AKB48 in my next life”
Shinoda Mariko’s tearful farewell on Kayou Kyoku
Shinoda talks about marriage and upcoming elections
Shinoda Mariko’s final stage on Music Station

Shinoda Mariko’s tearful farewell on Kayou Kyoku

20 Jul


Shinoda Mariko appeared on Kayou Kyoku for a last time this week and a special segment was aired to “celebrate” her graduation. In this segment,  Shinoda Mariko was asked about her relationship with fellow members Takahashi Minami, Kojima Haruna and Itano Tomomi, all of whom are first generation members who has been with her the past 8 years.

On Takamina:
“We fought recently.It’s the only time we fought these 8 years. As leaders of AKB, Takamina tends to reprimand the juniors in a roundabout way, but i prefer to be direct about it. Because of our differences, there was a week when we didn’t talk, except for greeting each other in the morning.”

On best friend Kojiharu:
“We always argue. Haruna is kinda cold. I always pester her and when she replies me with ‘You’re noisy’, i’m shocked and feel like giving up on her.”

On Tomochin:
“I think my prior departure is unforgivable, given that she had intended to graduate first. I always feel sorry to her. Later, i received a mail from her, saying she wanted to enjoy the remaining time we had together. Even though she had wanted me to send her off, she said that she’ll send me off instead. Tomo is very mature in this way.”

Besides the relationship talk, Yokoyama Yui also wrote a letter and read it to Mariko. 

“Shinoda san, congratulations on your graduation. The first time i encountered Mariko was during the preparations for a new stage at the AKB theater. At that time, Shinoda san was too busy to attend the dance lessons. On behalf of Shinoda san, i learnt the choreography and prepared to teach Shinoda san. I was very worried about it, but when i taught Shinoda san for the first time, my worries disappeared. Shinoda san had already memorised the dance steps, all i had to do was to tell you your stage position. When i thought about how you memorised the choreography, and how you slept despite having no time, i became shocked by your professionalism. When i was promoted to Team K, you and Takamina san introduced me to the seniors in Team K. I am still thankful up till now. Because you were there, i am the me now. I will treasure AKB48 and work hard with what i learnt from Shinoda san. Thank you.”

Shinoda’s parting words and final performance:

“I was able to enter AKB48 because of the fans.Your presence has been my greatest support. If not for the fans, i wouldn’t be who I am now, I wouldn’t have met my fellow members, and i wouldn’t have the chance to appear on TV. I may be graduating, but pls continue to support AKB48.”

Namida no Sei Jyan Nai/ Ue Kara Mariko [Watch her farewell stage on Music Station]

Sniffing as i watch this…Mariko is like a Cinderella who was saved by thousands of fans. 8 years ago, she moved to Tokyo to try and make a living. At that time, she was just earning 40,000 Yen a month, of which 10,000 Yen had to be set aside for rental. She failed the 1st generation auditions for AKB48, but fans noticed her as she worked as a waitress at AKB48’s cafe in Akihabara. During a popularity poll amongst the fans, Akimoto Yasushi noticed her name being nominated even though she wasn’t a member. He offered her a chance to join as a member if she could memorise 10+ songs and its choreographies within a week. Mariko made it and her fans have never abandoned her since.

If i were asked which member i admire most in AKB, it’d be Mariko in a second. She’s actually my age, but she’s achieved so much more than me! Model, actress, host, fashion producer, CM Queen…she’s got so much in her life on top of AKB, but her presence is still deeply felt by the members. When Jurina was selected to be center of Oogoe Diamond, Mariko was the first to welcome her. When Yuko lost to Maeda in the 3rd General Elections, she offered Yuko her shoulder to cry on. When Paruru was promoting Eien Pressure alone and the senbatsu members suddenly showed up, Mariko was also the first to give Paruru a shoulder to cry on. There are just so many great scenes of Mariko that i’ve seen..scenes which show her love of AKB. Mariko could continue to sing after graduation, but shes knows better than to force her voice on the audience(unlike so many other idols), so she prepared a separate career in fashion prior to graduation. She probably didn’t sleep more than 5hrs everyday,yet we’ve never seen fatigue on her face during broadcasts. Mariko has sacrificed 8 years of her youth standing by the rules of an idol, standing by her fans even when others were calling her to quit. Till today, she still remembers the fans who turned her life around.  If i were one of those fans who nominated her into AKB 8 years ago, i would be proud and happy to send her off now.