NMB48 Members: Choose Your Favorite!

October 9, 2010

AKB48, SKE48, and SDN48 have a new ’48 group’ joining them: NMB48.  It was all surreal and full of  uncertainty when it was announced, but it’s become all the more concrete with television coverage of NMB48 auditions and the announcements of names who made the cut.

The NMB48 site has put up a members page with everyone, so you know the drill; time to pick your potential favorites and memorizing their names and nicknames!  The image below provides the members with their info, with the members I have hopes for circled in red:

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The Twilight Zone

October 7, 2010

After hearing about everything Atron and David experienced in Japan, it definitely sounds like a surreal experience.  I’ve always wondered what it would be like visiting Japan ever since I’ve grown to like their media, specifically when I witnessed Japan’s girl group AKB48 skyrocket in terms of popularity.

A place where AKB48 posters are regularly hung on the sides of buildings and singles can be bought in any music establishment?  A place that has an official store where I can buy goods directly without an expensive middle-man?  Where their magazines and photobooks are casually lain about in a 7-11?  It’s definitely not the world I live in.  Even throw-away fliers for various merchandise baring the sacred ‘AKB48’ logo feel like they have some sort of value simply because they don’t exist outside of Japan.

While I have to scour and look for whatever media my favorite idols appear in through the internet, all I would need to do in Japan is turn on the television.

Such thoughts were even more punctuated when I came across this Japanese commercial for the XBox 360’s ‘Kinect’.

It’s a pretty funny commercial, parodying old ads from the 70’s and 80’s, complete with antiqued audio, questionable dubbing and a grainy-bleached aesthetic; but the casual inclusion of SKE48’s Matsui Jurina and Matsui Rena had me doing a double-take.  Was that really them?  In a ‘Kinect’ ad?  I bet the general public didn’t think much of it, but that’s what’s so funny; how the ordinary becomes extraordinary just because I live across the ocean.


SKE48, switch ON!

July 15, 2010

funny how some things just don’t click until later.  i was watching AKB48’s 2009 budokan concert for no particular reason, and all of a sudden i found myself loving SKE48’s single, ‘tsuyokimono yo’ after their performance.  it’s the darnedest thing.

maybe it’s seeing the song being performed that changed my mind.  maybe SKE has finally broken down my unknowing prejudice against them.  either way, they’re great.


yasushi akimoto announces another “48” group

July 10, 2010

yasushi akimoto revealed his next ’48’ group:  NMB48, based in namba, osaka.

this brings up many questions and worries.  why another group?  why now?  his second venture, SKE48, has yet to have a team ‘E’, and he announces another group?  he either knows something we don’t, or he’s being hasty and reckless.  maybe i’m missing something but i haven’t seen much of a demand for new idol groups from yasushi.

what does this mean for the future?  will NMB members be appearing in AKB and SKE singles and take senbatsu spots in AKB elections?

all this means to me is that yasushi’s attention is going to be even more broken and  wide-spread; none of the groups will be getting as much attention as they need in this popular, but fragile, state.  damnit, i hope you know what you’re doing aki-P.


SKE48 impressions

June 18, 2010

i’ll admit it, i haven’t listened to a ske48 single all the way through.  i only heard bits and pieces of them when they would be advertised inbetween AKBINGO episodes, and i haven’t gone out of my way to look them up.

there are ske members that i’ve taken notice of though, and maybe they’ll act as my gateway to knowing more about the group(which was akimoto yasushi’s plan all along).

yagami kumi

she’s made many appearances in ‘AKBINGO’ but what really made me take a liking to her was in a akb special shot in australia.  this girl has so much energy it sometimes works against her; she’s like a bicycle with rockets strapped to it.  she’s literally bursting with energy and unable to harness it to make it work for her.  it’s endearing and hilarious.  her expressions are always crazy and has an infectious laugh.

matsui rena

she made herself known on ‘AKBINGO’ and ‘shukan’ as the girl who has the highest tolerance for spicy food, and for her great performance in the drama ‘majisuka gakuen’.  a dedicated vegetarian, she’s the thinnest and most frail looking girl i’ve seen.  despite looking like she has bones made of glass, she’s demonstrated that she’s a powerhouse when it comes to performing.  always modest and smiling, there’s nothing not to like.

Hiramatsu Kanako

with her high voice, cute mannerisms, and short stature,  i never would have thought she was a university student.  i learned of her existence when she was streaming live on Ustream, playing alan wake with fellow ske and akb members.  she seemed to have a pretty big following in the live chatroom, and it’s easy to see why.

it’s probably bad to put up impressions before i actually see their stages and performances, but like akb, it’s always the girls themselves that build my interest before i dive into the group.


idols vs alan wake: the aftermath

May 26, 2010

there was a live broadcast earlier today where AKB’s ishida haruka, SDN’s ohori megumi, and SKE’s hiramatsu kanako and furukawa airi played the first segment of alan wake.  i wasn’t too interested when i saw this announcement since i didn’t know who the SKE members were, but i’m glad i didn’t blow it off.  it ended up being a lot more entertaining than i initially thought.

all four girls were sitting next to each other, passing the controller around for all of alan wake episode one, and part of episode 2.  they had an hour time limit, so they were cut off at the beginning of episode 2.  as one can expect, there was laughing and freaking out throughout, while occasionally checking the chat comments and responding.

ishida and ohori were the weaker players, rarely utilizing the camera control and getting stuck in the strangest places.  the two SKE members however, were surprisingly good, especially furukawa airin, whom ohori said was the best at playing videogames in the introductions.

the set up was a lot better than i thought it would be.  i didn’t expect them to have picture-in-picture,  which switched between gameplay footage and the members playing.  after watching the hour of broadcasting, i can confidently add two people to my short list of SKE members i can recognize and got to know ishida a little better.  and although i was never a huge fan, it was damn good to see meetan again.  i miss the humor she brought when she was with AKB.

i went onto ustream with lukewarm expectations, and ended with me yearning for more.  this was done by advertisers for alan wake, so this is probably a one-time thing, but if they ever do anything like this again i’ll be there 110%.

random notes:

  • around 850 viewers
  • died 3 times during playthrough
  • kanako’s father is a fan of ohori megumi
  • biggest reaction was the romantic flashback between alice and alan in episode 2

AKB/SKE/SDN members play Alan Wake live on Ustream

May 25, 2010

sound totally bizarre?  it does to me too, but it’s happening.  former AKB member and current SDN member ohori megumi will be playing the xbox360 game Alan Wake on Ustream, as well as SKE members hiramatsu kanako and furukawa airi, and the newly promoted AKB member Ishida Haruka of team B.

they’re scheduled to play today, May 26 at 8:00pm in japan.  that makes it 4am pacific time, 6am central, and 7am eastern time.

there’s no details of how this will be conducted, if it will be PiP(picture in picture), just the game, or just on the person playing.  guess you’ll have to see to find out!