08.24.2011 – AKBINGO! #149 [Link]
This week’s ‘AKBINGO!’ introduced a brand new segment, ‘Ikemen Gakuen’! AKB members were dressed as different archetypes of preppy schoolboy “Ikemen”, which basically translates to “hot guys”. The hosts will present questions, and the students of Ikemen Gakuen are to write down and present their answers in a humorous or “dream boy”-like fashion.
Since I couldn’t really understand everything in this episode, it may prove to be a harder watch for some, but I decided to cover it anyway since seeing the members cross-dress was interesting enough. So instead of covering specific events, I’ll be judging how these members look after their masculine transformation!
The members participating are: Miyazaki Miho, Sashihara Rino, Ichikawa Miori, Yokoyama Yui, Kasai Tomomi, Kitahara Rie, Minegishi Minami, Takahashi Minami, Shinoda Mariko, and Kojima Haruna.
Ichikawa Miori was absolutely hilarious dressed as a guy. Everything looks huge on her, even the wig. Someone who probably has to shop at the kids section for her normal clothes having to wear a schoolboy’s uniform is comedy, and her unmistakably high, airy voice just takes it over the top. Being Ikemen is barely an issue here, ’cause she wouldn’t even pass as a highschool student, regardless of gender.
Kojima Haruna’s been going at this since Mendol, and looks just as dashing here. Her hairstyle is actually pretty similar to her role in that drama and I liked her portrayal the most in it as well, so no complaints here. I want Mendol season 2.
Kitahara Rie showed up with a super-perm hairdo and freckles. Strangely enough, it worked pretty well for her; she looks like someone who’d have be a supporting role in an anime. Not quite ikemen material, but I have to say she’s rocking it pretty damn well.
Shinoda Mariko is doing a continuation of her schtick as ‘Shinoda Mario’, with very large specs. She doesn’t even need to change her hair since it’s already so short, but I would have liked to see a wig on her for more of a transformation. Nevertheless, she is ikemen status in a pointdexter sorta way.
Sashihara Rino surprised me when she was in a cross-dressing ‘DANSO’ episode a couple months ago on AKBINGO and pulled it off really well. Her style this time is a lot simpler, sporting a hairstyle that was pretty popular in Japan with guys a few years back. The mullet style here suits her pretty well and makes her look more refined and put together than she really is, lawl.
Minegishi Minami does what she always does best. Playing the larger-than-life and zany character actor that is, unfortunately, simply too charismatic and interesting to be the lead, as Jack Sparrow is to Will Turner, or Joker is to Batman. But that doesn’t mean there was any lack of Minegishi in this episode as she had plenty of screen-time and was fantastic the whole time. She’s the quintessential character with boyish charm that every drama needs… as the best friend of the main character. And just who would be the main character…?
…the main character would probably be Kasai Tomomi. Her transformation was the most surprising out of everyone in this episode. Stylish hair, a quiet and aloof attitude with a sense of humor and warmth, she is destined to be the lead in a drama. I’d also say that she won the ikemen crown, hands down as the most convincing. It’s too bad that she didn’t get much screen-time; she was too busy being in character.
Miyazaki Miho chose to be the token blond character which is pretty smart since there’s almost always a spot for a blond-haired side-kick in Japanese television(though, like Minegishi, are always assigned supporting roles). She pulls it off pretty well and her attitude matches her rebelliously light hair. This character would probably bug Kasai’s a lot if they were in a drama together, just like in real life! It’s getting too real.
On the other hand, there’s Yokoyama Yui who chose the hairstyle of a Kakashi cosplayer who just couldn’t get the hair right. It doesn’t look terribly bad, but she looks like she belongs in a delinquent high school instead of one of ikemen. I like that Yui’s sporting it though since it shows a sense of humor… or perhaps that was the only wig left.
And last but not least, there’s Takahashi Minami. She’s dressed as a boy at least three different times, but this is probably my favorite so far. Her hair length and style is by far one of the most practical, yet she’s able to elevate it somehow. Her boyish attitude and smirky disposition already lends to the role. She’s definitely second to Kasai, and they could possibly be rivals if they were in a drama together(I’m not even into fanfiction, what the hell is wrong with me?).
If the girls chose their ikemen style(which is likely), I wonder if they chose them because it was convenient and entertaining, or if they chose styles and characters that they were actually attracted to. I can see Minegishi or Mariko choosing their characters because they match personality-wise, but I can also see Kasai or Takahashi Minami playing out their fantasy ikemen. As for Yokoyama… either way, it’s kinda weird.