(above: team B performing ‘team B oshi’, from their new setlist)
since it’s been a while since the team shuffles took place back in 2009, i thought i got used to it; but apparently not. the new team B has debuted on may 21st with their new stage set-list, B5. seeing myao (miyazaki miho) and kitarie (kitahara rie), former team A members, perform as team B especially took some getting used to. i had similar feelings with kasai tomomi, who i have seen as one of the defining members of team K.
overall it looked like team B and team A were hit the hardest from the shuffle. team K remains largely the same, minus kasai; they maintain their strong and dynamic image, and many of their new members like minegishi minami and itano tomomi fit comfortably. but team A and team B are wild cards, having most of their guts swapped. will team A still be the star-studded group it used to be? will team B still be the saccharine cute group?
the new team A stage A6 has yet to debut so i can’t comment on that, but i can say team B is different. the star power is definitely more evenly distributed with this new team, and i already see members getting spotlights that haven’t had a chance before.
i’ve only now realized that the teams as we knew them are no more. these aren’t simple substitutions or rearranging of members, it’s a complete redefining of teams. to think or hope that things would be the same was foolish of me.
seeing the direct consequences of the shuffle was somewhat disorienting, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. as much as i liked the teams and how well-established they were, it’s exciting to anticipate what the new team B will become.