About halfway through the concert, I was struck by an arrow. There was a realization that there was girl on stage I did not recognize. Who was she? Long black hair. Blank expression. To be honest, a little plain looking, especially when put next to the likes of Momoko, Risako, and Miyabi. But who was THIS person? The others had their roles. The tall one, the captain, the funny one. What role did this extra person fill? I was as much confused as I was excited to know the answers.
The concert began with her having a serious look on her face. For the first couple of songs she barely cracked a smile, seemingly focused on something troubling her mind. At first I was even a little upset with her. Why become an Idol if this is the face you’re going to put forward to the crowd at a concert? Was she not happy to be here? Would she prefer to be somewhere else?
Then almost instantly, my feelings about Sudo Maasa reversed. During one of the songs, she subtly smiled. I questioned myself. Did I just see what I saw? Were my eyes playing tricks on me? Then the faint smile became a grin. What’s going on here? Did she catch herself make a mistake? Did one of the other members mess with her in some way? Or did she just remember a funny joke that caused her to show a little emotion mid performance?
Eventually that grin would become a full on smile. Clearly she was enjoying herself now. There was no doubt about it. Where did she come from? It hit me like a wave. I stared hopelessly at the girl who I had missed over the course of a dozen Berryz Kobo videos.
Now I can’t be certain that this was the actual situation that occurred, but I think it was just pre-show jitters that caused her initial expressions. She was focused on the concert, it being in front of a live foreign and that’s what caused her look of disinterest. Once she settled down, she began to enjoy the performance and her smile and personality shone through.
Even if you tell me that wasn’t the case, the thought has already been planted into my unconscious. It’s like Inception, where the concept has already latched on and is spreading like a disease. Sudou Maasa is that kind of person. She’s someone you can relate to. She may be this never faltering Idol on stage, but inside she gets nervous just like anyone else. She was able to overcome that fear and I was happy to be able to see it happen in front of me. I’m reminded of that feeling now whenever I see her smile. It was the last thing I saw when I went to sleep last night and the first thing I wanted to see when I woke up this morning. That is the feeling idols give us.
If you don’t believe me, watch the video. It captures her normal blank expression transitioning to bashful smile masterfully. Notice the difference, at one moment she looks like she doesn’t want to be there. And the other she’s smiling like she’s embarrassed to see you.
Seriously, try directly looking into her eyes and not smiling when she smiles at you.