It’s funny how much difference a day makes. Yesterday I wrote about how I felt resistant to the changes occurring in AKB. I talked about the new members and their increasing roles on AKBingo. I was planning on making a post today explaining my worries with specific members but after spending my time rewatching the episode doing research on the members, I only began to find reasons to like them. Well most of them anyways…
I guess a good place to start is with the most recognizable of the new faces. Yokoyama has gotten quite a push and I’ve had others tell me this is because of her work ethic and willingness to help other members. There’s lots to like about this girl except I can’t ever catch her without that intense look on her face. Occasionally she’ll show of this softer look, for example during the Danso Special, but 90% of the time that ruggedness has me confused.
Fresh Lemon, as she often uses in her catch phrase, is a member Dae and Ayrton have both whole-heartedly begun supporting. I never understood why and even now, I still can’t see it. There’s something about her squinty eyes, the way she talks, and the way her mouth hangs open that rubs me the wrong way. I kinda of see her as a poor man’s Hirano Aya and I’m having a hard time finding something I like about her. Sadly I don’t think that’s going to change in the future.
When I saw Nakamata on AKBingo, I thought “Is that Yoshioka Kiyoe from ikimono-gakari?” She had some similar features so that was the only thing think about. But then I remembered reading an article about how she had been struggling to be a full time Idol along with being a full time student. She had thought about quitting one of them but in the end kept with both. The article was about her being accepted into Waseda University and how she planned to continue doing both even in college. Something like that automatically makes me like her more and gives me something recall when thinking about Nakamata.
Originally when I started yesterday’s post, Nagao Mariya was going to be the lone member that I was excited about. She kind of reminds me of a Manatsu Mukaida with defined cheeks. She showed well on AKBingo, smiled a lot, and had a lively look in her eyes. I can’t say that she really stood out personality-wise but appearance-wise I think she’s got potential.
So I instantly remembered Takeuchi from previous AKBingo episodes where she was part of the research teams competing. I thought that was a good way to handle new faces and obviously it worked as I easily recognize her face. I think Takeuchi had the best showing of the new members as her reactions were top notch. I’m really excited about her future in AKB as I find her face familiar and comforting but maybe that’s just from all the previous episodes.
On the opposite side of Fresh Lemon, there’s Shimazaki Haruka. Where as they both play cute characters, I think Shimazaki does a good job of not going overboard. Everything is contained, controlled, and there’s a hint of inexperience that sells the bubbly image. Also, she’s rocking the Ota Aika one sided dimple which helps to create a more memorable image.
So there’s my breakdown from that episode of AKBingo. I’m kinda glad it ended up more positive than originally planned. It makes me less worried about the group and more interested in what potential there is for new members. Again, I just hope the producers don’t forget about the ones who are still around.