New Member Breakdown

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…

Yokoyama Yui
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.

Ichikawa Miori
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.

Nakamata Shiori
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.

Nagao Mariya
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.

Takeuchi Miyu
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.

Shimazaki Haruka
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.


About David Liao

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  1. Great post David, it’s interesting to hear other people’s impressions of the new members.

    Since they don’t have as much exposure as the full time members, Kenkyuusei have this sort of mysteriousness to them that makes them really fascinating in my opinion. Everyone should check out AriyoshiAKB when you get the chance since it features kenkyuusei in most of the episodes.

    Ichikawa Miori seems to divide fans, you either love her or you hate her. I happen to love how ridiculous everything about her is. She created one of the stupidest yet most memorable catch phrases ever, she has the body proportions of a midget, and her voice is cute to the point of being annoying, kind of like Mayu . :p I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets a promotion sometime soon.

    Nakamata Shiori has a bit of an airheaded vibe going on, she talks kind of slow and slurs her speech a little, but of course she got into Waseda so she must be very studious. I find it strange that she was promoted right after getting in to university; I imagine that’s the time when you would want to lessen your idol work, but who knows what’s going on with management.

    I also like Nakamura Mariko from her Janken Real video and her appearance on the karaoke festival, and also Takeuchi Mayu, Shimada Haruka, and Mori Anna from my favorite unit of A6th, Miniskirt no Yousei.

    • Ariyoshi AKB is excellent at Kenkyuusei exposure, since it basically focuses on small groups and gives them a chance to show off their personalities, otherwise it reminds me of the lesser known members of AKB48… I’m sure there’s potential, but they really have to show it in the limited screen time they do get.

      As for Fresh Lemon, I’m going to have to agree with David on this one. To me, Mayu actually has a cute and acceptable voice. Fresh Lemon-san on the other hand, sounds like… I don’t even know what to say. Something that quite possibly doesn’t belong on this earth. Personal preference though, really. She’s definitely different and that’s what makes her standout, quite possibly leading to early promotion.

      Like David’s previous post though, I’m resistant to these types of changes. I still can’t get through a new episode of [insert AKB show name here] without going, “GOD DAMN IT, Yokoyama Yui, GET OUT OF MY AKB!”

  2. Yokoyama Yui has really grown on me over the last few weeks. Whatever push Glorious Producer is doing, it’s really rubbed off me in the right way. She has this very “girl next door” charm, which seems very natural. Really good stuff. High hopes for this one!

    Ichikawa Miori: This girl is as fresh as a lemon. I love her to bits. We need more Fresh Lemon time!

    I need more time to see the others, but the future is bright with this lot!

  3. Cindy Widya Japardi

    Miorin is as chubby as Prinsesse Athena!!!

  4. Shimazaki haruka paruru!! I love her so much there’s just something about her that makes me love her more and more each day <3

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