Oba Mina Reinstated as Team 4 Captain

Team 4’s first theater show of the year was scheduled for January 4th. It was then announced that this would also mark the return of the suspended Oba Mina. Being a Minarun fan myself this was obviously an exciting event to look forward to. Well it’s currently January 5th in Japan at the time of writing this and Oba Mina did indeed make her return to AKB activities yesterday. She also took back captaincy of Team 4 from Shimada Haruka, something that is sure to be met with a mixed response depending on which side you fall on.

On the one hand, Shimada’s captaincy was only ever meant to be temporary. Oba Mina’s return was always on the cards so this turn of events should have been expected. It is hard not to feel sorry for Shimada though, she essentially righted the ship in the wake of Oba Mina’s scandal and has been nothing short of a fantastic captain in her absence. Being forced to give up her position must feel like a raw deal for both her (at least on some level, even if she doesn’t show it) and her fans who probably aren’t the happiest to see Oba back in charge. For fans of Minarun like myself, this is obviously great news, especially for people like me who weren’t sure that she’d ever get her captaincy back.

However, Oba Mina is in a somewhat awkward position right now. She has to deal with Shimada’s fans not being all that pleased with the outcome of her return as well as having to prove to everyone that she’s still up to the job of being Team 4 captain after her long absence. That’s a lot of pressure (some might say deservedly so) to put on someone coming back from a rather serious scandal.

You can’t help but feel this could have been at least somewhat avoided if management hadn’t named a temporary captain during Minarun’s time on the bench. Well, I guess what’s done is done and Minarun will just have to play the hand that she’s been dealt.

No matter what happens, I wish both Shimada and Minarun all the success in 2012 and hope that they both have a great year.


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New School Kaidan is a community-focused website for the Japanese idol industry international fan base. Between podcasts, broadcasts, events, and analytic articles, New School Kaidan aims to bring an understanding of idol culture to the masses.

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  1. There was speculation that Shimada wasn’t appointed captain in the first place because she’s busy with college so it’s possible that she’s ok with giving the position back to Minarun.

  2. I have to admit, I’m kind of surprised she was reinstated even as a member, but I’m glad she has been.

  3. Okay, I can’t even read this. So I’ma just be mad and write some shit first, then read it when I cool down. I like Oba Mina.. A lot. But I like Shimada more. And I think Shimada is a cooler captain.

    Fuck this shit. Shimada Haruka should be captain, not Oba. She blew her chance. She was gone for a long time and I’m used to Shimada Haruka as a captain.

    And what the fuck? Who would argue with me, just look at Shimada Haruka with that short haricut. THAT WAS THE SMARTEST DECISION I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. Holy cute..

    fuck it

  4. What the angry dude above said. I likes me Haruka Shimada. She even managed to snatch a seat on the sofa during the aftershow with SMAP!

  5. I do feel sorry for both girls here actually, I too, like many, am glad that Minarun is back, I like this girl and she has alot to give as an idol, even if she does struggle with popularity after her scandal but this is not why I feel sorry for her, it’s because the first thing the do after putting her back in the team is put her in the middle of what is in all essence, another scandal over the captaincy

    And you can see why people would be upset, after just coming back from a scandal and getting your captaincy back from a girl who had done a very good job and had got the team back on track you can see why fans of Haru, and other fans too may see this a a pretty raw deal for Haru and so will vent thier fustrations towards Minarun which is excatly the last thing she needs. You almost think that they should of gone about this like they did with Team K’s Sayaka, letting her sort of keep her head down in the back for a while before re-claming her captaincy

    You question the point of putting in a captain at all, the girls would of looked to Haru anyway for leadership, just as in the days of the Sayaka scandal team K looked towards Sae. Creating another captain, even if they explained it was only going to be tempory was surely always going to lead to a situation like this…

    It hasn’t helped this situation of course that Haru did such a darn good job as temporary captain, picking up a rather rag-tag team even before the scandal and forming them into a unit. (I have gained alot of respect and have alot of admiration for Haru over this time and she has proved what an asset she could be to AKB)

    This of course has lead to this problem really, people are like, hang on, Haru’s done a great job as captain! So why are they giving it back to Oba who was suspended, she’s had her chance?

    It also leads to another problem of course is that, in times of leadership, you feel the girls will look to Haru, and not the now captain Minarun for that leadership and where in that might not cause great problems as such (See Team B’s more ‘open’ leadership) it may be hard for Minarun to go through that situation….

    Sadly for Minarun it is clear that management want her in this position and to get her back in really is a case of the soomer the better, if they had dragged it on it would of got harder and harder to remove Haru from the captaincy so in that regards they have made the right decision, still this is not going to be an easy time for Minarun.

    I do wish her luck though…… she’s probably gonna need it!

  6. It took Sayaka a looong run on the tokyo marathon to get back his position and now it took one single show and some apologies to Minarun… I’m not against Minarun, but this is a kick in haruu good job all this time… I’m really upset with this…

  7. Although I like Minarun, I miss Kawaei Rina’s presence in the team 4 performance.

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