Recently I’ve had a hard time connecting with the weekly show AKBingo. I’ve haven’t been as interested and I’ve come to a hypothesis on why. More and more new members are being featured and it’s becoming less likely that I’ll see one of my favorite undercard members on the show. I’ll never understand why Kobayashi Kana and Masuda Yuka are always absent. Is it because their busy with other things? Does management think they’re a lost cause? Is management just trying to move forward trying to find the next big thing?
It’s a slippery slope. If you tinker with a proven formula, you may end up messing up something that was great. We’ve already seen Maeda Atsuko become a consistently MIA member, with good reason. I’m sure she’s busy with other engagements and acting jobs, as well as time off. But Shinoda Mariko is becoming more and more scarce and I’m terrified of what will happen should Oshima, Itano, or Kashiwagi become more active somewhere else. It’d be fine if mid-tier members stepped up to fill the roles but who knows if that’s the case.
There’s no doubt that Yokoyama Yui is getting a push like never seen before. She’s barely a few months into her official AKB career and she’s constantly featured on shows, interviews, and is even part of the new unit Not Yet. Granted I’m not familiar with much of her research work, so maybe she put in a lot of time and effort to earn this push. The Producers have better concept of going on and I can only hope that they don’t forget about other members.
Change is a natural progression but so is a resistance to that change. I’m not so excited to see new AKB members taking up face time and I keep getting this feeling that they’re just too young to fill the roles. Comparatively, I’m not having this problem with a group like SKE because the members are pretty set, I’m just having to learn their names and their personalities. But as AKB enters another territory in their Idol History, I wonder how it will all turn out in the end. Will the inevitable graduation of the most popular members lead to a loss of interest in fans? Or will they find a way to inject new members and fill in the gaps like they’ve pretty successfully done so far?
I’ll breakdown my views of the new members tomorrow.