The AKB community has been abuzz about Ichikawa Miori. Despite being a kenkyuusei(research student), she’s being featured more on television programs and media. Her claim to fame was her catchphrase: “Furesshu remon ni naritai no!” which translates to “I want to be a fresh lemon!” It’s not just the phrase that brought attention, but the energy that she puts into it. The fans, however, are split about this “Fresh Lemon”.
While the attention is making her one of the most popular kenkyuusei in history, she’s created the biggest number of detractors in kenkyuusei history as well. I can see where the un-enchanted are coming from; there are those who naturally like to go against the grain, and those who check out what the buzz is about and just don’t get it. Why is Ichikawa Miori popular?
Well, consider this. Look at nearly all kenkyuusei appearances on AKBingo, or any show; they’re all timid as shit. Even after they get promoted it takes about a year before they come into their own, if they ever do. Fresh Lemon on the other hand, immediately throws herself out there with her stupid catchphrase, whether people hate her or not. It’s bold, and clearly paying off. If there’s one thing kenkyuusei need more of, it’s strong characters and presence, and Ichikawa looks like she can hit the ground running.
Why support her? Well it’s nothing magical or out of the ordinary—it’s classic protocol. Why do people support members, or chant during performances? It’s about the fans receiving energy from idols and returning it. It’s no different with Ichikawa; what immediately brings you in is the energy she radiates, and it makes me more than happy to return that energy by supporting her. Supporting Ichikawa isn’t joining a bandwagon, she’s absolutely magnetic and screams to be supported with vigor.
Her strong enthusiasm is hilariously contrasted by her tiny frame. She’s extremely small, even compared to Oshima Yuko and Takahashi Minami, which makes me wonder if she counts as a miniature person. In addition to that she isn’t paralyzed by a camera, has the ability to draw attention, exhibits tons of energy, has an infectious catchphrase, and a sunny personality; and that’s excluding that she has a surprisingly good singing voice and a cute speech impediment. This girl has unique written all over her.
PS, enjoy this awesome tribute video Johpan made!