The Next Step (Lesson 2)

If you need to catch up, here’s Lesson 1

So last time we talked, I had introduced you to Maeda Atsuko. She’s probably the most recognizable person in AKB48. She ofter gets center stage and is always featured. She was the first girl I immediately started recognizing and learned her name after that. If you’re having a bit of a time putting things together, here’s a video to help you out.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUn84B1YPB0]

By this time, AKB48 had just released their next single and this is when I started taking AKB48 more seriously. It was a dangerously cute song. It displayed all the members and I began wondering who was who and which team they were from. It was impossible to tell but I began remembering certain girls as the girl in the yellow dress making a heart sign. Or the girl making a goofy face at a certain point. Seeing a boat load of smiling girls acting goofy just made me laugh. That is the kind of thing that I enjoy about this genre of music. The light hearted goofiness.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2pNFzINRIw]

Here at this point, I only began to scratch the surface. I was leaving for Japan and little did I know I was about to see AKB48 live. That experience would really open the flood gates to really liking the group. It’s funny now going back to watch this video because, I pretty much can name every girl that makes an appearance. I can tell you which team she’s on, who she gets along with, her catch phrase she uses at live shows and give you most of their measurements.

I’m just kidding on that last part. But going back and watching this video it makes it a little sad and nostalgic. Some girls have moved on and graduated. Some girls who had bigger roles in the group of waned a bit in popularity and now take on smaller parts. When you start liking a idol group, part of your job as a fan is to put your support behind a girl. You hope that your positive feelings and emotions will help her succeed and earn her more fans.

I think this is a big part of being a fan of a girl group. This is a point when you become more deeply entrenched in supporting a member that is not necessarily the most popular. All the general fans know Maeda Atsuko. She’s the most popular and recognizable member. I really like Kobayashi Kana. She gets less air time. I think she is just as funny of goofy as the more popular members. Maybe she’s not as talented or not as skilled. But she can get better right? People don’t know her and to me she’s kind of like a diamond in the rough, an undiscovered talent. In a way, she’s more personally mine to support because I picked her out of a group of all amazingly cute girls. I think that’s a feeling a lot of fans get. It’s kind of a good feeling. Wishing someone the best and wanting them to succeed.

It’s not always the case. Some of my favorite members have come and gone. Some are still around but while it’s not officially a demotion, you can see that they’re not as prominent as they once were. New members are introduced to breath new life. They’re all ridiculously cute and some of them seem interesting enough. But this unfamiliarity is something that is hard to overcome. It’s something I’m exploring right now as AKB48 has gotten through it’s first major graduation. A lot of new members have been introduced and even more, the groups have been shuffled. It’s a lot for my to relearn and accept. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Next time, my first live show and Boku no Taiyo.

David

About David Liao

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