‘Watarirouka Hashiritai’ is the most popular subgroup from AKB, having six singles and an album under their belt. It originally started out as a four-member group with Watanabe Mayu, Ohta Aika, Hirajima Natsumi and Nakagawa Haruka, but in 2010 Kikuchi Ayaka was added as the fifth member.
I really liked the four-member line up and was originally resistant to the change but I grew to like it after their past couple singles. But just as I got used to Watarirouka as it is now, recent rumors say that there are two more members being added to the group: Team B’s Komori Mika and Team A’s Misaki Iwasa.
I really like both members, and I think Komori would be a hilarious addition to the group, but the prospect of a 7-member group worries me a bit. Subgroups like ‘No Sleeves’, ‘French Kiss’, and ‘Watarirouka Hashiritai’ were always fun because of their cozy size and spotlighting of individual members. The more members there are, the more it becomes a ‘crowd’ scene instead of a focused unit.
Seven members is a pretty large shift, so time will tell if this is something positive.