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.