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AKB48 Oshimen (Naachan) part 3

Among fans, Naachan is often predicted to be the next Soukantoku after Yuihan (YES!). This is mainly thanks to Request Hour Best 100 Setlist in 2015 where Takamina, Yuihan and Naachan performed ‘Bird’ together. When we look at it closely, the trio ARE leaders to certain generations. Takamina leads 1st gen to 7th gen, Yuihan leads 9th to 13th and finally Naachan leading 14th to current gen (15th). Coincidence at its best? Who knows but I love the formation for that performance (Takamina actually wanted it to be just her and Yui, but the management decided to put Naachan in).

Takamina, Yuihan, Naachan= leaders

The trio leaders in ‘Bird’

Another (assumed) coincidence is Naachan mentioned before that her aim in AKB is to lead Team 4 and become a contributing member. In the previous shuffles, Naachan was selected as Team 4’s Vice-captain (dejavu much). So to fans (especially myself) this is Naachan’s first sail to Soukantoku (yayyy!). Many fans actually see her as a potential leader and would become a Captain some time soon. 

Naachan is the next Soukantoku?

What AKB means to Naachan and how much she wants to do something in return

“Even until the end of the world, I want to stand in AKB’s stage.”

I think I know the reason behind Naachan’s love for AKB and why she’s very determined to do her best in showbiz (thus creating her seriousness and strong sense of responsibility). In an interview, she said she was actually a loner at school, unable to fit in with her peers which caused her to pretend reading books while she was actually listening to her peers’ conversations (poor girl). Then after joining AKB she found valuable comrades, who are almost like her family (soooo much better than school peers, no?). For a person who used to be a loner, having such a big family, that is something to be grateful for, right? To protect this new family, she’d do anything to take care of them (which includes scolding them like a mother, lol). And that’s how we got the Naachan today. Good enough? I just rest my case (haha~).

Lonely, crybaby Naachan

Naachan who’s used to be a ‘watcher’ than a ‘joiner’

“Stop playing and put the sheets on!” -Mama Nana scolds

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about Naachan becoming a candidate for future Soukantoku after Yuihan. This is primarily because I don’t want her to force herself to have the mentality like “I have to be like Takamina-san. I have to be like Yokoyama-san” and I want her to stick to her own identity and personality. I don’t like the idea of “becoming the next Takamina, or Acchan, or Yuko” (something like the characters in AKB0048) which the management tries to sell for a long time. Another reason is I don’t want her to be overly stressed like Takamina. Also, being a Soukantoku means that she has to prioritize 48G over her own success. This is a very bad news for those who have high goals. Naachan’s dream is to become a singer AND an actress (in which I think she’s better at). And honestly, those pictures of Naachan’s constant sleeping shows how exhausted or stressed she is. Imagine if she becomes the Soukantoku. I can only imagine how skinny she will be. Maeda Ami (Aamin) once worriedly stated Naachan is so serious that her body might eventually break down (we have to remember that Naachan is quite physically weak [based on Miki-chan’s statement and when the 3 Musketeer runs Naachan is always the slowest]).

Look at those faces and tell me she’s not exhausted.

‘Is she okay?’

Personally though, I think she CAN be and IS a great leader. I’m lacking of references when Naachan shows her leadership. But, prior becoming an official member, Naachan made some rules for the Kenkyuusei which I don’t think many members would do. She also often corrects the members’ use of words to make them appropriate, help them accomplish things they can’t do (she does this by going to their houses). Really, who would do such a thing unless you want to make the best of your team? Also, in the 2nd Sports Festival, she is seen giving instructions to her teammates before the jumping rope contest with so much passion. Despite being serious and said to be hard to approach, Naachan is seen loved by many. For me, one of the touching moments that displayed members’ concern for her is after Naachan finishes the marathon, lots of her teammates gathered around her to look out for her.

Naachan giving instructions

“Good job!” Dear team members said.

One of Naachan’s lectures

Strict and serious but beloved

To be continued in part 4 (Part 2)

AKB48 Oshimen (Naachan) part 4

In the making of AKB’s Sports Festival, Nishino Miki (Miki-chan), Uha, Shibuya Nagisa (Nagi-chan) and Takahashi Juri tried to kiss her on the lips (with difficulty). Nagi-chan said Naachan always sits in the farthest seat in a bus to avoid from being ‘assaulted’ (lol). The girls except Kojima Mako (Kojimako), followed by Juri-chan continued their attack on Naachan’s lips despite Kojimako’s persuasion to stop since she’s afraid Naachan would get mad (and really they usually TRY not to anger Naachan). Despite resisting desperately, Miki-chan continued with full force while the others joyfully watch (I love how they’re having fun with this). What’s interesting is that this scene is very similar to a scene where Takamina got attacked by Acchan, Sae-chan and Tomochin in the old days (again, dejavu much?)

Naachan scolding Miki-chan for running inside a shop

Repeating history?

She also appears to be close to some senpai (eg. Mii-chan, Karen and Yuiiri) and kouhai, particularly Taniguchi Megu (Megutan) and Komiyama Haruka (Komiharu) who always says that Naachan is her oshimen and also her consultant. In Naachan’s or other members’ 755 or Google+ posts, Naachan is seen very relaxed and close with many members like Goto Moe and Megutan. According to Komiharu, Naachan made an impact to her because of her advices and encouragements. One particularly sticks in her mind which is ‘You can suppress your strength all the time, so it’s fine to do your best now’. Of course, Naachan still needs to sharpen her leadership skills because she kind of lacks in interacting with enthusiasm with her juniors as demonstrated by Komiharu during a Shoujiki Shogi battle between Naachan and Juri-chan. Naachan pointed out that a member she can relate to is Yuihan due to their seriousness but admits that she lacks of being funny (ah, no worries. Not everyone can be funny). 

One of Naachan’s advices to Komiharu (mind the cream-filled Naachan)

Serious Naachan at its best

One of her good aspects is she is very kind. Even though I think she needs to prioritize herself over others, she always says that among her generation, she wants Kojimako to become the Center while she supports her. She is often seen taking care of Miki-chan and giving lectures (despite often giving up due to her stubbornness). She is also almost always around to comfort members who are upset. For example, Tomonaga Mio cried during a break in one of their dramas and Naachan is seen with Tashima Meru comforting her. Even in the actual recording, Naachan helped Mio to remember her lines. Also in the sports festival this year, we can see her patting Mio who tripped on the sixth jump in a rope jumping contest. In some handshake event reports, she is described to be putting all her focus on fans and smiled as best as she can and tried to come up with decent and energetic replies (even in English). This is most likely the reason why her handshake sales are pretty high in comparison to many members expect for the veteran and top members (in Halloween Night HS event she finished all of her HS event tickets in the 5th slot [same as Kojiharu]).

Naachan wiping Miki-chan’s tears

Naachan and Meru comforting Mio

The Co-captain reassures Mio after tripping

Naachan’s HS event sale

To be continued in part 5(Part 3)

AKB48 Oshimen (Naachan) part 5

There are many sides of Naachan that we haven’t explored yet. Such as her ‘Sleeping Princess’ chara (though it was brought up once in AKBingo!). There’s also her loli huntress mode (hehe). These are some moe gaps (according to Kojimako) since she’s always serious. And let’s not forget her Janken costume this year. Goodness I didn’t expect that coming since I thought she’d wear something… mature or adult (since she’s turning 18). And don’t forget her shocking moe character from the drama ADS77 (I remember going “holy s***! うちのなぁちゃんが!Literally trans: Our Naachan is-!” when I first watched it). Anyways, there are so many sides of Naachan that I want to know as well as I want to see her growth and how she’ll be doing in the future, thus making me become her oshi. I can tell she’ll be a big and important member soon, considering her rising popularity and exposure (just recently she was sent to France and Italy to join the Milano Expo, which is really a big thing because she’s kind of a representative for Japan and AKB).

Zzzzz…

Naachan the loli hunter

Gyaru Naachan

Moe Naachan (OAO)

With France representative chef, Frank-san

With president of Japan pavilion *gasp* so proud

By the end of Expo Milano job

Despite my worries of her getting more stressed and tired as her popularity grows, I’m seeing that Naachan is having so much fun nowadays at work (something predicted by Shimada-san) so I hope she’ll retain her seriousness but at the same time become a more playful and funny member so that she can interact more openly with other members. By getting more members close to her, they’ll eventually lend their ears to her worries though I kind of doubt it but who knows she’ll be more open.

Naachan messing around a little

To be continued in part 6(Part 4)