Im pretty new to the 48G and i think takamina is an incredible person. But i still don't understand why shes such an important member of the group. Like, she tied the group together or the group wouldn't be the same if it wasn't for her. What exactly did she do when AKB was just starting.
I’d say it isn’t something that she did when AKB was just starting but the things she did over the past 9+ years that made her such an important member of the group. Back at the start of AKB when it’s struggling and definitely not as glamorous as it is now, it’s hard on all the 22 starting members, and it happens that Takamina is one of the handful that were still in the group when popularity picked up. When the older ones graduated, she picked up the baton to help lead Team A and it was a rough period because she wasn’t the eldest, yet she had to do all these, and it was all unfamiliar grounds for her but she excel in that.
For the group, she’s a member who pays attention to people around her and cares for them even though she isn’t too close to them. She would check on her fellow members if they are ok, and can sense it even when they don’t say it. She leads by example, putting in extra efforts to get her dance right in order to help the others. She wasn’t one who’s strong with dance when they just started, but she threw in extra hours to assume the responsibility of a team player in order not to drag the team down. She doesn’t force people to listen to her. People listen to her because they see what she had done, and agrees with it so much that they didn’t mind following her and her ways.
She’s one that’s respected by staff and members, and liked by these people. I’d say that if you can be someone that even the staff you’re working with respect you, your way of working, and your opinions, you’re pretty much a big deal. You are talking about someone, an idol in particular, getting respected by people in the entertainment industry that had been around for years longer, and liked by everyone who worked with you. It shows her professionalism, and basically, how a great person she is in general. This is important for me because the good image that a Takahashi Minami brings, will also reflects well for the whole of 48G.
Aki-P said before that “AKB48 is Takahashi Minami”. She might not be the ace, or the face of the team. She never was really one that is the most popular, but yet people knows her and respects her. People knows Acchan and Yuko because they are the aces, Mayuyu as well, Mariko and Haruna and Tomochin because they are the fashionistas, but people knows Takahashi Minami because she’s the leader. There’re Japanese that I’ve known – friends of friends, people who are clueless about AKB – but they know Takamina because she’s the captain.
I believe all her captaincy and leadership was recognised when there’s a post created for her, the General Manager. For some fans, they might think it’s the mgmt way of making Takamina work more but I’d think otherwise. Roping her in for management stuffs showed that the management trusted her views and ideas for the 48G and of course, a huge acknowledgement to her leadership. She’s important because she’s one of the few that stayed till now, having gone through all the shitstorms over the years and that she had always been pro-active in helping out with the group, respected by staff and members and basically done more than what a member, or even a captain will need to do. Even now, when she has a solo career, solo varieties that can let her be independent from the group, she’s still very occupied with the group’s on-goings. That’s much more than what a captain needs to do imo.
I had a campaign in 2014 to rally for some extra votes for Takamina and I did some posts about her here. There’s also a birthday post for her here. There’s also this edit series I’ve done where I’ll do captions here. If you want to read more, please do go ahead. ^^