AKB48 Election Appealing Video: While Other Leading Figures of Team K Display Relaxing Mood, Why Only Yuko Looks Too Serious

  May 6, 2012

When I first saw AKB’s appealing comments videos 3 years ago, they all looked desperate as if they would lose everything if they lost the election. As the girls have learned from the experience, ever since the 2nd election most of the members have tried to act natural in their videos and some girls even present short performances or comedies. In this 4th election of AKB, the 5 leading members of team K displayed mature presentations as they convey their passion and determination for the election while balancing the mood of the video with a sense of humor and sophistication as to not make it look too pretentious.
So let’s listen to the voices of our dear girls of team K!
(Just to make sure that you understand what is meant by leading figures of team K, put aside any personal preference that you may have, and team K’s leading figures are generally considered to be Sae, Miichan, Yuko, Sayaka and Tomochin.)

Sae: Sae Photo-Matsuri Starts Right Now~~~~~!!!
Tomochin: AKB48 Members Funny Appeal Videos For 4th General …

1. Miichan (峯岸みなみ)
“Today I want to talk about my personal history. (She picked up a paper with a word “Baby era”).”
“My mom named me Minami because she wanted me to be a feminine girl.”
“I stated learning Ballet at the age of 4, and started Hip-Hop dance from 6. Since then, I’ve become a huge fan of  Morning Musume, and my desire to be an entertainer was becoming bigger and bigger.”
“I applied to AKB’s audition which I found in a magazine when I was 1st year junior high-school student, and I passed it.”
“Time flies and it’s passed 7 years since then.”
“I still have to do a lot of things to do to be a top-entertainer”
“While election has a huge meaning for everyone, I’ll be myself and keep continuing efforts just like I’ve been doing up until now. Thank you for your steady support. I’m Minami Minegishi, thanks for listening.”

2. Sayaka (秋元オカロ)
She talks about last year’s single, Flying Get. 21 Senbatsu members of Flying Get were selected according to the election result. This song won AKB’s first record Taisho, and she reflects on the moment she was on the stage during the award ceremony.
While her goal as an individual artist is to be an actress like Kiki Kirin, she feel happy if fans support her both as a Senbatsu member of AKB and as a solo act, she said.

3. Umechan
During her video, Umechan makes a clever pun using the word ‘ichi’. Ichi in Japanese has several meanings including No.1 and position.
“I want to be Ichii(一位). But this Ichi is not a number but Ichi of my standing position.”
“Though honestly speaking I want to place in a higher position than last year, I never give up even if I get a worse result.
“As I step up the stairs of my life, I want you to indicate where my position is right now.”
“I’ll experience bad moments as well as good ones. I hope I can get through a lot of Joy, Anger, Grief and Pleasure with you. So please let me know where’s my position. Thank you so much for listening.”

4. Yuko (大島優子)
“Hello everyone I’m Yuko Oshima from team K of AKB48. This election is said to be the election for Generation Change, and I think it’s time for AKB to undergo generation change, too. Some people might think if I participate in this election, it might interrupt other younger generations to get a chance of bigger stages, and that thought made me considered bowing out of my candidacy. But if I do bow out, I want to join this election. I rarely had a chance to perform a center during these 2 year, and just like I was given a chance in 2010, I think being given a chance to play a center through the election is my last chance(?)… I’ll head for with this resolution in mind.”

Sentences in bold are the parts that completely make no sense (because she obviously got upset by her own word “Bow Out” and “Last”, in which she wanted express her seriousness), but she explained her intent on her blog, saying, “I wanted to say I’ll go into an election with the determination that this might be my last chance.” I think that she couldn’t find an logical answer for the idea that her existence in the election might draw votes and attention away from the younger generations of AKB, and figured that if there’s a reason for her to join the election, it’s that the fans’ support could help make her a center in the next single if she were voted #1, just like in 2010 when she was voted to be the center in Heavy Rotation.
I can’t help thinking that Yuko’s rivalry with Acchan has not only been just a motivation for Yuko but has protected her from being criticized that both her and Acchan’s enormous popularity has been breaking the balance of popularity in AKB.

5. Tanamin (田名部生来)
“Kengai? Kengai? Kengai? 3 years consecutive Kengai!?!?!?”
“For not being negative, I’ve constantly kept making low-key efforts over these years. “
“But this year brought me one more thing to carry out as the only AKB48 member from Shiga. Look this sash, yes I’ve named local ambassador for traffic safety of Shiga prefecture. I’m also given a chance to star local TV program. Thank you so much~~~ (bow). But my popularity is of course like this amount (finger gesture). Public recognition of Shiga is also like this (hands gesture)….  I want to spread my name to this world like big Biwako lake (in Shiga).”
Wow Undergirls like Umechan, Haachan and Tanamin (*she is not Undergirls but a veteran member) deliver really funny but inspiring comments!! Although we tend to pay attention to regular Senbatsu members and rising stars like Paruru or Milky, this election is also a huge opportunity for a veteran member like Tanamin or Nakayan to be listed in the ranking for the first time.