AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

Last time I talked about the music, including some of my favorites like UZA—I hope YOU enjoyed the videos.

Now, I want to talk about…

Oshimen (Number 1 Favorite):

For me, my journey into AKB48 started in 2007, I was doing a photo search and came across Minami Takahashi—at the time, I saw a pretty, little Japanese girl with black hair in what appeared to be a top ponytail. (The photo is below). Her face was so pretty and she just seemed to grab me instantly. So, I went into the page it was on and found out that the group in which she belonged to was called AKB48. At the time, the only things available to my knowledge, were CD’s that I could get as an import. I knew that CD’s would work in all CD players world wide because I’ve gotten imported CD’s before. My first was actually Aitakatta which I showed in part one of this article series.

Minami 07 AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

I tried getting other things, but at the time, it was a difficult task, so I gave up because I felt that I had to be satisfied.
In 2010, I found Minami Takahashi again and was able to get her photo book; once again, this stemmed my interest in AKB48 and I started hunting YouTube and found a few videos of the variety show AKBingo—I watched them but they were not subtitled and I could only guess what was going on just by the actions. I did get lucky and found a few that were subtitled but when I went to watch them again, they had vanished. Now there are a ton of episodes that are subtitled, they are just older and are from 2008-2010 with very few being from 2011-2014.

Minami Takahashi:

Minami Photos AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

One of the original members, she is actually front and center of the first CD “Cherry Blossom Petals.” Never straying from Team A, Minami has one of the greatest roads that an idol can have. She became the captain of Team A and then the General Manager of the entire AKB48 and all the groups attached. No matter how she is portrayed, she is obviously intelligent, a very hard worker and genuinely cares about the other girls and the groups themselves. She is in a place of power and great responsibility, and the only thing that I’m hoping for is that this fact means she will NEVER Graduate—even if she Graduates from performing, I hope that she stays with the group as their leader until the very end; it’s not a bad thing.  UPDATE: Of course, she is graduating Dec 8th 2015…I’ll miss you!

Minami is 148CM tall, which comes out to 4’9” or 4’10” (the conversion is never accurate) and she fits the description of my type of girl, very small; someone that can be lifted and held. Her appearance changed throughout the years, but that is to be expected; she was born in 1991 and as of this article she is 23.

Minami All 1 AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

Minami has the best singing voice—not in my opinion; it’s true. She has soloed many times and even did a major solo entitled “Jane Doe” which is a great song and has an awesome video—thankfully, the DVD is ALL region.
She is part of a sub-group called NO3B with Minami Minegishi and Haruna Kojima; here is the album Pedicure day, the songs on it are nice; no UZA, but nice…No Jane Doe either…Anyhow, you can look at the photo of the CD cover and compare it to the photo in the mix of the three girls or women together—NO3B now and then…

no3b disk AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

There is so much more I can say about Minami, but I have two others whom I want to talk about; there are plenty of sources on the internet, use them to find out more. Or, you can leave a comment below and I’ll answer it.  I have countless more photos and more CD’s, but there is only room for so much.

Ayaka Umeda:

Ayaka photos 31 AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

“The red-headed step-child.” Ayaka is a second generation member and was part of the first group of Team K. She was once someone—pictured center on the cover of Aitakatta; smiling with her “vampire” teeth showing and looking like she was having a great time. Then she damages her foot or leg—can’t dance with a fracture…She disappeared until about 2008 and returned to Team K and was buried in the dark background. She was hardly on the variety show AKBingo until years after its start. She was told by the AKB staff that everyone was in competition with each other and she befriended pretty much no one.

Ayaka photos 2 AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

Ayaka stood alone; a small—about 4’10” or 4’11”—had her “vampire” teeth fixed, so beautiful regardless…It was rare for her to get picked or win a spot in A-side songs or even videos and she hardly existed…but I remembered her; Ayaka was as important to me as Minami.

Ayaka photos 1 AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

In 2012, Ayaka surfaced again, she became the Captain of Team B after Yuki Kashiwagi and for about two years she was in the spotlight again; appearing on AKBingo…the only issue was the fact that she didn’t have much of a presence, I don’t think variety is her thing. But, she was there and not just for a few moments getting dumped in flour like she did in the earlier episodes.  She seems pretty serious that variety is almost damaging to her.

Ayaka Photos BLT 1 AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

Ayaka also appeared in a few episodes of Nemousu which I talked about in earlier articles, she was part of a public relations commercial for Panama and was also sent out on a fishing boat where she was pretty much just there—she was even “bullied” (I hope the quotes are true or my next Oshi is going to be a real disappointment–there is a common joke the way it was done)–by Minami Minegishi who is 4 years younger than her…Ayaka should have dumped Minegishi in the ocean! Just kidding around of course.

Ayaka photos BLT 2 AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

Ayaka had a rough road ahead of her from the time she began her career; however, she was recently in a musical called “In the Heights” and in 2015 she will be starring in “The Wiz” as Dorothy! Granted, “The Wiz” is one of the two worse defacement’s of “The Wizard of OZ” but for the first time ever, I don’t care because Ayaka deserves a break. If I could, I’d go see it—maybe if it somehow comes to New York?  UPDATE: Thankfully her show was successful and that makes me happy! Did not come to New York, at least I don’t think it did?

Ayaka cards AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

In 2014 Ayaka was transferred from the Captain of Team B to the Co-Captain of NMB48—Team BII. As with Yuki Kashiwagi, I believe that because Ayaka has a lot of experience, she was needed to teach the newer members—after all, she is the best dancer with a perfect dancer’s body.  She is also an amazing singer, I heard her solo…man, she needs to go solo!  But, to be honest, I joke that she is still the captain of Team B; I can’t and won’t accept that she is not in that position.

Ayaka cards 2 AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

Ayaka is 25 as of this article; her day of birth is Jan 3; so she will be 26 in just a few months. Ayaka was part of the sub-group DiVA which just finished it’s last album in October—everything is in place for her Graduation and why it bothers me personally is ridiculous, I don’t know her, I’ve never met her…but, I really like her in different ways and I think that is what is giving me a personal interest in her career and her success. I think that she will have a great career in musicals and that will be her life’s work. AKB48 and NMB48 will be a thing of the past and I will then have to change my top 3 yet again, but I will always remember Ayaka Umeda.

Ayaka swatch cards AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

I just want to point out that the swatch cards are my first ever, I’ve never had a trading card like these before, until now. The numbers are pretty good too. In the dark green one is what I like to call “haughty bitch” Ayaka, I just love the look of her when she is physically saying “don’t fuck with me.” Then for the yellow version, I call that the “pretty” Ayaka; the girl I’d always want by my side.  She has the best facial expressions.

Ayaka swatch cards 2 AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

I dread the day she says she’ll Graduate, I hope that because she is a second generation member that she receives a proper send off, Ayaka deserves it.

Shizuka Oya:

Shizuka photos 2 AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

“The Nothing,” With minimal presence and a very high immaturity level, Shizuka—the current co-captain of Team B (as of March 2015 a member of Team A) is hardly on the radar. BUT, I love her to no end!

Shizuka was in training for two years! That’s right 2 long years!!! The only thing that came out of it was the fact that the younger members looked up to her; because she took care of them.
One of the weirdest girls I’ve ever seen, Shizuka was a perfect addition to her rare moments on AKBingo, and the one time where she shined bright was during a cooking challenge where she did a great job—good for her—bad for variety…She was armed with many bad jokes or stories, but on the plus side, she is VERY flexible; good for dancing.

Shizuka photos AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

Shizuka’s career thus far has not featured her as Center in the line-up; she hardly is ever in any of the videos or title tracks on the CD’s and even if she was, you can’t really hear her for more than a moment; I’d love to hear her solo, I heard her sing and she sings beautifully.

Shizuka swatch card AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

Shizuka does a lot of radio work, and “stuff” here and there, so that is a shame, she could be so much more. However, she had a special episode on Nemousu where she was given the chance to get a boat operators license and she actually passed! So the rest of the episode was taking her friends out on a mini yacht with a cabin and they had some interesting challenges—she looked really happy too and that gave me a good feeling—somehow, I thought this one thing was a success for her.

Shizuka swatch card 2 AKB48, A Musical Collection; Part 5!

I frequent Oya’s blogs because I like seeing photos of her without make-up; she will be 23 in December (2014) and she looks great! However, in early October (2014) she went into the hospital with appendicitis and unless she liked going though that; I actually felt worried about her—same with Ayaka and Minami, I don’t know them, I’ve never met them, but for some reason, I am concerned about them—why? If anything, Shizuka is fine now and probably won’t be wearing a costume that shows her stomach ever again, but that’s ok, as long as she continues to go along her own road.

I’m hoping that she hangs on for a few more years and Graduates properly with a show of her own. I’ll miss her even if no one else does. So pretty, so real; all Shizuka Oya deserves is success.  I have so many photos of her that it is impossible to show them all.  Sometimes I think she is my #1 favorite and not the others.

My former Oshimen are as follows; with the Graduations, my top three kept changing throughout the years.

My first after Minami Takahashi was Kayo Noro; I really loved her, and I still do. Yuko Oshima, what can I say—I already did in an earlier part; she was great, so real. Kazumi Urano or CinDy; when I saw her I got…well, you know…
The next in line group are Minami Minegishi, Yuki Kashiwagi if she stays long enough, and Yui Yokoyama. I’ll talk about them some more in the next part.

So, I hope my take on my Oshimen(s) was interesting in the least and the pieces of my collection showed how much I truly like these girls—women…if anything, my friends knew I was into J-Pop secretly as I listened to Trance and Gothic in public with some 80’s and Oldies mixed in; so I don’t feel any shame finally talking about my love for AKB48 and the sister groups.

Until next time…


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