Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Let's Speculate: Request Hour Setlist Best 100 2010

The next big concert of AKB is upon us, and before we're actually given the top 100 (on January 21-24, again at Shibuya AX [performing 25 songs a day]) as voted on by the fans, let's try to speculate about what could happen at this year's Request Hour Setlist Best 100. Note that AKB (along with all other 48's) already has more than 200 songs.

Aparently, there was a partial result that was released sometime ago when voting wasn't done yet. Note that I have never read it, so my guesses have no relationship with that. I never read it 'cause I want to be surprised. That, and I can't read kanji yet.

For the first time, it seems Team A will be the team with the disadvantage, considering they're the only main team to not get a new stage in 2009 (not counting newly formed K2).

Team B will have a hard time duplicating last year's success, considering they dominated it, after all, except for one song (Gokigen Naname na Mermaid, a performance that I actually like), all their original songs made it to the top 100. That's right! Besides their team songs, all five original stage subunits made it to the top 50, with three of them in the top 10, with Temo Demo no Namida being the highest ranked stage subunit in all AKB, at #3. Team B was able to prove their worth to the AKB world with not only those, but by getting the #1 spot with Shounichi. Some fellow fans have speculated that Team B fans may have gotten together to ensure that Team B gets #1, however, if that was true, none of the other Team B songs would have fared so well, but they did.

However, since Team B has a new stage this year (their second original, fourth overall), their fans would be divided now, and their votes will be distributed. For example, it may have been an easy choice for hardcore Yuki Kashiwagi fans what to vote for last year, but this year, they actually have a decision to make with Temo Demo no Namida, and Kuchi Utsushi no Chocolate. Meaning the Team B subunits, songs, and #1 ranked Shounichi will have a very hard time holding on to their high positions. Not only that, there is what I call the "freshness factor" which may affect some of the songs, meaning newer songs may get ranked higher than older songs because they're new and fresh to the fans. Meaning my favorite team song, Hissatsu Teleport, is in serious danger of dropping out of the top 100 this year, since it only ranked #95 last year. Along with Hissatsu Teleport, my other favorite B songs like Kiss Shite son Shichatta (#88), Inochi no Tsukaimichi (#86), and Futarinori no Jitensha (#70) are in danger of disappearing too, but I'm really rooting for them to stay up there. (The other songs may be safer.) Four of the five stage subunits from the third stage was in the top 25, so I'm guessing they should still be in this year's top 100, so I'm also rooting for Kagami no Naka no Joan Da Arc (#33) to stay in there too. My favorite stage is Team B's third stage, so besides the freshness factor, their fourth stage songs may have a hard time getting in there too. For their superstar appeal alone, Zannen Shoujo and Kuchi Utsushi no Chocolate may be shoe-ins for the top 100, and highly probably even Itoshiki Natasha, but I'm personally rooting for Tengoku Yarou, my favorite performace on Team B's fourth stage. For team songs, Minasan mo go Issho ni and Joshikousei wa Yamerarenai seem to be popular, but I'm rooting for my favorite Team B fourth stage song, Sobakasu no Kiss.

There may be a possibility that SKE's Team S will be this year's Team B. I doubt they'll actually get #1, but they may pull off a lot of surprises. Last year, their only original song made it to #48, so considering this year, they had two original stages, I'm hoping they get to perform much, much more in this year's Best 100. Unfortunately, I haven't seen Team S' third stage (but I'm really eager to see it), but their second stage (first original) was great! Wimbledon ne Tsureteitte and Glory Days may be shoe-ins for the top 100, a lot of fans seem to like Ame no Pianist and Kono Mune no Barcode, but I'm rooting for my second favorite SKE stage subunit, Choco no Yukue, to make it in there too! For team songs, Te wo Tsunaginagara and Chaimu wa Love Song seem to be popular, and Tsuyukimonoyo should be a shoe-in, but I'm rooting for my favorite SKE song, Dai Suki, along with my other favorites, Bokura no Kaze, Mango No. 2, Innocence, and Romance Rocket. Also, I'm thinking Wimbledon ne Tsureteitte may be this year's Temo Demo no Namida, especially considering Tsukina Takai fans may want to see her back on stage to perform my favorite SKE subunit. Tsukina may be this year's Mikachi.

Team K got a lot of love from their fans from last year's Best 100, and personally I'm rooting for my favorite Team K team song, Nounai Paradise (#97) to stay in there, along with Erai Hito ni Naritakunai (#54). For their latest stage, EndRoll may be a shoe-in, and likely even Wagamama na Nagareboshi and Mushi no Ballad, but I'm rooting for my favorite Team K fifth stage performance, Dakishimeraretara. I'm not a huge fan of the Team K team songs, but they have really great, and really popular stage subunits which I expect will still be in the top 100, like Oshibe to Meshibe to Yoru no Chouchou (#11), Maria (#7), Kimi wa Pegasus (#45), Kinjirareta Futari (#27), and of course, Blue Rose (#50).

Unfortunately, I have not seen SDN's first stage, (but again, I'm really eager to) but Black Boy seems to be popular, so that may be a shoe-in, but I'm rooting for SDN to get much more than one performance in the Best 100.

Chocolove fared well in last year's Best 100, but I'm really interested to see how they fare this year. I bet they still have a lot of supporters who would love to see Rina Nakanishi back with Sayaka and Sae.

Expect No Sleeves and Watarirouka Hashiritai to debut on the Best 100 this year. All two main tracks of each of their first two singles should make it in easy (for No Sleeves, those are Relax! and Tane, and for Watarirouka Hashiritai, those are Hatsukoi Dash and Yaruki Hanabi). I'm just curious how far up they go in there. TomoTomo fans and Myao fans may go for Nattou Angels, so I'm curious to see if it makes it in and how far it can go. I'm also curious to see if any Persona tracks make it. Hmmm. I'm also interested to see how Meetan's Amai Konkansetsu (#40) fares this year after one year.

I'm also curious how the additional tracks of the singles would fare. Tobenai Agehachou should be a shoe-in, and so should Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara; expect Hikuoki Gumo to finally debut even if it didn't make it in last year, but I believe First Love would make it in too, I'm just curious to see how high up it, and the other additional tracks I mentioned would go. Oh, and Mayuyu's first solo track, Kaze no Violin, I'm so rooting for that to get in! Unfortunately, that, along with No Sleeves' Kiss no Ryusei and Watarirouka Hashiritai's Kanpeki Gu-no ne do have disadvantages: they were released after voting has started, so many fans have already used their votes before they even came out.

I'm also rooting for my favorite AKB song to stay in there, Yuuhi wo Miteiru ka? (#41), and some of my favorite at-least-one-year old songs, like Kioku no Dilemma (#12), Renai Kinshi Jourei (#17), Tsundere! (#28) and especially lower ranked Aisareru to Iyu Koto (#69). Bingo! (#19) and Oogoe Diamond (#2) should be shoe-ins, but like the last five I mentioned, I want them to rank high.

I thought Bird was really high last year at #4; fans do really like that song. I'm interested to see how it will fare this year. I would be amazed if it stays in the top ten this year. Team A has a lot of great stage subunits too, so I'm interested to see if Faint (#14) and Junai no Crescendo (#13) can stay at a high rank, as I believe they're shoe-ins for the top 100 too. I'm rooting for my favorite Team A team song, Tadaima Renaichu (#49) to stay in there, along with a few other Team A favorites of mine, like Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta (#55), Namida Uri no Shoujo (#58), Darui Kanji (#81), Senaka Kara Dakishimete (#78), and Dareka no Tame ni (#52). Don't forget the second tracks Dear My Teacher (#68), Aozora no Soba ni Ite (#47), and Only Today (#20). I'm also curious if the super classic Sakura no Hanabiratachi would stay in the top 10, considering it was #10 last year and #1 two years ago.

A few Himawari-gumi songs I want to stay in there that I haven't mentioned yet are Himawari (#39), Confession (#42), Boku to Juliet to Jetcoaster (#60), Idol Nante Yobanaide (#61), Hajimete no Jellybeans (#65), and especially Seishun no Inazuma (#83).

It would also be interesting how AKB's topstar Maeda Atsuko's subunits would fare this year. The Iiwake Maybe Senbatsu elections prove she's still number one, and although all her stage subunits made it in the top 100 (except for Nageki no Figure, if we consider that a stage subunit), the highest rank of an Acchan subunit was Kuroi Tenshi at #24, one of her rare serious subunit songs. It's interesting to see if they still all make it there. Outside Himawari-gumi, my favorite Acchan stage subunit is Nage Kiss de Uchi Otose (#31), so I'm hoping that stays in there, but I do like many of Acchan's subunits.

I find it interesting that Ame no Doubutsuen was not in last year's top 100. It's a fan-favorite, but not enough for people to vote for it if they can only vote for one song. Also missing was Lay Down!, one of my favorite performances. Also from Himawari-gumi, Itoshisa no Defense, one of my favorite songs, is also missing from the Best 100. Another of my favorites, Dakedo... is not there too. From old Team A stages, I really liked Kiss wa Dame yo, Hoshi no Ondo, and Koi no Plan, so at least, I hope Rider (#91) gets to stay, but it's ranked so low in last year's top 100 already... (I so wanna see CinDy still perform with old Team A; Nacchan is a shoe-in for this since she got two subunits with Acchan). For Himawari-gumi, I also wanted Ai to Pride, Let's Get Ato 1 Senchi, Rock da yo Jinsei wa..., 50%, and Dreamin' Girls to make it, but none of them made it last year. Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou and Seifuku ga Jama wo Suru didn't make it last year either so I'm curious to see if they will get resurrected this year.

It would also be interesting to see which graduates come back. I'm betting Mikachi superfans vote like crazy for Temo Demo no Namida, and I would love to see her come back on stage to perform it one more time. I'd be amazed if it stayed on the top ten, much more if it stayed the top stage subunit. That would be such a cool success story. Like I said earlier, so goes for Tsukina Takai with Wimbledon ne Tsureteitte. And don't forget recent graduates like Mai Oshima, Nozomi Kawasaki, and Kaoru Hayano, ooh, it would be cool to see them back to perform their subunits. Don't forget the other Team B graduates, Matsuyuki and Gussan! It would be fun to see them back to perform Junjou Shugi and Tenshi no Shippo, respectively. And if Kagami no Naka no Joan Da Arc does stay, would Mikipomu be back? Wouldn't it be interesting also if Ayarin performed the center again? Granted, it would disappoint Sasshi's fans, such as myself, but seeing Ayarin center Kagami no Naka no Joan Da Arc again would be a classic moment. Well, if not for this concert, then maybe the next one.

I also hope to see interesting versions of old songs. Sayaka's solo on Seishun no Inazuma last year rocked, and the performance of 16nin Shimai no Uta last year was cool too.

I'm also interested to see what the girls in the background sitting on the benches watching the performances will be doing. I hope they pull crazy antics.

My guess for this year's #1? River. That shouldn't be a hard guess as it's their highest selling single so far. But that would be too predictable. I'm hoping what happened last year happens again this year, and we get a surprise #1. And I hope they don't tell the girls again what the highest ranking songs are; I hope they don't tell the girls who are top ten, just let more than ten sets rehearse their performances and make the girls cry again (but this time, for joy). I hope they do more of what they did with Kana last year, have more girls come out with identifiable uniforms, but don't let all of them perform, to keep the fans guessing!

I'm hoping we get another success story like the one Team B had last year. That was such a cool, inspirational story, that alas, I'll have to retell it next time if you've never heard it before, as this post is already quite long.

Unfortunately (or maybe I should say, fortunately), since the Team shuffle announced at Budokan hasn't taken affect (they will definitely take effect already on February as shounichi [opening day] of the new team stages have already been announced), we won't get to see a reunion of the old teams, since they really haven't been split up yet. I guess Aki-P was imagining that scenario when they announced the Team Shuffle effectivity on October, but since it got pushed to February, we'll have to wait for that reunion concert next year! Reunification of old subunits, and maybe even old teams on the Best 100 2011! Wouldn't that be fun!

I'm also wondering if we'll get another supersurprising announcement from Aki-P at the end of this Shibuya concert, like what happpened in Budokan. Hmm. We'll have to wait and see.