Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Old Team B is Now Officially Gone: A Look at B4 Senshuuraku

I’ve been saying goodbye to my old Team B for a few posts already (see: http://filipinoakbfan.blogspot.com/2010/01/team-b-success-story-shibuya-ax-request.html) but now, they are officially gone. Yeah, the good news is that those that are still around aren’t going anywhere, they are still in AKB, just in different teams now, but I also do love them as a group, and that Team is now gone.

AKB48’s preBudokan shuffle Team B officially dissolved on April 16, 2010, the senshuuraku (closing day) of their final stage as a Team, Idoru no Yoake, Team B’s 4th stage, 2nd original. Let me talk about that final performance.

The great news about the senshuuraku was that all of them were present. The stage went on as normal. For a Team B fan like myself, there was a certain hint of surrealness as I watched the subunits get performed as a stage for the last time. The best part of the 4th stage had always been the subunits.

As a one-shot performance, they also performed Majisuka Rock n’ Roll as the first encore song (after Tanpopo no Kesshin). Mayuyu would take Acchan’s place, and I was pleased that it was Nacchan who would take Mayu’s.

Majisuka Gakuen was a big break for many of the Team B girls. Except for Nacchan, and new members Krisu and Kyururun, all Team B members were a part of the TV series in varying degrees. Yukirin was one of the Four Queens as Black, Mayuyu was one of the show’s primary instigators as Nezumi, Sasshi and Moeno were members of very important Team Hormone as Wota and Bungee, Lovetan was a part of the Sanshou Sisters, and I was very glad Tanamin, Hacchan, Nakayan, and Yonechan got a break as the freshmen members of Rappapa. Even CinDy and Harugon got cameos on the final episode. Even Team-B-Kenkyuusei-promoted-for-5th-stage Mikapon got a good role as Hormone’s Mukuchi. I wanted Nacchan to be on the show as well, but I suppose she was busy. So, in a way, the show’s theme song, Majisuka Rock n’ Roll was a good song to perform for their senshuuraku, especially, as I assume, that they had to perform a new song.

Even better than with Team K, the girls held their emotions very well. Except for Harugon, that is, who really had it by the stage’s last song, Arigatou (English: Thank you). Harugon had a special message for each of the Team B girls in her blog before the show.

Not to say Harugon was the only one feeling it.




Nacchan showing some love to Tanamin

Mika Komori and Mayumi Uchida are not official members of Team B by their 4th stage, their promotion takes effect by the new stages, but in the ending part of Arigatou where Team B leader CinDy mentions each member by name (in Japanese alphabetical order), although she still introduces Mikapon and Ucchi in the end when Kenkyuuseis are mentioned, she drops the mention of Kenkyuusei this time, as if to say that Mikapon and Ucchi are not just “permanent” Kenkyuuseis of Team B, but actual members.

CinDy with Yukirin: former leader to successor.

Although the last song of the stage is Arigatou, since this is the last performance of this Team B, for their finale, the girls perform their AKB Best 100 #1 as voted by the fans song, Shonichi.

It takes them a bit longer to start the chant going as they have a private moment together, eventually trying to wave off tears amidst their own “yabbai” (English: this is bad).

Harugon still shaking off her tears in Shonichi


Last to officially MC the last performance of old Team B is my favorite AKB girl and Team B center, Mayuyu.

The last official bow of the team.

Team B leader CinDy’s last bow with Team B.

I know how much Mayuyu loves the old Team B, but oddly, she leaves the stage last, eventhough she gets to stay in Team B.

First to bid farewell in the last footage of the LOD video are CinDy and Ucchi, where Team B leader CinDy states that Kenkyuuseis Ucchi and Mikapon, as I stated earlier, although officially not members of Team B before the new stages, are members of Team B. Well, if CinDy says so, that’s good enough for me!

Mika Komori is promoted to Team B for their 5th stage, eventhough she is a regular performer of Kataomoi no Taikakusen, while Mayumi Uchida is promoted to Team K for their 6th stage, although she is a regular performer of Zannen Shoujo. Ucchi wanted to leave the camera at once, as they were kinda getting rushed because of time, but CinDy pulled her back as she wanted to emphasize her point in Arigatou. The last leadership act of CinDy for Team B that we get to see on video.

Hacchan and new Team B captain Yukirin go next.

More Team B cuties, Kyururun and Sasshi. It seems like everyone got along in Team B. They mention they love B and Sasshi mentions they’re going to SDN and Team A.

Harugon and Tanamin just say they love Team B using different words.

Tenshi no Shippo girls, Krisu and Nakayan went next.

Moeno goes next with Nacchan. In case you didn’t know, Moeno actually does love to kiss the other girls. No kidding.

Nacchan returns the love.

The two gets a playful push for being mushy from who I believe is Mayuyu.

Actually very playful when she’s surrounded by her old Team B teammates, Mayuyu decides to just pretend she’s just walking along with Yonechan when they notice a camera.

I don’t know if Yonechan was going for a kiss too, or was she really just planning to tickle Mayu, but it was cute.

Yonechan settles for a playful hug from Mayu.

Mayu actually gets a last word in at the end of the LOD, just being silly and playful actually.

And that’s how my beloved old Team B ended. My favorite Team will still be the new Team B, as Mayuyu, Yukirin and Nacchan, three of my top four favorites, are the ones, actually only ones, left in Team B from the old Team B. I don’t hate the Budokan shuffle as I’ve already seen how well the less popular Team B girls are now being assimilated to the rest of AKB. I believe they benefit greatly from the shuffle. Of course, their friendship, which I have adored very much, will be less seen as they will now have less time with one another, but the good news is that they aren’t really going anywhere. None of them graduated, they will just be in different Teams. So they will still see each other, and will still be able to spend time with each other, just not as much as before. But at least they have more opportunities now. And this is most important to the longest members of Team B who have been pretty much ignored previously for the most part.

I’m also very happy that there was no graduation ceremony for CinDy. CinDy, nor any of the girls for that matter, did not announce their graduation at the end of the stage, which is a scare that has traumatized Team B fans since their 3rd stage, especially the 3rd stage senshuuraku. More importantly, CinDy’s full transfer to SDN48 is not being treated as a graduation from AKB48, something I have long believed should be the case. I never considered the transfer to SDN a graduation from AKB, I always considered SDN a part of AKB, I consider SDN no different from Team A, Team K and Team B (same with SKE), just with different parameters. So I don’t consider CinDy’s full transfer to SDN a graduation from AKB, the SDN girls are very much a part of the AKB family, so I’m very glad none of the fully transferring girls to SDN are getting graduations during their senshuurakus.

It’s also interesting how the girls held up emotionally, even better than with Team K, the Team that ended before theirs. I know these girls love each other, but just like with K, I suppose they were very well prepared, so much to my own chagrin, there were very few tears during the performance. It’s been coming for months now, and they understand the benefits of the shuffle, and true friendship is not limited by work, so they know they can still have each other at various times and opportunities.

Cheers to the friendships and efforts and abilities and talent and love that was the old Team B!

Itsumo kansha, reisei ni, teinei ni, seikaku ni, minna no yume ga kanaimasu youni. AKB chi-mu B!

(Always be thankful, be cool, be polite, be accurate, to make everybody's dream come true. AKB Team B!)