Sunday, January 12, 2014

HKT48 Shuffled This Early!!! (My Thoughts)

Just two years and two singles after they debuted, HKT48 gets a team shuffle, even before NMB48 ever got a shuffle, eventhough NMB is over a year older than them. AKB48 fans are pretty used to team shuffles, having experienced already their second, and many of us already understand why this is done, mostly to balance out the teams, so when SKE48 got their own team shuffle after many of their members, even the popular ones, graduated, it was already acceptable, to again balance the teams. But the HKT48 shuffle is surprising because it was done so early in their career. I imagine some of NMB finding this whole thing interesting, considering the closest they have gotten to a shuffle is the transfer of my NMB oshi Nana Yamada from Team N to Team M. (In case you don't know what a shuffle is, it's transferring members of teams to other teams. This is usually done to ensure one team has as much star-power as the others, and to give members a different opportunity in another team.)

I love HKT48 and I have been anticipating the creation of their second team, Team K4. (In case you don't know, AKB48 has Team K, SKE48 has Team KII and JKT48 has Team K3.) I was thinking Team K4 being composed of former Kenkyuuseis would be enough as they have the likes of Meru Tashima, Mio Tomonaga, Yuka Akiyoshi, Marika Tani, Kanna Okada and Izumi Goto, among many others, so I did not think a shuffle would even be necessary. Then again, although 2nd and 3rd Gen HKT Kenkyuuseis could stand on their own, I must admit, if you're a fan of HKT shows such as Hakata Hyakkaten and Tonkotsu Mahou Shoujo Gakuin as I am, you would recognize that Team H is actually quite a powerhouse. Even the lesser popular Haruka Wakatabe and Yuki Shimono are pretty awsum, so it's very easy to say that over half the team is front girl or HKT Senbatsu material. So I guess management wanted to be extra proactive and shuffled them upon the creation of the second team. I think it's acceptable; it was just disheartening to see them crying after their concert. Knowing how AKB and their sister groups are, I'm confident they'll be back to their cheery little selves in no time, so go ahead and give your teammates hugs and kisses for the meantime.

I'm glad the very lovable Anai Chihiro stays on as captain (of Team H). Although I believe 2nd and 3rd Gen HKT Kenkyuuseis have leader-types, I believe their leader-types may lack enough star power, something Aika Oota could very much provide, so Lovetan being transferred to Team K4 as its captain seems like a very good decision, especially as she is considered the Big Sis of the group. Funny though, who would have thought that little ol' Rabutan of AKB would ever Captain anything this important. But if you've been watching HKT shows, you would know that Rabutan has matured greatly from when she started with AKB six years ago, and with my favorite subunit Watarirouka Hashiritai disbanded, I think it was a brilliant move for Rabutan to transfer to HKT (and Harugon to JKT for that matter). Oh, and have Sasshi and Rabutan left Sashiharassment back at AKB or is it too old now? Rabutan is also THE senpai (senior member) of the group, being senior of even Sasshi herself, as Rabutan is 3rd Gen AKB, so her being captain simply makes sense.

I'm glad my HKT oshi Haruka Kodama stays at Team H. I'm kind of disappointed that she got separated from my second HKT favorite Anna Murashige who got transferred to Team K4. I get the impression that the two are rather close, and as much as Haruppi would like to be as funny as Anna is, I think she doesn't have as much courage or as much material as Anna, so I usually only get to see her be crazy when she is taking part in one of Anna's gags, but now they are separated...

I'm disappointed that Meru Tashima and Yuka Akiyoshi got promoted to Team H, I would have thought that they would have been the flagbearers of Team K4 along with Mio Tomonaga. I believe Meru should be centering her own team and not cocentering (and I won't be happy if Haruppi won't be center!). I would have left Anna Murashige and Sakura Miyawaki at Team H instead, then again, these two are heavy hitters and was probably one of the main reasons for the shuffle at all.

I'm also disappointed that Marika Tani didn't get promoted to the same team as Chiyori Nakanishi. The two real-life high school friends make a great comedy duo. Management might be avoiding this specifically, maybe so the two can play off the other girls. Separating Chori with Anna Murashige is a good idea though as the two were occupying similar roles. I would have moved Chori to Team K4 instead of Anna.

Aoi Motomura was a good transfer (to Team K4) as she brings a lot to the table but I feel is moveable, so she would be a great addition to a new team. The transfer of Moriyasu Madoka is also pretty good, I don't know whether Natsumi Matsuoka should have transferred with her as well.

Since I don't get to see the theater anyway and most of my HKT injection is from TV shows, I probably won't notice much of a difference as when they are on their TV shows, it's not really noticeable who is on what team since they pretty much act as just one group. I am really excited to follow this group and hope they get more shows!

Ganbarre HKT! I love HKT48!

(Details of the shuffle here:

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