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Stage AKB48 KKS [Pajama Drive] (2018/11/18 - )

Discussion in 'AKB48 News & Releases' started by Kuura, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. Cristafari

    Cristafari Stage48 Admin Staff Member Stage48 Admin

    Joined:
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    Iwasa Misaki
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    AKB48 Kenkyuusei 'Pajama Drive' Stage (2019/07/18)

    After another series of crappy cancel machi numbers in June and early-July, I found a big surprise in my email box on Monday while out drinking with a few of my Wasafan buddies. I knew it wasn't going to be another horrible number since this was the Twin Pillars application round. Sure enough, it was a cancel machi, but this time I got #53. Yatta! Uhhh, huh? #53 for Twin Pillars? Is the ticket center staff trolling me now? Twin Pillar cancel machi had traditionally been 1-50. So I asked around, and apparently it now goes up to #60, which also might explain why my average cancel machi number via ippan this year has been higher than in previous years. But no matter. I had #53, and it was a kenkyuusei show. No birthday, no special events, so the chances of my getting in were extremely good.

    Sure enough, when I woke up the morning of the show the cancellations on the ticket center were already up to #35. The incoming storm may have had a bit to do with it, but I'm not afraid of a little rain. I had a few errands to do in the afternoon, and arrived in Akihabara shortly before 5 p.m., and by then the cancellations had hit #50. So I knew I was good to go. Not only was I getting in, but I was surely going to be in the seat lottery for a change. I arrived 10 minutes before cutoff, stored my bag in a locker, and waited near the ticket counter for my number to be called. They had already let in #51, so I was second in line. The staff called my number, and I queued up for my ticket. For some reason the ticket girl had an issue with my I.D. (I think the middle name) but it was ironed out quickly, and I received ticket #229, last in my group. I stood in hope for an early #220-229 call....

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    I'll spare everyone the suspense. My group wasn't very lucky at all. I lost count after a while, but I think we were the 16th or 17th group called in. (out of 25) All the seats were taken, as were the spots on the railings. I ended up grabbing a spot in the center standing area where I had one guy's head blocking my center view, but I could see most of the stage. At the end of the day, I really had no control over my lottery number, although the one thing I was hoping was that group #230-239 wouldn't get called in before us since I missed being in that group by one. Ultimately they ended up with a worse draw than us. At the end of the day, this was my 52nd theater show, (score-a-rooni!) and I have to think by now I have seen more kenkyuusei shows than I saw SDN48 shows back in the day.

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    Random signed Naachan poster near the ticket booth.

    THE SHOW

    I'm not sure who did the kage-ana. Most of my favorite draftees were in the cast; Ran-chan, Sora-chan, Sena-tan, Sato Shiori. Otake Hitomi was out. Zunchan, who sometimes participates in this stage, was also out. However, the surprise member of the cast was Kitazawa Saki, who hasn't been a kenkyuusei since 2013. I guess she was getting some extra work, or perhaps filling in for Hitomin. Whatever the case, it was nice to see her perform since I used to kinda like her back when she was a new member.

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    THE UNITS

    A few of the members were shuffled around for the back half of the unit section. I wasn't the least bit surprised to see Saki performing the center position for Junjou Shugi, but I was extremely surprised to see Honda Sora in Temodemo. So who would be the center for Jean d'arc? The moment I saw Okada Rina running out with the flag I thought "Yeah, that makes sense. She can pull off this role just fine." However she was completely gassed by the end of the song and had passed on running the MC, asking Kyoka to take over for her. Of course my favorite unit to watch is Pajama Drive, since Ranchan is in center position, flanked by the two Satos (Shiori and Minami) That song is a total cheerfest for me.

    "OTHER" MEMBERS I NOTICED

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    Ran-chan!

    This is usually where I talk about how I noticed my favorite members of the third gen draftees, and I DID notice them, especially Kobayashi Ran since I pay attention to her whenever she is somewhere in my sight line. Ranchan was up to her usual antics, playing grab-ass (literally) with various members, and spending a lot of time in the center position. She also led an MC toward the end, where she instructed everyone to say something they love about the person to their left.

    Kitazawa Saki: Of course. I mean she was the old veteran within a group of newbies. She got a huge ovation as well when she introduced herself. I think the fans really appreciated her participation in this stage. And she was probably wondering "where is all this adulation during the Team B shows?" Personally, I thought she fit in with the rest of the members just fine, and did a good job centering Junjou Shugi.

    Saito Haruna: I usually think of her as kind of shy, and lacking in energy. However, she was really working the stage, and did a great job as the 2nd lead on Jean d'arc. That song takes a bit of chutzpah to pull off, and I think she performed it admirably.

    Nagano Megum: I have noticed her before since she has such a memorable stage intro, but I never noticed her on the level I did tonight. She just seemed to be in a particularly genki mood during the entire stage. Kyoka was poking fun at her intro during one of the MCs, which turned into a cute bit.

    Homma Mai: Could it be that this 16th gen member is finally ready to take the next step. It's the first time I have watched her where she didn't seem like she was lost on the stage. She looked very graceful, including her performance in Temodemo. And, of all the members, including the girls I know and interact with regularly, she gave me the biggest reaction out of everyone during the post-show greeting.

    As for the rest of my faves, Sora-chan and Kyoka were great as usual. Sena seems to be working really hard on her genkiness, which is nice. Sato Shiori seemed more demonstrative and intense. However, Satomina seems to disappear in the crowd a lot, which might be why she hasn't been promoted yet.

    POST-SHOW

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    They took the group photo just before the last song. I was watching Ranchan, and she made a cute face for the first shot, and a goofy face for the second. I was hoping they would print the first photo for purchase, which they did. Unfortunately I wasn't in a very good position to be noticed by the members during the show. I thought I saw a few members looking my way at various times, but nobody ever made any overt gestures to me. Of course Ranchan, Sora, Shiori, and Kyoka all gave me kami reactions as I passed them during 'high-wave.' But as I mentioned before, I got the biggest surprise reaction from Homma Mai. Like I said, I think she is finally taking her image to the next level. I left the theater and immediately queued up to buy a photo pack. Since they took the group pic so late, they didn't have time to put the packages together so they gave me everything separately. And with that I grabbed my backpack and took off.

    So we'll see if this good cancel machi number is the beginning of a trend, or if I will go back to getting really high numbers like before. Either way, it seems like even when I lose I usually draw a yelow-tipped chopstick for the post-show greeting, so all good.
     
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  2. hjr1891

    hjr1891 Kenkyuusei

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
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    Anywhere, Everywhere
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    Sakamoto Erena
    Haatan's performance has stepped up a notch or two since her seitansai.:cute:

    Now, if they just let her perform with B (not just as Zenza Girl). :whistle:

    I think I saw the back of your head last night. On DMM. :D
     
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  3. TiduShoko

    TiduShoko Kenkyuusei

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    Aug 6, 2013
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    Spain
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    komiyamaharuka
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    TiduAura
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  4. Reveen

    Reveen Upcoming Girls

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Location:
    Sunnyvale Trailer Park
    Not the first time Yukirin has done a kks stage....but the last time was in 2013 with the 12/13/14th gen :lol:

    It's a great chance for the young members to learn from a veteran!
     
  5. Cristafari

    Cristafari Stage48 Admin Staff Member Stage48 Admin

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    Itabashi-ku, Tokyo, Japan
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    Iwasa Misaki
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    AKB48 'Pajama Drive' Matinee Stage (2019/08/08)

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    Since my last win three weeks ago, where I surprisingly won cancel machi via Twin Pillars, it has been two crappy ippan cancel machi elections in a row. Last Thursday I was surprised to get a cancel machi email for the Kenkyuusei Stage that Yukirin was appearing in. However any hopes of actually getting in were dashed after I opened the email to see I had cancel machi #144. There was no way in hell I was ever going to get into that stage with that bad a number. Still, I planned on going to Akihabara anyway. Heck, I could still draw a stick for the farewell 'high touch' if I was lucky. But I ended up screwing that up by failing to notice it was a matinee stage, and didn't realize my mistake until after the show had started. As expected, the cancel machi only went up to #67. So I saved myself a trip to Akihabara...

    Flash forward to this week. My plan for Thursday was to attend Wasamin's mini-live in Kasai in celebration of the special edition of her 8th single. That was until I received another cancel machi email, this time for the Thursday afternoon Pajama Drive stage. This time I had cancel machi #98. A little better, but by no means a sure thing. In fact I probably had a less than 50% chance of actually getting in. So I had a decision to make. Wasamin? or the Kenkyuusei? Normally I would say "go for your oshimen." But Wasamin has a few more events in the coming week, and frankly the mall she was performing at, while in Tokyo, is a bit of a pain to get to. So I opted for the Theater stage. After all, it wasn't a horrible cancel machi number, it was a matinee kenkyuusei show, no birthday, no Yukirin, and the pre-show cancellations had passed 40 by noon. I figured I had a shot, so I headed to Akihabara in the early afternoon, grabbed some lunch, and then made my way to the theater.

    I arrived shortly before the cancel machi call, and despite the theater being quite crowded, staff were calling the cancel machi numbers quite rapidly. 50's, 60's, 70's. Wow, would I even make it into the seat lottery? The call went to #77, and then they let in three women who apparently had a renban win, and were waiting for their last guest to arrive. With that he ended the call. But heck, I was 21 away with at least 10 spots left for the second call. I figured my chances were pretty good. Sure enough, quite a few people in the 80's weren't present, and as he approached calling my number I pretty much knew I was good to go. Sure enough, #98, score-a-rooni! I was in. Ultimately the call went up to #101.

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    So despite probably having a horrible vantage point from which to watch, this would be my 53rd theater show, and my 50th at the AKB48 Theater. Since I was going to be third-to-last entering the theater, I wasn't concerned about rushing for a spot. I decided to slowly walk from the left side to the right in search of a place from where I could see. The left-side standing area was packed. The middle seemed like it had some space, but I couldn't find a spot where I could see. Finally I noticed an empty void on the far right. As I made my way over staff called out that there was a spot for one more on the far-right risers, but the guy in front of me grabbed it, and another guy grabbed the spot against the wall I was trying to get to. However, I found a spot near the rail where I had a decent view of center stage, and not a bad view of the right side. So this wouldn't be horrible. Or so I thought...

    After the show started it seemed like everyone in front of me shifted. All of a sudden I couldn't see the right side at all, and my view of center stage was somewhat obstructed. So there went any chance of any members noticing me during the show. BTW, Yoshihashi Yuzuka did the kage-ana, and it seemed as if she had never done it before. I dunno, but she seemed really nervous, and kept pausing. Here are a few of my thoughts regarding the performance...

    of the five kenkyuusei I follow, four of them were in the show. Well, technically Ranchan isn't a kenkyuusei anymore, but that is a recent development. However, it turned out Otake Hitomi, who was originally listed as a cast member, is out with a rib injury. That was a bummer since I enjoy her performances of Junjou Shugi. Hopefully she recovers soon. Speaking of Ranchan...

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    As you probably know, Kobayashi Ran was recently promoted to a full-fledged Team K member. Frankly I'm not surprised since I think she's an ace, and I also think she's adorable. But Ranchan was absolutely glowing, so much that at first I didn't recognize her. I was like "Is that Ranchan, she looks so grown up all of a sudden!" Perhaps the promotion has filled her with confidence. But I thought she looked great!

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    It was the first time in a while I had seen Kurosu Haruka. She performed TemoDemo alongside Yuiri. Kurosu is one member who I have always liked, and she always gives me good reactions when I see her at the theater and at Zenkoku events.

    Despite not liking her at first, I have grown to appreciate Okada Rina. She puts a bit of edginess and intensity into her dancing, and I like her sarcastic MCs. Back when I first started I had assumed that she was merely lacking in enthusiasm, but now I get that she has her own pace.

    Kitazawa Saki was in the cast again, and again sang lead on Junjou Shugi. Both she and Michieda Saki are in that unit, which makes for some funny calls. "Saki Saki Saki Saki...Saki!" and "Saki Saki Saki Saki...Sakipon" back to back, LOL.

    Ya know, I'm still not completely sold on Sato Minami. Don't get me wrong. I think she's cute, and she's definitely genki on stage and responsive to fans. Still, I feel there is something missing in her performance, and I can't put my finger on it. I really don't notice her unless she is right in front of me. But I do think she is good enough, and works hard enough to be promoted. Hopefully that will come sooner than later.

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    On the other hand, Saito Haruna, despite having some waif-like qualities, has developed quite nicely from her earlier days. She was really talkative in the MC after the units, and when she is wearing that pirate-like outfit from Jean d'Arc she looks quite hawt. Definitely developing more confidence.

    As for the rest of my faves, Sorachan was genki and energetic, as usual. Sato Shiori was aloof and goofy, as usual. As for Senatan, she's so tiny and cute, but I don't think she takes advantage of that. She's very much a 'my-pace' type, which is fine. It's just that to me her personality doesn't match her look. Or something. I'm rooting for her though.

    An interesting aside. I mentioned at the last show I went to that nobody started an encore call for the longest time. Instead everyone was merely clapping. Finally someone attempted to start an encore, but after one chant the girls returned to the stage. This time was similar. Nobody was starting the call. I started wondering "Maybe I should start it?" At one point one of the cameramen turned around and looked at the crowd as if to say "Any day now guys!" Finally someone got it started.

    Being on the right side, I was among the first to leave the theater. I always check to see where the members are that I like, so I can be ready to spark a reaction. Unfortunately, Shiori was right after Ranchan, and Ranchan always goes all out when I pass her. Aside from Ranchan, I got the best reaction from Kurosu, and a pretty good reaction from Nagano Megumi. I tried to pull a reaction from Senatan, but didn't get one. Satomina and Yuiri were pretty good too.

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    I quickly grabbed my bag, purchased a photo set, and left the theater. Just as I left a foreign family had stumbled their way into the lobby and seemed completely overwhelmed with the onslaught of people exiting the theater, LOL.

    Unfortunately I don't have any handshake tickets for the 48-Group events this weekend, so I can't capitalize on my theater win with Ranchan. Oh well. Instead I have other events to attend. Wasamin on Friday in Northern Saitama. And I think I may try to check out Desu Rabbits this weekend as they are doing preorder events for their upcoming release. Should be fun!
     
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  6. Cristafari

    Cristafari Stage48 Admin Staff Member Stage48 Admin

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    Sep 10, 2008
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    Iwasa Misaki
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    AKB48 Kenkyuusei 'Pajama Drive' Stage (2019/09/04)

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    It's so nice to actually win a stage as opposed to receiving a mediocre to poor cancel machi number and praying I'll get in. I say "win," but I originally received a cancel machi email for this show too. However, it was from my twin pillars application, and it was a reasonably low number (#27) So considering this was a normal kenkyuusei stage, I was a shoe-in to get into the seat lottery. Sure enough, Tuesday evening I received an email that my cancel machi had turned into a proper election. Score-a-rooni!

    This would be my 54th theater show, and my 51st at the AKB48 Theater. I was excited that my two favorite AKB48 members, Ranchan and Zunchan were both in the cast. However, that 'blessing' can sometimes turn into a curse, which is a lesson I have painfully learned many times over when attending theater shows. When you support more than one member, how do you root for both of them without alienating one or the other? But first I would need to go through the seat lottery to see how good a spot I would get. There was always a chance I would get a bad draw in, and then it wouldn't really matter...

    Personally, I like a higher ticket number. It is just my personal experience that higher numbers generally fare better in the theater lottery. (For the record, I have the opposite experience at the SKE theater) So I took my time getting to the theater, first heading over to Entaba Akiba to pick up my DESURABBITS CD preorder, and then to The Hub for a quick pint. I made it to the theater around 17:45, bought my ticket (#153) and stored my bag in a locker. I always empty my pockets, save for my wallet and phone to make it easier to go through the metal detector.

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    By the way, I'm not sure when they changed this, but they didn't give us a tray for our stuff before the lottery. Instead we had to hold everything in our hands, and then grab a tray after our number was called. I'm not sure if that was an anomaly or the new policy. Anyway, after the female, family, enpou, and VIPs went in, the first group called was #110-119. After that #50-59, #40-49, #210-219, #10-19. And then it happened. #150-159. We were called in 6th, cool! This gave me a good chance of getting a decent seat, but how decent?

    Entering the theater I noticed the center and left were starting to fill up, but it looked like the right side was kind of empty. I immediately headed in that direction. The front row was taken, but there was only one person in the second row. That would be a great spot. However, just as I got there the guy in the last seat of the front row got up and moved. I wasted no time in claiming that seat. Front row baby!!! I was right next to both the main stage and the side stage. It had been so long since I had actually sat in a seat for a show, I was so happy!

    I had remembered to bring a lightstick, so I was all set. The question remained, who was going to lavish me with attention during the show? And of course, how do I workaround my Ranchan/Zunchan issue? Here are a few observations...

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    -There was a long delay between the kage-ana and the overture. I'm nut sure why, but it was over five minutes. Quite irregular. Speaking of screw-ups...

    -I'm not sure how often it happens at the theater, but the sound engineer didn't have the music pot turned up in the beginning of Two Years Later, abruptly raising the volume around 3 seconds into the song. It caused the girls to enter the stage a little late, but it was early enough for the choreography not to suffer.

    -Sorachan had a 'wardrobe malfunction' during TemoDemo, the wrap around her waste falling off mid-song. She quickly grabbed it and threw it off-stage toward the front row. This caused a slight commotion where one of the guards wanted to retrieve it without getting in the way of the fans. I had to scrunch over since they needed to move the gate, then crawl across the floor to get to it. During the next MC Sorachan mentioned what happened and asked if anyone noticed. Everyone in my row raised their hand, and she was like "Of course you guys noticed."

    -During one of the MCs they were talking about foods they like to eat this time of year. Yumoto Ami mentioned that she loves Mouku Tanmen Ramen, which if you read my blog you may remember it is also one of my favorite restaurants. (It's the one with the super-spicy ramen) Although I think she was mainly talking about the Cup Ramen version that they sell at 7-Eleven.

    -Lately the Pajama Drive Stage has been featuring random members who aren't 3rd Gen Draftees or 16th Gen. This show featured Ichikawa Minami, Yumoto Ami, and Yamabe Ayu.

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    -I was really impressed with some of the members' facial expressions during Inochi no Tsukaimichi. Specifically, Sato Shiori is great on that song. So is Okada Rina, and Zunchan.

    -The last two stages I attended the fans had a bit of trouble organizing the encore call, but this time it went off without a hitch

    As for which members I had notable interactions with?

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    Satomina and Zunchan

    Yamane Suzuha: The moment Shonichi started Zunchan beelined right toward me and immediately saw me sitting there, prompting a grin, and some obvious pointing. She would acknowledge me a couple more times throughout the show, but she knew where I was right from the beginning. BTW, Zunchan is a pleasure to watch onstage. She is so full of energy and enthusiasm, and I think her shorter haircut is a sign of her maturing a little bit. I mean in many ways Zunchan can be childlike, but she has definitely become a seasoned pro when it comes to the AKB48 Theater.

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    Cute little Senatan

    Ishiwata Sena: This was it, a proper chance for me to connect with Senatan since she was right in front of me constantly during the stage, and she spent a lot of the show playing with me and the guy sitting next to me. I also notice how the other members love grabbing at her, and hugging her. She is such a little pipsqueak, and so adorable. I was glad to really get the chance to pay attention to her, and she to me.

    Yoshihashi Yuzuka was also right in front of me for much of the show. Although she didn't really acknowledge me until the end. It turned out it was her 100th theater show. Honda Sora waved to me early in the show. On the other hand, Ranchan spends most of the first half of the stage on the other side, so I don't think she noticed me until much later. I did scream her name quite often, even more than I did for Zunchan. Aside from that, I had pretty much every member in front of me at one time or another. Some smiled at me, others didn't pay me any attention.

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    I was the first one to go through the 'high-touch' line, and basically got the usual reactions from the usual members. Ranchan pointed to where I was sitting when I passed her. I mentioned to Yumoto that I am also a Mouku Tanmen fan, but I'm not sure she heard what I said. Oh well. With that I headed right to the goods table to pick up the photo set, then grabbed my bag and went down the escalator.

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    It had been so long, at least a year since I had a seat for a theater show. It is such a different experience when you are up close instead of craning your head in the back. And the interactions you get to have with the members are priceless. I just hope it isn't another year before I get to have that experience again.
     
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