The following is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect those of the other Selective Hearing staff or our partners and affiliates.

AKB48 Shuffle #2

Blow it all up

On February 24th the AKB48 Grand Reformation took place. Granted some of you don’t particularly care about this so to spare you any unnecessary pain I’ll give you the opportunity to opt out now. After all, no one is forcing you to read this.

Okay, so if you’re still with me then let me first say that I didn’t stay up to read the live results from Japan. I had better things to do, like sleep. But when I woke up yesterday morning I decided to ignore the massive number of tweets on my feed and go straight for the results from the website set up for this event.

It’s better to just go straight to the source than to wade through a bunch of whiny, emo crap to get information. Anyway this was not the doomsday and apocalypse that many were predicting.

There were no mass graduation announcements or weird transfers of entire teams to some far off place of Asia. Nor were there any really earth shattering movements that would rock the foundation of the AKS groups to its core.

It kind of went down as I had predicted with a reset and the addition of a few functional moves to provide balance to the midichlorians within the force of AKB. Yeah, that is a lame explanation, but what do you expect? An honors thesis or something?

So for those who were sensible enough to turn off their social media and get a good night’s rest, here are the results of the grand reformation:

STAFF

AKB48 Group General Manager: Kayano Shinobu
Head of AKB48 Customer Center: Togasaki Tomonobu

AKB48 Theater Manager: Yuasa Hiroshi
SKE48 Theater Manager: Imamura Etsuro, Shiba Kazuya (kenkyuusei)
NMB48 Theater Manager: Kaneko Takeshi
HKT48 Theater Manager: Ozaki Atsuki, Sashihara Rino

Soukantoku: Takahashi Minami

AKB48 Group Kenkyuusei “Society President” (研究生会会長) and Lifetime Honorary Kenkyuusei: Matsumura Kaori

Team A

Captain: Takahashi Minami
Vice Captain: Nakamura Mariko (from Team B)

Ichikawa Manami (promotion),Iriyama Anna, Katayama Haruka (from Team B), Kawaei Rina, Kojima Natsuki(from Team B), Kojima Haruna (from Team B), Shimazaki Haruka (from Team B), Takita Kayoko (draft member), Tatsuya Makiho (promotion), Nakata Chisato (from Team K), Nakanishi Chiyori (transfer from HKT48), Nishiyama Rena (draft member), Fujita Nana (from Team K), Furuhata Nao (kennin w/ Team KII), Maeda Ami (from Team K), Matsui Sakiko, Miyawaki Sakura (kennin w/ Team KIV), Muto Tomu (from Team K), Morikawa Ayaka, Yagura Fuuko (kennin w/ Team M)

Team K

Captain: Yokoyama Yui (from Team A)
Vice Captain: Kitahara Rie

Aigasa Moe (from Team 4), Abe Maria, Ishida Haruka (from Team B), Iwasa Misaki (from Team B), Uchida Mayumi, Kojima Mako (from Team 4), Kodama Haruka (kennin w/ Team H), Kobayashi Kana, Goto Moe (draft member), Shimada Haruka, Shimoguchi Hinana (draft member), Suzuki Shihori, Suzuki Mariya (from Team A; kennin w/ SNH48), Tano Yuka (from Team A), Nagao Mariya, Nonaka Misato (from Team B), Matsui Jurina (kennin w/ Team S), Miyazaki Miho, Yamamoto Sayaka (kennin w/ Team N), Yumoto Ami (promotion)

Team B

Captain: Kuramochi Asuka (from Team K)
Vice Captain: Oya Shizuka

Izuta Rina (from Team A), Uchiyama Natsuki (from Team 4), Umeta Ayano (from Team 4), Oshima Ryoka (from Team A), Owada Nana (promotion), Ogasawara Mayu (transfer from NMB48), Kashiwagi Yuki (kennin w/ Team N), Kawamoto Saya (draft member), Takajo Aki (kennin cancelled), Takahashi Juri (from Team A), Takeuchi Miyu, Tanabe Miku, Tomonaga Mio (kennin w/ Team KIV), Natori Wakana, Nozawa Rena (kennin cancelled), Hashimoto Hikari (from Team 4), Hirata Rina (from Team K), Fukuoka Seina (promotion), Yokoshima Aeri (draft member), Watanabe Mayu (from Team A)

Team 4

Captain: Minegishi Minami
Vice Captain: Kizaki Yuria (transfer from SKE48)

Iwatate Saho, Okawa Rio (promotion), Omori Miyu (from Team B), Okada Ayaka, Okada Nana, Kato Rena (from Team B), Kitazawa Saki, Kotani Riho (kennin w/ Team M), Kobayashi Marina (from Team A), Komiyama Haruka(promotion), Sasaki Yukari (from Team A), Sato Kiara (promotion), Shinozaki Ayana, Shibuya Nagisa (kennin w/ Team BII), Tsuchiyasu Mizuki (promotion), Nishino Miki, Maeda Mitsuki, Mukaichi Mion (promotion), Murayami Yuiri, Mogi Shinobu

Team S

Leader: Miyazawa Sae (kennin w/ SNH48)
Vice Captain: Sato Mieko (from Team KII)

Azuma Rion (from Team E), Iwata Karen (transfer from AKB48), Oya Masana, Kaneko Shiori (from Team E), Kitagawa Ryoha (promotion), Kito Momona (from Team E), Goto Risako, Takeuchi Mai (from Team KII), Tanaka Natsumi (kennin w/ Team H), Tsuzuki Rika, Deguchi Aki, Nakanishi Yuka, Futamura Haruka (from Team KII), Matsui Jurina (kennin w/ Team K), Matsumoto Chikako (draft member), Miyamae Ami (from Team E), Yakata Miki, Yamauchi Suzuran (transfer from AKB48), Watanabe Miyuki (kennin w/ Team BII)

Team KII

Leader: Furukawa Airi
Vice Captain: Oba Mina (transfer from AKB48)

Abiru Riho (from Team S), Ishida Anna (from Team S), Uchiyama Mikoto, Ego Yuna (from Team S), Kato Tomoko, Kitano Ruka (promotion), Kinoshita Yukiko (from Team E)(), Soda Sarina (draft member), Takagi Yumana, Takashima Yurina (transfer from AKB48), Takatsuka Natsuki (draft member), Takayanagi Akane , Hidaka Yuzuki(promotion), Furuhata Nao (from Team A; kennin w/ Team A), Mizuno Honoka (from Team E), Yamashita Yukari, Yamada Nana (kennin w/ Team M), Yamada Mizuho

Team E

Leader: Suda Akari (from Team KII)
Vice Leader: Umemoto Madoka

Iguchi Shiori, Isohara Kyoka (from Team S), Ichino Narumi, Iwanaga Tsugumi, Owaki Arisa (promotion), Kato Rumi (from Team KII), Kimoto Kanon, Kumazaki Haruka (promotion), Koishi Kumiko (draft member), Kobayashi Ami (from Team KII), Saito Makiko (from Team S), Sakai Mei, Sato Sumire (transfer from AKB48), Shibata Aya (from Team KII), Takatera Sana (draft member), Tani Marika (transfer from HKT48), Fukushi Nao (draft member), Matsui Rena (kennin w/ Nogizaka46), Yamada Reika

Team N

Leader: Yamamoto Sayaka (kennin w/ Team K)
Vice Leader: Jonishi Kei

Ota Yuri (from Team BII), Kato Yuka (from Team BII), Kikuchi Ayaka (transfer from AKB48), Kishino Rika, Kono Saki(from Team BII), Koga Narumi, Jonishi Kei, Suto Ririka (draft member), Nishimura Aika, Murashige Anna (kennin w/ Team KIV), Muro Kanako (from Team BII), Yamauchi Tsubasa (from Team BII), Yamagishi Natsumi (from Team M), Yamaguchi Yuki, Yogi Keira (from Team M), Yoshida Akari

Team M

Captain: Yamada Nana
Vice Captain: Okita Ayaka

Akazawa Hono (from Team BII), Azuma Yuki, Ishizuka Akari (from Team BII), Okita Ayaka, Kawakami Rena, Kinoshita Momoka, Kushiro Rina (from Team BII), Kondo Rina (from Team N), Shimada Rena, Shiroma Miru (from Team N), Jo Eriko (promotion), Takei Sara (draft member), Tanigawa Airi, Fujie Reina (transfer from AKB48), Murase Sae, Yagura Fuuko (kennin w/ Team A)

Team BII

Captain: Kamieda Emika
Vice Captain: Umeda Ayaka (transfer from AKB48)

Ijiri Anna, Iso Kanae (draft member), Ichikawa Miori (transfer from AKB48), Ueda Mirei, Kadowaki Kanako (from Team N), Kawakami Chihiro (from Team M), Kinoshita Haruna (from Team N), Kusaka Konomi, Kurokawa Hazuki, Kobayashi Rikako, Takano Yui (from Team M), Naiki Kokoro (draft member), Hayashi Momoka (from Team N), Yabushita Shu, Watanabe Miyuki (kennin w/ Team S)

Team H

Captain: Anai Chihiro
Vice Captain: Matsuoka Natsumi

Akiyoshi Yuka, Anai Chihiro, Inoue Yuriya, Umemoto Izumi, Okamoto Naoko, Kojina Yui, Kodama Haruka(kennin w/ Team K), Komada Hiroka, Sakaguchi Riko, Sashihara Rino, Tashima Meru, Tanaka Natsumi (kennin w/ Team S), Tanaka Miku (promotion), Matsuoka Natsumi, Yabuki Nako (promotion), Yamada Marina, Wakatabe Haruka

Team KIV

Captain: Ota Aika
Vice Captain: Miyawaki Sakura (kennin w/ Team A)

Kimoto Kanon (kennin w/ Team E) Imada Mina, Ueki Nao, Okada Kanna, Kusaba Manami (promotion), Kumazawa Serina, Goto Izumi, Shimono Yuki, Tanaka Yuka, Tomiyoshi Asuka, Tomonaga Mio, Fukagawa Maiko, Fuchigami Mai, Murashige Anna, Motomura Aoi, Moriyasu Madoka

Team Kaigai

Chikano Rina to JKT48

+ Nogizaka Ikoma Rina kennin to team B

It Doesn’t Matter

Yes, that is a ton of information to take in. If you ask me to point most of these members out I probably have a 15% accuracy rate or lower. Although this shuffle does bring up an interesting point I would like to discuss before I get into analyzing the shuffle itself.

The many moons ago when I first joined the AKB fandom I was brow beat by a couple of know-it-all jerks who decided to jump on the newbie for making an innocent incorrect comment about a member of SKE being part of AKB.

I was further told in a rather unwelcoming manner that I should learn the difference between the sister groups and the main AKB roster.

Let’s fast forward to the present. After all the movement that has gone on in the organization over the past few years does it really matter where any of these girls go or what group they are a part of?

Does the crest on the uniform or the flag they bear this year even count for anything when there’s a high probability that they will be moved to another team or country later? After seeing how this reformation turned out I think the lines between the teams is just about wiped out.

I tend to think of this event as something similar to a situation in wrestling when the WWE tried to convince fans that RAW and Smackdown were different brands and separate entities. No one was buying that. Not even those who have the passionate belief that everything in wrestling is not a work.

Going back to AKS, it’s common knowledge all the groups are under the same giant circus tent and to try to micro-manage seems silly at this point in time.

That’s just my feeling of course. I just follow the girls I like regardless of the team(s) they are on and I know (and pretty much any of my AKB fan pals know) that I can’t name a full team correctly if my life depended on it.

Maybe that isn’t your brand of AKB fandom and I’m not going to knock you if you’re on a certain team’s bandwagon regardless of who is on it. If that’s how you roll it’s all good. You certainly have a better memory than I do to memorize the various groupings.

But just for the record, if you put a gun to my head and made me pick a team you would only have to take a look at the color of my phone to see whom I would go with.

Iphone 5C Green

I would also like to point out that I did end up being right about the SKE member being part of AKB. Thank you AKS for putting Matsui Jurina in Team K.

Analysis Paralysis

How about we get to down to some shuffling?

Obviously I don’t know where to start. There’s so much. I guess I’ll go with my predictions and just how far off base I was.

Matsui Jurina is still with Team S. Well so much for moving her to K permanently. But whatever, it’s not like Team K is lacking for star power anyway given that Yamamoto Sayaka just got reunited with a more powerful tag team partner Yokoyama Yui.

Matsui Rena on the other hand. Well I said she would be moved but where she got shipped wasn’t exactly where I thought she would be going. Supposedly Nogizaka46 is supposed to be the “rival” group of the 48’s and I guess sending her over there should instill more of that rivalry right?

I guess if you still believe that Nogizaka is a true rival then sure. I would also assume you believe that there’s a Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Big Foot, Lochness Monster and that gnomes steal your socks when you do laundry.

As I stated before, these groups are all generally under the same umbrella (or at least have a tie to Aki-P) so it’s not exactly shocking that Nogizaka46 was included as part of this.

To me this sounds like a business move to help generate hype. After all, Ikoma Rina went to Team B as part of the “exchange student” program (whatever that means) in return and both still hold their current positions within their current groups.

Shocking? Nope.

It’s mutually beneficial for both parties. Nogizaka gets a high ranking senbatsu to come play with them for a while and give them the rub and one of their members gets to sit at the big girls table and get more exposure. Win-Win all around. Let’s have some cake!

Moving on to what else I failed at calling. Watanabe Miyuki not only kept her spot within NMB but then got a concurrency with SKE48’s Team S. Well I guess Nagoya is a shorter trip from Osaka than Tokyo right? At least that’s what I remember when I did the whole train ride around Japan last year.

Team S also got a new leader in the form of Miyazawa Sae. So much for focusing on making SNH a formidable group huh? As one of my astute colleagues mentioned in a discussion about this topic, perhaps Miyazawa is wanted back in Japan and giving her a captaincy will keep her from bailing back to China again.

At least she can yell at her subordinates in another language.

As for the deportations? Well I totally missed the boat (no pun intended) on that. Fare thee well Chikano Rina, I hope you enjoy the jungle as much as Takajo, Nozawa and Nakagawa. Please post a picture of an AK-47 a fan gives you on Google+ when you become acclimated.

So I guess I shouldn’t be buying lottery tickets this week or gambling at all with such a piss poor track record. But there is a silver lining on my cloud of fail. The Fresh Lemon is staying in Osaka, the sister groups got plundered for all they’re worth and a lot of I guess, lesser(?) members were moved around with little to no fanfare. So I got something right.

Eddie Murphy Buckwheat

With that said this whole grand reformation thing overall is o’tay with me. I don’t really know what else to say other than it is what it is. There’s nothing that really bothered me. And really, why should anything that went down be bothersome? I see no reason to bitch and moan.

Honestly, I can hardly name a lot of members in the AKS fold outside of the front runners and the ones I find attractive and as a casual observer I don’t particularly care either way about the “politics” behind the movements.

I’m happy as long as the members I like are still around in some capacity. Be they in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hakata, Shanghai or deep in the jungle.

I have to laugh at those who are taking this whole thing as life or death and what team a girl goes to determines the fate of the entire idol universe. I understand the passion of the fans but some of you are taking this whole thing way to seriously for your own good.

I’d say that pretty sums up my feeling about all that. If you’re interested in another point of view check out our friend Garry’s article at New School Kaidan.

Let’s do this again in another year maybe. Until then, I got nothing left to say.