AKB48’s Kizaki Team B Begin a New Chapter! “Tadaima Ren’aichuu” Revival Shonichi Report!
AKB48‘s Kizaki Team B held their shonichi (opening day performance) for the revival of “Tadaima Ren’aichuu”(A4) at the AKB48 Theater on December 26, 2015. It may not have been the long awaited new stages that fans have been waiting for since “Theater no Megami” (B5) ended in 2012, but it was the return of a classic AKB48 stage showcasing the group’s “most idol-like” team.
The opening act Zenza Girls were 2nd generation draft kenkyuusei: Rei Nishikawa, Ayu Yamabe, and Kira Takahashi. Flashing bright smiles and tails bobbing playfully as they performed “Tenshi no Shippo”, these are definitely 3 names to remember as the 2nd decade of AKB48 begins!
As “Overture” faded out, the curtains parted and Kizaki Team B turned on the heat right away with the opening song “Tadaima Ren’aichuu”. Moving up and down on the stage, which had split into 3 levels, they fluttered their arms and shook their shoulders, pointing out into the audience. During “Kuma no Nuigurumi” they kicked up their heels and Moe Goto and Nagisa Sakaguchi played “Daruma ga koronda” (aka Red Light, Green Light) as the others tried to sneak up on them. Yuki Kashiwagi blew a whistle, signaling Miku Tanabe to start a teddy bear relay.
Bouncing and skipping to the ska-pop of “Only today”, the members unleashed a chain reaction of cute poses and moved out to the far ends of the stage to blow kisses to the fans before stopping to introduce themselves and welcome everyone to the first day of the new stage. As it was the first day for Kizaki Team B to perform “Tadaima Ren’aichuu”, the members were asked to share their feelings about the change.
Moe Goto (Moekyun) tried out a new catchphrase where the fans would answer “Moekyun!” when she asked a question, in this case it was, “Who has the best smile?” (Minna no best smile to wa?). She expressed some worries about moving to Team B from Team K but vowed to do her best. Nagisa Sakaguchi, who had come all the way from Hokkaido, was full of enthusiasm at the chance to show the potential of Team 8 as she is concurrently in both teams. Mayu Watanabe (Mayuyu) wanted to make Kizaki Team B known as the hottest team with her performance today. Despite being nervous, Nako Yabuki was cheered on by her fellow HKT48 Team H teammate Rino Sashihara who was in the audience for the dress rehearsal, yelling out “kawaii” and “daisuki” as she talked. Seina Fukuoka felt like she had gotten older since she was no longer the youngest in Team B, Mayuyu pretending to be among the “young members” when Seina glanced over at Nagisa and Nako.
Makiho Tatsuya had no idea what her catchphrase “Viva Hurricane!” that was thought up by Mariya Nagao meant but delivered it with full conviction. Misaki Iwasa (Wasamin) felt a bit nervous to be back in “idol mode” after months of being in “enka mode” while promoting her new solo single. Rena Kato (Renacchi) vowed to do her best to not fall behind the others in dancing. Yuki Kashiwagi (Yukirin), despite having become the oldest member, wasn’t about to give in to all the young members around her. Ayano Umeta wanted to stand out despite feeling that she didn’t have as much individuality as the others. Veteran Theater girl Miku Tanabe (Tanamin) promised to do her best in her own way for the performance.
Aeri Yokoshima wanted to make everyone come to believe that Team B is the best with her efforts. Miyuki Watanabe (Milky) talked about her various concurrencies and looked forward to being with Team B again as they started a new stage. Captain Yuria Kizaki felt that “Team B was kind of loose and carefree in a good way and a bad way” but hoped that their feelings would reach the fans. Ryoka Oshima, having suddenly ben thrust into a position of influence as a vice-captain, hoped that she would be able to shed her past image as the leader of the “kusogaki” (brats) of AKB48. Graduate to be Natsuki Uchiyama (Nakky) was exploding with enthusiasm, ecstatic that she was selected for the shonichi performance, vowing to keep going at full strength until the days of the “Nakky Happy Idol Legend” would come to a close in the near future.
As the last row left the stage like a train pulling out of the station, Nako, Seina, Moe, Nagisa, and Makiho appeared from behind the revolving doors at the back of the stage in frilly pastel outfits for the cute ode to first love, “7-ji 12-fun no Hatsukoi”.
It will remain to be seen if Yukirin and Mayuyu will ever come close to the heart-breaking performance of Mai Oshima and Michiru Hoshino’s “Haru ga Kuru made”, but when it’s a duet with two of AKB48’s most powerful members, isn’t that enough? Times change and if you have never seen the original, this version seems to have a bit more optimism mixed in with sadness.
The mood switched to dark and sexy as Wasamin, Renacchi, and Tanamin moved seductively to “Jun’ai no Crecendo”, the sequins on their outfits sparkling on the dimly-lit stage. The temperature seemed to rise as the trio’s performance burned up the oxygen in the room as they maintained nearly unbreakable eye contact with those in the audience.
Continuing with “Faint”, Yuria, Milky, and Ayano slithered and shook across the stage in sparkling black vests and knee-high stockings to the trembling synth bass lines in a performance that could definitely cause some to go mad.
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