The Third Wind Blows! 3rd Generation Members of Nogizaka46 Debut at the Holy Land of Meiji Jingu Stadium

乃木坂46三期生が聖地・神宮球場に初登場! 三番目の風が吹く~三期生ライブレポート~
The Third Wind Blows! 3rd Generation Members of Nogizaka46 Debut at the Holy Land of Meiji Jingu Stadium

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More than half a year since Nogizaka46‘s unprecedented performance at the Nippon Budokan in December of 2016, the highly esteemed 12 members of their 3rd generation made their debut at Meiji Jingu Stadium, a venue known as “holy land” for Nogizaka46, on June 1, 2017 the opening day of the group’s national tour.

Nogizaka46 Manatsu no Zenkoku Tour 2017 was the group’s first endeavor featuring various performances by the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation members together. With their 17th single “Influencer” (release date: March 22) surpassing a million in sales, it would be no exaggeration to claim that Nogizaka46 had attained the status of “national idols” in 2017 as well.

With Nogizaka46 tours and lives increasingly raising their production and planning to meet the expectations of fans and with surprise announcements bringing joy as well as sorrow, Manatsu no Zenkoku Tour 2017 was without a doubt, a decisive challenge for the group that had become the biggest that it had ever been.


Selected from 49,000 applicants from all over Japan these elite, rather the 12 who had been chosen to carry the idol world into the future, were given the responsibility to open the concert, beginning “Sanbanme no Kaze” with an acapella verse and a shout of “Ikuzo!” from center Momoko Ozono.

Within the lyrics of “Sanbanme no Kaze”, the first song bestowed upon the 3rd generation, the words “We will become the 3rd wind. We will blow in a direction different than before”, provide a tangible and clear aim for the members.

Performing for the first time on stage in white and orange checkered dresses, the 3rd generation members excited the fans greatly with their second song, Nogizaka46’s sure-fire tune “House!”. To see such a display by the 3rd generation was the fulfillment of the theme “ascent of a new slope” that they had been bestowed with since their addition to the group.

Because of that precisely, it seemed fitting that Kagoshima native Momoko Ozono was appointed as the tentative center of the 3rd generation. With all the information spilling out, this “cute girl from the countryside” who didn’t know anything about Nogizaka46 was seen as clearing a new path, or rather a new route up the slope. During the next song “Aitakatta Kamoshirenai”, Ozono took center stage with a charming smile on her face.

Mizuki Yamashita and Yūki Yoda were not to be outdone by the senbatsu members who are popular at handshake events. Yamashita was introduced as a member to keep an eye on by the popular senbatsu member Asuka Saito with the comment, “During rehearsal, she never seems to run out of energy so I really want to see what it would be like if she went all out”. As she talked about the other members, the fans saw a new form of Nogizaka46 unfolding before their eyes.

Yoda, who is from Fukuoka prefecture, charmed the fans with a “Suitoyo” (I like/love you) in her Hakata dialect when she introduced herself. It might be half an exaggeration but there may have been about 40,000 fans delighted to have seen the petite Yoda with her high twintails.

However, the 3rd generation of Nogizaka46 is not just the “ascent of a new slope”. Shiori Kubo, who despite her negative character, has impressive singing and acting abilities. Abilities which earned her the center position for “Nandome no Aozora ka?” during the 3rd generation’s solo concert. Claiming a role in a stage play, and fighting through rehearsals which often left members broken in body and mind, she gained experience walking the road of her senpai. Starring in “3 Principal”, a remake of the demanding “16 Principal” for 2 months in February, Kubo was one of the standouts, even alongside Erika Ikuta; the 1st generation Nogizaka46 member with vast stage experience including the role of Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet” and Cosette in “Les Miserables”. With a magazine feature focusing on a discussion between Ikuta and Kubo coming soon, expectations are high for this member.

Nanami Umezawa, known for her slender figure, lead the stage talk portion for the 3rd generation members. Even though she is not the eldest, she had become the leader of her generation with her sense of self-awareness, even issuing a strong declaration for them to grow rapidly over the summer during the guest greeting after the performance had ended.


An unexpected younger member was the group’s sole Okinawa native Riria Ito, who also played a major role during the 3rd generation’s talk. With experience in “3 Principal” and speaking during the 3rd generation’s solo concert, she was extremely calm and composed on the stage at Meiji Jingu Stadium. She even appeared during “Omoide First” after the 3rd generation’s part had finished, delivering a message to the fans, “I became an idol in order to make someone happy. Was I able to make you happy today?”


Aside from the previously mentioned 1st generation member Erika Ikuta, the other notables such as fashion magazine models and TV commercial stars Mai Shiraishi, Nanase Nishino, and Asuka Saito, variety program regulars Manatsu Akimoto and Kazumi Takayama, 2nd generation center Miona Hori, and NHK ETV regular Karin Ito, the range of media activities by Nogizaka46 has expanded greatly.


“The answer will be found in history.”

This tour was a baton pass from the 3rd generation to the 2nd generation to the 1st. The second half of the 3rd generation’s part with them performing Nogizaka46’s early songs “Guru Guru Curtain”, “Oide Shampoo”, and “Hashire! Bicycle”. This was followed by the biggest theme of the tour, that of building a bridge, based on a line from Nanase Nishino’s beloved film “My Sassy Girl”.


“The fate builds the bridge by chance only for the person who made an effort.”

Nanase Nishino, who has become the ace of Nogizaka46, had originally lacked presence back when she first joined.


Unlike the aforementioned, there were 3rd generation members the gave off no sense of timidity: Hazuki Mukai, a character beloved by fans and members wherever she goes, Kaede Sato, who softens a venue with her peculiar call and response rhythms, youngest member 13-year old Renka Iwamoto, who wrote her nickname on an “oshi-towel” during the final MC and could be seen smiling brightly among the other members at the front of the stage to end the concert. There was no shortage of personality to be found among them, as there are many that may be able to grow rapidly enough to surpass Nanase Nishino in just a short time.


When it comes to discussions about a 3rd generation, Morning Musume. experienced a surge in popularity shortly after 3rd generation member Maki Goto joined so, for Nogizaka46, who has already reached the peak of the idol world, it may be comparable to how the Tokugawa clan, is synonymous with how Tokugawa Ieyasu solidified the Edo Shogunate. Well, since we are talking about stage performances, perhaps a better comparison would be Nakamura Utaemon III, the top star of Kamigata (Osaka–Kyoto) Kabuki in the Bunka and Bunsei eras…In fact, the third-generation members of Nogizaka46 are already treated as a phenomenon, appearing on the front covers of various magazines and even doing solo performances. It really does bring to mind how Nakamura Utaemon III would be drawn by numerous ukiyo-e painters and how a Kamigata actor such as he made it big in Edo.

Nakamura Utaemon III was highly praised and immensely popular as a “kaneru yakusha” (an actor with range). In Kabuki, “kaneru” signifies a broad skill range that allows the actor to play not only the leading role, but antagonists and female roles as well.

The various individual traits of the third-generation members (“kaneru” idols, indeed!) very much inspire amazing hope for the future. I felt this quite clearly on the first day of this tour.


One of Nogizaka46’s founding themes was “to rival AKB48 despite having fewer members.” Miraculously, the joining of the third-generation members has brought up the total to 46 members, allowing for a performance as the full Nogizaka46 at the sacred Jingu Baseball Stadium.


During the live concert’s final act, members of all three generations appeared together for the first time to perform “Settei Ondo” from their newest album, Umarete kara Hajimete Mita Yume. Picking “Nogizaka no Uta” for the finale has become a tradition, but the penlights shining in the group’s signature purple were hauntingly beautiful. It goes without saying that the fine weather contributed to that beauty.

What I really want to say is that we’ve gotten used to gloomy skies for Nogizaka46’s concerts at Jingu Stadium. Yet for this first day on the nationwide tour with the third-generation members and during the interlude of the first song “Sanbanme no Kaze,” the rain prognosis was proven completely wrong and the sun finally shone over Jingu Stadium. There, the twelve third-generation members sang on a stage bathing in light, as the third wind (Sanbanme no Kaze) blew in a new direction. What will fans refer to that sight and that moment as?


Also the first day of this tour was a “chance bridge,” born out of a stand-off between the producers’ intentions and the fans’ expectations. It was at the second-day performance at Jingu Stadium that the Tokyo Dome concert this fall was finally announced.

This is a bridge that the third-generation members will cross at astounding speed.

Set List (July 1st)

00 Overture
01 Sanbanme no Kaze
02 House!
03 Aitakatta Kamoshirenai
04 Romance no Start
05 Guruguru Curtain
06 Oide Shampoo
07 Hashire! Bicycle
08 Omoide First
09 Barette
10 Kizuitara Kataomoi
11 Shitto no Kenri
12 Sonna Baka na…
13 Hito wa Naze Hashiru no ka?
14 Wakaregiwa, Motto Suki ni Naru
15 Border
16 Kakigōri no Kataomoi
17 Kikkake
18 Seifuku no Mannequin
19 Dankeschön
20 Korogatta Kane wo Narase!
21 Hoka no Hoshi Kara
22 Igai Break
23 Arakajime Katarareru Romance
24 Yokubō no Reincarnation
25 Yubi Bouenkyō
26 Romantic Ikayaki
27 Inochi wa Utsukushii
28 Kimi no Na wa Kibō
29 Settei Ondo
30 Kimi ga Aoide Kureta
31 Fūsen wa Ikiteiru
32 Influencer
33 Girls Rule
34 Hadashi de Summer
35 Natsu no Free&Easy
36 Taiyō Knock
37 Skydiving

E1 Hadashi de Summer
E2 Shakiism
E3 Offshore Girl
E4 Nogizaka no Uta

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