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Sunday, July 12, 2015

The NWO Of The Idol World - My Nogizaka 46 Fandom! - Opinion Piece



For those of you who do not know, I am a pretty big Nogizaka 46 fan.

I thoroughly enjoy listening and watching this group grow more and more and I am still shocked they are underrated.

Let me tell you how I came across this group and who I have chosen for my personal senbatsu.

If you have lived under a rock the past three years, here is who Nogizaka 46 is.

They were started in 2011 but officially debuted in 2012 as a "rival" group to AKB48 but they are produced by Akimoto Yasushi (Aki-P), who also started AKB48 and subsequent sister groups.

They are currently signed under Sony Music Entertainment Japan.

They have released 11 singles to date with one planned to release in July. They have also released one terrific album.

How Did You Find Nogizaka46?

When I first started to listen to Japanese pop in April 2014, I came across a video for the song Sekkachi na Katatsumuri, this one to be exact ( a little throwback for us fans):


And I got the chills. At that point I blew it off because I thought that they were a big idol group and I din't like that at that point and time. Strange, huh.

A couple of months later, after my Sakura Gakuin hangover had subsided, I saw the video for Natsu No Free and Easy:



I was instantly amazed. I had no idea who most of those girls were. All I knew is that they were super pretty and I wanted their headphones.I actually tried to find them in Japan but I couldn't. Great song, though. One of my top three.

For some reason, I thought Natsu No Free and Easy was a copy of Sakura Gakuins' My Graduation Toss, which was Suzukas' graduation song. My Bad!

So, I did a little research and found out more about the group. I saw they had a TV show called Nogizaka tte doko? and found English subs of the show and binge watched for a week straight. No joke.



And then came Nogibingo!



The rival version of AKBingo, with the host Ijiri Okada. That man is crazy and really funny. I fell in love more with the group. 

I tried to grasp my head around the fact that they had this-and-this much members, their names, what they look like, so I can differentiate, which isn't hard to do and cramming myself with their music.

I had no idea where this was headed. It turned into a slight obsession unlike a big obsession in AKB lately.  


Single Information

As I stated previously, they have released 11 singles with a 12th one on the way.


February 15th, 2012 - Guru Guru Curtain

                                           

May 2nd, 2012 - Oide, Shampoo
                                         


 August 22nd, 2012 - Hashire! Bicycle
                                          


December 19th, 2012 - Seifuku no Mannequin 

                                                         

March 13th, 2013 - Kimi no Na wa Kibou
                                           


 July 3rd, 2013 - Girl's Rule
                                          


November 27th, 2013 - Barrette
                                            


April 2nd, 2014 - Kidzuitara Kataomoi
                                           


 July 9th, 2014 - Natsu no Free & Easy
                                          


October 8th, 2014 - Nandome no Aozora ka?
                                         


March 18th, 2015 - Inochi wa Utsukushii

                                     

July 22nd, 2015 - Taiyou Knock



I also mentioned above that they have released one album titled, Toumei na Iro , which released on January 7th, 2015.


When I first started to ritually listen to them, I saw that they were releasing this album. When I saw the release date was in January, I pre-ordered two months in advance and waited eagerly to receive my first Nogizaka album. 

I was not disappointed by any means, I even got the 2 CD & DVD edition that came with a poster. 

As my fandom of the group grew more and more, I started to get a feel for the members themselves. 

I liked a couple then didn't like them. Didn't like a few but they grew on me. 

So, with that in mind, let me introduce you to my personal Nogizaka 46 Senbatsu! 

Note: This is according to their 18 member formation

No. 18: 


Eto Misa
Birthdate: January 4th, 1993

No. 17:


Akimoto Manatsu
Birthdate: August 20th, 1993

No. 16: 


Higuchi Hina
Birthdate: January 31st, 1998

No. 15:


Takayama Kazumi
Birthdate: February 8th, 1994

No. 14:


Noujo Ami
Birthdate: October 8th, 1994

No. 13:


Nakamoto Himeka
(Sister of BABYMETAL Leader Nakamoto Suzuka)
Birthdate: April 13th, 1996

No. 12:


Inoue Sayuri
Birthdate: December 14th, 1994

No. 11:


Matsumura Sayuri
Birthdate: August 27th, 1992

My Jyuu Fukujin

No. 10: 


Hoshino Minami
Birthdate: February 6th, 1998

No. 9: 


Sakurai Reika
Birthdate: May 16th, 1994

No. 8: 


Saito Asuka
Birthdate: August 10th, 1998

No. 7: 


Hori Miona (Now Has Short Hair, Sakura-tan Look-a-like)
Birthdate: October 15th, 1996

No. 6: 


Ikuta Erika
Birthdate: January 22nd, 1997

No. 5:


Ikoma Rina
Birthdate: December 29th, 1995

No. 4: 


Nishino Nanase
Birthdate: May 25th, 1994

No. 3:


Ito Karin
Birthdate: May 26th, 1993

No. 2:


Fukagawa Mai
Birthdate: March 29th, 1991

No. 1 and Center:


Kawamura Mahiro
Birthdate: July 23rd, 1995

As you look at the list, you may notice names missing such as Shiraishi Mai or Hashimoto Nanami or Sasaki "Lord" Kotoko.

In the first case, I have never liked Maiyan since I got into the group. I'm sorry if I hurt anyones' feelings. I think she is pretty and all, but just like Matsui Jurina in AKB groups, for some reason don't like her.

Nanamin is a case of me choosing my top 18. If I were to go to 20, she would most definitely be in it.

Lord Kotoko is the same way as Nanamin. I am proud to say I am one of her Knights, though.


My Favorite Videos

I put the link of the MV for the title tracks with the single information.

As some of them, I cannot retrieve the original video from YouTube, you will just have to follow the link to watch them.

I have a couple of B-side songs that I really like and I hope you like them as well. 

First and foremost, is my all-time favorite, Sonna Baka na... 

I absolutely love that song. I have sung it so many times, when I call myself a baka. Haha.

Finally, is the track Korogatta Kane wo Narase!

I have to admit that the one above is really strange but really, really funny. I wish I had that piano. 


My Final Thoughts

Nogizaka 46 is a group that I can jam to in the truck or even at work and it doesn't seem to bother anyone. 

Speaking of that, I was listening to Girl's Rule and one of my co-workers noticed the song and could say who the group was. 

I thought it was rather amazing, myself. 

On another note, I truly want to see this group become a powerhouse and take down any competition. 

They are one of the best groups out there and they are taking Japan by storm. 

I wish the best of luck to them all and I will be glad to purchase the new single and probably wait for the documentary to be subbed to watch it. 

I hope you end up listening to them and purchasing their singles or album and other merch as well (such as a Undergirls T-shirt?) 


Official Links


You can purchase their new single at these sites:


You can follow me on Twitter or feel free to leave a comment. I do not mind,

And as always, Please Wherever You Are Or Whatever You Do, Enjoy Life To Its Fullest And Have A Fantastic Day!