J-Pop Wrap-Up: Koharu Grad’s, Haircut Theory, AKB Ranking

Koharu Graduates Morning Musume
Although I got the commemorative graduation disc off H!O, I pretty much just glanced through it except for the parts when Koharu first joined, which I do actually recall. I think she was the only one I’d actually seen join and eventually graduate (although I’ve been wishing Mitsui would find it in the kindness of her beady-eyed heart to part ways also, and possibly take LinLin with her). I honestly put more time into the English translation of the others’ remarks to their departing sister of the morning. I was expecting the graduation ceremony to be on the graduation commemorative disc, but didn’t see it, if it was.

Saki Nakajima Photobook Released With Dopey Title
My darling Saki-Naki from C-ute has finally been permitted the much-needed opportunity to be immortalized in photobook form (and even better, in a photobook Making-Of disc) — but not without some criticism. Me, criticize a great opp’ty to see more Saki? Could someone please slap whoever greenlighted the Photobook’s title, NACKY? Seriously? Nacky? Maybe it’s a nickname, sure, but.. It reminds me of a combination of nappy and maybe lackey. Oh well. I got my wish, I guess.

Umeda+Kanna Departure / Maimi Haircut Cover-up Theory
Initially I had been optimistic about Maimi’s disturbing tendril-severing haircut that, perhaps, they could style it in a nicer way or add extensions… but after seeing most of the recent photos and videos showing the tragically-severed locks, I must say that the floodgates barring outright opposition to the change have been blown open. I’m so irritated by the change, that I’ve come up with a possible cover-up story. Perhaps Airi, in her quest to usurp the captain/leader role that Maimi appropriately holds (aside from already getting way too much PV face-time), somehow tricked Maimi into a compromising position and cut a chunk out of Maimi’s glory to use as a personal trophy to prove her dominance, and it was necessary to off-load Umeda and Kanna as an excuse drastic enough to warrant cutting Maimi’s hair as a sign of ending a period of life, instead of just getting it cut to conceal the gaping hole that Airi wrought. Unforturnately, I don’t know Japanese (or a translation source) enough to know what in the world Maimi is saying on her radio show, so she could have very well explained it and perhaps even fielded a few calls on the matter.

Initial Pre-Ranking of AKB48
I’ve gotten to know a fair collection of the names of gals from AKB48, and have formed the initial stages of my ranking of favorites. Oshima Yuko remains at #1, Shinoda Mariko holds steady at #2, but #3 is so close that it’s got its own separate ranking scheme, and #4 is a massive tie between all of the other girls I don’t know yet. With as huge of a lead that Yuko and Mariko have with their top positions, the third place cluster is its own clump of nearly-tie placers that are ordered in a 3a, 3b, 3c fashion. Although they’re not lined up specifically yet, I would estimate Watanabe appx 3b, Kashiwagi at appx 3f, and Fujie to be whatever the last-est #3 subrank is. What complicates it even more is that I will suddenly show interest in one of these #3 gals to the degree that Mariko then becomes a #2a issue, sharing a quasi-2.5 rank with that interest-stirred 2b gal. Currently challenging that #2b position is the bizarre-(in a good way)-voiced Sato Natsuki.

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