I am actually really proud to be an NMB48 fan right now.
But first, the story of Team BⅡ.
To be honest, I was not a big fan of BⅡ to begin with. Yup, I was pretty much an N guy, as after all, they had the majority of TV time.
I remember reading about how they were only the team that failed to sell out their TDC revival concert, and had to campaign and hit the streets in order to complete the sell out. How sad, I thought. Nevertheless, I still didn’t really pay attention to them. Occasionally I would read about their new campaigns, like how they would learn Almond Croissant on live instruments, or learn the Party ga Hajimaru yo stage for only one performance, but that was all.
(This video was from a stage performed shortly after the TDC incident, and it was a skit on how they didn’t sell out as well as coming up with the Damasareta to Omottete Tabete Mitara Keikaku campaign.)
And so I even went to the 3rd Anniversary Concert and was mega disappointed with the setlist. However, in the process of watching the concert, I realized that my Japanese actually progressed to the level where I could understand MCs.
Starting with BⅡ‘s new Stage, I began to watch all the stages. Not just BⅡ‘s, but also Team N and Team M. And I started to really like BⅡ. Not in that way where you find girls that you just randomly like, but I really felt that a lot of these girls were legitimately talented. And that honestly became why I started to really get back into NMB again, because I was starting to find girls where I found a discrepancy between their popularity level and what I believed was their talent level. Whether it was the sharp tsukkomi of Rippi or the amazing dance skill of Uuka and Konomin or the underrated singing ability of Haako and Emika, I felt that they would benefit a lot from my support.
So I did support them. I became a BⅡ fan.
I was really bummed when they announced the graduations. I feel that the saddest graduations are the ones where you think they haven’t come close to realizing their full potential. There was even Honori’s mysterious graduation, where she didn’t even have a show; she just left after the final BⅡ performance.
And of course, there was definitely a huge blow felt with the Daisokaku, especially as the team that blew up the hardest was BⅡ.
With NMB Request Hour coming up, I decided to vote for the BⅡ song, Almond Croissant Keikaku, or AmoKuro. The song carries a lot of significance. Truth be told, it’s a pretty mediocre song, but it was the rallying song of BⅡ. They would mention it, use it as part of skits, it was THEIR song. Whenever they made videos, they would use AmoKuro. As much as I liked BⅡ, I also understood that they still weren’t that well known. You can look at G+ numbers and see girls like Sakipi and Antan and Haako getting 200~400 +1s while someone like Sayanee was regularly topping 5000.
I was really quite surprised to see AmoKuro take #9 at the AKB Request Hour. I think the votes were collected before the Daisokaku. And with NMB’s Request Hour voting coming after the Daisokaku, I thought it would be a great capstone to end the old BⅡ run. But I still didn’t expect it to be #1, I just really wanted it to be #1.
So, this year… I was ecstatic to see it rank at #1. According to Emika, it finished around twice as much as the 2nd place song, Zipper. And even more tremendous was the fact that management decided to bring back the 3 graduated members of Mako, Rippi, and Honori for this performance.
As a fan, this really meant a lot to me. This meant that the fans really do care and appreciate these girls, even if they’re not always at the top. This meant that management respected the fans wishes and the girls themselves by bringing back the graduated members for this performance. It was a moment that touched the fans, the members, and the management.
It makes me know that I am in good company with other fans, and that management respects and even helps our dreams come true. I’ve never felt more proud to be a fan.
There was always something about having this idol hobby that felt uncomfortable. But after this, I can safely say I feel comfortable supporting the group. I feel like being a part of this made all of my support well worth it.
I told myself I’d quit when I turned 30. I don’t think that’s happening.