In terms of status quo, not much has really changed for NMB. A couple kennins were revoked, some new kennins were established, and some were kept as they were.
However, I do think that their latest kennin business simply shows how incompetent AKB is at developing talent and managing talent, and that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t impact NMB, but it does and it does interrupt my enjoyment of the group.
1: New kennin/continued kennin
With Sayaka retaining her kennin to K, Nagisa retaining her kennin to Team 4, and Milky kennin to Team B and Miru to Team A… do you see what’s happening? That’s all of the top handshake sellers from NMB to AKB. It appears there is no shame as they pluck the talent from NMB.
Of course, you have to ask what kennin means and what they actually do. Theater performances are sparse. However, the members still introduce themselves as part of their kennin’d group (except Yukirin, apparently, hurhur) and they do get involved in big concerts and team concerts, along with some extra work from the other group as is appropriate.
It’s obviously been a big year for Sayaka and with additional work all over the place she hasn’t been around the theater much, but I can’t help but think that her kennin also contributes a fair bit to her not showing up in the theater. And you can tell that a lot of the girls in NMB really look up to her, and you can see that her lack of appearances have, for better or worse, made JK and Akarin step up to captain the rest of the team.
Milky struggles to make BII stages as it is, and I imagine with Miru they’re just going to pack her schedule with Team A crap when she should be helping lead a struggling Team M. (Both M and BII, without senbatsu members, have had to reach deep into the cancel machi lines. Team M compensates by doing a lot of stage shuffling.)
It’s easy to see the negative impact this has on NMB fans.
You may wonder why I didn’t mention Nagisa, and that leads to the second point.
2: Cancelled kennin to AKB
Nagisa benefited from Tentomuchuu and seems to be getting small pushes from AKB every once in a while. However…
Fuuchan and Ripopo have had their kennins revoked. And thing is, what exactly did AKB give them? Not much. Why would you even bother to have them kennin? Fuuchan wrote in a blog about how she had to learn 3 different stages, as it switched from Mariko A to Yokoyama A to whatever it was after the Daisokaku. That’s a lot of work. And she really got nothing out of it, no promotion or anything. If you look at the kennin from the prior point, you’ll notice that all the girls are contributing to AKB, but how much did AKB contribute to the girls’s individual careers? Not much. It seems very one sided. Discarding Fuuchan and Ripopo without really giving them much for both of their tenures just shows you how one-sided the kennin situation is. Ripopo wrote on Twitter something like, “Yup it’s over. I dunno where I’m gonna go, that’s me!” and no one on their teams really cares that they’re not there anymore. Whereas you look at the people that were cut from NMB…
3: Cancelled kennin to NMB
Yukirin, Shige, and Churi have had their kennins cancelled.
Say what you will about their inclusion in senbatsu or them taking up spots, but a lot of the NMB members seem broken up about it. Churi said she was crying backstage with Konomin and wrote a pointed G+ about how she wanted to perform with them but it was unfortunate that she had the musical and lost a lot of opportunities. Shige made a post on G+ that just said “Kennin revoked. ;_;” then made another post about how she wanted to perform more KokoTen. Even Yukirin said she was a lot more lonesome than people think. A lot of them posted about how they got a flood of text messages from their respective teams.
On top of that, many members wrote about how bummed they are. Chiho wrote about how she was happy to finally get promoted into BII, but was disappointed about how she hasn’t performed with Churi yet, Jo was hoping to become better friends with Shige and perform with Yukirin, Haako dedicated a blog to Churi…
It’s really strange that they like being here, they’ve contributed greatly to the group and in the case of Shige, she’s improved a lot, and then you just send them on their way. I don’t get it unless they have greater plans for them, since it’s another case where it seemed to work out for everyone.
(Yukirin is her own special case, but again, another example of AKB just taking stuff and not really giving back. And yet you could tell she still liked NMB.)
It’s kind of hard to tell what the impact will be of all these kennin since nothing’s really happened. But it is easy to see that it introduces a lot of stress and uncertainty in the current moment, and not in a good way. I’m not particularly pleased and am losing confidence in AKB’s future and that negatively impacts how I enjoy NMB.