18 August 2016

Kakizaki Memi of Hiragana Keyaki on Showroom

Memi-tan proved again a few hours ago on Showroom that she is a natural idol. Young (14), hesitant, but forthcoming and confident in dealing with fans. And clearly still on a high from her debut.

Praise and affection poured in to her in Showroom messages. Here is the first part of her session, to give you an idea of who this person is. You'll be seeing more of her over the next few years:

柿崎 芽実 けやき坂46(ひらがなけやき)160818 18時00分...

She said was nervous before her first handshake session last weekend, but was happy to discover that she enjoyed it a lot. People were nice and she could talk with them. She wished she could answer every question, but couldn't find the words. She will try to get better at that.

She said she will wear a yukata at the next handshake event in a week and a half, and the fans were thrilled. She accepted congratulations that her handshake lane at Chiba two weeks after that had sold out.

When people congratulated her on being double centre with Neru for the performance last weekend, however, she deflected the praise and said that she still had to improve her singing and dancing. She said "Neru-san" told her a lot. She said she admired all the members of Keyakizaka46, but especially "Yurina-san."

Her Showroom session was a total success. She got around 15,000 viewers in her hour on the air -- the highest total of any of the members -- and the time went quickly for her and for the viewers. Amid the showers of stars, roses, darumas, etc., fans gifted her on-screen, there came one Tokyo Tower, which cost the giver almost $100.

In fact, Memi was not the only natural idol this Showroom series gave us: Takase Mana actually smiled, sang along beautifully to various songs from the CD, and was easy and very natural with fans. Sasaki Kumi, with her long, beautiful face and mature manner, was easy, natural and personable. Ushio Sarina's little smile was engaging, her high voice sweet rather than shrill, and her moving around as she sat there helped confirm she loves to dance. Takamoto Ayaka was just as nice and vivid as always. And Katou Shiho was funny and quirky and charming, even before the accident that showed us her messy room and made her weep, eliciting messages of love from her fans.

Since I had seen photos of out-of-town Hiragana members together in "roomwear," I suspected they had now moved into the dorm, and that we would see different backgrounds for members such as Memi-tan and Mana. This did not happen. Posts on 2channel say that they only spend the weekends in Tokyo, and that is why Showroom sessions are done during the week. Whether this will change in the fall, I have no idea.

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