10 September 2016

Neru visits her home in the Goto Islands

From Neru's blog: 

So I'm very happy


Good evening~
I'm very sorry this blog update is so late!!

A few days ago, I made a very quick visit home ( ⸝⸝•。•⸝⸝ )
I'll introduce the wonderful scenery of the Goto Islands to everyone
(Neruson Cameraman)

09 September 2016

Takamoto Ayaka, archer (Hiragana Keyaki)

Takamoto Ayaka of Hiragana Keyaki, who lives in Kanagawa (like Zuumin), belongs to the Japanese Archery Club at her school. She has just posted a few photos on her blog.

If the Keyaki-chans in the dorm were watching a love scene together...

Funny post from 2channel. If the Keyakizaka members in the dorm were watching a love scene on TV together, what would each of them be like?

Berika -- Turns completely red and covers her face with her hands.
Oda -- Watches like a guy.
Neru -- No expression.
Berisa -- Gets angry and leaves the room.
Koike -- Watches, making funny ("tsukkomi") comments.
Yone-san -- Observes from the point of view of biology.
Nagasawa-kun -- Watches with a smile on her face.
Shida -- Her ears turn red, but she is watching with a smile.
Suzumon -- Covers her face, but watches secretly from behind her hands.
Techi -- Her face turns red, but she watches intently, sometimes asking Neru for explanations.

Nen -- Watches Suzumon's embarrassment, thinking about stealing her lips tonight.

08 September 2016

Hirate Yurina -- such changes in less than a year

Hirate Yurina has become an overwhelming presence. Her expressiveness, her dancing, her determination, her purity of spirit. They have made her the face and the leader of Keyakizaka46.

Keyakizaka46 news websites in Japan are now beginning to look back over the year, at the changes she has undergone. Let's do that here, too.

A photo from home, before she came to Tokyo to start training.

Uncertain, being introduced on the Keyakitte, Kakenai TV show last November

lyrics translation -- Yuuutsu to Fuusen Gum (Nogizaka 46) "Bubble Gum and Depression"

As requested in a comment on a previous post,  here is a translation of the lyrics to Nogizaka46's Yuuutsu to Fuusen Gum, which is on the Harujion ga Saku Koro standard edition CD. Feel free to use the translation as you wish. No rights claimed.

Yuuutsu to Fuusen Gamu
Bubble Gum and Depression

lyrics by Akimoto Atsushi

(music by Hirotomo, Dr. Lilcom; arrangement by Apazzi)
(sung by: Akimoto Manatsu, Ikoma Rina, Inoue Sayuri, Sakurai Reika, Takayama Kazumi, Hoshino Minami - in Japanese alphabetical order)

1. English translation. 2. Romanized Japanese. 3. Japanese kanji/kana

1. English translation

How much bubble-gum
Will I have to blow
To sigh out this gloom deep in my chest?

Squatting by a trashcan in the schoolyard
Gazing up at the cloudy sky,
I know life is not just good things.
Someday I will look back at "youth".

Stand up from depression!
All you have to do is take a step forward.
Feeling down is inevitable,
Slowly raise yourself and get moving.
You won't be running along with a cool aura,
But you will live on somehow.
Just turn it around and start smiling
And your negativity will be gone.

Shida Manaka's biggest fan

The manager of a Tower Records branch in the Tokyo area can lay a claim to being Mona's biggest fan. Not only has he made Mona his Tachikawa store's oshi, but he is quick to publicize anything to do with her.

This is a Thursday display at the store, showing a book which Mona was shown reading in a photo in Oda Nana's blog the day before; and a copy of a CD Mona said in her own blog that she bought.

At lower right is the book on rock musician Yokoyama Ken that Mona is shown reading in a Wednesday blog post by Oda Nana. The sign says: "Thank you, Oda Nana."

07 September 2016

Higashimura Mei of Hiragana Keyaki -- a gentle little fairy...with athletic ability and a rifle

Higashimura Mei 東村芽依 of Hiragana Keyaki is quiet and gentle. She comes from the ancient capital of Nara, and does seem to have a sweet, old-world charm:

Other members of Hiragana Keyaki seem to love her. Here she feeds Takamoto Ayaka, with Takase Mana looking on:

Kakizaki Memi -- Vampire Princess

Kakizaki Memi, 14, has clearly been designated by management as the presumptive centre in Hiragana Keyaki.

Last week, I translated an interview with her. This week I'll give some of my own observations, gathered mainly from her Showroom sessions and from members' blogs.

I'm calling her the "Vampire Princess." In a good way.

The "vampire" comes from her sharp incisors (photo below), and the "princess" from her oddly commanding cuteness, which seems to get older members to fawn on her and do her bidding.

The first example was Katou Shiho (18), with whom she has taken the most photos. Katoshi talks about feeling "Kakizaki loss" when Memi is not around. And we have a photo of her lying on Memi's lap.

Next came Sasaki Kumi (20), who wrote a post about Memi wheedling her into going out in the middle of a rainstorm, and how much she ended up enjoying going round secondhand clothing shops with her.

She seems a bit of a dangerous character. I'm sure her father thinks so, after last week's Keyakitte, Kakenai? TV show, which featured Hiragana Keyaki. Asked about her "rebellious phase," Memi said it was when she told her father that she hated him -- and that the phase was right now. She said her father stroked her cheek all the time, and said her name over and over for no reason.

05 September 2016

Neru's moving letter to the members of Hiragana Keyaki

On Keyakitte, Kakenai? Sunday night, Neru read a letter she had prepared for the members of Hiragana Keyaki. She apologized for not having an open enough heart. Some of them wept.

Up to now, I think it has all been fun for the Hiraganas: being chosen, getting to know each other, learning to sing and dance, getting a song on a CD within three months of getting in. But now they get a taste of the bitterness that comes with being an idol, the kind of thing they saw in Kanashimi no Wasurekata, the film about Nogizaka46 they were shown in their orientation. The depth of Neru's feelings, the directness with which she expresses them. This is part of the truth of Keyakizaka46: 

First, the number one thing that I want to say
Is that, from my heart, I have been waiting for you for a long time.
No matter what work we did, when the members introduced themselves,
At the end I said: "And I am Nagahama Neru of Hiragana Keyaki."
That gave me a very sad and lonely feeling.

Neru's birthday blog post

18 years old

Good evening!

Today, September 4th, I've turned 18.

To everyone who was born on September 4th,
Happy Birthday.

Our beloved Takahiro-sensei
Also has his birthday today.
Happy Birthday!

Starting with my parents and family,
To everyone who has helped bring me to
The me I am today:
Truly, thank you very much.

It is only with my life
That I can thank the many wonderful people I have met.

It is only since I left Nagasaki that I have realized
It was the axis of my life and all my meetings.

I was so blessed. I was so happy.

This has been a year of upheaval,
A year of much preparation and imbibing so many things,
So that I won't have to drink all those waves
So that I can fly over them.