I decided to go back and watch the very first episode of Naniwa Nadeshiko (aired on July 12th, 2011). I thought back to then, almost a week before NMB48’s first single was released, when I watched it for the first time. Things have changed since then. I guess this post will be a look back at watching the 1st episode of what would become my favorite ***48 TV show.
All I knew of NMB48 at the time was that debut song Zetsumetsu Kurokami Shoujo and the bloomers penalty if their single didn’t reach #1 weekly on Oricon. The only members I could correctly memorize their names correctly were Yamada Nana (Nana) and Ogasawara Mayu (Maachun). For whatever reason, I still couldn’t differentiate between Yamamoto Sayaka (Sayanee) and Watanabe Miyuki (Milky) and I had no clue who the other 3 members on the show were at the time. Of course, now I know them as Fukumoto Aina (Ai-nyan), Yoshida Akari (Akarin), and Kondo Rina (Riichan).
The theme for the 1st episode was “Do you know NMB48?”. The girls walked around the market and asked random strangers if they knew who they were. The weird thing about that question is that my very own answer has changed since I watched this episode the first time. Back then, quite obviously the answer was a clear cut no. I didn’t know NMB48, not as much as I do now. Again, hings
Anyways, the first member to attempt to see if anyone knew about NMB was Nana. She approached a store owner and did her signature catchphrase that never fails to capture your heart. Unfortunately, the owner didn’t know who Nana was and she got the punishment game of drinking some senburi tea and having her name written on her forehead. Her reaction as always was cute as can be.
Next up were Akarin and Riichan. They went up to a wheel-cart puller, got a short ride up and down the block, and asked if he who knew who they were. Once again unfortunately, the person didn’t who they were, which meant another punishment game. This time, Akarin and Riichan had to eat what looked like a hot piece of candy. And this is why we get a look at the “No Reaction Queen” Riichan. While Akarin performed the expected pained reaction, Riichan remained basically unfazed and even said it tasted good. Haha, that’s Riichan for you.
Following Akarin and Riichan were Maachun, Ai-nyan, and Milky. Once again, however, they failed to get recognized and a third punishment game followed. This time, the girls were forced to eat what looked like some bamboo worms. Not sure what exactly, but the girls freaked out a bit from eating them. Sayanee, the most popular NMB member, arrived at the same fate as the rest of the girls and had to eat another bamboo worm while having her name drawn on her forehead.
The last attempt for recognition by Sayanee, Milky, Nana, and Maachun (to a couple of AKB fans) fell by the waist-side and the girls had to eat more bamboo worms. And once again, we got another cool moment by the “No Reaction Queen” Riichan, who is unfazed by being around the bamboo worms.
The last part of the episode had the girls perform Zetsumetsu Kurokami Shoujo on the sidewalk. A few people watch, but most were merely passer-byers who glanced at the girls and moved on. There were no real audience and no applause at the end. It just goes on to show much the group has grown since then. If they performed at the same place now, I have no doubt an audience would love to get the chance to watch them.
Looking back, watching this whole first episode was a reminder of growth. How much I’ve grown as a fan. And of course, how NMB48 has grown as a group to become (even more) amazing national idols.