By now, I think most people who follow AKB have heard about the team shuffle announcement made on the first day of Tokyo Dome. A groundbreaking announcement which saw Team 4 disbanded, team captains changed, members switching teams, more sister group transfers, and even members permanently moving to international ***48 groups.
Which makes it weird for me to say: I don’t think I really care much.
Well actually, I definitely do care about the individual girls and I hope that each member finds their own happiness through this stressful shuffle period. It was definitely difficult to watch the girls’ reactions to the shuffle in that Jijipress video. But I think the shuffle might have been the death knell to my interest in AKB48 as a group. (Though my interest might have faded long ago and don’t worry, my NMB interest hasn’t faded one bit.) All the changes Aki-P has been making for the post-Maeda Atsuko (Acchan) AKB48 have just drifted my attention away from the group. I still will always love the AKB members, but I’ve mostly been following my favorite individual members only. I really hope my kami-oshi Minegishi Minami (Miichan) does well in the newly formed Team B and that she is happy there.
In regards to the NMB interests in the Team Shuffle, I’m hoping NMB Team N member Kotani Riho’s (Ripopo) transfer to Team A will be a success. (She will still be a member of NMB48 as well.) I was opposed to the whole transfer idea when Watanabe Miyuki (Milky) was moved to Team B, but I’ve lightened up on the idea and now I hope this transfer helps Ripopo’s popularity. Ripopo looked so distraught when her transfer, but I’m confident she has the strength to take on both her NMB and AKB duties. (As long as Aki-P doesn’t overwork her.)
Also, I’m a fan of Yokoyama Yui (Yuihan) and I think she will be a great addition to NMB, but I’m concerned which member gets taken out of senbatsu for her. With Team N still overpowering the senbatsu positions, I’m scared a non-Team N senbatsu slot might be taken by Yuihan. Also of concern is what team Yuihan ends up joining. Do they make her an honorary N or M member or do they make Yuihan captain/ace of Team BII?
I still wish Aki-P wouldn’t involve sister or international ***48 groups in the shuffle, but that’s the new AKB48 Aki-P has made. I just don’t know if I like it.