Single Keyakizaka46 9th [TBA] (TBA)

Discussion in 'Keyakizaka46 News & Releases' started by minaeshi, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Tanoichan

    Tanoichan Kenkyuusei

    Mar 27, 2019
    Harada Aoi
    I still think that the fans are the ones who need to get over all member senbatsu. The announcement was in July, the girls are probably fine now.

    All member senbatsu didn't work at all and this is why after 4th single the group started to stagnate. Yes, is something that tied down the group but everything changes and the group has to move forward.

    About Techi, I don't think she is under-appreciated but the opposite. Yes, she is a great performer but is she the only great performer in the group? Sadly, the idea is deeply rooted in fans(and member).

    For me, when they debuted a lot of member caused most impact than Techi and it is fine, but, the center has to change because right now there are members that can be better center than Techi but they haven't had opportunities to prove it.

    For me, all the members are irreplaceable because they are differents and all of them give something to the group, when a idol graduates the group lost something but when other generations come, the group receive a lot too.
    All member are important and they deserve a chance.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  2. Rev4

    Rev4 Kenkyuusei

    Mar 22, 2019
    There is always good things about senbatsu/under. The group's selection of TV shows will increase and Under gets their own TV show. Instead of being a senbatsu family they are now family in senbatsu, in Under and as a group they are one big family.

    Sugai has learned a lot from Sakurai in these three years. She wants to change Keyaki in the 4th year and take it seriously when the group increase in members. She wants every member to feel home in Keyaki despite a new Keyakizaka she has teased the whole year now and with upcoming trainee members around the corner to increase Keyaki's size. I don't think Mon feels bad about it and will graduate because she was picked in Under. All members had prepared for the change so it didn't come as a surprise but the atmosphere to be there in the room for the first time can feel of a shock and depressing. They will overcome those feelings has Fuuchan said on her blog.

    Anyway, one episode from Nogi's Under TV show, Nogiten, in late 2014. It's not as bad as people think about Under:

    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. JoltFiend

    JoltFiend Kenkyuusei Stage48 Donor

    Oct 10, 2012
    California USA
    I'm honestly looking forward to seeing what they do with the NotSenbatsu. Like, do they put them in a formation of sorts, do they keep them in a line with static or moving positions, ect ect.

    Back to Senbatsu, I'm curious as to who's going to center the song during live performances if Techi's not able to do so. 2kisei W center? One of the NotSenbatsu?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. keyak

    keyak Kenkyuusei

    Feb 13, 2019
    Echoing the others that it's really wonderful to see such level-headed, rational discussions here. Agree with @miwa that the forum outage probably did more good than harm by allowing fans to sleep their anger away and think more rationally. Let's try to keep the thread as peaceful as it is now!

    Also, something I love about the Keyakizaka fandom: lots of us here really do love & care about the Keyakizaka as a whole, rather than as individual members, which I think is why we spend a lot of time debating, often pretty passionately, about the group's musicality, image, and direction (Keya thread regulars know what I'm about talking about here ;)). Put aside our personal biases and you can get some really logical, interesting, and thought-provoking material from fans, like @valerien above.

    First, great job on another very well-written post! You see a lot of posts here on stage with some crazy declarations/opinions & nothing to back it up but you do a great job following-up and explaining all your points (and very convincingly, as well!).

    Just wanted to add my two cents after reading your post. Will be talking mainly about three topics: Keyakizaka's current direction, untapped potential of 1st gen, and old Hirate vs. new Hirate. I think the last might spark some controversy so please ignore this post if you can't handle a bit of gentle criticism against Techi (-;

    First, it's a popular opinion that 'Hirate Yurina is the embodiment/symbol of Keyakizaka', namely that she's the one who most successfully conveys the current Keyakizaka's artistic concept. I don't disagree, but couldn't you also say it's the other way around? As in, Keyakizaka's songs have been getting darker, at times cynical to fit Hirate's image. I don't think management ever created Keyakizaka with the thought of making a 'dark' group, otherwise songs like Sekai ni & Futari Saison wouldn't have emerged as title tracks during their debut era. But I think with the success of Hirate as center and the evolution of Hirate herself has made management inclined to give Keyakizaka songs that fits Hirate to a T and would predictably be a success. And who can really fault management when Techi made one of the most explosive entries into Japan's idol world?

    But to be honest, Hirate Yurina is just one of many girls in Keyakizaka. Many girls whose potential has not been tapped yet and whose growth is being limited because of management's decision to cater the group's songs and image around Hirate. As you mentioned, even Aki-P cares about Techi's opinions on songs, so much that he would text her at 3AM for it. I think the reason why they value Techi's opinion isn't because they think Techi is some true artistic genius but because they want Techi to perform and convey these songs as the protagonist. And they are purposefully creating songs with Hirate's image in mind so that they may get her stamp of approval at the end. After all, management has no back-up plan if Hirate declines; while there are several popular members in the group, there's no member who comes close to her vibe, image, and personality so songs that embody Hirate need to be sung and performed by Hirate.

    You bring up a good point that outstanding, charismatic performers should always catch our eye regardless of their position in a group. However, can we truly say that each girl of Keyakizaka has been given an equal chance at displaying their skills and strengths as a performer? I don't think so. I think Keyakizaka has granted Hirate Yurina an enormous opportunity, time after time, to show off her talents and what she's good at, but the same has not been given to the other members, especially those who carry an image opposite to that of Hirate. I think a big part of the reason why Hirate is so damn good at performing most of Keyakizaka's songs (and no one comes to being a close second) is because the songs were written with her in mind, to fit Hirate.

    Aside from solo tracks, I don't think there is a single Keyakizaka group track that was written with another member in mind. That's grossly unfair in my opinion; I think other members, especially the ones who are extra passionate and have continually delivered great performances, should have a chance to perform a high-quality song showcasing their unique strengths and colors. I'll talk here a little bit about Zuumin because I think she's one of the biggest talents who the group lost because of their current system.

    Zuumin was by all means a power member in Keyakizaka, an instant fan-favorite, having top hs sales, top vocals, public interest, and above all, was extremely passionate and ambitious. She could've done a lot more in Keyakizaka if opportunity has presented itself. Reading her interviews both pre- and post-grad, I think she realized that the group was straying too far from what she had originally envisioned. Most people say she graduated because she couldn't be center, but I think the main reason was that the group just wasn't fitting her. Her image was no where close to Hirate Yurina's and Keyakizaka's as it currently stands. She herself even acknowledged in an interview that what she and Hirate aimed for in terms of image was completely opposite. I think Garasu no Ware! was the tipping point; it made her realize that management, and possibly the other members subconsciously, had decided to full-on accept and take the Hirate route. Zuumin herself couldn't commit to that and made her gracious exit from the group. It was for the best because Zuumin's doing great as a solo entertainer, and she has made great strides in displaying her skills outside of Keyakizaka's work. I don't think Zuumin would've shined brightly in a track like Kuroi Hitsuji. But to say that Zuumin is inherently a weaker performer than Techi wouldn't be fair because the same opportunities were not given to both girls. Especially towards the latter of her stint in the group, Zuumin was forced to take on songs and an image that strayed far from her own style.

    As I mentioned above, I think the reason why a true frontrunner for center hasn't emerged isn't because the 1st gen girls are weaker than Hirate, but because there is no member who fits Keyakizaka's current image and songs better than Hirate. And it would be odd otherwise because Hirate herself is such a strong symbol of the current Keyakizaka, as a result of management's decisions. But consider breaking Keyakizaka's trademark image. Think back to Sekai ni and Futari Saison. And consider the current Hirate.

    I think majority of fans love Keyakizaka's dark, at times nihilistic, and though I hate using this word as a descriptor, rebellious concept and songs, but in my opinion, one of the strongest points of any idol group is having versatility. I would love to see a brighter style of song like Futari Saison emerge as a new title track of Keyakizaka. I'm not even talking about Hinatazaka-level of happy, but just something mood-lifting and bright. But with the group going the Hirate route once more, that's hard to envision.

    In fact, I would go as far to say that the current Hirate is not very good at performing lighter songs like Sekai ni, Futari Saison, and to an extent, Kaze ni. And that there are several members who shine brighter than her during these songs. I didn't feel this way at all in 2016, but 2016 Techi is radically different than 2019 Techi. 2016 Techi nailed concepts like Sekai ni and Futari, and I thought she was one of the most versatile performers I've ever seen. However, when I watch the current Techi perform these relatively brighter songs, I feel a bit of.. discomfort? As in, I can tell she's not feeling it. There's reports from fans that say she seems a bit embarrassed to perform these songs during lives. Unless Hirate suddenly does a 180, I don't think we'll ever get anywhere close to 10/10 performance for these songs even when Techi is trying to perform her best.

    On the other hand, other members are able to commit fully, 100% of the time, to songs like Sekai ni and Futari because these songs just suit them so well. Koike and Aoi for Futari, for example. If given the spotlight and opportunity, I think these two would do amazing as center in a similar song. And if Keyakizaka ever gets another song like that, I would not want to see Hirate as the center for it. Whether first gen or second gen, there are members who are better at pulling off certain styles than Hirate. And even though the members all say they feel passionate towards Keyakizaka's current state and color, I think deep down some of the girls would be happy with a change in a direction and the opportunity to try something different. Zuumin certainly wanted a return to Keyakizaka's debut era and to show a different image to Keyakizaka; in fact, that was one of the reasons why she wanted to be center so badly, so that she could show a new side of the group and break the 'idols who don't smile' image. That was something Yuipon also supported, though her feelings may have changed since then.

    That's why I want Keyakizaka to break this 'Techi as absolute center' system. By doing so, it'll allow other girls opportunities to shine and show a more versatile side of the group. I want to see a title track from Keyakizaka where the girls can show off their charming, genuine, and bright smiles once more. People might object to this and want to protect the group's current image, but I don't think one brighter, happier song is going to ruin everything Keyakizaka has built up so far. I think a song like Futari is long overdue and would do just the trick to bring back some spice and kick to the group. And with the entrance of 2nd gen, this is the perfect time to re-experiment and end any stagnation felt by the members and fans alike.

    To me, it's not a matter of "can the girls prove to management that they have what it takes to be center and overtake Hirate Yurina", but rather "can management give opportunities to the girls to show that they have what it takes to be center and overtake Hirate Yurina". Center substitution in current and past Keyakizaka songs is not ample opportunity, in my opinion, because Hirate's image is so strongly embedded in these songs. They need to try giving new songs that actually suit the center contenders, as in, give them the Hirate treatment first before trying to make comparisons to Hirate. Otherwise, it's simply not fair for the other girls. I'd say a good start would be to test try b-sides first, see reactions, and go from there.

    Whew, this may be one of the longest posts I've ever written on a public forum. Maybe it was better suited for the Keyaki general thread but would love to hear others' thoughts :)
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  5. minaeshi

    minaeshi Rank 81-100 (Temporary Name)

    Feb 13, 2014
    United Kingdom
    ^This was a wonderful read @keyak, I agree with a lot of the points made here.

    One thing I would add is that, while staff produce songs and concepts to fit Techi's 'image', they're also in a way, making the situation worse. I remember back in Fukyouwaon era where, I can't remember if it was Takahiro or the members or even Techi herself, said something along the lines of Techi evoking the concept and embodying the song so well that it was difficult for her to bring herself out of the persona at the end of the performance. This might have been great in the early days when we saw multiple sides to keyaki, but after the 4th single I feel the singles began to get darker to fit her image that she created for herself while trying to embody the song, and therefore keyaki's concept so much, that everyone believed keyaki's concept to be Techi herself. Something like a self fulfilling prophecy;
    Techi being the center of a new group at such a young age, probably didn't want to disappoint anyone, so tried her best to convey the message of a song like silent majority so much that she embodied the song. By doing it so well, it lead to fans, members and staff having believing this image is really her, and thus encouraged it by supporting her in the center position and giving her similar concepts to fit the image they saw of her. This then results in Techi literally becoming that image. And since she's the center, her image becomes Keyaki's image.

    Now to be frank, this could have happened to literally any other member of the group, It just so happens that, like AKB, SKE and NMB, and even Nogi, they started the group with a member who was a great Center, therefore we get multiple center's from this one person. It's not just a Aki-P related group thing. Morning Musume is a good example of constantly using 1-2 members as a center when they find a perfect fit, up until they graduate and have to find a new one. What separates all these groups and Keyaki is that while all these other groups kept trying other new concepts, Keyaki stopped trying different ones and stuck to the same cool, edgy dark tone that made them popular. Even if the a-side was a little more lighthearted, we still got songs like hirashin, eccentric, and mou mori in the b-sides to further elevate this image (which im ngl, these are some of my favorite keyaki songs lol so im not complaining too much here lolol). If they had jumped ship and made Neru the center of Sekaini and continued down this image for further singles, I'm sure Keyaki would look eerily similar to Hinatazaka's current image.

    Overall, i think this is a situation the group can easily overcome if the staff let go of this image of Techi, and experimented with other members who could also fit this image when given the chance (I think Risa, Mon, and Hikaru could do this well). Or just give up the image entirely and try something new like they eventually did with Nogi when they got rid of Ikoma's consecutive centers.
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  6. DelicateEmpress

    DelicateEmpress Kenkyuusei

    Jun 15, 2019
    Talking about the girls' image, I can't help but remember Keyaki 1st group photobook (21 nin). It was such an unorthodox concept for a group photobook, where each girl has their own concept and photos taken by different photographers. When we think of it, Keyaki girls have so many personalities and I have no doubt that they'd shine given the right concept and opportunity. But then, what is the concept that would most intrigue people, especially the public. One of the reasons why Silent Majority is so iconic (the most successful debut song among SakamichiAKB) is that the concept is different from what was popular at that time. Moreover, I feel that most Keyaki girls also lean more toward "darker" songs (anyone remembers that Suki Suki Ship cover?). I've come to the conclusion that Keyaki girls are not made for overhyping, cutesy songs. Cute, fun units? Yes but the group as a whole, they thrive more in darker songs (Mou Mori was brilliant, Hiraishin and Eccentric are absolutely conic, Kuroi Hitsuji is kami-level song, etc). These types of songs also have more rooms for interpretation from both fans and the members themselves. So many times we've heard the members expressing their want to deliver the song meaning to their audience.

    Along the lines of trying different centers, Tokyo Tower would be a good example. It's a great performance in terms that almost every member gets the chance to shine/ center a portion of the song and eventually we have Techi concludes the song with her impressive expressions. The song doesn't have a center because the center is rotated within the song, such a brilliant idea. I'd love to see more songs of these from Keyaki. Don't know why but this also reminds me of when AKB released different versions of Beginner with different centers (Yuko, Acchan, Tomochin, etc) but somehow I feel this would bring more harm than good to members.

    Back to the 9th single, I have a strong feeling that Keyaki will wow us again with their concept. Mmg might have something different in mind when they choose the main senbatsu and non-senbatsu. I'm honestly so curious and excited for new Keyaki content. Do you think they'll perform a new song (not necessarily the a-side, maybe Sajin or something like that) on the last day of Tokyo Dome?

    P/s: Just my unrealistic thoughts but it'd be so great if every member gets a solo song that they think represent themselves. We'd be able to see so many different colors lol
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  7. valerien

    valerien Kenkyuusei

    Sep 10, 2019

    I think my previous post was misunderstood as being very Techi-positive, and that she is the reason Keyakizaka46 is very successful. To be perfectly clear, this is very much not the case, and that I do also think that all the girls are very talented. I quoted your post because some of the points you mentioned illustrated why I feel my points were misunderstood.

    I agree that it is the other way around, that Keyakizaka46's songs have been getting darker to fit Hirate's image. That was what I meant when I said that Hirate Yurina is under-appreciated as the symbol of Keyakizaka46. Maybe under-appreciated is not the correct word, but more along the lines of it isn't as simple as swapping out Hirate Yurina as the center and putting another girl in there. It would have been much easier a few singles ago, but it has come too far for that now without making several changes, some of which would be drastic and which management and the girls themselves might not want to risk at this point in time.

    It is no longer about management putting out songs which they feel to fit Keyakizaka46's image (which in its current form isn't what they originally planned), but them putting out songs to fit Hirate's emotions at that point in time in order for her to be able to deliver performances (in MVs and one off concert events) that has been guaranteed successes in terms of past sales. They are walking down a darker and darker path as they go deeper and deeper into Hirate's fragile mental state and it has seemingly amplified her mental fragility to the point where she herself has become the protagonist of the songs. At this point, I doubt that is even a difference in the protagonist of the songs such as Kuroi Hitsuji and Garasu wo ware and her own true self. But that portrayal has been met with such success that management and even the members themselves are not willing to pull out of that path, which might explain why she is still centering the 9th single and Fuyuka even mentioned in her blog post that the first priority is to deliver the actual emotions and performance of the song and the "fairness" to all the girls should only be a secondary concern.

    The problem why it has gone this far is because I feel that the members themselves are comfortable with the current positions they are in, and they are generally supportive of the direction of taking on songs that fit Hirate Yurina as the protagonist of the songs. No one, whether it be management or the girls themselves, seems to have any inclination to want to deviate from this direction, because why would they when every single that they have put out until now have been successes?

    Right now, there are only four possible first generation members who realistically can challenge Hirate. Yuipon, Risa, Yuuka and Akanen. But my belief is that they themselves do not wish to challenge and are happy with the current direction the group is going with songs being very dark and Techi-centered because for them, the primary concern is for the group to stay relevant with the mainstream public and remain a success. They are very much in the "support Hirate" group so to speak, going as far as being willing to carry her weight by her not appearing in various events such as handshakes and live performances as long as the group itself remains on its currently successful path. It's not possible for the youngest member of the first generation to be able to skip all those events and variety shows if she doesn't have the absolute support of every single member who believes that her remaining part of the group is critical for the overall group's short term plans at least.

    I also agree that it has been unfair on the rest of the girls and I agree that they have not been given equal opportunities and I also agree that they each have an individual uniqueness which might not be standing out at the moment because of a lack of spotlight. But in a way, the group's successes have limited those opportunities and it's very hard to force that opportunity onto someone at the moment when I feel everyone seems to be pulling in the same direction. Let's do an example. They appoint Kobayashi Yui as the center of the 9th single and take Hirate Yurina out of senbatsu (I think that's the only way to swap centers, she needs to be taken completely out of senbatsu), they change the direction of the song and image to fit more with Kobayashi's despite the group's recent successes.

    Of course, it might go well. That is that possibility. There is also a possibility that the general public (not the hardcore fans of the group who will buy whatever they put out) might not agree with the new direction and image and sales drop in the process. Can you imagine what will happen to Kobayashi Yui herself from an emotional and mental point of view? It will absolutely destroy her because she will think that she is the reason that sales plummet (even though that is not the case), anti-fans will come to her lane and say that it wouldn't have happened if Techi had been center, and she will announce graduation in 3 months. That is what I meant when I said that management and the members themselves have come too far to be able to make this sort of drastic change. They are not willing to take this sort of risk until sales figures prove otherwise. Sales figures will have to drop drastically for them to even consider a change in direction at this point. That is not saying Kobayashi Yui isn't a talented performer, I think she is amazing. But maybe that is something that she herself doesn't want at this point, and she's happy with her current supporting role right now while still being able to pursue other activities and delivering B-side songs that suit her image more without the added scrutiny and pressure.

    I think Imaizumi Yui fits this point perfectly. She left the group because the group's direction isn't what she had in mind when she joined. That doesn't mean that it's bad, it just means that people leave when their personal goals differ from the overall group's goals. She probably feel that she will never get to center a song not only because of management, but because the sentiment among the girls themselves are very much supportive of Hirate centering the songs as long as the group itself is successful. And the dark songs doesn't suit the image that she wants to portray as an idol.

    In the group's current form, I doubt we will ever see another Sekai ni or Futari Saison type of song. For me a few things will have to change in order to see a new center. Single sales will have to drop for the management and the girls themselves to consider a change of image and direction and the songs becoming less "Techi-centered", the group's image and song type will have to change to a lighter tone to fit the image of the new center, and they will need to drop Hirate Yurina completely out of senbatsu in order to make that change.

    Just my thoughts :)
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  8. Zaebore

    Zaebore Kenkyuusei

    Oct 27, 2017
    Takamoto Ayaka
    It's been a long time coming and for a senbatsu announcement to happen for all the Keyakizaka girls is difficult. The time of them living the dream is soon to change. The growth they developed in being together will begin to sparse and spread around but it doesn't mean the dream is done instead the dream by which they have created can still be held and kept alive in the group if they maintain to continue to work and foster enduring relationships and experiences to further the means of a goal or an objective. A change of plan to reform and rebuild is how I see the decisions that went through this at the end of the day. There will be many conflicts and struggles I believe for a moment but it will adjust like how wounds heal after being cut but time or space is needed for it to happen. I'll wait and see what happens next but these are just my thoughts of how I feel about this.
  9. minaeshi

    minaeshi Rank 81-100 (Temporary Name)

    Feb 13, 2014
    United Kingdom
    I have to disagree with you on that one, @valerien. I don't think changing the center would be as drastic of a change that this senbatsu system was. Taking on 7 new girls (8 if we count Neru) and introducing 7 unknown girls to the general public is a lot more drastic than changing the center but still having that girl in the senbatsu in the first row. If Nogi could manage Maiyan in the 2nd row i'm sure Keyaki can manage it too.
    Personally I think this would have been the best time to change the center as they've already changed the group drastically with the new system and I highly believe that due to Techi's current health condition, a change in center would have been praised at this point in time. There have been many examples of groups changing their center and doing better than previous singles, and even if the 9th single did do worse with a new center, you could also say it's due to under members fans not supporting the single as much because their favorite member isn't in senbatsu. There's a chance the sales could do better due to more fans applying for the under members who don't usually sell out their HS to show their support. There's even a chance that if Techi did not center, she would participate in HS which would make the single sell more regardless. So I don't think staff are worried about the single's sales if Techi doesn't center. She's only center because of the image she gives to the group. The group can sell regardless of who centers. Nogi is proof of that.

    I also don't think it's a case of 'who can challenge hirate'. It's simply a case of, who do fans support and want to see center? who would do well with the general public? who has a center aura? When you ask these questions you end up with at least half of keyaki members with their own unique aura's who could easily center a single with no problem as long as they're supported by staff, members and fans. Using your example, I think Yuipon would feel a lot more comfortable being center with Techi by her side to support her, rather than having her completely out of senbatsu which could heighten the anxiety of it being her fault if the single failed, don't you think?

    It's important to remember that while Keyaki is unique in style, they're still ultimately at their foundation, an idol group. An Aki-P produced idol group at that. And I put that part in bold not to sound patronizing but to literally emphasize that point since a lot of Keyaki fans seem to forget this, even me. If AKB can survive without acchan then I'm 1000000000% certain keyaki will be just fine without techi at the center. The idea that she cannot be replaced and if so, can only be replaced by members who challenge her and surpass her in a battle of 'how depressed can you make the fans feel?'... yeah lol I just don't see it being realistic. Jokes and critics aside, I'd be fine with a techi center forever if I get to see her and the group happy, healthy, and trying new things each single. Until then, a switch up is needed.
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  10. valerien

    valerien Kenkyuusei

    Sep 10, 2019

    Constructive discussions are always good :) Everyone has their own opinions, but what is important is that ultimately everyone wants the group to be successful. To be honest, I think Neru would have been center by now if not for her decision to concentrate on her studies instead of having an idol career. She had massive popularity despite not being center and was able to stand out.

    I do agree that at least half of Keyaki members with their own unique auras could easily center a single with no problems as long as they are supported by staff, members and fans. I am in the camp that any girl given enough practice time, effort, resources and support can easily center a single. Their ability to center a single is not in doubt. I will go off on a tangent and offer my thoughts, and I hope no one mistakes this as me thinking no one else can be center.

    Recent sales figures suggest that unlike the other groups, the sales figures from the general public are much higher in proportion when compared to the other groups taking into account handshake sales (where fans will buy regardless of the quality of the song or image of the group). Which means that the general public like what they are seeing and buying the singles because of the quality of the music (and maybe the MVs?) and the current image of the group that they are portraying, rather than for the few seconds of wanting to meet the members. Fans of the group like us will buy the singles regardless of the quality of the song because we are supporting the group in general, and for us it's important that the girls get equal opportunity to shine etc. But the general public do not see it that way, and so far they have been silent and constant rise in sales figures single after single shows their sentiment. We can argue all we want about whether certain members will be able to take Keyaki to the next level in terms of popularity etc, but we do not have the figures. For all we know, the Techi solo cover singles are selling three times more than all the other covers combined and that's why they take her out of all variety shows and handshake events because her being able to be on the cover as well as performing on the MV is more important to them than the sales that they will generate from her doing handshakes. No one really knows, we can only speculate.

    The unknown factor is how general public sentiment will change if and when the group changes center or image of Keyakizaka46. It might rise, or it might fall. I personally do not care about who is center of the songs, what attracted me to the group are the songs itself and how it was delivered in the MVs. If the songs and image deviates into something that is not within my music taste, then I will naturally deviate to something which suits me more musically. And that is the risk with the general public like me. No one knows for certain what will happen when they do eventually take that path, but what is clear from their recent decisions is that management and the members are comfortable with the current direction and not wanting to risk rocking the boat while sales are increasing from single to single. From a business perspective and from the members' perspective of maintaining the group's popularity, this is the path that offers the lowest risk at this current time.

    Aside from the Hirate debate, I do think that management will try to push Ten-chan from the second generation. She is the youngest from among the second generation so it isn't a big wave for her to miss the senbatsu. I think management will end up having her center a B-side with the rest of the "Unders" being flanked by Suzumon and Koike and then gauge public sentiment and popularity towards her. Putting her on the senbatsu side while having the spotlight on Hirate wouldn't make any sense, in the trying to push a second generation member perspective. She will be able to grow while management figure out how to balance not putting too much pressure on her at a young age and gradually ease her into the role as she gets more experience. They do not want another Hirate 2.0. Of course, this is all subject to how the public receives her and if she is accepted by fans.

    Just my thoughts :)
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  11. steph

    steph Kenkyuusei

    Oct 27, 2017
    Nyan Nyan Kamen
    My inital thoughts:
    • Omg finally a new single! but my gosh am i shocked!
    • Im really not surprised at techi center and I'm not complaining about it either coz i actually really like her (it would be nice for a new center but i'm not begging for one either)
    • Am happy keyaki finally has a real senbatsu and i'm glad they've added 2nd gen in the single
    • BUT I'm really sad koike was not selected in this senbatsu :(
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  12. cotd

    cotd Kenkyuusei

    Jan 28, 2019
    I think people should be careful when they try to compare Keyaki with Nogi because both group have different situations. Regarding Ikoma and Hirate, I'm sorry to say this and it breaks my heart because I love Ikoma, but Ikoma was not a phenomenal center at the beginning of Nogi. It's not because of her performance ability (which is actually superb) but more because of she has low popularity compared to other members. Of course it makes sense from a business point of view to change the center.

    Regarding Maiyan and Hirate, Maiyan sure is very popular. However the difference between her popularity with other top members are not that sharp. Other top members of Nogi have their own strong fanbase as well. This is very different from Keyaki case. I think it can be easily forgotten, maybe because in this forum, the opinion about Hirate is quite mixed. But if you look at the sales of a product after her CM came out, the very long queque in front of her photo (hours waiting just for her photo!), how many influential people stated their love and interest about her, the news that capture even a very mundane thing about her, etc, you will get how she is a big deal. Call it whatever you want, like people being biased or things, but the fact remains that she is popular. Even more popular than the group as whole in a poll.

    Of course, it doesn't mean that she should be a permanent center, or other members can't be a center, bla bla bla. One can argue that the fact that she is way more popular than the group should encourage management to push other members and that's logical. But I think, with Hirate's popularity, it's also understandable how management choose her as the center again and again.

    Once again, it doesn't mean that I support the idea of "Hirate the permanent center". I just want to state my view when people bring up Nogi to back up their argument about Keyaki's current state. With reasons I have stated above, I believe both groups are different and it's not as easy as people think for management to treat Hirate like they treat Ikoma or Maiyan.
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  13. kanjo

    kanjo Stage48 Admin Staff Member Stage48 Admin

    Aug 20, 2012
    Nishino Nanase
    Hi, @valerien. You bring up a lot of interesting points. I disagree with a lot of them but I think they're interesting in that they define the gap between our perspectives. I do believe we can see your k-pop influences in your points. That's not to say they're irrelevant or inapplicable, just interesting.

    They were long comments so the reply will be long but I'll try to be brief.

    1st comment

    Re. Two new front members from the second gen flanking an inexperienced centre would be risky.

    I disagree with this one on two levels. First, if they wanted a new centre, they wouldn't have to keep the rest of the formation the same. The flanks and edges could have swapped positions for example. But second, and most importantly, I disagree that Hirate would be the most reassuring/reliable centre to flank. The most testing moments for a front group is TV appearances, both dance and talking. This might not be the case in the future, but up until now Hirate has been absent a lot. Even when she is present she is not a talker, tending to stay behind the "backup aces" and captains. If the purpose of keeping the centre unchanged was to give assurance to the 2nd gen flanks, I don't agree with it.

    On the other hand, I understand why changing centre alongside all the other changes can be seen as a big risk and thus avoiding doing so for the 2nd gen's first single. I don't necessarily completely agree with it, but I think it's a very reasonable opinion for the risk-averse to hold.

    Re: members already over wanting to be centre.

    I'm not really convinced on this. Maybe? But I still think Pon and Mon enjoy their spotlights when they sub in the centre position and would like a song they can call their own, rather than always trying to imitate a Hirate-inspired choreography. This could be placated with B-sides though and they don't necessarily have to lead the A-side, though it's what I would prefer.

    Re: Members shouldn't be given chances, they should take them. Members should only take the position because they're better.

    There's a lot of reasons why I disagree with this one. I don't want to write too much so I'll try to be succinct.
    1. As mentioned above, aces like Pon and Mon have only imitated centre positions built around Hirate's strengths. They have never been given the chance to make their real mark. Until they are, we can never say we understand their full capabilities.
    2. I feel that they have shown that they are capable girls with strengths that surpass Hirate in some areas. Perhaps we would find more such areas if they were given the opportunity to showcase all of their unique strengths.
    3. Fans have demanded new centres, it has happened. But they weren't listened to and they gradually left the fandom. It's not a failing of the members and it shouldn't be treated that way. I'm not saying we should hate management for not listening to some fans, but I also don't believe we should use the fact that other members haven't been given the opportunity as a reason to withhold it more.
    4. I know Keyaki is known for quality and I don't want to replace that by any means, but I don't think centreship should be solely based on performance strength. The group has a lot of diverse strengths that can be showcased without notably affecting performance quality.
    5. It doesn't really work that way in other groups like you mentioned. Ikoma didn't get replaced because she was significantly overtaken. The gap between Ikoma and the popular members started that way.

    Second comment

    "On a positive note, it's nice to see everyone having constructive discussions in this singles thread when compared to the recent previous singles. Maybe we all have just gotten older and wiser :) I do have several points to add to the discussion."

    Agreed, I'm very happy with the quality of the discussion.

    "Anger towards management is misplaced"

    Perhaps. I do believe they've taken the route they think is best with the knowledge they have, but considering what Hirate has been through considering health, etc., I'm not sure we can say they are completely blameless. I do also feel their unwillingness to compromise (more formation diversity on b-sides, for example) is also a failing they should be held accountable for.

    Re: Keyakizaka the most popular group.

    According to the most recent talent power surveys this isn't true. They have fallen notably in recognition over the last year, as have all members but Hirate. This is also true in my experience. Where I live there's a huge age gap wherein only teenagers and college age students recognise Keyakizaka, and even then fewer than Nogizaka. They have all but stopped appearing on TV outside of music programs. This is one reason why we need more focus on the other aces. Having all the best opportunities going to an often absent ace who isn't a fan of talking isn't good for the group's recognition.

    Regarding your evidence, I believe you're comparing Kuroi Hitsuji with Sing Out for the "within 100K" statistic, based on the Wiki48 figures. However, Sing Out hasn't been updated within the most recent 120k+ sales. The gap is still quite large at ~270k. Also there was still some Hiragana Keyaki participation, it was just significantly reduced. The sales were impressive, don't get me wrong. But I wanted to point out the group isn't as healthy as you portray.

    "It has been mentioned before in interviews that Aki-P even messaged her at 3am in the morning"

    I hate to say this but there's no interpretation of this episode that makes me think this is a good thing. Especially a girl known for being worked to exhaustion.
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  14. bandica

    bandica Kenkyuusei

    Feb 5, 2019
    Firstly, I want to say thank you all for some very rational and productive discussions. As someone who doesn't actually know that much about idols and how idol groups normally work, I've learned a lot from these posts. Though I am sad that not all members are in the senbatsu, I can understand the probable reasons behind why this decision was made. That said, I may end up repeating what's already been previously said. Instead, I want to express my appreciation for some of the comments made by the members during the announcement. Many of the members had interesting thoughts regarding the senbatsu and their position, though I'll only touch on a few. I'm not very good at these types of posts so please bear with me if you decide to read on.

    Sugai - Keyaki has become stagnant
    Sugai mentioned that the group has become stagnant, and that seemed to play a big role in this decision. I admire her bravery in saying this straight out as it is. By excluding some of the members from the main senbatsu, there will be a lot of challenges, from members' anxieties to fans' criticisms. It's a huge step away from their comfort zone and that in itself is a difficult thing to achieve. But to publicly admit that this came from probably one of the group's biggest weaknesses is a testament to her good leadership. She was transparent about the fact that they NEEDED something to change. At least to me, that only strengthens my confidence in the group's resolve to become better than before. Also the way she said her comments suggests that she, and likely at least Moriya too, had some influence in the decision-making process, which I'm glad about. I can only imagine what other difficult choices they've had to make as captain and vice captain.

    Takemoto - 2nd gen will be recognised
    Being the 2nd gen of the group, it's obvious that their experience differs greatly from the 1st gen's. While it's great to know that generally the fan reaction to the 2nd gen members were positive, they still have a lot to catch up on. All the 2nd gen members have potential and abilities we haven't seen yet, and having this many in senbatsu on the first single they're participating in is a huge opportunity to become more recognised as fully-fledged Keyaki members.

    Inoue - she will contribute in her own way

    I appreciate how Inoue mentioned that though she's not sure yet about how she can contribute, she will find her way. A few of the other chosen members, 1st gen included, also showed signs of being unconfident in their abilities. It's an encouraging statement, that even though she's unsure right now, she'll work at it and figure out how she can contribute best. It's something I can relate to in seveeral aspects of my life, so hearing these things from Inoue and Takemoto makes me want to follow 2nd gen even more closely than before.

    Moriya - 1st gen to make this a positive experience for 2nd gen

    I also appreciate Moriya's acknowledgement of the 2nd gen in senbatsu. Although not all of them were chosen, it's important that they feel supported by the other members of the group. For example, like Takemoto's resolve to get the 2nd gen members better recognised and Inoue's search for her specialty. 1st gen have the ability to guide them and help them achieve their goals. I'm sure that means Rikopi and Ten-chan aren't excluded from this. While they've all performed together before, official involvement in a single from the start is a brand new experience that will take adjusting, some trial and error, and a whole bunch of resolve. Especially considering many of the 1st gen members have mentioned that they initially felt put off in one way or another by the idea of a 2nd generation joining the group, it's reassuring to hear these words from Moriya.

    Shiori - new Keyakizaka46
    It's great to see Shiori declare that this single marks the start of a new Keyakizaka46. With significant changes, this is a massive opportunity for the members to form a new identity. Of course, it is also important that they move forward without, as she says, destroying everything they've done so far. As their most 'comeback' type single (having the longest time between its release and the release of the previous single out of all of them), it'll be very exciting to see how much they've changed and developed as a group.

    I do believe that in Keyaki's current situation, the good from a senbatsu outweighs the bad. And just because a member isn't in senbatsu doesn't mean that she's any less a member of Keyaki than those who are. As Hono said, every position is important. It doesn't matter whether they're front row or not in senbatsu, they are all members of Keyakizaka46. I'd be glad if they use this opportunity to become stronger so they can continue climbing this slope together.

    Regarding the single itself, I'm very excited for what's to come. The two songs we've already gotten (Sajin and 10 gatsu no pool) sound good and we haven't heard the full versions yet. I don't have any particular predictions for this single but my two hopes are that non-senbatsu members get a song as well and that the hit single campaign is another challenging one that will strengthen the group's teamwork and cohesion. It's been previously mentioned (by Sugai, I believe) that Keyaki considers the concepts of their songs in great detail. We've already seen several different sides of them and I for one can't wait to see what's next.

    • Techi in a sling and having to write with her non-dominant hand :(
    • Interesting to see the formation and how 1st and 2nd gens are almost completely in a checker-board pattern
    • Isn't this the 5th time Sugai's been in that exact same position? (2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th)
    • Excited to see Aoi back
    • Sad about Koike not making senbatsu but either way, can't wait to see what hairstyle she's going with this time lol
    • It's probably difficult to maintain and coordinate a 26 member senbatsu anyway even without looking at the deeper reasons behind the decision
    • Interesting to see which members are paired up in terms of symmetry. Takemoto-Shiori is extra cute considering they're one of the 1ki-2ki couples. Sugai-Moriya is a classic, and helps with the balance as every member in the formation is near one of their captains. Kobayashi-Risa pair looks like an absolute powerhouse.
    • There's a good distribution of talents between senbatsu and non-senbatsu members. This looks strategically planned, rather than being based purely on factors like 'most popular' and 'best vocalist/dancer/etc'

    BTW, did anyone catch that background song when Sugai was saying her thoughts in the studio? I feel like I've heard it before so it could be just a standard Keyakake track or a past B-sde I'm not famliar with, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't hope it's from the 9th single ;)
    EDIT: To clarify, I mean right after the 2nd row was announced, around 12:50

    Also this is probably a shot in the dark and it's pretty irrelevant now, but does anyone remember the countdown blogs they did but was never resolved? I'm not sure what the usual announcement timeline is for a single, but looking at this, the blogs were in June, the Yakult Toughman CM with Sajin came out in July, the senbatsu was filmed in July and 10 gatsu came out in August I believe, so it would make sense if it was for what was meant to be the 9th single announcement.

    Woops I spent way more time on this post than I have on my essay yikes
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
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  15. Rev4

    Rev4 Kenkyuusei

    Mar 22, 2019
    @kanjo I predict Under group (still unclear according to Fuuchan what they will be called) will have a important role and members who were stuck in "Hirate's image" can now express their own coupling songs without Hirate involved (who also centered coupling songs in "all member senbatsu" group). Mon being a Under will give her more screentime than she ever got in Keyaki in this past 3 years. If it wasn't for this Kanji/Hiragana system we would probably have had a senbatsu/under system a long time ago. Management is not perfect but they have to learn a few things from Nogi's management if they are going this route now.

    As you said they have been absent from public in TV shows that are not music programs. Up to now they have been a "all member senbatsu" group which the captains feel started to get stagnant. Stay as "all member senbatsu" group with 26 members and not grow would cause problems long term wise. Keyaki has in 3 years been tied into three ideas: "all 21", "all member senbatsu" and "Hirate's image". Sugai and Moriya have noticed this stagnant as a wake up call for the group. Where is the variety? Something needs to change and the solution was to open up the group into two groups. As much as it hurts to see them split up as a one big group in variety shows it was for the best.

    They are now breaking down "all member senbatsu" and adapt. The last one that remains is "Hirate's image" which management has hard time to let go for now. Senbatsu system was already a meltdown for the fandom. But they will eventually break down the third idea too.

    And it's interesting that Konno said they were first planning to move trainee members to groups they fit the most, but a lot of these participants show strong feelings to enter a certain group and has discussed it with AkiP and they consider their group of choice. I wonder what he means with "a certain group". If we say these have a desire to join Keyaki, their strong wills to be assigned to a group can also be convincing for a management to change. Not saying other 1gen members are not talented to centre a single but it strikes me when Mii-chan told under a cold waterfall during the 8th single campaign she dislikes she has a weak heart. Pon crying back stage before to centre Ambivalent at Japan Record Awards 2018 because she couldn't handle the nerves.

    The first participant in Toriizaka audition 2015 who tells she want to be centre was Mayu Harada. It's a shame she got caused by a scandal for whom knows if she was still in the group would they have been a different situation today? Members with strong hearts is probably what Keyaki needs now to change things up with senbatsu. But those who were picked for Under they saw potential in them as individuals to break away from the senbatsu and get more screentime. Spread out members and increase the size of the group is exactly what they need now. However, "Hirate's image" is still in the senbatsu with 9th single but will management change?

    When the quiz brought up "a Keyaki live song that gets the crowd go wild" Hirate picked Ambivalent when Tsucchi expected every member was aware of Abunakashii Keikaku. What's your opinion on her picking Ambivalent over Abunakashii Keikaku? She is not the same Hirate we saw in 2016.
  16. valerien

    valerien Kenkyuusei

    Sep 10, 2019
    First off, thanks for the in-depth reply :) I do appreciate the differing opinions and constructive discussion. I do agree with a lot of your points, and will offer a more in-depth explanation as to why some of my opinions might differ from yours by taking into account the different perspectives.

    Fan Perspective

    Of course, as fans of the group first and foremost, we do want to see the girls given equal opportunities and watch them shine and grow as they are given those opportunities. I agree that a lot of the girls are very talented and if enough resources are dedicated to them, then there is a strong possibility that they will shine. I will even say that past singles such as Sekai ni and Kaze ni would have been better centered by a different girl.

    Fans in general will complain regardless whatever decision is made by management/members. If they had appointed Watanabe Risa as the center of the 9th single, then we would have seen Techi fans saying that Techi should have remained center, other fans saying that Kobayashi Yui would have been a better center, certain fans complaining that Keyakizaka46 will just turn into another general idol group singing happy idol songs that is not representative of the Keyakizaka46 image etc etc.

    That is just the way these things work. One way or another, a certain section of fandom will leave and move onto other pastures. And just like you mentioned, some already have when they demanded a new center and weren't listened to and gradually left the fandom. But as recent singles sales suggest as they have continuously increased, those are in the minority of the fandom. What effect the changing of the center or the graduation of Hirate Yurina will have on the fandom, no one will know until we have crossed that bridge. The likelihood is that those that bought into the Keyakizaka46 in her image will leave and replaced with those that enjoy the new direction of the group and the new image, what is that proportion no one really knows for sure until that happens.

    We are able to ask to demand for changes in order to keep things interesting and ask for equal opportunity to be given to all the girls because we do not have to face the consequences if things turn out negatively. This isn't the case for the girls themselves, who will have to face those consequences which directly affect their livelihood and future. With this in mind, I think it's safe to say that they have all discussed extensively on the direction of the group and the changing of center and decided that this is the best option for them at this point even though not everyone will agree with their choices. If we are in their position with our futures and monthly income on the line, would we want to make those changes and risking it all in the hopes that everything will be better when past single sales have been increasing based on the current direction?

    Management / Member Perspective

    I may be repeating some points but for the sake of presenting a completion discussion, I might end up reiterating those points. I do truly believe that management and the members themselves have discussed extensively about it and weighed up the pros and cons of changing the center of the 9th single. I think it would have to be close to an unanimous decision for them to continue to stick with Hirate as center. We have to bear in mind that she has missed all handshake events, the majority of live performances, practically all variety shows except for senbatsu, and just participated as the center of the MVs for the singles and major concert events such as Keyaki Republic. In an ideal world, everyone will want the center to be present for all the events to project the group image and strengthen the growth of the group. I don't think even at the peak of Atsuko Maeda would she have been allowed to miss all handshake events, all variety shows, the majority of live performances and still continuously be picked as the absolute center of all the singles. I think for Hirate Yurina to still be picked to be the absolute center for all the singles point to the fact that she has the absolute support of all her group members. Like I mentioned before, there is absolutely no way for the youngest member of the first generation to be able to miss everything and still be picked as absolute center for all singles without the older members of the group fully supporting the decision or management will risk destroying the group harmony and the more vocal older members such as Akanen or Yuuka would have certainly voiced it out one way or another.

    That might come from the simplest of data such as income generation. The management and members have data that we do not have access to. For all we know, the Techi solo covers are generating 3 times more sales than all the other covers combined, and her appearance fee for interviews and photoshoots (I assume that management and members get a percentage of their individual activities since they are in a group, it works that way in Korea) are ten times more than say for example Watanabe Risa, and that in turn is in the best interests of the members themselves for their income stream that Hirate Yurina remain popular and in the spotlight. I do agree that someone like Kobayashi Yui might want their time in the spotlight and to center the singles, but at this point in time maybe their fear that it might affect the group's image negatively or that the public might not take to the new image surpasses their individual ambitions. Bearing in mind that they currently have a steady income stream from their current direction and their sales are still increasing from single to single, and they might not want to risk that in exchange for management giving all the girls equal opportunity to shine in the spotlight.

    And also bearing in mind that once they do decide to cross this bridge and make the change and things don't turn out well, they might no longer have the Hirate Yurina option to turn back to. I do believe that Hirate Yurina is more than ready for graduation at this point going from her body language, and that the only thing tying her down to Keyakizaka46 at this point is management and members giving her absolute support to center the singles and giving her songs that she can relate to. Someone mentioned that she might do handshake events when she is no longer center to drive sales. That is never going to happen. If she isn't doing handshake events when she is center, she is definitely not doing handshake events when she's no longer center. I feel that her path has already deviated at this point, and she hasn't taken well the addition of second generation members as well as the other first generation members. She's probably one of the more outspoken voices in wanting an all first generation senbatsu or at least not leaving out any first generation members. There is a reason why her individual interview at the recent senbatsu wasn't aired when every other member's interview was aired after their position is announced, and that is probably to do with her mentioning that she would have preferred for all the first generation members to be picked or to continue for an all member senbatsu.

    I feel Keyakizaka46 as a group has had significantly more creative freedom with their songs when compared to the other 48/46 groups, but maybe because up until now they have constructed their songs based on the emotions of Hirate Yurina. Sales have continuously gone up as they have gone darker and darker, and management are able to allow risker ("non-idol"-like songs?) songs to be produced as long as the sales figures substantiate their risker choices. As a consequence to that, the other members themselves have bought into the Keyakizaka46 in Hirate Yurina's image and that they no longer view the center position as a usual center position, but where it is the protagonist in their songs in which they are trying to deliver the emotions to the best of their abilities. They might also view that as long as songs are continuously constructed based on Hirate's emotions, they have the assurance that the quality is "preserved" which in turn translates to their income and livelihood.

    Another thing of significance is the popularity disparity between the members. After taking in your points, I do agree that Keyakizaka46 might have declined as a group but rather than seeing it as a decline, I prefer to see it that their initial rise was too sharp to sustain and that it eventually has to stagnant/stabilise, and that they are now in a position to incline at a more healthy pace. You mentioned Ikoma and how she wasn't overtaken by the other girls but that the gap and the other popular members started that way. I will say that Hirate didn't start off as the most popular member as well. I believe Sugai Yuuka and Imaizumi Yui and a few other girls have better handshake sales rate and Hirate might have been in 4th or maybe 5th place?

    But the popularity disparity after Silent Majority increased at a significantly larger rate. If I'm making the comparison to Nogizaka46, I would say that the reason that they are able to keep rotating members easily is because they are generally given idol-like songs in which anyone is able to center and none of their songs are especially written to one member's feelings or emotions. And that even though of course there is always one member who is more popular than another at any given time, the popularity disparity between say the top 5 members isn't significant. Even when those members hadn't yet centered a song, the popularity disparity between the top 5 members isn't significant enough that management do not consider it to be a big risk to just swap centers.

    Based on the Nikkei Entertainment Female Idol Ranking for 2019, Hirate is rated at number 4 with no one from Keyakizaka46 coming anywhere close to her other than Nagahama Neru who has since graduated. In comparison, Nogizaka46 has six members in the Top 20 making the list which suggest the popularity disparity isn't much and rotating centers is very easy without being seen as a risk. Hirate rose in ranking from 2018 to 2019 when Keyakizaka46 has declined, even though she has done hardly anything at all in that one year. Even if you look at the early stages of Nogizaka46, there wasn't such an obvious disparity in popularity. And that is partly one of the main reasons that management and members will continue to keep on this current direction hoping another member (probably a 2nd gen member) to be able to generate a burst of popularity in order to bridge that gap in order for them to let Hirate step aside. It's not that they are not willing or they don't want to change centers, but they prefer not to take that risk until there is no other choice than to appoint a new center, because in all likelihood them appointing a new center means a Hirate Yurina graduation, which in the current state of the group is something that they are not willing to risk.

    I'm again sorry for the lengthy post. I will stop if members feel that it deviates too much from the initial discussion :)
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  17. miwa

    miwa Kenkyuusei

    Feb 9, 2019
    Sasaki Mirei
    This whole discussion is great and I'm glad it hasn't resorted to bashing as it usual does. However, it seems to me like the large part of this discussion is about Techi being the center again, while to me the biggest reason why I'm against her being the center again isn't because it's been too long (although that's one factor), but because of her health. It is not normal that she skips out on an entire tour (only randomly shows up in one date and performs Hiraishin, with reports that she couldn't lift her hand properly) and then shows up at the senbatsu announcement with her arm in a sling. From all of the reports of their concerts this year you'll find people say that she looked in pain. She still wears those bandages that she started wearing last year and I remember discussing in her thread that her joint condition might be chronic and at this point I believe it. Plus, seeing her in a wheelchair after the Osaka concert was just depressing. It's good that she was able to finish Kuroi Hitsuji performances without trouble but what will happen now? What if the promotions of the 9th single will go like Ambivalent, where she started fine and by the end she looked like a zombie on stage? This reflects badly on Keyaki too and the other girls don't deserve this. So yes, I can very much blame management for this. Techi only became an adult this year, it is up to them to actually take care of her body but they clearly don't care.

    Perhaps the center discussion would be different if Techi was like Maiyan or Asuka who perform well and promote Nogi a lot and do variety shows and photoshoots with the other members. But Techi isn't like that. This isn't healthy for the group. What will happen when she graduates? The group needs to look forward and a new center will do that.
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  18. rdamon42

    rdamon42 Kenkyuusei

    Mar 16, 2019
    渡邉 理佐 / 西野 七瀬
    First off I want to say that I am loving these deep and detailed takes on the senbatsu and ninth single.

    I don't want to beat a dead horse and repeat all the points regarding Techi and her centering the single for the ninth time. I love the baby otter, and I get disappointed when I don't see her in KeyaKake. And sometimes even if she is there, she looks like she has mentally checked out. It was quite refreshing to see her at least smile and laugh in this senbatsu episode. I miss the Techi who did gags and burriko things.

    Anyway, just my thoughts on the senbatsu:

    - YuiPon looks ready to center a single. Her improvement from the early days up to now has been incredible.
    - Having the captain and vice captain anchor the 2nd row is a terrific move.
    - Berisa crying! Can't blame her, after eight straight singles with everyone involved, change can be painful.

    That said, its my first single as a Keyaki fan, whoop-dee-do! And its been fun to discuss on these platforms among people who care about Keyaki this much. Looking forward to the single and MV!
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  19. Tenote

    Tenote Kenkyuusei

    Sep 11, 2019
    Hi, I’m new here although I’ve been lurking for a while. I was held back from joining because of the heated discussions that occur periodically. But now seeing everyone being so reasonable and considerate gives me hope lol
    English is not my mother tongue, so please bear with be.

    I’d like to clear up some misunderstandings about techi.
    She said in the past that she was initially trying to be idol-like because that was expected from them, but then she realized that it wasn’t working for her and decided to just be herself.
    However, it doesn’t mean she’s always as serious as she looks on tv shows. She still enjoys having fun and playing pranks but because she’s so shy, reserved and camera conscious, we don’t get to see much of this aspect.

    @valerien techi is certainly quite eccentric and admitted to have rebellious traits, but saying that kurohitsu character and techi are the same is an exaggeration. Techi can relate to the character but she’s NOT the character.
    Techi said that she becomes someone else when performing. Basically she plays the song’s protagonist.

    Also, I want to point out that techi is one of the members that has accepted 2nd gen the quickest. Hono said sometime ago that techi told them that it doesn’t matter if they are 1st gen or 2nd gen, because they’re all keyakizaka.

    I disagree that keyaki is crafted on techi’s image, I think she’s just good at portraying it.
    Konno stated that kurohitsu is what they‘be been aiming to from the beginning. So Keyaki’s songs getting heavier and darker is the natural evolution of their concept.

    Akip being interested in techi’s opinions doesn’t equal him actually listening to her.
    Remember that techi got mad at him for giving synchronicity to nogi, because he thought it didn’t fit keyaki’s image.

    Unpopular opinion: songs shouldn’t cater to members, it’s the opposte. It’s them who have to make themselves fit the concept, just like actors get into characters. There are several members beside techi able to do that.

    Regarding the limited senbatsu: I also am against it but it couldn’t be helped, could it?
    I wanted a different center since techi hasn’t recovered yet and, of course, other members deserve the opportunity as well, but I can understand mng’s decision.
    Unfortunately, they realized just recently that the group needs other public figures beside techi, and there hasn’t been enough time to get members recognized by the general public. That’s why they decided to go with the most popular member once again.
    Or maybe they intend to push the 2nd gen and a new center would take all the spotlight from them

    Anyway, many changes happened and I believe that center change is on the list.
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  20. glsone

    glsone Kenkyuusei

    Oct 8, 2016
    I'm sorry, but what? She's been in the front row 5 out of the 8 singles and been a fill in center on multiple occasions for live performances as well as nationally broadcasted ones. How on earth is she going to get more exposure than that as an under girl?
    • Agree Agree x 4

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