Discussion in 'NGT48 Kenkyuusei' started by nobodywil, Sep 8, 2015.
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Two-part article about ekiden races that was published on Melos a few days back, with Nanako and a prominent athlete of this discipline, Daichi Kamino, having an one-on-one talk together.
I'm absolutely unfamiliar with this kind of sport, but I gotta applaud Nanako for her dedication to this hobby. To be honest, when you are an idol this is not exactly a very marketable character to have, especially if you are a "watching specialist" as opposed to being a "running specialist", like the article introduced both of them. Sometimes this side of hers is a source of hilarity because of her way to rave on endlessly about it with the wrong people: Miharu and Ayanyan learned it the hard way when they dared to give her a telephone call for the New Year's greetings, while she was already in the middle of an ekiden rambling in her own Showroom. On the other hand, it's nice too see there are also times when staying true to yourself pays off in terms of outside jobs.
While on the topic of ekiden, yesterday was also Nanako's guest appearance on NHK's ekiden special (to add some context, quoting the program's description, today marks the start of the women's national ekiden marathon in Kyoto, while on the 21st the men's one will begin in Hiroshima). Here's a snippet of the variety show I found on Twitter: even from what little is shown, Nanako was clearly in her element as she reeled off facts and observations about the event's history. (*´∀｀)
Nanako was featured on a full-page interview of Nikkan Sports a handful of days ago (the dates on the article refer to January, in fact). Looking back at her NHK guest appearance (mentioned above), more geeking out about ekiden, but also a short reflection about the recent Draft, as someone who had been through it before. Here's wishing it'll be a fruitful year for her.
A complete translation of the article, for those interested...
There's a NGT48 member whose solo activities become especially conspicous when winter comes around. It's the "Ekiden Idol", Nishimura Nanako (20). Even this year, she made a guest appearance on NHK's "Ekiden All-Stars Game" - National Men Ekiden-Women Ekiden Special", aired on NHK on the 13rd. We had an individual interview with this brand-new adult, who sank her teeth into her first national broadcast as a solo.
"There are few even among Senbatsu"
"Even inside the whole AKB Group, the times someone has had the chance to appear alone on a NHK national broadcast while being a Kenkyuusei have been rather few. Even out of the Senbatsu members, there has been few of them. Therefore, I'm sincerely grateful for this."
In addition to experts such as Arimori Yuko-san and Masuda Akemi-san, she appeared along with Ogiyahagi, Yasuda Misako, and Takei So. She received the offer because of her deep level of knowledge about ediken.
"I feel disappointed at my amateurish behavior"
"Just one thing, all the co-starring cast was talking constantly and I felt overwhelmed by them... When it comes to variety, instead of waiting to speak up until you are called into the discussion, it's necessary to have the courage to barge into the middle of the talk. After the end of the recording, I felt disappointed at what was my amateurish behavior."
While they have a regular program "NGT48 no Niigatta Friend!", the routine is often that Kenkyuusei member would take a backseat position and follow along the conversation started by Kitahara Rie. This time around, she also received advices from idol fan Takei and Ogiyahagi, who has a long history of co-starring with AKB Groups, and she learned on her own skin how difficult it is to appear alone on a TV program.
Her goal is doing an ekiden live report
Her goal is of course to do a live report at the New Year's "Hakone Ekiden", which is the one boasting the greatest popularity in Japan, and is what brought Nishimura to fall in love for the charm of ekiden.
"This year, the fourth consecutive victory of Aoyama Gakuin happened just as predicted, but their victory in the first half of the round-trip race, toward the goal, was unexpected, which made me so excited. Personally speaking, long ago, the team I used to be a fan of at first was the Toyo University, so every year with a hint of favouritism I would place them high on my prediction of the race outcome, but this year around they actually came in third. I felt deeply impressed at how they surpassed even my projection. If you wonder why they're so strong...
(because the technical commentary dragged on for so long, we have omitted the middle part)
...as such, they achieved victory by putting together a team of students from the junior years, therefore next year they are definitely going to come in first! Aaah, however, recently manager Hara of Aoyama Gakuin has also designated as captain Morita Homare (third year), the winner of the second leg of the race. Even though up until this moment they wouldn't entrust this duty to the type of person with an organizer role, I can see an indication that they are going to change their structure, so Aoyama Gakuin's progress is nothing to scoff at."
She's so knowledgeable that, once she gets into a talk about ekiden, she cannot be stopped anymore. Last year, on the dedicated pages of this newspaper she got to write a firsthand account of the Hakone Ekiden. This year, it was the turn for a television special. Even from now on, it seems there'll still be demand for her.
Izumo too, and also the All-Japan!
"In reality, ekiden isn't held only in Winter. Even speaking of university students, there isn't just the October Izumo Ekiden and the November All-Japan Ekiden, but also the preliminary events starting from Spring and plenty of others. Therefore, I'm ready to attend any of them!"
When it comes to tarentos, if you can make a good use of your own unique characteristics, the scope of your activities will automatically get broader. In truth, Nishimura too is on her way to secure her own "reserved seat".
"I'm really grateful"
At the AKB48 Group Request Hour held on the 20th, the song "Shita no Na de Yobeta no wa...", featuring Nishimura and the other NGT48 Kenkyuusei members, ranked in third. "I think that it's especially because our Kenkyuusei period was so long that they gave us such a support. I'm really grateful."
The AKB Draft, "it's merciless"
An experience with attempting it twice
In truth, Nishimura also has a history of trying out two different times for the Draft Meeting. In the first edition of 2013, she failed the selection at the last screening of the candidate audition. In the second edition of 2015, she got to stand on the stage at the actual event, but it ended without her being nominated. Therefore, even on the third edition of the Draft Meeteing held on the 21st, she followed the event with mixed feelings. "It's merciless. Through handshake events, actual lessons and lodging together for training, the candidates get to make a small step into the group, but the moment they fail to get chosen they'll have to return back to their ordinary life."
Nishimura's first ever audition was for the 1st generation members of Nogizaka46. After that, it was the 1st Draft edition, then as the Tokyo representative of Team 8 in the role of Oguri Yui's substitute, then the 2nd edition of the Draft Meeting -- it was a sequence of "Failing by an inch" moments. To all the candidates who ended up crying bitter tears at the 3rd Draft edition, she wanted to send them an encouragement. "I wish that you won't think of this as the end. I hope that the girls who found the lessons and the handshake events enjoyable and want to try once again will audition anew. After all, this is how I managed to make it here and be selected into NGT48."
Coincidentally, application for the NGT48 2nd generation audition will start tomorrow, February 1st. The candidates from the 3rd Draft Meeting will be able to try out again at this audition right from the final screening, skipping the other stages. We are wating impatently for the birth of a second Nishimura Nanako.
On other non-ekiden-related news, it looks like Nanako will also have her first solo gravure published on the April issue of Girls!. Yeah, solo! (*´∀｀)
Opinions about it among NGT members were actually, errr... divided: on one hand, Gatanee's reaction needs no translation, while Ayanyan's comment was just "In one word, boobies". (´∀｀；)
By contrast, Okappa firmly stuck to her usual "no bikini" stance and, given her shock at the sight of it, she prefers that Nanako would stop sending her photos on LINE where she "doesn't wear clothes above" (in Okappa's own words) while at it. Apparently she even showed serious concern about NGT's image from now on, since she says they were giving the impression of being girls who you can see wearing proper clothes (while now they're getting more disrobed), and so she appealed for people to exercise self-control when posting such stuff. (´∀｀；)
And then, someone even drew a funny fanart to sum it all up:
Thankfully for Okappa, Nanako quickly posted some additional pictures the day after, and it turns out there'll also be photos in an one piece dress included in the feature. (´∀｀；)
From a recent Instagram story. After the recent happenings, here's Nanako directly submitting her newly released gravure to Okappa, now become the Public Morals Censor of the group, for scrutiny. Let's say she wasn't all that happy for it. "What's up with that pose?" (´∀｀；)