Three of Singapore’s favorite AKB48 members pay the cafe another visit31 August, 2011 by Chad
Members from AKB48 were back in town last weekend for their 4th Stage performance in Singapore on Saturday. The following day, three of the local fan favorites stayed around to to make another appearance at the AKB48 Cafe Singapore. New changes were made to the event to keep things exciting and fresh.
Did everyone get to enjoy themselves during the concert? We got the chance to make some new acquaintances and even met up with an old friend from Japan who had specially come down over the weekend to join in the events.
The three members paying the cafe a visit this time were Abe Maria, Maeda Ami and Yamauchi Suzuran. Abe and Maeda were the first AKB48 members to hold a cafe event, while Yamauchi Suzuran was one of the members at the AKB48 Cafe Special Visit just two weeks ago.
Once again, tickets were sold at $35 each and including a meal during the event. There were two sessions this afternoon, the first at 12.30 and a second at 3 PM which we participated in. First, an apology for the poorer pictures this time round.
Fans didn’t let the lazy weather and exhaustion from the previous day’s concerts stop them from turning up for this cafe event. Energy levels of definitely lower as apparent from the quieter visitors but that didn’t mean they didn’t enjoy themselves. Some new changes to the event format helped keep things interesting.
The AKB48 members made their appearance at the start of the event as the local cafe staff took to the stage to perform a couple of songs this afternoon for the benefit of the AKB48 guests and cafe patrons. They danced to Beginner and a new song, Kanojo ni naremasu ka? from Team K’s 6th Stage set list. The staff have been practicing after hours and have been improving consistently since they first started.
After the dances, the AKB48 members were asked for their impressions.
Abe stated that you wouldn’t usually pay notice to the staff serving your food but after the effort they put in she hoped the cafe patrons would notice them more and appreciate the performances.
Maeda asked how long the girls took to learn the dances and when she found out that they took two weeks, offered her praise for being able to learn the songs in such a short time.
Yamauchi mentioned that both Abe and herself were particularly impressed by Riyo, who performed Beginner.
The previous question and answer session was replaced by a drawing quiz between the AKB48 members. Kai, the AKB48 Singapore Shop manager and MC, asked the girls various questions about Singapore, which they had to answer through their illustrations. Mr Miyano Haru, the Dentsu manager for AKB48 Singapore decided upon the winning answers.
For the first question, the girls were asked to draw food that they had in Singapore. Maeda Ami drew pasta from the cafe. Yamauchi Suzuran drew a paper chicken and a cup of tapioca (which is Japanese English for Bubble Tea) while Abe Maria drew a bunch of bananas. Yamauchi attracted the loudest cheers from fans and won the round.
They were asked to draw their ideal man next. Maeda noted that she wanted someone who was at least 175cm tall. The bluntly humorous Abe drew a man surrounded by money with an added note that being tall would be nice. Yamauchi drew a cartoonish 2 and a half meter tall figure spotting a pompadour. The round went to Yamauchi again.
For the third and final question, the AKB48 members had to draw their view from the stage ideally of Singapore’s theater. In typical Japanese variety humor, this ended up being only the round that mattered as the winner was to be awarded 10 points.
Abe showed off her usual tsukkomi character by drawing a bunch of potatoes, which she likened the fans to. Maeda drew a sea of smiling faces while Yamauchi drew a mishmash of caricatures, even pointing out a couple of fans from the previous day’s concert.
No clear consensus could be reached for the winner so Mr Miyano invited three fans, one of each of the individual girls to compete in rock-paper-scissors to determine the winner. Yamauchi’s fan was eliminated in the first round and an epic battle between the two remaining fans ensured.
When Maeda’s fan was asked what he’d do should he lose, he apologized in advanced to his idol. To up the stakes, Miyano subsequently convinced the two fans that the loser ought to shave his head, the crowd laughed.
After two tense draws, Maeda’s fan representative, Guo Dong won, making her the resultant winner. As a present, she received a plush featuring the Singapore Merlion mascot. The two other members did not walk away empty handed though as they each received a souvenir picture frame too.
Visitors to the cafe were given the chance to win some prizes of their own too. Instead of the previous mass janken competition, visitors who had purchased the tickets for the event were handed sheets of paper on which they were supposed to test their artistic talents by drawing their favorite AKB48 members.
The three visiting AKB48 members would each pick their favorite submission and the artist would win a prize. A total of 6 copies (three per session) of AKB48’s latest release, Flying Get was autographed and given away by the visiting AKB48 members.
This editor was lucky enough to have Yamauchi Suzuran pick the submission featuring Ichikawa Miori and such walked away with one of the copies of the said CD. Alas, I was too preoccupied to take a picture of the piece beforehand and would be too embarrassed to upload it here anyway.
Like before, the event ended with a handshake session between the three AKB48 members and visitors. Fans no doubt left with smiling faces.
It’s nice to see many new faces popping up, as AKB48 slowly works toward establishing their fan base in Singapore. It’s also interesting to see fans of all types coming to such events. But as soon as the theater lights turn off, all are united unanimously in their efforts to support their idols.
Well, fans will have many more chances lined up to show their support. Look forward to more of such cafe events in the (near) future. And surprises, in typical AKB48 fashion.
Photos by Maliciel.Click here to search CDJapan for official AKB48 goods.