AKB48 Team 8 and Starmarie shines at the 60th year of Philippines-Japan Friendship!
“I want you! I need you! I love you!”
These lyrics surely strikes the heart of any J-pop lover, as these very words come from AKB48’s single “Heavy Rotation”. What an awesome experience it is to hear it live right? That’s what exactly happened last Sunday, December 4th, 2016 as AKB48 Team 8 returns to Philippine soil to perform in front of their Filipino fans!
12 members graced us with their presence at the press conference: Serika Nagano, Kotone Hitomi, Yurina Gyoten, Riona Hamamatsu, Fukuchi Rena, Karin Shimoaoki, Nanami Sato, Hijiri Tanikawa, Rin Okabe, Maria Shimizu, Ayane Takahashi, Nanase Yoshikawa (From Upper Left to Lower Right)
They answered some of the usual questions like “What particular Filipino dish do you like?” or “Do you have any Filipino friends?”. One member in particular, answered she loved Bananas from the Philippines and was surprised to see that we have more than one variety of Bananas here. Another also expressed her love for Halo-Halo, as it turns out, she already came to the Philippines when she was still young and probably what got her motivated to come back, tasting the classic Filipino dessert. Another also expressed her interest in having a full-blooded Filipino friend as most of her Filipino friends in Japan are half and would like to experience being friends with someone from our locality. All of these are answered with cute smiles and oh-so-moe manners!
Here is a video of them doing their self introductions
As the press conference ended with a snap pictorial, it was now time to move on to the stage and catch them perform live! We had to wait a few moments so we could watch them and to our glee, another Japanese idol group well-loved here in the Philippines was to perform as well! Starmarie makes their 7th appearance in Philippine soil and their first time performing twice in a year, the last one being at Cosplaymania 2016. It is never a tiring experience listening to these 5 lovely ladies and experiencing their live sets. Probably one of their main reasons why they keep coming back to show us their love, because of all the love they get from us! Hiroka, also expressed her love for Filipino Marists as she occasionally posts in Tagalog on Instagram to address her gratitude to their fans, a feat everyone have highly appreciated!
They had an astounding performance, one of the most lively I’ve seen coming from them. The highlight I believe of their live set was their song “Mekurumeku Yuuki” which was the 4th Ending Theme for Cardfight! Vanguard G.
After Starmarie’s set, fans roared and cheered as the lovely Team 8 finally goes on stage to perform live!
Their most notable song performed was “High Tension”, AKB48’s newest single, sung by none other than their senpai. The song itself was very catchy and easy to follow, I never thought I’d be hooked in J-pop again considering I’m a huge K-pop fan now. Music really does move in ways more than one can possibly imagine!
Trivia: 3 members of Team 8 are TWICE fans! My hunch is because 3 members are Japanese, namely Momo, Sana, and Mina. How did I confirm this info? Yours truly had the chance to wave at them close-up. So I had a friend do a little K-pop gesture with me, the “TT” gesture TWICE did for their latest single. And to our surprise, NANAMI ANSWERED BACK WITH THE “TT” GESTURE! We were already fanboying real good! But we didn’t stop there! We fired “finger hearts”, a hand sign made popular in the K-pop idol industry, 2 MORE IDOLS ANSWERED BACK WITH THE GESTURE AS WELL! Haha! Yeah, info confirmed in the most sweetest way!
Indeed it was “IDOL SUNDAY” that time. Looking forward to another performance by AKB48, hoping next time it would be together with the main group as it would be more awesome! Cheerio!
*special thanks to Hallo Hallo Entertainment Inc. for the invite and David Ayson for the stage photos*