September 22, 2023

Thoughts on Nogizaka46’s Rival Group, Boku ga Mitakatta Aozora

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This morning, the previously announced Nogizaka46 official rival group Boku ga Mitakatta Aozora was unveiled and all the members introduced in a 38 minute livestream.

Unlike previous groups in the past weakly connected to the 48 Group (AKB48 and others, Nogizaka46 and fellow groups), this one does not feature a number in its name. The abbreviation as officially announced will be BokuAo. The first single, Aozora ni Tsuite Kangaeru, will be released August 30th with the first center announced as Yagi Toa. There are 23 members as of this writing, and are as follows:

  • 青木宙帆(あおき・ゆうほ)/ Aoki Yuho /20
  • 長谷川稀未(はせがわ・ひとみ)/ Hasegawa Hitomi /20
  • 萩原心花(はぎわら・ここか)/ Hagiwara Kokoka /16
  • 山口結杏(やまぐち・ゆあん)/ Yamaguchi Yuan /18
  • 持永真奈(もちなが・まな)/ Mochinaga Mana /19
  • 木下藍(きのした・あい)/ Kinoshita Ai /13
  • 岩本理瑚(いわもと・りこ)/ Iwamoto Riko /15
  • 西森杏弥(にしもり・あや)/ Nishimori Aya /19
  • 伊藤ゆず(いとう・ゆず)/ Ito Yuzu /21
  • 金澤亜美(かなざわ・あみ)/ Kanazawa Ami /16
  • 八重樫美伊咲(やえがし・みいさ)/ Yaegashi Misa /13
  • 工藤唯愛(くどう・ゆあ)/ Kudo Yua /13
  • 塩釜菜那(しおかま・なな)/ Shiokama Nana /20
  • 須永心海(すなか・みうな)/ Sunaka Miuna /18
  • 宮腰友里亜(みやこし・ゆりあ)/ Miyakoshi Yuria /18
  • 秋田莉杏(あきた・りあん)/ Akita Rian /15
  • 今井優希(いまい・ゆき)/ Imai Yuki /17
  • 杉浦英恋(すぎうら・えれん)/ Sugiura Eren /14
  • 早崎すずき(はやさき・すずき)/Hayasaki Suzuki /18
  • 八木仁愛(やぎ・とあ)/ Yagi Toa /16
  • 柳堀花怜(やなぎほり・かれん)/ Yanagihori Karen /17
  • 吉本此那(よしもと・ここな)/ Yoshimoto Kokona /17
  • 安納蒼衣(あんのう・あおい)/ Anno Aoi /16

On the fan side, there seems to be a bit of writing about how this group seems extremely STU48/original Nogizaka46 styling, especially with their very seiso uniforms and color palette choices. Usually I would tell people to wait a bit and see what sort of debut song we would get first, but seeing as this is a joint project between Akimoto Yasushi and the “Ganbare! Nippon no Idol” group, the comments from the members themselves hint at the fact that they’ve already filmed their debut single, as well as the fact that this is likely a way of boosting Avex‘s sales, it looks like this sort of imagery is here to stay.

As a debut, this is an incredibly safe debut. Some rumors about people having boyfriends aside (because who would have thought that a pretty 19 year old might have dated once or twice in the past?! /sarcasm), it is a bit sad to see that for the past couple of years we’ve consistently seen this sort of styling for girl group debuts from Japan at least from Akimoto (other producers seem to be in their own consistent and rather unvaried creative ruts as well). The single is likely to be decent, though as you can probably tell from how I’m writing this that I had hoped for a bit more creativity.

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