For those of you who are not familiar with the NHK annual Kouhaku, it is a concert that is meant to celebrate the New Year in Japan. This concert has some of the best musical acts in all of Japan, and this concert is meant to be a reward for a year’s worth of hard work. Some of the J-Pop groups that made it this year include AKB48, Nogizaka46, Perfume, and NMB48. But you might be asking yourself, who did not make it this year? Well, I am going to list a few J-Pop acts that may have been snubbed by NHK. Some of which for good reason, and some of which made absolutely no sense. Acts such as Momoiro Clover Z, Rev. from DVL, and Cheeky Parade, did not make the lineup, but I will focus on four acts in particular.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
Harajuku’s finest did not make it into the NHK Kouhaku lineup this year. To be 100% honest, I can see why.
Even though I am a huge fan of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, I, as well as thousands of her fans, have to agree that she did not go as hard as previous years, especially 2013 and 2014. She had two big releases the entire year in “Mondai Girl” and “Crazy Party Night”, and the general consensus is that “Crazy Party Night” is one of her weaker singles. This year there was no album release and Pamyu did not make it to the United States to perform (she was close to going to J-Pop Summit in San Francisco this year but management backed her out at the last minute).
Basically, compared to what we have seen of her, this was not the best year for Pamyu, and thus she got snubbed off of this year’s NHK Kouhaku. But what I did like about this year was that this year was kind of a means to relax, especially given all she has done in previous years. She has gone hard as a mother since the debut of “PONPONPON” back in 2011.
I will still be here to support her no matter what. If she wants in on NHK Kouhaku next year however, she may need to release more than two singles.
If you did not know this interesting tidbit of trivia, HKT48 was not supposed to be in the NHK Kouhaku last year. That spot was reserved for Nogizaka46, but after Yamato Rina had a scandal that involved breaking the law, Nogizaka46 was booted off of the lineup and subbed in with HKT48. Given that Nogizaka46 has done nothing wrong to get kicked off of the lineup this year, they have finally earned that long overdue NHK Kouhaku spot.
Unfortunately for HKT48, that means they get the short end of the stick. While HKT48 had a few solid releases this year, such as “12 Byou” and “Shekarashika!”, those two singles alone were not enough to secure a spot.
HKT48’s snub will not exactly affect members who have been on an AKB48 senbatsu, such as Miyawaki Sakura and Sashihara Rino. However, for the HKT48-centric members, such as Moriyasu Madoka, Murashige Anna, and Matsuoka Natsumi, this affects them a whole lot more.
This is probably the biggest snub on the 48G side of things. Yes, SKE48 is not in the NHK Kouhaku lineup this year, but the bigger question would be, why did they get snubbed?
I would say the biggest reason had to be all of the members who graduated this year alone. Two members in particular had the most stopping power in the entire lineup, and both of those members (Matsui Rena and Furukawa Airi) have now graduated. Things are a little shaky in Sakae right now, to the point where Matsui Jurina had to cut her AKB48 kennin off. This is an idol unit that is somehow going through a “rebuilding phase”, and releasing only two singles this year did not help their cause (no, we are not counting the Love Crescendo single or any of the sub-unit singles).
I am by no means insulting the lineup or any of the members; I do like Shibata Aya, Tani Marika, Kumazaki Haruka, and Takayanagi Akane. Unfortunately for all of them, SKE48 will have to regroup and wait until next year to secure a Kouhaku spot.
Like most rebuilding teams in sports, just get through the present in order to focus on future goals. It may suck now, but it will be worth it in the future. I hope Matsui Jurina knows that…
In all honesty, there was no chance that the Ebisu Muscats, even during their revival, could make NHK Kouhaku. Speaking as a fan of the Muscats since 2010, even when they were in their prime (2012-2013), they had no chance. I cannot speak for NHK management, but if an idol group with av stars makes NHK Kouhaku, would that raise a few problems?
The funny thing is, on the Ebisu Muscats’ variety show, they would throw a Kouhaku-style performance set, complete with costumes and parodies. This was the only time I saw my Ebisu Muscats oshimen, Rukawa Rina, perform “Aitakatta” by AKB48. That was one of the greatest moments I had seen of her on that entire show, ever.
Basically, the Ebisu Muscats may never get into an NHK Kouhaku lineup for family-friendly reasons, and that is a-ok.
Those are the entries that missed their spot on NHK Kouhaku. Did I miss anyone? Were there even bigger snubs? Let me know in the comments below.