I guess by now everyone knows what happened to AKB 48’s Minami Minegishi.
Minami, one of the pioneer members of the leading Japanese girl was caught by a photographer Shukan Bunshun leaving the apartment of Generations member Alan Shirahama early in the morning. (SOURCE)
Of course, the tabloid implied that Minami is having a relationship with the boy band member…and who knows what they probably did during the night she spent there.
Following the publication of the scandal, a video showing Minami in tears, apologizing to fans, AKB members, her family and the management, for “lacking self-awareness” and for causing the scandal. What made the video more heart breaking is the 20 year old, known for her shiny long locks, had shaved her head as a sign of utmost contrition.
Minami went from this…
I’ve seen the video (of her apology) and it is one of the most heartbreaking videos I’ve seen in a very long time. You can sense her agony and her desperation. And her shaved head — you could see light and dark patches as if it was done in haste (an interview released by her management revealed that after the scandal broke, she went to the make-up room, cried her heart out and emerged with a shaved head). In the video, you can sense her desperation and just how sorry she was, bowing long and deep near the end.
In a related note, tried to watch the video again this evening but most of the links are gone and now labeled as “Private Video”. I was only able to see it at DailyMail.com after searching for it for about a while.
So what do I make of it?
A part of me wants to say that I hope she just gives AKB the finger and embark on a solo career of her own. After all, she is 20 years old and been with the group for 8 years as one of its original members. If the management can’t see her loyalty — then, might as well embark on a solo career, enjoy her life as a healthy 20 year old woman who enters relationships and probably do all the things that come with it. Surely, her talent can take her anywhere after a near decade stint with AKB 48.
Minami, like all idols before her who managed to hurt their careers by doing the unthinkable (…sarcasm here *cough*) by falling in love like any normal human being, deserves to live her life the way she pleases. A part of me wants to believe that the fandom has grown up and in fact, would never mind their idols starting to have healthy relationships.
Though, the other part of me emphasized that in the first place, Minami knew what the rules are when she first joined AKB 48.She knew that there will be no dating, that liking someone should only be one-sided and made private and that there’s no chance in hell that she should be “doing the deed,” in order to preserve AKB 48’s image of innocence and purity to its fans. She signed and the dotted line and now she’s paying for it when she broke the law. Hence, the punishment is expected and should be meted.
First of all, doesn’t she event think that one day, she’ll grow up and find a man she likes?
Secondly, I’ve seen a lot of comments from different news sites and blogs about people commenting how extreme that she had to shave her head when a very contrite sorry would have been enough. I agree on one commenter I’ve read somewhere that we, those who live outside Japan, would never understand the culture of penitence and asking for forgiveness in their country. There, shaving one’s head can be considered as one of the ultimate signs of penance and asking for forgivenes. Hence, when Minami shaved hear head, it is to show her remorse on her “perceived mistakes.”
At the end of the day, I think Minami has shown enough how much she valued and cared for AKB48. Maybe, for this time, they can reinstate her to the group and just move on, wisened by the experience. But, like we all know, the decision lies in the hands of the management. She has been re-assigned to the “trainee group” and God only knows how she will rise from this chapter of her very young life.
Whatever she chose, I am certain that she’ll do just fine. After all, this particular news has spread world wide and already made Minami a household name world wide. It’s just a matter of time before she bounces bank, puts on the skimpy school uniform and show the world what she really got.