Chokkan 2 Close-Up: Gaki’s Surprise

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

Right after Koharu’s crack-induced happy hour, Risa’s performance in the PV was perhaps the most surprising – and pleasantly so. There were a couple of sequences where she was startlingly silent-film diva-esque in her performance – managing to be beautiful, funny, dramatic, and cute all at once.

She was hamming it up for the camera… this shot of Gaki waving away the lost opportunity will probably stick with me longer than anything else from the PV because it was so unexpectedly funny.

I mean, really, who’d have thunk it? Konno may have been the runt of the Fifth Gen litter, but Risa bordered on being a non-entity at first. She was the little girl with the huge pigtails, and it took a long while to figure out that look just didn’t work on her.

My opinion of Risa began to shift around “Joshi” I think, and I was then very impressed by her on “Osaka Koi no Uta”… She not only looked great but did an incredible job on her lines with Reina. It’s the first time I actually stopped and thought, “Wow, she’s got talent.” Which has more to say about my lack of attention, I’d hazard, than anything about her.

In this PV, Risa shines yet again: if this was my first exposure to Momusu, I’d have guessed that she was the comedic talent of the bunch. Which makes me wonder: how true is it? How much untapped potential is there with Risa?

Trying to figure out what makes her performance stand out, however, makes me think first of negatives: it didn’t try to be mock-threatening and tough, nor did it try to be especially alluring. Others were able to mine some interest that way, but she went with the enthusiasm plus comedic pantomime route – a route that Reina also took, though with a little more elan than Tanaka-chan and a little less jumped-up energy.

In other words, she sticks true to her “team costume” – the cute pink girls – but gives that cuteness more range and variety than any of the others in the pink. (That is, if you don’t count jumping up-and-down like a crack-feuled hyperactive child as “range”. If that’s the case, Koharu has it all over Gaki.)

Unlike Koharu and Konno, who both seemed to fall into the “cute” category by default more than anything else – after all, they couldn’t have a “newbie” or “quirky and odd” team (what kind of costumes would that involve?) – Risa’s cuteness is too apparent to place her anywhere else. And she plays it up to wonderful effect, not by being cloying and precious, but by showing a broad sense of humor in her actions.

Crap! How much have I been overlooking Risa? I can’t remember her much beyond bits and pieces here and there. The whole thing about her bangs in “Joshi”, of course. But what PJs did she wear in “Ai Araba”? What was she doing in “Namida” or “Manpower”? (Oh, wait – I don’t remember anything about those singles because I ended up ignoring them pretty quickly.) What did he photobook look like? I know I downloaded a copy of it somewhere…

Does this mean I’ll be paying closer attention to her now? Maybe… Though I guess, like Konno, I’ll tend to take her for granted until I see something that makes me remember, “Oh, yeah – she’s good, too!”

Hey, how does Gaki look in a bikini, anyway? I need to look that up later, too.

She’s definitely turning out to be one of the more solid of the second-stringers, performance-wise. I can see her replacing Mikitty as one of the main leads after she graduates next summer and sharing leads with Eri and Reina when Takitty leaves at the end of the year.

Yes, these graduation predictions are meant to be inflammatory. Ignore it, really.)

Obligatory dental assessment: from certain angles, it looks like her lower teeth are caving inwards a little, but that doesn’t really seem to be the case.

So Gaki is another revelation whenever I watch the Chokkan 2 PV – and unlike Konno, her future as an idol seems more stable, though how spectacular a future it’d be is open to debate, I guess.

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2 Responses to “Chokkan 2 Close-Up: Gaki’s Surprise”
  1. Alice says:

    Gaki-san totally won me over a while ago, and seeing her perform Furusato in the spring concert was definitely a high point.

  2. Beth says:

    It was around Joshi that I started watching Gaki also. Since then I’ve sorta stopped caring much for her. Up until Osaka koi no Uta. I didn’t care much for Namida… or the Manpower… But her performance in Osaka was good. And, like Alice said, I also really enjoyed her Furusato in the spring concert.