It is believed that AKB48’s Tomomi Itano will be leaving the massive pop unit to pursue her solo career sometime around August this year. Itano has also released her fourth single as a solo artist, entitled “1%”, on 12 June.
To help promote the song, the Tomomi Itano 1% Dance Trial 2013 is underway in which anyone can upload a video of themselves dancing to 1% on YouTube for a chance to perform alongside the idol in her next video.
The event has already drawn the likes of professional dancers, internet personalities, and of course Mr. Sato.
■ I can perform with Tomo-chin!
Upon hearing about the dance contest Mr. Sato jumped at the idea of getting close to his beloved Tomo-chin. However, used to being discriminated against, our reporter checked out the rules of entry to see why he couldn’t take part.
Entry was surprisingly easy. All he had to do was study the sample video available on YouTube to learn the basic moves. He didn’t have to mimic the moves exactly and he was free to add his own choreography.
When he finished his own video Mr. Sato would just have to post it as a video response to the sample video. Also by filling out the entry form they would know how to contact him after his guaranteed success. The only thing Mr. Sato had to do was learn to dance.
■ This dance is freaking hard!
As Mr. Sato attempted to undulate his belly he could feel his vertebrae grinding against one another. “Ahk, dancing sucks,” he thought. Then he got an idea to check out some of the other entries to get ideas.
Around 150 people had entered videos for the chance to dance with Itano. Some Japanese YouTube heavyweights like megwin and Koji Seto (below) came out dancing up a storm.
Even professional choreographers submitted videos, like this one including Kenzo from the group Da Pump.
“Ah come on!” moaned Mr. Sato. How could he compete with pros? He realized that attempting to dance like them would end in failure. He’d have to find a different style.
Scrolling through the entries Mr. Sato noticed a rather large number of costumed mascots known as yuru-kyara have participated. There was Yoichi from Otawara City, Shima Nekko out of Shimane Prefecture, and the pirate cat Kuron representing the Hakodate Kurofune festival.
Mr. Sato’s head picked up slightly and with wry smile he thought, “This is it.” If he could fuse the yuru-kyara technique into his own dance, he would have something completely original for the contest.
It was time to begin recording…
After uploading the video and finishing his application form, Mr. Sato sat back in his now incredibly worn Dragon Quest slime costume and sipped on a glass of elephant poo coffee beer. He dreamt of winning the contest and finally being able to use one of his patented pick-up lines on Tomo-chin.
Will Mr. Sato move onto the next round and become one step closer to Tomomi Itano? Tune in around the middle of next month when the results are announced…
▼ Tomomi Itano lays out the challenge to all of Japan.
[ Read in Japanese ]