Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

New Releases: 2017 BBM Dancing Heroine Hana and Mai

BBM continued their tradition (since 2012) of issuing two sets featuring the cheerleaders for NPB teams. The two sets came out about a month apart from each other, and are both pack-based, with 87 cards in the base checklist. I don't believe there are any cheerleaders that appear in both sets; I can't really completely verify this easily right now. I'm posting these together because they function as two series of the same release, essentially, they came out very close together, and I'm still way behind on posts.

Nine teams are found in the sets, though the number of cards per team ranges from 7 to 13.
 The fronts have two photos in one outfit: a cropped image and a full-body image. The wavy background is based on the cheer team's colors. Cheerleaders are identified differently by team: for the Fighters Girls, they have full names (I don't know if they're real or just pseudonyms), while the Angels (Golden Eagles) use only first names or nicknames. Backs have a third photo with a second cheerleading outfit or street clothes. Also, the player's birthday, origin (prefectures, not cities, it seems), height, how long they've been with the team, nickname, hobbies and skills, and finally a message from the cheerleader.
 Here is a Mai card. You can see the differences: the front mentions Mai in English, while the back has the Japanese character for mai (舞) instead of hana (華) in the background, card number, and set name on the copyright line. You can also see the difference in naming; Aimi's card doesn't have a nickname listed.
This year's sets include a cross-set insert featuring two girls from each team. There are nine cards in each series, with #1-9 appearing in Hana and 10-18 in Mai. Again, the set name is on the front in English and back in kanji, but the set numbering is consistent between the two sets, similar to what BBM does with its cross-band sets (Cross Wind, Cross Squall, etc).

As always, autographs can be found; most cheerleaders have 60 copies per card, though at least one has 59 (oops, she lost a sticker?). Also, there are five polaroid "cheki" autographs for each one. Finally, a few dual-cheki cards (not really cards, just pictures) were inserted in packs.

I will say that this continues to be one of the most popular releases of the year. Finding full sets at reasonable prices isn't easy; I have my Mai set but no Hana yet. I can't justify paying $26 for a 90-card set of base cards. By comparison, most 81-card team sets can be found for $5-10 if you look hard enough - the notable exception being the BayStars, which typically run $15 or more. (WHY!?)

Anyway, it's a good-looking set, in terms of subject matter, photograph quality, and design.


  1. Oh Mai! Love Dancing Heroine cards.

    1. Thanks, George! I like the set too.

  2. Any chance you can get some Chunichi Dragons cheerleaders for me? lol.