13 April 2015, Singapore – Enough about K-Pop for a while, and let’s dive into the Japanese idol scene for the time being. Which female idol group comes into your mind first? If you answered AKB48, you are absolutely right!!! The amount of exposure on national television by individual members or even the group itself is overwhelming. We will talk about AKB48 for a while but not just “AKB48” but the entire “AKB48 group”.
I believe some of you will be scratching your heads a little and ask, is there a difference between “AKB48” and “AKB48 group”? Well there is a BIG (and did I mention BIG) difference, AKB48 is a subset within the entire AKB48 group which is also the originating group within the AKB48 group. There are a few other sister groups, namely SKE48 (in Sakae, Nagoya), NMB48 (in Namba, Osaka), HKT48 (in Hakata, Fukuoka), JKT48 (in Jakarta, Indonesia) and SNH48 (in Shanghai, China). That is how big the entire AKB48 group is, and I am even excluding NGT48 (in Niigata) from the list as the members of that group has not been decided yet with the exception of Kitahara Rie (北原 里英) who has been transferred over from AKB48 to become the team captain.
The basic concept for AKB48 is, “Idols which you can meet” where you can see the idols performing daily within its own performing theatre. From the initial setup of Team A performance, it currently has Team A, Team K, Team B, Team 4 and Team Kenkyusei (Japanese term for research students or trainees although there aren’t any at the moment) doing their performance at the AKB theatre. The same can be said for the other sister groups who perform in their own individual theatre, taking turns on a team basis.
For 2015, there are 2 things which would concern most AKB48 fans. 1st, 2015 marks the 10th year anniversary of AKB48, as such I believe most fans would be looking forward, as to how AKB48 would be moving forward from there and how would the group evolve, to cope with the increasing standards of fans, the television producers and also the companies to get more work to further increase exposure. With that, leads to the 2nd point, on the day 8th December 2015, the date that marks the 10th year anniversary of AKB48, would be the graduation of Takahashi Minami (高橋 みなみ), who is the current Soukantoku (General Director) of AKB48 group since 2012.
She has been with AKB48 since its formation and has been mentioned to be one of the pillars of the group and one which also looks out for the other members in need of help. She has been described by Akimoto Yasushi (秋元 康), Chief Producer of AKB48 group, like “the eldest daughter of the group”. As such, the graduation of such a core members would leave big shoes to fill, and therefore affect how AKB48 group would move in the coming future.
For now, I would stop here, but do return for my article where I would discuss a bit more on the Kami-7 (God – 7) and my thought on the upcoming Sousenkyo (総選挙) or AKB48 General Elections.
Article by: Melvyn @ KAvenyou.com