AKB48 Group Thread

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AKB48 Group Thread

Postby Hattie » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:52 am

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Anyone interested?

I first heard of AKB48 around '06 or '07 when ANN reported about the group after the release of their first major-label single, "Aitakatta." Didn't pay much attention at the time. I was such an ~~intellectual~~ and didn't like idols or idol music. Somehow I accidentally rediscovered them around 2010 after they released their most popular song "Heavy Rotation." I found a giant image online of all the girls' profile photos – there were less girls at the time – and instantly gravitated to Mayu Watanabe. (If you look at her 2010 photo at the bottom of the page... so friggin' cute.)

The first AKB48 song I actually heard was "Iiwake Maybe" – which to this day is still my favorite song of theirs.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJ-Drv9tVjI[/youtube]

I really recommend, even if you're remotely interested, checking out the more of their popular music videos. They've grown a lot, especially in terms of range of genre. Koisuru Fortune Cookie is a song released about this time last year that was hugely popular in Japan and even became its own meme.

Visit their YouTube channel for official videos.

This site is also a good general resource. There are more groups within the larger AKBG, including SKE48 (in Nagoya), NMB48 (in Osaka), and HKT48 (in Fukuoka), as well as some overseas groups and rival group Nogizaka46.

I know it seems overwhelming, but it's really a lot of fun. Maybe time-consuming if you're really into it, but so is anime. I dunno, I just really enjoy Japanese idol culture!

I'd love to discuss it more here (because no one IRL knows wtf is up)!

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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby Hattie » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:03 am

Oh, I forgot to mention... so each year around this time, all of the groups (in Japan) come together for an election, in which the top 16 girls are voted into "senbatsu" (or selected members) to lead the next single. It all started back in 2009 when fans complained that management was always choosing the senbatsu members, so the group's producer was like okay cool and started this thing.

This year's election results will be revealed on Saturday. I think. You vote by buying the previous AKB48 single – there's a special code with each CD that you enter online. Sells tons of albums for a cheaply produced song. GENIUS, amirite? ;)

Yes, this is probably the voting event you've heard about that attracts more attention than a Japanese governmental election.

Anyway, this year I totally voted. Bought all four album types, so that means four votes for my beloved Mayuyu~! She'll probably get 2nd place again though. :(

Also, this is a better picture of them imho:

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(From the first senbatsu election, way back in '09. Not up to date, but it's a classic in my eyes~! :love )

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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby Hattie » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:17 pm

I guess I'll be talking to myself! At least I found a nice fandom on Tumblr to talk to...

Hattie wrote:Anyway, this year I totally voted. Bought all four album types, so that means four votes for my beloved Mayuyu~! She'll probably get 2nd place again though. :(

MAYU WON. 1st PLACE!!

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MY QUEEN.

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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby Psycho 101 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:25 am

You weren't kidding about your dedication were you lol? I'll have to give them a whirl so I can follow along lol

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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby d.yaro » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:15 am

A musician who passes through this way quite often was supposedly the keyboardist for a Maeda Atsuko appearance on TV a while ago. When I met him I bugged him lightly about it. His reaction was along the lines of "That was my long lost twin". ;)

Thinking back to three years ago: the Japan Post Office released a trio of AKB48 stamp sets. I recall they were in some kind of booklet with other promotional items. I wonder how much those things sell for now...
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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby Hattie » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:06 pm

Ugh, I would give anything to meet Maeda Atsuko! OR ANY OF THEM! ;)

If I bought that stamp set, I sure wouldn't use it. It's funny that they release stuff like that, probably knowing that no person in their right mind is going to use them. :lol:

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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby d.yaro » Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:08 pm

^ Well, I do recall he went through his smartphone and showed us a number of photos. I wasn't able to follow the conversation in its entirety so I'm not sure if he showed us a photo of Maeda and him standing together backstage. Perhaps it was someone else.

Yeah, I don't think any fan who purchased one of those stamp sets would use any of those stamps. I glanced at an article about the Japan Post website crashing after fans rushed it to order the stamps. I guess those folks didn't read the fine print saying all orders received would be filled...so no rush to place an order. Here's a look at one of the stamp sets:

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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby d.yaro » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:07 pm

Rina Hirata on the front page of the bilingual Asahi Weekly newspaper/magazine. Apparently her great-grandfather perished in Hiroshima when the A-bomb was dropped.

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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby beken » Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:22 am

Okay....you asked for it. I'm scrobbling my AKB48 playlist onto Lastfm.


I first heard of them when I was in Tokyo with d_yaro a couple of years ago. I didn't think much of them, but found the music sort of addicting.

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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby Hattie » Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:27 am

^ Glad to hear it! Yeah, I thought they were kind of bland/boring at first, but the more I listened, the more addicted I became.

I heard about that Rina Hirata article. She's so pro-MURICA all the time that I found her strong interest in Hiroshima kind of surprising. But it's nice that she cares about her roots. I like her a lot.

There's another member of the group who recently co-wrote a book about politics, hoping to get young people in Japan interested in their own political system. There weren't a lot of details released (in English), but it's another thing that surprised me — a cutesy idol with an interest in politics!

Btw, I received my copies of the election single: Kokoro no Placard in type A, B, C, and D. Going to watch the DVDs later tonight.

I'm most interested in the song "Sailor Zombie" (from type D) sung by sub-unit Milk Planet. It's the theme for a live-action drama called Sailor Zombie starring three AKB members. I don't really watch dramas, but it looks interesting... like, I think it's supposed to be dark humor?

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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby d.yaro » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:37 am

beken wrote:I first heard of them when I was in Tokyo with d_yaro a couple of years ago. I didn't think much of them, but found the music sort of addicting.
Oh yeah...summer of 2012. There's a huge video screen overlooking that giant scramble crosswalk in Shibuya. When we were there they had some AKB48 song playing on what seemed like an endless video loop. ;)

This magazine showed up in my mailbox a few weeks ago. I'd send this to you Hattie but I doubt It would serve much purpose. I don't suppose you've learned enough Japanese to tackle magazine articles.

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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby d.yaro » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:39 am

beken wrote:I first heard of them when I was in Tokyo with d_yaro a couple of years ago. I didn't think much of them, but found the music sort of addicting.
Okay...I think I sussed out what song was being blasted at us while we were waiting to cross the scramble X-walk in Shibuya: Heavy Rotation....live performance video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEYWTrACFDE
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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby Hattie » Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:12 pm

Ugh, that is a rare live performance of the full Heavy Rotation song (and with the original senbatsu members!). AKB's forever #1 song. Still popular even though it came out in 2010.

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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby d.yaro » Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:57 am

^ I posted a link to the live performance video because I'm not too keen on the official MV. Just my tastes okay! I remember the video we saw in Shibuya being a bit different. But I'm certain it was Heavy Rotation because of the chorus.
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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby Hattie » Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:30 am


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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby darksideoftheanime » Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:18 am

Out of all the AKB48 photos and cards I accumulated of my santee, this one amuses me to no end:
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"Um. Yes, you're quite right about that." :lol:
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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby Hattie » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:35 am

Ah yes, that's Miichan (Minami Minegishi). She's one of the more talkative and funny members, and she cut her hair not too long ago due to a scandal you all may be familiar with... She's fine, tho!

She's really grown as a captain of one of the youngest teams! She used to be a youngster herself, but now she's more of a big sister. Still such a cute face. I love that card!

Here's bonus image from the AKB0048 anime:

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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby d.yaro » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:47 am

^ I remember an op-ed piece posted on The Japan Times website a year or so ago decrying the "no dating" rule. The author suggested the women band together and form a union to get the rule written out of their contracts (or where ever it is documented). That sure as heck wasn't going to happen...
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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby Hattie » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:33 am

I can see why they have the no-dating rule, but it is pretty stupid. I'd say the only realistic reason to have it in place is to make sure the girls really focus professionally on being an idol – but for no other reason. Still stupid. The only thing we know about Miichan's case is that she stayed the night at a guy's house and they denied that they were even dating. The guy, btw, was one of the main dancers from GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE – a not-as-well-known group from a very well known franchise (EXILE TRIBE). I like them~!

Anyway, there's some pretty big news recently. Management announced a new group in Niigata, Niigata, Japan: NGT48!

This is my first time as a fan to be able to see a group built from the beginning. HKT48 is the most recent group, but they were formed in 2011, just before I became an official fan (2012). So for me, I'm very excited for the new group and new members.

There are currently 260+ current members of the Japanese 48G (AKB + SKE + NMB + HKT) so I wonder if NGT will push the count over 300.

Anyway, I think some people were expecting a Sapporo48, but this is close enough! Yay!
AKB48AKB48AKB48AKB48AKB48AKB48AKB48AKB48

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Re: AKB48 Group Thread

Postby d.yaro » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:05 am

Tongue planted firmly in cheek...my co-worker James claims Niigata is loaded with good looking women. Cute girls? I suppose that would be part of the parcel. I don't know. Never been to Niigata.

Niigata is next door to Yamagata but it might as well be on the Moon. There's only one train a day which goes directly from here to Niigata city.

To me the no dating rule is a carry-over from the 1980s. There was a no dating rule (and no smoking rule) for the members of Onyanko Club which was active in the mid to late 1980s. Given that the members of Onyanko Club were minors (I think members graduated from the group around the time they left high school) then the no smoking/no dating rules kind of made sense. Especially the former as it's illegal for minors to purchase cigarettes. Onyanko Club was produced by Akimoto Yashushi who I expect AKB48 fans to recognize instantly. So the continuation of the no dating rule makes sense from that perspective. Former Onyanko Club member Takai Mamiko married Akimoto after she graduated and had a brief (about one year long) solo career.


Edit: Found a video of Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi - the duo Takai was a member of. She's the taller girl. Her partner stood all of 4'11".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoIYFSEHLWQ
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