With a large music market and some of the world’s highest prices for physical releases, Japan has been very slow in adapting to digital distribution. Rights holders are finally warming up to the idea, though, and it doesn’t look like it’s ruining the industry in Japan. What downloadable music does seem to be doing, though, is splitting the country’s pop music market into two distinct parts, as the lists of Japan’s top 20 single downloads and CD purchases for the year are almost completely different.
Sep 18, 2014
We recently got a sneak peak at the second batch of Sailor Moon lingerie from merchandiser Bandai and intimate apparel maker Peach John. But while the two companies were generous with photos of what the new bra/panty/skirt sets will look like, they were only shown on nondescript, limbless mannequins.
Not only does a new batch of pictures rectify that with a human model, it also shows off some more modest bedroom attire, in the form of negligees and pajamas inspired by the dresses of characters Princess Serenity and Black Lady, plus the school uniforms worn by the five core Sailor Senshi.
Submissions for AKB48’s Kokoro no Placard Video Awards are open, and the first company to submit their entry is GMO Internet Group, who reveals a startling high number of pretty ladies working for them. Just look at those fresh smiling faces! Will we be seeing a GMO idol group sometime in the future?
The popular idol group AKB48 announced at the AKB48 Group Summer Festival on Sunday that they are recruiting new “part-time” members — for 1,000 yen (about US$10) an hour. Typically, potential AKB48 candidates must first undergo audition and become trainees before being promoted to regular members. However the “Part-Time AKB” campaign will bypass this long process, similar to Glico’s campaign to recruit a member over 30 years old earlier this year.
Idol group AKB48 will resume hosting handshake events starting on July 5 with a large handshake event at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center. The official website for the group explained that because staff were addressing operational concerns and security issues, they decided to postpone all handshake events in June. The staff have been working with security firm JSS, and preparations are now complete on the new security measures for handshake and photographing events.
May 29, 2014
In the wake of the saw attack on two members of AKB48 and one man working with the venue, many readers of the news couldn’t help but think, “It was just a matter of time before something like this happened.”
Handshake and high-five events give fans and idols a daring level of closeness compared to pop stars in other countries. However, for years they have gone on relatively incident-free, which is surprising considering the thousands and thousands of people who participate around the country.
Despite the nagging feeling that something could go very wrong, these promotional events were hugely lucrative in an otherwise stale music industry. But now the company behind AKB48, as well as those handling other idol units who rely heavily on these events, have to find a way to ensure their stars’ safety without losing the sense of intimacy they’ve had with their fan-bases.
AKB48 general manager Shinobu Kayano wrote on her official blog early Tuesday that the idol group’s members Anna Iriyama (18) and Rina Kawaei (19) were released from the hospital. Kayano confirmed that the injured male part-time staff member is also at home recuperating from his injuries and that she is grateful for his bravery while protecting Iriyama and Kawaei from their attacker.
May 25, 2014
At 4:55 p.m. today, the company behind many of Japan’s larger idol groups, AKS, released a statement regarding an attack on members of AKB48 and event staff during a handshake event in Iwate Prefecture this afternoon.
Members Rina Kawaei (19) and Anna Iriyama (18), as well as a male member of the venue staff, are said to have been injured, with a 24-year-old male taken into police custody.
Anime News Network
Mar 23, 2014
Yasushi Akimoto is a nationally recognized figure in Japan’s music industry as both an accomplished songwriter (he wrote Hibari Misora’s famous swan song, “Kawa-no Nagare-no You-ni”) and producer behind the vast girl group AKB48 and its predecessor, Onyanko Club. He is even reported to be friends with Japan’s prime minister, Shinzō Abe. On March 17, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Committee acknowledged his prowess by naming him a member.
Feb 9, 2014
Starting this April in arcades everywhere, darlings of the idol scene, AKB48 will be making their debut in an arcade game. Unfortunately for fans they are also zombified and require you to take aim and unload on them with your handgun.
It’s called Sailor Zombie AKB48 Edition, and as the name suggests it features members of the pop squad dressed up in adorable sailor outfits. Also as the name implies, the cuties are reanimated corpses who desire to eat your brains.
Jan 26, 2014
Recently the walls of the RocketNews24 office have been echoing with giddy squeals of “Eeeeeee… Takamina!” at a rate of about once per hour. In between, we have been treated to a middle-aged man’s song-stylings of AKB48’s single Koisuru Fortune Cookie.
It all started last year when our reporter Mr. Sato had entered a dance contest to meet graduating AKB48 member Tomomi Itano, but despite his best efforts he lost out. Now, he has his sights on Minami Takahashi (“Takamina”) and the chance to see her and other members in an exclusive show only available to the winners of a contest held by Japan’s Wonda Coffee.
If you were out and about one day and a foreign student randomly came up to you and asked you to dance to some Japanese pop song you’d never heard in your life, would you do it?
Four exchange students from Japan managed to get hundreds of people in Singapore, locals and tourists included, dancing to the catchy tune of Japanese idol group AKB48’s Koi Suru Fortune Cookie in various public places such as tourist spots and popular food establishments. If you’re planning a trip to Singapore, or have never heard of this tropical getaway, this informative video is a must-watch!
Saga Prefecture lies in the northwest corner of Japan’s island of Kyushu. This past week, in an unusual attempt at self-promotion, the Saga Prefectural Office uploaded a video of hundreds of workers from its various divisions happily dancing to the new AKB48 single, Koi Suru Fortune Cookie (Love Fortune Cookie). With more than 480,000 views on YouTube so far, the up-beat video certainly beats a boring old poster campaign!
It really warms your heart to see more Japanese celebrities show their support for cosplay. It’s one of the flashier hobbies that anime fans can boast and is getting more popular by the day. Cosplay websites abound with fashion tips and suggestions for various costumes styles, poses, and makeup options for just about every conceivable costume on the market.
But AKB48 star, Haruka Shimazaki, might want to do a bit of rethinking before offering up her own anime makeup (AniMake for short) suggestions, as her most recent attempts caused a despairing cry to ring out from among her adoring fans…
On 22 August, four youths between the ages of 15 and 17 were apprehended for robbing and injuring a man in the streets of Tokyo. While in custody one of the teenagers confessed they had taken the man’s money because they “wanted to get some special attack uniforms [tokkoufuku] and go to an AKB48 handshake meet.”
Well, that certainly clears up everything!
Aug 5, 2013
The passion and loyalty of J-Pop group AKB48’s fans is well documented online, with incidents of disgruntled individuals threatening sarin gas attacks over trifling matters such as the group’s involvement in particular advertising campaigns, and grown men tearing up whenever one of the more popular members is caught breaking the group’s code of conduct by having a secret boyfriend.
Most of the time these eruptions amount to nothing, and we have all learned to ignore them for the most part, but an incident that occurred this past weekend has prompted an explosion of AKB fan rage online, with many openly declaring their desire to kill a well-known presenter for ‘kicking’ leading member Mayu Watanabe in the head during a live broadcast.
Jun 17, 2013
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.
May 10, 2013
Yuki Kashiwagi, from the popular pretty-girl singing group AKB48, appeared in a recent video that became instantaneously infamous for being uncomfortably erotic. How anyone can be surprised by the groups not-so-subtle eroticism after watching the music video of them making out in their underwear is beyond me, but reading the responses to this two-minute clip, you’d think that Yuki recently joined the porn industry! As it turns out, this video is an official AKB48 release and in no way restricts underage viewers from watching it. So what sort of G-rated film has sent so many minds to the gutter? Read More
Mar 8, 2013
On Wednesday this week, the above image of an alleged “healthy option” burger from Akihabara’s AKB48 Cafe was uploaded by a Japanese Twitter user. Despite supposedly costing a whopping 700 yen ($US7.57) and being advertised as being “packed full of ingredients”, the burger was one of the saddest things we’ve ever seen on a plate.
Netizens were quick to scoff at the culinary effort and the image was quickly shared thousands of times as people began wondering just how far the people behind AKB48 would go to make a bit of extra cash. As it turns out, though, the original post was neither entirely fair nor accurate.
Major correspondence education company U-can has confirmed it received a threat over Twitter indicating a possible sarin gas attack. Recently, the company has used the idol group AKB48 in its commercials and promotional materials- something that the person who wrote the threat apparently did not approve of. Read More
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