You can probably tell which stations they’ll be played at, but can you guess which songs have been chosen?
J-pop vocalists dress up as Miss Claus.
The famed Hollywood director was ready to set his phaser to “idol.”
Two pecks on the cheek, far, far more angry idol otaku.
It’s been recently announced that AKB Group, the idol conglomerate responsible for AKB48, NMB48, SKE48, HKT48, NGT48, JKT48, and SNH48, will be adding another serial number to the roster in the form of MNL48, which is planned to operate out of Manila in the Philippines.
This new group will be formed through a project by the publicly funded Cool Japan initiative which, contrary to what Gackt may think, appears to be doing something tangible with all their funding after all. In fact, this is especially tangible as yet another source of revenue for Yasushi Akimoto, the head of AKB Group who also just happens to be the chairman of the Cool Japan Council.
The long-running Japanese music program Music Station recently held a nation-wide survey polling 10,000 people on what they thought were Japan’s most world-class songs. Respondents told the TV show which songs they felt best represented Japan, throwing up popular artists such as Arashi and Mr. Children, and the results were aired on 23 September.
As with any music ranking, the results are open for debate, and this list is certainly no exception. However, looking at the top 10, it’s hard not to wonder where Music Station found the people who were asked to name Japan’s greatest ever song, and many Japanese netizens are calling the list “a national embarrassment”.
Are they right? Let’s find out by kicking things off with the 10th Best World Class Song: “Koi Suru Fortune Cookie” by AKB48.
For the past two years AKB48 has asked fans and company staff to submit their own music videos to their newly released singles, and their latest track, “Halloween Night”, is no exception. While the song and official video are fairly typical AKB fare, the fan videos of it are really something to see.
And perhaps the best submitted music video so far belongs to the lovely employees at the Japanese internet advertising firm Cyber Agent. Men and women from every department shake and strut to the AKB Halloween beat, and watching it may cause you to suddenly want to work somewhere else.
The most famous idol group in Japan, AKB48, has a lot of fans all over the world. Not only do they perform to sold-out venues within Japan, but they have also held packed concerts in the US and other parts of Asia.
The group of singing female pop stars hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but one mega-fan might be influential enough to convince the AKB48 brass to take their tour bus to Belgium.
Ever heard of SNH48, AKB48’s second sister group outside of Japan? Based in Shanghai, China, the idol unit has been active since 2012, releasing a total of eight singles to date. These singles are all Chinese-language covers of previous AKB48 singles, including their latest release on May 15–the Chinese version of “Manatsu no Sounds Good!” (盛夏好声音).
Now, I’m not someone easily swayed by the cutesy “charms” of idol singers, but a female writer on our Japanese sister site recently wrote a piece expressing her opinion that SNH48 could possibly be–dare I write it–even cuter than the veritable goddesses of the original AKB48.
Take a moment to watch their latest music video and decide who you think is the cutest!
Japan’s 140-member supergroup AKB48 is holding its second annual draft next month, in which sub-teams will choose new members from a draft of 48 young hopefuls. And among the finalists is one of the youngest potential members the group has ever seen.
Unlike the rest of AKB48’s members, who are in their teens and early twenties, 11-year-old candidate Maria Imamura is still in elementary school. But that hasn’t held her back in reaching the finals of the draft, a huge event which will be televised on May 10th.
Hugely popular idol group AKB48 was founded on the premise of “idols you can meet” and over the years they’ve stuck to it, hosting numerous handshake and meet-and-greet events on top of their live shows and performances at their own special theatre. Sadly, that open, accommodating fan policy was jeopardised last year when two members of the group were viciously attacked at a handshake event by a crazed “fan” wielding a hand saw.
Luckily, the girls weren’t too seriously injured, but the incident shook the entertainment industry and led to increased security measures being implemented at celebrity events, and it was reported yesterday that the individual responsible for the attack has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Larger-than-life columnist and talent Matsuko Deluxe is well-known for her sharp tongue, particularly where pretty ladies are concerned. This week the target of her ire is idol groups like AKB48.
On a radio show Monday, she slammed the idea of them performing for the Tokyo Olympics as “embarrassing.”
AKB48 founder and producer Yasushi Akimoto announced the formation of the Niigata-based idol group NGT48 at the “AKB48 Request Hour Set List Best 1035″ event in Tokyo on Sunday. His aim in creating another local group, he says, is to ultimately form an idol group called “Japan48” by the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Japan48 will draw its members from each of the local “48 groups.”
The former AKB48 idol Anna Mori is crowdfunding her first photobook after recently turning 20 years old (the “age of majority” in Japan, similar to turning 18 in the U.S.) and quickly raised 2,000,000 yen (about US$16,957) with a little help from some unique backer rewards. Mori offered threedates for backers who paid 200,000 yen (US$1,695).
We here at RocketNews24 love all things Japan and Asia so much that sometimes it comes as a slight shock when the rest of the world doesn’t share our passion. Still, with the advent of the internet and the amount of entertainment Japan exports to the west (Dragonball, Pokémon, Final Fantasy, etc), it’s no huge surprise to find kids in far-flung places who are pretty familiar with Japan and can name at least a few J-pop groups. Still, many teens out there don’t really get much exposure to Japanese stuff, so when they do, the results are pretty amusing to watch! In this video, which has piqued the interest of quite a few people online in Japan, regular American teens watch three J-pop music videos (from groups Perfume, EXILE and AKB48) and give their thoughts.
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.
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.