AKB48

AKB48 producer Akimoto to produce 2020 Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

AKB48 producer Akimoto to produce 2020 Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

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.

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New arcade game lets you get face-to-face with AKB48 members… and shoot them in the face

New arcade game lets you get face-to-face with AKB48 members… and shoot them in the face

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.

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AKB48 to hold exclusive show for coffee contest winners, Mr. Sato immediately buys over 300 cans

AKB48 to hold exclusive show for coffee contest winners, Mr. Sato immediately buys over 300 cans

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.

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Japanese students get people dancing to AKB48 all over Singapore【Video】

Japanese students get people dancing to AKB48 all over Singapore【Video】

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!

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Saga Prefecture broadcasts its appeal by dancing to AKB48 【Video】

Saga Prefecture broadcasts its appeal by dancing to AKB48 【Video】

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!

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Fans of AKB’s Haruka Shimazaki despair over freaky Sailor Moon makeover

Fans of AKB’s Haruka Shimazaki despair over freaky Sailor Moon makeover

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…

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Four teenagers mug man to buy special attack uniforms for meeting AKB48

Four teenagers mug man to buy special attack uniforms for meeting AKB48

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!

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‘Die die die die die die!’ Fans rage after variety show host ‘kicks’ AKB48 starlet

‘Die die die die die die!’ Fans rage after variety show host ‘kicks’ AKB48 starlet

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.

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Dance contest underway to co-star in AKB48 member’s video, Mr. Sato throws hat into ring

Dance contest underway to co-star in AKB48 member’s video, Mr. Sato throws hat into ring

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.

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AKB48′s Yuki Kashiwagi Sparks Debate over “Vulgar” Video, Just as Planned?

AKB48′s Yuki Kashiwagi Sparks Debate over “Vulgar” Video, Just as Planned?

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

Tweet about Rip-Off Burger at AKB48 Cafe Goes Viral Despite Being Entirely False

Tweet about Rip-Off Burger at AKB48 Cafe Goes Viral Despite Being Entirely False

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.

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AKB Fan Threatens Sarin Gas Attack Over Commercial

AKB Fan Threatens Sarin Gas Attack Over Commercial

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

“Backstabber!!!” Fan Sends Enraged Message to AKB48 Band Member for Attending Dating Party

“Backstabber!!!” Fan Sends Enraged Message to AKB48 Band Member for Attending Dating Party

Whether it’s sports teams, animation or girly pop groups, when it comes to fandom, there are distinct levels of dedication. And when the hardest of hardcore fans feels betrayed by the object of their affection, they make it clear. Sometimes, they even record a video message and upload it to YouTube.

Already viewed some 50,000 times, the following video was uploaded yesterday by an enraged AKB48 fan after reading the news that 21-year-old band member Yuki Kashiwagi was allegedly present at a goukon dating party with members of Japan’s Olympic men’s soccer team.

“That’s not so scandalous, is it?” you may ask. Well, let’s find out how this young man feels about the whole affair.

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Weird Cosplay: When AKB48 and Resident Evil Meet AK-47 Assault Rifles

Weird Cosplay: When AKB48 and Resident Evil Meet AK-47 Assault Rifles

What could be better than seeing a cute girl dressing as a member of AKB48 and dancing around in a uniform? A cute girl dressing as an AKB48 member firing military-grade weapons, apparently.

The following video and images come from Hyper Douraku, a Japanese gun enthusiast website that has teamed up with otaku favourite and “image” DVD (footage of girls in skimpy outfits in various poses) star Mii Aihara.

Dressed in a variety of hugely impractical outfits from AKB48 to Resident Evil‘s Jill Valentine, Mii heads down to the firing range to squeeze off a few rounds as part of the website’s “Guam Shooting Tour 2012.”

Why? We have no idea. But we still found ourselves watching bizarre video after bizarre video on the site.

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Our Reporter Accepted as Special Resident to “Cute Ward,” Welcomed by Mayor Mariko Shinoda of AKB48

Our Reporter Accepted as Special Resident to “Cute Ward,” Welcomed by Mayor Mariko Shinoda of AKB48

Our correspondent Kuzo has been extra busy recently eating single noodle udon, disgusting ramen, and encountering thousands eerie of dolls. However, when he returned home, he was welcomed by a large envelope with the return address: Kawaii (Cute) Ward, Fukuoka.

Could it be? Earlier he had applied for special resident status of the Japanese administrative district of all that is cute.  Now it looks like he has his answer.

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New Candy Commercial Featuring an Infantized AKB48 Hits a 9 on the Creepy Meter

New Candy Commercial Featuring an Infantized AKB48 Hits a 9 on the Creepy Meter

AKB48, the darlings of the Japanese pop scene, may have danced one step over the line sweet Jesus with their newest commercial for Puccho candy.  The commercial first aired on 25 August and seems to have drawn a collective “yuggghhh” from the nation.

In it the girls dance away brandishing the product as only they can do.  Except this time, all but one of their bodies have been digitally replaced by 5 and 6 year olds.

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Mysterious Singer “GILLE” Finds Fame on YouTube with English Covers of J-Pop Songs, Releases Debut Record Under Universal

Mysterious Singer “GILLE” Finds Fame on YouTube with English Covers of J-Pop Songs, Releases Debut Record Under Universal

While there are already a number of musical artists who achieved fame through YouTube, no one yet has done it quite like GILLE, a mysterious Japanese singer who became an online sensation for her English covers of Japanese pop songs.

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AKB48’s Atsuko Maeda Joins Jean Reno In Bizarre Doraemon Themed Toyota Commercials

Although he has rarely been seen in Western countries, Doraemon is an animated cat whose popularity rivals that of Mickey Mouse in Japan. From his beginnings in manga in the 70s, Doraemon has made the leap to TV and film animations and was appointed Japan’s first animated cultural ambassador. Now the Doraemon story lives on in a series of TV commercials for Toyota.

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New AKB48 Cafe & Shop Fun Experience For Fans and Non-Fans Alike

New AKB48 Cafe & Shop Fun Experience For Fans and Non-Fans Alike

It seems like there is no stopping the phenomenon that is Japanese female idol group AKB48. The group’s popularity continues to snowball in both Japan and overseas, they recently launched their own sketch comedy program, and just about everywhere you go you’ll find merchandise labeled with the girls’ smiling faces.

Keeping up with this unrelenting march is AKB’s newest attraction, the AKB48 Café & Shop, which had its grand opening September 29 in Akihabara, Tokyo.

The venue, located right outside the Denikigai Exit of Akihabara Station, is a large, one-floor space that holds a theatre area with regular showings of AKB48 concert videos and a buffet to eat while you watch, a shop stocked with exclusive AKB48 merchandise, a private event room where it is said members will come and visit, and a café.

Customers may enter the café portion without reservation and entrance to the shop is limited to café customers. The theater area and private group room require reservation and cost 2700 yen and 10,000 yen respectively.

On opening day eager fans waited to get in the cafe in a line that didn’t get any smaller even after it turned dark.

To be honest, I only know about AKB48 as the average person. However the café is about much more than just eating and does an excellent job at providing an enjoyable experience – even if you aren’t a die-hard fan. Read More

New AKB48 Sketch Comedy Program Features Cute Girls Making Silly Faces And More!

New AKB48 Sketch Comedy Program Features Cute Girls Making Silly Faces And More!

On September 29, Yuko Oshima and several other high-profile members of popular Japanese idol group AKB48 stepped off the dance stage and into the studio to commemorate the launch of their first ever sketch comedy and variety show, Bimyo~, with a special press conference broadcasted live over television and Japanese video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga. Read More

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