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AKB48 - Japan's Hot, All Girl Idol Group

Updated on July 16, 2011

What is AKB48?

What is AKB48? It's the ingenious creation of a man by the name of Yasushi Akimoto. Akimoto took advantage of Japan's only abundant natural resourses, (cuteness, school girls, Japanese pop) to make one of the most marketable Idol groups of all time. And Mr. Akimoto claims he can recreate his success anywhere in the world if his exact formula is followed. 

The AKB48 Formula

This is Mr. Akimoto's official formula for an AKB48 style idol group:

  • 1. All the songs are produced by Yasushi Akimoto
  • 2. Idol girls must wear school girl uniforms or seifuku
  • 3. Handshaking events with fans are a must.
  • 4. Fans can vote to choose the front-girls
  • 5. Idols you can meet
  • 6. 3 teams with 16 members each = 48 total members
  • 7. Showcase the growth of the members with tv shows and press events
  • 8. Prospects apply through auditions
  • 9. Members comprised of teenagers
  • 10. A survival system of trainees being promoted and members graduating
  • 11. Naming format of "XXX48"

According to Mr. Akimoto, if you are willing to fork over the cash, this format for an idol group will pay off big like it already has in Japan. A couple of things that are left out of the list but really should be included.

  • 1. Bikini photo shoots
  • 2. Sexually provactive music videos
  • 3. Make them appeal as much as they can to the otaku and geek crowd.

AKB48 slide show

Click thumbnail to view full-size
AKB48 bikini shootAKB48 seifukuAKB48 line upAKB48 Line upAKB48 posingAKB48 posing in school girl outfitsSeifuku ga jama wo suru
AKB48 bikini shoot
AKB48 bikini shoot
AKB48 seifuku
AKB48 seifuku
AKB48 line up
AKB48 line up
AKB48 Line up
AKB48 Line up
AKB48 posing
AKB48 posing
AKB48 posing in school girl outfits
AKB48 posing in school girl outfits
Seifuku ga jama wo suru
Seifuku ga jama wo suru

The AKB48 School Girl Uniform

Idol girls wearing the AKB48 seifuku or school girl uniform.  Album title: Seifuku ga jama wo suru
Idol girls wearing the AKB48 seifuku or school girl uniform. Album title: Seifuku ga jama wo suru

AKB48 history

The group got its start in 2005 when the first audition was held. Initially out of 45 girls, 20 were chosen. When it was decided that the group needed to be expanded, more tryouts were held and eventually the original 20 girls plus the winners of the tryouts were shuffled together and formed into the 3 teams. Team A, Team K and B. At this point the idol group was also given the name AKB48. AKB is an abreviation for an already shortened slang word for the popular electronics and maid cafe distract in Tokyo known as Akihabara.

From the begining AKB48 has also been a so called "theater group" because the teams perform once per week day at a stage in the Akihabara area of Tokyo.

Since their inception AKB48 has collectively released 2 full length albums and 5 charted singles. Several AKB48 dvd of live shows and group competitions have been made. 8 total AKB48 dvds have been produced and sold. 

Life in AKB48

The life of an AKB48 member is said to be incredibly hard. Members are required to work around the clock perfecting themselves. They also must participate in daily concerts. When not performing members do fan events such as autograph signing ect. 

Members are also encouraged to write personal blogs and answer fan mail. 

The top members also participate in side projects such as AKB48 movies, commercials for other companies such as 711, or side musical projects. 

The stress of being a member is also extremely high as the girls must put their personal lives on hold while in the group and focus solely on AKB48 and their fans. Any activity outside of what's approved by their producers is not allowed. The most notable and controversial rule is that the girls are not allowed to have personal relationships with men. The reasoning is that this keeps up their appeal with their fans and lessens their distractions. 

Recently Oshima Yuko, a current member of AKB48 was caught up in a scandal when photos of her and young male model and actor Eiji Wentz were uncovered. Oshima  and Wentz quickly dispelled any rumors to save Oshima's career. 

Life after AKB48

AKB48 is still seen as a great way for it's members to develop their singing, dancing and acting skills and then move on to their own solo careers. But so far, there have been few success stories for former members. Most are still minor talents and have managed to barely piece together careers post AKB48.

Orii Ayumi for example who graduated from the group in 2007 has got several small roles in tv dramas and was started a career as a DJ and was the official face of Tokyo Tower in 2008.

Kawazaki Nozomi has been successful as a clothing designer. She runs her own company and actually personally owns a shop in the popular Ginza shopping district in Tokyo. She handles the daily business and is the chief model for the brand

Others however turn to less accepted careers, namely that of adult entertainment.

One such member from the first generation of AKB48 known as Rina Nakanishi made waves when she discarded her AKB48 uniform for the camera. 


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      akb48ma 2 years ago

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      akbfan 5 years ago

      Dude your generalization of AKB offend me as a fan. First you obviously never saw their stage clothes, they don't resemble uniforms at all, more like frilly girl dresses. Saying they have to be sexual to sell their music is wrong. Have you ever heard of Keibetsu? It was released around the time AKB debuted and it was a song ABOUT TEEN SUICIDE! There's also River, a song that actually stopped a fan from committing suicide, Beginner, a song about the painless generations and the girls actually died and ripped off their arms in the video, Kaze wa fuiteiru, a song dedicated to tsunami victims and they dressed in funeral clothes to show the victims respect.

      Or maybe the 421 other stage songs they did? Mokugekisha, how people are witness instead of stopping crimes, Zannen Shoujo, a girl faking her personality of being cute and innocent, Seifuku Resistance, about rebelling against adult and the cultural norms of how children should act, Itoshisa no Accel, song about love but Takahashi Minami perform swinging a sword around, Mushi no ballad, a song about feeling alone and will to live on, Pioneer, the bio story of Team A who went through so much difficult with only 8 people watching them performed at their 2nd theater opening day, Yankee Soul and Majisuka rock and roll, the theme song to their drama Majisuka Gakuen and the girls act as delinquent BEATING UP EACH OTHER BLOODY! or ALIVE, about how people should get up when they fall, or Sakura no shiori, Sakura no ki ni narou or the 421 freaking songs they have!

      It's annoying as a fan when people freaking watched 1, or 2 vid and just decide to judge them when they don't realize AKB IS AS MAINSTREAM AS YOU CAN WITH MALE, FEMALE AND KIDS FANBASE! not just wotas (btw is the accurate term to describe obsessive idol fans, not otaku. So many westerner make that mistake and not realize otakus don't even care about 3D girls)

      Itano Tomomi, Kojima Haruna, Shinoda Mariko are popular girls among female fanbase and do model for ViVi, An An and other fashion mag. Maeda Atsuko is a regular fashion model for CuTie mag, and Oshima Yuko is popular with general public because of her dramas.

      STOP WITH THIS FREAKING PREJUDICE AND LOOK AT MORE THAN 1, 2 VIDEOS! HOW CAN YOU BE POPULAR AND SELL 1 MILLION IN 2 DAYS AND TOP RECOCHOKU DOWNLOAD CHART(popular among teens and people in their 20s)BY JUST RELY ON BIKINIS OR WOTAS?! If so then everyone gravure group will be selling millions too.

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      tabahiko 6 years ago

      Hi, I performed dance”AKB48”?at wedding party.

      AKB48 is very famous idol in Asia.

      I succeed to please guests.

      AKB48 has something attractive.

      Thank you.

    • brettb profile image

      brettb 7 years ago from London


    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      It is nice to see a group of Japanese girl together, who were the inspiration of the Japanese people before the World War II to make the Emperor of Japan and also to make Japan economically sound even after the destruction of Japan by Atom Bomb. I have written few articles involving Japan where I find Japanese intellect is superior in any technology for which I salute the Japanese from my heart.