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Sdn48 Japan's Only Adult Pop Music Group & Why They Were Different From Other Idol Groups

Updated on October 15, 2019
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

What Was the Main Concept Behind SDN48?

SDN48 (short for Saturday Night 48) was a Japanese pop music group produced by Yasushi Akimoto. The group was an “adult only” Japanese idol group. The group began its activities in 2009. They were announced as part of an “adult only” show. These shows took place at 10 PM every Saturday in the AKB48 Theater in Akihabara. However, the plan of working just on Saturday nights was dropped. The group would work throughout the week until they disbanded in March 2012. All members of SDN48 were 20 years of age and older. AKB48 members referred to the group as an “older sister group.”

A Look at a Few of the Members of SDN48

Members of SDN48 during the promotion of their single called GAGAGA. Megumi Ohori is pictured on the very far right.
Members of SDN48 during the promotion of their single called GAGAGA. Megumi Ohori is pictured on the very far right. | Source

Differences Between SDN48 & AKB48 Shows

The main difference between SDN48 shows and AKB48 shows was that SDN48 shows were designed to be more mature and sexier than an AKB48 show. Also, there was an age limit for fans. The fans in attendance had to be 18 years of age or older. As far as the members for this group were concerned, they had to present a more adult like image which meant that they really had to show their bodies during magazine photo sessions.

How Did SDN48 Get Started?

SDN48 started working and did a series of “adult only” shows in 2008. In 2009, Megumi Ohori and Kayo Noro were chosen as the first members of the group. Auditions were held for the other members. The first lineup had 18 girls and 4 girls as part of the Under Girls group. This is similar to AKB48’s Training Girls group. This included Yukari Sato and Kazumi Urano. One girl dropped out of the group and Haruka Umeda was promoted, reducing the members to 21. On August 1, 2009, SDN48 would make its stage debut. They sang the song called Yuuwaku no Garter. On September 22, 2009, Haruka Kohara transferred from AKB48’s Team B to SDN48 as an Under Girl. Yuki Iwata would withdraw from the group because of health problems. Serina, one of the members announced that she was born in 1985 and not 1988. On December 1, 2009, Eiko Maeda (Ourei Harada) would transfer from SKE48’s Team K2 to SDN48 as an Under Girl. She would use her real name, Machiko Tezuka. On December 24, 2009, member Ayumi Nakazato graduated from SDN48.

SDN48 (2010) the Second Generation Debut

On May 15, 2010, the audition results for the 2nd generation were announced. 16 members made their debut including twin sisters Akiko and Natsuko. The four girls that were Under Girls become full-time members of the 1st generation. On June 9, 2010, there were plans made to have a General Senbatsu Election, just like AKB48 and the other groups do every year. Readers by now should be aware of what these elections are.

Megumi Ohori

SDN48's One Year Anniversary & Major Label Debut

On August 1, 2010, it was the one-year anniversary of SDN48. The group announced plans to make their major label debut on Universal Music. The top 12 ranking girls out of 27 would be chosen to take part in the group’s debut single. On September 30, 2010, member Sakura Fukuyama announced via her blog that she was retiring due to poor health. On October 4, 2010, it was announced that Qu Chen would replace Fukuyama as the 12th Senbatsu member for the debut single. On October 16, 2010, Fukuyama graduated from SDN48 after a show at AKB48 Theater.

"Min Min Min"

Great Idea By Yasushi Akimoto to Start a Unique Group Like SDN48

The concept behind SDN48 and its founding was a great idea by Yasushi Akimoto because this was a unique group that was not just about a bunch of girls singing. Although the concept behind AKB48 and its other groups has traditionally been to make the girls more accessible, SDN48 took things to a whole different level by providing singing and sometimes erotic dance moves. In the video for Min Min, Min, the members are seen in what looks like a big cage as they are in white dresses and dancing.

KONAN Maybe the Most Beautiful Member of SDN48

Source

Release of GAGAGA, Graduations, and Disbandment of SDN48

On November 24, 2010, SDN48 would release their debut single called GAGAGA. The single got success right away. It reached #3 on the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart and was the #99 best-selling single of 2010. Five days later, the single was released in Korea. At the end of January 2011, member Kana Ito was on hiatus due to poor health. On February 10, 2011, she graduated from SDN48. SDN48 released their 2nd single called Ai, Juseyo on April 6, 2011. The single was supposed to be released on March 23, but that was postponed due to the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan that year. On May 12, 2011, member Yuka Ninomiya announced that she was graduating to pursue a career in theater. SDN48 would lose another member, Tomomi Tanisaki. She announced her graduation on May 29, 2011. On May 27, 2011 during a revival concert for all 48 groups, 7 3rd generation girls made their debut. This included Hitomi Komatani, Hana Tojima, and Miray, a rhythm zone artist. Two months later, member Sayo Hayakawa abruptly withdrew from SDN48. There were reports that she only took part in the group as an MC and failed to learn the choreography and SDN48 stage songs. In October 2011, Kayo Noro announced that all SDN48 members would graduate on March 31, 2012. SDN48 released a best-of album called NEXT ENCORE on March 14, 2012. On March 28, 2012, they would release a CD and DVD recording of Yuuwaku no Garter. A farewell concert was held on March 31, 2012. The career of SDN48 would then come to an end.

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Aftermath of SDN48’s Disbandment

On April 19, 2012, it was announced that a 2nd revival concert for all of the AKB48 associated groups would take place. This would include all of the graduated SDN48 members. SDN48 did a performance on May 15, 2011 with all members except Serina, Akiko, Natsuko, Yui Takahashi, and Miray. The set list included two new songs by ChaMin and Akita. Several A-side and B-side singles were on the set list as well. On March 31, 2013, a reunion show was held at AKB48 Theater.

"GAGAGA"

Other News About SDN48 Not Mentioned Before

As with any musical group, there are going to be breakups, changes and other things that fans may not have heard of before. It was being reported by Tokyohive that the group will reunite but for just one night only on August 1, 2019. The occasion for this second reunion as I like to call it is for celebrating the group’s 10th anniversary. Good luck to all the fine girls that will be taking part in this event!

As of October 3, 2019, one of the former members of this group has given birth to a baby girl. The person who is now a very happy and proud mother is Mami Kato, now 32 years old. In 2018, she announced that she had married a man that is not a celebrity.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian

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