AKB48 for Dummies

This site is on the whole about Hello! Project and TNX, however I like AKB48 and I’ll be posting about them whenever there is notable news. Now as the title of the group suggests, there are a whopping 48 members in this group (though it should be noted that only a handful participate in singles, not always the same girls either).

I realise that a few of you aren’t familiar with AKB48 so this is a very quick summary of what they’re all about.

Teams

Akihabara48 is split into three different “teams” each of which contain sixteen members. It’s somewhat useful to consider the three teams as three different groups as outwith singles, they generally perform separately (as a group of 48 on stage simply wouldn’t work of course). Team A is the backbone of AKB48, their members generally front the singles and appear on promotional material. Their members are considered “the best” singers in general. Team K, like Team A appear on singles though to a lesser extent and often as dancers in PVs and sing in chorus lines. Both Team A and K have their own concerts and have both released independent albums (The first album from both were almost identical, with “Team K Versions” of the songs). Until recently Team B hadn’t had their own concert and were essentially in the same position as the Hello! Project Eggs. Though they have now had their stage debut and appear listed on the AKB48 official website’s member page (Interestingly there are five Team B members who are not listed, possibly because they break the “48”).

Theatre

Like TNX and Hello! Project, AKB48 is involved in theatre and have their own mini-theatre in Akihabara. Concerts are held extremely regularly, almost on a daily basis with members shuffling who will perform.

Music

Somewhat surprisingly, AKB48’s singles sell reasonably well with all of their current singles (two on an indie label) landing comfortably in the Oricon Top 20. Although their album sales were low individually, cleverly they releases six (!!) albums in one day, which brings the sales up a little.

Sub-Groups

Similar to Morning Musume, AKB48 has sub-groups, five to be exact. Honegumi from AKB48 has two members from Team A and two from Team K, they have released one single which charted at #104 in the Oricon Charts and was the theme for a kids TV show. ICE from AKB48 contains five members from Team K and each of the members do voice acting for the anime, ICE. They also sing the theme-tune. It’s unknown if either if these groups will release another single. Crayon Friends from AKB48 were created to promote the new Crayon Shin-Chan movie and sing a song for it. Finally, Chocolove from AKB48 contains two Team K members and one Team A member, they are due to release their first single in four (yes, four!) slightly different versions.

Film

Finally, some of the AKB48 members are due to star in the film Densen Uta which unlike the Morning Musume flicks, is a horror movie. You can read about it and watch the trailer here.

So there we have it, a very short and possibly silly guide to AKB48.

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