akb48

Blow off photo
Blow off

AKB48 find out who is the best at blowing


Mmmmm cicada
May 13
// Hiroko Yamamura
Oshima Ryoka and Mogi Shinobu of AKB48  faced off during a new episode of AKBINGO! This time, it was their cheeks, lungs and taste for insects that was put to the test! Which gal was better at blowing! Who enjoys the crunch of flying protein?
Music photo
Music

A Daily Dose of Music: Tomomi Itano


P-P-P-Party
Dec 08
// Hiroko Yamamura
It's back to the dance-floor for ex-AKB48 member Tomomi Itano. The amazingly catchy tune definitely has some K-Pop vibes going on, but still manages to features Tomo-chin's cute energy and inexplicable presence. The message ...
Music photo
Music

A Daily Dose of Music: AKB48 Team Surprise


I'm surprised who's here!
Oct 31
// Hiroko Yamamura
After the last few line-up changes, my interest in AKB48 really took a nose dive. Once the ladies who I grew to love moved on, my interest in the super ground slowly dropped off. Well, to my surprise, the AKB48 sub group, AK...
Idol of the Week photo
Idol of the Week

Idol of the Week: Haruna Kojima


AKB48 scores an A+
Sep 12
// Hiroko Yamamura
Name: Haruna Kojima Birthdate: April 19th, 1988 Hometown: Saitama, Japan Measurements: 80/60/86 cm  There a few things that you can count on in life. Death, taxes, and that AKB48 will continue showcasing s...
Smash Bros 3DS photo
Smash Bros 3DS

Even AKB48 want to kick Nintendo's butt


48 New Challengers Appear!
Sep 08
// Josh Tolentino
Nintendo's been ramping up the hype train for its next Super Smash Brothers game, and in Japan, that means getting AKB48 involved, naturally.  It's a good thing that one of the key features of the upcoming 3DS and ...
J-Pop Summit photo
J-Pop Summit

AKB48's Tomomi Itano joins San Francisco's J-Pop Summit


This looks like the show you have been waiting for
Jul 11
// Hiroko Yamamura
If for some reason you've had second thought about attending next week's J-Pop Summit in San Francisco next week, this should push you over the edge. The former AKB48 duck-face diva and mega pop-star Tomomi Itano now joins t...
Idol of the Week photo
Idol of the Week

Idol of the Week: Tomomi Itano


The queen of duckface!
Jul 04
// Hiroko Yamamura
Name: Tomomi Itano Birthdate: July 3, 1991 Hometown: Kanagawa, Japan Measurements: 76/56/79 cm  While she may not be tearing up the stage as a member of AKB48 anymore, the always adorable Tomochin is enjoying a hugely su...
AKB48 photo
AKB48

AKB48 handshake events to resume this weekend


I wouldn't want to do it
Jul 02
// Hiroko Yamamura
After two members of AKB48 and one staff person were viciously attacked by a knife wielding idiot, I was pretty confident that the super-groups already creepy handshake events were coming to an end. The girls are often made t...
Music photo
Music

The Dose: Atsuko Maeda


Life after AKB48
Feb 19
// Hiroko Yamamura
Are you bellies full of Valentine's Day candy? Even if that special someone didn't confess their heart to you this year, there's still plenty of love in the in air. All in the form of buying very cheap, marked down candies a...
Arcade photo
Arcade

Shoot zombified AKB48 in new arcade game


Oh, and dance with them, too.
Feb 08
// Pedro Cortes
Well, this is certainly different. When you think of "AKB48" and "arcade," you'll usually envision some sort of dancing or ParaPara-style machine. Well, you've got the musical portion right with Sailor Zombie: AKB48 Arcade Ed...
Music photo
Music

The Dose: Tomomi Itano


Her best effort yet
Jan 20
// Hiroko Yamamura
The best things come to those that wait, right? Those who are braving the late night with me are in for a real late night treat with this edition of The Dose. In the past I've been quite critical of Ex-AKB48 member Tomomi It...
Japanese commercials photo
Japanese commercials

It's awesome Japanese commercial time!


Oooh Mariko!
Sep 11
// Hiroko Yamamura
This week we're treated to some fantastic new commercials, courtesy of our friend JPCMHD! Everything is quite upbeat, with party music booming in the air. There's some Perfume, Paris Hilton, and even a cooking bear! Most imp...
Idol of the Week photo
Idol of the Week

Idol of the Week: Tomomi Itano


Itano's bringing the water to take the heat down!
Jul 12
// Salvador GRodiles
Name: Tomomi ItanoBirthdate: July 3, 1991Hometown: Kanagawa, JapanMeasurements: 76/56/79 cm Hiroko's busy with some unexpected business, so she has left me in charge of Idol of the Week again. In a random occurrence of fate, ...
Daily Dose photo
Daily Dose

A Daily Dose of Music: Tomomi Itano


Now that's a long intro
Jun 25
// Hiroko Yamamura
I totally forgot to enter the contest to be in this new video. Oh well, you don't want me upstaging Tomo-chin after all. It looks like things are moving ahead with Tomomi Itano's graduation from AKB48, and things are looking...
Tomo-chin dance off photo
Tomo-chin dance off

Can you dance your way onto Tomomi Itano's new video?


Maybe your entry needs more duckface?
Jun 17
// Hiroko Yamamura
Now that Obachaaan have kicked AKB48 out of the top spot as top idol group, there seems to be less and less reasons to like them. In all seriousness though, given the recent scandals, as well as top members Mariko Shinoda an...
Daily Dose photo
Daily Dose

A Daily Dose of Music: Minami Takahashi


Takamina's solo debut
Mar 20
// Josh Tolentino
It's your Daily Dose of Music, everyone, and today we have for you Minami "Takamina" Takahashi, striking out on her own for the first time in her debut single, "Jane Doe". To be perfectly frank I haven't been completely floo...
Trolled by a wota photo
Trolled by a wota

I called it: AKB rage video a hoax


And a profitable one, at that
Mar 01
// Josh Tolentino
Remember when that one AKB48 fan seemed to go a little bit crazy in video format at the news of Yuki "Yukirin" Kashiwagi's alleged indiscretions? Back in that post, I wrote that I "sincerely hope that this an attempt to paro...
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I really hope this Wota's reaction to AKB48 is a joke


Really, I do.
Feb 09
// Josh Tolentino
Unsurprisingly, the rain of "scandals" continues to pour on AKB48, this time due to Yuki "Yukirin" Kashiwagi having the temerity to attend a group party with *gasp* men in it, just days after the now-infamous "Mii-chan Affai...
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AKB48's manager responds to Minami Minegishi scandal


Doesn't make it better, though
Feb 03
// Josh Tolentino
An eventful week for idol megagroup AKB48 continues. In case you haven't been following, Minami "Mii-chan" Minegishi was humiliated in rather medieval fashion for reasons that no one should ever have cause to feel ashamed abo...
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AKB's Minami Minegishi humiliated for being a human being


*Facepalm*
Feb 01
// Josh Tolentino
[Update: The apology video has been removed following an official response by AKB management. An English-translated transcript of Minegishi's statement is available at the bottom of this post.] Ah, an "Oh, Japan" moment. ...
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Atsuko Maeda gets terrorized in The Complex


Scary kids aplenty
Jan 21
// Hiroko Yamamura
Former AKB48 leader, Atsuko Maeda returns to the big screen with the upcoming horror flick, The Complex. The new teaser doesn't tell us too much, but from what I know the story revolves around Acchan's character, Asuka movin...
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Idol of the Week: Mayu Watanabe


Yes, I've been naughty
Dec 30
// Hiroko Yamamura
Name: Mayu WatanabeBirthdate: March 26, 1994Hometown: Saitama, JapanMeasurements: 71/55/82 cm  Did you get what you wanted from Santa this year? Perhaps you actually wanted Santa for Christmas? I think we'd all say that ...
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A Daily Dose of Music: AKB48


And the beat goes on
Sep 23
// Hiroko Yamamura
AKB48 are back, and this time we have a winner! There seems to always be plenty of AKB48 videos to wade through, but every once in a while, a fantastic video makes it through. It's official Yuko Oshima, i...
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20: BINGO movie trailer features Don and AKB48's Sakiko


Gokai Change!
Sep 18
// Salvador GRodiles
As silly as it sounds to make a movie based off the game of Bingo, the BINGO movie takes the basic concept of Bingo and uses it as a means to execute prisoners. In order to make these deaths interesting, the families of the ...
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Take that, Hollywood: AKB48 performs Wreck-It-Ralph theme


I prefer AKB0048 - just kidding!
Sep 14
// Josh Tolentino
Now here's a bit of a weird, or at least uncommon occurrence. Idol horde AKB48, a group I figured only otaku would know of in North America, has been tapped to perform a song for the Hollywood movie Wreck-It-Ralph, which fran...
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Acchan adds star power to the new Toyota Doraemon ad


Robot cat powered cars?
Sep 07
// Hiroko Yamamura
The Toyota ads featuring real world actors as famous Doraemon characters, has just added another superstar to their line-up. Former AKB48 front woman, Atsuko Maeda takes on the role of Jaiko, alongside Naoya O...
 photo

It's All Over: AKB0048 getting a game version


Aug 26
// Josh Tolentino
This is it, people. If there was ever a sign that human civilization was approaching some kind of cultural singularity, past which everything just implodes onto itself, this is one of them. AKB0048 is getting a game, the...
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Wot(a) time: Google+, YouTube stream Acchan's graduation


Aug 21
// Josh Tolentino
It may only be August, but for Wota, it's graduation time! Unfortunately for some, the "graduation" in question isn't so much "graduating" from idol obsession, but a celebration of an idol's going solo. The celebrant? Atsuko ...
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A Daily Dose of Music: AKB48


Aug 18
// Hiroko Yamamura
It's so hard to say goodbye... The time has finally come for Atsuko Maeda to graduate from the J-Pop supergroup, AKB48. Acchan has always been such a focal point of the group, however I'm sure she will prosper in her al...
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AKB0048 graced with second season in 2013


Jul 23
// Bob Muir
AKB0048 is one of the kind of ridiculous concept you'd hear of in the 80s, like fusing Gem with G.I. Joe. Fans of thinly veiled propaganda anime will be pleased to know that a second season is in the works, as announced by th...
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Well, this AKB48 game is just sad


Jun 22
// Josh Tolentino
Really, Nintendo and Kadokawa Games? This is the best you can do for AKB48? And to think that way back at the beginning of the season I was worried that the AKB48 anime would end up a cheap cash-in. Seems that judgment falls ...
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A Winner Is Yu(ko): Yuko Oshima wins AKB48 Election


Jun 06
// Josh Tolentino
Rejoice, Yuko wotaku! Your queen has returned to the throne! That is, it would be a throne if monarchies were democracies. Perhaps it's more apropos to say that Yuko "Yuuko" Oshima of Team K has carried the vote, taking the t...
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Election Year: Google+ to broadcast AKB48 Election Live


Jun 04
// Josh Tolentino
Want to watch some nerd event that's NOT somehow related to E3 this week? Are you an idol fan (or planning to become one)? Japan and Google have just the thing for you! This Wednesday, June 6th, they'll be livestreaming the 4...
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Idol of the Week: Mariko Shinoda


May 27
// Hiroko Yamamura
Name: Mariko Shinoda Birthdate: March 11, 1986 Hometown: Fukuoka Japan Measurements: 83/57/86 cm AKB48 superstar, and super sexy diva, Mariko Shinoda is back with a hot new pictorial. Besides being my favorite member of team A, she has other undoubtable... talents. A killer smile and upbeat presence! What did you think I was going to say?!

First Impressions: AKB0048

May 15 // Josh Tolentino
Now, when I refer to "my position" as a viewer, it's pretty much the position of "being completely ignorant about AKB48." Beyond knowing a couple of the names and the fact that the real-life AKB48 members are not voicing their AKB0048 namesakes but instead the younger rookies, I'm completely in the dark. At least with Idolm@ster I was familiar with some of the memes. And for the most part, it's that know-nothing attitude that serves me best, because looking at this as AKB48 propaganda lends it that slightly creepy, disingenuous vibe that tends to permeate the entire "idol industry" concept. You might even get angry if you actively dislike AKB48 and/or what it stands for, something more common among folks raised with western cultural mores that value "authenticity" and shun that which seems "manufactured" or "targeted", things that make up the essence of idol-group construction. Instead, it's easier, and definitely more fun to look at it as merely the result of Shoji Kawamori and Satelight being asked to take the core conceit of Macross to its absolute extreme: a farce of a show where "culture" is about as literal a force of power as you can get. The success of any idol anime (and arguably any idol act) lies in the strength of the lie it tells. With flesh-and-blood AKB48 and gritty reality, this usually requires a bit of willful participation on part of the fan, who forces himself to believe in Mayuyu or Kanamin or Risette whatever cutesy nickname is appropriate. That's partly why Idolm@ster was my favorite show of 2011, as its lie is a simple, yet fundamentally compelling suggestion: that these idols of 765 Pro and their Mr. Producer are essentially genuine, and that every idol is exactly as their marketing copy describes. It tickles the western preoccupation with "being real" (often poisonously interpreted as a disdaining of effort exerted in the name of style/fashion/entertainment). Other than that, it was arguably "realistic", its idols largely being "normal" people pursuing career objectives that just so happen to be furthered by greater Togetherness. AKB0048 operates on this notion as well, but takes it to the greatest extreme, and ends up with its idols and idol industry portrayed as larger than life - far larger than life. Beyond simply idealizing its idols, the future "guerrillas" of AKB0048 are even more unnaturally perfect than their fans' wildest imaginations. They're practically magical girls, whose "idol talent" literally manifests as superhuman ability. Their song lyrics are treated like spell incantations, where "Heavy Rotation!" is as "Abracadabra!". They are the voice of hope for an oppressed galaxy, rather than a bunch of mildly talented girls performing out of a slightly dingy theater in Akihabara. Even more hilarious are the forces that marshal against this sole voice of hope. Each episode so far smacks a little bit of the Redline race (from Redline, 'natch), with entire planetary armies deploying in full force to stop a dozen teens from singing insipid pop lyrics. Better still, the girls can fight back (non-lethally, of course). Chicks in schoolgirl outfits using heart-tasers, space-bubble guns, and the occasional Itano Circus on hapless space marines and riot cops. It's the kind of absurdity displayed in the last three episodes of Senki Zesshou Symphogear, except in the first three episodes. Just...don't ask too many questions, though, because thinking about it starts to make it a little disturbing, and not even in the "real idolin' ain't like this" way. Asking questions leads you to, well, question the situations of the trainee protagonists, and the creepy implications of the world AKB0048 has built. Every frame of the prologue that isn't part of the (amazing) concert scene shows a rust-colored mining town and grumpy old-timers in hard hats and salaryman garb. Orine works in a factory rather than going to school. Nagisa's dad gets pissed because his kid was singing in the shower. Chieri talks about idoling like it's warrior's job (and it is, to an extent) It's a state of totalitarian oppression of North Korean comprehensiveness. Even the Kims' real-life prison-nation, at the height of its domination, had its own movie industry and state-sponsored entertainment. Speaking of entertainment, it seems that idol entertainment is the only entertainment. What happened to (non-line) dancing, film, theatre, musical instruments, and jazz bars? Of course not, only the angels matter, they who, upon joining the lineup, take the names of their revered predecessors. Mayuyu the 6th, anyone? In Macross idols and idol music are merely frilly ornaments for "culture". In that universe, the true power, the power that drives alien warrior races to their knees in the face of a teen in a pretty dress, actually resides in emotion, personal connection and intimacy, of which pop culture is a merely a vehicle. As other series and other Macross properties have shown, the job can be done just as easily by a kiss, a movie, a rock band, or a forty-foot-tall man singing enka. Sheryl, Ranka and Minmay were picked because they're more marketable than rock bands, and maybe because Shoji Kawamori is into that sort of thing (who can tell). In AKB0048, though, music is power, idols are magic, and it has yet to even bother with sci-fi mumbo jumbo like artifacts and Miyuki Sawashiro speaking English, as did Symphogear. Incidentally, Symphogear only barely counts as an idol show. Only one character was ever a performer, and the singing was basically a MacGuffin that justified using music by Elements Garden instead of more Valkyrie-appropriate tunes (Norse chanting, maybe?). Hell, the girls themselves look somehow inherently superior ubermadchen, what with the naturally heart- or star-shaped light reflections in their eyes, wide-spectrum hair chroma, and the goddamn custom life form that exists solely as a sign of their exalted presence! New song lyrics are passed down from on high by some shadowy, male-voiced presence (Mr. Producer!) and regarded as "holy". AKB0048 members are made goddesses, practically at the expense of everyone else in their world. There's a quasi-religious vibe to AKB0048 that's genuinely creepy, especially if you like to believe the worst about hardcore idol fans. That's why you don't ask these kinds of questions, and instead sit back and enjoy a slickly-produced, hilariously over-the-top farce. I won't go so far as to presume it has heart or soul, but it has enthusiasm, money, and a decent hook, which in the idol industry, can be just enough.
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It took me three episodes of watching, but I think I finally have a proper handle on how to approach AKB0048, and for a viewer in my position, I've found that it's best not to see this as what it is: an animated, kitchen-sink sales pitch for AKB48, and more as the post-logical endpoint of the original Macross concept. More on that below.

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Candy ad comes under fire for controversial AKB48 kiss


Apr 23
// Bob Muir
A recent ad for Pucchu candy featuring AKB48 has caught the eye of the Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization, a Japanese broadcasting standards group. They claim the ad, which depicts members of AKB48 passi...
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A Daily Dose of Music: AKB48


Apr 21
// Hiroko Yamamura
What? Where have I been? Don't worry about that! How about a hot new AKB48 video to distract that thought! This time the video for Manatsu no Sounds Good! features a whopping 36 girl line-up! An AKB48 record! All teams repor...
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A Daily Dose of Music: Tomomi Itano


Apr 09
// Hiroko Yamamura
AkB48's sexy siren and Queen of the duckface us back with her newest video, Clone. It's a fun track with plenty of sexy shots of Tomochin. She even gets to flex her special brand od funky English. There is also what looks to be like a lot of colored shampoo on the wall!
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AKB48 celebrates a bittersweet week of news


Mar 26
// Hiroko Yamamura
It's been in interesting week in the world of AKB48. Just as Atusko Maeda released her photo book, showing her new mature side, she also has announced she will be graduating the group to focus on solo efforts. This is a prett...
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AKB0048 gets a trailer, pro voice actresses


Mar 26
// Josh Tolentino
As everyone in their right mind knows, AKB0048 will be the show to watch this spring season. I mean, look at all those other in our Spring 2012 Preview Guide! What a bunch of losers! Nothing can compare to this post-apocalypt...

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