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Old 2012-02-28, 05:15   Link #61
Shinji01
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I agree that Akimoto’s plan is, and he has said so so many times, to turn AKB into a prep school for the entertainment industry. If any girl decides she wants to be a singer/ actor/ dancer/ comedian/ voice actor/ etc, they will simply join AKB and train while they wait for their exposure.

I don’t know how harmful or beneficial this would be for the industry though.

I think a good example they are working on now is Mitsumune Kaworu.
Her suddenly being on TV programs, and advertisements without making it out of the trainee position is interesting. In the past you had to make it into one of the 4 teams before expecting any exposure, but now there is a possibility that any other member can follow in her footsteps.
Whether you see Mitsumune as a setup is a different story (her three year contract with AKB, being already chosen to pass the audition before even taking it etc)

I think we all have to remember that Akimoto has already had a proto type if this business through Onyako Club. His biggest mistake back then was that the girls all disappeared after the group as dismantled except a few like Kokusho Sayuri, Kudo Shizuka and the likes.

This time he know how to make it a bigger and longer lasting business, and that’s the beauty of it all.

One think he has to take care of soon, IMO, is NMB.
The staff and management of NMB is slightly less organized/ sophisticated as the AKB/ SKE and are coming up with way too many scandals.
If they want to keep up the reputation, they need to do something about NMB. Especially since they have such good members…

Also, JKT48 is expected to join Google+ soon…
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Old 2012-02-28, 10:24   Link #62
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Totally agree.

Though one thing I will say is so far in interviews, even after winning the Japanese Record Award. All the main AKB members are saying the right thing. Some even go as far as acknowledging that the newer members, especially those after 6 and 7th generation are failing to understand the importance of the Theater and the drive to be better and that they are still not yet ready to separate from the group and survive on their own.

I've seen and read some interviews for past few month, Takamina mentioned that despite that all core/earlier members are starting to get really busy with solo career most of their goals to be even better themselves so they can bring them back to the group and the stage and be even better prepared if they to end up leaving the group. Their focus is not on winning another Record Award or maintaining their popularity, but to improve themselves individually. But doing that, when they are are together, the group will just get stronger and improve even more and rest like popularity and sales will follow.

Oshima Yoko and Maeda Asuko both mentioned in interviews that one of the thing they need to do is to make sure that the newer members are not content of just being a member of AKB but to be better as entertainers either as a members of AKB or if they leave the group.

Oshima also mentioned that in early years that while they do get along due to tough outside circumstances there is also internal tension and competition within the group to be better than each other. It was original vs. 2nd gen v.s. 3rd/4th gen. That tension also help them to get better which she hasn't seen in mid to newer members. It also reflect on recruiting interviews that back then everyone has their own goal and AKB is a tool to achieve the goal, now to new recruits becoming AKB is the goal.

Because of that, its now their job to make sure that new members know that AKB is really about. That the original members as well as 2-4 gen member are still obsessed with the stage performance in the theater because they recognize that everything they have right now is because of AKB and the reason AKB is AKB is because of the fans that goes to the AKB48 Theater to support them everyday. It's also why older members are not giving up the Stage Performances despite their busy schedule. They still participates in Stage Performance and almost never missed them unless there is unavoidable incidents as well as supporting other sister group during their stage performances.

Personally I think Akimoto struck gold with this group of early members. They went through things that not other idols went through and survived. They still have their own goals yet recognizes that it was the group that allows them to be who they are. Not only that, the group, at least on surface, are as united as any group I've seen. Which is why I keep comparing them to SMAP or Arashi where both group remains together even after each member is a bona fide star. And it's also the reason why similar concept groups like Idolling is still in mediocrity or why Onyako Club and Morning Musume never took that next step the way AKB did. The former got comfortable with its own show and the latter two over-estimated their own popularity.

As for NMB, they do have some problem, but based on their latest single, their popularity are still on the rise and I credit that to the Sport-Clubs mentality of 48 Project. To put it more blatantly, even if the rest of Japan hates them, as long as people of Osaka like them, they can still survive and waiting for their breakout chances.

Besides, the 48 family earned a lot of brownie points last year.

Speaking of their donation last year after the earthquake and tsunami, after doing some research, it surprised me even more on what they did.

In addition to being one of the first entertainers to respond, they donated 500 million yen ($6.2 million USD) right off the bat. Despite cancelling the scheduled concert that immediate setting up a fund for Red Cross and reschedule a mini tour to raise money as well as further donate more proceeds from single "Everyday, Kachūsha". Not only that, while the theater was closed for inspection, all member are out help with charitable activities as well as doing mini events in affected areas to raise spirits. Lastly, the relive account that they set up raised additional 1.25 billion yen (15.5 million) as for this past month. And from all media reports I read/wathced, all these activities are brought up to Akimoto by the core members from 1st to 4th gen.

No wonder they are darlings for the country.

But of course all these still depend on how the girls playing their card for next few years. But really, at this point I can see the group still keep their popularity at least for another 2-3 years consider that most core member are still around just 20 years old and good idols don't even hit prime until like 22-24 before their decline.
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Old 2012-02-28, 10:40   Link #63
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Some short nice news: yep, it's Hocchan, all right.
http://yaraon.blog109.fc2.com/blog-entry-7696.html#more
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Old 2012-02-28, 18:13   Link #64
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Two of my favorite clips, one is Mayuyu singing Evangelion theme song " Zankoku na Tenshi no Tēze" in an AKB golden timeslot variety show. The other is cult favorite song Bird that has became Takamina's signature song and only being performed in Team A stage and limited concerts.


Spoiler for Youtube:
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Old 2012-03-01, 11:11   Link #65
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Oh, man... A few years ago, this wouldn't be possible but now as I'm reading this news article, I remember how Reagan and Gorbachev were on the negotiating table. Or Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat at Camp David...

This show involves putting together AKB Team 4 and Johnny's Jr.
http://www.tokyohive.com/2012/03/ntv...ring-in-april/
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Old 2012-03-02, 08:04   Link #66
Shinji01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sa547 View Post
Oh, man... A few years ago, this wouldn't be possible but now as I'm reading this news article, I remember how Reagan and Gorbachev were on the negotiating table. Or Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat at Camp David...

This show involves putting together AKB Team 4 and Johnny's Jr.
http://www.tokyohive.com/2012/03/ntv...ring-in-april/
So many fans are freaking out because some of teh AKB girls used to be fan girls of Johnny's.

But its always been that the idols of any generation end up going out with each other no matter how much the adults around them try to keep them away from each other. Modern day Romeo and Juliet to say the least...

But I also admire Mayuyu and other top members who can openly say that right now they are not interested in dating.

Like mentioned earlier in this thread, many of the newer member'S just want to be AKB and once they are AKB, they want to flaunt it. The original members had other objectives in life and understand the hey have too much to lose over a relationship that probably wont last too long anyways.

I hope the younger girls realize that and find itin themselves to even try to kick the original members out and be center position themselves.
Otherwise there is no way the original member can ever be replaced.
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Old 2012-03-04, 11:09   Link #67
Miko Miko
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Originally Posted by Shinji01 View Post
Otherwise there is no way the original member can ever be replaced.
They will never be replaced anyway. I love Senbatsu and UG so much right now. I know in the future, it won't be the same, but personally I think this is, potentially, AKB48's best lineup, honestly. Even though members who are a bit older will leave. No other members will top these ones.

I've been listening to them since they released their 1st single. - So I've been following the top few right now. New members won't top them!



This girl is my oshi ~ tied with Ota Aika.



Spoiler for AKB Pics:
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Old 2012-03-04, 11:50   Link #68
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^
OT: I think you have to upload them first to someplace like Imgur or Photobucket; the hosts didn't like hotlinking.
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Old 2012-03-04, 18:18   Link #69
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Originally Posted by Miko Miko View Post
They will never be replaced anyway. I love Senbatsu and UG so much right now. I know in the future, it won't be the same, but personally I think this is, potentially, AKB48's best lineup, honestly. Even though members who are a bit older will leave. No other members will top these ones.

I've been listening to them since they released their 1st single. - So I've been following the top few right now. New members won't top them!

I agree that the group is awesome, but that's mainly because the core members are still consists of 1st to 4th gen members and has been in group long enough and has drives as well unequaled stage experience.

I mean, Morning musume was the same, the group in the early 2000 was consider as a dream team because members has (at time) the experience and being through various elimination process.

The difference with AKB48 is that most core members are still young at around 20 and they have much more performance experiences through the 48 theater and the fact they have to claw their way to top and pretty much willing to do anything also gives them advantages.

I was watching AKB Variety shows. The stuff they are willing to do are pretty impressive. From bungie jump, to skydiving, to eating scorpion/ants/bug, to go through lie detectors, to simple pie in the face. They don't just view themselves as idol and willing to do anything as long as it furthers their popularity.

The issue now is that if newer members or even members in UG class can't raise their game, then there is no other place but down for AKB48. Besides in say 5 years, the old members simply have to leave the group due to age. Which would also explain why old member are start to seeing that their have responsibility to make sure the newer members gets it. Just like the old team A members (1st gen did) since many of them continued to work hard until they are more or less forced out due to age.

Sure they can go the SMAP way and stay in group but then lower tier members with feel pressured and pressed and either way is not good long term.

Which is why I feel that the emergence and continued success of sub groups like No3b, French Kiss, Not Yet, Diva, and Wata-tai are incredibly important as it offers an outlet for older members to not get restrict by AKB48 name and at same time they can also takes lessor known member with them.

The good thing is that if last year's voting is any indication, Sashi is starting to lead a charge of lower gens to challenge the earlier gens also with the central figures in SKE and NMB and Office 48 is slowing turning into a mixture of Johnny's and Broadway where they provide an training/performing ground while giving members the 48 aura.
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Old 2012-03-06, 01:24   Link #70
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Today, it seems that they finally got their second Guinness certification, this time for a TV ad (90 CMs, each for every member!) for one of Asahi's products:
http://yaraon.blog109.fc2.com/blog-entry-7862.html
http://www.tokyohive.com/2012/03/akb...-wonda-coffee/

Congratulations!
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Old 2012-03-09, 23:05   Link #71
Shinji01
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I am impressed though, that Akimoto gave the less exposed members a chance on their new Google TV advertisement.
He is going to preview the ad on Google plus, maybe around 23:00 PM Tokyo time tonight, so you might want to check out Google Plus.

Also Nakaya published a book about being a member that never gets selected despite being one of the first few members to join the group.

Google plus has become quite interesting since this is the only place the less popular members can express themselves on their own accords and show their talent as well as personality.
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Old 2012-03-12, 05:46   Link #72
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Apparently Akimoto is leaning toward having Urano "Cindy" Kazumi joining Watarirouka Hashiritai 7, one of the sub-group of AKB consist of team B members (except Iwasa Misaki), based on his 3/10 Google+ comment.

https://plus.google.com/113474433041552257864/posts

The move is interesting to say the least. Urano is one of the 20 original members and also the oldest of that group. (She was 20 when joined)

Definitely an hard worker herself She along with Watanabe Shiho and Hirajima Natsumi was transferred to Team B when it first formed as "support" (or demote depend on your view). She was the first Team B Captain before Yukirin and was 1 of the 10 original members that didn't abandon the ship after the DefSTAR incident.

She, along with Satou Yukari are the only original members (along with 2 older 2nd gen) that got transferred when SDN48 was formed. So she definitely has have worked hard.

Now with SDN48 is schedule to end at the end of month, it's interesting that Akimoto is leaning picking her to replace Hirajima Natsumi (another original member) in Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 instead of current AKB members.

It might be a sign that the 4 transferred members might be back to the main AKB group, or at least Satou Yukari (23) as the other 2 members Noro Kayo and Ohori Megumi might just simply be too old at 28 to rejoin. (Though both were great in variety and comedic department while they were in AKB)


BTW, new news I learned on AKB's relief effort for the quake victim. It amazed me on how they act after the Japan earthquake last year. In addition of now contributed over 1.25 billion Yen in relieve effort. They also donated 30 buses/vans for school transportation. All that and even now they have at least a mini-live and a hand-shake event in affected area with free admission for the victims once-a-month. Consider their current workload, that it is still pretty impressive even if the they have the manpower to spare.
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Old 2012-03-12, 23:25   Link #73
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For those within the DC area, next month they're positively lucky.
http://www.tokyohive.com/2012/03/akb...washington-dc/

Quote:
This event will be held from March 20th to April 27th to celebrate 100 years since Japan gifted the cherry blossom trees to the United States. AKB48 will perform on March 27th with 16 members including Takahashi Minami and Miyazawa Sae. They will also visit Thomson Elementary School in DC for cultural exchange on the 26th.
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Old 2012-03-13, 00:50   Link #74
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Lucky, if I want scheduled to head back Taiwan at the end of that week, I'll definitely take a vacation driving down there for that, it's only an 10-12 hour drive....
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Old 2012-03-14, 14:54   Link #75
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http://www.tokyohive.com/2012/03/akb...uth-in-new-cm/

Wow. :nosebleed:
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Old 2012-03-14, 16:50   Link #76
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yeah, I've seen that, it kind put up a huge stir in fans because other than Tomochin-Takamina pair making some sense, all other pairs seems a bit messed up even if it was suppose to be a rally, if you know what I mean...
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Old 2012-03-16, 22:46   Link #77
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I wish someone should translate the article on top, but the bottom pic left me speechless... yep, and Acchan wins an award from a critics' body for live-action Moshidora (interesting thought: I wonder if she's actually applying the Drucker approach for team management ).

“Mom, you look like Shinoda (Mariko)”
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Old 2012-03-16, 23:19   Link #78
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Not to surprising about it, Acchan is a pretty good actress with all her drama experience. Even in the one where the script and surrounding cast totally fails, (Hana-Kimi 2011) she has been doing a fine job.

Acchan actually don't do much as far as team managing she is more of a follower in team setting. That's Takamina's job mainly and other team captains', though it would be interesting if both Acchan and Michan are telling her about it consider they are all close as 1st gen members.


Anyway, the article is just a quickie about Acchan's new photobook that just came out. The promotion tag line is basically her first photobook after 20 (legal adult age). The name of the photobook is basically roughly translated "Clumsy", hence the weird picture on the billboard that also act as the cover.

The picture in bottom is from that photobook that is widely used for promotion.
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Old 2012-03-17, 00:57   Link #79
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I don't know about acchan being a great actress ....
All the movies and tv drama series that she was featured in have been huuuuge flops.
Jansen ability to cat is one thing, but her ability to make people want to watch the stuff she is in is totally lacking right now.
I like the girl, but sometimes you just have to accept the fact that she isn't that popular amongst people that aren't into AKB.
And the sad thing is I don't even think its acchan fault that she does to gain much popularity.
I think it's the agent and her surroundings that are bringing her down.

The Puccho advetisement is...I dunno.
When akimoto was interviewed by CNN and got questioned whether he thinks he is exploiting teenagers sexually with the videos and stuff he makes them do, I was half supportive of him then, but now I think he is just pushing it too far.
I am

The fans might love it and get excited over it but what about the people that are not into AKB yet. The image they are putting out right now is getting a bit too risqué..


Also one of the new questions I have about this group is the club activities they are starting on AKB.
They are basically trying to do everything by using people within the group, which probably in the end is good akimoto because he can save money. Ex: writing lyrics, making cafe menus , producing performances, makind CD covers
But the quality of everything they do becomes questionable.


even with the Washington dc performance, it's obvious they are taking Hirata Rina because she can be used as a performer and translator.

I really enjoy watching the group but when compared to Momokuro who can old 2 day concert performances that we really entertaining because they have a great team of experts running the show behind them, I feel sorry for AKB who has a crappy first day, and then so many members collapsing everywhere on the next few days because of bad direction and disorganized staff.

Anyhow, I am
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Old 2012-03-17, 02:04   Link #80
sa547
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Originally Posted by Shinji01 View Post
IThe Puccho advetisement is...I dunno.
When akimoto was interviewed by CNN and got questioned whether he thinks he is exploiting teenagers sexually with the videos and stuff he makes them do, I was half supportive of him then, but now I think he is just pushing it too far.
The skepticism reminds me of this retort made out by some fans:


Maybe, but of late Akimoto's increasingly "outlandish" attempts at setting the whole franchise apart and away from the establishment kind of reminds me of Steve Jobs during his prime at Apple (prior to being booted out by John Sculley and the board), except Jobs then had a short fuse while pushing his subordinates to the limit.

I mean, as the franchise has become very big (almost at the level of NKOTB, Spice Girls or boy bands at their heyday), and with more competition nipping at their heels (including MomoClo-Z), he's putting all his chips on the table, which now leaves me wondering (or worrying) how long this outfit would last.

Time will tell.

------------
Currently Reading:
http://neojaponisme.com/2011/12/22/2011-popular-music/ - with no sentimentality and the precision of a brain surgeon, Marx puts the whole franchise through a full scrutiny with a magnifying glass (and is spread out in several articles across the blog). Of course, and fiery debates between commenters.
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