AKB48 (short for Akihabara48) is an idol girl group produced by Akimoto Yasushi.
As their name implies, AKB48 currently consists of 48 members divided into three teams: Team A, Team K and Team B. Each group contains 16 members.
The group has their own theatre in Akihabara (a district in Tokyo) where they perform once every weekday, and twice on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are 3000yen for men, and 2000yen for women and children.
Members Oshima Yuko, Kojima Haruna, Ono Erena, Noro Kayo, Minegishi Minami, Maeda Atsuko and Kasai Tomomi will be in a movie called Densen Uta with actor Matsuda Ryuhei. Goi Michiko will be singing the themesong 'Boku no Hana' for the movie.
Recently, 18 new members were added to the group as AKB48 SEED, with girls taking lessons and appearing in the background for a possible chance to join the main group.
While they have been working separately until now, Team A and Team K teamed up (along with four members from AKB48 SEED) in July to perform regularly as Himawari-gumi. This arrangement is temporary, and individual girls are still identified as being part of their original teams.
In July 2005, Akimoto Yasushi held an audition for a new theater based idol girl group. Of the 7,924 girls that applied, 45 passed the first round of auditions. Finally, only 24 girls were chosen to be in the group. In December 2005, the group debuted in the theater with only 20 girls, later known as Team A. In January 2006 Shinoda Mariko joined the group to become the newest member of Team A to date. Uemura Ayako and Usami Yuki of Team A both graduated during 2006.
In December 2005 a new audition was announced, this audition was held in cooperation with Japanese telecom company NTT DoCoMo. It was the first audition ever where the applicants had to send in their audition video with their mobile phones. 19 of the 11,892 applicants were chosen to join AKB48, but in the end only 18 girls joined the group to become Team K in April 2006.
In October 2006, a new audition was announced to form Team B, resulting in the arrival of 18 new members in December 2006.
AKB48 released its debut single Sakura no Hanabiratachi in February 2006, which made it to #10 on Oricon charts and sold 22,011 units in its first week - surprising for a group on an indies label. In August 2006 they signed a major label contract with DefSTAR Records, a part of Sony Music Entertainment. Their first single under DefSTAR Records, Aitakatta, was released on October 25, 2006 and got to #12 on Oricon.
In December of 2006, the first change was made to the three teams; taking members Urano Kazumi, Watanabe Shiho and Hirajima Natsumi from Team A to Team B. Orii Ayumi graduated from the group shortly after this, though appeared in the unit Crayon Friends from AKB48 after her graduation.
On January 31st, 2007, AKB48's fourth single (second under DefSTAR Records) Seifuku ga Jama wo Suru was released; reaching #7 on Oricon charts (their highest rank to date). There has been speculation that the PV and lyrics to this song are an allusion to enjo kosai - volountary underage prostitution - though this has not been confirmed. Their next single, Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou, featured a theme of bullying throughout the lyrics and PV.
In April 2007, Team B were added to AKB48's official website; albeit with five fewer members than had originally been announced. This brought the group's numbers down from 53 to 48 - the first time since its creation that the member total reflected the group's name.
Members Imai Yu, Hoshino Michiru and Takada Ayana graduated at roughly the same time during June 2007. However, Takada was the only one of these to appear in the PV to the group's sixth single BINGO!, which was released on July 18th, 2007.
In August 2008, Kikuchi Ayaka was fired after pictures of her with a boy surfaced.
On October 11, 2008, the final performance of A4 Revival, original members Ohe Tomomi, Komatani Hitomi, Tojima Hana, Nakanishi Rina and Narita Risa graduated.
AKB48 Research Students (Formerly AKB48 SEED)
- Honegumi from AKB48 (ほね組 from AKB48)
- ICE from AKB48
- Crayon Friends from AKB48 (クレヨンフレンズ from AKB48)
- Chocolove from AKB48
- Himawari-gumi (ひまわり組)
- Okashina Sisters (お菓子なシスターズ)
Baragumi and Yurigumi
On November 4th, 2006, it was announced that the members of Akihabara48 would be rearranged into two groups: Baragumi ('rose group') and Yurigumi ('lily group'). No more official announcements have been made on this matter since then, and it is widely believed that this idea has been scrapped.
The two groups are as follows (☆ denotes a girl who has changed teams or graduated since the announcement was made):
- Team A: Hirajima Natsumi☆, Kojima Haruna, Komatani Hitomi, Masuyama Kayano, Minegishi Minami, Oshima Mai, Takahashi Minami, Urano Kazumi☆, Watanabe Shiho☆.
- Team K: Akimoto Sayaka, Imai Yu☆, Kasai Tomomi, Kobayashi Kana, Matsubara Natsumi, Noro Kayo, Ohori Megumi, Ono Erena.
- Team A: Hoshino Michiru☆, Itano Tomomi, Kawasaki Nozomi, Maeda Atsuko, Nakanishi Rina, Narita Risa, Ohe Tomomi, Sato Yukari, Shinoda Mariko, Tojima Hana.
- Team K: Hayano Kaoru, Masuda Yuka, Miyazawa Sae, Oku Manami, Oshima Yuko, Sato Natsuki, Takada Ayana☆, Umeda Ayaka.
|#||Title||Release date||First week sales||Total sales|
桜の花びらたち (Sakura no Hanabiratachi)
スカート、ひらり (Skirt, Hirari)
制服が邪魔をする (Seifuku ga Jama wo Suru)
軽蔑していた愛情 (Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou)
僕の太陽 (Boku no Taiyou)
夕陽を見ているか? (Yuuhi wo Miteiru ka?)
ロマンス、イラネ (Romance, Irane)
桜の花びらたち2008 (Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2008)
大声ダイヤモンド (Oogoe Diamond)
10年桜 (Jūnen Zakura)
|#||Title||Release date||First week sales||Total sales|
チームA 1st Stage「PARTYが始まるよ」 (Team A 1st Stage - Party ga Hajimaru yo)
チームA 2nd Stage「会いたかった」 (Team A 2nd Stage - Aitakatta)
チームA 3rd Stage「誰かのために」 (Team A 3rd Stage - Dareka no Tame ni)
チームK 1st Stage「PARTYが始まるよ」 (Team K 1st Stage - Party ga Hajimaru yo)
チームK 2nd Stage「青春ガールズ」 (Team K 2nd Stage - Seishun Girls)
チームK 3rd Stage「脳内パラダイス」 (Team K 3rd Stage - Nonai Paradise)
SET LIST ～グレイテストソングス 2006-2007～ (SET LIST ~Greatest Songs 2006-2007~)
- [2007.03.21] チームA 1st Stage「PARTYが始まるよ」 (Team A 1st Stage - Party ga Hajimaru yo)
- [2007.03.21] チームA 2nd Stage「会いたかった」 (Team A 2nd Stage - Aitakatta)
- [2007.03.21] チームA 3rd Stage「誰かのために」 (Team A 3rd Stage - Dareka no Tame ni)
- [2007.03.21] チームK 1st Stage「PARTYが始まるよ」 (Team K 1st Stage - Party ga Hajimaru yo)
- [2007.03.21] チームK 2nd Stage「青春ガールズ」 (Team K 2nd Stage - Seishun Girls)
- [2007.11.28] チームA 4th Stage「ただいま恋愛中」 (Team A 4th Stage - Tadaima Renaichuu)
- [2007.11.28] チームK 3rd Stage「脳内パラダイス」 (Team K 3rd Stage - Nonai Paradise)
- [2008.03.26] チームB 1st stage「青春ガールズ」 (Team B 1st Stage - Seishun Girls)
- [2008.04.23] ひまわり組 1st stage「僕の太陽」 (Himawari-gumi 1st Stage - Boku no Taiyou)
- [2008.09.26] チームB 2nd Stage「会いたかった」 (Team B 2nd Stage - Aitakatta)
- [2008.10.02] ひまわり組 2nd Stage「夢を死なせるわけにいかない」 (Himawari-gumi 2nd Stage - Yume wo Shinaseru Wake Ikanai)
- [TBD] チームB 3rd stage 「パジャマドライブ」 (Team B 3rd Stage - Pajama Drive)
- [TBD] チームK 4th Stage 「最終ベルが鳴る」 (Team K 4th Stage - Saishuu BELL ga Naru)
- [TBD] チームA 5th Stage 「恋愛禁止条例」 (Team A 5th Stage - Renai Kinshi Jourei)
- [2007.01.31] ファーストコンサート「会いたかった～柱はないぜ!～」in 日本青年館ノーマルバージョン (First Concert Aitakatta - Hashira wa Nai ze! In Nihon Seinenkan Normal Version)
- [2007.01.31] ファーストコンサート「会いたかった～柱はないぜ!～」in 日本青年館 シャッフルバージョン (First Concert Aitakatta - Hashira wa Nai ze! In Nihon Seinenkan Shuffle Version)
- [2007.07.18] 「春のちょっとだけ全国ツアー~まだまだだぜ AKB48!~」in 東京厚生年金会館 (Haru no Chotto Dake Zenkoku Tour - Madamada da ze AKB48! in Nihon Kouseinenkin Kaikan)
- [2008.07.25] AKB48 Request Hour ~Set List Best 100~ in Shibuya AX
- [2006.02.18] AKB48 Welcomebook vol.1
- [2006.03.01] 密着!「AKB48」~写真集 Vol.1 the・デビュー (Micchaku! "AKB48" Photo Album Vol. 1 The Debut)
- [2006.06.15] AKB48 Welcomebook vol.2
- [2007.03.03] AKB48 Jump&Cry―篠山紀信写真集 (AKB48 JUMP & CRY)
- [2008.03.18] AKB48 ヴィジュアルブック 2008―featuring team A (AKB48 Visual Book 2008 - featuring Team A)
- [2008.03.18] AKB48 ヴィジュアルブック 2008―featuring team K (AKB48 Visual Book 2008 - featuring Team K)
- [2008.03.18] AKB48 ヴィジュアルブック 2008―featuring team B (AKB48 Visual Book 2008 - featuring Team B)
- [2008.03.18] AKB48 ヴィジュアルブック 2008―featuring Research Student (AKB48 Visual Book 2008 - featuring Research Student)
-  Densen Uta (伝染歌)
- [Nippon TV] (2008-10-01 to Present) AKBINGO!
- [Enta!371] AKB48+10
- [Family Gekijo] AKB48 Nemousu Terebi (AKB48 ネ申テレビ)
- [Nippon TV] (2008-04-07 to 2008-09-29) AKB 0ji 59fun (AKB0時59分)
- [TV Asahi] Music Station
- [Fuji TV] HEY!HEY!HEY!MUSIC CHAMP
- [Fuji TV] Bokura no Ongaku (僕らの音楽)
- [Fuji TV] MUSIC FAIR 21
- [NHK] (2007-12-31) Kouhaku Uta Gassen (紅白歌合戦) - Aitakatta
- [TBS] COUNT DOWN TV
- [Nippon TV] MUSIC FIGHTER (音楽戦士MUSIC FIGHTER)
- [Nippon TV] Music Lovers
- [bayfm] ON8
- [CBC Radio] AKB48 Konya wa Kaeranai... (AKB48 今夜は帰らない…)
- [Star Radio] AKB48 no Zenryoku de Kikanakya Dame Jyan!! (AKB48の全力で聴かなきゃダメじゃん!!)
- [Bunka Hoso] AKB48 Asu Made Mo Chotto. (AKB48 明日までもうちょっと。)
- [Bunka Hoso] Sakurazuka Yakkun no Sukeban Rengo Kinkyu Shukai (桜塚やっくんのスケバン連合緊急集会)
- [TOKYO FM] COUNTDOWN JAPAN
- [TOKYO FM] AKB48 no Yonpachi After (AKB48のよんぱちアフター)
- Cokyo Koukoku Kikyo (公共広告機構) / Mittsu no R de Chikyu wo Sukue! REDUCE RESUME RECYCLE (3つのRで地球を救え! REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE)
- Recrute (リクルート) / Hana Saku・Project (ハナサク・プロジェクト)
- Official Site (Japanese)
- Official Site (English)
- Official King Records site
- Official DefSTAR records site
- STAGE48.net (English AKB48 Forums)
- AKB48Club.com (Thailand AKB48 Forum)
- AIF.com (Indonesia AKB48 Forum)
- Japanese Wikipedia: AKB48