Japan’s New Mega-Group, AKB48
My Nguyen June 19, 2012
Similar to American Idol, The Voice, and other televised singing competitions, Japan’s super girl group, AKB48, competes with fellow band mates to be able to perform and achieve the coveted title of super star status. This inner circle rivalry is only possible because there are a surplus of over 60 girls and young women, who are eventually split into four teams, the components behind what is arguably Japan’s most popular pop group, reports NYDailyNews.com.
The super group performs nearly every day, but AKB48’s biggest event happens to be an annual vote, where nearly 1.4 million fans get to determine who gets to record their next single.
The difference between the members in AKB48 and your regular American Idol is that these girls are able to engage audiences on a more interpersonal level. The girls sing and dance on stage, while fans wave glow sticks and sing along with familiar tunes. The performances aren’t always perfect, but fans are very forgiving, viewing these ever-changing members as friends or little sisters.
According to NYDailyNews, Yasushi Akimoto, founder and producer, who formed the group in 2005, called them “idols whom you can go and meet in person.”
Fans can also visit the daily shows in downtown Tokyo, attend a live meet and greet or via social networking sites. Avid followers may even read up on their favorite band member by checking out the girl’s blog.
AKB48’s popularity has allowed it to spawn similar groups across the country and even inspired sister mega-groups in China, Taiwan, and Indonesia.
Photo courtesy of kndynt2009 via Flickr.