AKB48: Japan's Most Favorite Idol Group

Getting to know the AKB48

This Japanese all-female group was formed with the concept, idols that you can meet, in mind. They were named after the Akihabara, Akiba in short, that is a region in Japan. The group was formed in 2005 (the auditions started as early as July of that year) and has grown over the years that in December of 2015 the members reached a total of 150. Several teams comprise the whole group, teams that would alternately perform, conduct handshake events, and meet with the fans.


KIYOUNG KIM from Seoul, South Korea [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Aside from this, their producer, Yasushi Akimoto, wanted to build an exclusive theater for the girls so that the fans would be able to watch their shows live every day. Eventually, the girl group phenomenon has spread like a wildfire throughout Asia. In fact, it has expanded into sister groups in countries like the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, China, and Indonesia. Indeed, AKB48 is making history in the entertainment industry.

AKB48 list of members

Currently, as of April 2018 to be exact, the AKB48 consists of 114 active members. These members are then divided into a number of teams, which have its own theme and characteristics. The teams include Team A, Team K, Team 4, and Team 8. Then, there are some teams that cater to the understudies that take the place of the former member. Each girl should be at least in their early teens to mid-20s. Once a member goes beyond the age requirement, she would be replaced by a promoted trainee after graduation. Ever since its debut, generation of girls aims to be a part of this prestigious girl group sensation. Here are the different teams with their members:

AKB48 Team A

For team A, there are 22 members in total and the color theme is pink. The present captain is Rin Okabe. The youngest among the group are Kurumi Suzuki, Manaka Taguchi, Erii Chiba, and Rei Nishikawa. While the oldest from the girls are Miho Miyazaki and Yui Yokoyama who are both 25 years of age. The other part of the team includes Anna Iriyama, Hinano Okumoto, Yui Oguri, Rena Kato, Moe Goto, Miu Shitao, Ayana Shinozaki, Karin Shimoaoki, Hijiri Tanikawa, Kurena Cho, Kotone Hitomi, Ayaka Maeda, Mion Mukaichi, and Karen Yoshida. On the other hand, the Kenkyuusei team include Minami Sato, Nagisa Shoji, Saki Michieda, Suzuha Yamane, Shiori Sato, Nazuna Furukawa, and Sora Honda.

AKB48 Team K

Along with its team leader, Haruka Komiyama, Team K of the AKB48 has 25 members all in all. The color green represents the members of the group. This team is composed of girls who are between the ages 15 to 25. Team K is comprised of Manami Ichikawa, Erina Oda, Narumi Kuranoo, Mako Kojima, Hinana SHimoguchi, Misaki Terada, Ikumi Nakano, Rena Nozawa, Haruna Hashimoto, Yuki Harumoto, Ayaka Hidaritomo, Nana Fujita, Minami Minegishi, Orin Muto, Tomu Muto, Shinobu Mogi, Moka Yaguchi, Kana Yasuda, Kyoka Yamada, Nanami Yamada, Ami Yumoto, Yuri Yokomichi, and Yui Yokoyama. Of course, Team K also has an understudied group that is also groomed to be the next AKB48 girl. The Kenkyuusei support team includes Ayami, Nagatomo, Rina Okada, Saori Katsumata, Ran Kobayashi, Yuzuka Suenaga, Megumi Nagano, and Moeka Yahagi.


Georges Seguin (Okki) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

AKB48 Team B

Exhibiting the serene color of blue, Team B, along with its 25 members, is part of the glamour of AKB48. The appointed to lead the group is Juri Takahashi. Furthermore, the other girls consist of Hinako Okuhara and Satone Kubo who are considered to be the youngest. Also, the team is comprised of Saho Iwatate, Nao Ota, Shizuka Oya, Yuki Kashiwagi, Misaki Kahawara, Saki Kitazawa, Natsuki Kojima, Yukari Sasaki, Akari Sato, Shiori Sato, Maria Shimizu, Kayoko Takita, Miyu Takeuchi, Megu Taniguchi, Chiyori Nakanishi, Yuna Hattori, Yui Hiwatashi, Seina Fukuoka, Hitomi Honda, Ayu Yamabe, Ruka Yamamoto, and Nanase Yoshikawa. Then, the supporting team includes Izumi Umemoto, Nanami Harima, Hitomi Otake, Maho Omori, Riho Kamiyama, and Haruna Saito.

AKB48 Team 4

Team 4 is just one of the sub-group for the phenomenal sensation, AKB48. They are composed of 25 active members, in which some holds a concurrent position on the other team. Their color association is yellow and the known leader is Yuiri Murayama. Additionally, the other girls that complete the group include Nanami Asai, Kaori Inagaki, Hatsuka Utada, Rio Okawa, Momoka Onishi, Miyuu Omori, Nana Okada, Saya Kawamoto, Yurina Gyoten, Nagisa Sagakuchi, Kiara Sato, Nanami Sato, Kaoru Takaoka, Ayane Takahashi, Sayaka Takahashi, Makiho Tatsuya, Misaki Taya, Serika Nagano, Hinano Noda, Sayuna Hama, Hikaru Hirano, Ma Chia-ling, Rira Miyazato, and Mizuki Yamauchi.

AKB48 team 8

Lastly, the team that would complete the AKB48 is Team 8, which comprise of 45 members. Each person on the group represents the 47 prefectures of Japan. Furthermore, several members are concurrent position holder for the other teams. The Navy color, like the color of the ocean, represents this particular team. In addition to this, they are the only team that is sponsored by the company Toyota. The recent shuffle event happened last December 2017 wherein the girls were rearranged to be part of another team.

AKB48 fan worthy places to visit

AKB48 Theater

Would it be fun to see your favorite AKB48 girl up close every day? This exclusive theater was made just for that reason and the fans are loving it. The theater is open every day even on weekends. On weekdays, the theater operates from 5pm to 9pm. While, during weekends, the show opens at 12pm to 8pm. It can be accessed through Akihabara station of the JR Yamanote line through walking for about 5 minutes. The different teams within the group are then rotated to perform on stage. The theater can only accommodate 250 audiences per performance so the process to avail tickets should be kept in mind. Aside from the performance, a shop that handles CD and original items is also available inside the building. By building the AKB48 Theater, the concept (idols you can meet) of the group was relived and has made the girls and the fans closer than ever through their music.

AKB48 Theater Tickets: How to score tickets

The AKB48 Theater is home to the popular and talented female group that has become a household name in Japan. It was completed in November 2005 and has made hundreds of shows for their fans. Of course, tickets should be purchased first before witnessing a live performance. Since there are only 250 tickets available for each performance, they are only made available a few hours before the start of the show. The prices for the ticket range from 2,100 Yen (for the women and students) to 3,100 Yen (for men). The tickets cannot be bought randomly by any person at any given time of the day, the time of purchase will depend on the person's category.

The so-called categories include the AKB48 Mobile club, the AKB48 official fans club, a student category, a long distance traveler category, a family and couple category, a female category, and the regular category. Furthermore, those people from abroad or outside of Japan who are planning to watch the show, reservations online must be made a month prior to the travel. The ticket will then be raffled and an email will be sent to the chosen guest. Although the method of availing the tickets may sound tedious, the show and the passion of the girls to entertain their fans will absolutely be worth it.

AKB48 Café

The popularity of the J-pop group, AKB48, is undeniable and continues to grow tremendously until today. In the Akihabara area, there is a unique restaurant that is dedicated to the all-girl group. So, this place should not be missed by the people within the area and the fans most of all. Everything that is inside the restaurant is related to the members of the team. For instance, there are displays of food with a picture of the member who apparently likes the food. Also, the recorded shows are continuously being shown inside the eating area. In addition to this, all the girls that comprise the AKB48 have a picture displayed along with their hallway and not to mention the framed messages that are hanged on the wall.

The menu consists of light lunch and desserts. This is probably the perfect place to relax after a tiring day since they seem to have a wide choice of sweets. One of the best thing about this café is that it is open every day, even during public holidays. It is not hard to miss since it is very near the station, the JR Akihabara station in particular. All in all, the avid followers of the AKB48 would surely enjoy a little visit to this humble café. Even the souvenir shop offers limited items that the customer would love.

AKB48 on media and television

AKB48 show

The fame of the idol group, AKB48, is inevitable with their synchronized dancing and unified singing. This type of music style has appealed much to the crowd of pre-adolescent and older men. This popularity has led them to produce their own variety program called the AKB48 Show. It was first aired on October of 2013 by BS premium and NHK premium. As of this month, there are at least 200 episodes that were made by the group. Normally, the show would start with a short skit then several group, solo or live performance will dominate the show. Then, in April of 2017, the show did a compilation of the past performances and was aired on AKB49 Show remix. As of March 2018, at least 10 episodes in total were released to the audiences. For the millions of fans, the show is like another dose to satisfy the AKB48 cravings.

AKB48_members_at_the_J!-ENT_LIVE.jpg: kndynt2099derivative work: Puramyun31 [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

AKB48 on Wiki

Due to the growth of the group's fame, there are a lot of articles and write-ups about them on the internet. Of course, they even have their own wiki page. Here the fans can follow the life, career, and album or single launch of their favorite idol group. For instance, on January 2018, the AKB48 introduced their latest and 9th album to the public. Also, updates regarding their shows and out of the country performances can also be found on the wiki. In fact, the music festival where they joined in last September in Jakarta was also published. On the other hand, past events like album launch can also be read on wiki. For example, when they released their first indie single in February 2008, it was indicated on the wiki as well.

Top songs recorded by AKB48

AKB48 single: heavy rotation

This song was considered to be the 17th single and it was released on August 2010. It eventually became a karaoke hit and made its way to music charts such as Oricon, Joysound, and Billboard Japan. This single was written by Yasushi Akimoto and then produced by Yusuke Tanaka. The charming music video was directed by a well-known photographer, Mika Ninagawa. It was considered a special song that a Mandarin version was made by a sister group, the SNH48. The song talks about a love that is overwhelming that entails the excitement of finally meeting the one true love. Again, it was a hit among their fans just like their other songs.

AKB48 Single: Fortune Cookie

This is known to be their 32nd single, which literally mean fall in love fortune cookie. It was released in August of 2013 and it was released into four different series editions. Aside from this, the sister groups from various Asian countries also made their own version of the song. It went viral due to its music video that featured the fascinating choreography. Thus, it was a song that proves that AKB48 is the group to watch out for.

AKB48 Single: Teacher Teacher

On May 30, 2018, the 52nd single of the AKB48 entitled "Teacher, Teacher" was released to the public. It featured Yui Oguri as the star performer for this song. It was received well by the fans and even made it into Oricon singles chart and Billboard Japan's Hot 100 during the month of May. In addition to this, by the month of June, million copies of the single were sold. This particular song was written by Yasushi Akimoto and was then produced by the same person. Then on April 1, 2018, the group first performed this song at the Saitama Super Arena.

The idol group, AKB48, has made its name through their novelty and awe-inspiring performances. Thus, they had gained hundreds of admirers not just in Japan but also all over Asia. They continue to be an epitome of youth, grace, and pure talent. Clearly, the AKB48 is one of Japan's national pride.