AKB48 is a Japanese idol girl group created back in 2005 and named after the neighborhood Akihabara in Tokyo. The idea behind the creation of the band was to create a different type of pop band that doesn’t perform only on TV but on its own theater, in this case, located in the neighborhood that gives the band its name, on a daily basis.
The idea was that people would have a closer look and an easy way to attend performances.
The group is very big and it is split in sub-bands called: Team A, Team K, Team B and Team 4. That way the daily performances don’t take a big toll on the members. Each time has a distinctive image and concepts being freedom, cuteness, strength,…
As of the members, AKB48 is the largest pop group in the world, it had 92 members once but it has less now. Team A with 20 members, Team K with 19 members, Team B with 22 members, and Team 4 with 16 members. And of course there are a lot of trainees ready to replace or occupy new positions.
The age of the girls goes from 14 up to 20-plus. When the girls get “old” they graduate from the band and leave their place to a new younger member. They are selected as trainees in the auditions that takes places all over the country regularly. The rules are strong within the band. They are not allowed to have boyfriends and must behave themselves properly. If they don’t, they receive punishments or sometimes they are even spelled from the band.
The band debuted in 2006 with the single “Sakura no Hanabiratachi” . It was very successful getting to the TOP10 Oricon weekly charts, they released their first photo book.
A few months after they signed a contract with a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment.
That same year they even got more members through auditions all around Japan and they also had their first concert titled “AKB48 First Concert: Aitakatta ~Hashira wa Nai ze!~“. After that a few members graduated.
They released singles and had concerts all through 2007 and, on New Year’s Day of 2008, AKB48 released its first studio album, titled Set List: Greatest Songs 2006–2007.
They changed labels yet again in 2008. At the same time Ayaka kikuchi was the first member to be fired from the band.
On October 22, the first single “Ōgoe Diamond” to feature the sister group SKE48 was released.
Many singles and performances followed that. Until 2010, which was a really good year for all the teams as the sales of their singles amounted together to more than a million in the first days. That same year the group performed in the United States for the first time. It was only the beginning of several events outside Japan.
2011 was a tough year in Japan because of the nuclear disaster so the group had a lot of concert and performances in which they will donate the profits to aid the victims. They even announce a new sister group, HKT48 that would be based in Fukuoka.
At the same time they also opened the world’s first AKB48 Cafe in Japan which is having a lot of success since its opening.
They kept on releasing singles which surpassed the million in sales in the first days.
Many members kept on graduating as others kept on coming in to the teams. As of 2012 the band had sold more than 10000000 singles.
On 2013 an anime called AKB0048 was developed by Satelight. Nine members from AKB48 and its sister groups were selected to voice the main characters and to sing its opening and closing theme songs.
Since the beginning of the group there has been many successes, many scandals, and most of all, a lot of work. Let’s keep an eye on this band!
Written by Chelo