Can Japanese Pop Group AKB48 Get Any Faker? YES, Actually.

By Donald Ash | Articles

If you’re an AKB48 fan, I’m still your friend, but I we’re going to have to agree to disagree. I remember hearing about the group and seeing them on so many different advertisements, so I figured, these girls have to be talented.

I checked out a couple of videos and I just was not sold…I mean at all. No offense, I’m sure they work hard doing choreography and all that, but there is nothing that struck me as different or particularly extraordinary about their singing or dancing. They were kinda cute, I guess, but the whole girly, tiny-voiced, kawaii (かわいい) thing doesn’t do much for me, except for triggering me to flip the channel.

To me, AKB is the quintessential, formulaic, somewhat cliche, cutesy girl J-Pop (Japanese Pop) girl band. I have never really been into the boy or girl bands unless they were doing something that was totally unique. For example, the Jackson 5, would (in many respects) classify as a boy band, right? (minus the Joe Jackson beatings of course). But did you ever hear a kid that young sing the same way Michael Jackson did prior to that group? I hadn’t. Honestly, I haven’t since.

AKB’s music all sounds so similar to me. They’re like “cookie cutter” songs, and I’m not talking about a gourmet cookie either…just a cookie. It’s catchy but no real substance. PLEASE LISTEN WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED FIRST!!:

If you didn’t end up ramming your head into the nearest wall, I commend you. Watch again with your eyes open and maybe the cuteness factor gets you (if you’re a girl) the bras and panties will probably get you if you’re a guy. But imagine hearing this music over, and over, and over, and over again with no images. Not my idea of a good time, folks. LOL πŸ˜€
I think what makes the best bands great is when they can show diversity in their music/songwriting. I didn’t really listen to the Beatles very much growing up, but throughout the course of their careers you can see how their songs are so different so diverse. Could they have fallen into the Boy Band trap? Yes! Initially I think their novelty and good looks helped them to acquire droves of rabid fans. But it was their talent and their originality that distinguished them as one of the most memorable rock bands in history and not just some boy band that came out of Liverpool a long time ago. I’m not a huge rock fan, but I am a fan of good music.


With AKB48 I often wonder where their fan base is coming from, because I can pretty much guarantee it’s not coming from the vast majority of elementary school kids. During class, we were working on “I like”I asked the question “Who likes AKB?” I think I had literally one or two children (out of over 200 kids!!)…say yes. I don’t know, maybe these kids are secretly supporting the group. I think the fan base is actually women in their 30’s oddly enough, because I majority of the female teachers at my job like AKB. I’m sure the “men who fantasize about school girls” demographic has a heavy representation as well (that’s a pretty broad group of people though, lol).


Just when I though AKB48 couldn’t get anymore made up/fabricated, I go and read this:

Japanese Pop Group AKB48 gets even faker

There she Is, the newest virtual AKB48 meember, Aimi Eguchi.

“Japan’s latest rising pop star also happens to be one of Japan’s latest pieces of technology. Aimi Eguchi is the newest member of AKB48, a famous Japanese pop group with 61 members.

Eguchi made her debut in a TV commercial last week and is on the fast track to super-stardom. But Eguchi’s thousands of fans were shocked to find out that their pop idol is literally larger than life.

A video released online shows behind-the-scenes footage of Eguchi’s eerie computer-generated creation. The producers of AKB48 made her by taking features from six real members of the group and recording an actor’s voice. Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time Japan fabricated a singer. Hatsune Miku, a singing hologram, has performed in arenas throughout Japan and makes her U.S. debut next month in L.A.”

-Yahoo News

You can check out the video by clicking here.

So they fabricated the “perfect” J-Pop girl via computer technology, huh? It’s definitely creative and it definitely works. Honestly, I prefer fake singers being a little bit real rather than real singers being a little bit fake, if that makes any sense at all.

Now I know there’s a little bit falsity in most music acts because music is a type of theater, meant to capture an audience, but there’s a distinct difference between captivating your audience and being canned. I haven’t listened to Hatsune Miku, but I will have to take a listen; I am interested to see how similar her style of music is to AKB’s.

Wait! Did that blurb say there were sixty-one members? Sigh. Can you really call that many people a band? That’s not a band, that’s a dance troupe! That’s a choir! If you gave them weapons it’s an army faction! If you line them up right and give them spears and shields, it’s a Greek phalanx (okay, so you may have to remove one). Sixty-one is a lot of freakin’ people, ne?

Are you an AKB48 fan? I want your honest to goodness opinion. If you are a fan, which song is your favorite? If you’re not a fan, why not?


**It’s so funny how the universe works. Β Oddly enough, not long after writing this post I ended up meeting AKB48 during a modeling gig I did at the AKB Janken Taikai Concert…

Seeing how hard they were working changed made me change my tune a bit. Though I still can’t claim to be a fan of their style of music, but I have to respect their work ethic.**

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Donald Ash is an ATLien expat who has been living in a Japanese time warp for the last six years. While in aforesaid time warp, he discovered that he absolutely loves writing, blogging, and sharing. Donald is the creator, writer, designer, editor, programmer, and occasional bad artist of blog (that's just way too many hats, dude). Wanna know more about this guy? Check out his "What's Your Story" page.
  • Ryan McGuinness

    The only J-pop group I personally like are Home Made Kazoku, they really are very unique with all of there songs. As for fake bands: Gorillaz are obviously the best fake band ever. πŸ™‚ I had issues actually hearing AKB48 at times: do they sing in dog frequency by any chance?

    • Donald Ash

      Donald high fives Ryan! Yes the Gorillaz were great! I’m not sure what frequency they sing in Ryan, but could possibly be dog πŸ™‚

  • Oh crap! LMAO! Good article, Donald. I forgot to turn off the video before scrolling through the rest of your review only to hear that ruckus crank up again with the video credits. Aaaaahhhh!

  • Anthony

    I bet if they played this kind of music in jails around the world, crime would be reduced instantly. I’m not a fan of the music but the video does its job with sucking you in. *thumbs up to Ryan* Gorillaz are awesome!

    • Donald Ash

      It would either reduce instantly, or skyrocket instantly…it’s a bit of gamble, lol. I don’t listen to the Gorillaz so much anymore, but I was a big fan of those first two albums. Noodle is my favorite character. This is my favorite Gorillaz song:

      • LanceT

        I’m right with you with Gorillaz, the first stuff was the best. Next to Clint Eastwood, Rock the House ( ) was also one of my favorites.

        Haven’t listened to AKB48, though I can say I would like to see one of Hatsune Miku’s “live” performances.

  • Hmm.. definitely not my thing. I’m not into American bubblegum pop, let alone any other country’s. They’re cute.. but just no. I do like some j-pop but I am more into visual kei and rock. I’m fond of Gackt -cough-..

    I also like DJ Ozma so I guess my taste can’t really be called.. um.. well he’s funny what can I say?

    • LanceT

      Gackt’s music is just pure awesome. As far as genre’s go, I’m open to most anything. Some artists of mention; B’z, Koshi Inaba, Ayumi Hamasaki, Aikawa Nanase. For some good j-rock, I love Psycho Le Cemu’s Greatest Hits album.

      I haven’t kept up with recent trends though. Those are just a handful of my picks. πŸ˜›

      • I really like Angela Aki–her cover of Kiss from a rose is amazing! It’s better than Seal’s imo. Ayumi’s cute. XD

  • gar

    ruddy bloody brilliant article

    • Donald Ash

      Thanks for reading, bro, and thanks for the feedback.

  • Kayla

    There are very few J pop artists/groups that I like and this is definitely not one of them.

  • Ms. Hoshino

    I like cute things but I rather listen to Japanese music like Dorlis, NSP, Kirilo’la’, etc. Kinds of things that sound really good. Cute doesn’t sound really good, but that side of me craves it during the right time. So I will watch cute video at that time.

    The other thing mentioned that is a hologram looks and sounds very ugly. It is like a 12 year old girl who can’t sing in all respects. I rather listen to Genki Rockets character that sounds a bit pleasant and looks nice.

    I really enjoy this post! I keep reading.

    • Whena13yrsoldmeetanime

      How can u call Hatsune Miku ugly? Lol. She’s moeee~

      But yes, her sound is too high-pitched, but I can’t really agree on you saying that she’s ugly.

      Well, thx beforehand for your opinion, I’m sorry if I might have been rude. :”)

  • I’ve given up on Jpop for the most part. =.=; Now I just stick to Jrock and Kpop, etc. I’m not interested in a music that sounds like a children’s theme show tune or anime.

    • Donald Ash

      I’m with you on that, Macchan πŸ™‚

    • Nam

      I’m not interesting in music that sound like a children’s theme or Japanese animation,too!

    • Otaku-desu.

      Do you hate anime? Lol.

  • Roger Starkey

    Thanks Don. I can’t stand any of these alphabet soup girl groups either. They’re only made to keep the Koreans from totally taking over pop music.

    But, we know that can’t happen. Japan has their own weapon: the Macross Cannon of Pop.


    How about an article on them?

    • LOOL your comment is so stupid..
      AKB wasn’t even popular when they were created and everyone thought they would fail. Their story was an underdog rise to success and they were created in 2005 when most people don’t know what Kpop is.

  • HachimitsuBoy

    Agree with you…. I just hate AKb… they have to voice / dancing talent… their songs are repetitive and have the same sound with a strange anime feel to it… And they use sex to sell this crap… Funny is that a lot are underage so this MV would be banned by law in most EU / Na countries…

    That’s why I prefer K-pop… Look at SNSD / Gir;s’ Generation… have good voices (not all), have amazing dancing, live performances, have style (not crappy AKb cosplay)… and overall are taller / more mature / look way way better.

    • Hanabiratachi

      I remember you..for someone who hate AKB you seem to go on their video alot and bash them..IDGAF if this comment is from long ago but I want to tell you off..You’re mindless hater and what’s ironic is that you’re doing the same thing as the antis who hate SNSD lol You seem like the type of sone that defend when people say SNSD is overrated and plastic but bash others…LOL~~~
      And underaged? All of the AKB girls who are promoted are 18-26 LOL~
      OMFG…SNSD DON’T SELL SEX AT ALL~ WTF IS THAT?! Oppa oppa I’ll be genie for you in our short short that show our butts~~

      Hypocrites who overrate Kpop. It’s the same or probably even faker than AKB since your 9 angels went through personality training before they debut. Idols main selling points aren’t about talent but as a whole package. Do you think anyone care if SNSD is talented? Big Mama can sing and Korean don’t care because they’re FAT and not attractive and not PLASTIC like most idols. SNSD dancing isn’t even that great. Most of the time it’s just arm movement. I’ve never seen an idol who can dance like Boa. I have nothing against them but you put SNSD on a freaking pedestal and then put down AKB..WTF is that shit?
      btw…you know AKB went through shit like SNSD did right? They’re similar with SNSD the way they both rise to the top from the bottom

      If you respect SNSD, then respect people who donated over 15 million USD to tsunami victims, who still visit little kids and even on christmas at tsunami areas to pass out free presents, people who work hard to get where they are, like Masuda Yuka who went through cancer at 2 yrs old, Iwata Karen who’s a tsunami survivor, Nakaya Sayaka who was in poverty. These girls worked to be where they are just like your “angels.”

    • Mana

      lol You’re here too? Wow, I can’t believe you’re so obsessed with AKB… It’s not only in their videos, you even search about them and comment on their articles. How long has it been? You talk about them so much, are you sure that you dislike them?

      You bash AKB for having repetitive songs, and then you say SNSD is good, omg. Because yeah, Gee Gee Gee, Oh Oh Oh, Hoot Hoot Hoot, Baby Baby Baby, Run Run Run and so on. That’s not repetitive at all *roll eyes*. AKB sell sex just like every other idol group. You’re really delusional. There’s a reason why SNSD is only known in Japan for their legs. Their PV are always focusing on their legs. That’s not sexual at all, obviously, their legs = talent right? *sarcasm* You’re so biased it’s not even funny.

      Besides you still don’t know anything about AKB. Some of them can sing, some of them can dance, but even if many of them can’t, it’s alright because they’re idols and they’re not supposed to be amazing singers and dancers or else they would actually be singers or dancers, but they aren’t. Same for SNSD, they are idols. If any SNSD girl was talented enough then she would have debuted as an artist (singer) and not as an idol.

      SNSD are not taller lol they just use the right tricks. Their profile are lies, they even said it themselves. They wear high heels all the time and are super skinny which give the illusion of long legs, when in fact, 3-4 of them are shorter than 1m60 (lol that’s so tall right?). AKB also has tall girls, short girls, and everything, they just don’t focus on looks all the time, unlike SNSD.

      Next time give your opinion without lies and without making yourself look ridiculous. Also, we get it, you love KPOP and SNSD and you dislike AKB. You don’t have anything more interesting to say than this? lol.

  • Pink-chan

    I’m a girl and an AKB’s fan as well. Just here to share my opinions.

    1. Eguchi Aimi: First off, I can’t help but notice that you quoted Yahoo!News and the information wasn’t correct at all. 90% of AKB fans already predicted that she wasn’t real from the start and no, Aimi didn’t rise to stardom fast. If anything, she was hated by the remaining 10% who didn’t see that she was CGI. The group is large so the competition between the girls is fierce. Wotas aren’t happy when a girl came out of nowhere and hogged all of the attention that should have belongs to their oshimen (favorite member) – fact: girls like Matsui Jurina, Yokoyama Yui, Sashihara Rino have many haters due to the large push from managements. Aimi isn’t a permanent member at all. She is created solely for Glico’s candy advertisment, the candy is called Ice no Mi (AIsunoMI), a play on words. She did not and will not participate in any AKB’s song.

    2. Cutesy Songs: If anything, AKB is one of the most diverse girlgroup when it comes to music. They’re not great singers, us fans and the girls all acknowledge that, because they’re idols, not artists. J-Idols are there to entertain, to perform and make people feel better. But AKB’s concept is diverse. Honestly, you judge AKB with just one song? I suggest you try Beginner and RIVER, especially Beginner. Watch the PV, the original one, not the making-of or dance-version if you can then you can see for yourself if AKB is just cutesy pop.

    3. Members: I watched a video of fans saying why they like AKB once. A young girl, in her 20s, stated that because there are a lot of members so you can choose an oshimen to your liking. AKB is a group of very different girls. Fans can find a girl that they like. And no, their only choir song is Sakura no Shiori, featuring all 48 members (at the time). By Sep. 2011, they have about 56 members. Heavy Rotation, the song/PV you linked, isn’t sung by the whole group or “choir” as you would say. Only 21 most popular girls (senbatsu), voted by fans in the 2010’s Election, took part in it. Normally, for non-election result single, the senbatsu is only consisted of 16-18 girls. In their theater in Akihabara, they perform by team – team A, K, B, 4 and Kenkyuusei (research students – possible future member). Each team has 16 girls and in every stage, the team is broken down into smaller units and perform.

    4. Fandom: Since AKB has so many different girls, the girls attract different groups as well. Girls like Kashiwagi Yuki, the typical princess-type, are liked by older men. While young, teenage girls are mostly attracted to AKB’s resident fashion leader, Itano Tomomi. AKB’s center, ace is Maeda Atsuko, who possess the image of the girl-next-door that is loved by the mass. AKB fandom isn’t consisted of only old perverts. In fact, AKB was named one of the artists, whose songs are sung the most by young girls in karaoke. Heavy Rotation, the song you mentioned, is released in 2010’s summer and til now, it’s still the no.1 karaoke song in Japan (43 weeks and couting).

    My favorite song from AKB has to be Beginner and maybe the upcoming Kaze Wa Fuiteru (released in October). In my opinions, the girls are just lovely and hard-working. They’re…normal as well, how Watanabe Mayu, Oota Aika are big otakus and obsessed with 2D guys, how Sashihara Rino is such a chicken. They’re unique and special in their own ways. Just give them a chance and maybe they’ll grow on you.

    • Donald Ash

      I can see you’re a true blue AKB48 fan. I appreciate you sharing your opinions with me. I don’t really follow AKB very much at all, so Egushi Aimi fooled me.
      Honestly I have heard maybe two or three of their songs, and just wasn’t really moved by them. I agree that they are entertaining and hard-working… they wouldn’t be around if they weren’t and wouldn’t have the gaggle of fans that they do. It’s just a concept that I’m not really into, no offense. As far as songs go. I can’t picture AKB making songs that are a lasting as say the Beatles or the Jackson 5, but the fans love em, more power to them.

      I did check out that River song, and admittedly it’s not nearly as bubble gum pop as the songs that I’ve seen of theirs. Nice recommendation.

      Thanks for posting Pink-chan

      • MyNameIsFire

        YES! I agree! Have you heard “I’m Crying”? It doesn’t sound bubblegum pop-y either. (Sorry for a late reply. ^_^)

    • Anthony


  • yic17

    Only people who don’t really know the girls of AKB48 will say they are fake. Because if you really get to know them, you’ll see that they are some of the most genuine girls in the idol world.

    Casual fans probably will not get to know the girls deep enough to see their genuine side. But more hardcore fans who buy all their DVDs and see the countless hours of backstage footage of the girls will see a much more “real” side of the girls.

    There are a lot of footage where the girls are overflown with emotions that you simply cannot fake it. Because if those were fake, then they could be the greatest actresses in the whole world. Check out Yokoyama Yui’s speech during AKB48’s 3rd senbatsu election. Heck, just watch the entire election if you can. There is much real emotions to be seen on that show.

    About the talent part, it’s untrue that AKB48 girls are not talented. But rather, their talents are diversified. Some girls are good at dancing, some at singing, some at acting, some at show hosting, some at humor, etc. That’s why if you just look at the group as a whole – you may think: Wow, they are not very good at all. But if you learn more about each girl’s individual talents, you’ll realize that AKB48 has some incredibly talented girls.

    Anyways, it’s easy to judge something when you don’t know much about it. But dig deeper into AKB48 and you’ll find gems that you cannot find anywhere else.

    • Donald Ash

      I do have to say I hear every word you guys are saying. I had a slight change of heart after having a chance to meet them. I did a small job at one of their concerts last year and they actually came across as rather friendly. I’m not going to lie and say I’m a huge fan of their music, but I can respect what they do.

      • anthony


        • B


    • Alyzabeth Paige


    • AKOF

      “More hardcore fans”, i.e. lonely losers.

  • yic17

    Some talents from AKB48:

    Iwasa Misaki’s enka singing:

    Takahashi Minami’s “Bird”:

    Kashiwagi Yuki’s solo “Chinmoku”:

    Maeda Atsuko in J-Drama “Q10”:

    (She’s a robot in the drama. Check it out. It’s REALLY good.)

    Oshima Yuko in J-Drama “Watashi ga Renai Dekinai Riyuu”:

    Other great singers include Masuda Yuka, Akimoto Sayaka, Sato Natsuki, Kuramochi Asuka, etc. Sashihara Rino is great at humor. Takahashi Minami is good at CM (She is the current co-host for shows “Mujack” and “Shin Domoto Kyoudai”).

    Some footage from AKB48’s 2011 general election:


    (Yokoyama Yui is #19. That is as emotional as I’ve ever seen someone gets …)


  • laupanman

    Besides their music, if you’re saying they have fake personalities and haven’t watched any of their variety shows then it’s pretty obvious that all you’re impressions are based on what you’ve seen from just their pvs and promotions.

    If you don’t like their music okay that’s fine, go listen to something else.
    If you’re complaining about how they don’t have talent, then it’s time to wake up and understand that they are NOT made to be an extremely talented group, they are more like an idol group in training and have an “idols you can meet” concept – this idea is so that they grow closer to their fans rather than acting all “celebrity like”, people mostly like them for their personalities.

  • laupanman

    Although I have to say, very good post! It was entertaining to read πŸ™‚

    • Donald Ash

      I appreciate you sharing you opinion. I appreciate you the feedback more than you know. THANK YOU!!

  • Ralph Dester

    No I’m not their fan, they suck and when I am feeling useless and humiliated I would just search AKB48 on google and laugh at their faces because they look so ugly, watch their videos and thinking that having such inferior people make me feel far more superior. But boy do they suck. Yeah! They provide good entertainment of being sluts. They are good sacrifices, i rather see sluts like that rather than my girlfriend being like that hahah!

    • Tchak

      So you just admitted that in order to feel better you have to look down on people ? Also, you are not Superior you are just a sexist and slut-shaming asshole. It does not make you superior. However, the whole society tells you that what you do is great, that’s why you think you’re superior. But actually you’re just pressed and brainwashed. And sexist. Poor girlfriend.

    • You sound like a really sad person and I’m sorry for your poor girlfriend to have to put up with your godawful lack of self-esteem.

    • Your life sounds sad–you being superior is just you trying to make yourself happy, it’s not even close to the truth–you’re actually far more inferior than them.

    • thegame

      i feel sorry for you…may you find peace in your mind and soul, if you have one…

  • Ralph Dester

    No I’m not their fan, they suck and when I am feeling useless and humiliated I would just search AKB48 on google and laugh at their faces because they look so ugly, watch their videos and thinking that having such inferior people make me feel far more superior. But boy do they suck. Yeah! They provide good entertainment of being sluts. They are good sacrifices, i rather see sluts like that rather than my girlfriend being like that hahah!

  • Sarah

    I just came across this and I wanted to point out that AKB do have more variety in their songs, you just have to look past their feel-good cookie cutter singles (: As AKB were initially a theatre group, their original stages are where the really good songs are and where the strongest singers shine, and yes, not all their songs are cutsey…

    Some examples:
    – Nakeru Basho ( – This song features some of my personal favourite singers in AKB and is really lovely to listen to, I’d give it a try (:
    – Korogaru Ishi ni Nare ( – A more rock based number
    – Itoshiki Natasha ( – Great girls and great vocals. Another rock-ish song.
    – Mori ni Ikou ( – One of the more mysterious AKB songs, it’s one of my favourites.
    – Dakishimeraretara ( – An RnB esque song with beautiful lyrics
    – Blue Rose ( – Another rock based song
    – Mushi no Ballad ( – A solo with one of my favourites. An 80s power rock ballad, another one with great lyrics
    – Confession ( Another rock based song with some underappreciated vocals

    If you listen to these I’m sure you’ll change your mind about dismissing some of these talented members so easily, and you might change your mind about their music as well. Sadly this music isn’t as well known to people who don’t take the time to listen to the huge range of songs which AKB have ;~;

    As a bonus I’ll throw in a bonus of probably the best AKB singer who recently won a lead in a production of The Wiz, covering a Dreams Come True song (which are extremely hard to sing) (:

  • Proves AKB is more than bubble pop down there.

    BTW they started out with only 8 people in the audience at the first show. They even have to hand out free tickets and flyers themselves in the street before they got popular. Even today some of the girls still clean toilets at the theater, not acting like popular divas

    Itano Tomomi cleaning toilet

    Thx writer but do your research when you completely write about things you don’t know about..especially such a long article of misinformation.
    I kinda feel like you should revise the article or write another one if you no longer feel the same way, but that’s just me.

    • YuiNounen

      they wouldnt know their struggle, dont even bother to check, akb-fans relationship is not like any other grup, the motto “idol you can meet” is there for a reason.

  • Takahiro

    AKB48 is pop. I will never understand why so many people expect so much out of pop stars. The job of a pop star is to produce catchy music, and AKB48 does just that, and they do it well. They also project an image of innocence, and humility, which is much much MUCH better to what American popstars portray (which is often sex, drugs, and alcohol take a look at any Kesha or Rihanna music video).

    • Christina1239

      I would choose a video 20+ year old partying over a video sexualizing young girls and their “innocence.”

      • JustPassingBy

        That’s your opinion, isn’t beautiful having difference in taste? It’s about respect. When you start to losing respect to others especially in music, then music losing its purity. I think music should and even could save life. Not becoming the cause of loss of life over fighting which is better. Sorry for my poor english.

    • niki

      because of such “pop” stars, the REAL talented musicians/artists/bands/performers are nowadays getting so underrated, and some cases even virtually almost unheard, and then died-out as a result! Now tell me where is the FAIRNESS in all of this?
      and that’s why, as a *true/real* GOOD music lover/fans myself, sometimes I can dislike AKB48’s “overrated” popularity & success so much. just being very honest here.

  • Shaolin74

    Thought I would come in and add some balance to the comments left previously. Living here in Japan for 14 years, I have seen the music scene change greatly. Not being a fan of pop music, my opinion of AKB48 is, of course, biased. However, the problem I have with them falls into several areas.

    Firstly, as a pop group, I am mystified as to why you would need so many members in a group (guess that one was started by Morning Musume years ago).

    Secondly, if you are being marketed as singers, why oh why when they do a live performance do they have to mime. Not a great showcase of talent if you ask me. For those people who say they don’t, just watch some of their performances as tell me why their voices sound so relaxed as they’re dancing like mad on stage. The group is used as a springboard into music, acting, etc. Should you want to be a singer, this group is the way to the top for young kids. However, should you want to be an actor or a songwriter, why are you debuting as a singer???

    Thirdly, I do have a problem with who their target demographic is. There is something not quite right about kids of 11 or 12 going through auditions to become a member, only to be dressed in bikinis and schoolgirl uniforms and paraded for the enjoyment of lecherous older men. Please understand, I am not talking about all the fans, but surely if a group needs to show skin to sell records (especially very young teenagers etc), there is something wrong! This is probably the biggest problem I have with the group.

    I do have other problems, but that’ll do for now. I guess each to their own, and if you like them, more power to you. I have to say that I prefer my singers to a)speak properly, b) not represent lolitas and c) be able to sing all to the same level are thereabouts (all members)).


    • Yes

      Yeah!! The members didn’t realize that they are sold as some men’s eye candy.. which is so sad. You don’t have to be photographed like that.. that’s something I feel very wrong about Japan.

    • Alyzabeth Paige

      Honestly, i am a complete supporter of AKB48. They have many flaws, as do every artist ever. If you dont like AKB48 then i understand but I have seen a few documentarys by them and when you say,”if you are being marketed as singers, why oh why when they do a live performance do they have to mime. Not a great showcase of talent if you ask me. For those people who say they don’t, just watch some of their performances as tell me why their voices sound so relaxed as they’re dancing like mad on stage.” It shows them back stage. They are having to use breathing machines just so they can get to the next song. Some members pass out and they have to find replacements. You dont need to judge before you know the truth.

      P.S. When you shoot music videos, you shoot it in different days. It’s no wonder they are so relaxed because they have barley exerted any energy!

      • Ibis

        and I’m sure the “documentaries” are accurate depictions and not just staged promotional material. I was in a jp theatre last month and they had an ad for one of these akb docs.. I made me want to gag. Also, your ps point kind of just affirms what Shaolin is saying. They’re so relaxed in their music videos because they do there shoots in different days. Which is why there singing is also so relaxed live when they’re dancing like mad because they aren’t actually singing at all. It’s just a recording playing.

        Ps, sorry for the necro, just sick of akb since living near tokyo recently.

    • Wenaldy Pangestu

      first, sorry for necro, but I can’t stay silent when you mentioned “However, should you want to be an actor or a songwriter, why are you debuting as a singer ?”

      Actors in my film school is required to be able to sing also. It’s part of their curriculum, aside from dancing. You’ll be surprised how favorable it looks during casting when an actor/actress can sing. Hollywood is, as you know, the biggest movie industry in the world and they can afford to maintain a movie’s making (especially pre-production and production) long enough to have time to train the actors. Keep in mind many film crews don’t have that luxury of time or budget and it’s a big plus when an actor can sing. This is especially true in Japanese animations (I’m talking about voice actors) where it’s common practice to sell songs related to the anime.

      As for songwriters, I haven’t worked with them, but I do know the connection between being able to play an instrument and being a composer. There are many small details that you can only feel when you sing/play the instrument. A simple way to compare would be between songs made by synthethizer softwares such as Absynth or Logic, to songs performed live. I’m willing to bet the same comparison applies to singing and songwriting. Songs are much like poetry, you have to understand the metre and rhyme and the nature of the language used for the lyrics. This is the reason Fallout Boys sound better now compared to their first years. In a nutshell, songwriting and singers are not entirely connected, but it helps to know both.

      Besides, you don’t see any auditions/job interviews for songwriters as much as being a singer for Japan’s most advertised idol group. Becoming an AKB singer is, to put it, “one way of getting into the industry and making contacts”

  • poopy

    Are they talented? Definitely not. But their songs actually do have more variety than you think. It’s just that the most popular ones (the ones you’re exposed to) all sound similar. They literally have hundreds of songs between the main group, subgroups and soloists so it’s just a matter of finding something unique.

  • poopy

    I made that post before I got to the end, and since you asked fans what their favourite songs are, I gotta say, you better listen to Stand up.

  • KizakiYuriaOshi

    seriously? why are you even talking about them if you have them? I know their cute songs aren’t the best but they have songs like uza, Seifuku ga Jama Suru and river. You obviously don’t even know enough about them so I don ‘t get why the hell you would dis them like that. They do work really hard and deserve all the fans they have. I understand if you don’t like them and I don’t dislikeyou for it but it seriously bugs me when people write things like this without knowing much about them. And they have all these variety shows where you get to know all the members better and show you who they truly are and this is what makes them awesome idols. If you want to waste your time posting about how much AKB48 sucks then go ahead wasting your own time to talk about something you don’t give a shit about, And to Ralph Dester, maybe you think their ugly but their all beautiful on the inside and out, what would you know anyway? If you talk about people like that it means you the one that’s truly ugly. And sluts? I don’t think so they don’t pose nude or anything and none of them are even aloud to date anyone, so your the true slut. Sorry about all my rambling I know it’s long but I had to get all of that of my chest xp

    • Christina12349

      Does it matter if they post nude or not? Lol, so are you trying to say that gravure photos are okay because they’re not nude? AKB48 is just another gate for pedos and over-sexualizing over young girls. I simply don’t understand how it’s possible for a video of young in lingerie to be socially acceptable. Also, the fact that they’re not allowed to date anyone? I think that’s ridiculous. AKB48 isn’t much of a pop group as it is a cult.

      • mouichido

        are you kidding me not all of akb48 songs mv like “wear a bikini or bra or bla bla” hahaha and they are IDOLGROUP so its not like they can sing really good but each member have their own talent

    • Guest

      Try reading the lyrics of Seifuku ga Jama Suru and tell me that’s appropriate. Because it’s not.

      • #yoo

        “Seifuku ga Jama Suru” Hmm.. Does that mean “Uniforms are in the Way”? Sorry, I’m not japanese and I’ve watched animes, I just wanna make sure my trainslations’s right (lol)

        • Helvetica Baskin Robbins

          Yes, that is right. And I read the lyrics. I cringed a bit. I mean, either go all out dirty like Ke$ha or don’t do it at all, especially if your image is pretty little girls.

  • Icarus

    I’m not really a fan of their music. I tried….I really did but I just can’t like them. Their songs are the type that I can sing at a karaoke for fun but will never have a place in my music player. I’m confused as to why they resorted to having sub units. I get that a big group will notbe able to feature all the members singing, so why create a big group in the first place? Also, gravure photos of these girls are everywhere! I could never understand why the need to photograph these young girls in their bikinis but still project the pure and innocent image. Actually this kind of thing is prevalent in the idol industry and it disturbs me.

    I understand that they have variety in their music and the message along with it, but remember that they have minimal to none contribution to them. They are simply told what to do as performers and are expected to do their best.

    On the plus side, it’s a miracle that you don’t read news about fights within the group. I have to commend the less popular members for their patience and determination to keep up with rest. Imagine how hard it is to pass the audition competing with hundreds of aspiring idols (apparently, they’re that many), and once in, they have to find a way to be distinct from the rest.

    But really, they’re partly the reason why I stopped checking the Oricon charts.

    • AKB songs are great for Taiko Drum Master (that drumming game that’s still a rage in Japan), but yeah, I can’t listen to them more for 5 minutes. I tried to. I got tired of seeing them on Music Station and such, and stopped watching. I’ve even saw some of the lead members sing live on Japanese TV in solo performances and yeah they really can’t sing. I appreciate the fact that they, like many aspiring musicians, work very hard, but if you can’t sing, you can’t sing.

      I won’t even rant about how crass some of their videos are.

      I think it’s amusing that J-dramas like “Ama-chan” poke fun at them and the system behind AKB.

    • OoooooZzzzzzz

      You should watch akbingo and their 3 documentary movies, then you will under stand them more, akbingo is their own tv variety show on Nihon TV, it was first named akb 1ji59fun (which means akb 1:59 and it’s am) it started at 24/01/2008 then it became akb 0ji59fun on April which they moved an hour earlier, then it became akbingo as it is now in the same year august, and it is still airing, so I suggest you watch akb 1ji59fun first then 0ji59fun then akbingo, by watching it you will understand about akb, the members and the hilarious things they do

      • DARTS

        YES THE DOCUMENTARIES….. i just really wonder if its really how they are or maybe its part of their way to sell their image. Besides, if we say that they know they are being filmed knowing fans will see it, i don’t think they’d want to show anything that would lower their popularity… or you never know they might have edited out unwanted stuff from the ‘documentary’. And besides, the whole point of the documentary is to showcase that AKB is a hard-working, fan-loving, competitive group… so that fans would love them more. its all part of marketing them. its not like im saying they’re all fake, maybe they work really hard, that is highly appreciated by fans, i’m just stating that its the way they are being promoted as singers with all that innocent image contradicted by their gravure pics. They have catchy songs but that’s all there is to it, catchy. But yeah like the other guy here said, if you cant sing, you cant.

  • Jim

    I readed your post and actually I think it’s interesting and you showed some points. What I find interesting about the group is the energy contained in some songs, like korogaru ishi ni nare, others that give me a relaxed and good mood like bingo. If you want to see if they sound good listen Sakura no Shiori, Bird, Korogaru Ishi ni Nare, Uza and Beginner. They all are different to the J-pop idol formula

    To be honest, I don’t think you can compare AKB to Jacksons 5 and specially Michael and The Beatles, they are let’s say in the top tier worldwide. I actually listened without watching their videos and that’s when I started to like AKB (I got curious with Sakura no Shiori, liked them with 10nen Zakura and Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2008, started to be a fan with River) AKB is the bigger (in success not only number and they have the record guiness in number lol) in japan. As far as I know, they were not only the best selling idol japanese group (that’s because obsessed zombie-like fans) but it was the one that got out of the idol market and succeed with regular market.

    About their songs, some of them have silly or light and sweet themes, some sound terrible, but some are interesting. I think their singles had become more and more souless, but there are some interesting songs and that separate from the “formula” A lot of songs talk about unrequested love, but others about graduation and cherry blossom (a pass rite to japanese people, Sakura songs) and others risk more like talking about bullying, wanting to sleep with someone but being unable to (age, society, not being ready, etc), a girl fallin’ in love with other girl, a protest song about the world not caring about others suffering (released way before japan tsunami), rebelion about using school uniform, etc.

    Finally, AKB is as far as I can notice, the group that is more autentic, they normally act as themselves (or a cartoon-like selves) with less stereotypical behavior than other idol groups.

  • Shinoki

    Seriously, AKB isn’t that all cliche and all. They have different images, ok so it got a bit, uninteresting now that the original members graduated mostly, but they are still interesting and unique in their own way. There are the cliche common idols, the un-idol like guy-ish members, the surprisingly fail members, the funny members, and others. And even though this might be rude, but I can’t say that they are all cutesy. Note: I can listen to this music all day. Plus, just saying I think that sites like Yahoo! are a bad resource if you want information about AKB and such. You need something that actually follows AKB48 and Japanese stuff. And please note that just because they don’t have many elementary school fans doesn’t mean that they aren’t good. AKB48 was popular around teenage girls as well. But seriously, when I first saw AKB’s songs in elementary school, I was a bit embarrassed, but seeing as the singing was good, I still like their songs, but was not much of an avid fan. Then the year afterwards, i saw their unique traits a bit more. They aren’t exactly fitting into the image of cutesy perfect girls that people say they are. Yeah, melon-pan obsessed, coward, gorilla(I’m sorry Sayaka), kind of stupid, likes Takarazuka, good actress. They work hard too. Plus their songs are better than most Boy-Band music or ALL American music I’ve heard in my life which is a pretty big number. And tiny girl voice only applies to some of the girls and that’s either because of their image or because of their age. Note that I haven’t read the comments below yet.

  • tofu

    Perfume. Listen Perfume.

    I don’t are about AKB’s strong songs, yes they are not bad but don’t show them as a proof, all knows what AKB is doing in Japan. AKB has many songs and only 4-5 are not cutesy bubble jpop

    Also, I know XXX48 well, so don’t say go learn

    • mudkip

      4-5 are not cutesy bubble jpop? lol whatabout aozora no soba ni ite, JESUS, Bird, seifuku ga jama wo suru, namida uri no shoujo, dareka no tame ni, keibetsu shiteita aijou, kuroi tenshi AKB sanjou, mokugekisha, itoshisa no accel, pioneer (actually there’s a lot more but im to lazy to type it here :p)

  • hitomi

    I’m Japanese and I’m ashamed they exist.
    They just sexualize themselves so much, can’t bring myself to like their music.
    They have no dignity for themselves, can’t they just become porn actresses so everyone will be happy? Of course they’re popular, no need to be talented.
    Their songs are catchy + cute girls (and sexualized so of course guys enjoy them).

    • kathia rosado

      that’s a stupid comment i mean i like akb48 and its not because of the “sexuality” or whatever the fuck your talking about it’s cause i see they work hard for the fans and for the group i think in alot of jap. american and hispanic music vids. your going to see alot of scenes of “sexuality” like that its just a vid. i guess alot of artists need to begone then

      • niki

        sorry, but that’s bullcrap arguments as well. a TRUE, REAL good musician/artist should NOT use any kind of cheap “sexuality”. a musician simply should use their MUSICAL talents to rise up above & to succeed, not by showing some skins & cheap “sexuality”.

        to be honest, I am now very saddened of the japanese music industry nowadays; it’s because of “cute sexy pop idols” like AKB48, that the REAL, GOOD talented musicians/artists are seriously heavily underrated nowadays (ie: great bands with REAL good music & skills & heartfelt, SOULFUL music & lyrics!) , and as a result, many even have gone extinct/slowly died-out because they simply can’t “sell” anymore!

        trust me,…the japanese music scene used to be really GREAT back in the 90’s era, with great, REAL-TALENTED bands/artists such as: X Japan, L’arc~en~ciel, Shiina Ringo, Utada Hikaru, etc etc. but now, everywhere and everytime I hear about Japan it’s almost ALWAYS only about AKB48 , which is seriously & honestly getting sickening for a REAL GOOD music lover/fan like myself!

        – from Indonesia –

        • Jay

          they are not musician or artist they are an idol group

        • Miharu

          Well what I can say, stop listening to JPOP if you are not liking it anymore, great singers are still active or just in hiatus for personal reasons but hating AKB is just stupid. AKB represents the JPOP culture so expect them to be popular as they are mainstream.

          If you are already sick, just STOP. Afterall, it is not youγ€€who will decide who will be popular in the music industry here in JAPAN. The main point is they are idols, aimed for Japanese audience.

          i dont think you understand Japan culture at all…seriously…

          • Alberto Moreno

            Well, it’s not that AKB48 is the representative of Jpop culture but the jpop idol culture, idols are not meant to be mainstream, there are few j-idols who can do that, in AKB48 only a few members but not the whole group. AKB48 is only relevant by their fans.

  • Yes

    I agree with u. Even how many recommendation of AKB’s songs that we get, the likelihood that we dont even want to try to hear/see is very very high. AKB is just an eye candy, they are not stars that we will feel “Wow!”

    • SuperJlover1 .

      for your information akb48 is created targeting male fans in japan so who cares if other nationalities don’t like them, and they are not stars just an idol group you can meet… that’s their concept, if you’re comparing them to kpop it’s different Japan and Korea idol style are totally different, just like their culture it’s different!

  • Kiwi

    Did that girl ever grew her hair back?

    • thejapanguy

      Hehehehe. Good question, Kiwi. I wondered the same thing

      • SetsunaRinn

        if you’re talking about Minegishi Minami girl, she’s rocking the short hair cut now.. I kinda like it since it’s refreshing, or else she had been in the same long hair since 2006

  • muhdnurhidayat96

    I’m a fan of AKB48! they are so cute!! kawaii!! πŸ˜€ my fav. song is pajama drive and temo demo no namida!

  • Zin

    I love akb48..their music is so awesome:)

  • Tchak

    My favourite song is “Ikiru Koto”. It’s quite a sad song honestly, I also enjoy Ruby, How Come ?, Sugar Rush, Yuma no Kawa, Kinmokusei and Dessan. RIVER and Beginner are also good ^^
    In your article, you said that you liked “good music”. Saying “I hate pop/AKB” is way more respectful tbh ^^ Also, music tastes are subjectives. I never liked rap music because most of the rappers are actually really close to pop singers : they have a manufacted image of the badass gangsta who’s been in jail numerous times, using homophobic, racist and sexist slurs… Most of that is crafted (well actually the rappers in my country) and they are not as badass, mean, intolerant and dangerous as they want to look. But they have to look like that to be considerated as “legimitate” and “true” rappers. And some of them made/make a shit ton of money with that. I hate the music and everything but I would not say it’s not good music because I know that my tastes are not and should not be universal. I’m not touched by the lyrics or the beats, that’s all.
    I’ve always prefered manufactured and crafted groups because I honestly think that shallow things are also good things. With shallow things, you get what you see/hear, no need to be a tortured poet, to overthink or to analyse every single word of each song to enjoy it. It’s just good fun. I also enjoy listening to Zemfira and Rammstein but I just can’t listen to them all day along, what they do is way too “heavy”, serious and depressing (especially Zemfira…). Pop is all about the show and the visual most of the time, I never understood why people complained about that because that’s just what makes mainstream pop. Pop is visual. Pop is to the musical industry what action films are to the movie industry : visual not deep, just to impress the viewers.
    Well this will be a fan rant and you’ll roll eyes, but AKB sells more than music. I like the fact that EVERYTHING is perfectly marketed. Some of their lyrics are really really shallow but some of them are actually great and I was surprised (Ikiru Koto, Beginner, RIVER, Yuma no Kawa, Dessan…). Yes, it’s super childish, but that’s what I like about them : the fact that they use childhood, school and teen years to convey their message (that’s an important part of life after all). But what made me a total fan were the dramas for the single So Long!. I didn’t expect a pop group to tackle these serious issues Oo So yes, they make super sexualized songs but there is something more : the teamwork, the bond (even if it’s fake) between the girls… And well, as pop music is a visual misic kind, they are of course “fake”, even if I don’t consider using a lot of make up and doing plastic surgery as a bad thing. Not my body, not my business.

  • Raz

    As it seems you’ve started to notice, they’re popular because of their basic concept- idols you can meet. Musically, they run a range from terrible to probably top 0.001% (great, but not countrywide talent level like an Ayaka). But it’s hard to go to a live and watch them perform and then give them all high fives on the way out and maintain Internet level hate. Something may even catch your eye or your fancy- like acchan who was the only to give a high five of sufficient force for a westerner, or maybe that girl who’s sword prop broke in the middle of a performance but still had the professionalism to carryon as if nothing was wrong. Once they’re real to you it’s easy to at least like some of them. Or even if you can’t meet them in real life, if you follow their google plus or whatever, can you really hate them? They don’t really respond to individuals but they’ll sometimes respond to the general thread of comments. They’re real and you can affect them.

    And that’s a bit of the benefit of the troupe. With so many members they can go all over on parties of 3 and 4- while 16 hold down the fort at the theater and others work on tv programs or photoshoots or radio or stage perfoances or voiceacting. Or hold art exhibits or recently, actually write a handful of their own songs. They can hit a wide number of fields, while still being relatively accessible- they spend days doing handshake events and such. If you choose a relatively obscure one she might even remember you exist. Therein is the greatness- akb is so big everyone knows about them, and yet has facets that are small enough that you may actually be able to make a sort of connection.

  • Lolll


  • ced1106

    Great article. I think AKB is just a symptom of the manufactured bands in Japan. Japan’s Boy Bands are another example of this. I suspect these bands are a reflection of the consensus and conformity of Japanese culture, while American pop reflects… actually, I prefer to listen to rock. (: If you haven’t done so already, maybe you can do some research into the Jpop industry and get a better idea!

  • Sassafrassery

    Honestly, I do like AKB48. Now, bear with me here, I don’t like them because of the girls, since I am one and am currently straight. I don’t like them because they’re “KAWAIIIIIII!!!!11 <3 <3" I like them for the simple fact that their music is fun and it's catchy. When I feel sad, I turn on Pierce the Veil because that's just how I feel (to be honest, I'll find any excuse to turn on PTV but that's not the point.) If I feel angry, I turn on Disturbed or Three Days Grace (again, any excuse) and if I feel cutesy and bubbly I turn on J-Pop. Sure, like all things it has its tropes, but that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable. AKB48 is a good group in its genre and yes, they do work very hard, and I think that deserves some credit (I mean, they're not even allowed to date, the poor things.) And you know what? "Beginner" is my work out song and I'm proud of that because that is a damn good song. (Also, PLEASE listen to Hatsune Miku and no, she doesn't just do J-Pop, she gets put into many different genres of music, as do all Vocaloids and my God it's addicting the way they're so versatile! Just-Just listen to all the Vocaloids, because some people don't like Miku since her voice is very high pitched (which in some songs just adds to the creepy factor…you'll understand eventually))

  • xperroni

    While I don’t personally like Idol music very much, it’s clear to me why producing agencies like them so much.

    An individual singer, or even a band, is an inherently unpredictable enterprise. They might be a bust right at debut, or prove to be a one-hit wonder. They might strike success and then ditch the company that launched them, change music style and lose the favor of their public, become quarrelsome as the success gets to their heads, or just up and die of overdose in a public toilet. Producers have to put up with these risks because the artistic persona of a solo singer or band is irrevocably tied to actual people – you cannot get someone else to be Hamasaki Ayumi, or TM Revolution, or Porno Graffiti (bands sometimes can manage to change a member or two, but they often lose popularity, and rarely survive losing the lead singer).

    In this sense Idols are advantageous in that they have a more predictable success curve. As long as the basic routine – cute young girls, happy bright music, and choreography numbers in slightly pedophilic costumes – continues to find a sympathetic audience (whoever those may be), it’s relatively easy to turn a success. The only problems are that the shelf-life of an Idol is somewhat short, and the persona of solo or small-group Idols (think three to five) still identifies very closely to the actual girls.

    In a large Idol troupe, however, the artistic persona is not tied to any single member, but to the group as a whole. As members grow old or otherwise fail to comply to its image, they can be cast off and replaced by someone else; the group sustains very little damage, as (1) members are barely distinguishable from each other and (2) in the case of a dishonorable discharge, the person being ousted takes all the blame for whatever situation led to it, keeping the group’s reputation immaculate. As long as nothing disastrous happens (like a scandal involving the group’s producing agency, or a change in audience tastes), such a troupe can continue to exist indefinitely, switching members as worn cogs are replaced in a machine.

    This is AKB48 in a nutshell: an Idol group as an entity independent from their members, much like a company will live on mostly unchanged, even as employees come and go. Commercially it’s a work of beauty, the interchangeability of the Idol taken to its logical extreme. Artistically… Well, their productions are colorful and pretty to watch, and the music isn’t bad to hear. But it may not turn out to be your thing, if you prize creativity or a unique identity.

  • TheAgentOfDeath .

    if you want to sing in japan you best bet is to look like a 10 year old girl and wear skimpy clothing for the perverted Japanese males(pedophiles) . and you need to learn how to auto tune because all Japanese singers cant actually sing they auto tune everything and it is quite obvious.

  • Mitchie Carey

    I really like AKB48 and I think there music is very popish and could be classified as annoying if you’re only listening to the voices but if you listen to the words of their lyrics and then add in the voices it adds literally that much more depth my favorite songs are beginner and River πŸ™‚ I’m a new fan and I look forward to hearing a lot more from them ^~^

  • Shonichi

    AKB48, SKE48, Morning Musume etc. can be categorised in a special j-pop category called “Idol music” where its a group of cute, younger girls singing, dancing and interact with fans (hence the common chants and cheers during concerts etc). Especially with AKB where their initial concept was “idols you can meet” as they have shows that run almost daily and frequent handshake events. The girls in these groups went through an audition to find some possible talents and in the groups they develop their vocals, acting and other skills through years of activity to use after leaving the group. For example, The former ace, Maeda Atsuko, If you listen to some of AKB48’s earlier songs, her voice is average or even below average, but after years in the group, she went on to act in several movies and released a couple of solo songs. The large number of girls in the group is kind of chaotic but fans can identify members that are able to stand out and some are so outstanding that maybe even your regular japanese housewife can identify the member. Seeing how it is almost “talents in training” groups its rather unfair to compare them to typical band with people playing instruments or pro dance crews.

    When it comes to song, the most common and well known songs are often just the cover track/A-side of the singles they released. These often has a catchy beat, bits that at times could be brainwashing and be stuck in your head. but aside from those tracks, AKB48 currently has i believe over 1000 songs where some are more ballad like, or based on the events that occur to the members etc. The most common and hated mistake that really annoys the fans is how people see their most popular mv on youtube “Heavy rotation” and think the group is just a “wear lingerie and sexy, borderline-porn group”.

    There is a lot more that people can clarify about the group and correct about people’s incorrect or wrong impressions about the group. Hope this helps a bit.

    • kathia rosado

      really if you actually think heavy rotation in considered some porn vid. or what not then you don’t know what porn vids music is go to America or Puerto Rico or other countries you’ll see whether heavy rotation is considered porn vid. you must be some kind of nerd virgin or something because you obviously don’t know anything. from all the music vids iv’e seen around the world and iv’e seen many heavy rotation music vid. looks like a normal vid. i mean it’s not like girls don’t wear those kind of clothing to go to sleep with im a girl and i honestly thought this vid. was pretty adorable now look for an american rap vid. or a hispanic vid. you’ll see the same shit girl wearing bikinis blah blah blah. rest my case

  • Shoushou

    Hi, just found this article now. I’ll just add my opinion in.

    AKB isn’t a band. It’s an idol group, and idol group’s main focus is usually entertainment rather than actual musical skill. Plus they’re pretty much marketed as the “idols you can meet” types. I don’t think it’s really fair to compare AKB to the Jackson 5. As I said before, AKB isn’t a “Band”. It’s like all the other boy and girl groups in J-Pop and K-Pop. They’re created for entertainment. They have to be able to sing reasonably well, give a smashing live performance, and be unique and entertaining on variety shows. Idol groups aren’t created to be the new, innovative kings and queens of the music industry. They’re entertainers, like comedians.

    Alright, maybe comparing them to comedians isn’t right, but it’s somewhat similar. Idols have to be able give 200% to entertain, and sometimes you get true musical talent when an idol can really sing or dance or write/compose their own music, but first and foremost they’re entertainers. It’s different than in America.

    Also, there is over 240 members in AKB right now. That’s not just for show. Before being a national idol group, they have roots in performing in their own theaters. Various teams are made because they need people to perform in the AKB and sister team theaters as well as perform live elsewhere.

    Also, about Hatsune Miku, she doesn’t have a ‘style’. Hundreds of different people use her and other vocaloids to make songs in a bunch of different genres, ranging from Pop to rock to heavy metal to…jazz. My main point is she’s a versatile tool to give people with musical capabilities the outlet to create music when they can’t sing/can’t find a singer.

    And that’s pretty much my 2 cents.

    • Jay

      finally someone understands

  • pepe

    For me are like Chipmonkeys

  • james coleman

    Sure enough they suck, fake…and can they sing at all???
    This is J-Pop, all about packaging, about entertainment, everything is been set up and it’s boring -_-”
    Skill?? nah…not so important.

    • JustPassingBy

      J-Pop all about packaging, entertainment, been set up and boring? Dude, your opinion is definitely baseless

  • Juri

    I really don’t understand hater like you. It is just normal that every artist have their fans and antis. If you don’t like AKB what was the point of making this article? what did you want when you wrote each and every paragraphs? If you don’t like it just leave it be, let the one that like them enjoy their music and performance, as for you just listen other music that you like.

  • PineNyan

    I’m also a girl. And I think :
    1. Cute songs
    Team K has so many cool songs, and have you heard UZA ??? That song is so cool. And I think that song doesn’t have the cute pv, the pv of UZA kinda umm gothic, UZA also has the most hard dance
    2. Gravure photoshoot
    I think members do that because of their agency,manager, and AKB’s management want them to do it, and not all of AKB Member like to wear bikinis like Takahashi Minami. And one of AKB48’s sister group, JKT48 even didn’t have costume that shows their belly or tummy.
    3. Fans
    I don’t think fans fantasies their oshi like that, but we never know what they are thinking, except if we can read mind. Maybe some people think “show-panties-group” or “quantity over quality” but for fans their oshi is not beautiful,sexy,cute because of their physic but their behavior, their hardwork, their speciality, and their talent
    4. Talents
    AKB is an idol group not a vocal group, idol group doesn’t always sing,some of them maybe want to be singer and have beautiful voice like Takahashi Minami, Watanabe Mayu, Yokoyama Yui, etc but some of them want to be modes

    I like most of Team K’s songs, RIVER, Beginner, UZA, Kaze wa Fuiteiru
    For the normal (not too cute and not too dark songs) hebirote, gingham check, mae shika mukanee

  • blissfuldew

    I agree with most of what you said. If you’re looking for good music or talent, AKB is certainly not the group for you. They are idol group and idol group is not expected to be so talented, they are there for the entertainment values. They are recruited based on their looks or charm or image, talent is mostly overlooked, you can pass if you just have basic singing or dancing talent. And you’re right, they are a choir group and you don’t need to be a really good singer if you are in the choir, right?
    I never like AKB songs to be honest, not my taste, their songs are more like kids’ song to me. Even some of their serious song like UZA is too plain, it lacks vocal works, nobody does ad-libs, nobody belts, all just sing in unison. But I like watching them in variety show like AKBINGO and some others, they are really entertaining for sure. So I guess a lot of AKB fans are there for various reasons, their music and singing is probably one of the least factor.

    • kathia rosado

      pshh i wanna see you try to sing and dance the whole routine of UZA since your talking so much shit when i see you sing and dance the whole song to the perfection with a couple of your bud. with no mistake like all of the members do then i’ll agree to this comment

  • Kpop forever

    I tried listening to AKB48s music but they have no talent . They can’t sing and are popular only beacause they look KAWAII.

    • kathia rosado

      so who has talent kpop pshh please i didn’t even knew korea made music they suck id even know how to pronounce what they’re saying i hear is gujugle ha bublublu ha shit jap. i can understand sing and learn the words plus i thought akb was really good and i love the dedication they give to the fans and to their work and i like the message they give with hard work sweat and dedication anything is possible if you quit without giving it your all you won’t achieve anything thanks to those words i hear every day i have the strenght to work 2jobs and study for my firemans bach. degree the words they taught me are the reason i keep going.

  • papi

    You judge AKB48 in a single song?Why don’t you try other songs?They have 500+ more!
    Eguchi Aimi was made for a candy commercial…she didn’t and won’t participate in any song.

  • Jamie

    Your post will make AKB48’s new fans confuse, make old fans upset, make AKB haters happy and make people don’t know AKB misunderstand. You don’t know well about AKB48 but you write an article about them like you know everything.

  • Bakamina

    Your question: Are you an AKB48 fan? I want your honest to goodness opinion. If you are a fan, which song is your favorite?

    I am an AKB48 fan and my favourite song is Kaze wa Fuiteru, and to be honest, I don’t like your article.

  • Lila

    I’m a girl, and I’m a fan of Maeda Atsuko (Acchan). The first video of AKB that I watched was Yume no Kawa, Acchan graduated song. When I watched the video, I don’t know anything about AKB48 and Acchan. However, when I saw Acchan sang by her heart, saw the other members of AKB sang for her, I have cried. Then, I become an AKB fan after watching that video, support AKB48 even when Acchan had already graduated. AKB48 is very important with me, and I know AKB is important with every fan, too. Please, go to Youtube and search for Beginner, River, Sakura no Hanabiratchi, Kaze wa Fuiteru, Koi suru fortune cookie…, watch AKB variety shows like AKBingo in order to know more about AKB48. Thank you.

    • thejapanguy

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Lila. I had a chance to do small job with them a couple of years back, and honestly they were really nice and I could tell how much work went into what they were doing. I still can’t claim to be a huge fan of their style of music. But after meeting them, I can say I respect how hard they work

  • pineapples

    I will be honest first song i’ve ever heard was heavy rotation in japan and I hated it which in turn made me hate akb. I had to listen to it for hours because it was their newest album and everyone was in love with it. People would sing it on the train and you would people humming it that I got irritated by it. But after searching up who they were and learned more about them and how they struggle to get to where they are now. I started to admire them especially all the remaining 1st generation before acchan graduated. Their desire to do their best for the fans who supported them and help them through the rough and hard times. They went from 8 people to reaching their 1830m dreams. These idols have plenty of talents and it’s being different in their own way. Gravure photos are everywhere throught the world, you don’t complain about seeing them in magazine or online. In my eyes it’s a good way to increase sales and popularity so why not use it? There’s nothing wrong with it.

    P.s. This me raging to all those who keep saying paruru is the next acchan, she isn’t and can not be. Paruru doesn’t have the aura to pull people in like mayuyu, yuko or acchan. Nor does paruru feel or know the struggle of the 14 year old acchan who probably had it the hardest. Being a new group and having tons of antis at such a young age. If paruru can take akb onto the world stage I am all in for paruru as center. But until then mayuyu as center!!!

  • kathia rosado

    watch their documentaries and you’ll see why we fell in love with akb48 and only people that appreciate them will understand and see that they’re not fake and that they work hard for us the fans and for the group for me to like bands and such. it takes alot after i saw an akb48 anime i learned more about them trough youtube google some of they’re doramas and the rest from akbingo and i thought they were great i love the fact that they’re always dedicated to their work and fans

  • kathia rosado check this one beginner

  • kathia rosado
  • kathia rosado
  • kathia rosado
  • kathia rosado
  • Progressive Core

    They make no secret of the fact that they are manufactured and are not polished professionals. They are advertised as a diamonds in the rough musical act consisting of Idols you can actually meet and shake hands with and support and cheer for like an athlete. Anyone who descries them for not being an authentic band or flawless professionals is judging them on something they never intended.

  • Helvetica Baskin Robbins

    I honestly can’t tell any of the members or the songs apart, and I’m Japanese.

    • Uzagi lol

      Wow, I can tell a few popular members and I can toootally tell songs like : “Heavy Rotation” and “UZA” apart.

      Indonesian here~ Oh btw, try listening to Heavy Rotation, and then UZA after that. If they sound SAME in your ears, I suggest you visit a doctor ^w^)

  • Jajajinks

    I honestly have no problem with AKB 48 at all, as a Japanese person. Their singing is bad, but I’ve heard worse. If anybody thinks their songs are over-sexualized, you obviously have missed some Nicki Minaj videos. What I just cannot forgive, is the fact that they are considered to be one of the best bands in Japan. Although there are similar cases where an artist rose to the top through “cuteness” (exe: Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande), let’s face it, they had pretty good singing talent. I am totally fine with AKB becoming famous and everybody liking them. But a band that made itself through catchy music and cuteness should NOT be regarded as one of the best producers of music. This trend of “if they’re cute and have decent songs then they’re good” has caught on, and recently the top of the Japanese music charts are plagued by cool looking guys and cute looking girls. It is simply horrible to see actually good songs be outranked by songs that are popular just because some good-looking person sang it. Although it is not AKB’s fault for creating this new genre, I still cannot like them because of the somewhat negative impact they caused on Japanese music.

    • 48ww

      they are popular in Japan and have big sales numbers but nobody says they’re one of the best bands in Japan.
      its like McDonalds, they sell a ton of BigMacs, but nobody says its the best food.

  • Guest

    Time to add on to

  • The electrifying man

    AKB48 lip sync..there is no doubt.. it is very common in their music variety shows and music station. However, you all crtique without having watched enough Japanese programmes where they sang live. Sure yous say they can relax on the scene while dancing..but you do know how it is like to dance nonstop without a break? Why don’t you trying dancing all their Dark side songs non-stop.. sure they dun sing live during their concerts unlike other pop groups.. Have you watched their daily theatre shows? It is all live singing… There is nothing wrong displaying sexuality or whatever scenes that you all irk about..this has been something that has been passed down since the debut of idols in the 1970s..i am surprise that many Japanese people themselves do not know about “idol” in Japan. In modern context, AKB48 is just adapting and changing the definition of idols. Oh, btw.. do you know that the director of Heavy Rotation is a lady? Are you all trying to deny her rights as a women who thought that the concept fits them? You all should go read the interview.. Having alot of members has its pros and cons..the cons is that there will be Anti-s that will dislike certain members..the pros is will be able to find a few members to support and like..if you can’ just means that your life is more complicated or your taste cannot be found easily..oh..just to ad on.. majority of idols in Japan would have done a bikini or swimsuit photoshoot.. so what is wrong with that? It is just Japanese pop culture…if you want change the culture..why don;t you try changing the Japan’s WWII “Comfort Women”.. get a grip you jabronis..

  • David Wallace

    Honestly the underwear couldn’t fix that video. Some of the girls were just stubby, but my problem was their teeth. I’m used to asian pop stars with crooked teeth, but these girls all had creepy poorly perfected teeth. One looked like her braces were cockeyed. My mom was a dental hygienist so maybe I’m more into teeth than normal, but this was just bad.

  • niki

    a TRUE, REAL good
    musician/artist should NOT use any kind of cheap “sexuality”. a musician
    simply should use their MUSICAL talents to rise up above & to
    succeed, not by showing some skins & cheap “sexuality”.

    to be
    honest, I am now very saddened of the japanese music industry nowadays;
    it’s because of “cute sexy pop idols” like AKB48, that the REAL, GOOD
    talented musicians/artists are seriously heavily underrated nowadays
    (ie: great bands with REAL good music & skills & heartfelt,
    SOULFUL music & lyrics!) , and as a result, many even have gone
    extinct/slowly died-out because they simply can’t “sell” anymore!

    me,…the japanese music scene used to be really GREAT back in the 90’s
    era, with great, REAL-TALENTED bands/artists such as: X Japan,
    L’arc~en~ciel, Shiina Ringo, Utada Hikaru, etc etc. but now, everywhere
    and everytime I hear about Japan it’s almost ALWAYS only about AKB48 ,
    which is seriously & honestly getting sickening for a REAL GOOD
    music lover/fan like myself!

    – from Indonesia –

    • Nyaaaa

      Umm… I’m sorry if I might sound rude but, have you seen “EVERY” songs of AKB48? I’m not really a fan of AKB… I like them, but I’m not obsessed like how my friend is.. -w-“)

      I think that judging them by only listening to a few of their songs is being prejudicial, isn’t it?

      Please trying watching “Beginner”‘s Original MV, it’s not “cute”, “sexy”, or “pop”, well, if : Being controlled with a machine and trapped in a game, dying inside of the game, having your hand being pierced through and bleeding in the , breaking free of the machines, and meaningful lyrics like this :

      “In your position set!

      All the experiences you made until yesterday
      And your knowledge are only a burden
      The wind will always pass by
      And leave nothing behind

      Look for a new road!
      Don’t open someone else’s map!
      When you raise your eyes that were looking at the ground you’ll become zero

      Are we dreaming?
      Are we believing in future?
      Afraid of nothing, careless of what’s our place
      As reckless as we are
      Are we dreaming now?
      We should be as brand new as a child…
      Let’s tear off the chains that controlled us
      Change your mind
      Change your mind
      We don’t need to know anything Beginner!

      Adults failed and felt ashamed
      And suffering has become their trauma
      Thinking they don’t want to feel such pain again
      They have become smart

      Challenges are laughed upon
      What are you protecting with your silly calculations
      In order to avoid risks?

      Are we alive?
      Do we want to be alive tomorrow?
      We pretend we understand, we feign a knowing look
      While we haven’t dreamed in a long while
      Yeah, are we alive?
      Aren’t we wasting our life?
      Feel now the rhythm pulsing through your veins!

      Stand up! Together!
      Remember the day you were born!
      Everyone’s a beginner!
      Stand up! Right away!
      It won’t go well
      Easily from the beginning
      Stand up! Together!
      You just need to go back to the beginning
      A beginner again
      Stand up! Right away!
      Be defiant, be defiant
      It will happen somehow
      Tear away the old page
      Come on, let’s begin!
      We can be reborn all the time

      Are we dreaming?
      Are we believing in future?
      Afraid of nothing, careless of what’s our place
      As reckless as we are
      Are we dreaming now?
      We should be as brand new as a child…
      Let’s tear off the chains that controlled us

      I can’t do anything
      I can’t do it well
      And so?
      We’re still young
      I can’t do anything
      I can’t do it right away
      That’s why we have possibilities

      The rain has stopped
      The wind has stopped
      A light we’ve never seen before
      Is shining
      Now’s the time

      You are a reborn beginner!”
      Is being “cute”, “sexy”, and “cliched”, then yes, they are being very “cute”, “sexy”, and “cliched” πŸ˜‰

      Oh, and btw I’m indonesian too lol

  • Party Llama

    Well, I am an anon, and this post is probably a few years old, but I couldn’t resist correcting this:

    “I haven’t listened to Hatsune Miku, but I will have to take a listen; I
    am interested to see how similar her style of music is to AKB’s.”

    You can’t compare them because Hatsune Miku is not a singer, therefore, her songs do not have a specific genre of music. She is a mascot for the vocaloid program, which could also be called an instrument, since it can be used by everyone, and anyone can use it as they feel like to create vocals with different notes (even though some certain genres fit the voice better than others, but that’s why there are many types of voices, and not just the so popular Hatsune).

  • Sunny

    I hate them. Been listening to GOOD jpop since the 90’s. Jpop was also good either lyrics or voices . They are not good singers, they are not good dancers or even exceptionally pretty. UGH . Thanks to this bitches, the real GOOD jpop disappeared since they started making money with the shaking hands events. They DON’T deserve anythng but the trash can. ugh.

  • Lady Rune

    I like the sound..

  • Confused

    I was lurking around this old post when I noticed that you do respect akb48 somewhat (#comment-1544817018) so how come your blog post is just bashing them and not giving them a fair chance?

  • X – 2015

    Bit late to the party, but I think to understand and appreciate AKB48 and their sister group, you have to understand their system.
    Rather than band or common idol group, AKB48 is more like an organization. They are very structured and consisted of 5 teams : A, K, B, 4, and 8.

    1. Why do they need so many teams and girls ?
    The answer is regeneration of member : they need members who can replace their seniors. A common idol group or band have expiration date no matter how famous they are, but with that much member they can survive and preserve their brand. The second advantage is to attract different demographics because each member brings something different to the table. The third advantage, they can perform in many different places and doing many things at once. So it’s no wonder you see them in many advertisements XD. What the members do individually also strengthen AKB48 brand.

    2. They are not talented though?
    Well, usually the people who are chosen as a member is those who have potential or charm but hasn’t fully developed it yet. In AKB there is a term called oshimen, ‘oshi’ means to push or support. In layman terms it’s your favorite member, who you want to follow and support through all the hard times. Kinda like choosing your favorite football team. So if you say they are not talented, yes you do have a point, but it’s actually because AKB48 is designed that way.

    What you can be sure of is they are hardworking. Almost every day they have to train and perform at their theater.

    3. Their music is terrible
    Well I can’t say much here. While they do have many good and catchy songs, there are also many songs that’s forgettable or can be annoying to some people. I think it’s understandable though because they have so many songs (around 300-500 i think). There are also people who enjoy these songs because they can do chants (chanting is shouting some words before the members are singing the verse).

    4. Other things (particularly events)
    Well there are still a lot of things to cover like Senbatsu Sousenkyo (General Election) to choose the member who will appear for singles through her popularity, Janken Taikai, Draft Kaigai, Dai Soukaku, etc. Well you can search what that means because I can’t explain too well. But the creator of AKB48 and their operational team always push the members from their comfort zone and challenge them so they can grow. Those events I listed are held for that purpose, they reveal the members ability, character, determination and mental strength

    Oh and AKB48 is not an idol group, not a band.

    I must say though that AKB48’s system is very underrated and many people only comment at their songs without analyzing AKB48’s design (which I think is more interesting than their songs, though i do like their songs :P)

    • X – 2015

      I mean it’s an idol group, not a girl band

  • allmylove99.ilk

    Are they..lesbian tho? Tooooo many kiss
    Dont geet me wrong,im not a hater

  • Sae-chan daisuki

    i am an AKB (and sister groups) fan so what you said I didn’t like my oshi is Sae-chan i love her to death and if you have anything to say about Sae-sama i will do something to you

  • Kissanime fan Account

    I am a Girl, And Slightly a Akb Hater and Fan….(Not trying to Offend anyone)

    The only reason I found out about Akb0048 is because Of their Anime..I searched them and saw Their Game shows and stuff even though I didn’t understand them I watched them but sometimes I thought…Why are they all Japanese…Why can’t there be Some American people there but then I remembered oh They sing in Japan…Still Japanese people are famous with many American people but Asian People aren’t to fond of American Singers….American singers are (My Opinion) More Unique and Japanese Akb48 Singers are more of a Kawaii-Hello my name is Cute Girly type…All they do is pick the most Prettest and train them to sing…I didn’t notice they were 30 so that was a Flaw to me, Other than that I think it’s weird that American singers lately sing about their Romance Troubles and stuff for example: Taylor Swift…(No Offence) But Akb48 is different, They can sometimes have the courage to do crazy things like the Game show and Etc. But the thing I hate the most is that they dress in Bras and stuff and make Girls feel bad about their body sometimes….Well…Japanese Skinny is Like Not eating Meat for a whole 30 Years….

  • Moonbaby

    I’ll tell why they (AKB48) sell so much. Its because guys want to shake hands with them on concerts. They buy their album on these events so that they can get to shake hands with all the members. Thats really why there are so many of them and why they have so many sister groups as well.

    I’ve talked to many Japanese people who think that AKB is not good for Japanese music.

  • Ahmad Ridwan

    I thought so the first time I listened to heavy rotation, I didn’t like it at all not to mention that I hate the MV for exploiting too much sexuality. But then I listened to some of their other songs… It was so good I shed tears, it reminds of my childhood watching animes and stuff, it’s an instant time machine for me… i can say that I like AKB group the most now, but i still hate most of their primary singles… But some of their songs are so good that I started to hate my self for liking them haha.
    But still I chose not to follow their gimmicks marketing (handshake,election,etc) listening to their songs is enough for me

  • Foilpile

    Can’t help but be reminded of “Perfect Blue”.

  • Jael Lopez

    umm no im not a fan i ra
    ther listen to kpop boy groups XD ima go to japan and make myself a girl group and make unique songs lmfao the kawaii stuff has to have its limit

  • Jael Lopez

    umm not im not a fan i rather listen to kpop boy groups im not fans of kpop girl either much less jpop girl groups. ima go to japan creat a girl group and make unique songs my geez like the kawaii stuff has to have its limit

  • AKOF

    With the makeup and contacts, they all look like ugly white girls. It’s a sequel to White Chicks. The fact that their Voltron Idol that combines the best factors of their most popular idols is still a 6 or 7 at best says it all.

  • kobolds

    do you really think think any of the girls there are talented ? take a look at morning musume , do you see any of those graduated years ago making any name ? nope , none.

  • SHINee Lover

    Kamen Rider Girls is my favourite girl group

  • Armchair Critic

    I think it’s important to understand properly their body of work before criticizing them hastily. I shall thus defer my judgement until I’ve masturbated at least 10 times to their “Heavy Rotation” PV.

  • kawaii~β˜†

    First up, I like AKB48 — no true reason, they just make me happy when I’m watching them. I have read a lot about the industry and I know they are probably some of the hardest working people I have heard of (idols I mean). And idols are meant to entertain perform and make you feel good– that’s where the cutesyness comes into. They are NOT fake.. They are true HUMAN BEINGS with true emotions – look up arigatou by the original forth team πŸ™‚
    So yeah, agree to disagree ☺️

  • Aimi Gen

    It’s Jpop, of course it’s fake. It’s all commercialised and overproduced. I prefer real artists who write their own music

  • MyNameIsFire

    I LOVE AKB48, but not for their songs (mostly). I really just like the girls themselves, especially when they get to be themselves on AKBingo and other variety shows.

  • MyNameIsFire

    I love AKB48 but I hate their songs, okay? I completely agree that 90% of their songs are bubblegum pop crap whatever, yes, but I just like the members. I just wish that group wasn’t about satisfying old pervy old men.

  • Draconis Magnus

    What do you think of Exile?

  • Reina

    Not all akb48 songs are cute and idol like
    each team has its own image
    Team A represents freedom
    Team K has a strong and powerful image
    Team B is cute and idol like

  • krunkman4

    Dude… I don’t know if you are naturally like this, but it feels like you are desperately not trying to hurt someone’s feelings. Which is fine… .but its so I don’t know drawn out. You are so desperate to not hurt feelings you go on tangents about the Beetles, and the nature of good music. I still live in the states so I don’t know if it’s that Japanese politeness but it feels daunting to read in English. I would not have a problem with this aside from the fact that the title of your article is somewhat confrontational. It insinuates that not only are you saying that AKB 48 is “fake” and by extension bad. But you extended this by saying “faker” than they already were. You didn’t talk about why you initially thought they were fake, and you explained the whole “idol creation concept” which insinuates that the article was a clever pun in which you are “attacking the group on both fronts” (being fake… IE bred for our mass consumption with sugar coated unrealistic depiction of perfect girls) However, you beat around the bush not talking about this… therefore, the title comes off as unnecessarily harsh and shock mongering…. I don’t know why I’m mad. Mostly because I expected to see a well articulated critique related to why the music quality is unsatisfactory. Instead I feel the title was shock mongering for a click with a article that basically says nothing that you would not have gotten on the news… This is also really old news and I am responding much later… it just grinded my gears for some reason… sorry for rant..

  • nitestar95

    First, if you measure every artist against Michael Jackson, 99.9% of them are going to come up wanting. So much for that argument. Well, there’s no accounting for taste, rap proved that. If you don’t like their singing, don’t listen. Because while I’ll admit I don’t like all their songs, some are very good. Akimoto writes (or has ghost writers) pump out song after song, so they’re not all going to be hits. OTOH, some will be just fine, thank you. This is coming from a 59 year old guy who doesn’t watch the videos. So for me, it’s all about the music. AKB is more of a chorus line than a singing group. What he has done is offer a new way for girls to get entertainment business exposure. If they’re good enough, they’ll make it. If not, they can go on to something else. None of those girls is being forced to do that.

  • Ayuzawa_Misa-chan

    as a 12 year old i love akb48’s songs cuz they r dancy and makes u want to goof around listening to the song…… but i prrefer prizmmy

  • MyNameIsFire

    I think you could say that about any idol group – Could they get any faker? Kpop, Jpop, Cpop, Tpop.
    Have you ever watched any of the AKB48 documentaries??
    AKB48 isn’t just for looks and acting cute for pervy old me (though it may seem like it). Unlike in Kpop, AKB48 is meant for polishing young girls into the entertainment industry, like how Takamina is now a singer, and Acchan is a (successful) actress.
    Though yeah, I do agree sometimes their themes are weird, AKB48 girls really put their effort into their job. If you watch their documentaries, “The Show Must Go On”, “No Flower Without Rain” or “The Nonfiction” you’ll really see how much hardship they go through.
    So yeah, in YOUR eyes, you might see a girl group of Japanese girls acting cutesy and all, but what I see are girls who are becoming what they want to be; entertainers.

  • Wenaldy Pangestu

    I think you didn’t like them because their songs and videos are not their main selling point. Sure, songs and albums are a big portion of sales, but a lot of fans buy them and the merchandises because they like the characters of the idols. And by that, I mean that 48g spends effort to showcase these girls in different situations (variety shows, dramas, etc etc) that reminds us they’re just like us, human beings trying their best. The same feeling when you relate to a fictional character, only this character is someone you can meet and talk to. Fake ? Maybe. But relatable. You don’t simply dismiss someone who say out loud the thoughts you’ve been burying deep in your mind. That is why they’re very successful.

    I don’t like a lot of their songs also, but hearing Maeda’s energetic voice and Mayuyu’s clumsy personality (you don’t usually see this in their music because these character defining moments show up mostly in interviews and shows) cheers my day up somewhat.

    And I don’t approve the fanservice, it’s cringy for me. I mostly just stay away from the things I don’t like and enjoy what I can.

  • queenanise510

    Another thing people needs to stops surgery shaming.

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