Team B (and former Team K) member Oku Manami to graduate

It was announced today that longtime AKB48 member Oku Manami will be leaving the group in May. To be honest, I’m not upset by this announcement in the least bit. Oku has always been incredibly low in my rankings, primarily due to the fact that she is not that great of a performer. She never showed any emotion on stage, and I always thought as the years went on, she got worse instead of improving. In short, she was somewhat boring to watch on stage.

I think it got even worse when it was stated in an interview that AKB’s head honcho, Akimoto, viewed her as an “ace” in the group. How he ever came to that conclusion is beyond me, as Oku was leagues behind a great many of the girls in AKB. I guess that whole “ace” thing no longer matters though, seeing as we’ll never see it come to fruition. Still though, graduations suck, no matter what, and I can only feel sorry for her fans. It’s never nice to lose your oshi.

AKB48 News – February 17, 2011

First up, AKB48 is once again shattering sales records (like thats a suprise anymore :) )
AKB48’s 20th Single, Sakura no Ki ni Narou, sold an astounding 655,344 copies on the first day alone. This is the highest first day sales figure EVER since the ORICON charts first started recording the daily sales numbers. These numbers mean that Sakura no Ki ni Narou could enter the 1 million mark in a matter of weeks. AKB48’s only other million seller, BEGINNER, took a few months to reach the million mark, so this is pretty fantastic news. As of now, the total sales for this new single stands at 756,648.

Also in the last couple of weeks, we’ve had both a promotion and graduation in the AKB family. Kenkyuusei Nakamata Shiori has been promoted to the status of full member, though which team she will be placed on has yet to be said. The general consensus seems to be that she will be headed for Team B, however. Over at SDN48, however, 1st gen member Ito Kana has graduated due to poor health, as apparently she had been previously away from the theater due to issues with influenza.

Despite not having even aired as of yet, AKB’s new drama, Sakura Kara no Tegami, is already getting a series of DVD releases. There will be 3 seperate DVD volumes released, with 2 additional box sets. Here’s the details (as of know):

Vol.1 DVD – 3000 yen US$35/84.58

Description: First DVD release from the TV drama series “Sakura Kara no Tegami” featuring all AKB48 members.

First Press Details:special feature/bonus available

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Vol.2 DVD – 3000 yen US$35/84.58

Description: Second DVD release from the TV drama series “Sakura Kara no Tegami” featuring all AKB48 members.

First Press Details:special feature/bonus available

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Vol.3 DVD – 3000 yen US$35/84.58

Description: Third DVD release from the TV drama series “Sakura Kara no Tegami” featuring all AKB48 members.

First Press Details:special feature/bonus available

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DVD Box [5DVD+micro SD / Limited Edition] DVD – 17048 yen US$202/84.58

Description: DVD box set release from the TV drama series “Sakura Kara no Tegami” featuring all AKB48 members. The set includes three discs plus two bonus discs. Also contains a micro SD card with bonus video footage, a booklet, and more.

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DVD Box [Regular Edition] DVD – 12190 yen US$144/84.58

Description:DVD box set release from the TV drama series “Sakura Kara no Tegami” featuring all AKB48 members. The set includes three discs plus a bonus disc. Also contains a booklet.

First Press Details:special feature/bonus available

Iwasa Misaki – AKB48’s Best Singer

I always knew that Wasamin was among AKB48’s top vocalists, but I am know convinced she is the best, bar none. This particular performance should be enough proof for any disbeliever:

I think any AKB48 fan would be hard-pressed to say there’s anyone better than her in AKB…she’s just that good :)

New AKB48 Subunit – Not Yet – 1st Single:Shuumatsu Not Yet

A new AKB48 subunit has been announced called “Not Yet”. The group consists of 4 girls, Oshima Yuko, Sashihara Rino, Yokoyama Yui, and Kitahara Rie. The group was revealed at the end of the second night of the ongoing Request Hour Concert. The 4 members are all members of the Ohta Pro Agency. They will be releasing their first single this March.

1st SIngle [Shuumatsu Not Yet]
Release date: March 16, 2011

【Type-A】CD+DVD
COZA-501-2 ¥1,600

【Type-B】CD+DVD
COZA-503-4 ¥1,600

【Type-C】CD+32page Photobook
COCA-16454 ¥1,200

【Regular】CD
COCA-16455 ¥1,000(税込)

Official Website: http://columbia.jp/notyet/

I’m actually really excited for this unit. The member lineup is fantastic, and it looks like they might have a sort of “rocker” feel to them, or at least that’s what I’m hoping. I’ll defenitly be picking up their first single. (And I’m really glad Yui is in this. I’ve really been liking her a lot recently, at least enough to put her in my top 5, so this news is awesome!)

AKB48 News – January 12, 2011

Hey everyone, here’s the latest AKB related news:

New Drama:

AKB48 will be releasing a new drama starting February 26th called Sakura Kara no Tegami AKB48 Sorezore no Sotsugyou Monogatari . The first episode will be 30 minutes long, while all subsequent episodes will be 10 minutes in length (except for the last one, as its listed as 60 minutes apparently). There will be 17 episodes in total. The drama seems to revolve around the girls as students at a school, with each having their own distinct traits and personalities. For those who plan to watch this drama, here’s the broadcast schedule:
Broadcast Schedule
#1 – 2/26 – 23:55~24:25 (30minutes)
#2~4 – 2/27 – 23:55~24:25
#5~7 – 2/28 – 23:55~24:25
#8~10 – 3/1 – 23:55~24:25
#11~13 – 3/2 – 23:55~24:25
#14 – 3/3 – 24:38~24:48
#15 – 3/4 – 24:28~25:38
#16 – 3/5 – 24:50~25:00
#17 – 3/6 – 22:30~23:30 (60minutes)

In other news, we know have some more info on AKB48’s 20th single. The title is Sakura no Ki ni Narou. The DIVA and MINT units from Beginner will also be making a comeback, with the songs Area K and Kiss Made 100 Mile respectively. The Undegirls will also have a song, titled Guuzen no Juujirou and Team Kenkyuusei will have a song titled Ougon Center . Its also been reported that the title track will be a ballad.

That’s all for AKB48 news. I’d also like to announce that I’m currently writing up a review for the awesomeness that is the Gundam 00 movie, so expect to see that in the near future.

AKB/SKE News – December 27, 2010

I’m back! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas/Holiday! Still got a bit more time off before the new semester starts in January, so its time to get back to blogging!

In AKB48 news, there are quite a few things to report on:

– First things first, I would like to make a correction on something I previously posted on. I posted that Iwasa Misaki and Komori Mika were being added to the subunit Watarirouka Hashiritai, however that does not seem to be the case. They will only be partaking in the upcoming 7th single, and will not be added to the group permanently.

– AKB48 has also opened up its own MySpace page. Yeah, MySpace. Apparently Japan hasn’t gotten the memo that MySpace has been dead for the last few years. Its all Facebook and Twitter now. However, this is a good first step into connecting with western fans.

– Team A member Sashihara Rina will be getting her own 30-minute TV show called “Sashiko no Kuse ni”, which will be airing every Tuesdays starting next year. This is a big thing for her as she will be the first AKB member to get their own solo show.

– Both SKE48 and AKB48 will be releasing new singles near the beginning of the new year. SKE’s 5th single is set to be released 2011/2/9 while AKB’s 20th single will be released on 2011/02/16. Both singles are still untitled as of yet.

SKE48 will also be airing its own short drama. The drama is called Mousou Deka, and will air only in Nagoya on Wednesdays during 24:40PM to 24:55PM. The air date is set for January 12th. The drama looks to be a sort of murder-mystery show with Jurina as the lead character. The members participating in this new show will be:
Team S: Matsui Rena, Yagami Kumi, Rikako Hirata, Oya Masana, Kizaki Yuria, Kuwabara Mizuki, Nakanishi Yuka, Haruna Ono, Yukiko Kinoshita, Hiramatsu Kanako, Takada Shiori, Suda Akari, Deguchi Aki, Kato Rumi
Team KII: Ishida Anna, Takayanagi Akane, Mukaida Manatsu

– Team K member Itano Tomomi will be releasing her first solo single, titled [Dear J], on January 26th, 2011. It will be released in 3 regular versions and a theater version.

AKB48’s 9th Gen kenkyuusei promotions + 2 new additions to Watarirouka

A couple of days ago, it was announced that all of the current members of AKB48’s 9th Generation of kenkyuusei will be promoted to the status of full members!It has yet to be announced what teams they will be going to, but this is still exciting news. There are quite a few talented members of the 9th Gen, so I’m defenitly looking forward to see who goes here.
For those who don’t know anything about the 9th Gen, here’s a list:
Yamauchi Suzuran
Mori Anna
Nakamura Mariko
Takeuchi Miyu
Shimada Haruka
Oba Mina
Nagao Mariya
Shimazaki Haruka

I’m especially excited to see where my fav, Shimada Haruka, ends up.

In other news, its looking like AKB48 Subunit Watarirouka will be getting 2 new members, Komori Mika and Misaki Iwasa, starting with their upcoming 7th single! I really hope this is true, as it would give me a reason to actually give a damn about Watarirouka. Wasamin is my #2 fav member after Yukirin, and I’ve really started to like Komori as of late, so this is great news to me.