Thursday, July 1, 2010

What is an Idol: The Ayaka Kikuchi Story

The word idol is obviously an english word, but the Japanese have also used it for a subclass of their entertainment industry. (They use the katakanized word aidoru, which I will sometimes use in this text for emphasis.) Not everyone in the Japanese industry is classifiable in the subclass idol, for example, my first love in Jpop, and perhaps Japan's most successful recording artist, Utada Hikaru, is said to have avoided the idol road and went her own way, achieving success without really taking part in the idol scene. You might be thinking that the Japanese definition for idol would be the same as the definition for other countries, but that does not seem to be the case. But what exactly is a Japanese aidoru?

Wikipedia tells about how Japan started using the word idol. Apparently, the word idol came from a 1963 French film, Cherchez I'idole. According to Wikipedia, the term was used on any cute female actress or singer. I suppose we will never get a definitive definition of what an aidoru is, even the AKB48 girls themselves, who are in the aidoru subclass, were caught off guard in the February 8, 2008 episode of AKB 1ji59fun (predecessor of AKBingo!) when Junji Takada asked the girls if they knew what the word idol meant, leading him to making up a definition that idol meant "I'm a doll", which almost everyone there thought was true, but he later admitted was a lie.

Some would say an idol is a person you dedicate your life to following, which would make sense to English speakers since that is what the English word means. Fans of these idols would know as much as they can about their idol, buy everything released or related with their idol, and would even try to follow them around as much as they can (physically, if it was possible, but anti-stalking laws would prohibit that). Because people like these invest so much in their idols, they have a sense of ownership over their idols, and they have certain expectations about their idols. Thus born also the “surrogate girlfriend” theory, that the idols are pretend girlfriends of their fans, which sometimes are pushed by the idol’s agencies as can be seen with the kinds of fanservice that is given through videos, TV shows, blogs, etc. Thus, certain expectations are demanded on them.

According to wikipedia, there was a time (after World War II), upon the rise of aidorus, when these aidorus would display a life on media that was far from their true lives. This was to project an image of a lifestyle most commonfolk would want to achieve, although in reality, it wasn’t uncommon that the seemingly lavish lifestyle these aidorus displayed was far from their plain life. Some bits and pieces about the personal lives of these aidorus would be released, but at times, even these were planned, what tidbits would be released, and where, for example, in official fanclub material or certain media. Aidorus were not free to be themselves, they had to live up to an image, they had to appear perfect. And as some fans today feel, especially those that would adhere to the surrogate girlfriend theory, aidorus had to put up a “virginal” image. Thus, the rule for aidorus: they cannot have boyfriends. From what I’ve read, apparently, many aidorus have been forced to leave (or fired) from their aidoru groups and careers because it was found out they had secret boyfriends, and such scandals have left a bitter taste in fans’ mouths, whether it was because they could not accept the “betrayal”, or they are angry at the rule and have to be left by their aidorus because of a rule they disagree with.

The aidoru scene has been around in Japan for decades now, and things have significantly changed since then. Aidorus don’t need to project certain images like before; they don’t need to act like affluent celebrities, and they can act like themselves. In fact, sometimes, the more they act like themselves, the cuter they are perceived. The limitations they now have are little different from other celebrities. However, one ruled stayed: aidorus cannot have boyfriends.

There could be a lot of takes on what the word aidoru means, but I’m not here to discuss all of them. I just wanted to discuss enough to show how this subclass, and the treatment of it, affected a girl named Ayaka Kikuchi.

Ayarin isn’t one of my favorites, at least not yet. She was already fired from Team B when I got to know AKB, so she hasn’t had the chance to warm up to me, although I do think she’s a very pretty girl. But her story is one of my favorite stories in AKB.

Part of AKB48’s Team B when they started, Ayarin received some success with the group. After not being chosen as Senbatsu for Bingo!, the first single released after Team B’s debut, and after a two-single streak when only their team’s topstar Mayu Watanabe was chosen Senbatsu, Ayarin would get the chance to become Senbatsu on the next single, Romance Irane, where only she would join Mayuyu for the recording of the single. She would stay Senbatsu for the next two singles, Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2008 and Baby! Baby! Baby!, and would be the center of her own stage subunit in Team B’s first original stage, 3rd overall, Kagami no Naka no Joan da Arc. Ayarin was receiving push from AKB Management, something many girls from AKB were not getting.

Then tragedy struck. A picture, posted by what has been said was her boyfriend, was posted on said boyfriend’s blog. How damaging could this picture be such that she would get fired from the group? How scandalous could it be? Here’s that picture:

That’s it. No nudity. No sex. Nothing suggestive. Just her with a boyfriend. The text on the purikura says it’s for their third month together. So it’s clear that she was only fired for having a boyfriend.

I don’t think there was an official admission that this was her boyfriend, but there is little reason to not believe it was since she never denied it. Personally, I admired Ayarin because of this. She could have denied it to death, but she didn’t. She suck it up and took what came. Granted, it would have been difficult to deny, since her intimate friends would have probably known the truth and those that knew could confirm it, then again, who’s to say none of the girls in the aidoru genre today have friends who keep this very same secret.

At first, when the picture and the word spread through the internet, she wasn’t fired immediately, they just didn’t let her perform. This was the first time an AKB girl was found out publicly that she had a boyfriend. Inevitably, AKB Management did fire her, with the official statement that she was “lacking in self-awareness”, a politically correct term (as Japanese culture would tend to use), implying she did things she wasn’t supposed to do, and she was not self-conscious enough to avoid them. Ayarin’s fans petitioned AKB Management for her to stay, but that didn’t work.

A lot of fans would agree with AKB Management’s decision. Some would say a rule is a rule, and it must be followed, no matter how absurd it is, since they knew about it when they signed up for it. Those who agree with the surrogate girlfriend theory would be very much for this, again, fans spend a lot of money on them, so they should live up to certain expectations. I am not going to argue with what fans expect out of the aidorus they spend money on; fans will spend as they want, and if they expect something out of it, it’s their right to expect it, and if their expectations are not met, they have the right to withhold their money and their support from them from then on. I, however, do not adhere to the surrogate girlfriend theory. (I know this is hard to believe, so bear with me for a moment, but I can get a girlfriend. Maybe not someone I really, really want, but I can get one, but I’d rather hold out for something better.) Personally, I treat my number one favorite AKB girl like the little sister I sort of never had. I don’t seriously imagine her to marry me someday as I would want her to have a better life! (Note I am only talking about my number one girl.) For a few of the others, maybe they are more like friends. So I have no qualms about them having boyfriends. So if an AKB girl gets fired because she has a boyfriend, I’m like “What the F?!”

Many fans doubt that such beautiful, young, endearing girls wouldn’t have boyfriends. Many of them probably don’t, but I would guess at least a few are just hiding them very well. And fans realize that and they are fine with it, as long as the illusion is kept. The difference with Ayarin is that she was found out.

Eventually, though, months after, Ayarin would audition again as a Kenkyuusei for AKB, and would pass the auditions. I admired Ayarin for that as it shows the determination she had, and was willing to start at the bottom again, and at the same time, was willing to take in every negative reaction that expectedly would come her way for wanting to return from the group that fired her because of her “scandal.” She had guts.

She would often Kenkyuusei for Team K, though, to disassociate her from her original team, Team B. In the great Budokan shuffle of 2009 (August), she would be one of many Kenkyuuseis promoted to a main team, Team K, finally reinstating her in the main roster as a member of AKB48.

A few months after her promotion, she would cause a few more waves when she was added to the popular AKB subunit Watarirouka Hashiritai, making the foursome composed of Mayu Watanabe, Natsumi Hirajima, Haruka Nakagawa and Aika Oota a fivesome. Successful on their own, releasing three popular singles, Hatsukoi Dash, Yaruki Hanabi, and Kanpeki Gu-no ne, Ayarin would be added to Watarirouka on their fourth single, Akkanbe Bashi. Interestingly enough, though criticized by even their fans as a children’s song, Akkanbe Bashi would debut in the Weekly Oricon chart at #1, making Watarirouka the first AKB subunit to get a #1 single from Oricon. Arguably, there were many factors why Akkanbe Bashi hit #1, such as the competition for that week, riding the success of AKB itself, among others, but at least, it also showed that Ayarin’s addition to the group was not very ill-received and the sales of Warota did not suffer. The bonus videos in the Akkane Bashi DVD also documented the reactions of the original Warota foursome upon being told Ayarin would be joining them. Ayarin was openly welcomed, most especially by Harugon, who are actually close friends in real life. The five girls belong to the same agency, and it is rumored that Watariouka was originally supposed to have Ayarin as a five girl group, that was, until she was fired because of the scandal. So if that rumor was true, she was merely brought back to Warota. In Warota’s first photobook, Akkanbe, I was glad that most pictures did not include Ayarin, as I love the original Watarirouka Hashiritai foursome and I felt that their first photobook should be about the original foursome, but at the same time glad that Ayarin was in a few of them as I really didn’t want Ayarin left out either. Ayarin is now a permanent member of Watarirouka Hashiritai (as some fans were wondering if she’d be there only for Akkanbe Bashi), as she is part of the fifth single, Seishun no Flag. Seishun no Flag is also released on Ayarin’s 17th birthday, and so although I was hoping to celebrate the second #1 single of Watarirouka, consider this post an Ayarin birthday post anyway. I was also thinking Ayarin would make Undergirl in the second Senbatsu elections, and although she didn’t make it in the end, it’s nice to point out that she had received 641 votes during the time the second partial results were released, so she still has fans who support her well, not counting those that like her but just didn’t vote for her as their number one favorite.

Oh, and if you ever hear about the “Onigiri” rumor, it’s not true. It started right after the pic with her and her boyfriend spread. A website in Japanese posted an article about it, but since it was in Japanese, the only thing us gaijins (non-Japanese) could read was the word sex, written in romaji. Over at Nihongogo, one of the two biggest pro-AKB, English-speaking, online communities, which places humor above just about everything else, members were looking for a translation of the post, and when one member pointed out that the article implied that in the boyfriend’s original blog (which apparently has been taken down since) where the picture was posted, the boyfriend also implied, using a secret language, that the two had sex, members wanted to know what the exact words were.

Before I continue, I want to point out a few things first. I don’t doubt at all the translations given so far, but even if it was true that the boyfriend implied, or even directly said that they have had sex, my first question is, why should we believe any of it is true. Let’s analyze the boyfriend first, why did the boyfriend post the picture in the first place. I can only think of two feasible reasons. First, the boyfriend is stupid. Why would you, having an aidoru as a girlfriend, post a picture of you and her together in your blog, knowing its taboo in your culture, and it could destroy her career, and even worse, imply that the two of you are having sex? You think you’d be a rockstar to all your friends? But what would your girlfriend think? She’d break up with you, that’s what! What kind of love and stupidity is that? My second possibility makes more sense. The two had a fight, maybe Ayarin had already broken up with him, and posting the picture was a way to get back at her, knowing very well that she’ll get fired for it. In this state of revenge, he could have implied that they had sex, but again, why should we believe an idiot or a guy seeking revenge?

Back over at Nihongogo, Happosai, the first of two handsome official summary writers for AKBingo, posted that the words used was, “Ayarin loves to munch on my big fat onigiri while I eat up her sushi!!!” (See actual posts here: Even more so than Gogo members, summary writers are supposed to be funny (in my case, emphasis on “supposed to”), but there are reasons why we are summary writers, not translators. Personally, I don’t think Happo ever intended to lead people to think this was what was actually written in the post, like I said, he wasn’t one of the krew’s translators, so as he usually does, I think he was joking when he made the post. The problem was people believed him. So when it seemed people didn’t figure out he was just kidding, he clarified that he was only joking (actual post here: But the Onigiri nickname has stuck and became as popular as the Aki-p BLT’s. Don’t think people at Nihongogo are a bunch of creeps for the Onigiri fiasco, I would also like to point out that it was Happosai himself that brought to Nihongogo’s attention the picture below, which was met with disgust from the same people who jest about Ayarin.

The pic (at the middle) was taken in the Shashinkai 2-shot event held in March 2010, where fans could get their picture taken with AKB members. One idiot fan decided it would be funny if he would bring a sign containing the text on the picture that got Ayarin fired, with the bottle-like thing in his mouth. I assume the cameraman didn’t know what it was about, while Ayarin bravely put on a smile, not wanting to cause a ruckus. If I was there, I would have been outraged with this guy and would have informed security about what he was trying to do and would ask them to not take the pic with the paraphernalia. See how much the Nihongogo people wanted to kill that guy here:

Some fans have commented that the song Renai Kinshi Jourei (Rules Against Love), the title song to Team A’s fifth stage, could have been written by Akimoto Yasushi, AKB’s producer and excellent lyricist, with Ayarin specifically in mind. If there’s one producer who could understand Ayarin’s predicament, it would be Aki-P, afterall, he ended up marrying one of the girls from his 80’s aidoru group, Onyanko Club. Even besides Renai Kinshi Jourei, Wakage no Italian (Italian Curiosity), an accompanying track to Watarirouka Hashiritai’s Akkanbe Bashi, the lyrics about making mistakes and moving forward seems to be again for her, and fans have commented about this especially considering it is Ayarin which delivers the last lines, “konna watashi na no ni, hontou ni arigatou” (it let me grow despite what I am now, I am truly grateful).

A lot of people criticized AKB for taking Ayarin back in. But personally, even more so than my admiration for Ayarin, I admired AKB48 for this. I already admire the girls, but I also admired Management for taking her back. It shows that they are willing to overlook old and unreasonable “rules” if fans want it. AKB is nonconformist! Who cares about the rest of the industry, we’re trailblazing and doing things others haven’t done nor weren’t willing to do! It’s one of the traits about AKB I love the most. They really are not stereotypical, not just in this one instance, an instance that as far as I know was unheard of in their industry, but in many other instances as well. AKB48 rocks!

Early episodes of AKBingo (AKB 1ji59fun and AKB 0ji59fun) have had many funny tongue-in-cheek episodes of teaching the AKB girls how to be idols. They were taught how to act, and proper responses to questions like “what are your measurements,” “what is your favorite food,” “what made you interested in being an aidoru,” and that idols never defecate, nor have ever held hands with a boy. When somebody from the audience (if I remember correctly, in a press conference outside Japan) asked the girls if any of them had a boyfriend, someone from AKB staff responded for them, something like, “I hope not.” AKB ain’t your grandpappy’s idol group.

I don’t know when Ayarin had that guy as a boyfriend, maybe they were already together even before Ayarin auditioned for AKB, and that pic is old, or maybe they got together when she was already a member, but as far as I’m concerned, Ayarin’s only fault was having an idiot for a boyfriend. The guy is also ugly.

Ayarin is an entertainer, and as long as she entertains me, with her personality, performance, and whatnot, I don’t really care if she has a boyfriend; idol genre, my foot. My favorite girls could have boyfriends and it’s fine with me. As long as the guys aren’t idiots.

If you want to read English translations of Ayarin’s blog, which is a part of the blog of the rest of the members of Watariouka Hashiritai, indigoskies translates them here: (or for the whole of Watarirouka Hashiritai:

At the bottom are a few pics of Ayarin, but here are English translations of the two songs I mentioned, Renai Kinshi Jourei and Wakage no Italian, from Studio48:

Renai Kinshi Jourei
(Translation: Rules Against Love)
(Originally performed by Minami Takahashi, Minami Minegishi and Miho Miyazaki)

It’s been just over a year since we started dating…
None of our friends know since everyone’s always together

“Inside this circle, we have rules against love”
They make too much of a deal about this joke of a rule

I love somebody somewhere
Even if I can’t do so at my own convenience
If it has to be let go,
It’s not real love
This is so against the rules

Isn’t it lonely being single? I wanted to make it a secret
If I send out a mail on my cell phone, soon nothing but love comes back

Unconsciously I’ve been charmed, and he’s become such an important person to me
I only have myself to blame – feel the strings of fate!

I love somebody all the time
I can’t stop the affection
If a boy and a girl are together,
There’s definitely something going on
A chemical reaction

I love somebody somewhere
Even if I can’t do so at my own convenience
If it has to be let go,
It’s not real love
This is so against the rules
Romance’s fuse
Because I have to hide it,
Passion only builds up
It’s so likely to go off

Wakage no Italian
(Translation: Italian Curiosity)
(Performed by Watarirouka Hashiritai: Mayu Watanabe, Natsumi Hirajima, Haruka Nakagawa, Aika Oota and Ayaka Kikuchi)

To live
Is a very difficult thing
I can't go forward
On a straight line

Got lost in the streets
Fell in the manhole
Crashed on the walls
On a detour

I made mistakes in life
Many times
I tried to remake my life
Many times
With an eraser of tears

Italian curiosity
Those days of errors
Are embarrassing until now
I was young
Italian curiosity
With repentance and reflection
It let me grow
To the full course meal of success
A smorgasbord of failures

To live
Is expending nuisance
I can't grow into an adult
By myself

Have been worried about
Have been scolded
Have been lost interest at
Burned with care

There were friends who cried with me
People who cheered me on
Somehow I can stand firm

It is carelessness
I did not see
Such important future
Those days were mistakes
It is carelessness
From various experiences
With these
I was able to learn

It is a start from now on
Italian curiosity
Those days of errors
Are embarrassing until now
I was young
Italian curiosity
With repentance and reflection
It let me grow despite what I am now
I am truly grateful

Appropriately, Ayarin was first Senbatsu in the single Romance, Irane

Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2008 (rightmost)

Baby! Baby! Baby! (left, in green)

Ayarin in the third episode of AKB 1ji 59 fun (predecessor of AKBingo!), aired Feb. 8, 2008

Ayarin, on the 1st episode of the Team B show AKB48+10!, October 2007

A video featuring Team B front girls: Ayaka Kikuchi, Mayu Watanabe, Aika Oota, Yuki Kashiwagi, circa April 2008

Ayarin, upon her return, from the Akkanbe Bashi Type B video, on a Team B stage

Ayarin brought back on the main roster at the Budokan August 2009 concert

Ayarin joins Watarirouka Hashiritai, from the Akkanbe Bashi Type A video, Harugon playing with Ayarin's hair

Version 2 of Watarirouka Hashiritai: Haruka Nakagawa, Aika Oota, Ayaka Kikuchi, Mayu Watanabe, Natsumi Hirajima, from the Akkanbe Bashi Type A video

Here's an interesting AKBingo episode. On the May 26, 2010 episode, where Ayarin gets to play again on AKBingo, for dodgeball, Sasshi targets Ayarin. Ayarin catches the ball instead and eliminates Sasshi's close friend Moeno instead. It was Rino Sashihara who replaced Ayarin at Team B when Ayarin was fired, and Sasshi was promoted to Team B almost at the same time with close friend Moeno Nito. Although Sasshi had nothing to do with Ayarin's firing, she did possibly benefit from it, but Sasshi could not eliminate Ayarin, as Ayarin can catch the ball, in this dodgeball episode, I mean.

Ayarin with the rest of Watarirouka Hashiritai in their first photobook, Akkanbe

Ayarin with the rest of Warota on the cover of the normal version of Watarirouka Hashiritai's fifth single, Seishun no Flag

Ayarin on the Akkanbe Bashi PV. I’m glad Ayarin is back. I don’t mind she’s in Watarirouka either, and I love Watarirouka. Anyone Harugon loves that much is good in my book. I hope Ayarin continues to earn success.


  1. Erena "Erepyon" Ono annouced her departure from AKB48 @ Yoyogi Olympic Pool concert for studying acting in the States.

  2. I heard; very sad news. More here:

  3. that dude at the 2shot event was such a bitch >_<

  4. Nice write up! I wish this was written earlier since the members just dropped hints about the onigiri stuff. The dodge ball analysis was interesting lol.

  5. Thanks bokchoy, GenkiKoala and everyone! I really appreciate your comments and visits here!

  6. let's not give AKB management too much credit, for the fact that this is still a business that they are running. the decision to take in Ayarin as an RS was not because they are non-conformist. it all had to do with the asian culture of "saving face"

    the question was: how can they save face from the fans of ayarin if it turns out that the pics were released just to damage her reputation? how will also they save face from the fans like me who don't like idols having their own relationships because we spent money on them?

    the solution they employed was correct: kick her out. but if she ever audition again, let her in if she really wants to prove her determination to make it regardless of the fan resistance and for the sake of those who want her back. you satisfy both camps.

    it is best expressed in the Visual Book of Team K 2010:
    "Writer’s Tweet: CHECK IT CHARACTER
    .....She was a center part of Team B, but then had to quit for a while. She showed us her guts by starting over again as a kenkyuusei."

    Your opinion to allow relationships for idols is stabbing yourself in the back, really. have you even thought that the money you are spending for them might actually being used by any of your oshimen (if you are a DD) to spend it for some guy who might not even have a job at all? much less not getting a nice allowance from parents?

    think over a scenario that you have gotten yourself into a debt over a girl and she is using it for someone else's benefit. it is betraying someone's expectations.

  7. Ayarin being taken back really doesn't save them much face. Since it is noncomformist to take back Ayarin, they would still lose face to traditionalist fans. Firing her then rehiring her has even incurred criticism on them from some fans, so I doubt saving face was much of a factor, as they were bound to get criticism from either party however which way they leaned on.

    If the pics were released just to damage her reputation, I'm guessing she would have done something about it, and she wouldn't have been fired, and she wouldn't have started out as RS when she came back. A former RS has had a pic of her with a boy spread on the net before, but since it was found out that the pic was taken before she became an RS, she didn't get fired for it. Safe guess that AKB conducted an investigation, likely interviewing Ayarin, and that it was pretty much confirmed to be true.

    We'll never truly know how our oshimen is spending their money. They could be spending it on something you're truly against. I drink Milo almost everyday (hi Sayaka!) and the producers of Milo could all be using the money I spend on their product for a drug habit or whatever, but if I like the product, is it any of my business how they spend the money I spend on them? As long as I like their product. Spending their money on a loser guy is not ours or AKB Management's job to police, it's their parents'. I don't expect my oshimen to be single forever for my sake. As long as they keep me entertained, etc., I'm fine spending my money on them, even if they have boyfriends. I was fine with it when Utada Hikaru got married, I still bought her cd's. It's clear with me what kind of relationship I have with my oshimen.

    There's a saying, "a thief believes everybody steals." You feel strongly about it and probably believe many people feel the same way because you are like that. But fact is, not everyone expects their oshimen to not have boyfriends. I don't. Like I said, as long as the guy is not an idiot, I'm fine with it. We have different expectations towards our oshimen. If your expectations are not met and you would like to support someone else, you have the right to move your support. But just because your expectations are not met, doesn't mean the rest of us should move our support too. As long as ours are met, we're fine with it. People have different expectations, and the industry cannot dictate what those expectations are, and AKB has chosen to stop listening to the rest of the industry and pay attention to the fans. It is admirable of them and is also a smart business move. But as far as business moves go, I would approve of business moves that cater to me as a fan rather than some other superficial business move. So if these are the business moves they're doing, I still admire them, for their business savvy, and for making brave, noncomformist decisions, which so happens to also be a really nice decision for a girl nicknamed Ayarin.

  8. You did not get my point obviously. Utada Hikaru is not part of an idol group or even considered one as in the same likes of AKB48, Morning Musume, S/Mileage, Momoiro Clover, etc. As I would not care if Aya Hirano gets married over an old geezer because SHE IS NOT AN IDOL but a Seiyuu/Singer

    Oshimen is a term coined only for AKB48 and is an idol term. Do not mix the artists and compare on what they are allowed to do as they are of different genres.

    Utada Hikaru <> Acchan
    Namie Amuro <> Mayuyu
    Mika Nakashima <> Sayumi Mishichige

    And do not interpret my comments to mean they can't get boyfriends ever. They can get boyfriends or marry AFTER they graduate as IDOLS.

    We are talking about the IDOL INDUSTRY here. i see you are confused, please research more.

  9. Yes, I did say "perhaps Japan's most successful recording artist, Utada Hikaru, is said to have avoided the idol road and went her own way, achieving success without really taking part in the idol scene."

    I also said "Ayarin is an entertainer, and as long as she entertains me, with her personality, performance, and whatnot, I don’t really care if she has a boyfriend; idol genre, my foot."

    If you read the rest of my blog, you'll notice I don't really even refer to them as idols in any of my posts. Because I don't care about the idol industry. I care about everything else they do, but I don't care about the genre they are in. My point is I don't care about what the industry says about them, I will spend my money on them and if my expectations are different from the industry or the rest of the fans, I don't care what the industry or the rest of the fans think. If I treat AKB the same way I treated Utada, who is anyone to tell me that I shouldn't? It's my money, I decide what to do with it. The same way I will not convince you not to give up on your oshimen if she fails your expectations. I speak on behalf of what may be a very few people in this world who bear that opinion, but we do exist. I understand the idol industry, I just don't care about it. I care about the music AKB makes, the entertainment, the performances, the theater, the relationship with the fans, the reality show aspect, etc., (not all of which are present in all "idol" groups, by the way), but I don't care about the idol industry. This is a matter of opinion, not of fact, so we really don't need to convince anyone nor each other about it.

    Dude, you have a lot of strong opinions on a lot of matters, maybe you should start a blog too.

  10. Ouuuuucchhh Loosers i actualy read all ur crap freaken head ache man lol i likes her she smiles for everythng a good cuality. just so u guys know lol even though its kinda late since this is from hella long ago i still likes her i jsut discovered her and Wata,AKB and my wife Erena Ohno(its a joke so dont sent sht to me about it )but can some one explane to me on that picture of that guy with the mask and the sign what he was empling or what the text in his paper said plz

  11. I believe the text reads that they have been together for three months.

  12. What a bch may i kill him ? also would u mind explaining the dif or if they from the same group or (gang) these SKE,and the one other group with realy sexy chicks they from same or came from this ideah ?

  13. Please, go right ahead, be my guest! SKE48 is the sister group of AKB48, they have the same producer, but the main difference is the location of their theater. AKB is based in Akihabara, Tokyo, while SKE is based in Sakae, Nagoya. There are other differences as well like record label, seniority, etc. If by sexy girls, you mean SDN48, they are the older sister group of AKB48. They were conceptualized to be the group whose members are older than the average AKB member. They are based on the same theater as AKB. Both SKE, SDN (and now NMB48) are official parts of or are directly related with AKB48.

  14. Thanks I really appreciated this explanation! I was always curious about the full Ayarin story!
    I really respect her!

  15. oO HOW COOL!!! so the 21year old girl with the awsome laph is not getting kiked out of AKB48 ? and is Watarirouuka(its members) stil in AKB48 ? cuz i lovee (Oota Aika) she prity... and i like better when alot preform rather then just 5 also i know im a bother Q_Q but is ther a link where i can see all ther videos of Wata ? cuz in Youtube they are put into Private or Violation of something and it dosent let me watch T_T

  16. No problem, martin. I'm not sure who you are referring to, but if you are talking about Noro Kayo, Megumi Ohori, Kazumi Urano, Yukari Sato, or Haruka Kohara, then no, none of them we're kicked out of AKB, they were simply transferred to a different team, SDN48. Yes, all the members of Watarirouka Hashiritai are still members of AKB, Watarirouka is an example of an AKB Subunit, similar to No3b, French Kiss, Not Yet and DiVa.

    If you want to see the videos of Watarirouka, you can search for Aikyitaizne at Stage48, he has them.

    Thanks for the comments martin and teddbear!

  17. Ayarin is back in senbatsu!

    well yeah, its a 26nin senbatsu and she'll probably get little to next to none camera time but still.

    Also, she's in Majisuka 2!

  18. Hello SilverRain =D Martin hear again i am happy to say that I am now a what id like to say a Fan of AKB48 when i first posted on this site i was a nub trolling in forums for attention *T_T* but after i red this awsome page of urs i fell in love with them <3 i know have most of my playlist in Youtube full of akb48 songs 8D. I fell in Love with Haruka Ishida and for some reason I love Simire Sato Smile =) i love Oota Aika her innosent Smile and her awsome rocken good girl self. I admire Erena Ohno and her awsome acting and i absolutly love Mayus dorcky self =D i love Ayaka Kikuchis supper awsome self confidence. I have seen Almost every part of *pirited* versions of the time when AKB48 came to LA and it was awsome if i would have been more into them i would have bought 1st class seats to see them. The reason i post again is for two reasons and i would like to see if u can help me plz.. I like Watarirouka Hashiritai with 4,5 and 7 members ;) the more the better , so i was listening to one of there songs back when only 5 members song is named "Gyu" catchy and i love there Dress ^_^ and it just hit me i dont know what that means i tryed to look for it but i got many many difrent answers could u explane the meaning plz. Also the main reason i was watching some japanese Drama ;D and i came accros this episode out of the drama i was watching and it was a well drama kinda but with only AKBmembers was a school o_O getto schoool with girls as gangs and beating each other for no reason from the episode i saw if u know anything about that and would share with me that would make me Like u even more =D.. I will wait for ur responce ^_^ P.S =D Mayu Watanabe is my girlfriend >_> she just dosent know it yet....... Dam this world would be better if she would be...

  19. Thanks for the kind comments! Glad you're really enjoying AKB now!

    Do you mean what does the word "Gyu" mean? If I understand correctly, "Gyu" is short for "Gyuto", which is Japanese for "Hug". So everytime they're singing Gyu, you can just imagine they are saying Hug, which is really cute.

    The drama you're talking about should be "Majisuka Gakuen". It's my favorite drama ever. (So far anyway.) I think Season 2 is the best, and Season 1 is really great too, and I highly recommend it to anyone. Ayarin is in Season 2, and her role fits her character as I discussed it in this post. You can find subtitles for it at Nihongogo.

  20. Woooo Awsome lol The Drama Was Awsome awsome awsome Did Not Recognice Matsui Rena o_O when i finaly though Ohh snaps Its Her my jaw draped. I watched all the 1st season and after this i will continue with the next 10 episodes of the second season =D also, found it kinda odd that Komori Mika was given a good Play i though she would be used as a back up girl more like Sato Amina was , Kimori musta been a good actres .. just found it alittle odd i also thought Erena would have more of a kick as roll in this was alittle let down but still awsome Drama =D any other Drama You REcomend like this ?

  21. Glad you liked it!

    If you wanna watch more AKB-related dramas, I recommend Mendol, Mousou Deka, and Sakura Kara no Tegami. Q10 is a great series featuring Maeda Atsuko, and I'm watching HanaKimi2, also featuring her, right now. There are a few others, like the bonus videos that come with the French Kiss and No Sleeves singles. I like those too, they're pretty good.

    If you mean you wanted to watch more "fight" based series, I highly recommend Yasuko to Kenji and Gokusen. They are not AKB related, but they have 1 or 2 AKB girls as guest stars.

  22. Hello i was refered hear by some one in Youtube... my question was what is Senbatsu and what is Aki-p ?

  23. Glad you all drop by!

    Senbatsu simply means selected, in AKB's case, selected to take part in the recording of the single. Normally, a girl that is Senbatsu also suggests that the girl is among the most popular (or Management is pushing them because they believe the girl will become popular).

    Aki-P refers to Akimoto Yasushi. He is the producer of AKB48, and the lyricist of their songs. The term Aki-P was derived from Akimoto-Producer. I believe it was made popular by the AKB girls themselves, as mentioned by Noro Kayo and Natsuki Sato in the first episode of AKB1ji59fun (predecessor of AKBingo!)

  24. Hiya SilverRain =D is Martin Again, i had some questions and maybe u can help me or just give me some of ur thoughs :D i resently heard that Soni Music and other J producer are making another group called Nogazaka46 not exactly shure about the name but i was reading the article and it made no sence T_T any more info u know about that ? Also Loved the Dramas HanaKimi Remake was good maybe if i hadent seen the original it would have been my favorite =D

  25. I haven't been following that much since I believe it is just another publicity stunt, similar to the recent Eguchi Eimi thing. From what I know, their producer is also Aki-P (who is AKB's producer), so I don't think much of it. AKB already has a lot of small time imitators, so another one wouldn't really be big news, the only reason this would be big is because Shuukan Pureiboi (if I'm not mistaken) has said that their producer is also Aki-P. Then again, the Eguchi Eimi publicity stunt also involved Shuukan Pureiboi.

    I don't think it's a big deal.

  26. hi i was given this link in youtube for questions to the person that posts this blog. i like the music and im trying to fallo some of them individualy some of questions is how often is a senbatsu ? and do you know of a website in inglish or blog that i can go everyday and check out all there progres such as new songs videos ? i will apretiate ur responce thank u

    - JoJo >:D

  27. Hi JoJo! When you say "how often is a senbatsu", it depends on what you mean.

    Technically, senbatsus are chosen for every single, so a girl's status as senbatsu could change every single. However, typically, it's the most popular girls who are chosen as Senbatsu, so usually, some girls stay senbatsu for almost every single. Sometimes, there are new girls who get push from management, so they could be Senbatsu for one single, but no longer Senbatsu for the next.

    Apart from Management's choice, fans could also vote on the annual Senbatsu elections on who will become Senbatsu for one single. In some cases, Management also uses the result of this election on who to choose as Senbatsu for the next singles.

    Apart from those, we also have the Janken Tournament, where the winners of the Janken Tournament become Senbatsus for one single.

    For english websites, I can recommend the following sites:

    The first blog I listed there is also mine, so I'd be happy if you visited that often for news!

  28. thank you very much, lol ur blog is much easier to fallow then the other 3 so thank you very much also i was asking other person in youtube if he knew some songs in wich these 3 girls where at but he said to ask you for better info.. any songs,solos or videos in where i can find Sato Amina, Haruka Ishida and Manami Oku ? i try to type into Youtube but they only give me Staring Contest Videos i like it but its kinda Wierd.. if you can help that would be very very awseme of you thank you


  29. Thanks!

    A complete list where those 3 appeared will be very, very, very long, so I guess I should only mention the most notable ones.

    Manami Oku has a solo, the original "Katatsumuri". She was also part of one of the earliest AKB units which performed "Hone Hone Waltz".

    Amina Sato isn't necessarily highly featured despite being elected Senbatsu in the first 3 Senbatsu elections, which means she is in "Iiwake Maybe" and "Heavy Rotation", although not very prominently. My favorite stage units involving her have been "Tsundere!" and "Candy".

    Haruka Ishida hasn't been featured very prominently either. She was Janken Senbatsu, so you can see her in "Chance no Juban". She was relatively featured in "Boku no Yell". She was also in the unit "Nattou Angels Z"

    These are just a few of the hundreds of songs and videos they have appeared in.

  30. Hiya SilverRain =D <----- Martin again i has another question maybe you can help me again ^_^ you now all the chnting the audience chants when song starts ? =] i been giving peaple the link to this site when they ask questions i dont knw hope u dont mind T_T.., i will wait ur responce =}

  31. Hi Martin, sorry for the very late reponse, approving comments got buried in everything I'm doing, thus the lack of posts also.

    There are generally 2 chants fans do for AKB songs, but they don't really mean anything, they just sound good as a chant so the Japanese chant it, but there's no real meaning behind them.

    By the way, where is that link? I don't mind, I'm quite glad by it.

  32. I have one question: why this blog on english, why not phillipino language?

    1. Most Filipinos understand English, especially if we consider only Filipinos with Internet access.

      Actually, it seems more Filipinos understand English than Filipino / Tagalog (note: Tagalog is essentially Filipino). This is because the Philippines has a ton of dialects because it is composed of over 7,000 islands, and many Filipinos only speak their dialect and English, but do not speak Tagalog or Filipino.

      I would like this blog to reach out to as many people as possible, and if this was in Tagalog / Filipino, it would unnecessarily limit its reach. And if we look at the world's population, then there are definitely much more people who understand English but not Filipino, but extremely few, if any, that understand Filipino, but not English.