Posted by : Nymphea Iris

AKB48 is a Japanese female idol group produced by Yasushi Akimoto.
The group has achieved enormous popularity in Japan. Its eight latest consecutive singles topped the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart. "Beginner" and "Heavy Rotation" placed, respectively, 1st and 2nd in the list of Japan's best selling singles for the year 2010, while "Everyday, Kachūsha" and "Sakura no Ki ni Narō" lead the 2011 rankings so far.
AKB48 is named after Akihabara (Akiba for short), the area in Tokyo where, on the 8th floor of a Don Quijote store, the band's own theater is located. Akimoto's idea, later advertised as "idols you can meet", was to create a theater-based idol group whose fans could see the girls live daily. AKB48 still performs at the theater every day, although, due to great demand, tickets are now distributed only via a lottery.
AKB48 holds the Guinness World Record for being the world's "largest pop group". Currently, it consists of four teams: Team A, Team K, and Team B with 16 members each and Team 4 with 12 members, summing up to a total of 60 members as of July 24, 2011. Additionally, there are a number of aspiring members, who are called "kenkyūsei" ("trainees"). Each team produces a new own concert show each theatrical season.
Since 2005, when AKB48 was founded, Yasushi Akimoto created several more groups: SKE48, based at a theater in the Sakae area of Nagoya, SDN48, which is intended to have a more mature image, and NMB48.
Another concept, first put into action in 2009, is general elections in which fans vote to determine the members who will participate in the recording of AKB48's next single. In the last election, held in June–July 2011, where over a million votes were cast, 40 girls were chosen out of 152 members in AKB48, SKE48, SDN48, and NMB48. In 2010, a new and inventive selection method appeared: the girls competed against each other in a rock-paper-scissors tournament for being on a single. The second tournament will take place on September 20, 2011.


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