AKB48 announced that they are looking for a new member(age 30 and above) to take on the center role in Papico’s new CM starring Watanabe Mayu, Nishino Miki, Okada Nana and Shimazaki Haruka. There are no other conditions attached, so the new member could be a married woman, a housewife, single or even a comedian like Kintaro.
As the oldest newbie, she will be branded as a “mature idol” and will take part in theater performances, concerts and handshake events together with the rest of the regular members. As this is a time limited collaboration with Glico Japan, the contract of this member will end on 31 August, and she will graduate like the rest of ex-AKB members.
A representative from Glico said “As the product has a childish image, we thought about appealing to adults as well, and so discussed with AKB.”
A representative from AKB said “With the addition of this member, we hope to expand our fanbase amongst her generation.”
When asked about the kind of member she’d welcome into the group, Watanabe Mayu said “I hope teachers can join. We work as a team so i hope those with related experience can come in and guide us.”
Fellow member Okada Nana recounted a conversation she had with her mum, who was considering the idea of taking the auditions.
“If she happens to pass the audition, i want us to appear on stage as a mother-daughter combi,” she said.