Tag Archives: Akimoto Yasushi

AllThingsJpop Top 10 headlines of the year

23 Dec

Since 2015 is coming to an end, i might as well conclude with the Top 10 headlines of the year. These articles are ranked according to their viewership. Articles from 2014 and earlier have been left out.

1. Bunshun leaks pictures of AKB48 Kashiwagi Yuki and NEWS Tegoshi Yuya..a Hakone date?
This scandal was published in June 2015 and i guess the huge picture of Yukirin and Tegoshi, arms wrapped around each other, was a huge shock. No proper news sources would report it (for Yahoo it took a few days before article was posted) but the story was already all over the Internet. Though both parties remained largely silent, to this date, we’re still getting epilogues on the mysterious relationship between Yukirin and Tegoshi.

2. AKB48 2015 Senbatsu Sousenkyo ~Unpredictable Rankings, The Tumultuous Night~: Final Results

3. Back Number sings OST theme for drama “5-ji kara 9-ji made”
This comes in as a surprise because i had no idea “5-ji kara 9-ji made” would be so successful internationally. I’ve had readers asking me for titles of tracks which i had no idea of. But no worries, CDJapan now has the OST for sale!

4.  Kisumai Fujigaya Taisuke revealed to be dating Miori Takimoto for years
I seldom post about Kisumai let alone Fujigaya so the spike in numbers for this was quite surprising. I guess Kisumai is really huge, or there could be much more shippers of the couple from “Ikemen Desu Ne” that i’m aware of.

5. AKB48 General Elections 2015: Final look at China fans’ campaigns
This article ended up being published in a Japanese matome kinda site for 48 fans, and for some reason they’d misquoted the facts. So if you read the matome sites, please be aware that not all info passed around there is TRUE.

6. Horikita Maki gets married to Koji Yamamoto after 3 months of dating!
Title is enough to let everyone’s jaws drop in shock. Their love story is even juicier.

7. Tanaki Koki sends Taguchi message of support and talks about life after KAT-TUN
I would actually rank this way higher because it was just published. Surprised that people are still interested in Koki.

Thanks to everyone for supporting my site this year! There are busier days ahead and i won’t be posting regularly but i’ll be here when there’s important news! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!





Countdown to graduation: Matsui Rena and the people she wants to apologise to

17 Aug

Graduating SKE48 member Matsui Rena(23) revealed an episode when she asked Group Producer Akimoto Yasushi to rewrite his lyrics for single “12gatsu no Kangaroo”, released in December last year.

On a TV show “Gyoretsuno dekiru horitsu sodanjo” aired on 19th July,there was a theme “Person i want to Dogeza to” and Matsui Rena nominated Akimoto Yasushi.

She said that whilst looking over the lyrics to “12gatsu no Kangaroo” for the first time, something felt wrong so she directly sought out Akimoto san and asked him to revise the lyrics. When she received version 2 and compared both of them, she came to realise that the original version was the better one,so she’d like to apologise for her immature attitude.

“What is ‘December’s Kangaroo’?” was what Rena thought at that time. “I asked for another version since Akimoto san should have a better phrase to express the close relationship between a guy and girl.”

In the TV show, Akimoto san also left a comment. “Matsui’s stubbornness is also due to her being young. In a way it’s a great thing. Having worked in this industry for years, even though i know that the first lyrics were better, i didn’t want to force it. So i wrote other lyrics and hoped for Matsui to accept it.”

In the past, fans asked Akimoto san what was brilliant about Matsui Rena. He replied, “Beautiful stubbornness”.


The other person Rena wants to apologise to is AKB48’s Kizaki Yuria. Yuria was originally from SKE48 and during her early days as a member, she witnessed Rena banging her head against a clothes rack. She was traumatised by scary Rena, couldn’t talk to anyone and continued her activities in fear for a long time.

Rena explained, “At that time i had alot of pain around my waist, but i was doing a live show with 3 songs left. When i was thinking about how to disperse the pain, i saw the clothes rack infront of me. When i finished banging, i was feeling dizzy. But usually before going on stage, i’d slap my cheeks to get in shape. My juniors are pretty scared after seeing it.”

She demonstrates slapping her cheeks causing guests around her to be scared too.

Full episode with Rena’s segment starting 27:50~

Check out my posts from the “Countdown to graduation” series:
Matsui Rena holds thanksgiving festival for fans
Matsui Rena and member talk

There’s Miura Haruma in this episode too if anyone’s interested. Basically he wants to apologise to a senior actor for not recognizing him when he called, and also drinking his beer. Fortunately, the senior actor is a jolly man and forgave Miura because of his bright smile =)

Akimoto Yasushi touches on AKB48 Kashiwagi Yuki’s recent scandal

16 Jun

On the 13th June 2015, Akimoto Yasushi appeared on a radio show and talked about AKB48 Kashiwagi Yuki’s scandal with NEWS Tegoshi Yuya.

The MC first showed some care by commenting “It has been tough for you.”

Akimoto then opens up,”Yes, various things have happened. What should be done about it…everytime it happens, the members of AKB are of course living things, so somehow when I create a format for everyone to follow, not all can accept it. You can’t predict it can you?”

When asked what will happen to Kashiwagi, Akimoto said “What will happen? I also don’t know. I am asking the same to my staff.”

With several scandals having happened to the other members so far, Akimoto san has always managed to twist the situation around and turned it into a plus. “It was interesting,but the days when i can do this and that is over. Up till now, there has been smart(or stylish?) ways to extend the careers of underground idols when negative things occur. But increasingly, whatever you do it doesn’t seem that way anymore. It’s difficult to make it interesting now,” he said.

On the string of scandals that have occurred – “It is tough but when people get together and work towards the same goal, different things will happen. Some(fans) will cheer you on whilst some will fault you, “said Akimoto, indicating that he has no choice but to let fans decide how they want to receive the scandal.


Edited the last sentence becos apparently some are taking the word “judgement” too literally. 

In the radio show, Akimoto san also talked a little about Sashihara and Shimazaki Haruka. I could not catch everything but he said Sashihara’s successful stint in HKT may or may not be a good thing. Several years ago, he thought Shimazaki Haruka was promising but one day a magazine described Paruru as “salty” on their cover and he learnt from the theater managers that she had no enthusiasm so she went through a pitiful period.

AKB48 2015 Senbatsu Sousenkyo: Aftermath

9 Jun

Sashihara on her most treasured member Sakura “I was the one who raised her.”

In the after concert of AKB48 Group 2015 Senbatsu Sousenkyo, Sashihara Rino declared that Miyawaki Sakura was the most important member to her.

Miyawaki Sakura is the 2nd member from HKT48 to rank in Kami7. Commenting on this, Sashihara said “It’s Kami7, right Sakura? I think i’m the one who raised you!” Sakura looked troubled by this comment and laughed bitterly.

After that, Miyawaki also revealed a tidbit about her 4 year old brother’s reaction to her ranking. “My brother has a girlfriend…Somehow she also congratulated me and he acted all cool about it.”


Background of SKE48’s rise in Sousenkyo

AKB48 41st single will see a huge influx of members from SKE48 participating due to their great performance in Sousenkyo this year. A total of 27 members including SNH48 Miyazawa Sae have ranked in. Behind this is the hidden story of  passionate SKE fans and their anger at SKE’s management.

Helmed by Matsui Jurina and Matsui Rena, the group whose popularity is right behind AKB has the least media exposure in the entire 48Group. NMB48 and HKT48 have their own TV shows in their hometowns, but SKE48 has none. Even HKT48, the youngest group in the franchise, has regular shows in the Kantou area.

Other than their theater shows, fans also think SKE48 has too little live events in Nagoya. NMB48 and HKT48 have already gone on tours within 2 years of debut. But it took 7 years for Team KII of SKE48 to go on a concert tour. “Because SKE48 does not have live shows, the fans only have Sousenkyo to spend their money on,” said one fan.

SKE48 also has a rule whereby members are not allowed to take on solo activities. This is because the flagship group AKB48 takes priority. In AKB’s handshake events, the sister groups are all expected to take part so that their reputation of “CD million sellers” can be kept. Because SKE48 members are occupied with these, fans think its the reason why concerts can never happen.

These reasons have ignited the fire in fans’ hearts, leading to the their great showing in this year’s Sousenkyo. How will the management repay the fans?


Akimoto Yasushi scraps original plans for 41st single because of Sashihara’s win

According to the Akimoto Yasushi’s messages posted in SNS application 755, it was revealed that the song for AKB48 41st single will take on a different style because Sashihara had won.

“Yoshimasa, Sashihara is No.1 so the style will change. I need something that is different from the demo tapes i’ve received up till now,”said Akimoto in instructions to the music composer.

Sashihara herself has requested for version 2 of “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”.


Sashihara on Chinese fans

“When we talk about China votes it sounds bad. Not only me, other members have it too. It sounds bad, but i feel China’s favor.”

When asked if she sees China fans in her handshake events,she replied “They really exist, 20% of them are from China.”


Misc interviews from Oricon

Q:What will your next year be like?
Akimoto told me “Even if you are first you won’t be center for subsequent songs.” I will enjoy the next 3 months and use it for myself.

Q:Where would you like to shoot your MV?
Somewhere in Oita. My house is nearby so i can return home.

Q:When will you graduate?
I can’t confirm but if I’d stay for as long as possible.Like Kojiharu san..but my looks won’t allow me to do that.



Shinoda Mariko reveals she voted for Takamina

Shinoda Mariko had apparently voted for AKB48 Group Manager Takahashi Minami for this year’s elections, and had sent her a message over 755(mobile app) to inform her. In return, Takamina said “You are too kind, Mariko sama.”

Fellow graduated member Maeda Atsuko made a surprise appearance during the Sousenkyo to present her with flowers. Itano Tomomi and Akimoto Sayaka also sent her encouraging messages.



Miyazawa Sae says this is her last Sousenkyo?

This was supposed to be my “last” Sousenkyo. There’s no deep meaning to the word “last”, but no one knows what will happen after 1 year. The Sousenkyo is an annual event where fans come together to determine ranks and votes. I don’t want to hastily decline participation without warning, so i’ve already told everyone that this would be the “last”.

I made a clear aim this year — to get my highest ranking ever and Kami7. Even though i didn’t get into Kami7, i received my highest rank together with a personal best in votes. This is a beautiful end.


Rest is just words of gratitude


Who will win if Sousenkyo implements a 1 person 1 vote system?
According to Sashihara herself, 20% of fans come from China.

“Rumors of the ‘chinese bombs’ started from long ago. This year, a picture of a China fan buying 10,000,000 Yen worth of CDs  to vote for Sashihara made its rounds on the Internet, causing a heated discussion. Amongst the fans, it is said that they are aware of ‘rich wotas’ who are willing to do that much for Sashihara. Her confidence is probably due to that.” said a writer for idol magazine.

In recent years, the Sousenkyo has become an event where rich wotas can influence the rankings, resulting in other fans being rather apathetic.

“These are Japan’s idols, but the results is being decided by the rich in China. The small votes are like trash. Honestly this is becoming stupid,” says a veteran fan in his 40s.

With this system, you can’t say that the rankings in Sousenkyo equates to popularity. What happens if a 1-person 1-vote system is implemented? The same writer makes his predictions.

“Many will nominate Watanabe Mayu but she received 35,000 votes from China as reported by Chinese media, so she’s also supported by rich wotas. Kashiwagi Yuki is known for her reputation as a Handshake Queen and in comparison has less China votes. With her ranking in 2nd this time, she’s most certain to win. Dark horse would be Yamamoto Sayaka. In the magazines which feature 48Groups on their covers, hers sell the best,followed by Kashiwagi and Shimazaki.As magazines are cheap, it is a good barometer to gauge popularity.”



Akimoto Yasushi talks about the possibilities of 48group in Tokyo 2020 Olympics

13 Mar

This is a long article but i will just translate the relevant parts…

Akimoto Yasushi started creating sister groups of AKB48 in different provinces of Japan since 5 years ago. His aim was to eventually achieve JAPAN48, with NGT48(based in Niigata) to be started this year. One would think that when JAPAN48 is created, it would be somehow linked to the 2020 Olympics.

“AKB and the Olympics are different. I am the overall producer of AKB48, but i haven’t thought about linking JAPAN48 and the Olympics together. I am participating not as the producer/lyricist Akimoto, but as a citizen of Japan,” says Akimoto Yasushi

As AKB48 is the representative idol group of Japan, there may be calls for them to be part of the Olympics.

“For now, no. Even if offers come in I will reject. Personally, i definitely don’t want to mix these 2 jobs together. I’m trying to pay back to the country without any selfish intentions.”


Akimoto Yasushi and Watanabe Mayu take on the ice bucket challenge

21 Aug

AKB48′s Mayu Watanabe and producer Yasushi Akimoto have taken on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which has become a viral phenomenon on social media recently. The challengers are tasked to dump a bucket of ice water on themselves and upload a proof video on social media within 24hours once they have received the challenge. If they choose to forfeit, they’d have to donate US$100 to the ALS Association. Donations aside, the aim is really to spread awareness about the ALS disease.

Gotensha’s CEO had challenged Akimoto Yasushi to this and he readily took up the challenge on the last day of AKB48’s Tokyo Dome concert. Rino Sashihara and Minami Takahashi dumped the bucket of ice on Akimoto’s head, while members watched from behind and shrieked in delight. Watanabe Mayu also stepped up to represent AKB48, as she dumped ice water on her own head, spoiling the precious bangs that she painstakingly manages.

To move this campaign forward, Akimoto nominated Fuji TV president Chihiro Kameyama, Toyota President Akio Toyoda, comic Tsurube Shofukutei, and New York-based Japanese painter Hiroshi Senju.

Earlier, other Japanese stars like Ayumi Hamasaki had also accepted the challenge.



Akimoto Yasushi talks about AKB48 6th General Elections

14 Jun

AKB48 group producer Akimoto Yasushi(56) appeared on a radio show to talk about AKB48 and the recent 6th Senbatsu Sousenkyo.

When the MC Ito Terry said he likes Shimazaki Haruka(Paruru) for her “salty” yet appropriately short speech, Akimoto Yasushi could not help but agree. “You and I are producers. I think we like people who are unpredictable like her. She’s really interesting,” he said.

On Watanabe Mayu, Akimoto sensei said that it was a surprise that she won as he was expecting Sashihara to win a 2nd time. “I think fans are reminding me that AKB48 is an idol group, and that Sashihara cannot be the eternal center. Watanabe entered AKB when she was 11 or 12 and has been looking at the backs of big sisters like Acchan and Yuko. She probably didn’t want AKB to end after they graduate, so she was prepared to step up as the ace from an early age,” he said.

Regarding the future of AKB48, Akimoto sensei revealed that he is currently exploring the possibility of creating a sister group in Hokkaido.


Election talk and predictions from AKB48 members/Aki P/Industry Veterans

30 May

From Kayou Kyoku

MC Nakai: How did Sashihara end up being No.1? Thanks to your family?
Sasshi: I put in 10 votes for myself.
MC Nakai: You can do that? What do the rest of you think?
Takamina: It’s really a great thing. Getting the top position is difficult afterall.
MC Nakai: What about Kojima?
Kojima: I’m in the 20th spot. I’m now quite anxious.
MC Nakai: What happens to the winner?
Takamina: She becomes the center for the next single.
Sasshi: What do i do? Do you think i’ll be welcomed? (She thinks she’s already won the elections.)
MC Nakai: I don’t know. I don’t want to take responsibility for my comment.
Sasshi: What do i do? I am very troubled.
MC Nakai asks Hiromi Go if he thinks Sasshi can become the face of AKB.
Hiromi Go laughs.


From Press Conference for Team Surprise’s new song

Sasshi: I’m expecting my ranking to drop, so i’m wondering to what extent it will drop until.
Mariko: I’ve always called her Sashiko, but now i’m calling her “Sashihara sama”(honorific term for someone to be respected)
Kojima: I’m in 2oth position now. I’ll work hard in order to catch up to Sashihara sama.
Reporter: Oshima san, do you think you can continue your winning streak?
Yuko: I don’t know, since Sashihara sama is making a grand entrance this time.


Paruru’s expectations (from random variety show)

Paruru: I’m okay with any position, as long as it’s not a boring position.
MC: What’s a interesting position to you?
Paruru: 1? or outside top 64.
MC: That’s very cool of you!
MC: What if you were asked to participate as a member of SKE as well?
Paruru: I’ll quit.
MC: What about SNH48?
Paruru: I’ll quit too.


From Waratte Iitomo

Tamori San: Sashihara, you’re getting arrogant now right?
Sasshi: No no! I’m only thinking how far my ranking will drop.
Tamori San: The results are weird! Kashiwagi is definitely cuter than you! Shinoda is also cuter than you!
Sasshi: This is not a kawaii ranking!
Tamori san then commented that her entrance to Music Station last week was already showing signs of arrogance, which she denied.


From Ichiban Song Show

MC: Is there a member whom you don’t want to lose to?
Takamina: Sashihara desu.
Yuko: I don’t want to lose to Sashihara too. She was 4th last year, so there’s a possibility of her winning this time.
Sasshi: But last year i was still in AKB. I don’t know about the results since i’m no longer part of AKB now.
MC: What happened last year?
Sasshi: My photos were leaked. -_- But since Minegishi is here today, please forget about my scandal for today.
MC: But people will remember it.
Sasshi: Then…pls mention it.
Minegishi: Sashihara gave me lots of advice! As a senior..(who got into trouble)
MC: What advice did she give?
Minegishi: Don’t read whats on the Internet. (lol, that’s pretty sound advice)
MC claps his hand gleefully.
Sasshi: Because her news made its way all over to England.
MC: What are the British saying about her?
Sasshi: That she’s a crazy girl.


Akimoto Yasushi talk with Takashi Okamura(Comedian from Mecha Mecha Iketeru)

Takashi: Sasshi is first now, but i think she’ll go down rapidly from here.I’m sorry, but I think she should be around 16 from the start.
Aki P: She seems to be aiming for No. 1, even though it seems like a joke. If not for her, HKT48 wouldn’t be this successful, the girls in HKT48 like her and keep calling her “sister”.
Takashi: I think Oshima and Nabe(Watanabe Mayu) will be fighting for the top spot eventually.
Aki P: Both of them are quite strong..
Takashi: Who is this No.8?
Aki P: She’s quite popular in handshake sessions. Together with Suda Akari
Takashi: I totally don’t know her sorry!
Aki P: They are totally different from Paruru, who’s the salty type. I thought maybe she would change after Mecha Ike, but her salty character is good.
Takashi: Takahashi Minami should be somewhere 3rd.
Aki P: Maybe Sashihara should be around 18, or higher.
Takashi: Itano should be higher than 14 right?
Aki P: I hope she can be in Kami7. If she can’t get in, maybe she was dragged down by her cold image from the Mecha Ike special.
Takashi: I’m sorry Itano! She’s really a great girl! So i hope she can climb higher! What about Kojima?
Aki P: I think her position should climb higher eventually, but of cos, the fans of the first generation are slower from the start.
Takashi: Yeah, maybe they don’t care about the initial results.
-Skip Minegishi Minami part since i don’t understand.-
Aki P: NMB48’s Yamamoto Sayaka and Watanabe Miyuki should also be ranked high from the sister group’s perspective.
Takashi: Akimoto san, who are the members who are really important from now on, irregardless of the results from elections?
Aki P: Now that we’re talking about the change in generations, of course, Watanabe Mayu/Jurina/Shimazaki Haruka/Kawaei Rina…
Even though Kawaei is still 33, i think she will go up further, but she probably doesn’t realise the importance of her position.
Takashi: Yeah, she probably thinks it’s a good position anyway.
-Skip part about Matsumura Kaori-
-Skip part about Umeda Ayaka-
-Skip part about Iriyama Anna-
-Skip part about Muto Tomu-
-Skip part about Takajo Aki-
Aki P: This is Yokoyama Yui. She’s probably the only girl in AKB48 who won’t cause a scandal.
Takashi: You can’t be sure about that!!!
-Skip part about Tashima Meru/Tomonaga/Kodama-
Takashi: Will Sashihara really win? No way, it should be Yuko right?
Aki P: Yuko is strong right? Matsui Rena, Kashiwagi are also strong. Mariko shouldn’t be at 15 also.
Takashi: Yeah, she told the juniors to crush her last year. But who’s the first? Maybe Nabe?(Watanabe Mayu)
Aki P: Previously when i was preparing her solo song, i thought maybe she should shed her idol image, so i wrote something and sent her. She texted me and said it wasn’t what she expected,even though she understood my intentions. In the end, i edited the song. I mean, i have no choice since she said so! But if it were Sashihara, she would have gotten angry at me.

From AKBingo

This episode gathered industry professionals(people who worked with or watched the girls) to comment on their potential ranking.
Part 1: Who is likely to clinch the top position? 
Voting Results: Yuko(5votes) Mayuyu(3 votes) Paruru(1 vote)
“Oshima Yuko’s appeal video had 20,000 views more than the 2nd most watched appeal video.”
“Oshima Yuko is a representative of the fans’ wishes. If No.1 goes to Mayuyu, it’s like succumbing to Akimoto Yasushi’s plans.”
“I went to watch Team A’s theater stage. Her greatness was overwhelming. She loved all the fans, and she always smiled.”
“Oshima Yuko’s votes decreased by 20,000 while Mayuyu’s fans increased by 20,000 in last year’s elections.If this continues, Mayuyu will overtake Yuko.”
“Mayuyu is too perfect, to the point that i don’t feel the need to support her.”
“Shimazaki has alot of potential, she has been hiding her real strength all these while.”
“Shimazaki always had this sad face in the Sayonara Crawl PV.”

Part 2: Who are the members to look out for?
Voting Results: Double Matsui/NMB48 Centers/Jurina/Paruru/Sasshi/Takajo Aki/Shimada Haruka/OGs Megumi-Noro/Watanabe Miyuki

“If the NMB centers don’t get into Senbatsu, it’ll be bad for NMB”
“Miyuki is cute. I was “fished” after chatting with her, and created a talking corner just for her.” – TV Show Director
“The girls who will take over the world in 3 years are Double Matsui. You can’t hate them.”
“Paruru’s google+ followers have been increasing rapidly this year.”
“All of the votes from Jakarta will go to Akicha, the fans there can’t possibly vote for anyone else.”
” If Akicha can’t get into Senbatsu this year, JKT48 should just disband.”
“Sasshi should move up a spot from last year, she’s energized HKT48 after transferring there last year.”
“Sasshi didn’t support HKT48 at all! The group was already popular before she went in. In fact, she lucked out.”
“I would prefer Sasshi to rank at 16, the dangerous spot.”


From Music Station

MC Tamori: What did you all think of the initial results?
Takamina: Well, i laughed when Sashihara was revealed to be No.1
MC Tamori: I also burst into laughter.
Kojiharu: I was at the theater when they announced. Everyone also burst into laughter. In the history of AKB, no one has ever laughed when the initial rankings were announced. As expected of Sashihara..
Yuko: If Sashihara is No.1, i wonder what will happen to the group? Maybe we will become a comedy group?
Shinoda: I think being a comedy group will be interesting for us? I’m of the stance that her becoming No.1 is a good thing, but the results tomorrow will probably be different?
Sashihara: I had a bad feeling when i learnt of my ranking, but Yuko sent me a message to say that it’s interesting, so i was comforted. I thought Yuko will be No.1.
Yuko : Why didn’t you name yourself?
Sashihara: Because Yuko is my senior and someone i respect.



Akimoto Yasushi makes his predictions about Sasshi,Mayuyu & Yuko in the upcoming elections

26 May

The overall producer of all the 48 groups, Akimoto Yasushi, commented on Sashihara Rino topping the AKB48 5th General Elections after the initial vote count.

“It’s like putting in all your energy in the first lap of a school marathon,” suggesting that Sasshi’s votes will lose its momentum in the remaining days left.

“However, Sashihara is seriously aiming for the top. All the younger fans are gathering their votes from Hakata,” he analyzed.

Regarding the eventual winner, he said “Of course Yuko is a strong contender. Mayuyu has the potential to win it too. Takamina, Shinoda and Kojima should also be moving up.”

He also predicted that girls like Itano Tomomi, Yokohama Yui, Umeda Ayaka, Yamamoto Sayaka, Watanabe Miyuki will move up the ranks.