Atsuko Maeda, the former leader of the uber-popular J-pop idol group AKB48, made her first trip to Taiwan over the weekend only to be greeted by numerous fans as she attended the premiere of her debut movie, Kuroyuri Danchi. While 21 year old Maeda "graduated" from the girl group in August of last year, a crowd of over 1,000 AKB48 fans were waiting at the Taipei airport to see her step off the plane.
It seems like J-pop netizens aren't all that forgiving when it comes to sex scandals and shaving heads after all. AKB48 member Minami Minegishi, who figured in a controversial "walk of shame" incident last January appears on the cover of women’s magazine Fujin Koron and gives an honest interview. But netizens aren't having any of it and blasted her for doing so.
All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan's largest airline, launched a collaboration project with J-pop mega-group AKB48 on Wednesday in order promote and increase travel among young Asians. With several of the girls from the music and entertainment group present at the announcement, ANA Senior VP Ken Nishimura said the airline hopes to rely on AKB48's growing popularity across Asia to improve cultural connections with Japan. In layman's speak that means the two money-making entities have entered into a joint-advertising deal.
Details of how online dating service operator Aglaia Japan defrauded thousands of people are now emerging. The company's former president Yusuke Aikawa, who was already indicted for violation of the Organized Crime Punishment Law and fraud, began his hearing just last March. The company is believed to have swindled around $2.1 million from an estimated 2,100 people.
The Japanese girl group phenomenon AKB48, together with their sister groups SKE48, NMB48 and HKT48, toured the disaster-struck areas of Japan and held mini-concerts on Tuesday to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the March 11 disaster. AKB48 made 10 stops and did performances that were totally free of charge at various local venues as well as at the group’s own theaters.
Officials from U-can, a Japanese correspondence education company, have revealed that they received a threat over the social network Twitter from an AKB48 fan over his displeasure at members of the idol group appearing in the company's commercials. User @onz9 wrote that he would carry out an attack on the U-can headquarters with sarin nerve gas.
AKB48’s Minami Minegishi caught leaving man’s apartment, shaves head & posts tearful YouTube apologyEntertainment Features Cherrie Lou Billones on Feb 1 2013
In its latest issue, tabloid Shukan Bunshun reported that AKB48 member Minami Minegishi spent a night at the home of pop-group Generations member Alan Shirahama and posted a photo of her leaving his house on the morning of January 17th. The 20-year old pop star was seen wearing a white breathing mask, a cap, and an oversized jacket, as she strolled on the sidewalk outside Shirahama’s apartment building in Setagaya Ward. The scandal caused AKB48’s management to demote her to kenkyuusei (“trainee level") beginning February 1, as stated in the band’s official blog.
Kodansha, the publisher of the weekly Shukan Young Magazine, has issued a public apology for last week's controversy over the intended printing of a topless picture of Tomomi Kasai, a former member of the idol supergroup AKB48. While the issue with the photo never hit the stands, the announcement of its delay because of an "inappropriate" picture led to a firestorm of debate over decency and child pornography.