A few months ago, I started hearing of some super popular Japanese music group called AKB48. I’d never heard anything they’d done, so a week or two ago I went to YouTube and found a few songs and have been listening to them.

They sound great.

However, there is madness in the ranks.

AKB48 is in a genre that I can only call “The Massively Multi-Singer Singing (And Dancing) Group.” I guess the acronym for this would be TMMSS(AD)G. None of the members play an instrument, all they do is sing and dance.

Japan has a maddening fascination with groups like this. Morning Musume was such a group. Folder 5 was another, though had less members than most other groups in this genre.

Near as I can tell AKB48 is actually three groups. On their Wiki Page, it states there’s an A Group, a K Group, and a B Group. There’s also mention of a “Research Group” but other than a list of members, it says nothing about what this research team does.

There is also 16 members (usually) in each group, that’s how they get the 48 in their name.

Once members reach a certain age, they “graduate” – which means they’re removed from the group for being too old. Other members get fired, whatever. It’s like this in every group in this genre.

I don’t see how these people have time for school, or a life, really. According to Wiki, they perform a live show once each day and “more than once” on the weekend.

Sure they perform “once” from Monday to Friday, but surely they have to practice and try out new songs, oh, and record their albums and do interviews and such. I guess that is a plus to having more than one group and a pile of members (who are all girls by the way). A member here or there can pop out, do an interview, and pop back in. Or they could substitute girls from one group for another and no one would know (I wouldn’t know, but I’m sure there are people who would).

AKB48 isn’t just one group. As I said above, it’s three groups, but even these groups have splinter groups within the groups, like Queen & Elizabeth, Crayon Friends, Natto Love, Team PB, etc, etc, etc….

Below is an AKB48 song. I don’t know the name or the words, but it sounds pretty good.


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