The facade of the ultra-management suffocating the scores of young girls populating super
business music group AKB48 is collapsing even more.
Sexy Rumi Yonezawa, who left the group in 2012 after she was pictured with a boy in a bar in rather suspicious circumstances in February, has now admitted that she had a boyfriend during her time with the band.
Rumi has since started her new career as an actress. This December she will be starring in a movie as a call girl. She has come a long way since joining the AKB girls in 2007!
“My time at AKB was tough. It’s a group that is always working. The time I was a member I was caught up in a whirlpool, and I couldn’t decide what to do. While we were caught up in the whirlpool, all we could do was move forward… Even though it is said to be Japan’s biggest selling idol group, that didn’t feel real to us.”
She says that though now she doesn’t have time for boys and wants to focus on herself. However, contrarily, during her time in AKB, she admits she had a boyfriend. Shock horror!
Girls want to have fun. Boys want to have fun with girls. You cannot put these ladies up there as sexy and then expect them not to act on their own innate desires, to exploit the gifts that nature gave them.
Sadly, the middle aged men running things at AKB48 are happy leching over young girls but not acting on their feelings — because they likely know they would be rejected — but the same cannot be said for young generations.
In the latest example of their marketing stunts, AKB48 and their busy corporate strategists have teamed up with pinball gambling chain Kyoraku to produce a special AKB48 pachinko machine.
It will stream 12 of the pop band’s “songs” to brain-dead gamblers while they whittle what little money the economy allows them down the tube of the infamous bottomless pit that is pachinko.
The pachinko machine is being promoted by “Team Surprise”, a cross-team mix of AKB slaves formed just for lucky Kyoraku. Hell, it even includes exiled hottie Rino Sashihara, now languishing in Kyushu.
The new songs will be released on the machines one a week. Apparently it is meant to be like experiencing an AKB concert up-close. We wonder if that means you can see the girls lip-synching?
AKB is ostensibly still an otaku group, but the majority of pachinko customers are a different kettle of fish. We are curious if they are hoping to entice new AKB fans through pachinko — or if Kyoraku is just hoping to benefit by bringing in new visitors, in the shape of otaku, into their gambling dens, looking for some up-close-and-personal team with some pinballs and idols…
Of course, we are also sure the intimate atmosphere will be affected by the usual milieu of a pachinko parlor — an air thick with cigarette smoke and deafening noise.
One of the Japanese tabloids is currently running pics apparently of former AKB48 idol Atsuko Maeda looking drunk, dishevelled and generally not very cute.
She is with some guy (apparently an actor) in rather dubious circumstances, and is even seemingly photographed being carried to a waiting car possibly without any underwear on.
Tabloids are not famed for their integrity or honesty, so we cannot vouch for the veracity of the details, but we do like a juicy scandal when we sense one!
The end of the year might still be months away but the merchandising machine knows no time limits for AKB48, whose new official 2013 calendar promises to include “god panties”.
Needless to say, these are not real Japanese used panties but some sort of strange underwear advertised as both “eco” and “erotic”. They are even made of paper!
The lucky purchasers of the Akiba ladies’ newest product will also be rewarded with a clear plastic file, a poster and some “live” photos of random members.
Reservations to get a copy start on October 31st.
Needless to say, this is being criticized as the latest example of the group’s blatant steps out of the music world and into the semi-pornographic one.
There are lots of fetish and porn magazines that offer used underwear as omake (extras), and this AKB48 calendar is clearly imitating them in pushing the definition of what customers will be buying it for — the actual calendar or the “giveaway”.
Just when you think Yasushi Akimoto and his minions cannot go any further… they do.
AKB48‘s latest sell-out, a TV commercial for Puccho, sees them dancing to the sounds of their own “music” as they eat the product being advertised. But, this being AKB, nothing is simple and everything is queasy.
The heads of the young girls are pasted in the Most Obvious Photoshopping of the Year Award-winning style onto the bodies of dancing children. Yes, children. This time there is no mistake.
We simply cannot fathom what ad agency chicanery came up with the concept that the juvenile-like AKB should made to appear even younger (how is this making the product look good?!), creating either a sort of Robocop-lookalike bizarre mutant image — or, depending on your taste, every pedophile or Lolicon fan’s fantasy.
AKB are of course famously not a real band but a massive commercial machine designed by Akimoto to make money from otaku or otaku-leaning consumers through relentless spin-offs (propaganda films, sick TV commercials), mountains of merchandise and much-hyped events (hand-shaking, the “elections”). But when will they just go too far and land up in jail?
The reaction among even otaku on Twitter and elsewhere has been horror at the new lows. What can they possibly give us next?
After police predicted an unprecedented amount of fans would gather, the last chance to “meet” Atsuko Maeda while she is still a member of terrible pop “music” band AKB48 has been cancelled at the last moment.
On August 20th some five hundred thousand people were in Ginza to watch the victory parade of Japan’s returning Olympians (despite many of them putting in slightly mediocre performances). Not sure if half a million were expected to witness pre-solo career Atsuko head to her swan song concert at the AKB theater in Akihabara, but apparently public safety fears prompted a change in plan.
Atsuko was planning to hold a kind of “entering the theater” parade event on top of the final performance, where she could be with her fans one last time (before going solo and releasing more money-making CDs).
Before the concert on August 27th, she was expected to ride a vehicle and be driven like the Pope around the Akiba vicinity, waving to her adoring masses lining the streets. Sadly no one will get to see this spectacle of Atsuko Maeda pretended to be a queen…
Of course, this event (and the final performance) is supposed to be all about “the fans”… That’s why the performance is ticketed and with tickets now being sold on for insanely inflated prices. AKB’s management really cares about otaku, especially when their wallets are concerned.
Another one bites the dust. Yuko Sugamoto from HKT48, the Fukuoka spin-off of AKB48, has announced she is quitting. It is an open secret that this is due to her management finding out about a “relationship” she had, including possibly drinking and smoking with a fan.
However, the official line is that all she did was exchange email addresses and answer a mail… which hardly seems taboo-breaking to us.
Japanese girls are just not allowed to have relationships if they are in an idol group. Heaven forbid that reality infringe on the “pure” fantasy that their management have crafted so carefully.
These girls don’t get warnings. It’s a one-strike-and-you’re-out rule in the fascist world of AKS-led pop “music”.
Yuko was one of the most popular members of the Kyushu group — now of course, joined by another exiled and disgraced member of AKB — and famed for her generous bust. The appeal of the group is going to be seriously lessened.
We always wonder what these girls think about when they join these groups, signing up their soul to their management, while the latter rake in all the money (the singers are salaried) and prevent them from having any private life. They get to pose for soft porn shoots targeting the handjob fantasies of the fans and appear in TV campaigns for any brand their management chooses, while any semblance of personal freedom (let alone, shock horror, artistic control) is denied to them.
Along with Yuko (18), another four members of HKT48 are also leaving: Airi Taniguchi (13), Sayaka Eto (14), Yui Komori (14), and Ayaka Nakanishi (16)… though we aren’t sure why. The term “graduation” is still being used with all its euphemism but we reckon these girls were sacked or said they want to leave to have a real life. Good for you, girls! Get out while you still can.
And good on Yuko too for being a bit cheeky and uploading a YouTube video hinting at the real reasons for her resignation. She denies sleeping with the fan and says she is upset about the rumours online that she met him and went drinking and smoking with him.
Unfortunately the video was swiftly deleted but hopefully will resurface…
*Update*: Some generous soul has put the video back up. Not sure how long it will stay up but here it is for now (Japanese only). Rather sweet.
Something strange has happened. Despite having said that AKB48 just had no genuinely sexy members — except, perhaps, at a push Haruna Kojima — I’ve been changing my mind recently about at least one of the ubiquitous girls.
She might not be as famous as the main ladies but in my humble opinion, she is far better looking in both a cute (kawaii) and genuinely sexy way.
This lady is none other than Rie Kitahara.
Rie was born in 1991 in Aichi, a pretty dull prefecture, it must be said. Well, she’s left that all behind her now and, although she hasn’t yet cracked the top ten in the notorious money-making promo events that are the AKB48 Senbatsu Elections, we reckon she is actually much hotter than the other more famous ladies.
AKB48 handshaking events, when fans can “meet” their idols, have come into attention again.
Team B’s Rie Kitahara (21) — and probably only one of the only two genuinely hot AKB48 members — has fallen under the obsessive attention of one male fan, who wrote on an anonymous message board:
We argued about her hair [at a handshaking event]. It’s bad of me but I think of Rie-chan totally as my think. It pains me that other people are appraising her.
Each handshaking booth has its own bodyguard to make sure the fans don’t get too personal. This is a real concern.
This month at a concert, a member of another otaku idol group, Momoiro Clover Z, had her breasts fondled by a zealous fan. (Although some groups are doing a lot to encourage this kind of intimate fan-idol interaction!)
At concerts for Momoiro Clover Z now, audiences have to follow instructions on screens about when to sit down or stand up so that the organizers can control the horny crowds. This is apparently particularly the case when the idols get close to the audience seats. Just one surge of mass otaku energy and they would never be seen again!
Some handshaking events attract 80,000 fans, with each member shaking hands with thousands. While their few seconds with their girl will likely stay in an otaku’s memory forever, we certainly can’t vouch for the same being the case for the girls.
The AKB48 handshaking events have become notorious for fans to impose themselves upon their meek idols. Stories abound of them saying dirty things to the girls, jerking off right before and leaving the cum for her to touch — and more!
Still, if you market yourselves so ruthlessly and cynically as a sexualized group to such an alienated group of fans, then you can’t then bite the hand that feeds you… or shakes yours.
In the same week that AKB48‘s moneymen claimed victory in the amount of hype and advertising cash their well-greased PR machine could turn their “election” campaign into — comes a scandal that proves just how controlled and fake they are.
A minor member of the band, Rino Sashihara (b.1992), has sort-of admitted to the rumors started by a tabloid that she seduced one of her otaku fans.
Shock horror! A girl exploiting her fame to get some fun and pleasure for herself?!! Well, it’s okay if it’s men (unless you go as far as, say, Edison Chen), but with an idol, and especially for an otaku idol, it’s the ultimate taboo, up there with taking drugs.
We want these girls to be our sex objects for our masturbation pleasure. But we don’t want them to actually have sex lives themselves. No, that would be too feminist, of course. They must maintain that very, very fine balance between coy temptress and innocence. Step over the line and there’s no going back.
It’s not just otaku idols either. Why else do we hear nothing or almost next-to-nothing about the love lives of “pure” and kawaii models and actresses like Haruka Ayase, Yu Aoi and Mikako Tabe? Because their agencies keep it tightly under wraps and/or they order the girls not to have relationships at all!
Rino is what you may call nikushoku, literally a carnivore, and one who likes to devour weaker men. Now she’s been banished to HKT48, one of the hydra-like zillions of spin-off groups, this one located in the far southern corner of Japan on Kyushu. It’s the equivalent of shimanagashi, when in the olden days troublesome samurai were sent to Sado Island.
Rino issued an apology on her blog for her immoral behavior and has said that all she can do is try her best in her new act. Her blog has attracted 17,000 comments of support.
This isn’t the first AKB scandal, of course.
Come on, let’s face it, AKB48 are essentially soft core porn stars in all but name.
Any look at their music videos, their puerile TV commercials, or the constant bikini photo shoots will tell you that straightaway (and the music at any rate cannot qualify as a melody by most standards).
Nothing wrong with that, of course — actually, there’s a lot right with it. But we shouldn’t be afraid to call it what it is. It makes us at TokyoKinky angry that the producers care more about money than humans, and that they have the hypocrisy to pretend there is something “moral” about their creation.
Presented by Tokyo Kinky