This documentary follows the unstoppable all-female Japanese idol group AKB48 and gives you a glimpse into the girls’ struggle and growth that is behind their success and ever-growing popularity. Five years ago they started as a small Akihabara idol group with only seven people showing up to their shows. Now, they’ve topped Japan’s music chart with the top two best-selling singles of the year in 2010 as well as another two singles ranking in the top 10.
With a complicated balance of competition and friendship among the members, their bond is strong. Throughout 2010 the camera captures AKB48’s history with scenes from their concerts, general elections, and activities abroad amounting to over 1000 hours of footage. The documentary also includes personal interviews with select members revealing each of the girls’ struggle, joy, growth, and dream.
What is AKB48?
AKB48 is an all-female idol group formed in December 2005 by none other than Yasushi Akimoto, one of Japan’s most respected producers. ‘AKB’ stands for A-Ki-ha-Bara (also referred to as Akiba), a Tokyo district known as the center of Japan’s otaku pop culture. With the concept “idols you can always meet”, AKB48 performs almost everyday at their own theater in Akihabara.
One unique aspect of AKB48 is that they are divided into teams. When AKB48 debuted in 2005, originally there were only 24 girls. Now there are 16 girls each on Team A, Team K, and Team B, who are the core members of the group. In addition to them, there are trainees who are aspiring members. Members total to around 60 girls as some graduate and some new members come in. Another interesting concept about the group in the recent years is that they hold general elections to determine the members who will participate in the recording of AKB48’s upcoming single. Fans vote for their favorites and the girl ranked number one performs as the center of the group.
Senior Executive Producer: Shunji Iwai
Producer: Yasushi Akimoto
Director: Yuri Kanchiku
2011 / Japan / 120 min
Japanese with English Subtitles
© 2011 AKS Inc. / TOHO CO., LTD. / NHK Enterprises, Inc. / Rockwell Eyes inc.
All Rights Reserved.