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DiVA To Audition For Six New Members Before Capitalizing the I

DiVA to hold auditions for 6 more members (Melos no Michi)
AKB48′s DiVA to recruit new members through audition (Tokyograph)
DiVA, you were too good to be true… (SaeYaka Paradise)
DiVA, you were too good to be true… Sayaka and Sae blog comments (SaeYaka Paradise)

Contrasting to the natural-ness of the Acchan announcement, this one is more of a WTF moment. The group has barely started out and Aki-P has now declared that auditions for six new members will be held – molding the group into a female EXILE, so to speak. When the new members are added, the small-i in DiVA will become a capital-I because then the group will be complete. Which does make it sound like it was planned all along, and the idea of a female EXILE seems like something SOMEBODY should be doing (why not Avex?), considering how popular the group has been in recent years… Nevertheless, it certainly stings for fans of the four current members of the group, and SaeYaka Paradise certainly doesn’t hold back the emotions in their write-up.

Personally, I’m not sure what to make of this. I have to admire Aki-P’s business savvy in trying to recreate a tried-and-true formula… That said, alienating the built-in dedicated fan base of the group isn’t very savvy at all, now is it? And what if the current line-up proves more popular than the 10-nin version? Will the band be re-shrunk and de-capitalized or something? I get the feeling this group’s story has only just begun…

The Pushed Girls, part 2

OMG! That Sashihara! GTFO! or The Pushed Girls in AKB part 2 (Aitakatta)

Continuing with the theme of long titles, Cat brings us the second installment of her posts focusing on the girls of AKB48 who’ve received major promotion. In her last post, Cat gave a complete list of each girl who’d been heavily promoted. In this post, she provides some speculative reasoning as to why certain members are pushed, and the merit of promoting one girl over the others.

30+ Additional Items Listed for the International Wota Charity Auction

We’re back with another set of items to raise funds to help the Japan relief effort! Again, bids are limited to people from the USA and Canada.

This batch of items have been donated from MorningBerryz of モーニングBerryz48, Greg of Selective Hearing, Ron of Idol Eyes, Amy of International Wota and Ray of American Wota.

There are some gems in this set which will be highlighted in the upcoming days, and remember that 100% of proceeds are going to the American Red Cross for Japan. For now, check out the main auction page to see the listing of all items. The auctions end on Tuesday, April 26th at 9 pm Eastern time.

Happy bidding!!

If You Could Only Take Six Songs…

My new Phone and notes. Wota (in training)

Todd is forced into the shattering decision of purchasing a new mobile phone. Instead of upgrading to an Android or an iPhone, Todd decided to stay the course and buy a cell phone that is just a phone. Of course, “just a phone” in 2011 means that there is some room for extra media! He has a memory card that can hold 6 songs and has a post to say which songs they were.

I read this post as sort of a Desert Island game. Todd takes an all-AKB48 lineup; I couldn’t imagine walking around with only AKB48 songs as my disposal. If you wanted a song that has “meow meow meow” as lyrics, then at least use those Meow Mix commercials for variety’s sake.

Another Set of Items Added to the Auction

We’ve got a 3rd set of items which have been added to the auction. This time, johpan of johpanOnline and CK of Chuo Dori have donated the items. If you’re a fan of Perfume, AKB48, Porno Graffiti or Morning Musume, there may be something here for you! So check out the central auction page for the full listing of auction items.

Also, it was brought to our attention that Canadian bidders have not been able to submit bids. We have fixed the issue, and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. So Canadians, if there was something you tried to bid on and were unable to, try again! If you come across any issues, please send us an e-mail at admins[at] So far, all the auctions are limited to North America. We will only honour bids from Canada and the United States.

Just a reminder: the first batch of auction items will be ending today (April 1st) at 9 pm EDT.

From Matsui Jurina to Yokoyama Yui

Ew… That Yokoyama! Kill her with fire! or The Pushed Girls in AKB48 (Aitakatta)

How’s that for a long title? Cat uses this post to give a complete run-down of all of the AKB48 girls who have received massive amounts of support in the media and within the group. She also addresses the phenomenon among fans of hating girls who are promoted heavily and seemingly without reason. I’ve certainly been guilty of that hate (…Risako), so I found this post particularly interesting… and is it just me, or does Yokoyama Yui look like an evil version of Yajima Maimi?

New Items Added to the IW Charity Auction

Additional items have been added to the IW Charity auction, donated by Pata of Delicious Cake Project and Kimitsu of 無礼講⇒ナイト. A number of photobooks (Hello! Project, AKB, and other J-pop) and various merchandise from groups like AAA and w-inds are now up for auction. The auctions of items added today end on Apr 4th at 9pm EDT.

Check out the central auction page for the full listing of auction items.

Happy bidding!

New Release Dates for Postponed Releases

Hello! Project Delayed Releases (Pure Idol Heart)
SDN48:“Ai, Juseyo” Release Postponed

It looks like most of the releases which were set for March 23rd have been rescheduled for April 6th. Included in that bunch is the debut single for Morning Musume’s 9th generation and SDN48’s major debut single.

The other releases listed which had original release dates near the end of March and start of April have been rescheduled for release by April 27 at the latest.

A Full Look at Akimoto Sayaka’s Marathon Run

Marathon 1: Sayaka crosses the finish line and gets her captain position back as reward (SaeYaka Paradise)
Marathon 2: Blog entries translations

SaeYaka Paradise has complete coverage of Akimoto Sayaka’s running of the 2011 Tokyo Marathon. This is definitely one of the more impressive accomplishments of an idol during their career. Sayaka’s completion of the marathon is described as the “most touching marathon ever. Even more than the original marathon.” Originally I thought, “well no, Team Hoyt might have something to say about that.” After reading these entries, I was clearly mistaken. After Sayaka completes the marathon, she famously is re-established as Team K Captain, and starts crying to the point where I thought she was going to be dehydrated! The second entry has a ton of translated blog entries in reaction to Sayaka’s run.

And yet, I can’t help but think that the coverage (TV-wise) over this is a little ridiculous. She even gets interviewed while running the marathon! I mean, lots of celebrities run marathons (especially for charity) and don’t get this much attention. But maybe Aki-P is planning a DVD of Sayaka running the marathon. All seven hours of it. Would you watch??

Shinoda Mariko’s EDU48 Show

Mariko Shinoda Gets Her Own TV Show (IXA Ready – Fist On!)
Shinoda Mariko to have solo TV show [Mariko-sama no Orikou-sama!] (MELOS no Michi)
Shinoda Mariko to host NHK television show (Tokyograph)

The AKB48 empire expands even further as member Shinoda Mariko lands a television show on NHK. She’ll be teaching what should be “common knowledge” like genetics and economics… Should she really be teaching economics to wota? Won’t this backfire?? Anyways, when is the 24/7 all AKB48 network starting?

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