AKB48‘s Dear Leader Akimoto Yasushi has recently announced plans to form NGT48 for Niigata, with auditions to start in March and a debut to come in October. However, his plans don’t end there, as he wants to form groups in Sapporo, Sendai, and Okinawa within the next five years before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. On the international side of things, he wants to move into the Philippines now that he’s established groups in Indonesia and China.
Oh yeah, and speaking of the Olympics, he wants to use talent from all the groups to form a Japan48 that he can use at the games.
Seriously though, I have to wonder when the breaking point will come on all this expansion. It’s like people keep waiting for the bubble to burst with more graduations of the most popular members, but all it’s really done is allow them to double dip with those stans since the fans of graduated members still also follow AKB48.
So I have to give him a ton of credit for getting the group into their 10th year still at their peak, but I also … man that would be sort of embarrassing to have them at the Olympics. I mean, Japan already has enough of a rep as a “weirdo” place to westerners since that’s the only type of coverage they seem to get from pop culture sites out here (partially deserved, of course), and I’m not sure an army of schoolgirls will necessarily help anybody buy into that Cool Japan shit they’re trying to peddle overseas.