AKB48‘s streak of selling a million copies of their single in the first week of its release was recently broken for the first time since mid-2011.
That, of course, is unacceptable, especially with Nogizaka46 gaining momentum and breathing down their neck, so AKB48 recently announced that former members Maeda Atsuko, Oshima Yuko, Shinoda Mariko, Itano Tomomi, and soon-to-be graduating Takahashi Minami will be returning for the next single.
On March 9, AKB48 will release their yet to be titled 43rd single. Today, the group held this year’s edition of their annual event, AKB48 Kohaku Uta Gassen, at Tokyo Dome City Hall. A special announcement was made at this event in regards to their upcoming single. It was announced that former members Atsuko Maeda, Yuko Oshima, Mariko Shinoda, and Tomomi Itano will be returning to the group for the new single. Soon to graduate member Minami Takahashi will also be participating in this single, even though the group’s single which was released last week, “Kuchibiru ni Be My Baby”, was dubbed her graduation single.
100% not desperate.
I mean normally I wouldn’t read a ton into it, but the timing of this seems to suggest that even the management sees the bubble’s mortality now, and pulling out all the stops is pretty hilarious clawing to stay on the cliff.