The tabloid magazine Shukan Bunshun recently published an article about the announcement that AKB48 producer Aki-P made after the 4 day “Request Hour Set List Best 100” concert that 8 AKB48 members are to be axed. Fans know only too well that 8 Research Students have been added to AKB48 which brings the total of the group to 56. Aki-P will cull 8 members to bring back the total down to 48. The reason behind this according to Shukan Bunshun is some members have taken their eye off the ball in their attitude to their work as an idol – being late, not having the right manners but also some are ready to be graduated. It is said that some AKB48 members collapsed upon hearing the news. If the senbatsu members think they’re going to be exempt from this cull then they’d better think again. With Aki-P – expect the unexpected.
Staff workers for AKB48 have their own opinion about who is going to be axed and what’s surprising for me is that the Top 2 in the janken tournament (Uchida and Harukan) are prime candidates for the chop. Apparently Harukan has a bad attitude, diva-like behaviour and is disliked by almost the entire staff. That pretty much shocked me as I’ve grown to like Harukan recently. As for Mayumi Uchida, there are rumours about her excessive night-time activities. Of course we should all take this information with a pinch of salt – after all this is a tabloid magazine we’re talking about here.
In a way I think Aki-P is doing the right thing here. Complacency might have taken hold for the members so this announcement will keep them on their toes and make sure they don’t do their work as an AKB48 member halfheartedly. It is said that the names of those to be kicked out will be made known at the AKB48 concert scheduled at Yokohama Arena next month. So who do you think are the members that will be axed or graduated?
EDIT: It seems the article in Shukan Bunshun made a lot of people ring AKB48 management to find out if it was true or not therefore they came out with a statement denying that anybody is going to be fired. They said that the media has exaggerated too much of what Aki-P was saying. What is likely to happen is AKB48 will go back to their roots so to say. Many fans have complained that the concept of AKB48 which is “idols you can meet” has been false lately due to various activities of the members. That’s probably due to AKB48 being popular more than anything – they’re in demand more than ever on various TV, radio shows etc. AKB48 management want the group to go back to being close to their fans so does that mean more shows at the AKB Theater? Nobody is going to be fired or graduated. Well we’ll see about that. I still think Mariko is going to graduate sometime this year.