AKB48: A Musical Collection! Part 3

In the last part of AKB, I talked about the older members and SDN48; also covered was the awesome DVD concert. In this part I will talk about Graduation, Scandal and other fun things that surround the group.

But first…How old is she?

How Old AKB48: A Musical Collection!  Part 3

Think about it and all will be revealed at the end—NO CHEATING!!!


AKB48 is built like an all girls school, so to say; and there are two forms of graduation, the first is graduating from training. Training ends, when it ends…each individual has a different length of time in which they learn the dance steps, the lyrics and I’m assuming the ABC’s of being an Idol.  Training can take from less than a month to even two years; it all depends on the person and situation.

The second type of graduation is leaving the group. From my knowledge, only the biggest names get a true graduation show; a concert for them to shine just one last time. Many have left for different reasons, some to focus on their own career, some from illness or physical damage and some were forced; but most left when they reached a certain age.

The following photo is a part of my card collection with a photo; let’s start with the photo to the left. It features Haruna Kojima on the left and Yuko Oshima on the right. Yuko has graduated; she was 25 and has been acting for years. One of my all time favorites because she is so real, a real person! Next to the photo is a 7-11 exclusive card that is clear with the image printed on it, if you hold it up to the light, you can see through the background, it is sealed in its package. Below the 7-11 card is a great two-sided foil card and at the top and bottom edges are a few group shots of Team-K which Yuko was a member. A great singer and full of stage presence, Yuko will always be one of my favorites. I have a photo book too, but that is for another part.

AKB Cards 1 AKB48: A Musical Collection!  Part 3

In the case of Haruna Kojima, she is one of the very first members of AKB48, she is on the cover of the original single and was mostly part of Team-A until there were some changes, however, she has returned to “A” where she belongs. With fellow 1st generation members, Minami Takahashi and Minami Minegishi, she is part of the side group called NO3B or “No Sleeves” {However, that is for another part too}.

Haruna AKB48: A Musical Collection!  Part 3

Kojima is 26 now, the true, oldest member of AKB48—so, why hasn’t she graduated yet? Don’t know; I read her blogs and all that is mentioned are photo shoots and shows. On occasion, and depending on the picture, she can look her age, however, she is still quite pretty. Haruna used to have the character of an airhead, however, sometimes she lost the image and her true intelligence showed through. She has a very interesting story; she had belonged to a group before AKB48 that fell through and at that time she had dropped out of school {in Japan, you only have to go to school until 9th grade which is the last year of middle school, if you want to go to high school, you have to test in} she had dropped out because they wouldn’t allow her to be an idol, it was one of their rules. Now, I read two things; one, Haruna did end up in another school and did finish; two, she did not–so which is it?  The problem with all information being secondhand, but I have no choice at the moment but to read articles and other points of interest.  So there goes the airhead persona?  IF she finished high school–she didn’t have to finish high school; but she did?  OR, did she not return?  Either way, she is doing great, so who needs it.
At the time Haruna joined AKB48, she felt it was a bit fishy due to the way the try-outs were advertised, so she didn’t go to the first practice and had a part time job—however, she was convinced to show up and has been with the group ever since.

Personally, I like Haruna because she apparently wasn’t from money, she is pretty real in many ways and has a great singing voice, I heard her solo–WOW!  However; her airhead character was just so funny. She has pretty much dropped the character which is positive because, well, I’m 10 years older than her, but like the selection of “girls” in part 2 of this series, she is getting up there for an Idol. I wonder if she will graduate and if so, when?


Oh boy…All right, locate Minami Minegishi in the card selection above, there are many, she has the long black hair and the ungodly pretty face and a smile that can knock your socks off.

Currently Minami is 21; but last year she was…20 (right, you got it)! So, she is out with a certain guy from a certain group–Exile Generations (very popular) and they go home together—sadly, Minami was probably so excited that she forgot to watch her back, look for vans parked in odd places and even notice the shine of a camera lens somewhere in the distance.

Well, she got caught by the tabloids…20 year old Minegishi does the nasty—probably—with another star! Oh no!!! No!!! Now I can never marry her! Mommy, make me some brownies so I can be depressed!

Well, too bad it didn’t end with the NEETS and WOTA’s being disappointed that they weren’t her first. No, a lot of hell broke loose over something as stupid as this. Minami performed a traditional form of Japanese penance by shaving most of her beautiful, long black hair off and made a video saying how sorry she was…Sorry for what, having sex at 20! I didn’t see Jamie-Lynn Spears shave her head and get an abortion when she was a teenager–maybe that is why Britney shaved her head?  Yeah right.  So why the hell should Minami have to care?  There were a lot of questions like why no one tried to stop her, but the answer is, it was too late, no one could; she had already started.

Of course, in her contract—along with all of the other girls, they were not allowed to date—that of course is to keep up the farce that the horny male fans will one day get to marry them…yeah, right…get some help morons!  OR, the fake saying of: if they have time to date, then they should not have to perfect their craft.

So, under most circumstances, Minami would have been fired, but, she has friends in VERY high places; I’m guessing that her old buddy Minami Takahashi, the general manager of the entire AKB48 had a talk with the boss man about letting Minegishi stay; I could be wrong, but come on, it makes sense.  But…on top of that, I’m sure there was very little in the boardroom that had to be spoken about, so all they really want is to have them say they are sorry.  A lot of the girls date…just DON’T GET CAUGHT!

So, here it is, Minami Minegishi was on the very first single CD; 1st generation; she goes from being one of the major members to a trainee again {She was in Teams-A, K, B and then a trainee}. After a bit, she was promoted to the Captain of Team-4. There are a lot of different thoughts on this; first, I think it caused her to gain a maturity that she needed; she had never been a captain of a team; now she had a group of girls—most younger than her—to take care of and teach, motivate and make a success. According to her social sites, she pretty much changed to two different people. With Team-4, she is their leader; serious, and caring, she takes care of her girls. When she is with her old buddies, its business as usual; she has a big mouth, hogs the spotlight and is probably so fun to be around that the party never stops!

I think the whole “scandal” is bull shit and she never should have been treated in such a way; a photo is on some of the major members social sites with them gathered around her and the jerk-off’s who are all angry at her because they weren’t her first are complaining that she is smiling in the photo, did she really learn her lesson.  Idiots…There was no lesson to be learned, and if you look closely, she has pain in her eyes; it is forced, her real friends are trying to cheer her up…this is what happens when a 12/13 year old starts in something like this so young.  However, the end result might have been worth while after all. Minami now has short hair and she looks more mature and still very pretty…oh, I mean, she has a slightly different personality, maybe she planned it this way…good for her!

Minamin AKB48: A Musical Collection!  Part 3

Minami Minegishi is the queen of variety shows, but she is also a very important member of AKB48 and always will be. A lot of the original members went into a graduation spree after this incident; I would say it was the cause for it, but I think it was just time for some of them to let go and move on; some went solo, some went into a different line of work, others a model…but, we can always imagine that was the reason, only each individual knows for sure.

A final note on Minami Minegishi is that she has some serious medical issues; the most major was recent, she had a Kidney Cyst—not to be mistaken for Polycystic Kidney’s; but not an enjoyable disease to have—this put her out for a bit, but apparently she is back with Team-4 and doing ok. She also had a sty on her eye—man, the issues just keep coming with her. I personally hope that she doesn’t get a reoccurrence because she has dealt with enough.

In the photo, the second row down, second card, is Sayaka Akimoto; she was one of the members who graduated even though she remained with a sub-unit called Diva with Sae Miyazawa (third row, second card {currently a member still})—the last album just came out which probably means that she will leave totally. Sayaka was in a scandal also, she had a director about 3 times her age spend the night at the apartment in which she shared with another member and nothing too serious came out of it–she cried and said she caused trouble and what-not, of course, she did nothing wrong; her personality is too stoic to not follow the rules, so she did something to herself.  She was Captain of Team-K for the longest time, but she stepped down and the position went vacant or to Yuko for a bit (secondhand misinformation again) before Sayaka was put back in that position after running a marathon to prove–whatever…?  Yuko was a great captain, a real leader, but Sayaka, was THE captain.  Crazy…the way the smallest thing can set people off.

Third row down, last card—Mariko Shinoda, she was the 1.5 generation member; she isn’t on the cover of the first CD, because she joined afterwards through a test and a popularity calling from guests at the Akihabara theater where she worked after failing the first try-outs. Before Mariko graduated (which was around the time of the unpleasantness) she was the Captain of Team-A; when she left, the spot was taken over for a bit by a younger girl named Yui Yokoyama who was a trained performer—so you go from one extreme to another; where Shinoda was not from money at all, Yui must have had parents with “something” in order to attend a performance school.  Nonetheless, Yui worked for that spot and it lasted for a bit before the next team shuffle and she became the captain of Team K after Sayaka left and Yuko left–messy timeframe, I know.

Yui AKB48: A Musical Collection!  Part 3

So, currently, Yui is the captain of Team-K and Minami Takahashi doubles as the captain of Team-A and is the AKB general Manager—so much stress…!

In the upper corner, row one, cards one and two and row two, card number one—are inclusions with some of the older CD’s that were featured in part one of this series—sadly, I can actually remember which disks they came with, just match the costumes, but man, try finding them these days.

Well, I hope you, the reader, learned a bit about the group’s dark side; and now did you think of the answer…

How old is she?

Fresh Lemon AKB48: A Musical Collection!  Part 3

This is “Fresh Lemon” or Miori Ichikawa…and she is…ready for this…20 years old!  (As of this article).
Miori is the most adorable thing alive today, and she is actually 20; and no, she doesn’t have the “anti aging” disease, just eternal youth.
Part of NMB48 on Team-BII, she is one of the eldest members; although, she started with AKB48 in the original Team 4.

In Part 4, I will finally introduce some of the music in the form of videos from the official YouTube, these will be my favorites, so I hope you like them too! I will also feature another selection of my collection, so check it out!


pixel AKB48: A Musical Collection!  Part 3

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