AKB48, or 48 Group as a whole consisting of AKB48 based in Tokyo Akihabara and their sister groups SKE48(Nagoya, Sakae), NMB48(Osaka, Namba) and HKT48(Fukuoka, Hakata) is one of the more easily recognizable idol groups today in the Japanese entertainment world. In the world of animation, Love Live! has a similar idol concept and not surprising that both have a huge following in Japan and overseas. Here I have, is a 3 part Q&A feature with fans from both 48 Group and Love Live!
In the first segment, I have covered how did they get attracted to the respective groups and their prized collections. Then in the next segment, I have covered their highs & lows, and their views on the local fan base.
Lastly, I will conclude this Q&A with their views on the other side and how long will these concepts lasts.
- What is your view on the other side of the fence.
Well, Love Live! fans are people who like the anime character designs and maybe are also fans of the seiyu voicing those characters while 48G is more towards real life idols, what they do in variety show helps to build their fan base compare to Love Live! so it is very hard to link the 2 of them together.
I have not really watch or experience any LL activities but I feel that they are really an overzealous group of people. Perhaps to an extent of attention seeking such as bowing down and blocking human traffic in a convention hall. There is a difference between idol worship/oshimen pride and pure attention seeking. But of course, there are also many well mannered passionate LL fans I personally know of.
Having been involved with the other side as a casual concert goer(went for the first 4-5 lives here) I really loved the experience and the camaraderie is strong among the fans. On this side(Love Live!), there is a fragmentation that I feel exist among the fans. Maybe I just don’t go out enough.
I don’t watch Love Live, but I have seen from the photos posted online or even in the events like AFA where fans actually bow down in front a poster image of the characters and worship them. Each group has its own group of fans who might be more enthusiastic than the others, so it’s nothing surprising to see such things happen in Love Live!. There are even fans who fly to Japan just to see their favourite idols even for just a day.
- Lastly, your views on how long will these concepts last.
Love Live! concepts should still be going for quite some time as they have recently announced a new project called Love Live Sunshine!, featuring a new group with new members. I do hope old fans will also support the new group as the seiyuu are also quite new and fresh to the industry too and also new fans to come into this and also show their support by buying their merchandises and media releases.
I believe there are still ample fuel for LL to burn. It is still very popular in Japan, especially with the recent launch of the movie and something like a new group within the LL universe right? It definitely can sustain the community into the mid future.
For AKB48, I believe they have quite a long way to go. Its media reach, fans support and sales are unprecedented in Japanese idol history. The group’s constant renewal of members through graduation and auditioning of new members encourage new fans as well as retain existing fans. That’s why to a certain extend, it is always good to have MD (Minna Daisuki) and DD (Daredemo Daisuki) as they are always constantly on the look out for new members to supplement their existing line-ups! And not to mention, the increasing number of Sisters’ groups such as NGT48 and their official rival group NGZK46’s new sister group continues to complicates the chemistry and atmosphere of the group. Of course, all good things come to an end, but for AKB48, there is really still a long way to go.
Its not a fresh concept but definitely Love Live and other idol groups will continue long into the future. As for making another big hit, it will be interesting to find another group of seiyus that can pull off what Love Live! has done.
Judging from the popularity of Love Live, events in Japan are held commentating the anime’s girls and how its fans are a hardcore bunch. Whether it can reach the heights of evergreen classics like Evangelion (which is almost into its 20th year anniversary), remains to be seen…
As for the concept of meeting your idols, seem to be commonly associated with AKB and its sister groups with its many handshake and 2shot events, one is simply spoilt for choice where he/she can select up to 300+ girls to interact with. Media often say that the group will lose its popularity when its most popular members leave. But judging from the CD sales, it doesn’t seem to affect them one bit.
Thank you so much for reading through a words filled feature spanning the past 3 days. And also, thank you to our 4 fans who have contributed to this feature, it has been quite an interesting read. To you readers, what is your say, feel free to leave your comments below!