Author: Motoazabu Factory
Artist: Miyajima Reiji
Genre: Shounen, School Life, Gender Bender, Romance
Urakawa Minoru cross dresses as a girl to participate in a female idol group audition (AKB48). The main objective is to help the girl he likes, Yoshinaga Hiroko, pass the audition. Yoshinaga Hiroko’s dream is to become like her favourite idol who is in the AKB48 group. This audition happens to be her final try, so Minoru crossdresses as Minori and took part in the audition to make sure she realizes her dream.
I don’t quite know how I did it, but when I skimmed over the title I read it as AK47. Then I went through the genres, which was shounen (okay, quite predictable), school life (I suppose semi-auto rifles and high school can go together), gender bender – wait. Hold up. What? What da heck does a gun have to with gender bender? So okay, I go click on it, finally read the title properly and just decided to give it a shot after reading the summary.
It’s quite rare in shounen manga for a male lead to be involved with idoling stuff – that’s something that usually ties in with shoujo. This whole ‘getting involved with stardom’ and practicing to be the perfect, cute and flawless
girl idol is an aspect that isn’t usually explored in shounen. It’s pretty common in shoujo (i.e. Skip Beat, Full Moon wo Sagashite, Cat Street etc.) but in shounen the girl idols are usually just there to look pretty and flip their skirts unintentionally.
So anyway, since this dude got trapped into joining the little idol group(oh the things we do for love), he has to stick with it – which means, of course that he has to do all the singing and dancing practices and (I can so foresee this in the future) most probably end up in a swimsuit.
Man that would be hilarious.
So anyway after thinking I might have found a read that could have the potential to become quite mainstream, I immediately report this to chungky on Skype who just said;
chungky: oh, ya, I know that idol grp
Okay, so apparently, they exist IRL (manga, huh… What a way to gain publicity)
The manga title is AKB49, but the original group name is AKB48 (I suppose the +1 is the protagonist). I hardly know anything about all these girl group thingies; I was introduced to them by some of my Korean friends a couple of years back – that’s when I got to know groups like SNSD and Super Junior, and back then I thought 9 and 13 people were already spamming it.
AKB48, however, has 40-friggin-8 (hence, the name).
chungky: lol…48 ppl
chungky: tats just too much.
chungky: how can their voices be the force
chungky: do they even know each other
So I went and looked up this idol group; apparently they’ve got 3 groups within them with 16 people each. The AKB comes from Akiba since they have their own theatre and something else there. From the manga I thought they would just be singing and dancing and winking in their music videos, but when I went to watch one of them I was like – uh-huh. Yep. Even if the manga just portrayed them doing the hokey pokey and stuff, IRL idols are idols – their job is to basically sell themselves. E.g. It’s like the start of the Ponytail song was like just trying to piss off poor frustrated guys 😄
arawr: I used to hv 40 ppl in my class
arawr: we had 100 ppl in our 6th form batch
arawr: u lived with 70 other ppl in the same dorm
arawr: u shi**ed in the same toilet bowl as them >=D
arawr: so if it’s 48 they shud be acquainted in the least 😄
I went to listen to some of their songs – I kinda liked Beginner. It’s quite fun to watch the massive amount of girls dancing on stage. Although it looks so bloody crowded.
And this is quite irrelevant but from the little that I’ve seen so far, there are two main differences between J-girl groups and K-girl groups. J girl groups like to cram as many people as possible on stage, and K girl groups (and K boy groups as well I suppose) tend to have highly reflective floors during live performances (I shit you not).
I’m not much of a pop music fan, but the music and choreography is pretty enjoyable at times =D
I’ll be following the manga, if not the real thing. Go ahead and give it a try as well – it’s worth one read, in the least.
“Even if we can’t do a 100 point dance… Let’s do a 100% performance!”