AKB48 is an all-female japanese idol/musical group, created in 2005 by award-winning songwriter and producer, Yasushi Akimoto or Aki-P. Unlike other idol groups in Japan, AKB48 is theatre-based and has their own exclusive theatre in Akihabara, Tokyo, where they perform regularly to a full-house crowd. Many members of the group also features in movies, television shows, magazines and makes other special appearances.

The name given to the group derives from a shortened, romanized representation of Akihabara. AKB48 is divided into three teams: Team A, Team  K and Team B. Each containing 16 members getting to the total of 48 members; hence the name 48. These girls however, do not always perform as a group but rather in their individual allotted teams.

AKB48 also comes in sub-units. These units consist of 2-5 members from the main group who steps out to make additional singles in other record labels. No Sleeves (no3B) is an example of a subunit from AKB48’s team A; they debuted in 2008.

AKB48 started out as a theatre group before releasing their first single, Sakura no Hanabiratachi; miraculously, they managed to sell over 46,000 copies (22,000 copies in the first week of sales). They continued releasing singles scoring on average 20,000 total sales and with the release of their 11th single, Oogoe Diamond, their total sales doubled. From then on, AKB48 became a threat to many idol groups and bands of similar genre. Its 15th single entitled Sakura no Shiori sold an impressive 370,000 copies in its first week of release early this year. Shortly after, the group released their second studio album, Kamikyokutachi, which topped the oricon album chart (the best record in seven years).

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