The J-pop juggernaut that is AKB48 shows no signs of slowing down, though cracks are showing in the persoanl lives of its members. The latest single release from the female aidoru troupe, their 25th, is their seventh to top the 1 million mark in sales and the sixth in a row. “Give me Five!” made No.1 on the Oricon daily singles chart on February 14, almost broke the million barrier on its very first day of release and then obviously did so the following day. It is the first million selling single of the year. The so-called “graduation song” is aimed at those who will be leaving school or college in the coming month or so. It’s also the first single to feature AKB48 members in a band format, with Takahashi Minami and Maeda Atsuko on guitar and Ohshima Yuko (23) on bass (photo).
But Takahashi’s name was doing the rounds on the web for a very different reason last weekend when her mother was arrested for “obscenity” with a middle school boy – a story largely ignored by the mainstream media. This follows the recent expulsion of two members for the crime of hanging out with guys their own age after photos appeared online (see below).
Meanwhile, not to be outdone by their Tokyo sisters, the Osaka-based equivalent NMB48 also saw their latest release hit the top of the charts. Oricon’s single rankings for Feb 20 show that “Junjo U-19” is the group’s third single in a row to reach the No. 1 spot.
An AKB48 Scandal (Jan 31, 2012)