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Archives for : May2014

AKB48 Customer Service Head, Togasaki Tomonobu posts statement on AKB48 attack

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Togasaki Tomonobu (Head of the AKB48 Customer Center) has posted the following on G+ (English translation) in regards to the AKB48 attack:

I have information to all the fans regarding the incident that occurred during the handshaking session in Iwate yesterday.

Before that, I sincerely apologize for yesterday’s incident that have caused the members and fans to experience this sad and terrible memory as part of staff engaged in the management and system constructed for the handshaking session.

The detailed report about this incident is stated below.

Regarding the incident, the offender who had no bag suddenly attacked Iriyama and Kawaei on the 6th lane by taking the sharp weapon from his jacket and slashed them.

The staff beside them tried to protect the members by taking the weapon from the offender, but the offender shook him away and attacked Kawaei and Iriyama.

Kawaei and Iriyama had hand and head injury, and the staff who risked his life to protect them had hand injury as well.

They were immediately accommodated by all the doctors after being transported to the hospital and undergone operation, but they are conscious so there is nothing to worry about.

We arranged this project for the public with a concept of “meeting the idols” which we call “handshaking session” that is being valued by the members and staff, so we felt strong resentment for this terrible incident to happen. However, we have to make a radical resolution to prevent this kind of incident to happen again.

I think that many fans who have heard about yesterdays’ incident are worrying about what will happen from now, but our current priority is to consider the members’ feelings while planning to create and environment where this kind of incident will never happen again. We will be working hard to hold an event where the venue will be filled with overflowing smiles from the members and fans.

Please continue to support the AKB48 Group.

Kawaei Rina, Iriyama Anna and venue staff member injured by crazed person with a handsaw at handshake event

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On May 25th at the handshake meeting in Iwate (at Iwate Inudstrial Culture Center), Kawae Rina, Iriyama Anna and a venue staff member were injured by an attack by a man holding a hand saw.

The injuries were not life threatening but the event has been canceled.  More information coming soon.

UPDATE: Kawaei suffered a fractured thumb and cut on her right hand.  Iriyama suffered a fracture on  her right pinky and a cut on her right arm and a head laceration.  A staff member was cut in his right arm.

The 24-year-old man has been arrested and charged for attempted murder.  The man is from Towada and is unemployed according to NTV.

This was the first time a Japanese performer was attacked during a handshake meeting.

Other incidents including attacks on performers have happened in the past.

In 1957, a crazed fan of Hibari Misora threw hydrochloric acid on the singer at Asakusa International Theater.

In 1963, a crazed fan of Yoshinaga Sayuri broke into the home of the actress carrying a pistol.  The man said he wanted to tattoo his name on the Sayuri’s arm or leg.  The man shot a police officer that was pursuing him.  At the time, Sayuri and her family were away from home.

In 1983, a mentally ill man attacked Matsuda Seiko with a metal pipe during a performance in front of 6,000 people Osaka.  Matsuda fainted during the attack and was taken to the hospital immediately for her head injury.

In 2002, Johnny’s Jr. member Yamashita Tomohisa was attacked by a man who poured liquid on him and the man ingested a liquid.

In 2013, Ninety-Nine member Okamura Takashi was pelted and inured by a bottle thrown at his forehead during an appearance in Kobe.

NMB48 Fujie Reina talks about leaving AKB48 and the new chapter of her life

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If there was one person that didn’t look too thrilled of being transferred to a new team during AKB48G’s reformation, the video of Fujie Reina (20) crying as captain Takahashi Minami tried to console her, is something that fans will remember.

In an interview with Yahoo!, Fujie Reina discusses what happen on stage when she found out she was being transferred to NMB48 from AKB48.

In tears, the thought of leaving AKB48 made her emotional, while Takahashi Minami told her to look forward and to not make NMB48 fans think she is disappointed of transferring.

But since transferring on May 2nd, Fujie has talked about how NMB48 fans welcomed her with so much warmth and how she made so many new friends.

You can read the interview (in Japanese) here

BABYMETAL to perform at Heavy Montreal

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In an unprecedented move for a Japanese idol group, BABYMETAL will be performing at Heavy Montreal on August 9-10.

Slated to appear at this event are Metallica, Slayer, The Offspring and many other bands.

In addition to performing in Canada, BABYMETAL will perform at the Sonisphere Festival UK on July 5th and the Electric Ballroom in London on July 7th (tickets are sold out).

Fans say goodbye to Yuko at final handshake meeting

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3,000 fans came out to Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba to say goodbye to AKB48 member Oshima Yuko on May 24th.

Yuko’s graduation performance will be on June 8th and June 9th (theater).

AKB48’s “Labrador Retriever” sells over 1.4 million copies on debut day

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And as expected with AKB48’s General Election voting, their single “Labrador Retriever” sells over 1.4 million copies. For those not familiar, their May single (37th single) contains a voting ticket for the 6th annual general election of who will be the #1 center of AKB48’s 38th single. The top 16 is chosen by the final votes which will be televised in Japan on June 7th.

AKB48 General Election Preliminaries – Sashihara Rino at #1

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Preliminary voting for the AKB48 General Election has Sashihara Rino at #1 once again and Watanabe Mayu at #2.  As the voting will definitely change on June 7th, especially now that fans know where their oshi stands in the Senbatsu Sosenkyo, it will be interesting to see if any of original AKB48 members (AKB48 captain – Takahashi Minami, Kojima Haruka) will rocket back to the top 16.

1. Sashihara Rino 37,582 votes
2. Watanabe Mayu 25,823 
3. Matsui Jurina 23,012
4. Kashiwagi Yuki 17,266
5. Shimazaki Haruka 15,514
6. Matsui Rina 14,897
7. Yamamoto Sayaka 14,798
8. Shibata Ami 12,340
9. Matsumura Kaori 12,190
10. Kodama Haruka 9,879
11. Moriyasu Madoka 9,562
12. Yokoyama Yui 9,505
13. Takahashi Minami 9,005
14. Futamura Haruka 8,755
15. Kitahara Rie 8,584
16. Miyazawa Sae 8,273

Fuji TV to broadcast the AKB48 General Elections and Oshima Yuko graduation concert

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On June 7th, the 6th General Election will be aired on Fuji TV and on June 9th, the graduation concert of Oshima Yuko (25).

Last year’s general election scored a 32.7% rating in the Kanto area with an average of 20.3%.

As for the live graduation performance, Maeda Atsuko’s graduation concert aired in August 2012 and scored a 14.3% rating in the Kanto region.