AKB48 are a Japanese idol girl group named after the Akihabara area in Tokyo, where the group's theater is located. The group includes 134 members as of December 2018, aged from their early teens to their mid-20s. AKB48's producer, Yasushi Akimoto, wanted to form a girl group with its own theater and performing daily so fans could always see them live; this "idols you can meet" concept includes teams which can rotate performances and perform at several events and "handshake" events, where fans can meet group members. Akimoto has expanded the AKB48 concept to several sister groups in China, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, with an upcoming group announced for India; the group is one of the highest-earning musical performers in Japan. In 2012, their sales reached $226 million. AKB48 has been characterized as a social phenomenon; as of June 2018, the group has sold including over 6 million albums. AKB48 is the highest selling musical act in Japan in terms of singles sold. AKB48's thirty-five latest singles have topped the Oricon Weekly Singles Chart, with thirty singles selling over a million copies each.
Their highest selling single, "Teacher Teacher", sold over 3 million in 2018 according to Billboard / Soundscan. In 2010, "Beginner" and "Heavy Rotation" placed first and second on the list of Japan's best-selling singles for the year. From 2011 to 2017, AKB48's singles have occupied the top four or five spots of the Oricon Yearly Singles Chart. AKB48 was founded as "idols you can meet"; the group's chief producer, Yasushi Akimoto, said that his goal was to create a unique idol group which, unlike other idol groups which perform occasional concerts and appear on television, would perform in its own theater. The AKB48 Theater is in the Don Quijote store in Tokyo; the group is split into several teams, reducing its members' workload and enabling AKB48 to perform in several places. According to former member Misaki Iwasa, each team has its own theme. Team A represents freedom. According to an early press release the group was intended to have 16 members on each of three teams, for a total membership of 48.
New members are called trainees who are understudies for the group, performing in the theater as a team. The group members' ages range from their early teens to over 20, they are selected from regular auditions. Members are not allowed to date, must be well-behaved. AKB48 has a system that allows members to "graduate" from the group when they are older and are replaced by trainees who are promoted. Monica Hesse of The Washington Post described the AKB48 audition process as "rolling American Idol-esque". In July 2005, Yasushi Akimoto held an audition for a new theater-based idol girl group. Of the 7,924 who auditioned, 24 were chosen as first-generation group members. On December 8, 20 members debuted as Team A in the AKB48 Theater performing "Party ga Hajimaru yo" to an audience of seven. In January 2006, AKB48 cafe waitress Mariko Shinoda joined Team A as a "1.5 generation" member when her popularity with patrons prompted Akimoto to give her a special audition. The group's second audition was held in cooperation with telecommunications company NTT DoCoMo in February 2006, with applicants submitting audition videos on mobile phones.
Of 11,892 applicants, 19 were selected, 18 joined AKB48 as Team K in April. Team K performed Party ga Hajimaru Team A moved to a new stage program, Aitakatta. AKB48 released its first independent-label single, "Sakura no Hanabiratachi", in February 2006, it entered Oricon's weekly Top 10 chart, with first-week sales of 22,011. On March 31, Yuki Usami became the first member to "graduate" from the group. On June 7 AKB48 released its second independent single, "Skirt, Hirari", which sold 13,349 copies on its first day; the group made its first television appearance two days and signed a contract with DefStar Records in August. In October 2006 AKB48 announced auditions for Team B, 13 girls were chosen out of 12,828 applicants in December; the group's first DefStar Records single, "Aitakatta", was recorded by 20 members of Teams A and K and released on October 25. It debuted at number 12 on the Oricon weekly singles chart, selling 25,544 copies in its first six weeks, remained on the chart for a total of 65 weeks.
On November 3–4 AKB48 performed its first concert, "AKB48 First Concert: Aitakatta ~Hashira wa Nai ze!~" at Nippon Seinenkan in Shinjuku. The group performed "Aitakatta" on the New Year's Eve TV program 58th NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen as a part of the "Nihon ga Hokoru Saisentan! Special Medley". At 43 members, the group set a program record for the most people in one group onstage simultaneously. AKB48 made its first lineup change in December, transferring Kazumi Urano, Shiho Watanabe and Natsumi Hirajima from Team A to Team B as supporting members. AKB48's second major-label single, "Seifuku ga Jama o Suru", was released on January 31, 2007 and debuted at number seven on the Oricon Top 10 chart, its music video and lyrics hinted at the subject of enjo kōsai, triggering controversy and negative reviews. On March 18 AKB48 released "Keibetsu Shiteita Ai
Japanese popular culture
Japanese popular culture includes Japanese cinema, television programs, anime and music, all of which retain older artistic and literary traditions, many of their themes and styles of presentation can be traced to traditional art forms. Contemporary forms of popular culture, much like the traditional forms, are not only forms of entertainment but aspects to distinguish contemporary Japan from the rest of the modern world. There is a large industry of music and the products of a huge comic book industry, among other forms of entertainment. Game centers, bowling alleys, karaoke parlors are well-known hangout places for teens while older people may play shogi or go in specialized parlors. After the end of the US occupation of Japan in 1952, Japanese popular culture has been influenced by American media. However, rather than being dominated by American products, Japan localised these influences by appropriating and absorbing foreign influences into local media industries. Today, Japanese popular culture stands as one of the leading and most prominent popular cultures around the world.
In as early as 1920, a discussion revolving around the use of culture and media communication was being used as a strategy to enhance the international understanding of Japan's perspective was set in place. The discussion began when Japan aspired to become an imperial and colonial power, one, equivalent to their Euro-American counterparts; this idea was interrupted once Japan was defeated in World War II. With the economic struggles Japan faced after the war, the question about using culture and media communication was once again brought up. In order for Japan to reinvent themselves and allow others to see their true colors, Japan focused on projecting a selected national image by exporting appealing cultural products including, television programs, popular music and fashion; the public diplomacy wanted to allow other countries to understand their position on various issues by acting directly on the people of foreign countries. With the popularity of television emerging in Asian countries, they produced a show, supposed to demonstrate the actual lives of Japanese people.
Before the popular television show Oshin aired in Asian countries, Japanese people were perceived as ‘culturally odorless.’ With this new TV drama, a sense of commonality began to form between Japan and other Asian nations. This show was a testimony to the capability media culture can have on enhancing the international understanding of negative historical memories of Japanese colonialism and the hostility regarding the country's economic exploitation of the region; the entertainment industry was vital to Japan's postwar reconstruction. The desire to create fantasies was present but, the economy drove the entertainment industry. Technology was the heart of Japan's rebuilding since, they believed it was the only reason they lost the war. Pop culture began to dominate the entertainment industry. For example, the Japanese used the resources they had in order to make toy cars that helped them rebuild the economy. After the Japanese were banned from using metal to make toys, they used old cans instead.
In doing so, they were able to produce toys in exchange for food for the school children. The toy industry is just one of the industries that influenced pop culture during this era. Prior to World War II Japanese cinema produced films that supported the war efforts and encouraged Japanese citizens to fight for their country; the movie industry produced inspirational patriotic tales that portrayed Japanese militia as victors and people who sacrificed themselves for a greater cause. However, the first cinematic blockbuster of the postwar era was Gojira which, did not share the same support as other films. For Japan, this film represented a return to popular entertainment that catered to the move towards technology. Gojira showed the destruction of Tokyo and the atomic bomb that victimized Japan during the war in order to gain opposition towards the war. Japanese cinema was dominated by militaristic storytelling and was controlled by the policies and agendas of Japan's totalitarian state. Films during the postwar era were used to foster new idols and icons in order for Japanese people to begin to reimagine themselves.
Japanese cinemas produced films that demonstrated why they should be against the war and all the destruction and casualties that came along with it. As time went on the film industry progressed from targeting adult audiences to targeting children. Cool Japan is an expression that's used to describe the rise of Japan's soft power and prevalence internationally as a cultural influence; these cultural elements project a message that markets and packages Japan as a nation of commerce and “pop culture diplomacy" as opposed to a militarily focused and driven country. Japan's actions during World War II made it necessary for the nation to rebuild their national image. Initiated by the Japanese government, the creation of the “soft power” image emerged, Japan began to sell its pop culture as its new non-military image in order to promote its own culture and reestablish a healthy and peaceful diplomacy with other nations. Otaku is a Japanese term used to describe a person who has strong interests or an obsession with Japanese pop subculture products and aesthetics.
The Japanese adjective kawaii can be translated as "cute" or "adorable" and is the drive behind one of Japan's most popular aesthetic cultures. Kawaii culture has its ties to another culture called shōjo, a girl power type movement, commodified to sell the image of young girls alongside pop culture and the goods they might be inte
Clamp (manga artists)
Clamp is an all-female Japanese manga artist group that formed in the mid-1980s. It consists of leader Nanase Ohkawa, three artists whose roles shift for each series: Mokona, Tsubaki Nekoi, Satsuki Igarashi. 100 million Clamp tankōbon copies have been sold worldwide as of October 2007. Beginning as an eleven-member dōjinshi circle in the mid-1980s, they began creating original work in 1987. By the time they debuted with RG Veda in 1989, the group was reduced to seven members. In 1993, three more members left, leaving the four members who are still part of the group. In 2006, the members decided to change their names. Clamp began in the mid-1980s as an eleven-member dōjinshi circle named Clamp Cluster; this included O-Kyon, Sei Nanao, Tamayo Akiyama, Leeza Sei, Sōshi Hishika, Kazue Nakamori, Shinya Ōmi. Three of Clamp's artists—Mokona, Tsubaki Nekoi, Satsuki Igarashi—first began drawing manga when they were teenagers, inspired by friends; the three artists were good friends in the same school. They befriended Nanase Ohkawa through one of her friends who had bought comics from Mokona.
The original group of twelve members began to meet at every event held in Osaka and Kobe, which occurred once a month. Before they began creating original work, the group produced dōjinshi of Captain Tsubasa, yaoi dōjinshi of Saint Seiya. However, in 1987 the group began creating original work, their first collaborative work was entitled "Clamp", which they continued to work on until shortly after their debut. The group debuted as professional manga artists when they decided to print the manga RG Veda, which they had first started as a fan comic. After seeing the comic digest of the manga series that Clamp had published, an editor for Shinshokan's Wings manga magazine asked the group to work for them, they submitted an sixty-page story as a sample, but the work was rejected. Ohkawa lambasted the draft, stating that "everything was bad" and attributing the quality to the group's lack of experience, since they had never before completed a story as a cohesive group; the group was given another chance at publication should they submit a new story that Shinshokan liked.
During the time before their official debut, the group moved to Tokyo and rented a small, two-bedroom apartment. Ohkawa stated that she thought she was "gonna die there". Nekoi stated that "the only private space had was under desk." By the group's professional debut in 1989 with the manga RG Veda, serialized in Shinshokan's Wings magazine, its members had gone down to seven. During the production of the manga RG Veda, O-Kyon had left the group. In June 1990, Sei Nanao left the group, Sōshi Hishika, Kazue Nakamori, Shinya Omi left in March 1993. In October 1992, Tamayo Akiyama and Leeza Sei left the group. RG Veda was planned to be a single story rather than a series, although because of good reader response and higher-than-expected sales for its first volume Shinshokan permitted the group to create more volumes, however after each chapter of the manga was released, Shinshokan threatened that it would cease serialization should its popularity fall. In July 1989, Genki Comics began serializing Man of Many Faces.
It began serializing Duklyon: Clamp School Defenders in August 1991, which became the work that the three artists Mokona and Igarashi enjoyed working on most. In March 1990, Wings began serializing Tokyo Babylon. In December 1990, Monthly Asuka ran Clamp School Detectives, in May 1992, it began serializing X. Clamp was serialized by many other magazines and publishers including Kobunsha publishing Shirahime-Syo: Snow Goddess Tales on June 10, 1992. In 1993, Clamp released two different manga: in March, Miyuki-chan in Wonderland, which began serializing in Newtype, in November, Magic Knight Rayearth, serialized in Nakayoshi. Nakayoshi began to serialize Cardcaptor Sakura in May 1996. Kadokawa Shoten published The One I Love on July 17, 1995. Wish first began serializing in Asuka Comics DX in October 1996. In December 1998, Suki: A Like Story began first serializing in Asuka Comics DX, in January 1999, Angelic Layer first began serializing in Monthly Shōnen Ace. In 2001, Young Magazine began serializing Clamp's Chobits which completed its run in 2002.
Although their previous works are targeted at a female audience, Chobits marked the first time Clamp wrote for an older teen male audience. Clamp began writing the two works that tell separate parts of the same overarching plot, xxxHolic serialized in Young Magazine beginning in 2003 followed by Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle serialized in the Weekly Shōnen Magazine beginning in the same year. Tsubasa marked the first time Clamp had tried writing for a younger male audience, although their first work published in the Shōnen genre was Angelic LayerIn 2004, Clamp's 15th anniversary as a manga artist group, the members changed their names from Nanase Ohkawa, Mokona Apapa, Mick Nekoi, Satsuki Igarashi to Ageha Ohkawa, Tsubaki Nekoi and Satsuki Igarashi
Yutaka Izubuchi is a Japanese anime designer and director. Izubuchi is credited for designing costumes and creatures, but most of his designs are mechanical, he created and directed the RahXephon series and created a manga story called Rune Masquer. Among Izubuchi's design credits are the mecha from Panzer World Galient as well as some Gundam and Patlabor shows, he created the Protect-Gear armor used in the Kerberos saga. The ADV Films promotional materials for RahXephon and some reviews Gasaraki is an Izubuchi credit, but although he did mecha design on that show he was not responsible for writing or directing. Izubuchi designed the costume for one of the characters of the Cutie Honey live action movie, directed by Hideaki Anno of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame. Izubuchi did some additional design work for Tomoki Kyoda's Eureka Seven. Kyoda was an assistant director and episode director on RahXephon and directed its theatrical adaptation. Izubuchi's work extends to tokusatsu, doing monster designs for Kagaku Sentai Dynaman, Choudenshi Bioman, Dengeki Sentai Changeman, Choushinsei Flashman, Kamen Rider Agito, Kamen Rider OOO.
As of 2006, Izubuchi said that the design work he was most proud of was on WXIII: Patlabor the Movie 3. Izubuchi is the creative producer of Tetsuwan Birdy: Decode. In 2008, he designed a character for Namco Bandai's fighting game, Soulcalibur IV named Scheherazade. Yutaka Izubuchi at Anime News Network's encyclopedia Yutaka Izubuchi on IMDb
A convention center is a large building, designed to hold a convention, where individuals and groups gather to promote and share common interests. Convention centers offer sufficient floor area to accommodate several thousand attendees. Large venues, suitable for major trade shows, are sometimes known as exhibition centres. Convention centers have at least one auditorium and may contain bon concert halls, lecture halls, meeting rooms, conference rooms; some large resort area hotels include a convention center. 1850 Bingley Hall, England 1851 The Crystal Palace, England 1855 Palais de l'Industrie, France 1873 Alexandra Palace, England 1876 Memorial Hall, Pennsylvania, United States 1878 Exhibition Place, Canada 1878 La Rural, Buenos Aires, Argentina 1878 Music Hall, Ohio, United States 1879 Garden Palace, Australia 1880 Royal Exhibition Building, Australia 1898 Aberdeen Pavilion, Canada 1898–1903 Beurs van Berlage, Netherlands 1900 Grand Palais, France 1909 Festhalle, Germany 1955 McCormick Place, Illinois, USA 1959 Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA 1974 Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Kenya 1976 Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia, USA 1979 Internationales Congress Centrum, Germany 1981 Moscone Center, San Francisco, California, USA 1983 Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, China 1988 Washington State Convention Center, Washington, USA 1990 Colorado Convention Center, Colorado, USA 1993 Pennsylvania Convention Center, Pennsylvania, USA 1997 Tokyo International Forum, Japan 2001 Bethlehem Convention Palace, Bethlehem 2008 BT Convention Centre, Liverpool, UK 2008 Raleigh Convention Center, North Carolina, USA 2017 AU Convention Center, India Stadium List of convention and exhibition centers List of convention centers named after people Historic Conference Centres of Europe
Parc des Expositions de Villepinte
The Parc des expositions de Paris-Nord Villepinte is a large convention center located in Villepinte near Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. The center is the second-largest in France; the center has 246,000 m2 of convention space in eight halls. The center is served by the Parc des Expositions station on the RER B. Paris Nord Villepinte is one metro stop from Charles de Gaulle Airport and 30 minutes from Gare du Nord, Chatelet-Les Halles, Saint Michel RER B stations in Paris city. Managed by Viparis, Paris Nord Villepinte Convention and Exhibition Centre hosts many international professional and consumer exhibitions and conventions, such as All4pack, Eurosatory, Intermat, Maison & Objet, SIAL, Silmo and IPA. Official website
Masakazu Katsura is a Japanese manga artist, known for several works of manga, including Wing-Man, Shadow Lady, DNA², Video Girl Ai, I"s, Zetman. He has worked as character designer for Iria: Zeiram the Animation, Tiger & Bunny and Garo -Guren no Tsuki-. Masakazu Katsura was born in the prefecture of Fukui in Japan; the turning point in his life was an illness for which he was bedridden, during which time he taught himself a different way to draw. Katsura entered the manga industry in his second or third year of high school, when he entered a work for the Tezuka Award to win the prize money. However, he says he did not grow up reading manga, instead he watched movies. Video Girl Ai has been released in North America. A live-action movie was made of the story; the main action of the five-volume series DNA² was made into an anime television show that did not sell well enough to finish, so the story was concluded with a short OVA, released in North America. I"s was made into at least two OVAs: one two-episode side story, one six-episode summary of the manga.
Katsura performed as a vocalist on the songs "Tomorrow Will Be Tomorrow" and "Unseen Dream" from the two soundtracks for the Video Girl Ai OVA. In 2008, he collaborated with Akira Toriyama, his good friend and creator of Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump, for the Jump SQ one-shot Sachie-chan Good!!. The two became friends in the early 1980s, having been introduced by their mutual editor Kazuhiko Torishima, have parodied each other in their own manga. Toriyama credits Katsura with coming up with the idea to have two characters "fuse" together in Dragon Ball, leading to the Fusion technique. However, Katsura says, they worked together again for the three-chapter one-shot Jiya in Weekly Young Jump. In 2008, Katsura did a design illustration of the Batman costume for Bandai's "Movie Realization" action figure line, basing it on the costume used in the film The Dark Knight. MangaWing-Man Super Mobile Troop Vander Present from Lemon Zetman Video Girl Includes Video Girl Ai and Video Girl LenShadow Lady DNA² M I"s Dr Chambalee Sachie-chan Good!!
Jiya Other worksIria: Zeiram the Animation Love & Destroy Bitch's Life Tiger & Bunny Garo -Guren no Tsuki- The Girl in Twilight Astral Chain 1981-Tsubasa 1981-????3 Parokan 1981-Tenkou Sei Wa Hensou Sei!? 1982-Transfer Student, Transform! 1982-? Ni Suzumi! 1982-Memory Of Summer 1982-Memory Of Autumn 1983-Wing-Man 1984-Tsubasa 1984-????3 Parokan II 1984-Wing-Man 1985-Vogueman 1985-Vander 1986-Panteon 1986-Kana 1987-Present From Lemon 1988-Present from Lemon 1988-Etoranze 1988-Chisana Akari 1988-Present From Lemon 1989-Shin No Shin 1989-Video Girl 1989-Video Girl Ai 1989-Masakazu Katsura Collection I & II 1990-Video Girl Ai 1991-Video Girl Ai 1992-Video Girl Ai 1992-Video Girl Len 1992-Shadow Lady 1993-Video Girl Len 1993-Video Girl Novel 1993-Woman In The Man 1993-DNA 2 1994-Tenpenshuu Zetman 1994-Iria: Zeiram the Animation 1994-DNA 2 1994-Zetman 1995-Shadow Lady 1995-DNA 2 1995-Zetman 1995-Shadow Lady Manga 1996-M 1996-I"s 1997-I"s 1998-I"s 1998-4C Masakazu Illustrations 1999-I"s 1999-Devilman Illustrations 1999-Love & destroy 2000-I"s 2000-Love & Destroy 2001-Dr.
Chambalee 2001-The Virgen 2002-M 2002-Zetman 2002-K2R Village 2003-Zetman 2006-Chou Kochikame 2008-Sachie-Chan Guu!! 2009-Chiisana Atari 2009-Jiya 2011-Tiger & Bunny 2014-Katsura Akira 2015-Garo-Guren no Tsuki Official website Masakazu Katsura at Anime News Network's encyclopedia