Interest AKB48's Yasushi Akimoto, Sony to Form 'Rival Group'
posted on 2011-06-28 23:45 EDT by Lynzee Loveridge
Producer Yasushi Akimoto revealed on Tuesday that auditions will begin to create a 20-member rival group to his own all-female idol group AKB48. As billed, Nogizaka46 will have approximately 20 members chosen from three rounds of auditions. The auditions are open to everyone with applications due on July 20 followed by interviews in Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Okinawa on August 6 and 7. The last round will be from August 20 and 21.
The name "Nogizaka46" was chosen because the final audition will take place in Sony Music Entertainment's Nogizaka Building. The 46 was chosen to offset AKB48 with the motto "even with fewer members than AKB48, we won't lose."
The most recent addition to the group, research member Aimi Eguchi, was revealed to be a virtual idol advertisement for Japanese food company Eguchi Gilco.