Community Article: The Will of 2D

Thanks again to community member Malcolm (SleepyOta) for submitting this article. If you too would like to submit an article to be posted on the site please express your interest via the contact form at the top of the page or by messaging me on Twitter @Mage77


I’ve been extremely impressed by AKS’s ventures in anime and manga. AKB0048 and AKB49 have been surprisingly high quality and have even attracted the viewer and readership of non-AKB fans. This is surprising because usually spin-off projects such as these fail miserably but it’s obvious that AKS know how to hire quality people to work on their endeavors. The testament to this fact being that these projects have received a lot of praise from anime and manga fans who aren’t fans of AKB. This is very important because I think the quality of AKB manga and anime can have a huge effect on the overseas popularity of AKB48. While it does nothing but provide fan service to wotas in Japan, I believe that AKB49 and AKB0048 could help the overseas idol fan community grow.

Given that this is an English-speaking Japanese idol website, I’d assume that most of you aren’t Japanese. So if I were to ask; “What was your first exposure to Japanese pop culture?” I would guess that most of us would say “anime.” Most Japanese idol fans I have met online originally had their introduction to Japanese music through the openings and endings of their favorite anime. I think it is safe to assume that anime is a stepping stone towards idol fandom for non-Japanese fans. I already see people’s interest being piqued on anime forums due to AKB0048’s excellent writing and soundtrack. Comments such as “Wow, that Aitakatta song is really good” and “This AKB thing seems really interesting” can be seen on many anime forums that I frequent. It seems that AKB0048 and AKB49 are being enjoyed by many non-AKB fans and so far have introduced many people to idols.

Also, AKB0048 and AKB49 have been doing a really good job explaining just what AKB48 is. They have made it so anyone who has even just a slight interest in the group can learn just what makes AKB48 so different from other idol groups. Even concepts that are completely foreign to non-fans such as kenkyuusei and handshake events have been put in terms that anyone could understand. This makes AKB49 and AKB0048 the perfect introduction for any anime/manga fan with a budding interest in AKB. Coupled along with the AKB documentaries, it makes the daunting task of learning the members’ names and learning the inner workings of the group much easier.

Previously, the only exposure many anime fans had to AKB was if they were invested into Japanese music. As you may know; while many say that they are into Japanese music, most just listen to songs from their favorite anime. Sadly, many don’t even bother to follow the group past the anime songs they have sung. AKB0048 introduces several songs from the same group including lesser-known stage songs. With the show’s concept, it would be hard for any fan of the series to ignore the group that produces the music. This is quite honestly the perfect way to advertise AKB’s music to overseas fans who receive little exposure to it otherwise.

I believe that the AKB anime and manga are golden opportunities for the 48’s to attract more overseas fans. It gives them the chance to explain the concept of AKB, introduce idols to anime and manga fans, and introduce the music to new people. These efforts are extremely important to the overseas community and I hope that they will help us as a community to grow.


@SleepyOta on Twitter

About NSK

New School Kaidan is a community-focused website for the Japanese idol industry international fan base. Between podcasts, broadcasts, events, and analytic articles, New School Kaidan aims to bring an understanding of idol culture to the masses.

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  1. Also, you can look into this example:

    Normally 4chan is like the Wild West, but this thread is the exception to the rule, as they were very curious and then talked much about AKB.

    • I wouldnt use that thread u posted as an example to reflect a lot of new fans interested in AKB in part of the anime bc in the /JP/ section of 4chan there is a lot of idol fans on the board . AKB and H!P actually have their own threads where ppl for the most part dont get out of hand (but from time to time ppl want to troll and attempt to start a flame war between groups) and they are usually the ones who talk about the anime on 4chan.

  2. You are right about anime is the stepping stone to the idol world, I became AKB48 after I watched Fairy Tail ~ Kanpeki go no ne ~ Warota ~ Mayuyu love ~ AKB48 LOVE

  3. I can vouch for this. I started following AKB because of 0048, and then started following this blog.

  4. I understand this better than anyone as part of the team that translated a bit of AKB49

  5. “What was your first exposure to Japanese pop culture?”

  6. Anime would be the introduction to most of the Western world. However, while I do like anime, it is not how I started listening to Japanese music. It might even be the opposite effect, where jpop got me into anime. Yes, growing up, I watched Gforce, Speedracer, got into toonami, but never really listened to the music. My Jpop journey started with my cousin, who is a big SNSD, T-ARA Kpoop fan. I was liked it. That is until I heard SCANDAL for the first time, by accident. Shoujo-s had just been released, and was ranking pretty high on Oricon. So I gave it a listen. I liked it, and the girls were kawaii. So I started checking out more and more jpop. Then I discovered aidoru (idol) Was addicted not long after that to the sound of the idol groups, mostly AKB. Not long after I learned some Nihongo so I could understand what they were saying. It seems to almost have a calming effect. (even BABYMETAL). So there you have it, a story of love of aidoru not from anime, but as a love of music.

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