Akimoto Yasushi, you dog. Another lucky local area will have their own 48 group: HKT48, based in Hakata, a ward in Fukuoka, Japan. The man can’t help but spread the 48 love I guess. At this rate, I can’t say I’m surprised.
This is starting to look like a serious idol empire, set on a national take-over. Imagining something of that kind of scale, all sorts of things come to mind. How many more 48 groups are being planned? Will they all be given the star treatment? The concept of an “All-star 48” group, consisting of top members from all the local theaters to represent as national senbatsu sounds like an exciting possibility.
The HKT48 site is up and running, doling out info on the upcoming auditions for this group.
Of course there are worries about Akimoto biting more than he can chew, and how this will affect the already existing groups, but I do admire his guts.