OJS48 breaks down the recent 48G shuffle using numbers and some fancy charts.
On February 26th 2014, 48G completed their 3rd group shuffle. This has been by far the largest redistribution of members we have seen since the groups’ formation. It impacted every sister and overseas group and even rival group Nogizaka46. With 7 groups and over 200 members, it can be hard to figure out exactly what it all means. To help you work this out, I have created the follow flowchart. It is by no means all-inclusive but it is a pretty good start.
Still confused? I will use my AKB and NMB oshimen as an example. I follow Kojima Haruna from AKB, and since she is a senbatsu member and is not in Column A or B, this grand shuffle has little to no impact on my Kojiharu fandom. However, I also follow Watanabe Miyuki and she is actually in Column B, which shows she will be taking a concurrent position with NMB and SKE. That means I will likely be buying both NMB and SKE singles to support her.
So what does this Grand Shuffle mean for 48G? The grand total of member transfers was 11 with 20 additional members holding concurrent positions. In terms of concurrent positions as you can see in Table 1, AKB ended up with the most concurrent members at 12. However if you look at the percentage of concurrent members, the percentage is pretty much equal among the main sister groups. In terms of the members, concurrent positions should certainly help with exposure and increase their opportunity to shine.
In terms of raw statistics on member transfers (Table 2), the numbers work out that overall AKB suffered a net loss of 2 members while SKE gained the most new members with 3 extra additions. NMB had a net gain of 1 member while HKT lost 2 members overall in the shuffle. JKT were the only group to not see any change in their number of members. That being said, I am confident the transfers will work out well in the end for the members because their new group is unlikely to pick up a new member and not put her in the spotlight.
Overall, the shuffle is exactly what you expect, with the ones who gained the most being the members that have been transferred or given concurrent positions in other teams. Of course, fan reaction will as usual be intense outrage, followed by intense sadness. Fortunately, most in the end will achieve acceptance.
There are also many more aspects of the grand shuffle that we can discuss, such as leadership structure and the economics of the whole event. Let’s leave that for another time though.
On February 27th 2014, Kayano Shinobu the new group manager made an announcement in regard to the final decision on transfers and concurrent members. In the end, three members declined their transfers to other groups. Column A and Table 2 have been amended to reflect these changes. The opportunity for all members to decline transfers is a first for 48G and it comes with the appointment of a new group manager. It remains to be seen if this signifies a beginning of a gentler and more open approach to management or not.