AKB48 to have regular performances in Singapore23 April, 2011 by Chad
Yesterday evening, to the shock of local fans it was announced that AKB48 will indeed be holding regular performances in Singapore starting next month.
You’ve probably heard about it elsewhere already and I wasn’t intending to write about it, but this post is required (once again) to correct the ambiguous information posted at a certain publicly visible “news” site.
The news was finally made public during last evening’s performance and almost immediately after on Mr Togasaki Tomonobu’s (the AKB48 Theater Manager) own blog. AKB48 will be holding theater performances
bi-monthly twice a month in Singapore starting from Sunday, May 15. That is, 2 shows every month for the rest of the year. Shows will be held at the refurbished SCAPE in Orchard.
Update: It has been announced that this number has been changed to 2 shows a day, twice a month. For a total of 4 shows each month in Singapore. For more information, check out this post on the AKB48 Cafe.
The question remains about how well people outside of South East Asia will receive this news as there aren’t enough AKB48 shows to go around in Japan itself already.
It has been officially confirmed that the first two weeks will feature AKB48 performances. SKE48, NMB48 and SDN48 will not be “included” in subsequent shows as mistranslated but rather their concerts will completely replace AKB48 shows on some weeks after that. This will probably help take some of the toll of the already busy members.
More information will be released at a later date. The management had expressed their interest to break into the global market since as early as January last year, initially eying Thailand as their stepping stone into Asia. But with the political unrest at the time, the group turned towards other countries.
Hong Kong became the AKB48’s means to tap into the Chinese speaking market. Era Bee Limited franchised the rights to produce their own AKB48 derived merchandise and we saw the opening of both a AKB48 Shop and AKB48 Museum there. While catering to the 2000 or so fans there alone would not be entirely profitable, the company in turn re-exports its products to the more rabid Japanese fans.
Honestly, we had been hearing talks about AKB48 establishing a foothold in Singapore for quite some time. Singapore as a self proclaimed tourist hub, could in theory serve as AKB48’s base for English speaking Asians.
But with Singapore boasting a smaller fan count than even Hong Kong, we questioned the profitability for AKB48’s management. Based on previous business decisions by Akimoto Yasushi though, we theorized that the company was seeking local investors to partake in the venture. This thesis was later confirmed when we were introduced to the company partaking in the licensing sales to Singapore itself.
Remember when we hinted that someone was operating at a lost during AKB48’s STGCC appearance last year? Well it seems the investment eventually paid off. The hard work of AKB48 and the zest of the South East Asian fans have convinced the higher ups that bringing AKB48 to Singapore is indeed a viable venture. We hope the fans will be able to continue to show the girls their support and make this materialized dream a success.
Update: The list of performing girls for Singapore’s first show has been announced!
They are as follows.
Theater Performing Members:
Team A – Iwasa Misaki, Nakata Chisato, Maeda Ami
Team K – Kikuchi Ayaka, Tanabe Miku, Nitou Moeno, Nonaka Misato, Yonezawa Rumi
Team B – Komori Mika, Sato Amina, Suzuki Mariya, Hirajima Natsumi, Miyazaki Miho
Research Students – Abe Mariya, Nakamura Mariko
Members Appearing for the Official Shop Opening:
Team A – Iwasa Misaki
Team B – Komori Mika, Miyazaki Miho
Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2 and Sony RX100-2.