SKE48 is an all-girl group named after the Sakae area of Nagoya. You can see them performing in Shunshine Sakae close to Sakae station on the Higashi-Yama and Mejiro Lines.
The girls in action. The group are a sister-group of the more famous AKB48 and were in Tokyo recently to make a pitch for some mainstream attention.
Can groups like AKB48 / SKE48 be a success outside of Japan? Blogger st_oswald reports that the producer of the two groups, Yasushi Akimoto, is taking the format worldwide and selling it to music producers across Europe and the US.
To create a successful idol group, he listed 10 rules to follow:
1. The naming format must be consistent and follow the lines already in place (eg XXX48)
2. All girls must wear school uniforms (or some variation thereof)
3. Must have handshake events (meet the fans face-to-face)
4. Fans vote to choose the front-girls (see anime fan-service)
5. Must be ‘everyday’ people that you could meet on the street
6. Must have 3 teams with 16 members each
7. Must showcase the growth and development of the members
8. Prospects must apply through open auditions
9. Members must be comprised of mostly teenagers
10. A survival system of trainees being promoted and members graduating from the group must be implemented
The logical conclusion of this would be to create a World48 with the top 48 girls from around the world coming together in one mega-group. There was a further catch on the rules however, that all songs had to be produced in Japan. What do you think? Would idol groups like this be a success around the world?