10 rules for creating an idol group

April 19th, 2010By Category: Arts & Entertainment

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:
The naming format must be consistent and follow the lines already in place (eg XXX48)
All girls must wear school uniforms (or some variation thereof)
Must have handshake events (meet the fans face-to-face)
Fans vote to choose the front-girls (see anime fan-service)
Must be ‘everyday’ people that you could meet on the street
Must have 3 teams with 16 members each
Must showcase the growth and development of the members
Prospects must apply through open auditions
Members must be comprised of mostly teenagers
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?

Author of this article


Related articles that may interest you


  • Natty says:

    I see a chance for a theater based pop group, one that you feel like you could meet. But the flaws in the formula are that Yasushi Akimoto must produce all songs and the school uniform thing. I think that the conservatives would have a field day, sexed up achual (remember teenage members) school girls struting about in their uniforms!!! (I don’t think this but you know what i mean)

  • Mono_locco says:

    this type of music is for the following people….

    1. High schoolers.
    2. Otaku.
    3. Men who are pervs.
    4. Guys who can't get gf's and obsess with these girls.

  • bob says:

    I think it could be successful but they would have to change their target audience in many countries. Maybe some Euro countries, Middle Eastern countries and Asian countries are into this sort of thing but places like America, Canada, Australia, NZ and England; straight adult males would be chastised for listening to this sort of thing and children as young as 12 sexing it up in school girl out fits would be banned prompty by the obese female populace.

  • anjichan says:

    I think it'd be more successful with boy-idol groups in the western world than with girl-groups, with boy groups or boybands (kinda like the backstret boys and such) but with like a fresh sound (musically) and contemporary songs it could be more successful…

  • EJ Ellis says:

    Yeah, I agree…I don't think many countries thinking favorably to this. But then again, it could just catch on like wildfire, because of all the controversy about girls being in school uniforms. I mean look at Britney Spears' debut music video…

  • Paolo says:

    The 10 rules are very much tied to Japanese pop culture. If you don`t understand/live in that culture they make little sense. So, no, I don`t think this would work outside Japan.

  • you never know says:

    Just because it wouldn't' work in the US doesn't mean it can't work in other countries. And you never know it might actually work better than you think in the US. Personally I think there's potential.

  • pinky the bar kid says:

    highly doubtful, at least in the US. americans don't care so much for music or movies in a foreign. as well, cute may sell in Japan, but not so in the US. sexy is much bigger. on to of all that, the song sounds like kiddie music, songs that little kids on the way to kindergarten.

    anyone who tries to put a formula to these things will surly lose, eventually.


Search the Largest English Job Board in Japan.

Find a Job Now!

Find Your
in Japan

10,000’s of properties available today!