Most of the time, when I write about AKB48 I’m preparing to sling hate gunk at them over something or other. My history with the group has been overwhelmingly negative, and I would be a liar if I said that sometimes I got excited to write something about the latest messed-up trend they’ve taken part in.
I think it’s only fair I take the time to point out AKB48 doing something really good. The group has started to appear in public service announcements for a campaign against suicide. This comes after a big to-do early this month about the same campaign using the catchphrase “Declare yourself part of GKB47!” As you can expect, this has resulted in a lot of obvious jokes – along the lines of “why would they use AKB48, their music makes me want to kill myself” – but I really do applaud the group (or whoever coerced them into it) for taking part in this. Suicide is a massive problem in Japan – personally, it makes me very uncomfortable that so many here are suffering and it seems like they have to bear this alone – and any measure to stop people from hurting themselves in anyway is more than honorable. It’s especially good that AKB decided to take part in this because they might even reach kids in junior high and high school…a demographic where they do have many fans.
Good work AKB48 and/or the group’s management, this is a very admirable decision.