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Controlled Karaoke: CNN Interviews Yasushi Akimoto, Who You Might Know Better As The Dude Who Invented AKB48

This 50-something year old knows what teenage girls are going through today
This 50-something year old knows what teenage girls are going through today

CNN recently interviewed Yasushi Akimoto, the guy who came up with the AKB48 concept and basically ruined everything. They just put up a transcript of the interview in English, which is worth reading. The biggest reveal of this chat is that Akimoto loves cliche comparisons – AKB48 is like “cheerleading or lacrosse” (huh?) unless it is like managing a “baseball or football team.” Also – food comparisons!

Yet beyond that, the interview features a few memorable bits. CNN asks him about the group’s lyrics which are sometimes sexually suggestive, but Akimoto claims this is just being realistic about what teenagers go through nowadays. When asked about whether the AKB formula could work in the West, he says it could although in the next sentence he says “It might turn out to be totally different” which actually implies it would only work because it was SO different from what actually happens in the West it…would work? Also, I’m just going to lift the final question and answer wholesale because it is just insane all around.

“COREN: This is a major business for you, but for Japan, it means so much more. Your girls have become ambassadors for the country. And when the earthquake/tsunami hit, they went on to become representatives for the relief organization, whether it be for the Red Cross or raising money with MTV. What is your vision for AKB48 moving forward?

AKIMOTO (through translator): Japan is in pain, and AKB48 wants to spread energy to everyone, first and foremost. And, of course, we would like to continue our support activities. Among other things, I would like to send a message with AKB, that you can make your dreams come true. I would like to deliver this message, and not only to Japan, but also to people all over the world. Dreams do come true. But how it is realized might be more or less than what you had expected.”

CNN, great journalism with the slobbering! Akimoto, glad you want to save the world by making heaps of cash!

Go read it, interesting and horrible all at once.