Two members of all-girl pop group AKB48 and a male staff member were wounded Sunday afternoon when a man wielding a saw assaulted them at an event in Iwate Prefecture, police said, adding they had arrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder.
The group members were identified by the police and a local fire department as Rina Kawaei, 19, and Anna Iriyama, 18. They sustained cuts on their heads and right hands, while the male staffer sustained cuts on his left hand, the police said.
The arrested man, Satoru Umeta, is unemployed and from Towada in the neighboring prefecture of Aomori, the police said. He allegedly assaulted the victims with a saw, prompting an emergency call to the police that a man with a blade had been acting violently in an event hall.
Umeta has admitted to the allegations and was quoted as telling investigators, “I did it.”The victims were later transported to hospital.
Tomomi Itano of AKB48 was recently spotted in downtown Soho, NYC, looking vibrant in pink while filming alongside former Gossip Girl Taylor Momsen for the luxury Japanese handbag Samantha Thavasa—proving fashion knows no bounds. The handbag company officially announced Tomomi as a “muse” for its brand in 2011. The singer announced she was excited and honored to represent the famous Japanese brand alongside the other famous muses, which include Beyonce and Ebihara Yuri. Muses promote, and often collaborate alongside designers, an exclusive handbag for the famous it retailer to market to their fan base.
The Dear J singer let slip that she will be “graduating” from AKB48 this year during a promotional tour for the band’s documentary movie. Rumors, however, are a buzz that the songstress departure from the band is also due to her new relationship with EXILE’s Takahiro.
The Shukan Bushun reported that the new couple are now living in the same building, setting twitter and social media ablaze with rumors of an impending announcement from the it couple.Heavy Rotation fans will surely mourn the stars departure, but are surely to see and hear more from the new muse in new movies, TV series, and music ventures.
AKB48’s Kashiwagi Yuki held a snowy, but sweet release event for her solo debut single, “Short Cake“.
Kashiwagi, who claims herself to be an ‘ame-onna’ (a woman whose presence causes rain), commented on the snow in Tokyo on the day of the event. “There was a downpour on the debut day of French Kiss, and now snow for my solo debut. I wonder if I’ve entered the hall of fame for ame-onnas.”
“Short Cake” is a ballad that describes a heartrending love for a childhood friend, and it’s being used as the theme song for TV Tokyo’s drama, ‘Mielino Kashiwagi‘, starring Kashiwagi herself.
She expressed, “It’s been a dream of mine for a long time, so my dream has come true after 6 years. I’m happy that this day has finally come.” She also revealed that she has been receiving support from fellow members Watanabe Mayu and Sashihara Rino. “They tell me, ‘It’s nerve-racking singing by yourself, but Yukirin will be okay.’ That has been my support.”
On this day, Kashiwagi held a handshake event for her fans. Comedian duo TIM, “spiritual college student” CHIE, and popular patissier Tsujiguchi Hironobu also celebrated her solo debut.
On January 30th, it was revealed that former AKB48 member Maeda Atsuko has been chosen as the new image character for Sapporo Beer’s ‘Mugi to Hop‘. While she has starred in numerous CMs in the past, this will be her first appearance in a CM for an alcoholic beverage.
The new CM will air starting in February and it will also star Tamura Masakazu and Hotei Tomoyasu. Since her graduation from AKB48, Maeda has starred in CMs for Softbank Mobile’s ‘Shirato Family’ series and job search site ‘Mynavi Tenshoku‘.
AKB48 is facing a new sex scandal today as group member Minami Minegishi was photographed spending the night at GENERATIONS’ Alan Shirahama’s home on January 17th, according to a report from Shukan Bunshun.
Minegishi was seen entering Shirahama’s home at 12:09 am that night. At 3:00 am, the lights in the house were turned off without Minegishi leaving. The following morning, the two left the house at different times, both wearing face masks to try to conceal their identity.
Representatives for both parties involved have yet to commented on the report, though AKS, AKB48’s label, has stated they are investigating the situation.
Minegishi and Shirahama first met each other in 2011 when they co-starred in the reading drama “Moshimo Kimi ga”. The two have remained friends since working together.
AKB48 has a strict no-dating policy. Previous scandals similar in nature to Minegishi’s have resulted in other members being forced to leave the group, the most recent example being Yuka Masuda, who was accused of sleeping with rapper ISSA.
21-year-old AKB48 member Kitahara Rie (currently part of Team B and sister group SKE48) has landed her first starring role in a theatrical movie. Titled “Joker Game,” the film is yet another entry in the idol-filled “survival game” suspense genre.
Kitahara’s supporting cast includes Takatsuki Sara (15) of the idol group bump.y, Koike Yui (21) of Tomato n’ Pine (also known for her role as Gokai Pink in “Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger”), and D2 members Okubo Shotaro (17), Shiramata Atsushi (18), and Negishi Takuya (16).
Kitahara plays a 3rd-year high school student at a prefectural college prep school. When all of the third-year students go on a camp trip together, their teachers announce that they will all have to participate in a card game of “Old Maid.” However, the camp is actually part of an experiment by the national government to put an end to the country’s declining education and to boost the students’ “humanity” – meaning that the game is really a deadly test that will truly decide their fates.
Although this is Kitahara’s first time in the lead role on the big screen, she previously acted in last year’s “Graffreeter Toki.” She has also recently been gaining more attention with her role on Fuji TV’s ongoing reality show “Terrace House.”
AKB48’s Watanabe Mayu will lend her voice and singing talents in the upcoming anime film “Nerawareta Gakuen”. She’s also singing its theme song.
Watanabe commented, “Though I’m a little anxious, I would like to enjoy voice acting for this. Since ‘Natsuki’, whom I’m voice acting for, is a very cheerful, cute, and charming girl, I’ll try my best so that people watching the anime will like her!”
Natsuki’s childhood friend ‘Seki Kenji’ will be voiced by Honjo Yutaro.
Yasushi Akimoto, producer of the mega-popular idol group AKB48 and its offshoots, has announced a “study abroad” program for his girls.
Akimoto, who often uses expressions from the worlds of education and politics as euphemisms for business activities carried out by his performers, has announced the “study abroad” program via the AKB48 Google+ page.
It is thought that the project is to become a TV show in which young Japanese girls from AKB48 are sent abroad to spend between six months and a year with their counterparts in Indonesia JKT48, Shanghai SNH48 and and Taiwan TPE48, Nikkan Sports reports.
It has not yet been confirmed who will be appearing in the show, although the group’s Google+ page says that the management are now “accepting applications.”
Girl group AKB48 will star in a series of “Murder Mystery” commercials for Glico’s “Ice no Mi” candy.
The “AKB48 Murder Cases File 1” starts with the death of fellow idol- Rena Kato. Atsuko Maeda, playing the detective, arrives at the murder scene and hunts for clues while all the members present at the scene are suspects.
The first part of the series premiers on June 25th. The campaign’s manga will contain 9 chapters and debut on July 4th in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine.