A major reshuffling in AKB48‘s team line-ups – which will also reduce the number of teams within the popular Japanese idol group from the current four to three (just A, K, and B; Team 4 members to join their seniors in the other teams) – will take effect on November 1 onwards, the group’s management announced at a concert and handshake session in Iwate prefecture yesterday.
Minami Takahashi, the current captain of Team A will be promoted to General Manager of the entire AKB48 group, with Mariko Shinoda assuming the role of Team A’s captain in Takahashi’s stead. Yuko Oshima will keep her position as the captain of Team K, while Ayaka Umeda will lead Team B as its captain. Key positions aside, numerous AKB48 members have also been reassigned to a different team.
For the most part, the line-up reshuffle will only affect AKB48’s live performances, especially the ones held almost daily at the AKB48 Theatre in Akihabara. A different team performs there each day, and every team has its own setlist. At the moment, Team B’s setlist is entitled “Theatre no Megami” (シアターの女神, last performance: October 22), Team K’s is RESET (October 24), Team 4’s is Boku no Taiyou (僕の太陽, October 25), and Team A’s is Mokugekisha (目撃者, October 29).
Although the team reshuffles officially take effect November 1, brand new setlists for the reorganised teams will not be ready in time. Until they are, each AKB48 team will instead be performing a generic “Waiting Kouen” (ウェイティング公演) set that features a specific list of songs hand-picked for the occasion.
Previously, each team comprised approximately 16 members. After the reshuffling, each team will have 22 or 23 members instead. As the Waiting Kouen setlists were designed with a maximum of approximately 16 members in mind, during this period each team’s members will perform on a rotational basis.
This is the second time in AKB48’s five-year history that the teams line-ups have been reshuffled, and it is one that many fans consider inevitable given that Atsuko Maeda – wildly regarded as the “face” of AKB48 – graduated on August 27. The team reshuffling was announced August 24.
Here’s what the line-up looks like after the reshuffle:
Team A [22 people]
Minami Takahashi (appointed General Manager)
Mariko Shinoda (new Team Captain)
Ryoka Oshima (promoted)
Riho Kotani (AKB48 Team A / NMB48 Team N)
Yui Yokoyama (NMB48 / AKB48 Team A)
Team K [23 people]
Yuko Oshima (new Team Captain)
Rie Kitahara (SKE48 and AKB48 Team K concurrent posts)
Jurina Matsui (SKE48 Team S / AKB48 Team K)
Kaoru Mitsumune (promoted)
Tomu Mutou (promoted)
Team B [23 people]
Ayaka Umeda (new Team Captain)
Anna Ishida (SKE48 Team KII / AKB48 Team B)
Miyuki Watanabe (NMB Team N / AKB48 Team B)
JKT48 (Overseas Attachment)
SNH48 (Overseas Attachment)