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AKB48 is an all-female Japanese theater/idol group. AKB48 currently consists of 58 members divided into four teams: Team A, Team K, Team B and Team 4. Teams A, K and B contain 16 members, while Team 4 contains 10. Unlike other idol groups in Japan, AKB48 are theatre-based and have their own theatre in Akihabara (a district in Tokyo, Japan) where they perform once every weekday, and twice on both Saturday and Sunday. The theatre is set up on the 8th floor of Don Quixote.

In December 2005, the group debuted in the theatre with only 20 girls, later known as Team A. A new audition was announced, this audition was held in cooperation with Japanese telecom company NTT DoCoMo. It was the first audition ever where the applicants had to send in their audition video with their mobile phones. 19 of the 11,892 applicants were chosen to join AKB48, but in the end only 18 girls joined the group to become Team K in April 2006.

Their debut single dropped in February 2006, which made it to #10 on Oricon charts and sold 22,011 units in its first week. By far, all title songs released as a single has been made a tie-up song for a tv show, a movie or for a commercial. On December 31 2007, 46 members of AKB48 appeared on the 58th Annual Kohaku Uta Gassen for the first time. They sang as part of the Akihabara performance, they became the most number of people in a single group to be on stage at one time.

AKB48's 13th single '10年桜' (Junen Sakura) which was released on March 04 2009, made into number three of Oricon chart on the first week, becoming the first single for AKB48 to sell over 100,000 copies. AKB48's latest single 'ポニーテールとシュシュ' ('Ponytail and Chou chou' or 'Ponytail to Shushu') was first on Oricon weekly singles sales and has sold over 600,000 copies so far.

AKB48 has several spin-off groups, including DiVA, ノースリーブス (No Sleeves), 渡り廊下走り隊 7 (Watarirouka Hashiritai 7), Not yet and フレンチ・キス (French Kiss). AKB48 also have "temporary" spin-off groups, including AKBアイドリング!!! (AKBIdolling!!!), Queen & Elizabeth and ナットウエンジェル (Nattou Angels).

AKB48 also have the sister groups SKE48, SDN48 and NMB48. There also a group called OJS48. But in 2011 it was announced 3 new groups: HKT48 (in Fokuoka, Japan), JKT48 (the first 48 group outside of Japan, in Jakarta - Indonesia) and TPE48 (second 48 group outside of Japan, in Taipei)

Team A (Pink):
Iwasa Misaki (わさみん Wasamin)
Oota Aika (らぶたん Rabutan/Lovetan)
Oya Shizuka (しいちゃん Shiichan)
Katayama Haruka (はーちゃん Haachan)
Kuramochi Asuka (もっちぃ Mocchi)
Kojima Haruna (こじはる Kojiharu, はるにゃん Harunyan)
Sashihara Rino (さっしー Sasshi)
Shinoda Mariko (麻里子さん Mariko-sama, まりりん Maririn)
Takajo Aki (あきちゃ Akicha)
Takahashi Minami (たかみな Takamina) (Captain)
Nakagawa Haruka (はるごん Harugon)
Nakata Chisato (ちぃちゃん Chiichan)
Nakaya Sayaka (なかやん Nakayan)
Maeda Atsuko (あっちゃん Acchan)
Maeda Ami (あーみん Aamin)
Matsubara Natsumi (なっつみぃ Nattsumii)

Team K (Green):
Akimoto Sayaka (さやか Sayaka)
Itano Tomomi (ともちん Tomochin)
Uchida Mayumi (ウッチー Ucchii)
Umeda Ayaka (うめちゃん Umechan)
Oshima Yuko (ゆうこ Yuuko)
Kikuchi Ayaka (あやりん Ayarin)
Tanabe Miku (たなみん Tanamin)
Nakatsuka Tomomi (ともちゃん Tomochan)
Nito Moeno (もえの Moeno)
Nonaka Misato (みちゃ Micha)
Fujie Reina (れいにゃん Reinyan)
Matsui Sakiko (咲子 Sakiko)
Minegishi Minami (みいちゃん Miichan)
Miyazawa Sae (さえ Sae)
Yokoyama Yui (ゆい Yui)
Yonezawa Rumi (よねちゃん Yonechan)

Team B (Blue):
Ishida Haruka (はるきゃん Harukyan)
Kasai Tomomi (とも〜み Tomo~mi)
Kitahara Rie (きたりえ Kitarie)
Kashiwagi Yuki (ゆきりん Yukirin) (Captain)
Kobayashi Kana (かな Kana)
Komori Mika (こもりん Komorin)
Sato Amina (あみな Amina)
Sato Sumire (すーちゃん Suuchan)
Sato Natsuki (Nなっち Nacchi)
Suzuki Shihori (しほりん Shihorin)
Suzuki Mariya (まりやんぬ Mariyannu)
Chikano Rina (チカリーナ Chikariina)
Hirajima Natsumi (なっちゃん Nacchan)
Masuda Yuka (ゆか Yuka)
Miyazaki Miho (みゃお Myao)
Watanabe Mayu (まゆゆ Mayuyu)

Team 4 (Yellow):
Abe Maria (まりあ Maria)
Ichikawa Miori (みおりん Miorin)
Iriyama Anna (あんにん Annin)
Shimazaki Haruka (ぱるる Paruru)
Shimada Haruka (はるぅ Haruu) (Captain)
Takeuchi Miyu (みゆみゆ Miyu Miyu)
Nagao Mariya (まりやぎ Mariyagi)
Nakamura Mariko (こまり Komari)
Nakamata Shiori (しおりん Shiorin)
Yamauchi Suzuran (らんらん Ran Ran)

Team Kenkyuusei:
Izuta Rina - 10th Generation (いずりーな Izuriina)
Kato Rena - 10th Generation (れなっち Renacchi)
Kobayashi Marina - 10th Generation (まりんちゃん Marin-chan)
Fujita Nana - 10th Generation (なぁな Naana)
Kawaei Rina - 11th Generation (りっちゃん Ricchan)
Kojima Natsuki - 11th Generation (なっつん Nattsun)
Natori Wakana - 11th Generation (わかにゃん Wakanyan)
Morikawa Ayaka - 11th Generation (あーや Aaya)
Iwata Karen - 12th Generation (カレン Karen)
Omori Miyuu - 12th Generation (みゆぽん Miyupon)
Saeed-Yokota Erena - 12th Generation (えれちゃん Ere-chan)
Sasaki Yukari - 12th Generation (ゆかるん Yukarun)
Suzuki Rika - 12th Generation (りかちゃん Rika-chan)
Takahashi Juri - 12th Generation (じゅり Juri)
Tano Yuuka - 12th Generation (たのちゃん Tano-chan)
Hirata Rina - 12th Generation (ひらりー Hirarii/Hillary)
Muto Tomu - 12th Generation (とむ Tomu)

Graduated Members:
Usami Yuki (ゆっきぃ Yukki) (March 2006)
Orii Ayumi (あゆ姉 Ayunee) (January 2007)
Hoshino Michiru (ちるちる Chiruchiru) (June 2007)
Masuyama Kayano (かや Kaya) (November 2007)
Tojima Hana (はな Hana) (October 2008)
Komatani Hitomi (ひぃちゃん Hiichan) (October 2008)
Nakanishi Rina (りなてぃん Rinatin) (October 2008)
Narita Risa (りさ Risa) (October 2008)
Ohe Tomomi (おーいぇ Ohyay) (October 2008)
Kawasaki Nozomi (のぞフィス Nozofisu) (February 2009)
Oshima Mai (まいまい Maimai) (April 2009)
Sato Yukari (ゆかりん Yukarin) (Transferred to SDN48 May, 2010)
Uemura Ayako (あーや Aaya) (June, 2006)
Takada Ayana (あやな Ayana) (June, 2007)
Imai Yu (ゆう Yuu) (June, 2007)
Hayano Kaoru (かおりん Kaorin) (April, 2009)
Naruse Risa (なるる Naruru) (May, 2009)
Noro Kayo (ノンティー Nontii) (Transferred to SDN48 February, 2010)
Ohori Megumi (めーたん Meetan) (Transferred to SDN48 February, 2010)
Ono Erena (えれぴょん Erepyon) (September, 2010)
Katayama Haruka (はーちゃん Haachan) (Team A)
Nakagawa Haruka (はるごん Harugon) (Team A)
Nakatsuka Tomomi (ともちゃん Tomochan) (Team K)
Nakaya Sayaka (なかやん Nakayan) (Team A)
Nito Moeno (もえの Moeno) (Team K)
Oota Aika (らぶたん Rabutan/Lovetan) (Team A)
Sashihara Rino (さっしー Sasshi) (Team A)
Tanabe Miku (たなみん Tanamin) (Team K)
Yonezawa Rumi (よねちゃん Yonechan) (Team K)
Saotome Miki (みきポム Mikipomu) (Research Students, Graduated on April 2009)
Mori Anna (なんちゃん Nan-chan) (Graduated September 2, 2011)
Oba Mina (みなるん Minarun) (Suspended September, 2011)

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