entertainment

AKB48, Japan’s biggest idol singer group, apologizes for selling 'Date Tickets'

31 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

It’s pretty common knowledge that Japanese idol singer talent agencies widely prohibits the onstage talent from having any sort of love life. The idol industry largely runs on the copious cash flows generated by the singers’ earnest, girl-next-door auras, and the common logic is that it gets hard to convince guys to buy multiple copies of the same CD in the interest of contributing to their favorite idol’s hopes and dreams if she might actually be getting more personal emotional support from some dude she’s dating.

So it raised plenty of eyebrows when AKB48, the most popular idol unit in Japan, said it was about to start selling “Date Tickets.”

The tickets were offered as a package for AKB48’s upcoming performances at the Hakataza theater in Fukuoka City, which will take place on Nov 11, 12, 14, and 22. According to Japanese news organization J-Cast News, on Sept 24 AKB48’s official website began promoting a number of special ticket packages for the concerts, with one description starting: “Date Ticket. Experience what it’s like to be an AKB48 member’s lover!?”

▼ AKB48’s most recent music video, for the song “Sustainable”

However, the specifies of the service weren’t quite as lascivious as the ticket name and initial explanation sounded. The description went on to say:

“A special ticket that lets you meet up with a different member of AKB48 on each day of the concert series at the theater, then watch with her as the other members perform on stage! After the concert, you can go with her to visit the members who performed.”

As a group with dozens of members, not every AKB48 idol performs in every single concert, and the “date” wasn’t to be held in a romantic or secluded setting, but rather at the theater itself. The “lover” aspects of the service were limited to meeting up with the idol at the concert venue and watching the show in her company, and even then, it’s not like the Date Ticket purchaser and the idol would be all alone, as for each day there were 100 available Date Tickets, but only three AKB48 members (plus, ostensibly, a contingent of security personnel).

Nonetheless, the Date Ticket plan quickly drew an angry backlash from fans who took issue with the suggestive name and marketing, prompting an apology that was posted to AKB48’s website two days later. “We apologize for using language that caused a misunderstanding about the contents of the ticket plan,” the statement says, and the package has since been renamed to the “Let’s Cheer on the Performing Members with the Other Members” package, and no longer makes any allusions to dating or lovers.

Source: J-Cast News via Hachima Kiko, AKB48 official website

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- “There are many mentally unwell girls in AKB48” claims ex-member of Japan’s top idol singer group

-- Idol group AKB48 sells 2.5 million copies of new CD, bags full of them end up in trash days later

-- AKB48 and South Korean idol groups perform hits at music awards, turns out to be a disaster

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments
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A world to which real men cannot relate.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

So basically they are now pimping out their members! I really wish some government agency would crack down on this child slavery, because that is what it is!

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Yikes! Creep show!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I love J-music. I really do. I'm going to be painfully honest. These idol groups have been the worst thing that has happened to J-music. I hope they stop being completely relevant in the next decade... I'd love another early-2000s style golden era. Y'know, Utada Hikaru, Koda Kumi, Ayumi Hamasaki, Ringo Shiina, the like.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Ex-AKB48 captain Takeuchi Miyu is touring the world in a Kpop team, because she was fortunate enough to sign an SM contract. The current Japan-Korea diplomatic row had no effect on Taeuchi's Kpop career.

Those AKBers able should flee Japan and move to Korea.

There is no hand-shake event(There are fan autograph signing events, but no physical contact and there are bodyguards behind you) and no dating tickets in Korea.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Sorry, I meant Takahashi Juri, not Takeuchi Miyu.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Who are we to judge what others love? We all have different taste.

Some had good old music in the 50, 60s.

Some had great fun in the 70s, 80s.

Some had nostalgic days in the 90s.

Now its time for this generation to like what they like and around.

Keep your hatred to yourself. This young Pop generation has huge followers Plus (Nice pocket money their parents who used to love Rock n Roll and other Great genre).

Kpop or Jpop, the other music genre don't have Great unity like them and always bashing those pop genre and each other, which is why all other Great music genre were overshadowed, Not by those pop genre but by themselves/ourselves.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

These groups really creep me out.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Creepy AF!! Not surprised in the least

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Idol groups in Japan is often just cover ups for underage sex trafficking.

Many girls have to “entertain” clients often, and worst of all dont get paid much, with their stipends often well below minumum wage.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

To call it a "date" was abysmally stupid. Its not apology worthy except maybe to the idiot that came up with it to apologize to the performers. All it needed was an announcement of how damned stupid it was to imply it was any sort of "date".

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A world to which real men cannot relate.

This world full of sheep have made it pretty much impossible to be what I would consider a "real" man without being carted off to jail. The simple fact that these girls are forbidden by contract to have boyfriends goes a long in showing how the sheep are in control because real men would never allow such a human rights travesty to happen.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

It literally was compensated dating.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

been renamed to the “Let’s Cheer on the Performing Members with the Other Members” package

Now THAT'S a catchy name

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Those AKBers able should flee Japan and move to Korea.

Tell that to the K-Pop artists that attempted or committed suicide.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

blahblah222Today  10:40 am JST

Idol groups in Japan is often just cover ups for underage sex trafficking.

Many girls have to “entertain” clients often, and worst of all dont get paid much, with their stipends often well below minumum wage.

Any evidence of that? I don't argue that their salaryman and otaku fanbase is a little creepy, but I have serious doubts that the girls (many of them over 18... I just Googled them) are being sexually abused or prostituted. Don't you think that former members would run to the press with that? It would be all over this site in seconds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This world full of sheep have made it pretty much impossible to be what I would consider a "real" man without being carted off to jail.

What's a "real man", though? And do you really have to go to jail to find one?

Is it the protagonist in "A Boy Named Sue", or Sinitta's manly man in "So Macho"?

I think the wording was inappropriate or at the very least, clumsily chosen. But this band is cartoonish and caters for a certain demographic. Not my cup of tea, but each to their own. I do think their contract is nonsense and archaic. It reminds me of boy band in the 60s and 70s being "asked" by management not to divulge any significant others...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why didn't they just call it a "backstage pass?"

So much easier, so much more vague, so much more money could have been made, and best yet, no implications of it being a date or any kind of sexual content.

They could have made it into an event. Each CD purchased, the buyer gets a ticket. They submit the ticket. The AKB officials draw 10 or so names per show. That group of winners are allowed backstage with the necessary security and officials they see fit. They can have a personal meet and greet, backstage seat, picture taking, and whatever. Do it as a group tour type of thing. Everyone would've been safe and no problems. And best yet, no stupid innuendo labels.

Well, whatever. Is AKB48 even still that big? Do they still have "famous" members in the group? I can't remember the last time I watched any of their stuff.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

BackpackingNepalToday  07:57 am JST

Who are we to judge what others love? We all have different taste.

AKB is selling underage sex appeals. We SHOULD judge them and make them feel ashamed of themselves. No respectable middle aged man should be drooling over little kids dancing.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I love Japanese music, but not this idol stuff. Please, stop. And the ones suggesting that Kpop is different...Sorry, but it's the same crap, maybe also worse. I read about tons of sex scandals and rapes involving girls in kpop, that are over-sexualized. It's all about looks, sexy dancing or cute dolls acting, and nothing about music.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I like Aimer, Yui, Kung Fu Asian Generation, Mai Kuraki, and so on.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The whole "idol thing" is sick (both in South Korea and Japan, after all South Korea copied basically the Johnny's system). The female idols are over sexualised or act like kids, but it's the same for the male idols, I HATE when see adult men wearing bunny ears and acting like idiots to look "cute". They don't look cute at all, only creepy. And they say "but we are Asiabs, we can because we look cute at any age". Really? NO. Any adult woman/man into this kind of stuff is seriously childish and silly, sorry if I sound harsh. It's also more pathetic like these male idols pretend to be manga characters making yaoi (gay) jokes to offer fanservice to their female fans. And people calls this "music"? Everything is studied to sell the same type of stereotyped sexual fantasies, both for males and females. Also the BTTS dudes or whatever their name is, are embarrassing, they brought the whole boyband concept, already very cheap, to a next level of stupidity. We are living an ugly music age also in the West. I would like that music came back to be more about melodies and instruments than on fanservice, looks, same stereotyped rap tunes and dancing. Enough is enough.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

 I would like that music came back to be more about melodies and instruments than on fanservice, looks, same stereotyped rap tunes and dancing. Enough is enough.

Agreed. Music snobbery has got to stop.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Toasted Heretic: except I don't see how music snobbery is related to what I said. I am asking only for music being more based on music than on fanservice, looks, visuals, and pandering to sexual fantasies.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

AKB is selling underage sex appeals. We SHOULD judge them and make them feel ashamed of themselves. No respectable middle aged man should be drooling over little kids dancing.

Google them - about two-thirds are over 18, there are a handful at 15 and (admittedly rather worrying) a 13 year old.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Joe Yan:

Have you been to the States or other countries recently? Society has been sx appealing girls for the last 2 decades. Their shirts are shorter (midriff or bend & midriff), their pants are holier, and they wear bikinis like adults. Hegg, some countries they don't bother with bathing suits at all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Alex80:

So no sx, drugs, and rock & roll that was called since the 60s? What is rock without the first 2?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Alex80

South Korea copied basically the Johnny's system

Japan doesn't train its trainees for 7 years. Korea copied the Okinawan idol training system that produced SPEED and Amuro Namie, not Johnny's.

The female idols are over sexualised or act like kids,

Kpop female idol's concept is club girls.

Jpop female idol's concept is indeed school girls.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Samit Basi: Korea also copied the creepy idol concept like you see in AKB and Johnny's, no matter if the training system is a little different from that, the whole "aidoru" obsession is kept. And there's plenty of Korean groups based on the schoolgirl thing. What Japanese people call "kawaii", Koreans call "aegyo" or something like that, and you see all these boys and girls with cat/dog/bunny ears acting like children and make cute (creepy) childish expressions. It's annoying and creepy as hell.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

AKB48 is perfect for the large number of immature adults in Japanese society...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've always that group and what it represents. it's very clear that the purpose of that group is not to sing and dance but too well we all know right. And if you need any more evidence look at the people who buy their albums and the people that attend their concerts. It's sad that women still sign up to do that willingly. And it's even sadder the men that buy into it. This new date ticket is no surprise.

HonestlyI would be worried about the girl's safety as anyone can buy a ticket.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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