entertainment

AKB48's 'newest member' turns out to be computer-generated image

42 Comments

A debate that has been raging among AKB48 fans since last week was finally settled on Monday when the band's "newest member" was revealed to be a computer-generated image.

Aimi Eguchi suddenly became the face of a new confectionery line from Glico and appeared on the cover of a magazine on June 13. Immediately following the revelation, Eguchi became a hot topic of discussion among fans online, many of whom believed her to have the slightly unreal air of a "photoshopped" character.

A mini documentary titled "The Birth of Eguchi Aimi" was unveiled on the Glico homepage on Monday and confirmed that AKB48's "newest member" was indeed a composite image formed from the faces of six existing members.

Eguchi consists of 19-year-old Atsuko Maeda's eyes, 22-year-old Yuko Oshima's hair, 20-year-old Takahashi Minami's facial outline, 25-year-old Mariko Shinoda's mouth, 19-year-old Tomomi Itano's nose, and 17-year-old Mayu Watanabe's eyebrows. Eguchi is voiced by new member Yukari Sasaki, 15.

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42 Comments
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The next logical evolutionary step will be a CG prime minister of Japan. Couldn't be any worse than what we've had for the past 5 years!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

and the brain of a turtle.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is actually a little disturbing. The "new member" was featured in almost every single major news network broadcast across Japan, leading many to believe that a new member had indeed been discovered.

But the "news conference" in which she was unveiled was obviously not real. Neither were the mass media who supposedly stood in front of her to get her first comments as a member of the group. And the CG was so convincingly done, including full body shots of the "singer" along with fellow group members milling about in the background as to allow the debate regarding her real-ness to linger for nearly two weeks,

Which sort of makes one wonder how easy it would be to dupe the public with the right investment into CG and a well-placed "news story."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most of AKB48's music is probably computer generated.

That could only improve it. Their "music" is generated by some "oyajis" in an office somewhere in Tokyo. AKB 48, Arashi, SMAP etc. are a clear example of how, in SE Asia, cuteness, "kawaii!", outweighs what could be considered "cool" in the West ...apparently, even if it's computer-generated "kawaii".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No faker than any of the previous members.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Their PR section must be working overtime as they keep coming up with all kinds of stuff to keep the spotlight on these girls ... who are coveted by middle-aged men ... Guess their live concerts are the same way ... "recorded" singing as they move their mouths ... virtual singing ... or something like that ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is the next step in the evolution of the music "biz."

Artists will become as a font, producing whatever milque-toast pap they are fed, with no originality or individuality, but "signed" and produced by a "label".

Digitally creating an "artist", saves on plastic surgery, dental work, and mental cramps. It will behave, without presenting signs of such pesky things as spirit, original talent, objections, or even worse, their own ideas.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let's see her computerized body.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

OMG YES... ♪───O(≧∇≦)O────♪ the MOE factor of each girl combined to created the ultimate teenaged boys dream girl.

It sounds almost like the Power rangers combined battle robot... What was it's name again?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most of AKB48's music is probably computer generated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

paulinusa: The second infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a sampler keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given score, such as the complete works of AKB48. At least more plausible than the first theorem. Where do I get monkeys?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Speed of the PU-MA! BraaaaaveStarrrrrrrrrrrr!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LFRAgain I have had this fear for a long time now. CG is hardly distinguishable from real nowadays.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A fake person... I guess they dont have to pay her do they.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Credit needs to go where credit is due. That company that made the character did a fantastic job. When you see the CM, the CG looks totally human -- except for a slight unnatural movement toward the end. You have to really scrutinize the video in order to suspect something fishy (which is probably what all those otakki-s did).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All "images" of the members belong to the management company so by using her they don't have to pay any of the members... it's interesting but I feel it a money grab.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The eyes don't match the smile giving an unnatural look.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Taking Milli Vanilli to a higher level. Feel the power of the digital age.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well I won a bet, I knew she wasn't be real!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Quite a bit of people last weekend who saw the early published photos from the recent Weekly Playboy thought there was something odd about her. Comments made was that her eyes seemed expressionless and didn't go with the smile. More than a handful said her face looked plastic and were already speculating the face was a mashup of current members.

I suppose it is something instinctive where while the CG mashup is still rather impressive, it still isn't easy to piece together the subtleness of details which emote a natural expression.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this is so disturbed on so many levels. eck.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

and the brain of a turtle.

I call foul! Not fair to equal a turtle to AKB, at least a turtle has sense!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

this is so disturbed on so many levels. eck

sillygirl -- tend to agree. Defintely a new low in J-pop culture, if that is possible. But, fear not, the bar will be lowered even further in short order. That is what 21st century Japan is all about it seems.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ah, Japan! The land of osechi, sushi and cyber porn! Ya gotta love it!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think this CG girl is cute. I was surprised at such technology.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I new she was fake because when they interviewed her, she had a stupid grin on her face, and acted like a ventriloquist dummy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That goes to show everyone that this singing group is not as great as they try to make themselves out to be. Soon all of the members will probably be computerized people that were designed computer geeks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This makes me think of the Al Pacino movie ''Simone'' . I find it kind creepy on all kinds of levels.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well with stuff like Vocaloids, which is already really popular (basically just virtual characters that sing), this is only the next step up. I find it more disturbing that they didn't just come clean about it. But I doubt it will make a difference... Very creepy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They've made a group member by combining features from all the other members. How long will it be before all the carbon based group members are made redundant? As kokorocloud pointed out, there's already fully digital vocaloid "pop singers" like Miku Hatsune - and they've even done "live" concerts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I new she was fake because when they interviewed her, she had a stupid grin on her face, and acted like a ventriloquist dummy.

Ha! I guess they're ALL fake then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

AKB48 are awesome. These girls are sooooooooo talented. They even thought up this and made this happen, they are fantastic. They deserve to be the worlds first jumbo sized super group. How did they manage to find time to do this after writing all their own songs, designing their own clothes and showing the world real girl power with their controversal lyrics.

Which topic will they sign about next N Korea, Fukushima, possibly the US air bases in Japan. They have so much to say and the whole world is listing to their message and waiting in anticipation for their next project.

Maybe Parliament should be dissolved and AKB48 could run Japan, it would be such fun all cute and fluffy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I was suspicious when she showed no belly button. Mascara cannot cover that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

to all the fans: you all just got trolled

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i thought it was awsome

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pathetic with a capital P.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How much lower are they going to go with this crap, this is definitely going from horribly bad to horrendously bad & then to god only knows

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well I won a bet, I knew she wasn't be real!

Your mother must be so proud of you......

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Digital technologies have been implemented in different fields, but mostly used in movie computer-aided effectiveness, retouching techniques for old pictures, converting analog pictures into digital formats. But for commercial and advertisement, digital pictures have been developed to a new level. Sci-fi movies are produced with too many computer-aided software.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A mini documentary titled “The Birth of Eguchi Aimi” was unveiled on the Glico homepage on Monday and confirmed that AKB48’s “newest member” was indeed a composite image formed from the faces of six existing members.

6x Brain Dead.

No seriously, this is Japan and when it comes to the gene pool, well....there isn't much to choose from. It's like getting a bag of Jelly Bellys only to find that they're all green, or black, or white. How exciting is that?

Why do ALL these girls have to be Japanese? Why can't they pick some girls that are Half-Japanese mixed with DNA from other beautiful people. There lots of other girls out there that could be THE NEW FLAVOR of the Month. I'm not interested in AKB48 at all.

This story reminds me of the seal Tama-chan who was given a Permanent Resident visa while ignoring 2 family men who were applying for the same status.

Instead of finding someone new and fresh they decided to make a Virtual Dog's Breakfast as a new member.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Woot I called this first a while ago and people thumbs downed me.

Haters 'gonna hate!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Music products are converted from analog signals into digital samples at high -fidelity expectation. AKB48 is one of Japan's contemporary J-pop music iconic bands. U.S used to produce boy-bands - Backstreet Boys and News Kids on a Block to earn popularity among young listeners. AKB48 is another syndrome of Japanese culture integrated with young female images of Japanese net-generation. Defining a new trendy music and fashion styles usually convey through music area.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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