March 30, 2015 - AKB48's collaboration unit with Yokai Watch to release a single
On April 8th, NyaaKB with Tsuchinoko Panda will release their first single. NyaaKB is a collaboration between AKB48 and the anime Yokai Watch. The title song of the single is Idol wa Uunyanya no Ken. This song is already being used as the ending theme for Yokai Watch. The one-shot unit is comprised of 7 members: Shimazaki Haruka, Matsui Jurina, Miyawaki Sakura, Kawaei Rina, Kizaki Yuria, Kato Rena, and Kojima Mako. Characters from the anime are featured in the covers and MV of the single.
During AKB48's recent concert at Saitama Super Arena, a shuffle of the group was announced. During the shuffle, staff member Kayano Shinobu announced that Kawaei Rina would be graduating from AKB48. Her graduation date has not yet been revealed. Kawaei told the audience her reasons for leaving the group. In May 2014, Kawaei and fellow AKB48 member Iriyama Anna were attacked at a handshake event. She explained that she has not been able to go to any handshake events since the ordeal.
Kawaei had decided to leave AKB48 partly because of the realization she would never be able to attend the events. She also stated that she wants to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. Recently, Kawaei appeared as a main cast member in AKB48's drama Majisuka Gakuen 4. Kawaei said her appearances in dramas motivated her to learn more about acting.
There were several more surprising announcements made during the shuffle. Matsumura Kaori had previously decided to remain a kenkyuusei for the rest of her career in SKE48. She was given the title Honorary Lifetime Kenkyuusei, and made the AKB48 Group kenkyuusei captain. However, during the shuffle Matsumura was promoted to Team KII. Kashiwagi Yuki, who had a concurrent position in Team N, was given a concurrency in AKB48's upcoming sister group NGT48. Kitahara Rie was transferred permanently to NGT48, to be the captain of the group once it becomes active.
March 26, 2015 - Details about AKB48's 40th single revealed
During an AKB48 Group concert at Saitama Super Arena, the release of AKB48's next single was announced. This will be AKB48's 40th single, and it is scheduled to be released on May 20. The title song is Bokutachi wa Tatakawanai, which will have 32 senbatsu members. Bokutachi wa Tatakawanai will be centered by Team A member Shimazaki Haruka. Also, Team 8 member Sakaguchi Nagisa will be making her first appearance in senbatsu. Team A member Iriyama Anna was offered a spot in senbatsu, but chose to decline her participation.
March 24, 2015 - Nogizaka46's 11th single sells over 500,000 copies
Oricon has revealed that Nogizaka46 has broken a record previously set by SKE48. The group released their latest single, Inochi wa Utsukushii, on March 18. It topped its weekly single ranking by selling 500,297 copies during the first week. This is the first time the group has reached first week sales of 500,000 copies. Also, with the release of Inochi wa Utsukushii, Nogizaka46 has made a new record for female groups.
It took Nogizaka46 only 3 years and 1 month to achieve 10 chart-topping singles. This broke SKE48's record of 4 years and 8 months, giving Nogizaka46 the fastest record as a female group. In addition, they now are now in third place for the most consecutive No.1 singles. Nogizaka46 now follows after their "official rival" AKB48 and SKE48 in number of consecutive chart-topping singles.
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