Takahashi Minami is captain of Team A, Captain AKB48 and General Manager of ALL48 Groups. Minami, along with Maeda Atsuko, has consistently been at the group's forefront - giving her the title of "AKB48's Conscience" - having had a lead singing role in every single to date.
July 29, 2015 - NGT48's 1st Generation members announced
The final auditions to choose the first members of NGT48 have taken place. NGT48 is AKB48's latest sister group, and will be the fourth currently active 48 Group in Japan. The auditions had 5,850 applicants, and 74 candidates were chosen to participate in the final screening. Ultimately there were 22 girls who successfully passed the auditions. The ages of the winners range from 12 to 20 years old.
July 28, 2015 - Nogizaka46 achieves their highest first week sales yet
On July 22, AKB48's "official rival" Nogizaka46 released their 12th single Taiyou Knock. In a week the single sold approximately 610 thousand copies, and topped Oricon's charts. This is the most singles that Nogizaka46 has sold in a week, and is their 11th chart-topping single. The group now stands in third place in the number of consecutive No.1 releases. Taiyou Knock is also notable as the theme song of Hatsumori Bemars, the first drama starring Nogizaka46 members.
July 21, 2015 - NMB48's latest single ranks first on Oricon charts
AKB48Team B member Kuramochi Asuka will be graduating from the group. Her graduation concert will be held on August 17. Kuramochi joined AKB48 as a 4th Generation member in 2007. She is a member of the sub-unit French Kiss, and has released a solo single. During the AKB48 Group Dai Sokaku Matsuri, she was appointed as captain of Team B. Kuramochi discussed her experience of being a captain, stating that she was able to look after each member. She felt her job was done after seeing how her juniors had grown, and the team had been brought together.
After a captain change was announced in the AKB48 Spring Team Shuffle 2015, Kuramochi decided to graduate. She wanted to leave the group while still a member of Team B, which she had grown to love. After graduation, Kuramochi aims to become a sportscaster. She stated that she wants to be able to deliver the words of athletes and those who support them through her own words. Kuramochi also wants to pursue a career acting in stage plays.
July 15, 2015 - SKE48 releases MV for upcoming single
The music video of SKE48's 18th single, Maenomeri, has been released. This single is the last to feature Matsui Rena, who is also the center of the A-side song. Matsui has been part of SKE48 since the group debuted in 2008. In the 2014 Senbatsu Election, she ranked fifth, making her one of top members of the AKB48 Group. Although she has previously centred eight SKE48 singles with Matsui Jurina, Maenomeri will be her first solo center position.
The music video of Maenomeri was shot in Okinawa, the day after Matsui announced her graduation. It features choreography that combines the dances of all of SKE48's previous singles. Maenomeri will be released on August 12, about two weeks before Matsui's graduation.
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