THE IDOLM@STER vs AKB48
So, I love idols. Mainly kpop idols, I’ll admit, but I’m also a huge AKB48 fan. If you’ve been living under a rock, you should know that AKB48, Arashi and EXILE are the golden trio of the Japanese music industry right now. Everything they put out tops the chart, AKB’s last single sold over one million (physical) copies in two days. They are everywhere.
And so naturally, as I watch my idol anime (THE IDOLM@STER and Uta no Prince-sama, although the latter is irrelevant here) I can’t help but compare it to AKB. Or rather, as I watch IDOLM@STER, I end up comparing the 765 idols to the AKS girls. Of course, the anime girls feel a bit flatter and less interesting than the AKS girls, but yanno, the AKS girls are real and all.
So, here are my comparisons of the IDOLM@STER girls and the AKB girls they are most similar to.
Takajo Aki / Amami Haruka / Takahashi Minami
Harurun is sort of the ‘main girl’. She’s mad clumsy, but tries hard, and always has remains smiling and positive. She’s a hard worker and earnest about what she does.
Green-cha, Barley-cha, Oolong-cha, but of course? Aki-cha!
To be honest, to me that screams ‘Akicha’! Akicha is always, always smiling, on variety, during photoshoots, in the theater, in concerts. She just looks so goddamn pleased to be there, in AKB, doing whatever. She was also the fastest girl in AKB history to be promoted from kenkyuusei to full AKB member, which proves her talent and hard work! (oh, the exclamation marks. I’m super passionate about AKB, you’ll quickly learn.)
I may look a bit yankee but inside I have a glass heart.
Takamina is the extremely short leader of Team A, and of AKB48 as a whole. She one of the hardest working members, and absolutely loves AKB with all her heart. She’s also the favourite of AKB manager/producer Aki-P. She’s a bit of a tomboy, and rougher and clumsier than many of the girlier AKB members, earning her the nickname ‘Takaboy’.
Masuda Yuka / Kisaragi Chihaya / Akimoto Sayaka
Chihaya is a very serious idol. She naturally talented at singing, and loves it; to the point that she dislikes any other aspects of being an idol. She’s not good at dealing with people, choosing to spend her time alone. She also mentions that she’s bad at smiling naturally. Not great at being an idol imo.
It was difficult to think of idols like Chihaya, since most of the AKB girls really love being part of it. And if they don’t, they leave, or at least keep it behind the scenes. (Although, thinking about Tomochin, Acchan and Reina, who’ve all mentioned being depressed; maybe I should of added them…) But nonetheless~
Always smiling, full of vigor, really love Takoyaki!
Takayaki has a very opposite personality to Chihaya, she’s very energetic, her original Team K spirit shining through. But she is also far and away the best singer in AKB, and one of the few to release a solo single, which was used as an anime OP.
Strong, Noble and Beautiful
Sayaka, Sayaka~ My oshi~ I love her! Sayaka is very cool, but, like Chihaya, not idol-like. She’s beautiful, but bad at acting cute. And she’s mentioned she’s been told before she’s bad at smiling naturally and keeping an idol face on. (Which frankly, I’ve noticed, especially in group interviews.) Unlike Chihaya though, Sayaka loves being an idol and takes her role as Team K captain seriously.
Atsuko Maeda / Hagiwara Yukiho / Oku Manami
Yukiho! Shy, androphobic, timid, she became an idol in order to become more confident with herself. When she tries, she can really shine on stage.
Good evening everyone. Maeda Atsuko.
Acchan is the frontgirl of AKB48. She’s centre of every single, every theater performance, every concert, every CM. She didn’t really want to be an idol, but auditioned for the group when she saw Aki-P’s name, hoping to realise her ambition to become an actress. Because of this, she tends to be reserved on stage, and is known for often not smiling, especially at the beginning. However much she dislikes being centre of attention, she nonetheless gives it her all. At the end of the day, she loves AKB.
Junior high school 3rd grade, Oku Manami.
OK, Manamana has graduated AKB48, and I was trying to keep this list current members only. But she’s so like Yukipyon! Manamana was highly praised by Aki-P, who called her his future ace; and apparently behind the scenes, she was funny, sarcastic and popular. Unfortunately, on stage she was extremely shy and reserved, frankly painful to watch at times, and never managed to gain much popularity, despite being an original K member and a loli.
Yokohama Yui / Tatsuki Yayoi / Ooya Shizuka
Yayoi is the eldest of five siblings, and comes from a poor family. She cleans and does odd jobs around 765 to earn extra money for the family. Despite this, she is always cheerful and energetic, and puts in 200% at everything she does.
I want to shine like the Kinkakuji
Yui also had hard times in the past; she’s mentioned being bullied in middle school, to the point she finds it difficult to trust others. She also failed multiple auditions for AKB and SKE. But Yui never gave yp, and When she did eventually make it, she was quickly noticed by Aki-P as being dedicated and talented, and was promoted to Team K in Erepyon’s place, where she now receives lots of push for her hard work. She’s also kind and helpful with the other girls, teaching choreography to busier girls such as Mariko-sama.
If you’re energetic, you can do anything. I won’t say I can’t do it!
The opposite of Akicha, Shiichan was the AKB member who remained a kenkyuuesi the longest, over two years. Her friends were slowly promoted or dropped out, but Shiichan stuck in there, and her hard-work paid off, when she was promoted to be a full time member! Always tries her hardest, always full of energy!
Kikuchi Ayaka / Miura Azusa / Kojima Haruna
Azusa is the ditzy and airheaded onee-san type. She’s the oldest member of 765′s troupe, and very romantic. She wants to become an idol to meet her ‘destined partner’. Very relaxed, and has a penchant for getting lost.
Smilin’ lin lin, Ayarin
Airheaded and romantic? Then Ayarin definitely fits. So airheaded and romantic that in fact, she got in to a scandal and was kicked out of AKB when photos of her and her boyfriend surfaced online. But Ayarin swiftly dumped the guy and worked her way up the ranks of AKB again.
Please treat me well.
There’s airheaded and then there’s Kojiharu. She’s known for her downright dumb character. In fact, her habit of blurting out whatever she wants without thinking has gained her the reputation of being a bit of a bitch. In fact, she’s just a daydreamy and romantic girl.
Iori is the daughter of a company president. Rather spoiled, with a princess demeanor, she’s not afraid to say what she thinks to her friends. Onstage, she has a refined appearance, although occaisionally her inner tsundere pops out.
Man, it was so hard to choose who was most Iorin like! The more I think about it, the more I wonder if I should have chosen Lovetan…
Do Re Mi Do Mi Do Myao.
Myao doesn’t play the idol game at all. She’s always snarky and bitchy, and very frank. This initially gained her lots of fans, but she’s becoming steadily less popular. I love her, I think she’s adorable. Her onstage personality is identical to Iorin’s backstage personality.
Charm point is my droopy eyes!
Tomo~mi! I really hate the promo pic of Tomo~mi, she looks much better with bangs. T.T Anyway. Tomo~mi is a spoiled princess, or at least acts that character. To describe her in a word… it’s ‘burikko’, ha! Yes. She’s a bit selfish, a bit of a crybaby, very moe~ Looking for an older guy to protect her!
Miyazawa Sae / Kikuchi Makoto / Akimoto Sayaka
Makochin is the ‘popular with girls’ tomboy character. Makochin doesn’t love being seen like this, and wishes she were cuter; for that, she’s growing out her hair. She’s friendly and easy to get along with, doing her best to protect Yukiho.
Every idol group needs to have a ‘popular with girls’ type, which tend to fall into two categories: handsome tomboy type, or fashionable and relatable type. (In AKB, Sae and Sayaka are the first category, and Mariko-sama and Tomochin the second.)
Cheerful, innocent, energetic!
Genking! King of Genki. Sae is the tomboy character of AKB. Short hair, shipped with everyone, and looks AMAZING crossdressing, which she does at every oppurtunity. She’s extremely energetic and a great dancer. BFF with Sayaka; the pair are known as the ‘twin towerss of Team K’.
Strong, Noble and Beautiful
It’s Sayaka again! No, not because she’s my oshi. Sayaka is masculine to Sae’s tomboy type. A nickname she hates is Gorilla, and she really wants to be called cute. She’s probably more similar in personality to Makochin than Sae is, because Sae is pretty comfortable with being handsome, whereas Sayaka has a bit of a complex about it.
Matsui Jurina / Ami and Mami Futami / Minegishi Minami
Ami and Mami are the energetic pranksters of 765! They’re constantly active, running around, teasing people, and generally causing trouble.
Ichi, ni, san, shi, go together with me, roku, shichi, hachi, kyu, Juurina~
When it comes to pure energy, you can’t beat Jurina. When performing, she’s all over the stage, and you can’t take your eyes off her. She so beloved of Aki-P, he gives her mad push, and she’s all over AKB48, despite being an SKE48 member.
At a rebellious age every day of the year!
Miichan is one of AKB’s pranksters. She’s always up for a laugh, and also has a lot of energy, as she’s recognised as one of the better dancers of AKB.
Hoshii Miki / Sato Amina
Miki at first seems to simply be a lazy and gluttonous girl, but she really only acts that way because everything comes easily to her. She a genius. And when she has to, she can unveil that genius, with stunning results. She’s got a ‘my-pace’ personality.
I want to be loved, want to love, but still I want to be loved more.
When I watched Miki’s episode, the way she puts in so much work to get what she wants, I could only think of Amina. Amina is a girl who is extremely popular with the fans, but not with the management, and gets very little push. In order to perform more at the theater, Amina learnt every AKB song and choreography: every Team A song, B song, K song, every unit song, every single and B-side. She the only girl in the whole company who knows every song. I love her a lot.
Matsui Rena / Shijou Takane / Shinoda Mariko
Takane had a good upbringing, and is a reserved girl with a slightly snobby personality. Ojou-sama type, and another ‘my-pace’ personality. She’s also pretty smart, but is often off in a world of her own. Her fans call her the ‘Silver Princess’.
Treasure Hunter’s smile~
Matsui Rena is a very popular princess type. Not ‘spoiled princess’ like Tomo~mi, but a good upbringing and always perfectly poised. Very much like Takane.
Charming poker face
Ah, Mariko. Extremely extremely popular in Japan, amongst wota and casual fans, guys and girls. She was working as a waitress in AKB’s cafe, and was unable to make AKB’s audition, so fans petitioned to get her in. She thought of as boring amongst international fans, but I think it’s more that she’s matured over the years, and is moving away from being an idol. She’s the oldest member, and there are constant rumours of her graduation. Her fans call her ‘Mariko-sama’, making her the only AKB member with a honorific other than chan/tan, etc. Very cool big sister type.
Ganaha Hibiki / Oshima Yuko
Hibiki hales from Okinawa. She’s pretty sporty and wild, a fang character. Very active, very cheerful, many pets! The main one being her hamster Hamzou.
Many expressions and ever changing appearance
Yuko! Second most popular member, after Acchan and before Mariko. Like Hibiki, she’s very energetic and playful, known for her ridiculous impersonations and funny faces. She also known for her resemblance to a squirrel!
I would totally do this for Uta no Prince-sama but since my knowledge of JE groups is moot, and Korean idols follow different rules and stereotypes than Japanese ones, I’ll leave it.