Rumors are circling quickly after the sudden announcement of AKB48's newest member, 12.5th generation research student, Eguchi Aimi.
Said to have been pulled out of NMB48's auditions to join AKB48, producer Akimoto Yasushi stated that she will be "the heroine of the new age", and said that the reason he created the AKB family may have been in order to meet her.
With her debut just barely revealed, Eguchi is already gracing the cover of Weekly Playboy, and is part of a campaign for Glico's Aisu no Mi.
Such unprecedented promotion for a new member has caused quite a stir among AKB48 fans.
However, fans' shock at the startling announcement has turned to suspicion that Eguchi is neither a new AKB48 member, nor a real person at all.
Side by side comparisons with popular AKB members suggest that Eguchi is in fact a composite created from the other members' features. Audio interview questions on the Glico site are also said to closely resemble member Maeda Atsuko's voice and manner of speaking as well.
With video coverage of the new member yet to be seen, it may take some time for the rumors to be cleared.
Is Eguchi Aimi the next Maeda Atsuko or Matsui Jurina?
Check out the pics below and let us know what you think!
Source: Glico's Aisu no Mi, Weekly Playboy