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Check out the members of Nogizaka46, the official rivals of AKB48!

August 22, 2011 @ 7:31 am
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On August 21st, the final audition for AKB48's rival group, Nogizaka46, was held at the SME Nogizaka Building.

Out of 38,934 applicants, 56 girls made it to the final audition. After a practical examination and interview, 36 girls were chosen as starting members with an average age of 16.3. Akimoto explained, "I considered the balance of the group." Out of the 36 members, there was a surprise selection of 16 temporary senbatsu members.

The 36 members of Nogizaka46 are: Akimoto Manatsu (18), Asou Ririko (16), Andou Mikumo (18), Ikuta Erika (14), Ikoma Rina (15), Ichiki Rena (15), Ito Nene (15), Ito Marika (15), Inoue Sayuri (16), Iwase Yumiko (21), Eto Misa (18), Kashiwa Yukina (17), Kawai Hina (13), Kawamura Mahiro (16), Saito Asuka (13), Saito Chiharu (14), Saito Yuuri (18), Sakurai Reika (17), Shiraishi Mai (19), Takayama Kazumi (17), Nakada Kana (17), Nakamoto Himeka (15), Nagashima Seira (17), Nishino Nanase (17), Hashimoto Nanami (18), Hatanaka Seira (15), Higuchi Hina (13), Fukagawa Mai (20), Hoshino Minami (13), Matsumura Sayuri (19), Miyazawa Seira (18), Yamato Rina (16), Yamamoto Honoka (13), Yoshimoto Ayaka (15), Wakatsuki Yumi (17), and Wada Maaya (13).

Meanwhile the 16 temporary senbatsu members are: Akimoto Manatsu, Ikuta Erika, Ikoma Rina, Ichiki Rena, Sakurai Reika, Shiraishi Mai, Takayama Kazumi, Nakada Kana, Hashimoto Nanami, Hatanaka Seira, Hoshino Minami, Matsumura Sayuri, Miyazawa Seira, Yamato Rina, Yoshimoto Ayaka, and Wada Maaya.

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Akimoto says Ikuta Erika from Tokyo has the same presence as Maeda Atsuko before she made her debut six years ago. Meanwhile, Osaka native Matsumura Sayuri declared, "I love movies and anime. I definitely won't lose to Mayuyu-san (Watanabe Mayu) who share the same interest as me."

Regarding Yoshimoto Ayaka from Kumamoto, Akimoto commented, "She is unpredictable and she seems to have room for growth." Yoshimoto shared her joy saying, "My rival is Itano Tomomi-san. Right now, I can only say that I'm happy."

"If their positions are decided from the beginning, they will have a better sense of awareness," Akimoto said, explaining the selection of the senbatsu members. He aims for the Nogizaka46 to become a group "without their own theatre", unlike AKB48, who are "idols that fans can go and meet".

The new senbatsu members will be announced at the end of the first half of their periodic performances. Duringthe second half, the chosen members will take their new positions. Akimoto stated, "It's like holding AKB48's yearly election everyday. They will become a group that will reflect upon the fans' voices."

Nogizaki46 are already scheduled to appear on a variety show that will start in October. They also plan to release a CD and hold a nationwide performance before the year ends. Akimoto declared, "They will do things that AKB48 cannot do".

Check out photos from the event below!

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Source: Sanspo and Nogizaka46 Official Website

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