The Battle For The Next Japanese Pop-Icon – AKB’s Next Aces In Atsuko Maeda’s Position At Washington

  April 6, 2012
Rina Kawaei and Sayaka Umeda at J-pop culture concert
Rina Kawaei

Even though AKB48 is sort of stuck in Western Market, and lagging far behind Hatsune Miku and K-pop, they didn’t see it less important. In fact, the last  Washington Sakura concert was showcasing the group’s “Next Atsuko Maeda (前田敦子)”.

Here are those faces

Anna Iriyama (入山杏奈) of team 4 was standing the center for the legendary number “Heavy Rotation”, which usually the position for Atsuko Maeda.

Anna Iriyama

Her teammate Rina Kawaei (川栄李奈), who just promoted to team 4 from trainee class, played the center for “「風は吹いている“, AKB48’s 23th single. She was a 11th trainee, senior high school student.

Bott Anna and Rina are selected for AKB48’s new single “真夏のSounds good!” which will go on sale 23th May. This coming single is a important reference to see the future of AKB48, because of total 36 members for the single, 15 are fresh faces who’re selected for the first time.

In AkiP’s word, this 2012 is the year of “Revolution” and the battle for the summit of the most popular pop group in Asia has already started.