AKB48 Spreading

The production company that manages hot Japanese female idol collective AKB48 is opening its first overseas venture in Singapore.

However, unlike similar arrangements in Japan, which present almost daily performances by AKB48 and their various regional spinoff groups at dedicated theaters, the Singapore project will be relatively light on live music.

The Singapore venture will focus on a café and theme shop situated next to the Live Hall in the Scape complex on Orchard Road. Sixteen members of the 50-plus all-girl group will fly to Singapore every month and perform two shows per day for two days. The first performance took place May 15. Tickets cost $50 each (US$40).

“By locating AKB48’s theme shop and café adjacent to Live Hall, this will make [the group] more accessible to Singaporeans,” AKB48 brainchild Yasushi Akimoto, whose flagship theater is located in the Akihabara district of Tokyo, said in a statement. “I hope they can feel and enjoy AKB48 and better appreciate the live concerts. It will be great if fans in Singapore can eventually identify with and see AKB48 as their own idols someday.”