We admit it, okay? We’re obsessed with Produce 48.
And sure, maybe we were already very very very obsessed with the original Produce 101. Maybe we tried learning the Nekkoya dance. We can’t get that star drawing bit right – but hey, nobody else can either.
Here are our top 12 picks from the 48 group. No complaints about our choices, please! Also no Jurina on the list, she’d already gone on hiatus when we wrote this.
Click on any girl’s name to search Yahoo! Auctions Japan (via DEJAPAN) for her J-idol merch. For other 48 group idols, if you’re that big an oshi go and copy-paste their name into the site search bar.
Nako Yabuki (HKT48)
Now that she’s not glued to Miku’s hip, Nako’s making huge waves in the competition. It started with that epic high note in ‘Love Whisper’. Since then, it’s been A grades all the way.
It’d be nice to see her success in P48 turn into a bigger HKT push – but solo. Since her debut as the original 3rd gen ace and fastest song centre ever, it’s felt like the twinning gimmick holds Nako back.
Sakura Miyawaki (HKT48)
The 2018 senbatsu election results set the stage for an epic battle – Sakura vs. Jurina. And then… Jurina dropped out. Talk about anti-climactic.
Being in the final P48 group’s like making senbatsu. Ultimately it doesn’t matter where you rank, as long as you rank. Sakura may not stay #1 – has anyone ever? – but if she’s not in that unit there’ll be rioting in the streets.
Moe Goto (AKB48)
People are finally starting to notice ‘dance queen’ Moe in P48. Finally. After 5 years, and her being part of all 3 main AKB teams. It’s just a shame that happened the day she lost her voice.
Would someone like Moe have been drafted into a K-idol group? On dance ability, it’s a safe bet. We’d never have seen her epic beef with Hinana that way, though.
Miho Miyazaki (AKB48)
Myao’s been underrated for years now. The original successor to Mayuyu’s finally getting the recognition she deserves. Watch her solo video for ‘The Truth Untold’ and then tell us you don’t stan talent.
She’s also pretty decent at speaking/singing in Korean, and the K-fans love that. Sadly, P48 might be the only way Miho gets into a senbatsu lineup this year…
Chiyori Nakanishi (AKB48)
Moving both Chiyori and NMB’s Mayu Ogasawara to AKB sucked some fun from their former groups. But it did put all that fun into AKB instead. And hey, HKT’s still got Jiina.
Not many K-Pop girl groups have a sense of humour. Chiyori would bring it – and how. A regular spot on AKBingo trains the comedy idols well. Give us more of the variety-style games, please.
Noe Yamada (NGT48)
With all the fuss over Ogiyuka in NGT, we had no idea Noepii even existed. Along came the weird high energy dance, and suddenly we got hooked.
Any decent girl group needs a mood-maker like Noe. We hope the harsh reality of K-idol training doesn’t dampen her spirit. Ranking down from C to F after first evaluation must’ve sucked.
Bibian Murakawa (HKT48)
Kirakira name! Super adorable smile! We need someone interesting in HKT to follow, now that Aanya’s dropped off the face of the earth.
Is it bad that we’re hoping a K-debut means Bibi-chan finally gets a different hairstyle? She’s rocked that full fringe since pre-debut. Someone put this girl in pigtails, or make her bright blonde, or something.
Miru Shiroma (NMB48)
It feels like NMB members don’t stick around that long. So let’s talk about Miru while we still can.
You’d expect guts and that Osaka bravado from anyone in NMB, but Miru’s worked hard to bring it every week. She’s done funny, she’s done cute, she’s done cool. All that’s left is to show her drinking ketchup, and she’ll be an all-round variety idol.
Juri Takahashi (AKB48)
The next Acchan? Maybe. If you survive 2 different Team 4 lineups and make it to Team B captain, you’re doing something right. But that path makes her sound more like the next Yuihan to us.
For someone who’s been in AKB since 2011, Juri still feels kinda like new blood to us. She’s never ranked in Kami 7 at a senbatsu election (as of 2018). Maybe that’ll change…
Hitomi Honda (AKB48)
With so many 48 groups, so many teams and so many members, it was hard for us to spot Hitomi before. Plus 47 girls in 1 team doesn’t equal much screentime for anyone.
She’s emerged as one of the best, most natural dancers. As if we knew Team 8’s Tochigi prefecture rep has cheerleader XP. As if we knew she can do backflips! Watch out world.
Miyu Takeuchi (AKB48)
Ever checked out Miyu’s YouTube channel? Maybe you should. She’s covered a lot of songs, arranging the music and directing the videos herself.
Being 9th-gen AKB puts her near the top of the senpai tower at this point. We were half expecting Miyu to graduate before now – maybe P48’ll keep her around a while longer.
Misaki Aramaki (HKT48)
Our earliest memory of this girl is when she cried meeting Sasshi for the first time on TV. We’ve never seen an idol look that nervous.
Misaki’s come a long way since then, having won the 2017 unit janken tournament and debuted as fairy w!ink. She still needed the confidence boost from a show like P48, and it’s working so far.
Follow your faves from wherever. Search Yahoo! Auctions Japan to find Japanese idol trading cards, bromides, badges, CDs, and tons of other merch. On DEJAPAN, you can browse in English, with quick bidding and no service fee.