AKB48 are a Japanese idol girl group formed in 2005. as of July 28, 2019 the group consists of 102 members, divided among several teams: Team A with 23 members, Team K with 23 members, Team B with 23 members, and Team 4 with 28 members, Team 8 with 38 members, the last of which have 33 members serving concurrently with other AKB48 teams. There are Kenkyusei members, 13 of whom serve on specific teams as understudies, and three of whom were recruited as a group of general understudies.[1]

Each of the teams has its own theme:[2] according to member Misaki Iwasa, Team A represents freedom, Team K has a strong and powerful image, Team B is very idol-like with cutesy costumes, and Team 4 represents “the future of AKB48”.[2] The member lineup often changes as when girls get older, they “graduate” from the group, and are replaced by members promoted from the trainees. Monica Hesse of The Washington Post describes the AKB48 audition process as “rolling American Idol-esque

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