Hey, Senpai!

AKB48’s “Kamikyokutachi” to see US Release

Posted on: June 24, 2010

Hello! Project fans have enjoyed the availability of US releases for about a year and a half now, beginning with Hangry & Angry’s “Kill Me Kiss Me” mini-album and continuing with various CD and MP3 releases through JapanFiles. This availability eventually branched into merchandise, with everything from photocards to notebooks to concert t-shirts available through HelloStoreUSA. As a result, H!P fans have had a much easier time getting their hands on merchandise that had previously been difficult to obtain without paying an auction broker pretty obscene sums of money.

AKB fans may find themselves in a similar happy situation in the near future. Maru Music announced today that AKB48’s recent greatest hits album “Kamikyokutachi” will see a US release. Dates and pricing were not specified, nor has information on the album surfaced on Maru’s website.

Many US companies that work with Japanese bands are primarily experienced in visual kei, and Maru is no exception. Their explanation of the structure of AKB and emphasis on “choreographed routines” in the press release reflects little experience in the world of idol pop, as does their website – but they display a respectable number of concert goods for their other bands in their store, which gives hope that we’ll see similar items available for purchase in the future in addition to CDs.

What else does this mean? It means H!P and AKB fans no longer have any excuses! No longer will you (or your parents) have to rely on foreign websites, auction brokers, or trips to Japan to legally support your favorite artists. The merchandise is here, so let’s show our favorite idols our support! (One thing I do wish both sites did, though, is to provide a gift card option.)

Additionally, write JapanFiles or MaruMusic if you want to see your favorite group appear in your town at your local anime convention, and send a message to the convention staff or post in the “guest request” section of their forums (nearly all cons have one!).

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