That is what this thread is about, isn't it? About disbandment. If it were something else, for example, a phony, we would not be talking about it. It is true that someone's failures can be someone else's successes. However, we can only speculate that he is graduating them all because there was something in SDN that didn't quite make sense for him. It greatly depends on what he expected SDN to achieve. Theater activity was restricted to Saturday nights, so it doesn't seem as they were that important in the theater structure. They released three singles aiming at K-pop style, but they were received with low enthusiasm in Japan and indifference in Korea. He certainly doesn't seem nowadays attached to determined girls, enough to try to keep them in his rooster no matter what. SDN was probably an effort to open to new markets (grown ups, Koreans, sexy girls, etc) which didn't quite work. There has never been the demand for their tickets as there was for AKB or SKE (otherwise, DMM would have done their LODs too). That is just beautifying reality. Stalinism failed because the society came to understand what Stalin tried to hide: that every individual can be a part of the nation without having to give up his own dreams. In the case of SDN, though, this wasn't apparently possible. Don't tell me all 30 girls only dreamed of being singers, and none wanted to be an actress. How many of those girls have had acting training, appeared in doramas or movies, or had otherwise stepped closer to their dreams? Why? Did everyone in USSR die? Should capitalism continue this way, there will come a day when the society will claim for more freedom, and eventually the system will be destroyed, but that doesn't imply the whole civilization. We won't be writing with ashes in cave walls nor we will be hitting girls with clubs in the head to make them ours. From your point of view, Akimoto is disbanding SDN because of the risks of exhausting a successful model, in order to not get trapped in mediocrity. In this case, shouldn't he disband the main force, AKB48, instead? Disbanding SDN and keeping AKB up makes no sense if what you are trying is to adapt and change for a future, people will just follow the masses and cling to AKB. If you were to disband AKB, you would be opening the market for new groups. Disbanding SDN will leave probably a few thousands fans free for a new proposition, nothing more. If it were by him, you would wake up one day having to play rock-scissors-paper in order to get your daily meal Some see SDN as a place where graduated members would go, like Heaven for those who die. I still remember Meetan's face when it was announced that she was going to SDN, it was plain disappointment. You could also see Mariko's fear in going there too, forced to graduate. The truth is that someone being moved from AKB to SDN wasn't seeing it as an improvement to her situation within the 48 family, quite the contrary I would say, it was a slap in the face that meant to move away and leave room for the newer generations. Of course, they cannot wear school uniforms forever, but I sometimes wondered if there wasn't some pride in these girls left, enough to graduate and go search their own path in life. I can justify the girls because the salary is likely good enough, they get a minimum exposure in TV and radio from time to time, but it won't be helping you launch an actress or a model career. Not even a solo singer career, since chances of one of the non front girls being noticed are rather low.