*If you can't be bothered to read the whole thing, important parts are in color* Hey, stage48! So this post is mainly concerned with the topic question but before that here's a backstory as to why I'm making a post like this. For UCI, the school year is ending. I'm part of a class called Humanities Core and as a capstone project our assignment is to write a 10 page research paper on a topic of our choosing. From the start, we were encouraged to choose a topic that we were genuinely interested in, otherwise we'd be bored out of our minds. Obviously, first thought that popped into my head was AKB48! Well, and then my logical side took hold and said "Stupid. Do you know how DIFFICULT it'd be to do a 10 page research paper on AKB48?! They're not exactly scholarly!" So then I kinda gave up on the idea. Except that that was the time that AKB48 chose to announce they were appearing at Anime Expo 2010. Freaking excited and motivated at the prospect of maybe getting a second chance to meet Mayuyu, I said, "Screw it, I'm going to do something related to AKB48!" And....well, right now, I'm not as motivated because I'm pretty depressed about Mayuyu not coming (Acchan, 2nd favorite, just isn't the same ). But! I already chose my topic, it's difficult to change it when it's due next week! Obviously I've started and found various books and online articles about idols (including virtual idols!), but given some of the cool things I've learned on stage48, I thought posting here might attract some intelligent individual. I expanded it a bit to focus more on idol groups in general, because writing one on AKB48 really is impossible. So my research questions are something like: Why are idol groups so popular in Japan, and mostly Japan? Are there some aspects of Japanese culture/pop culture that lend to this phenomenon? What makes them so appealing? It really is quite unique to Japan; other countries like South Korea have SNSD, but it's not quite the same....This topic was inspired mostly by the recent popularity of idol groups, especially AKB48. Double platinum with Ponytail to Shushu?! Also, for almost all singles, I see AKB48 compared with Arashi, which is probably the only group that can beat them right now, or so people in the threads say. If we count Arashi as an idol group (eh, you can argue that, I guess), then crap, the top two groups in Japan are idol groups! Correct me if I'm wrong. I thought of starting a topic on this forum because a lot of you guys are more experienced with idol groups than me. Hello! Project, Arashi (maybe), Idoling!!!, etc. I didn't start listening to idol music until AKB48. Some of you can point out points I couldn't have thought of, especially if you people have been longtime fans. An important point though: this is a full blown college research paper, so I can't exactly quote random guy on stage48. Still, I value all input, simply because they're a different viewpoint, and even if I wasn't doing a research paper I think it's an interesting subject! Probably would've started a thread sooner or later anyway, the paper is just a catalyst. Especially important though, if you have ever done research on your own, you could have research materials. Anything by a journalist or someone of even a little repute. If you have any translated interviews with idols or their producers, this would be great because then those are PRIMARY SOURCES. I have most AKB48 books like the recent election guidebook and the Sosenkyo guidebook from last year, the AKBingo! Official Guidebook and a friend is translating them for me, but if they have already been translated somewhere, that'd be great. Again, the sources don't have to deal with AKB48 alone - I plan on featuring them, but anything about H!P, hell, even Onyanko Club is good. Sample Questions You Might Have Answers To Just to get you started... 1. This could be anything...for example, why did Sakura no Shiori sell so well in Japan, when a lot of stage48 members thought it was "meh?" Was it because they were in traditional kimonos, does graduation resonate with Japanese people more, etc? 2. Is it because of some loli fetish? Obsessions with cuteness? The concept of purity, innocence? 3. Are there any songs that talk about idol groups? So yeah, in summary, what are you guys' thoughts and do you have any sources you think could add to my paper? Discuss! Disclaimer: And no, I am not going to plagiarize your thoughts. Everything I say in the paper needs to have backing from some source, with the exception of when I'm analyzing songs or outfits or whatnot. I will probably cite stage48 forum to give credit as people helping. It's not really necessary in MLA style writing, but I like to give credit where credit is due, so I always note my TAs and professors anyway. And if you guys are interested in seeing the final product, I can submit this after I receive a final grade.