Sakamichi Series

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Sakamichi Series (Japanese: 坂道シリーズ [sakamichi shirīzu], Chinese: 坂道系列 [bǎndào xìliè]) refers to a Japanese idol group franchise that began with Nogizaka46 in 2011. Nogizaka46 was posed as an official "rival group" of AKB48. Over time new groups debuted as Nogizaka46 sister groups, forming the Sakamichi Series. The Series currently consists of four groups.

History

The first group, Nogizaka46, was formed on August 22, 2011. They released their debut single Guru Guru Curtain on February 22, 2012.

The second group, Keyakizaka46, was formed on August 21, 2015. It was initially named Toriizaka46, but was changed before debut. They released their first single Silent Majority on April 6, 2016. A sub group within Keyakizaka46 known as Hiragana Keyakizaka46 was created shortly after. On July 16, 2020, it was announced that Keyakizaka46 would change their group name and rebrand, with the new name being Sakurazaka46. The change went into effect on October 14.

The third group, Yoshimotozaka46 was formed on February 21, 2018. It is very different from the other groups of the Sakamichi Series, as it contains both male and female members of various ages, and most members are professional entertainers. Unlike the other groups, Yoshimotozaka46 is named after the Yoshimoto Kyogo company, which manages many Japanese comedians, as well as NMB48 and Produce 101 Japan group "JO1". Yoshimotozaka46 released their first single, Nakasetekureyo, on December 26, 2018.

The fourth group, Hinatazaka46, was formed on February 11, 2019. They were initially a sub-group of Keyakizaka46 called Hiragana Keyakizaka46, but became independent and changed their name in 2019. They released their debut single, Kyun, on March 27, 2019.

In the summer of 2018, a joint Sakamichi Audition was held and 36 of those that auditioned were accepted. Of the 36, 21 were immediately accepted into one of Nogizaka46, Keyakizaka46, and Hinatazaka46. The other 15 were grouped as Sakamichi Kenshusei (Sakamichi Trainee 坂道研修生) in 2019. On February 16, 2020, 14 of the trainees were assigned to the three groups, with five going to Nogizaka46, six going to Sakurazaka46, and three going to Hinatazaka46. The remaining member withdrew from consideration.

On October 29, 2021, it was announced that Yoshimotozaka46 would suspend its activities from February 2022 and would enter "hibernation".

Current groups

Group name Color Years active Location Notes
Nogizaka46 Purple 2011 - Flag of Japan.png Tokyo, Japan
Sakurazaka46 White - Pink 2020 - Flag of Japan.png Tokyo, Japan Previously called Keyakizaka46
Hinatazaka46 Blue 2019 - Flag of Japan.png Tokyo, Japan Between 2015 and 2019 were a subgroup of Keyakizaka46 called Hiragana Keyakizaka46

Former Groups

Group name Color Years active Location Notes
Keyakizaka46 Green 2015 - 2020 Flag of Japan.png Tokyo, Japan
Yoshimotozaka46 Orange 2018 - 2022 Flag of Japan.png Osaka, Japan On hiatus since February, 2022

See also