Theater Girls

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The Theater Girls (シアターガールズ) are an special group/team of girls that take charge of a B-side track of certain AKB48 and SKE48 singles.

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History

The Theater Girls were formed for the single RIVER, where all the girls who didn't take part of Undergirls or Senbatsu were included in this group.

The name "Theater Girls" is commonly believed to be because their first song was a cover of an Stage Song (Hikoukigumo) and their PV was recorded in the AKB48 Theater, as if it were a normal theater performance. Later on from Ponytail to Shushu, the Theater Girls got their first original song and as well as their first PV filmed outside the Theater.

Theater Girls on SKE48

For SKE48's 3rd Single Gomen ne, SUMMER, the Theater Girls concept was implemented with the group for the first time.

Members (AKB48)

1st Generation

RIVER

Hikoukigumo (18 Members)

2nd Generation

Ponytail to Shushu

Boku no YELL (34 Members)

Members (SKE48)

1st Generation

Gomen ne, SUMMER

Pinocchio Gun (17 Members)

Undergirls & Theater Girls as Popularity level used by the Fandom

The Undergirls are usually given most of the spotlight after the Senbatsu in a single release, making the other Single-exclusive group (the Theater Girls) feel as the "least important" group of girls for the manager.

The Theater Girls were introduced in RIVER, a single that was promoted as "first single ever where all the 48 girls of the group take part". with Senbatsu still being "the most important" selection of girls, the Undergirls were used once again and a new group named the Theater Girls was introduced. Unlike the Undergirls, the Theater Girls didn't get a new original song and got to cover an AKB48 Stage Song instead. The original Theater Girls music video was filmed in the AKB48 Theater as a "performance music clip", instead of an "original PV" like the Undergirls and Senbatsu get.

Since the Type-A and Type-B releases were included in AKB48 Singles, the Theater Girls started to take part of only one of the editions, compared to the Undergirls that appear in both as the main b-side of the single. Not only are Theater girls songs only one one edition, but the Theater Girls do not necessarily appear in all the singles in the first place. For Senbatsu election singles, Theater girls are not present.

In the fandom, fans will often classify girls as "Senbatsu" "Undergirl" or "Theater Girl", referring more to popularity-level instead of how often they appear in Senbatsu, Undergirls, or Theater Girls. Often, when AKB48 management decides to "push" a new member, they will have the girl go directly to the Undergirls lineup in order to promote her more to the fans.

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