To help the newer fans of AKB48 and all it's sister groups, I decided to create a glossary of all the terms and other important stuff used in the 48 universe. It may be helpful as you go along learning about the groups.
Feel free to share it around but please credit back. Creating this took countless days and nights of research.
The first group out of the 48 franchise. Formed in 2005, AKB stands for AKihaBara, as their theater is located in the Don Quixote in Akihabara district of Tokyo.
For a few months after AKB48 started out, they were known as Akihabara48. The entrance to the AKB48 Theater still bears the old name.
AKB48's first sister group, based in SaKaE, Nagoya. They were created in 2008 and their theater is located in the Sunshine Sakae building.
The second 48 sister group, and the first in the Kansai region, based in NaMBa, Osaka. They debuted in 2010 and only have Team N and M so far.
The third and newest addition to the 48 family, debuting only in 2011. HKT is short for HaKaTa, in the Fukuoka prefecture. At the moment, only Team H has been formed.
The first legitimate 48 group outside of Japan. JKT48 is based in JaKarTa, Indonesia. JKT48 performs once a month, performing Indonesian language versions of AKB48 stages.
An overseas OOO48 group in the works, but we haven't heard anything about it since October 2011. TPE is TaiPEi, in Taiwan.
Also another overseas OOO48 group in the works, based in ShaNgHai, China. They have just started their auditions.
A more adult version of AKB48, SDN48 stands for SaturDayNight48. All SDN48 members are above 20 years old, and do not have to follow the normal idol rules (no drinking, smoking, etc). SDN48 disbanded on March 2012
Stands for OJiiSan48, they are a group of 16 retired police officers. They released a single [Shinkokyuu] which didn't really sell much, and now work as security guards in AKB48 events.
AKB48's official "rival group", also produced by Akimoto Yasushi.
The company that operates AKB48, SKE48, SDN48, and HKT48. AKS is also the talent agency for AKB48 members until an external agency recruits them.
It is rumoured that the name 'AKS' is actually the initials of the 3 most important men IN THE WORLD: 'Akimoto Yasushi', 'Kubota Yasushi', 'Shiba Kotaro'.
Used to be SKE48's operating company until November 2011, when they merged with AKS and the staff moved over. Pythagoras Promotion is also the talent agency for all the SKE48 girls until the merger. 'Pythagoras Promotion' is shortened to 'PYP'
NMB48's operating company. Yoshimoto is the biggest comedy company in Japan.
The company that deals with AKB48's advertising. Dentsu is one of the biggest advertising agency in the world.
Akimoto Yasushi (秋元康):
Creator and Producer (and overall Boss) of the 48 groups. Nicknamed Aki-P (The 'P' stands for 'Producer').
Kubota Yasushi (窪田康志):
The boss of AKS. He is not related to Akimoto Yasushi btw.
Shiba Kotaro (芝幸太郎):
The boss of office48. The '48' in 'AKB48' also came from him (Shiba = 48).
Togasaki Tomonobu (戸賀崎智信):
AKB48 Theater Manager. Also known as TGSK. He writes the AKB48 Official Blog, and makes announcements at the end of concerts.
Nishiyama Kyoko (西山恭子):
More commonly known as Saruobasan (サルオバサン), she is in charge of Public Relations in the AKB Theater, and also the AKB48 members well-being.
Chino Shinobu (茅野しのぶ):
AKB48's stylist, in charge of their costumes.
Gunji Yoshitaka (郡司善孝):
Head of theater staff.
Ishitani Yasuhiko (石谷靖彦):
Head of AKB48 Ticket Center
Yuasa Hiroshi (湯浅洋):
SKE48 Theater Manager.
Kaneko Takeshi (金子剛):
NMB48 Theater Manager.
Sato Kazuya (佐藤和也):
HKT48 Theater Manager.
Equivalent of the word otaku, wota are the fans of Japanese idol groups.
Don Quixote (Akihabara):
Where the AKB48 Theater is located in Akihabara, Tokyo. Don Quixote is actually a chain of discount stores in Japan. The name is often shortened to Donki. AKB48's Theater is on the 8th floor.
A theater in Tokyo that AKB48 used for some time back in 2008-2009 for their Himawari-gumi stages, and also for the Infinity theater play.
There have been plans to use the G-Rosso stage once again, but so far as of 2012 nothing has been announced.
Where the SKE48 Theater is located in Sakae, Nagoya. The building has a giant ferris wheel on the exterior. The SKE48 Theater is undergoing renovations starting August.
Where the NMB48 Theater is located. The NMB48 Theater is actually underground.
Hawks Town Mall:
Where the HKT48 Theater is located. HKT stands for the HaKaTa district in the Fukuoka prefecture, but the HKT Theater is in the Chuo District. The theater is located on the 2nd floor.
Meaning 'selection', the Senbatsu members of a single are the members selected by Akimoto Yasushi to promote the single. They are the ones singing the title song. Senbatsu is usually 16 members.
The top 12 ranked members in the Senbatsu election, who get additional privileges such like performing on music shows, appearing on magazines, and other various media.
The members that did not make the cut for Senbatsu. They get their own B-Side and even a PV, but their song is rarely played in the media. This grouping is not limited to the Senbatsu Election.
An additional grouping named the Theater Girls in previous AKB48 and SKE48 singles, which were populated by the remaining AKB48/SKE48 members who did not make the cut for Undergirls. The grouping has since been discontinued.
A loose term used by the fans for the 16 or so girls usually chosen as Senbatsu. They are called frontigrls because they are always at the front.
The top 7 members of AKB48. Kind of like "The Untouchables" you could say. And those members are, in ranking order:
Maeda Atsuko, Oshima Yuko, Shinoda Mariko, Watanabe Mayu, Kojima Haruna, Takahashi Minami and Itano Tomomi.
Kami8 / (new) Kami7:
In the 3rd Senbatsu Election (2011), Itano Tomomi (ranked #8) got beaten by Kashiwagi Yuki (ranked #3). Some fans came up with the term Kami8, which was just the original Kami7 + Kashiwagi.
Others just removed Itano completely from the Kami7 naming.
Others still just called blasphemy and kept the Kami7 unchanged.
Just your preference which one you want to use.
Team PB, Team YJ / YJ7, YM7:
A collaborative unit, between AKB48 and gravure magazine PlayBoy (PB) / Young Jump (YJ) / Young Magazine (YM), made up of 7 girls each.
In 2010 it was a battle between team PB and Team YJ, and in 2011 it was Team YJ again, now called YJ7, vs YM7.
SKE48's version of AKB48's Kami7.
Just like Kami 7 and Selection 8.
Akagumi / Shirogumi:
Meaning 'Red Team' and 'White Team', it is used by SKE48 and NMB48 in place of Undergirls. The names probably originated from the Kouhaku Uta Gassen
The members of AKB48, and each of their sister groups, are split into 3 teams each consisting of 16 members. Another reason why 'AKB48' is '48' is because 3 teams of 16 adds up to 48. The letters assigned to the Teams are from the 3 letters that make up the group name (AKB48: Team A, Team K, Team B).
Team 4 / Team 8:
Because no AKB48 members were graduating for quite a long time, the number of Kenkyuuseis kept rising and rising after every audition. So on July 2011, a new team was formed, called 'Team 4', for the kenkyuuseis . As of July 2012, only AKB48 has Team 4, and no Team 8 has been formed yet.
Officially translated to Research Students, the Kenkyuuseis are a support team whose main role is to substitute for a member of the main group if she is unable to perform on that day. Additionally, when a member of the main group graduates, a Kenkyuusei is promoted to replace her. Kenkyuuseis have their own shows in the Theater too, performing revivals of previous AKB48 stages.
Substitutes for a member if she is unable to perform during a stage. Usually by Kenkyuuseis but sometimes a main member is a full AKB member.
Usage: Izuta Rina is Maeda Atsuko's under
Bara-gumi / Yuri-gumi:
Back in 2006, Akimoto Yasushi had the idea of shuffling around the members of Team A and Team K, and naming the new teams 'Bara-gumi' (Rose Class) and 'Yuri-gumi' (Lily Class). That plan was dropped because of heavy opposition from the fans.
Bara-gumi and Yuri-gumi were revived as 'Undergirls Bara-gumi' and 'Undergirls Yuri-gumi' for AKB48's [Kaze wa Fuiteiru] single in 2011.
Meaning 'Sunflower Class', A side team formed in 2008 comprising members from Team A and Team K. They performed 2 stages [Boku no Taiyou] and [Yume wo Shinaseru Wake ni Ikenai], but then stopped.
Stages / Stage shows:
A group on songs, usually 16, which teams perform in their theater. Each team has their own unique stage. Usually after about a year, a team is given a new stage to perform.
Units / Unit songs:
For a couple of songs during a stage, the team is split up further into 5 units. Units usually consist of 3 to 4 members.
Sometimes during concerts, the members performing a unit song are changed.
2009 AKB48 Team Shuffle:
At the end of the [AKB48 104 Senbatsu Member Sokkaku Matsuri] concert in Nippon Budokan, it was announced that all AKB48 teams will be shuffled.
Meaning 'shadow announcer', it is the member making the announcements to the audience before the stage or concert starts.
A break between songs during which the members talk about a given topic. This is done so that the other members backstage have enough time to change costumes for the next song.
Wasei-eigo for 'high five'. At the end of stage shows, you get to 'high-touch' with the members that performed.
The very first performance of a stage.
The very last performance of a stage.
When the management decided that they shouldn't have ended the stage so early. So they revive the previous stage.
Meaning 'Birthday Festival', Seitansai is a special stage performance where a member's birthday is celebrated. A seitansai can take place up to 1 month after the actual member's birthday.
Short for 'Live on Demand'. It's a service where you can purchase a video of a past performance in the AKB48 Theater. SKE48 also has a LOD service.
Where you can buy 48 LODs.
Handshake events. The tickets to these events usually come in Singles.
2shot events. A 2shot is a photo with 2 people inside. So a 2shot would be you + 1 akb member.
3shot would be you + 2 akb members, and so on.
Started in 2009, for 1 single each year the fans get a chance to vote for which members they want in a single. The Senbatsu Election is not limited to AKB48 members, so the sister groups get to take part in it too.
Only the top 40 members are shown during the election. The top 21 members get to be in Senbatsu, and the remaining are in the Undergirls.
Janken is the Japanese name for 'Rock, Paper and Scissors'. The Janken Tournament is another of Akimoto's ideas to decide the Senbatsu members of a single, purely based on luck.
From 'oshiteru member' which literally translates to 'the member you want to push', generally it means your most favorite member whom you will always be supporting. You should never have more than one Oshimen in the same group.
When you change your Oshimen from one member to another. Generally not accepted and heavily discouraged.
Literally 'God Oshi'. Kami-Oshi is your most important oshi out of all your oshimens (from different groups of course).
Short for 'Daredemo Daisuki', which means 'I love anyone'. Applies to anyone with multiple oshimens in the same group.
Short for 'Minna Daisuki', which means 'I love everybody'. Similar to DD, but with an oshimen.