Idol group AKB48 will have their first television anime next spring, it has been revealed. The story will revolve around 9 young girls aiming to become “legendary idols,” modeled after the Top 8 selection in AKB48′s general elections. The voice actresses for the 9 protagonists will be chosen through audition from the approximately 200 girls in AKB48 and their related groups.
Kawamori Shoji of “Macross” fame wrote the original draft and is serving as general director. AKB48 producer Akimoto Yasushi is in charge of planning and supervising. Okada Mari (“Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai,” “Gosick,” “Fractale”) is handling the series composition and the script.
Other staff members include character designer Ebata Risa (“Macross Frontier”), director Hiraike Yoshimasa (“WORKING!!,” “Amagami SS”), and executive producer Otsuki Toshimichi (the “Evangelion” movies). Animation will be done by the studio Satelight.
The first round of audition for the voice actresses will narrow down the field of 200 to 30 candidates, to be announced through a special website in mid-November. The final selection will be done through a publicly held audition in Tokyo.
The 9 winning members will not only voice the characters in the anime series, but they will also sing the show’s theme song.
The series is planned to start airing next spring, though the show’s title and the broadcasting station have not yet been announced. A comic version based on the original draft is also being considered, to be published by Kodansha.