The Kyocera Dome performances of AKB48 Group ended on the 8th, with the announcement of an audition event called “Draft Conference” at Grand Prince New Takanawa on November 10th.
According to the management, an open call for sign-ups will start in September. The pool of candidates will go through multiple evaluation rounds, and the final pool will be presented to all team captains of AKB48, SKE48, NMB48 and HKT48. When a captain picks a candidate and the candidate agrees to the negotiation, then the candidate becomes a kenkyuusei of that particular team.
As for the status after being picked, at first it was announced that the candidate will become a regular member, but after the concert was over, the management issued a notice saying that was an error and the candidate will only become a kenkyuusei.
The management wants to make this event comparable to Senbatsu Sousenkyo as well as the Janken Tournament.
Just like the professional baseball draft, the candidates cannot pick where they want to go geographically. Even the venue is the same as the one used for professional baseball draft. Management is now working on rules/guidelines for the draft.
Group-specific auditions will still be held regularly, just like how some baseball players were employed without going through the draft, or were employed as “test players”.
The captains are already meeting and discussing about what they are looking for in these candidates, such as “people that can really dance” or “people that are
really good at MC”.
AKB Draft will be for the public, not the member itself. It kinda works like normal audition for AKB. Like announced, the captains for each team will be able to pick their own 'new members' in their draft. These new members status will be different than the current Kenkyuusei, but they will join the Practices, Theatre performances, and such.
The Draft will go like this :
1. 12 August - 3 September -> Application Acceptance
7 - 13 September -> Candidates will be contacted
2. 14 - 16 September -> Candidates Interview
3. 21 - 23 September -> Dance and Vocal Audition
4. If the members pass the auditions, they will make their own introduction video, which will be uploaded into the Web (probably youtube)
The Draft itself will be on November 10th. This event will be open to public.
The Qualification for the applicants:
1. No Experience required
2. Girls between age 11 - 18, must not belong to any agency. Girls under 15 years old will need parents supervision.
3. Must follow all of the activities, such as daily performance on the Theatre.
Also, candidates will not be able to choose their own team. If 2 or more teams want the same candidates, it will be decided by lottery. Also, candidates will not be able to choose their own team. If 2 or more teams want the same candidates, it will be decided by lottery.
I personally think that the 48 family is now remodeling the whole fandom (maybe the whole idol world little by little) this time instead of management(which is common) the members will be the one who will select their desired trainee to train for their team. They were now seeking inborn talents and I hope they will pick talented girls instead of just cute but dull ones. Expect Matsui Rena to pick loli members