Some couple of weeks ago, AKB48’s latest Glico commercial saw a new member 江口愛美 (Eguchi Aimi) suddenly positioned right in the centre. If you’ve been a follower or have some knowledge of the mechanics of AKB48 and its franchises, you would know that taking the centre position is not a random occurence. With each single, the company holds some kind of election or game that decides the winner, and only the winner, gets to stand in the centre spot. This spot is important to its members because that’s the most conspicuous spot and it is where advertisers look to hunt for their next endorsers.
It thus came as a shock that 江口愛美, a 研究生 (the Japanese term for non-full-fledged members in the learning phase) reported to be 15 years old from Saitama prefecture could take the centre spot even with the likes of 前田敦子 and 大島優子 present in the commercial. There was so much hoohaa on her perfect and pristine appearance that the morning news had reports about her practically every morning for a week or so. Here’s the commercial:
Some couple of days ago, however, it was finally revealed that 江口愛美 doesn’t exist. So, where did that character come from? She is actually a combination of all 6 real AKB members in the commercial. 大島優子’s (Oshima Yuko) hair, 高橋みなみ’s (Takahashi Minami) facial outline, 前田敦子’s (Maeda Atsuko) eyes, 板野友美’s (Itano Tomomi) nose, 篠田麻里子’s (Shinoda Mariko) mouth and 渡辺麻友’s (Watanabe Mayu) eyebrows.
Here’s how it was done.
I noticed that embedded copies of this video are not playable, so please click on the Youtube button and watch it there.