A very good looking Frankenstein, though. Meet Aimi Eguchi. She’s the newest member in the Japanese Idol Group AKB48… well, she’s actually kind of like the newest “members.” She’s not a clone, well, sort of. She’s a hybrid of the “best features” of six current AKB48 members. She’s made up of a mouth, a head shape, a nose, eyes, eyebrows, and hair, all from different people. Oh, and did I mention that until today people thought she was real?

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When she was added as the newest member, this story got some news. Some people care about this kind of thing, though Tofugu isn’t really interested in it, I’d say. The part we like was how it turned out she was fake. The technology behind it is also interesting. After being added to the group, Eguchi appeared in a Glico Commercial (seriously, you know you’ve hit it big once you’ve been in a Glico commercial).

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Then, people found out she wasn’t actually real… All the otaku who fell in love with her were crushed and heartbroken. Not even putting together that Gundam figurine could make them happy again :(

I don’t think the story here is so much that she’s fake (though that’s pretty  cool), I think the interesting part is the technology that went into making someone fake. Normally, when you put together a bunch of random things from a bunch of different people, it doesn’t turn out too good. I think Conan O’Brien’s “If They Mated” sketch proves this.

The “Making Of” video isn’t particularly illuminating, but it does have some info as to what they did to create Aimi Eguchi. Looks like they recorded the six idols, did some CG magic, then combined the individual face features into one fake AKB48 idol.

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I’d say some of her pictures / videos are pretty good, though every once in a while you come across one where you’re like “ooh, she looks funny,” though I wonder if I’d notice any of this if I didn’t know she was fake.

The really interesting part, I’d say, is figuring out what will happen with her a year or so from now. Will she still exist? Will there still be rabid fans of her? If Hatsune Miku (A computer generated singer) can be super popular and have a ton of fans, why not Aimi Eguchi?

Personally, though, if I were AKB48, I’d see how long I could keep this hoax going. Start a betting pool inside the company, or something. I’d bet they could keep it secret for about a month before anyone figured it out, though you’d need to come up with all kinds of excuses why she never appears anywhere in person…

Create Your Own Idol!

This is just a little extra, but has a “Create Your Own Idol” kind of website where you can take different pieces of different AKB48 idols to make your own Frankenstein.

See what you can come up with. It’s actually pretty hard to make something that’s too terrifying, though I have faith in all of you Tofugu readers to come up with something amazing. You can’t beat this one, though.

Go ahead, create your own idols! Show us in the comments what you’ve come up with.

P.S. Steve Buscemi is a baller of an actor. If you agree, you should Follow Tofugu On Twitter.

P.P.S. If you don’t agree with the previous statement, perhaps you’re more of a Facebook type of person?

  • murasaki

    Could someone explain to me this phenomenon of band names that sound like either a) serial numbers, or b) chemical additives you read in the ingredients list of , say, your favorite Glico product?  (Perhaps that’s why this band endorses them!)

  • Viet

    +1 for Steve Buscemi. An oldie, but a goodie:

  • Molly House


  • DD

    I made an even prettier frankenstein!!
    I think I could’ve been a really wonderful plastic surgeon. :D

  • Lukeru

    Let’s break it down, AKB48 -> AKB is the abbreviation for Akihabara (the place where they perform) There are 4 teams (Team A, K, B and 4), and they perform on the 8th floor of a building called Don Quijote. At least that’s what I think it means xD

  • Sc Demontigny Racher

    just because it’s Frankenstein!

  • Jonathan Cousins

    That Britney/Colin Farell pic messed me up! =)

  • Daniel Imms

    Haha, love it :P made me laugh so much the first time I saw it.

  • Daniel Imms

    Haha, love it :P made me laugh so much the first time I saw it.

  • maybe more

    A month? No way! Within the first hour of her commercial coming out there was already plenty of speculation that she wasn’t a real person. I don’t follow music news but even I was aware of this and the speculation that she was CG with side-by-side comparison photos within a day, courtesy of American celebrity gossip blogs!

  • Natalia dajczer
  • Natalia dajczer
  • Prize

    Am I the only one who doesn’t care that she isn’t real? :-P

  • Ayode

    The  AKB part is right but the 48 is because the creator of the group liked the number.

  • ざっちー

    Koichi, blast you!!!
    I was gonna right an article about this for you. Now I have to come up with a new one. >.<

  • Anonymous

    AKB48 definitely needs more steve buscemey eyes

  • LaurenS
  • Anonymous

    These Frankenidolsteins were actually engineered by Planet X as a fuel source for Mecha-Jesus, but can only be produced one place in the entire galaxy… EARTH.

  • Anonymous

    her eyes need to be a bit closer together, but a good start!

  • dayvun

    now we just need the features of every single idol in the world to create the ultimate Frankenstein!

  • Applebough

    Sorry for off-topic, but anyone else notice Starcraft II in the background? Go Starcraft!

  • cocococ

    lol I thought most people who followed AKB knew that the girl was fake?

    but my fave :D

  • Callisto

    Hmmm… still not as derpy as I wanted.

  • Elsa

    Team 4 was just made this month.

  • Elsa

    Here is my “special” AKB48 member.

    Ami Maeda’s eyes + Tomomi Itano’s mouth = magic. Horrible, horrible magic.

  • Jonadab

    Let’s see…   we’ll take Lyle Lovett’s  ears, Robert DeNiro’s nose, Don King’s hair, Steven Tyler’s chin, Mikhail Gorbachev’s bald head, Maralyn Manson’s eyes, Clint Howard’s teeth, Walter Cronkite’s cheeks, Alan Greenspan’s glasses, the eyebrow ridges from Christopher Walken, the overall face shape from Michael Jackson, neck from Elizabeth II, and wardrobe from  Ethan Phillips when he was playing Neelix on ST:Voyager.  Yeah!

  • Mac @ JLPT Boot Camp

    I think the fact that she isn’t real wouldn’t stop otaku from liking her or even trying to marry her.  I mean there was that marriage of an otaku to an anime character, so why not an AKB48 Frankenstein.  

    I think they need to start cloning them to fill all the commercials they’ve been in lately.  I see them on the train, the TV, convenience stores, I get it, they’re popular.

    As a side note, I thought the 48 in AKB48 came from the fact that there were 48 people in the group.  They are like their own little teen-pop army.  And Exile is their evil arch nemesis-es.  

  • Adnan

    Frankenstein was the creator, not the creation.

  • J.Paul

    That’s silly – everyone knows that the only thing that comes from Planet X is Illudium Phosdex, the shaving cream atom.

  • Anonymous

    EXACTLY my point J! That’s why they’ve had to cunningly disguise their plan and produce the Frankenidolsteins here on Earth! AKB48 is just the tip of the iceberg…

  • some douchebag

    But when you think about it… she may not be an actual existing human, but is she really any more of a “product” than the rest of that group?

  • Yu Harrason

    AKB48 started as 48 members, but it grew XD

  • Mac @ JLPT Boot Camp

    So, you are saying they are multiplying?  Soon, we will have an army of zombie teen-pop idols.  Better stock up on supplies now.  *shiver*

  • Missingno15

    I think that unlike Hatsune Miku who actually sings and does er, “lives”, Eguichi Aimi is nothing more than a CG used to promote this commercial. She could be an honorary member, but she never could be a real member. Why, well the answer is a bit obvious. Also, I don’t think fans  will like Aimi that much, since I feel like their mindset (and my mindset too) is that, “Why would I be a fan of a CG figure when there are around 200 REAL girls altogether from AKB, SKE, SDN, and NMB that I can be a fan of”.  Also it’s not like she can travel with the girls themselves and perform, or shake a fans hand. With that said, I still think shes cute but やっぱりね、my oshimen are set in stone. Also, fans became suspicious really quickly.

  • ゲスト

     Maybe one of the idols used had corpse reanimating powers that got transferred over? That’s how I interpreted it.

  • ゲスト

    She needs her own TV show, exported to the US under the name “Idol Voltron”.

    But what happens when one of the members making up part of Eguchi leaves? Does she just lose that part of her? What happens when it’s the member that gives her morality, but not the one that gives her the super idol powers? What then?

  • ざっちー

    Actually, they  started with, like, 28 members, or something “little” like that. 
    Really, the 48 is just because Akimoto (the creator of AKB) liked the number.

    …It’s sad I know that. But, that’s what happens when a monster floods the media world.

  • hadashi

    As someone blessed with the best features of Kevin Spacey and Benjamin McKenzie (see I don’t need to waste my time on this sort of thing, harrumph!

  • hadashi
  • Sozen
  • Twi

    Koichi, I noticed a Hitchhiker’s reference in your bio. I’ve wondered for a while if it was ever popular anywhere outside of England and Canada. It would be froody to find out…

  • koichi

    Fairly popular in America too… Not sure how popular outside of the
    England, Canada, America circle it goes, though…

  • hadashi

    Hitchhicker’s Guide, Monty Python, and there’sa third one that has slipped my mind. A trio of positive, zany, influences.

  • Cassie

    I’m actually quite stoked about the idea of another virtual idol, however, what I’m interested is about the audience-idol interaction. Unlike Vocaloid, there’s not really much for the fans to do. With Vocaloid, not only is everything pure fanmade, you create the songs, create a persona, and the only thing official is the name of the program. Of course, people only see Miku as an…anime….idol who sings, when reality is, she’s one of the more robotic voices there is who has nothing to do with anime other than the fans who associate it. 
    Maybe once I learn more about ak48, I might accept it more, but until there is something interesting, I think I might just sit and watch quietly. :/

  • Seema

    I thought it’s cuz there were 48 members -_-

  • sammy

    whats the point of creating another fake member when they’ve got 70 other members already

  • Sophia

    Ok. I had no idea how to use the website where you “make your own” star. I am probably not the only one who can’t read Japanese, so next time tell people what they should click on or something