Otaku USA Magazine
Idol Group AKB48 to Hold Remote “Air Handshake” Events

AKB48 to Hold Remote Handshake EventsMusicians and other artists are getting inventive in the face of COVID-19, holding free streaming concerts and the like. But this might be the most, uh, creative idea we’ve heard of yet.

AKB48, the chart-dominating, many-member-having pop group from Akihabara, Tokyo, is famous for its handshake events, where fans who have saved up special tickets (read: bought a ton of AKB48 CDs) can shake the hand of their favorite group member.

These events became controversial in 2014 when two members were attacked by a blade-wielding man, but they’ve proceeded (with enhanced security) since then.

No security required for this new plan, though: AKB48 and its sister groups will hold remote handshake events starting May 4. Videos of the members, ostensibly giving fans a message then “air handshaking,” will be uploaded one by one on the groups’ official Twitter feeds. Here’s the schedule and feed for each of the groups (Japan time, natch):

AKB48: May 4-5
SKE48: May 7-8
NMB48: May 5-6
HKT48: May 9-10
NGT48: May 10
STU48: May 4-5

Another AKB48 sister group, Nogizaka46, actually offered air handshakes way back in 2016 in the wake of several idol-related attacks.

What a world, man.

Source: Otakomu

Matt Schley

Matt Schley (rhymes with "guy") lives in Tokyo, and has been OUSA's "man in Japan" since 2012. He's also written about anime and Japanese film for the Japan Times, Screen Daily and more.