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As seems to be becoming commonplace with these end-of-year roundups, the big music story was once again the rise (and rise) of AKB48 and their rapidly multiplying sister groups, SKE48 (named after their home at Nagoya’s Sunshine Sakae building), NMB48 (after Namba in Osaka) and “mature” proto-porn, postgraduation dumping ground SDN48 (from the group’s Saturday night live time slot).

Next year, we can maybe expect SAP48, named both for the city of Sapporo and in tribute to the poor saps who are bankrolling producer Yasushi Akimoto’s empire. And if anyone can think of a handy abbreviation for a Fukuoka-based group, please let us know. In fact, these groups are proliferating at such a rate that it’s estimated by 2014, Akimoto will be employing more teenage girls than McDonald’s, and by 2020 he will overtake the entire Southeast Asian sex industry.

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