Blogger’s Note: I am still both an AKB48 fan and an SNSD fan. This article is just to compare the strong points/weak points of each group. As with the “Top 9 Most Interesting SNSD Members” article, readers are allowed to agree or disagree with me and are even encourage to state their opinion in the comment section.
My brother has been pestering me to make an AKB48 vs SNSD article. The purpose is not to hate on one of the group or to see who is better overall but to compare and point out their strength and weaknesses. I have divided the comparison into five categories: Members, Performance/Choreography, Album/Singles/Mini-Album Release Frequency, TV/Other Media Appearances, and Promotional/Music Videos.
First off, a quick description of each group for those who has not heard of them.
AKB48 (エーケービー フォーティーエイト Ēkēbī Fōtīeito) is an all-female Japanese theater/idol group produced by Yasushi Akimoto. Unlike other idol groups in Japan, AKB48 is theater-based and have their own theater in Akihabara (a district in Tokyo) where they perform once every weekday, and more than once on both Saturday and Sunday. The theater is set up on the 8th floor of Don Quijote. Some of the title songs released as a single have been made a tie-in song for a television show or a television advertisement. The name derives from a shortened, Romanized representation of ‘Akihabara’. AKB48 currently holds the Guinness World Records for being the “Pop group with the greatest number of members”.
Girls’ Generation (Korean: 소녀시대, Hanja: 少女時代, So Nyeo Shi Dae ) is a nine-member South Korean girl group formed by SM Entertainment in 2007. The nine members are: Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona and Seohyun. They are often referred to as SoShi (소시), or SNSD (mainly outside Korea), the first of which is an abbreviation and the second an acronym of the group’s Korean name So Nyeo Shi Dae. In China and Taiwan, they are known as 少女時代 (Shàonǚ Shídài; or Siu Nui Si Doi in Hong Kong) and in Japan as 少女時代 (Shōjo Jidai).
Let’s start with the comparison:
As you can see above, one obvious difference between the 2 groups is their member count. SNSD has 9 members and AKB48 has 48+ members (not including research groups). Having only(!) 9 members, it is obviously easier to remember their names and faces. On AKB48, I am only able to name their Senbatsu (Top 16) and a few non-Senbatsu.
On the other hand, having 48+ members give fans a wider variety of girls to love. If you like a model-like idol, there’s Shinoda Mariko. Cyborg-like girl? There’s Watanabe Mayu. Or if you’re like my friend Dexter, who likes chubby girls, there’s the 2010 Janken Tournament winner, Mayumi Uchida.
And while SNSD also features a variety of beauties, they cannot compare to the variation showcased by AKB48.
One of the stronger points of SNSD is their synchronize dancing. Their choreography is far more complicated than that of AKB48 which exhibits a more field-demonstration type of performance. Watching SNSD perform, you can see precise movements and switching of formations.
The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.
Most AKB48′s dance usually involves a lot of hand movements (and finger pointing) and not much else. SNSD, on the other hand, incorporates almost all body parts in their choreography.
III. Album/Mini-Album/Single Releases
A difference between the two groups when releasing an Album/Single/Mini-album is that the music/promotional video of AKB48 is released a few weeks before the CD/DVD goes on sale, while SNSD releases their videos a few days or on the same day as the release of the single/album/mini-album.
IV. TV Appearances and Other Media Appearances
Before 2010, SNSD appeared regularly on a lot of shows and even had their own variety show (Horror Movie Factory). They had documentaries of their pre-debut and when they applied as interns on a fashion magazine. A few members (Sunny and Yuri) even starred in the farming reality show, Invincible Youth. Come 2010, they gradually left almost all of their TV shows with We Are Married being the only regular show left for an SNSD member (oh and whatever TV drama Yoona is starring right now).
AKB48 on the other hand still has their weekly variety show AKBINGO. There’s also Shukan AKB and a whole lot of other shows that they guest on. They also have a TV drama series which casts almost all of their members (Majisuka Gakuen).
V. Music/Promotional Videos
SNSD’s formula for a music video involves them dancing to their song in 2-3 different outfits on 1-2 locations. Add to that a few facial shots of them singing and very few other materials (exception to the Into The New World MV).
AKB48 videos has more scenery shots, more location changes, has some form of story, and helicopter shots!
And that ends my post comparing my two favorite idol group. These comparison has no supporting scientific/expert backing and is solely based on my opinion. Also, I have been an AKB48 fan for less than half a year so my evaluation of their skills and charm may change in the future.
For better discussion on this topic, click here for the forum thread for this topic