Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Finally Complete: AKB48 Trading Collection 2

 I've talked a bit about AKB48 on the blog in the past. But for those of you who don't know:

They are a Japanese idol girl group based in Akihabara. The main group has 48 girls, who are split into three teams, and then a couple "minor league" teams. There are spin-offs in other locations with similar formats.*

*Due to the pandemic, groups have been eliminating some of the sub-group teams. But that's not important anyway, now is it?

While they still exist today, they have fallen from peak popularity. AKB48 was biggest around the time I first arrived in Japan, about ten years ago. And with great popularity comes great card sets. Spin-off groups like SKE48 also got some card sets with similar designs and formats.

Two AKB48 sets were issued under the "Trading Collection" brand. The first one was a massive 264 cards, including short-printed foil, hologram, and foil hologram cards. The second set had 168 cards including short-printed shiny and clear cards. Both sets included multiple cards of each member for at least some of the sub-groups.

I got a large lot of cards from both sets, and I've been chasing after the missing cards since then. I managed to finish the first series first, three years ago.

Last year I made a big push to track down the remaining cards I needed for the second set, and I thought I had finished it after finding a couple cards online. But after sorting through everything, I realized I was one card short.

Not anymore.

This card must have just slipped through the cracks. It isn't special by any means; it's not a short print and Rie Kitahara wasn't one of the most popular members, though she consistently performed on the group's main singles.

There are only a few shops to find these cards these days. So I tried the only one I know of in Tokyo, but they didn't have it. Luckily, someone listed it on Yahoo! Japan Auctions earlier this month and I got it for a reasonable price.

I'm definitely glad to cross this set off of the list! It is one of the few Japanese idol group sets I've managed to complete. And I probably won't undertake a similar endeavor again. I still have a handful of idol sets I'd like to finish off, though they are looking nearly impossible to find now. I will say that not finishing those would be disappointing, but not heartbreaking, because they are all over 10 years old and never were that special to me.


  1. 48 members in one group? And I thought Wu-Tang Clan had a lot of people in it.

  2. Congrats. Would love to go to one of their shows someday. Lots energy it seems.

  3. Fuji: with the exception of some major shows, they generally perform in their subgroups. But even without that they still have big groups!

    SumoMenkoMan: yeah I think it'd be fun to see a show of some kind of idol group. I just saw a commercial earlier today for a new SKE48 single so they must still be doing okay, though the "48" groups generally seem to have fallen out of favor.