Where were you when you first saw an AKB member in a bikini?
Were you browsing through the men’s manga magazines, only to find Mai Oshima or Nozomi Kawasaki staring back at you?
Were you trawling for the latest entertainment news and gossip, when suddenly you found yourself face-to-face with a very underdressed Atsuko Maeda?
Or were you, (like me), visiting your usual uploader sites when LO AND BEHOLD IT’S HARUNA KOJIMA IN A BIKINI DEAR LORD MY PRAYERS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED?
Ever since the beginning of mass media and pop culture, there has been an inextricable link between female celebrities and swimsuits. If there is a beautiful woman, there will be horny fans who wish to feast on her with their eyes, and the best way to present that feast without turning to straight-out pr0n is by means of the swimsuit. And so it goes with AKB48, whose booming popularity over the past year has made them a common fixture in cheesecake magazines all across Japan.
But so many of us are busy drooling over their gorgeously photoshopped abs and deliciously creamy thighs that we have overlooked a minor fashion revolution taking place. At some point, AKB48′s swimsuits stopped being swimsuits. They weren’t exactly what you would call lingerie, either, since lingerie was something that slutty gravure idols like Aki Hoshino and Mikie Hara did, but surely not our innocent singing and dancing schoolgirls! Instead, AKB48 has entered an entirely new realm of celebrating the sensuality of the female form. Too impractical to be swimwear or underwear, but still intensely revealing and alluring to the eye, AKB48′s wardrobe choices have entered the realm of … post-gravure.