29 June 2011
It has been officially confirmed, Nogizaka46 is a real project. Unlike SKE48 and NMB48, this group will be built as AKB48's official rival group. How far will they go with their rivalry we don't know, but since they are being promoted as such I'm guessing it's on the level of AKB48 vs Morning Musume few years back.
Official website: http://www.nogizaka46.com/
The origin of their name "nogizaka" has been revealed to be the fact that the final audition location will be SME's Nogizaka Building, and for the number 46, because that "Even if we have less members than AKB48, we wont lose". The group's name won't be abbreviated like AKihaBara48 or SaKaE48 or such, the name is read as "Nogizaka fourty six".
1st round of the auditions, application, starts today and will end on 20 July. Round 2 will be interviews and will take place in 7 cities (Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, Okinawa) on 6 and 7 August. The final round which is dance and vocal will be held on 20 and 21 August. Nogizaka46 will debut on September.
20 members are planned for the 1st generation of members. A CD Debut under Sony is also planned. Girls between the ages of 12 to 24 are allowed to audition. Overseas foreigners are accepted too. Nogizaka46 will have their own theater at the SME Nogizaka Building.
More information about the auditions will be revealed later on.