Nogizaka46, AKB48's official rival group that is also produced by Akimoto Yasushi, has completed their auditions last month and today they made their first appearance to the public. There was a total of 38,934 applicants, a surprise for many since they weren't expecting people to be interested in it.
(conflicting reports for this. I'll give both sides of the story.)
1. Nogizaka46 will get their own Theater sometime in the future at Sony's Nogizaka SME Building.
2. Nogizaka46 will not be based in a Theater like AKB48 and will be going all over Japan to perform.
Official Website: http://www.nogizaka46.com/top.html
The group has already chosen their senbatsu members, frontgirls and even the center girl. The girl having the honor of being center of all Nogizaka46 is 14 year old Yoshimoto Ayaka from the Kumamoto prefecture. Her AKB48 rival is Itano Tomomi. The rest of the top 5 are Sakurai Reika (Rival: Eguchi Aimi), Akimoto Mantsu (Rival: Kojima Haruna), Ichiki Rena (Rival: Maeda Atsuko), and Hashimoto Nanami (Rival: Sashihara Rino).
That is not all. Nogizaka46 will have a unique way of deciding the senbatsu members. During all of their performances, everyone in the audience will get to vote for whichever member they want and the senbatsu will be decided according to the results. This will ensure different results and positions for each show and make it more entertaining.
The members of Nogizaka46 have an average age of 16 years old. Their variety show "AKB48 History" will start next month and a CD debut is in the works.
Members profile table, names romanised by Sada@Everyday48. Check out the original post for more information of the members. Do any of them interest you?