Anyway, AKB48 holds a variety of annual televised events to popularize the group and give fans a sense of interaction. One of those events is a giant Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament held between all of the group's members in single-elimination matchups. The grand victor is awarded the lead spot on one of the group's CD singles released in the following year.
Now, being a well-oiled commercial machine, the AKB48 franchise is there to capitalize on every moment of public attention they can. The girls are regularly featured in product and brand advertisements, from kids' candy to men's suit retailers. And following the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament, merchandise quickly goes on sale at associated retailers to celebrate the champion and her upcoming musical release.
The machine is so well-oiled, in fact, that these celebratory goods go on sale mere hours after the tournament's conclusion. If the show is televised on a Tuesday night, you can bet the champion's face will be all over the shelves of the local 7-11 on Wednesday morning. That's some impressive efficiency.
...or, wait a second. Hours after the conclusion of the show? On sale at 7-11 at midnight Wednesday morning? Don't the logistics seem a bit too good to believe?
|"The control group was|
just a sham?!"
--in advance of the broadcast. While the tournament is still presumably being filmed.
Not to mention the weeks of product design and manufacture preceding those shipments.
Now, the real conspiracy theorists out there can take (and have taken) this further, with analysis of the frequency of rock, paper, and scissors used by each girl and their progress through the ladder. But let's stop where we are and just enjoy a fun story for what it's worth. Yes, pop culture is dressed up and far removed from reality. But when you read too much into it, you just end up looking like this guy.