So yesterday I posted this thread here: >>135654933
And received a warm response, though unfortunately, it was archived quickly before I could answer any relevant questions, and I apologize for that. I'm not very familiar with 4chan.
I would like to take the time to address questions posed to me here.
Q) Will you do live translations of the series, like Boku Girl or Ballroom e Youkosou? The series seems fans seems to be dead in /a/ considering this thread.
A) I am sorry, truth to be told, I'm not very into manga/anime, and thus will not be working on other series. AKB49 is an exception, as I am devoted to AKB48 and I find it a great read.
Q) Is Okabe blonde or pink?
A) Okabe is blond. The pink hair, I assume, was during the Hatsune Miku chapter where she dressed up as said character. To avoid copyrights, the color of her hair was changed to pink instead of dark green. It was mentioned in the chapter that one of the other Kenkyuusei had hairspray to dye her hair.
In addition, Minori's hair color is a 'light brown' rather than blond and Hiroko is her natural black.
Q) Is the manga worth it to read?
A) Of course! :)
Q) Is the dream of an anime dead for good?
A) Unfortunately, likely so, as the manga ending probably rules out any probablity of a studio taking it up for animation in the future. There are also problems with using real characters and/or including graduated characters in the story. If you'd like, and at risk of being exposed as a shameless advertiser, I definitely reccommend looking at the AKB49 musical, which covers the 10000 yen ticket arc. It's a sweet trip down memory lane and definitely very emotional. http://myaidol.net/akb49-renai-kinshi-jourei-the-musical-disc-2-owada-nana-ver/
Q) How likely is a harem ending for Minoru?
A) I'ld be surprised! With his devoted passion for Hiroko, I'ld be surprised he doesn't end up with her... though, he'd have to wait till she takes the stars and steps down first.
Q) How did the manga get conceived? Did the author make a pitch to the publisher, who then approached AKB's management with the idea? Do the portrayals of real people go through a lot of vetting?
A) I don't pretend to know the actual details of the process; Miyajima Reiji-Sensei goes anonymous mostly, and there isn't a picture of him/her online, and we don't know anything much except that he was an apprentice of the author of Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei. However, he has been to several AKB events incognito (his signatures can be found in many places, including the AKB48 Cafe and Theater, along with a marker-drawn portrait of Minori on the walls) and his most recent oshimen is Owada Nana.
It is notable that the AKB49 manga is officially approved by AKB48's company AKS, though, and that they have collaborated before to produce an AKB49 musical performed by real AKB48 members. (subbed video by me here: http://myaidol.net/akb49-renai-kinshi-jourei-the-musical-disc-2-owada-nana-ver/ ) I would assume he did indeed pitch to a publisher, who requested and obtained the go-ahead from AKB's management. Some of the members of AKB48 as well as its sister groups have also stated they have read the manga and posted photos of their collection of the series as well.
As for the portrayals of real people, I find they are mostly accurate (ironically, the observation that many of the characters look the same as each other matches in real life where a general observer would say they can't tell the many girls apart, whereas fans such as me would easily pinpoint each of them accurately from their traits). I don't think it goes through much vetting, though character design has probably been worked on multiple times. The personalities of some characters have slight differences (most notably, Matsui Rena and Maeda Atsuko) but otherwise they have stuck to the original.
Q) Age/timeline of characters and events in real life?
A) Currently as far as I've translated, it's only been 3 years since Minori's been in AKB48; however, in the raws, Minori has been a member of AKB48 for 4 and a half years. She/he joined AKB48 with Hiroko back in their first year of high school when they were fifteen going on to sixteen, and have since graduated, and have reached twenty years old, the age of adultship in Japan. Likewise, the events of AKB48 cover a total of 4 and a half years.
I am, of course, still taking any other questions that you would like to pose. Whether it be AKB48 or events in the manga, feel free to ask away!
I'm going to tell you this for your own good, lad.
But this is not the place to post your Q&A here.
I recommend going to other sites. But judging from your style of posting, you are writing to the wrong audience here.
Indeed she is; though Hiroko is undoubtedly the character with the most improvement throughout the series, Minori's performance has consistantly stayed higher than her. Hiroko does excel at quiz shows and talk shows after her 'training', though, and in the series she has become a regular at these.
Minori, however, has become something akin to a superstar (spoiler alert) especially after he went to America with our manga's version of Lady Gaga to train for a year (also picking up English, and landing the big leading role in a Hollywood film). She has indeed, become the biggest obstacle for Hiroko to overcome, a shining star to follow behind, as Minori intended.