AKB48 wins AMD Grand Prize for its innovative concept

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Nine digital-related content projects and services released in Japan in 2010 were honored for their excellence by the Association of Media in Digital (AMD) at the 16th AMD Awards on May 31 for the Digital Contents of the Year 2010.

The nine competed for the top two awards; the all-girl idol group AKB48 won the AMD Grand Prize, while the AMD Chairman Award was given to Nintendo DS video games “Pokemon Black Version” and “White Version” produced by Game Freak Inc., AMD said.

The AMD is backed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

This year, AKB48 was honored for its innovative marketing concept.

Produced by Yasushi Akimoto, AKB48 was established in 2005 under the motto of “idols you can meet.” Fans have been engaged in the process of the group’s emergence from obscurity to fame through a mixture of live shows and information and telecom tools.

In the content-related field, other awards are given by government-affiliated organizations.

The Digital Content Association of Japan, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, hosts the Digital Content Grand Prix to honor projects that contribute to the nation’s digital content industry.

The Agency for Cultural Affairs organizes the Japan Media Arts Festival to recognize outstanding creative works for artistic excellence.

The AMD Awards, meanwhile, cover a wide range of recipients, ranging from content to digital devices and business services. The group showed its worth by giving the top prize to AKB48, today considered a social phenomenon.

The AMD Chairman Award went to videogames “Pokemon Black Version” and “White Version.” The games were recognized for their bold and innovative approach in introducing new monsters to the well-established series. The two games also proved their popularity by selling more than a combined 5 million copies.

The Life Achievement Award went to Paris Japan Expo co-founders Thomas Sirdey, Jean-Francois Dufour and Sandrine Dufour, as well as Sae Cibot, who serves as international relations director for the largest Japanese pop culture event outside Japan. The AMD recognized their contributions in promoting Japanese digital content in Europe.

The Naomi Enami Award for newcomers to the scene went to video director Yuichi Kodama.

The Aomori Movie Contents Promotion project, which features video clips shot by Aomori prefectural government officials to promote the northern Japan area, won the Regional Achievement Award.

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