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Sakamichi Series (Japanese: 坂道シリーズ, "Sloping Roads Series") refers to a Japanese idol group franchise that began with Nogizaka46, an "official" rival group of AKB48. Based on AKB48's "idols you can meet" concept, it currently consists of four groups. The first group, Nogizaka46, was formed on August 22, 2011 and released their debut single Guruguru Curtain on February 22, 2012.
The second group, and Nogizaka46's first sister group, Keyakizaka46, was created on August 21, 2015. It was initially named Toriizaka46 before it was changed. They released their first single Silent Majority on April 6, 2016. A sub group known as Hiragana Keyakizaka46 was created shortly after. On July 16, 2020, it was announced that Keyakizaka46 would change the group's name and rebrand, with the new name being Sakurazaka46. The change came into effect on October 14.
On February 21, 2018, Yoshimotozaka46 was created as the third group in the franchise. It is a much different group than the other three in that it contains both male and female members of various ages, and most members are Japanese entertainers. Unlike the other groups, Yoshimotozaka46 is named after the company that manages many Japanese comedians and is based in Osaka. They released their first single, Nakasete Kure yo, on December 26, 2018.
On February 11, 2019, the sub-group of Sakurazaka46, Hiragana Keyakizaka46, became independent and changed its name to Hinatazaka46, thus becoming the fourth group in the franchise. They released their debut single, Kyun, on March 27, 2019.
In the summer of 2018, a joint Sakamichi Audition was held and 36 of those that auditioned were accepted. Of the 36, 21 were immediately accepted into one of Nogizaka46 (11), Keyakizaka46 (9), and Hinatazaka46 (1). The other 15 were grouped as Sakamichi Kenshusei (坂道研修生) in 2019. On February 16, 2020, 14 of the trainees were finally assigned to the three groups, with five going to Nogizaka46, six going to Sakurazaka46, and three going to Hinatazaka46. The remaining member dropped out at some point.
|Group name||Group color||Years active||Teams
|Nogizaka46 (乃木坂46)||Purple||2011–present||1st Gen, 2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, 4th Gen||Tokyo, Japan|
|Sakurazaka46 (櫻坂46)||White-Pink||2015–2020 (as Keyakizaka46)
2020- (as Sakurazaka46)
|1st Gen, 2nd Gen||Tokyo, Japan||First sister group|
Formerly Toriizaka46 and Keyakizaka46 (group color green).
|Yoshimotozaka46 (吉本坂46)||Orange||2018–present||1st Gen, 2nd Gen||Osaka, Japan||Second sister group, First in the Sakamichi series to be mixed with males and has no age limit to become recruits.|
|Hinatazaka46 (日向坂46)||Blue||2015–2019 (as Hiragana Keyakizaka46)
|1st Gen, 2nd Gen, 3rd Gen||Tokyo, Japan|
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