In 2009, the single "Namida Surprise!" ("Tears surprise!") became the official song for the 135th anniversary of The Yomiuri Shimbun. The song was used in commercials for the newspaper, which ran a series of articles in collaboration with AKB48.
The premise of AKB48 can be recited almost by rote ... And Kojima chooses the birthday song "Namida Surprise" because she "gets to move around a lot." Then there are the influences, of course. Another audience member at the Q&A asks what the girls like.
The end of the year brings about resolutions and lists. There are always lots and lots of lists. There's something so human about trying to measure importance while filing, indexing, and numbering things. There's an absurdity to it, but that's half the fun.