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Series / Produce48

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Produce 48 is a South Korean competition reality series and a collaboration between Produce 101 and the Japanese Girl Group AKB48. It is the show's 3rd season. The goal of this show is to create a 12-member Girl Group from a large roster of 96 participants, which includes Idol Singer trainees from various South Korean entertainment labels and members from AKB48, including sister groups HKT48, SKE48, NMB48, and NGT48. The members will promote under their agencies concurrently and adopt the 48 Family's concept of performing in their own theaters for 2.5 years.


The series was first announced at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards. It premiered on June 15, 2018 and was also simulcast in Japan. The finale was broadcasted live on August 31, 2018 and the group's name was revealed to be IZ*ONE (pronounced "eyes one").

The series is hosted by Lee Seung-gi. Mentors and panelists will include:

  • Dance: Bae Yoon-jeong, Choi Young-joon, and May J Lee
  • Vocals: Lee Hongki, Soyou
  • Rap: Cheetah (returnee from Produce 101 Seasons 1 and 2)


Tropes appearing in Produce 48:

  • The Ace: Sakura Miyawaki and Jurina Matsui were both introduced as the aces of HKT48 and SKE48, respectively. Clips of Jurina ranking high in the AKB48 General Election were used in her introduction.
    • Kaeun was also depicted as one early in the show, being one of the few who have already debuted before with After School.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Yunjin and Kaeun introduced themselves as the "giraffes" of Pledis Entertainment because they both have long, slender necks. Erina Oda and Miyu Takeuchi have taken to calling Yunjin "Giraffe" (Kirin-chan).
  • All or Nothing: Sakura Miyawaki has stated that if she doesn't get selected, then the upcoming AKB48 election (which is a yearly popularity contest) will be her last, though whether she is choosing to leave the group isn't made clear.
    • Takeuchi Miyu eventually announced her graduation from AKB48 shortly after the finals where she failed to make it to the final group, indicating that this show was indeed an all-or-nothing situation for her
  • Bait-and-Switch: While learning the reevaluation results, we're shown a confessional by Erii Chiba once we learn an F ranked trainee went up to C. In it, she says she hopes to make it to rank C, since she was reasonably confident in her dancing skills... Only for it to turn out that Moe Goto was the one to move to C, and just to rub salt in the wound, we see a clip of poor Erii floundering her reevaluation much to the chagrin of the trainers.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, it was revealed that one A class trainee has dropped to F class, a first in the series. The show spent plenty of the buildup focusing on Yoo Minyoung, who admittedly didn't perform very well, only to reveal that the trainee in question was Jo Yuri.
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  • Broken Pedestal: Happens a lot given the precarious nature of the rankings. Most notably, it happens when Jurina Matsui – by far the best and most popular of the Japanese trainees – is given only a B rather than the A ranking most of them were expecting, and again when the F class sees Jo Yuri walk in, still wearing her bright pink Class A sweater. One of them even comments that the A class girls are like role models and mentors for them, so seeing one of them get demoted to F was extremely heartbreaking and demoralizing.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Among the South Korean trainees, Alex Christine is half-Korean and half-Russian. Heo Yunjin is Korean-American (Korean born and raised in America).
    • Also among the Korean trainees, Kim Dahye has a Korean father and a Japanese mother.
  • Call-Back: Sohye from season 1 is getting quite a few from both audience and mentors. The audience draws a parallel between her and the Japanese contestants due to their shared lack of talent and upcoming underdog story line, and a dance mentor used her as an example to reassure distraught Japanese contestants that they can still succeed despite their F ranking... and later, to say one of said Japanese contestants was worse than her.
  • Cherry Blossom Girl: Sakura Miyawaki is often depicted in pink, especially with the show's thematic color being pink, despite her name written in different characters (咲良). Her position evaluation outfit was the only one that was in pink, and her concept evaluation not only has her in pink as well, but also with cherry blossoms in the backdrop.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Returning from previous seasons, every letter rank has its own coloured sweater, with the A rank even having some sparkle.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: "Love Whisper" Team 2 were seemingly getting wrecked by Team 1, until Nako came in and destroyed the rest of the competition with 330 votes. That's 3x more than the next highest, and 40% of the total votes.
  • The Cutie: Nako Yabuki deliberately chose "cute" girls for her team, since she wanted to have a team of cute people.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Japanese idol groups, especially the 48 Group, are typically full of girls with a Naïve Everygirl or Girl Next Door image, where they debut with unpolished skills so that their fan base can enjoy their underdog story of growing and gaining more experience as an entertainer. South Korean idol groups, on the other hand, go through years of grueling training and are expected to be perfect from the moment they debut. As seen in the preview for episode 1, the Japanese contestants are clearly shocked at the difference in level they have compared to the Korean contestants.
  • Fish out of Water: The language barrier between the Japanese and Korean trainees alone leads to moments of this, especially in instances where a single Korean girl shares a dorm with Japanese girls or vice versa.
  • Flower Motif: The stage and outfit design for "See You Again" has cherry blossoms in the background. Cherry blossoms usually signify beginnings or rebirth, and the song itself is about promising to reunite in the future. Near the end of the performance, pink confetti is scattered onto the stage.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Japanese idols comes to South Korea to undergo training in Korean to debut in a Girl Group.
  • Fun with Subtitles: Like many reality shows in Asia, sometimes there are commentaries and captions for what's occuring in the scene. However, the Japanese broadcast notably doesn't have these edits.
  • Gratuitous English: "Nekkoya (Pick Me)" is sung in Korean and Japanese, but there are a couple of lines in English, such as "'Cause you're my star!" and "I want you to pick me up!"
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Sakura Miyawaki mentioned several times that she admires "girl crush" concepts and wants to try them out from time to time. In the song evaluation, she wanted to perform "Peek-A-Boo", and for the position evaluation, she chose "Ddu-Du Ddu-Du". In her audition tape, she performed "Boombayah", ironically. Hilariously, she still has a long way to go to portray it perfectly...
  • Idol Singer: All of the participants are idol singers or are training to debut as one.
  • Not a Game: Natsumi Matsuoka suggested deciding the center for their team by Rock–Paper–Scissors (to be fair, this is actually practiced by AKB48 Group in one of their annual major events). Lee Sian did not take to this kindly.
  • Reunion Show: The teaser previews reunited I.O.I and Wanna One, the winners of Produce 101 Seasons 1 and 2.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship:
    • During personal picks, Kwon Eunbi placed her marker next to Lee Sian's, saying that they'll never be apart and that she hopes they will debut together soon.
    • When Nako Yabuki's group chose Kim Nayoung to be their leader for the song evaluation, the girls were singing when Nako was placing the the leader sticker on her uniform, followed up by Nayoung pretending to kiss her and them hugging each other. Afterwards, Nayoung and Nako whisper, "I love you!" to each other in both Japanese and Korean respectively, where Nayoung's choice in words depicts the kind of expression that only people who really love each other would use in Japanese. note  The whole thing plays off as a wedding, really. Nako has also stated she hoped Nayoung would debut with her so that their Portmanteau Couple Name would be the "NaNa couple."
    • Sakura Miyawaki is very close to Lee Chaeyeon, and she was seen drawing couple rings on each other's ring fingers. When Sakura earned second place in the final evaluation, she dedicated her victory speech to Chaeyeon and proclaimed out loud that she wanted to debut with her. She was noticeably crying so hard she collapsed when Chaeyeon had been announced as the final winner for their debut line-up.
  • Stern Teacher: Bae Yoon-jeong has a reputation for this, and the Japanese contestants single her out as the single scariest teacher of them all. She does, however, genuinely compliment trainees when they do well, and says several times she hopes to see the Japanese girls grow and improve as dancers, admitting that the only thing she doesn't like is how rarely anyone took the time to actually train them. As the show goes on, they move up in their own right, and she makes it clear that it's not their skills that she thought were bad, just their experience levels when compared to the well trained Korean trainees – a gap which is quickly narrowing as they all get formal classes and performances.
  • Surprisingly Good English: "I might let you have this one, fam."
  • Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: Kaeun and Dahye are both very proficient Japanese speakers, much to the relief of their Japanese teammates. Chaeyeon also shows to be pretty competent later in the show.
    • On the other side, Miho Miyazaki also seems to be pretty proficient in Korean, addressing the crowd in convincingly fluent Korean in at least one evaluation.
  • Team Mom: During personal picks, many of the contestants chose Lee Gaeun because they see her as a mother figure. She's often seen reminding the girls to eat.
  • Teen Genius: CNC Entertainment's trainees were lauded as this by the other trainees, showing a strong performance despite their young ages (they range from 16 to 14) and relatively short training period.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Played straight with Boombayah Team 2, which were made up of leftover trainees no one else picked and comprised almost entirely of Class F trainees. It is implied that Team 1 picked them specifically for this reason.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: As expected for a show with so many people, a lot of them were eliminated with little to no screentime.
  • When She Smiles: Aramaki Misaki was criticized by the trainers for not smiling during the grade evaluations, even though that is her default expression. When she smiled while performing "Love Whisper" the trainers immediately went crazy with joy.

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