Japan's pop-culture world is abuzz today over the tearful public apology from a member of a pure-as-the-driven-snow girl band who, gasp, spent the night with a boyfriend. The mea culpa on YouTube by 20-year-old Minami Minegishi, who shaved her head in repentance, has been viewed more than 3 million times, reports the Guardian. Minegishi belongs to the band AKB48, whose members aren't supposed to even date. "I am so sorry," she says. "I don't believe just doing this means I can be forgiven for what I did, but the first thing I thought was that I don't want to quit AKB48."
AFP, via Raw Story, cuts to the chase on why it's a big deal: "AKB48, a 90-strong pool of girls in their teens and early 20s, is a money-printing juggernaut that makes much of the accessibility—and the implied availability—of its idols." Band members rotate in and out of public view, based on their popularity. Now Minegishi is in danger of getting kicked out because a tabloid snapped a photo of her leaving the apartment of her beau—a 19-year-old member of a boy band.