Yasushi Akimoto, a Japanese music producer with a successful track record of promoting girl groups AKB48 and Nogizaka46, is jumping into a J-pop metaverse project with local crypto company Overs Co. Ltd.

Akimoto will serve as the general producer of the project that will launch a new idol band on the virtual platform in 2023.

While details regarding the new J-pop band is yet to be revealed, Overs announced that the metaverse will be financed through an initial exchange offering (IEO), where a company sells new cryptocurrencies through an established exchange to raise funds. 

Overs will implement the IEO early next year and the metaverse idol group is planned to debut in winter of 2023.

In an earlier press release prior to Akimoto’s joining, Overs explained that the metaverse band will fulfill traditional activities as an idol group such as releasing music and holding concerts while utilizing blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to engage with fans.

Japan’s leading producer and lyricist Akimoto has sold over 100 million copies globally in his 40-year musical career, the biggest hits being a series of girl bands known for their perky concept and having 40+ members.

The country rich with intellectual property (IP) is no stranger to simulated musical acts. A holographic artist generated by a voice synthesizer named Hatsune Miku remains one of the most influential acts in Japan.

Meanwhile, neighboring South Korea’s music scene is already heavily invested in the metaverse. 

The self-proclaimed “metaverse K-pop girl group” Aespa, which has four human members with four CGI counterparts, had their latest release become the best-selling album by a female group in the history of Korean music. 

HYBE Co., Ltd., the entertainment agency for BTS, has launched a Los Angeles-based joint venture with Dunamu, which operates South Korea’s Upbit crypto exchange. The joint venture, named Levvels, plans to service NFT and metaverse services that utilize K-pop IPs.

Other various industries in Japan appear eager to merge their products with the metaverse and virtual technology. Gaming giant Nintendo’s president said earlier this year that the metaverse is “of interest,” while locally dominant mobile carrier NTT Docomo announced plans to offer services in the metaverse in the near future.