OMG! That Sashihara! GTFO! or The Pushed Girls in AKB part 2


Hello, I’m finally keeping up with the blog again. I have more series of posts in mind, and also bringing back some of the super old series of posts and actually finishing them or continuing them 🙂

So now, let’s dig into the topic at hand. A disclaimer is in order, all of the stuff I’m going to write about here is pure speculation, as I really have no idea about how AKB or its management actually works, so this is all guesswork and I have absolutely no proof that it works this way, but it’s fun trying to guess 🙂

So from what I gather, what bothers people the most about the girls who are getting pushed (that would be mainly Sashihara and Yokoyama) is that they feel that their own oshimens are getting denied of their opportunities to be promoted more and become popular in order to “give those chances away” to newcomers.

Let’s consider this for a moment. Think for a moment that you are AKB’s producer, you need to find a way to make the group appealing and profitable, and also, remember that current front girls won’t be around forever.

So, in this scenario, what is the best option? Choosing a girl who has been in the group for a long time but doesn’t have many fans, or go for a newer girl who might be able to earn more fans if she’s promoted? From a business standpoint it seems like it would be a safer bet to go for the second girl. People have brought up before, and with good reason, that if you don’t give girls a chance to become known they will never be able to compete with front girls; however, I feel like this is only partially true, considering that the girls do perform semi regularly in the theater and they can show what they are capable of there (granted, a show like “Mada Mada Kore Kara” isn’t the same as Sashihara’s TV show, but it’s not like it’s absolutely nothing either).

Another thing to keep in mind is that the goal for the business is to attract as many possible costumers as they can, thus they try their best to use girls who have a rising popularity, most of the time. It still doesn’t quite explain some of the pushes, though, but I do think that Akimoto has something on his mind, not like some people state that he grabs random girls out of nowhere and starts shoving them down our throats.

Here’s what I think he looks for in a girl:

1. Popularity: It’s pretty clear that he’s more willing to push girls who already have some rising popularity. Miyazaki Miho was a very popular kks when she was promoted to Team A and given a front spot in H2.

2. Hard work: Regardless of how shafted Amina is, I do think Akimoto values girls who are hard working, he’s always giving speeches about how that’s what AKB is about and stuff. Nakamata Shiori was promoted because she was always giving her best at her studies and in AKB, while Yokoyama Yui was praised because she helped Shinoda Mariko learn all the choreography to A6 since she was her stand in.

3. Charisma: This sounds stupid, but bear with me as I don’t know how else to describe it. What I mean by it is how likable a girl potentially is. Like Maeda Ami, who is completely adorable, polite and humble.

4. Talent: As much as I whine about AKB having their most talented members on the backseat 99% of the time, I don’t think it’s completely ignored. There are times in AKB where talent has been highlighted, like DIVA, units like MARIA and Junjou Shugi, just to name a few. And I feel like Takeuchi Miyu’s push is related to this, she is super talented, and as such, she has been made the center of KKS fittingly

5. Beauty: As shallow as it sounds, the world of idols is very much largely about looks. Girls like Kitahara Rie have been pushed because they are gorgeous, as that is indeed another way to attract new fans.

The last point I want to make is probably going to make me step on many people’s toes, but do you really think new girls getting pushed is taking away that chance from a girl who has never been pushed in all of her tenure in AKB? It would be a rare case if the management decided to stop overlooking a theater girl and suddenly push her again, as sad as that makes me, since some of my favorites are TG (Nakayan ;_;) We’ve even seen it happen with Amina, who happens to be really popular and still doesn’t get what she deserves.

Also, while it’s annoying to see random girls shoved in your face every other second, keep in mind that it’s only temporary. Akimoto is testing new girls to push all the time, because he knows that the current frontgirls might want to call it quits any time, he can’t just rely on the same line up all the time! But just like girls like Fujie Reina or Nito Moeno were in senbatsu once, they aren’t anymore, it’s not like he’s eternally going to push a girl if her popularity doesn’t catch up! So cheer up, maybe next time it’s gonna be someone you like 😛

Finally, I felt like it’s fitting to say some words as a Haachan oshi: I’ve come to peace with the fact that Haachan will probably never be in senbatsu, and I honestly don’t even care anymore, because I know that she will be in more things where she can shine and show her amazing talent. It’s kind of sad to know that I’m buying a bunch of CDs where she barely gets a line (ok, there was MINT, but come on, that was the Acchan show) but I still won’t stop loving her regardless of what the management thinks or wants to do with her position in the group.


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