Hello, everyone. I know that I’m terribly late, but I’ve had a super hectic week so this is the only free time I have to do this post. In light of the recent happenings in the 48 group (aka the Sasshi scandal) I was trying to wait for a definitive decision of the management about her before posting, but it looks like they won’t say anything else about the evidence that has been dug up. In any case, expect a Sasshi post as soon as I can write one.
So, for now, let’s change the topic and go back to senbatsu elections The senbatsu this year was cut down to only 16 members, which I think it’s a good thing since you can’t even see the members who weren’t media senbatsu in Heavy Rotation and Flying get short version, let alone performances or something like that! Having 16 girls will ensure that they get decent exposure.
16. AKB48 Team K – Umeda Ayaka 24552 votes (+6 positions+12972 votes) “Fans at the handshaking events said to me “Umechan, believe in your fans”
I think this came as a surprise to pretty much everyone and it was probably one of the highlights of the whole event! Umechan managed to get a senbatsu position for the first time, and that’s so fantastic ;_; Umechan is one of the most hardworking AKB members, but she rarely got a chance to prove herself until DiVA came along and gave her that oportunity. I think her rise to senbatsu is also VERY telling because she’s a second generation member who has rarely been pushed by the management, so that makes her one of the most unlikely candidates for something like this, and it’s what makes it so awesome. The fact that the fans can call the shots however temporarily is great when these stories come up to prove everyone that hard work and talent don’t always go unnoticed in the idol world.
15. AKB48 Team K – Yokoyama Yui 25541 votes (+4 positions +10086 votes) “I won’t need Mr. Tokumitsu’s hand this time”
My baby ;_____; I’m glad she went up in ranking, but I wanted her to keep her 12th position from the preliminary results so bad! Contrary to what all her haters say, I don’t think Yui’s push has been kept in time, it was a big push at first, but it’s kind of faded this year to shift the focus to Mayu, Sashihara and the “New Generation” of which Yui isn’t part judging from her part in the Manatsu no Sounds Good PV. I find all these things very scary, because Yui isn’t the kind of ambitious girl who can really push someone out of the spotlight and grab it for herself (come on, you guys know this is true, whether you like her or hate her) and I’m scared that her shyness and plainness will make her fall out of senbatsu forever, especially considering her position in Manatsu no Sounds good I hope it’s just a case of her fans getting a little confident because of her good preliminary results and that she keeps improving and honing her skills so more people will notice how awesome she is and start supporting her
14. AKB48 Team K – Minegishi Minami 26038 votes (+1 position -32 votes) “I always imagined getting a higher position and crying in happiness because of it”
Miichan was very calmed and composed during her speech, and she always impresses me with her eloquence and honesty. She went up one rank even though she actually lost votes when compared to last year, but it all worked out for her in the end, so I’m glad for that I don’t really have much to say about this rank though, she probably deserves to be a lot higher but oh well.
13. AKB48 Team B . Kitahara Rie 26531 votes (same position -1426 votes) “My mother is reading my blog comments too, so please keep writing them!”
Kitarie is growing more beautiful everyday wow. Anyway, I didn’t expect her to lose votes this year at all I thought she was having a great year what with Not yet and stuff, but it looks like it’s not enough. I’m a bit sad about the fact that she’s probably not going to rise anymore, since her popularity seems to have plateaued, but I really love Rie, she’s one of the best girls in AKB. I mean, personality wise. She’s very spontaneous and always knows what to say, but she’s also very kind and mature and I love watching her interact with other members because I just love nice people ;_; So yeah, please vote for Rie next year or something lol
12. AKB48 Team B – Kasai Tomomi 27005 votes (+4 positions +4148 votes) “This position isn’t just mine, but also the fan’s”
Oh my. I was ugly crying so much when Tomo~mi’s name was called at this point. I was literally sobbing haha. It’s been so long since the last time I cried because an idol event moved me too, but it was great. Tomo is always giving her all in everything she does and stupid fucking Hori Pro just won’t do anything to promote her ugh. So frustrating. Considering how she dropped out of media senbatsu last year and wasn’t even in senbatsu in the preliminaries I was literally heart broken and ready to flip many tables at this election (just like I did last year lol) but then this wonderful ranking and second chance happened for my princess so I’m very very very happy and proud of her for not giving up despite all the crap she’s been put through last year. Let’s hope HoriPro stops thinking they only have to manage Tomochin’s career and gives her some decent promotion this year
11. AKB48 Team K – Miyazawa Sae 40261 votes (same position +6761 votes) “As long as I am in AKB I want to convey my gratitude”
Sae looked so happy! And I loved how she talked about her family, it was super cute too! She got a lot more votes this year than last year even though she stayed in the same position. I’m just really glad because I had heard rumors of people saying that she was going to drop. Apparently, regardless of how DiVA is the worst selling AKB subunit, they still do really good for themselves because after all, they are pretty much the only unit that’s focused mostly on talent, and that’s what sets them apart. The difference of votes between her and Tomo is staggering lol but I’m happy for her Ori K power!
10. SKE48 Team S – Matsui Rena 42030 votes (same position +5101 votes) “If I wasn’t here, and without everyone’s help, I’d probably be a normal talentless school girl”
Rena looked so beautiful, I was literally mesmerized by her beauty <3 I have a soft spot for Rena because she’s a very sweet girl who is also shy and kind of socially inept, yet manages to shine so much on stage and be a wonderful idol! I thought she would be ranking higher this year instead of keeping her old rank, because of the fact that she’s apparently way more popular than everyone else in SKE (see how her solo has ranked at the top of SKE’s best 50 for 2 consecutive years) but I think that the fact that they expanded the election so much meant that many SKE fans who had different oshis decided to vote for them and give them a chance to rank instead of power voting massively the usual girls. In any case, I’m happy Rena stays in the top 10, I really love her and she’s one of my favorite idols <3
9. SKE48 Team S / AKB48 Team K – Matsui Jurina 45747 votes (+5 positions +17943 votes) “I don’t like crying in front of others, but please let me do it this time”
Ugly crying from me again here lol. When Jurina said that she didn’t like crying but she broke down I was like BAWWWWWWWWW. She completely deserves this position, she’s amazing and is probably the most devoted member to any idol group in the history of ever. Not to mention ridiculously talented and charismatic. She’s amazing ;_;
8. AKB48 Team K – Itano Tomomi 50483 votes (same position+80 votes) “i have received love, dreams and confidence from everybody”
Tomochin looked visibly disappointed and I felt like there was a very big contrast between her calm speech and her expression But I hope she truly believes what she said in her speech, that being able to do the things you love is a wonderful privilege and something she can still do because of the support of the fans. I hope she can keep at it because I really love her, and want her to stay in AKB.
7. AKB48 Team A – Kojima Haruna 54483 votes (-1 position +1563 votes) “Being voted to 7th place to me is the greatest thing”
Haruna’s speech was hilarious haha. Saying that the fans told her “You’ll be fine, so I’ll vote for another girl instead” and how anxious she got because of those comments! I don’t want her to ever drop out of Kami 7, she’s one of the most important members of AKB and she’s really grown on me A LOT in the past year
6. AKB48 Team A – Takahashi Minami 65480 votes (+1 position +12690 votes) “Hard work will always be rewarded”
Takamina’s speech was kind of heart breaking because she’s really been through a lot this year ;_; I also liked how she acknowledged that sometimes hard work goes unnoticed and you need luck in order to be rewarded, but she still thought that hard work was what made everything possible. That is a thinking that I’ve always gotten behind, and I hope her words stay on the minds of the young kks who will be their successors. The old generation members worked their butts off to turn AKB into what it is now, and when they hand it down, it better be to girls who know that they will have to do the same if they want to stay on the game. On a side note, I love how Takamina’s changing up her hairstyle! She looked lovely!
5. AKB48 Team A – Shinoda Mariko 67017 votes (-1 position +6478 votes) “I want you (the kouhai) to come to us with the intention of crushing us in mind”
Mariko’s speech was probably the highlight of the evening, as everyone seemed to talk about it afterwards. What she said was gutsy, since you don’t often hear things being said straight by idols, but everything is super sugar coated. Her speech was about how people tell her to graduate and leave her position to one of the younger girls, but she says that without hard work AKB wouldn’t be what it is, so she shouldn’t have to just step down and hand her position over, she wants the young members to come and take it from her when they are ready to do so, to have the confidence and the hard work necessary to actually earn that position instead of just being pushed there. Obviously it’s not just about hard work, but if the younger generation gets dormant thinking that they are entitled to their senpai’s fame that won’t be good for the group in the long run either.
4. HKT48 – Sashihara Rino (am I doing it right? lol) 67339 votes (+5 positions +22112 votes) “I will definitely try to complain less for my fans”
I don’t even know what I should write here anymore after everything that’s happened in the past weeks. But uhh… well, Sasshi is a living proof that marketing a girl properly works wonders! Her hetare character gave her an edge over the typical idols and her funny antics and good for nothing schtick earned her many fans. I think it’s no secret to anyone at this point that Sasshi was probably the most pushed girl in the history of AKB, and she knew how to use those opportunities to further her career and become the top ranking member of Team A. It’s really sad that the ghost of boyfriends past has come to haunt her at this time and pretty much reduce all of her efforts to nothing I’ll probably write a more detailed post about her whole scandal when we find out the complete aftermath of it (and if I have enough free time for it, which I can’t guarantee)
3. AKB48 Team B – Kashiwagi Yuki 71076 votes (same position -3176 votes) “I wanted to go up, but I’m glad that I could keep my position from last year”
I gasped when I heard this being announced. I had for sure imagined she would at least go up one position, but to be fair with her, the management didn’t exactly care much for her as number 3 as she didn’t keep that position in any other PV aside from Flying Get and she wasn’t included in the Selection 10 or 7 groups. Adding the fact that French Kiss didn’t have a release until the very recent Romance Privacy was announced and you have the recipe for slipping down the ranks. Thankfully, she’s done good enough for herself to keep her third position, and I’m glad. For all the stuff that’s said about how nothing changes in AKB, I think the fact that Yukirin manages to rank so high for a second year is very telling when you consider her origins and how she got there. Good job!
2. AKB48 Team B – Watanabe Mayu 72547 votes (+3 positions +13429 votes) “If there is an election next year, I want to be first place”
OMG I was so so so so so so happy when I heard her position! I absolutely adore Mayu, she’s a fantastic perfect idol, and her solo debut with her cute songs and showa style was everything to me ;_; so amazing! She’s also a poster child of huge management push this year, I think that after Acchan decided to graduate she was chosen to become center since she has a lot of experience but is still young enough to guarantee that she will be in the group for a few more years. I’m in love with this choice haha I love her <3 And I really hope she can be first next year (if Yuko graduates ofc) because I’m sure AKB will be great with her in the center. Can’t wait for the CG Revolution, even though it took longer to achieve than Mayu herself had originally planned! Also, it’s interesting to note that like in Mariko’s speech, Mayuyu has always worked hard and she’s very ambitious, which is part of the reason why she’s going places. Take note, kenkyuusei!
1. AKB48 Team K – Oshima Yuko 108837 votes (+1 position -14006 votes) “You are all like the rays of the sun, letting me bloom”
My girl did it again ;_; I am obviously over the moon about this, especially because for Yuko to have won in 2010 meant so many more opportunities than those she already had, and I hope that her having this position again this year will mean even more doors opening for her. She’s amazing and I’m super proud of her and how hard she’s worked. I was scared because a lot of people were saying that they hoped Yuki would win because they didn’t want to see her anymore and stuff like that, but thankfully her fans stood by her side and managed to help her get this position again. Acchan was there when she won, and while people accused her of stealing Yuko’s thunder, I thought it was a wonderful moment, especially for the Yuko antis who are Acchan fans, as they could hopefully see how close they are in real life and how they are great friends. I feel really happy that the top 3 this year doesn’t have any Team A in it, not because I dislike Team A, I think they are great, and 2 of my favorite girls in AKB (Nakayan and Haachan) are part of it, but because it proves to Akimoto that the other groups and the other girls are great too and all the teams should be on equal footing and given equal advantages. I hope this helps Team 4 as well, with that reasoning.
I’m totally looking forward to the next AKB single, I’m super happy for my oshi and proud to be her fan. I want to support her for as long as I can and as long as she wants to be in AKB, I’ll be there too.
Now, a few words about some girls whose absence in the ranking was relevant:
1. Matsubara Natsumi (Team A): Nattsumii made it to the preliminary ranking and she managed to rank in the first 2 elections, so I thought she would be at least in Future Girls. Seeing her being the only girl from Team A who didn’t make it and was sitting by herself was really heart breaking, especially because of how happy she seemed to be for all of her team mates who gradually kept being called. I wonder if it’s true that that Janken Real video where she was bitchy to the cameraman ruined her reputation? She seems like a great girl who was having a bad day, so I’d hate for this to be true
2. Mitsumune Kaoru (Kks): I honestly thought Kaoru would rank. She’s been super pushed and she’s very ambitious and forward with her aspirations in the group, so I figured that along with her modeling career would be enough to ensure a rank. I guess I was wrong, she blogged about how frustrated she was for not ranking, which seemed distasteful to some people, but I think it was pretty much in character for her haha.
3. Kato Rena (Team 4): The management seems to have chosen Paruru, Renacchi and Annin to push the most out of Team 4, but sadly, Renacchi doesn’t seem to have the fanbase to back up her push yet. I don’t know if she will become a failed push with time or if maybe she’s not quite there yet, like what happened to Aamin, but it’s a shame either way.
4. Shimada Haruka (Team 4): I could talk about many other Team 4 members who didn’t rank, but Haruu not making it was what personally affected me the most. After watching this year’s documentary I felt like fans would get even more behind her and help her out because of how she handled the whole Oba situation and her status as unofficial captain of the Team anyway, but somehow it didn’t happen. She was super excited for all her fellow team mates too, which made everything even harder to watch
5. Jou Eriko (Team M): Another management darling who didn’t make it this time was Jou, even though she’s pretty much treated as number 3 in NMB. Weird, but I don’t know that much about Team M anyway, so I won’t be saying anything else about it lol.