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.
Hello! Sorry I haven’t updated daily, but my bf is visiting me so I’ve been a bit busy But now we’ll take a look at the under girls for this election, who are the girls who barely made it into senbatsu and the second best category overall.
#32. SKE48 Team KII – Ogiso Shiori 9596 votes (new) “It’s the first time I stand on this stage, and I want to really treasure this place you all gave me”
And the first one is Gomatan from KII, which works great for me because I think she’s lovely and a great performer (but very few girls aren’t good performers in SKE anyway). I’m also happy to see KII having a bunch of members who ranked because they are my favorite SKE Team <3 Go girls!
#31. SKE48 Team S – Kizaki Yuria 10554 votes (new) “I’m happy that a lot of SKE members are part of Under Girls!”
Yuria has had quite a rise in the past year, no? If my memory serves me correctly, she was featured in one of the B-sides of Give Me Five (most likely NEW SHIP but I’m too sleepy to check right now). I don’t really think much about her, sure, she’s cute, but she’s not my kind of favorite idol. Regardless, good for her, and I hope she can continue to use her push to become more popular and get closer to her dreams, whatever those are.
#30. SKE48 Team KII – Furukawa Airi 11179 votes (new)“Together with chibi Airin I could rank thanks to your support!”
Airin ;A; she’s another one of my KII favorites, and I’d been honestly bummed because she hadn’t ranked before considering how she’s a front girl in SKE and also how her personality is so fantastic and amusing, and she has a great voice! I’m super happy that this might mean she’s going to get a little more exposure for the casual and AKB fans to notice her great talents and start supporting her more because really, she’s one of a kind, and that’s hard to say in a group like AKB and co.
#29. SKE48 Team S – Suda Akari 11323 votes (+7 positions +5980 votes) “I really love all of your smiles in performances, handshake events, blogs”
Akari is as bright and uber smily as usual, and because I’m a souless bitch devoid of all emotion, I genuinely wonder if her face ever hurts from all that smiling! It’s kind of insane, but also adorable ofc. She broke down in the middle of her speech, I think she was really moved that she could rank for a second time and especially considering how many drops there were this year, rising so many positons and especially more than doubling your votes must be a fantastic sense of accomplishment, so good for her and her fans. She was also a darling smiling and nodding when the other SKE members were giving their speeches. So sweet.
#28. SKE48 Team S – Yagami Kumi 11712 votes (new -ranked in 2010-) “I was told by many fans at handshake events: “This year please stand on stage with a smile on your face” so here I am standing on this stage and smiling, thank you very much!”
These last 2 years or so have been a rollercoaster ride for Kuumin, who started out as the third most popular member in SKE but her momentum was slowed because of a purikura scandal that had the management push her to the back for a while. However, and proving that she can come back from her ashes like a phoenix (har har har) she had a great role in Majisuka Gakuen 2 where she reprised her inept but endearing Dance character and she also won the voice acting auditions and is doing a fantastic job giving life to Sonata, the obnoxious brat of AKB0048. I’m relieved to hear a success story in the 48 groups, even if I don’t care that much for Kumi personally, she’s a great girl and she’s worked hard to earn back her position, so good job!
#27. SKE48 Team S – Oya Masana 12142 votes (+3 positions +5482 votes) “Today is the year when I’ve been able to rank the highest, and it’s also the year when I’ve been able to stand with the biggest number of fans”
Not a surprise at all since Masana has been ranking for like 3 years already IIRC. Good for her or something, but since I’m pretty meh about her in general, I’ll take this opportunity to tell you guys about the strategy SKE48 fans used to make sure so many of their girls got ranked! The thing is that SKE released a summer themed single called “Aishiteraburu” and surprisingly, it didn’t keep the trend but sold less than its predecessor, not by a humongous margin or anything, but big enough to be kind of weird. So what I’ve heard is that SKE fans refrained from buying a lot of copies of Aishiteraburuu in order to buy more ManaGuu CDs and be able to power vote their favorite SKE members! That’s some dedication right there! Pretty impressive!
#26. AKB48 Team B – Masuda Yuka 13166 votes (-6 positions -971 votes) “because last year I was given the fantastic position of 21, I could finally be a senbatsu and a new bright world opened in front of me, and thanks to that I could experience many different things. By being 26 I want to experience new things too and make them wonderful”
Yuka was visibly affected by her drop, and she looked quite sad poor girl. I have no idea why she lost so many votes either, considering how it was a relatively good year for her with her significant position in DiVA accounting for a big chunk of her PR. Her speech was very honest and I liked it a lot, but I wish she could rank higher because she is one of the most talented girls in AKB, and I wish people noticed that more about her. Umechan and Sae’s expressions during her speech were so painful.
#25. SKE48 Team KII – Hata Sawako 13920 votes (+8 positions +7803 votes) “That you chose me from so many different girls it’s really something I’m very happy about, thank ou very much”
Aaaaand the SKE domination continues! I’m not particularly fond of Sawako, or at least, I wasn’t because she made me anxious just seeing her so nervous in her MCs and stuff, but I think she’s grown quite a lot and is now much better at delivering her thoughts without sounding or having the preverbal language of someone who is about to have a meltdown. I really like her in AKB0048 although she’s basically playing herself lol and she’s been a fan favorite since forever, so it’s no surprise, really.
#24. SKE48 Team KII – Takayanagi Akane 14111 votes (-1 position +2437 votes) “I came here thinking I would like to be in senbatsu, but that dream didn’t come true”
I really liked Churi’s speech, and her classy behaviour. She looked happy even though I think she must’ve been very frustrated with her ranking, especially because she dropped. On the other hand, she gained a bunch of new votes, which is a good thing, all things considered. Churi’s speech about her dreams, and especially about how her dream of having a new stage for KII had came true after she voiced it on the stage was very cute. I love everything about her, and I hope she can rise by next year, I’m sure the fact that so many new positions opened hurt her because people wanted to vote for their KII oshi instead of powervoting the captain, but I’m still glad she ranks high enough because she’s always a joy to watch.
#23. AKB48 Team 4 – Shimazaki Haruka 14633 votes (new -ranked in 2010-) “Team 4 and Shimazaki Haruka will continue to move forward from now on”
Paruru is such a mystery to me sometimes. She’s cute but has a kind of aloof aura that is a bit hard to figure out. Her speech was very simple and straightforward, but it sounded a bit formulaic, somehow? She’s gotten quite a bit of backlash for her seemingly despondent attitude, but I think that’s just who she is in a way, she’s not a very openly driven girl from what I’ve seen of her. I’ve also read that there are comparisons between her meagre sppech and Minarun’s, but their situations are completely different. Minarun had a scandal and was suspended on top of not even having the “qualitites” needed to be a captain and being appointed that. Obviously she had a significant drop, but I think she was just trying to wrap it up in a humble manner because everyone allowed her to come back. Paruru on the other hand, didn’t even rank last year but got a HUGE push this year that ended up giving her a great position in UG, but she doesn’t seem to care for it much or at least show it anyway.
#22. AKB48 Team A – Kuramochi Asuka 14852 votes (-1 position +2465 votes) “With everyone’s support I want to little by little, step by step, continue in my own way to the top”
Mocchi was also really bad at faking her disappointment, poor girl. When Churi was giving her speech, Yuka and Mocchi by her sides were on the verge of tears, it was really depressing. What I think it’s remarkable about her is her election speech for this year; I won’t lie and say that I watched all of those because lol but you know, I did watch hers and it really stood out to me how she said that fans were constantly asking her if it was better to be in the back of senbatsu or in the front og UG. Now, I’ve heard many fans saying that it’s much better to have visibility in UG, but Asuka’s answer is very telling of how their AKB gig works for them: She said that it was better to be in senbatsu regardless because that way you get to go on TV and promote with the others regardless of your screentime. It was a tough year for her since French Kiss was so inactive and she doesn’t really have much more going on for her. Let’s hope she can make a comeback next year because it makes me sad to see her looking so gloomy.
#21. AKB48 Team A – Sato Amina 17009 votes (-3 positions +435 votes) “I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t cry tonight, but, everyone, listen to me! These aren’t tears of frustration, they are tears of happiness!”
Amina is such a trooper ;A; the fact that the management cut back on the senbatsu was definitely a bit of a slap in the face for both Amina and Sayaka, who are the girls who constantly got voted into senbatsu by the fans even though the management isn’t so fond of them. Amina’s speech was too long and too amazing and articulate to translate it fully and choosing a part of it was tough! I loved when she talked about how she’s aware that AKB has changed and now has a bunch of sister groups and a lot more members than it used to have way back when. Also, her comment about wanting to make a song that, like Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara, surpassed the A-side in AX is pure awesomeness. This girl is fantastic.
#20. AKB48 Team K – Akimoto Sayaka 19121 votes (-3 positions +1967 votes) “This 20th rank I want to accept it humbly and I’ve really felt your love in these past 4 years”
Sayaka out of senbatsu ;_; she is obviously the classiest most amazing person in AKB ever, but the fact that she dropped was also something that I think all of us saw coming. Sayaka never really completely bounced back from her scandal, especially considering that it had a really bad timing, when King Records AKB was pushing her out like crazy because they wanted cutesy pretty idols instead of badass chicks. Sayaka is truly humble and thankful through her whole speech, and the disappointed looks in Umechan and Sae’s faces are pretty heart breaking ;_; I hope UG at least get a great song and make it so that she can be seen in the PV because I have a feeling she might be leaving the group soon and I’d love for her to have a nice send off.
#19. NMB48 Team N – Watanabe Miyuki 19159 votes (new) “I’ll keep working hard so that I can become the best idol of the world!”
SAYAKA WAS SOOOOO CLOSE! Ehem. Well, good for Milky, it’s a great thing to be a favorite of the manager when they are willing to overlook a breach of contract or the rules or whatever because they see enough star power and potential in a girl to take a chance with her. Milky had a great showing, and it has to do with how she’s been bumped back to her spot as NMB frontgirl and was given her own solo song as a B-side. Also, it looks like she’s going to be the center in the new NMB single, which makes me feel kinda bad for Sayanee but oh well.
#18. NMB48 Team N – Yamamoto Sayaka 23020 votes (+10 positions +14323 votes) “I won’t say I’m sorry, I’ll say thank you very much!”
Sayanee reminds me a lot of my best friend because of her honesty. I really adore this quality of her, she’s a very transparent person and I think that makes her one of the greatest captains in the 48 groups. Her speech was equal parts heartbreaking and touching, considering how ambivalent it was she managed to voice her frustration while she remained graceful and thankful through and through. One of the things that stood out the most from her speech was how she said that she felt a lot of pressure to rank in senbatsu because she was in senbatsu for the singles last year with AKB and she felt that she was sorry that she was a nuisance to her seniors but she’ll try really hard to learn from them and become better and better. I think she had one of the biggest increases in votes when compared to last year, and I’m sure she’ll do fantastically this year as well (she was SO close to being UG center too!)
#17. AKB48 Team A – Takajo Aki 23803 votes (-5 positions -7926 votes) “Even if I’m not in senbatsu, the feelings I want to convey to you and my performance won’t change”
Wow. This is one of the most significant drops in the whole election because the she fell from media senbatsu straight to under girls, and lost a lot of votes in the process. To be honest, I didn’t really see it coming, although I wondered if she would still rank high considering how she’s had no chance to showcase her abilities much this year what with French Kiss being almost completely inactive for a large part of this last year. Still, Akicha is a great girl and I hope she really listens to her own speech and takes this as an opportunity to seize further chances and move up again next year.
So there you have them, the under girls! Sorry about the delay, I had a lot of trouble getting free time to write this up, but I hope I can get senbatsu up here too by friday. Thank you!
Ok, so let’s keep going through the ranks of this year’s general elections! This time are the stupidly named New Next Girls (seriously? That’s all you could come up with? wtf)
#48. AKB48 Team A – Katayama Haruka 6602 votes (new -ranked in 2010-) “From now on I’ll work hard to become a charming woman so that more people can come to love me”
My baby! ;_; my heart broke in a million pieces last year when she didn’t rank, it was awful! But she handled it with a lot of grace and class even joking about it when she had to go as a stand in in a performance of EbiKachu in Coming Soon. This year she was given more visibility with the concert that was named after her in Saitama Super Arena, and also because she designed the goodies for the concert and the amazing set list as well. She’s also the leader of the art club in G+ but I admittedly know nothing of that because I don’t care about G+ lol. In any case, I’m glad she managed to rank in Next Girls as opposed to the bottom category, but I hope she can have more than 3 seconds of face time in the PV (Hey, a girl can dream, right?). Congratulations to my lovely Haachan!
#47. HKT48 Team H – Miyawaki Sakura 6635 votes (new) “Being in the theater, handshakes and media appearances with HKT is really fun”
This poor child! She looks 8 and she genuinely looked like she was going to have major meltdown Yokoyama style, but she managed to stutter her way through it anyway. This was really out of left field for me (I don’t follow HKT at all though, so I should just shut up) because Eto Sayaka was the HKT member who appeared in the preliminaries and Yukosu is supposedly the most popular so wtf? Some people said that fans decided against powervoting Eto because she’s just a trainee but no idea really. This one’s a cute kid though, so that’s fine too
#46. NMB48 Team N – Yamada Nana 6683 votes (new) “I wanted to rank over 40, but that goal couldn’t be accomplished. However, seeing many fans giving me their energy during handshakes and their support I’m really really, everyday thankful to everyone”
Queen Nana so low This is really depressing for me since she’s my NMB oshi, and she’s super uber amazing. However, the management has been pushing her out of the spotlight more and more every time, first with Jou Eriko tagging along as the number 3 of the NMB hierarchy and now with Fukumoto Aina being placed ahead of her as well in dance formations and stuff. So yeah, basically this frustrates me because they are going to see this as a sign that people want less Nana (or they won’t, but you know, when they don’t want to push a girl and she ranks spectacularly they dismiss it -see Amina- but when they want to shove a girl to the back and she drops ranks they gleefully send her to the last row). D: the horror
#45. AKB48 Team 4 – Tano Yuka 6694 votes (new) “My goal was to be in the 60s but not being called for Future Girls I gave up, being given a rank in the 40s is really great, thank you very much”
I have no idea of who she is, but keep in mind that it’s been over a year since I last watched an AKB LOD. Whatever, homegirl needs to learn how to smile, I understand that it’s overwheleming, but you’ve gotta save face and be polite. So many girls have been fried for their “attitude problems” that it’s best not to let anyone think bad of oneself as much as one possibly can. In my country we have a saying”No dar papaya” which basically translates to just that, don’t give people the chance to catch you off guard.
#44. AKB48 Team A – Nakagawa Haruka 6890 votes (-20 positions -3964 votes) “I have to keep changing so I have something to say to my fans. I’m going to graduate from my nickname Harugon”
Huge drop too Harugon was right in her speech though, the girl who I saw coming up on stage and receiving her award thingy isn’t the same girl who did that last year at all. She has really had to grow up kind of forcefully this year after Nacchan’s sudden departure, and she’s taken her role as the leader of Warota very seriously. I loved her as the crazy brat Harugon, but she’s outgrown that character, and she’s right in that way. Coming up with the idea of rebranding yourself in an industry that is only about image is a risky move, but it’s also one that could give her a fresh start, so good for her. Also, how cute were all her interactions with Lovetan? It looks like they’ve gotten a lot closer after they were both transfered to A (Lovetan used to be Mayu’s best friend, but I don’t see them together as much anymore)
#43. NMB48 Team N – Fukumoto Aina 6912 votes (new) “Standing in front of you in this stage in Budoukan is really amazing”
I’m obviously pressed that Nana ranked below her, but Ainyan is a great girl, she seemed to be truly overwhelmed! For any girl being able to go up is a fantastic occurence even if it always happens at the expense of someone else, so kudos to her and her fans. Her Hadohou was a great touch too, she even made Tano Yuka smile! Did you see Queen Nana being a magical and ethereal being exuding class and smiling for Aina? My Queen is fantastic and you will deal.
#42. AKB48 Team A – Maeda Ami 7168 votes (-5 positions +1948 votes) “Without giving up, believing in myself and in all of you is the feeling I had for this year’s elections. I’m glad I believed in all of you”
I don’t know I had a beef with Aamin in the past. I mean, I wasn’t a hater or anything, but I just thought she was so basic! But listening to her speech, and hearing her admitting that she has no special character or anything like that but she’ll try her best made her endearing to me. Not for the first time, but it was a nice feeling you know? She’s a good sport, and she seemed genuinely happy and thankful for being there. Also, very grown up words and if anything, she’s the embodiment of the AKB thing: A normal girl, who doesn’t particularly excel at anything, but tries her best and makes a connection with the fans. She did drop a few ranks, but she won more votes, so it’s all good. Let’s hope she gets more chances to prove herself so she doesn’t lose to the new gen.
#41. AKB48 Team B – Kobayashi Kana 7165 votes (new) “This is the first time in 4 years I’ve been able to stand on this stage, I’ve been very worried. I talked to Akimoto Sayaka-chan and she said “The strength of Kana’s fans isn’t something to laugh about!” and everyone has been supporting me a lot”
When she hugged Sayaka I literally cried. Also when they panned to the joyous smiles of the Ori K members. Kana hasn’t really been one of my favorite idols because she’s kind of inconsistent; she can be an amazing performer in one song and forget to smile or look like she cares completely in the next, however, in spite of this shortcoming (also, she doesn’t seem to have a lot of feeling with foreigners) I admire her honesty and her endurance. When DiVA was announced and everyone in her agency was put in the unit except for her, she wrote one of the most heartfelt and thought provoking blog entries I’ve read as an idol fan. She’s had to struggle a lot, especially because she started as the Team K ace back in 2006 and gradually faded into obscurity subsequently, but she’s never let that get in the way of her dreams, and keeps doing her thing with her own style. Like her or hate her, Kana is a girl who is incredibly loyal to her Ori K friends and very friendly to the other girls. She’s also not a quitter at all, and that’s admirable on its own. Super happy for her!
#40. AKB48 Team K – Fujie Reina 7782 votes (same rank +3084 votes) “I was worried, but everyone’s support encouraged me!”
Reinyan is such a darling ;A; I’m glad she managed to keep her rank in an election where most of the UG ended up dropping a whole lot, also, she earned a huge amount of new votes, and that’s amazing too! I’m sure Uekara Mariko was useful for her in that way, and I’m thrilled that she’s had a great year!
#39. AKB48 Team 4 – Nagao Mariya 7809 votes (new) “From now on, without giving up, believing in myself I want to continue forward towards my dreams, thank you very much!”
This was another incredibly happy turn of events ;A; Mariyagi ranking above other more pushed Team 4 members is really something, especially seeing how she wasn’t included in the ManaGuu senbatsu while a lot of the girls from her generation were, yet she managed to outrank most of them. Also amazing because her part in that godawful BakaLeya drama was taken away from her and given to Mitsumune Kaoru, so this certainly must be reassuring for her, and I’m glad she had this opportunity to stick the middle finger to the management in a way. Fuck you management, Mariyagi is awesome and her fans are right by her side!
#38. AKB48 Team B – Miyazaki Miho 8173 votes (-12 positions -1108 votes) “I fell 12 positions from last year, but people who don’t fall can never go up again so I’ll keep working hard”
Myao’s popularity has been falling more and more ever since she was dropped from senbatsu after PonyShu, so it’s no surprise to see her rank in this position, but it’s a bit sad nonetheless. I liked her speech, and I’ve honestly seen her looking a bit discouraged or like she doesn’t care much sometimes recently isntead of being the spunky sassy girl she used to be once, so here’s hoping she really follows her own advice and puts her whole heart into becoming popular again.
#37. AKB48 Team A – Nakata Chisato 8315 votes (new) “I had never ranked before, but fans told me that they didn’t care if I ranked or not, they’d keep supporting me regardless”
I literally squealed when I heard her name being called, I couldn’t believe it. I love Chiichan, she’s an amazing girl and she works really hard. I remember when she was the most pushed kks back a million years ago, and how I was extremely happy for her after she got promoted to A but she fell into obscurity despite of her talents and her sweet personality. I’m just happy that she made it because that will make people interested in her and hopefully earn her more fans and a new chance!
#36. AKB48 Team A – Nakaya Sayaka 8505 votes (new) “I’ve never ranked before, so when I wasn’t called until this point I thought “Ah, they’re not going to call me” but the fans always kept supporting me”
;A; ajhfaoghozgfuhgsdfhgkjdfhgigoiaheg sorry. I can’t be coherent. My baby Nakayan ;A; I’d never thought I’d see her there ;A; when Chiichan was called she was so excited and happy and then when she was called she couldn’t believe it, and neither could I. I was literally weeping by this point. I’m glad that she wrote her book, I also loved her speech. She’s been through a lot with the earthquake so I was happy she landed one of the main roles in AKB0048 (which btw is totally amazing and you should be watching right now) and look at her now! She’s going to like, actually be in a PV, in the second row instead of in the last row where I have to put the thing in slow mo so I can hit pause at the right moment. So amazing, so exciting. omg.
#35. SKE48 Team KII – Mukaida Manatsu 8552 votes (new) “I’m very happy to be standing here, but I have to move forward, so with a smile I’ll keep doing my best”
Manatsu is cute as a button, but she bores me to death. Whatever. I was sure she had ranked last year? Oh well, in any case, it’s a victory for her because she started as KII’s ace to now be surpassed by a bunch of girls, I heard that after she was taken out of senbatsu she really became very serious about her place in the group and upped her game, so good on her and it’s good that she’s striving to improve more and more every time.
#34. SKE48 Kenkyuusei – Matsumura Kaori 9030 votes (new) “I’ve been a kks for 2 years, but ever since G+ appeared I changed”
I have to be honest, I don’t know much (if anything) about SKE kks, I only know about the demoted girls from KII. According to what I’ve heard, this girl -who is the oldest kks in all the 48 groups- promoted herself from scratch using G+ to get fans attention, and without help from the management at all. It’s really encouraging and touching that stories like hers still happen in the 48 groups, in between all of the agencies calculations and the girls the management chooses almost arbitrarily to give huge pushes, Kaotan proved that hard work and effort go a long way. I also really loved her speech, where she asked people to please pay attention to the SKE kks because there are many amaazing girls there so please give them a chance. Using the elections as a platform for your groupmates is nothing new, as Churi proved last year, but for an unpopular girl coming from one of the most shafted populations in the 48 groups it’s even more powerful that she didn’t go the selfish way but chose to present herself as an embassador of her fellow kks pals. Awesome girl, definitely keeping my eyes on her.
#33, AKB48 Team A – Iwasa Misaki 9297 votes (new) “I was promoting my CD, and I had no confidence, but all of you gave me confidence little by little so that I could stand here as New Girls center”
So proud of Wasamin! Whenever people said negative things about her I had to remind them that she’s very young, and still had a long way to go. I never thought she would be getting a solo debut, and I love enka and knew that she’s really talented, so that made me happy too, and I’m super glad that people are finally starting to notice her and value her talent. She’s going to be a great center!
Overall, a great group of girls, possibly my favorite of this election. Much less depressing than Future Girls and some really amazing stories of comebacks and efforts being rewarded here, totally looking forward to it! I tried to lump UG together, but this is already a novel (again lol) so I’ll do those tomorrow
Hi there everyone! Or more like, is anyone still reading this blog? In case the answer is yes, I love you and thank you for being understanding. I just began my residency this week, so the preparation for that has been pretty stressful and when it wasn’t, well, I was on vacation. Since I’m such a good blogger who wants to stay on tops of things nonetheless, let me say a couple things about the latest AKB releases, single-wise:
1. Watanabe Mayu – Synchro Tokimeki: 5/5 Mayu is a perfect idol in my eyes, her cute squeaky voice and beautiful smile were great and the wind up doll costume she used to promote was also really cool. Fantastic PV, a cute song that manages to include her favorite word “oshiri” and B-sides with that amazing showa flair I love so much.
2. Sashihara Rino – Soredemo Suki da yo: 3/5 I don’t like the title song. Sasshi is a fantastic girl and she’s being pigeonholed so much that it’s truly frustrating for me as a semi-fan. I’m also not a fan of her strained cutesy voice, she does much better in a lower register, like Enjou Rosen. The B-sides were pretty forgettable for me too, so this was overall a very meh release. The PV does get points for being cute, and the 00s idol aesthetic is interesting and well played.
3. Nogizaka46 – Oide Shampoo: 4/5 If I was still in school I would totally get into Nogizaka! They are all so pretty, talented and their retro aesthetic and sound makes my heart melt completely! The title track sounds like something straight out of Onynako’s discography, with a really sweet hook. The cute costumes and stupid choreography is awesome ;A; also, controversy from the prudes lol “a petticoat! How scandalous!” lame. The B-sides are cute enough, if not generic and barely memorable.
4. Not yet – Suika BABY: 5/5 THIS SINGLE IS GODLY. Ahem. Other than the really really stupid idea of releasing it in May 30, only announcing it 3 weeks prior and with just one TV performance (!!!) everything about this single is fantastic. Honestly I was a little let down by Pera Pera Perao because it wasn’t really catchy, although it had a great PV; really sucky B-sides in it too *sigh* but Suika BABY is nothing like that! With a super peppy beat and a catchy guitar riff, this song also gives each girl solo lines, which is something rare in their A-sides, but they sound really good! A fantastic PV, and amazing B-sides round it up, and even more so, Kitarie makes a debut as the lyricist of “Guilty Love” a fantastic song reminisent of dark stage numbers. Aaaaand the cherry on top is Yui’s fantastic solo song, May! My baby was obviously fantastic at it and I was super thrilled because her dream is to be a singer ;A; Anyway, go buy this already, honestly.
5. AKB48 – Manatsu no Sounds Good: 4.5/5 A summer song not about hair ornaments! Yay! It’s a good catchy number, also with a bit of retro sprinkled on it, and very funky. Great B-sides and a very intriguing PV with lots of symbols about the passing of the torch from old to new gen.
6. SKE48 – Aishiteraburu: 4/5 The title song is amazing, and reminds me of one of my all time faves, Banzai Venus. B-sides for all tastes ranging from ballad to 80s sexy music. The PV was a bit lackluster and lazy, but cute and effective nonetheless.
7. NMB48 – Nagiichi: 3.5/5 NMB is pretty hit or miss with me, and while I love the title track, which sounds like a chirpier and faster PonyShu, I don’t really care for the B-sides, which drags down the ranking. Real pretty PV though!
8. Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 – Shounen wo Uso wo Tsuke!: 5/5 another really great single! One of the cutest PVs in the history of 48 groups, and a super catchy A-side already make it a winner, but the B-sides are pretty goo too! Also, the Lovetan solo is so cute ;A;
Ok, if I forgot something, tell me in the comments I know you want to know my ~*enlightened opinion*~
So, let’s do this election thing! Unlike last year when I was all RAGE BUTTHURT MADNESS BITTERNESS, this year I was over the moon all day after watching the event! Everything about it was pretty much amazing for me, and I had a great time, so I’m going to try and comment on all the girls here! Since this is already a super long post (what else did you expect from me though lol) I’ll only do Future Girls here, then Next and Under girls and finally a post dedicated only to senbatsu because I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS K?
FUTURE GIRLS (stupid name, I know, I know)
64. AKB48 Team B – Komori Mika 5398 votes (-32 positions -722 votes) “I was worried I didn’t appear in the preliminaries, but the fact that I ranked makes me happy, thank you very much!”
Yikes, that drop is disheartening I was also sad that she didn’t make it in the preliminaries, so this was quite a relief. She seemed genuinely relieved to have made it even though she had the last position, but then again, Komorin has never been quite “there” if you know what I mean. I love her anyway, so I’m really glad she managed to at least snatch a spot even though her fall is alarming.
63. SKE48 Team S – Nakanishi Yuka 5592 votes (new) “Standing on this stage really feels like a dream”
Nishishi had never ranked, and as an old member of the group (she was a 5th gen member, if I’m not mistaken, too lazy to look it up lol) and one who really loves everything about SKE and brings something unique and special to the table with her spunky personality, so I was really happy she made it ;A; especially because many staple senbatsu members of SKE didn’t and it’s just so great! Also, Jurina choking up and crying during Nishi’s speech and both of them crying so much was cute beyond words! Also super cute: Kitarie crying tears of happiness for her province buddy! Aww!
62. SKE48 Team KII – Yakata Miki 5606 votes (new) “From today on I want to smile enough to bring smiles to the faces to all of Japan and the world”
MIKITTY!!!! I’m trying my best not to do keyboard smash and a bunch of crying emoticons because MIKITTY RANKED OMG! In case you didn’t know she’s my SKE oshi Well, I don’t know yet, because I honestly don’t know much about her either, but just look at her! (not in this pic though, this one is extremely unfortunate lol) her smile is like, the most amazing thing ever, and she has the most beautiful sparkly eyes I’ve seen since Yuko’s ;A; I first noticed Mikitty performing in the KII3 shonichi during her unit, Finland Miracle, and I thought “This girl is the prettiest member of any 48 group, and she is SO happy to be there!” so yeah, basically, I really love her to bits. I’m a bit of a MD when it comes to SKE, but after seeing Mikitty she stole my heart <3 I think I’ve found a new oshi, and she’s amazing! Also, how cute was the part where they focused on Sasshi and she was nodding proudly for her fellow Oita ken group mate. Awesomeness.
61. AKB48 Team B – Sato Sumire 5706 votes (-27 positions +268) “The fact that I dropped so many ranks must mean that there are still a lot of bad points about me, so I’m going to work hard and do my best”
Poor Suuchan ;_; I’ve always felt like she was some sort of lost potential in AKB, she’s so charismatic and cute and talented but she never seemed to really catch on in the small pushes the management gave her, and now she’s losng popularity with the advent of the new generation. Still, the fact that the number of votes for her raised, it’s a good thing, I think. Maybe if the categories weren’t expanded so much all the way to 64, people would have mass voteed using strategies, like what HKT fans did, instead of trying their best to make their oshi rank. In any case, her part in AKB0048 and subsequently in NO NAME is a great thing because it will give her more exposure. She took everything like a champ, go Suuchan!
60. NMB48 Team N – Ogasawara Mayu 5919 votes (new) “I am standing with all of you in this stage I had only dreamed of”
Good for Maachun! Her speech was really pretty too, talking about how she’s going to take everyone’s love and everyone and take us all to the world of dreams. Well, it sounded better when she said it lol. I’m happy for her, she’s a great girl
59. AKB48 Team A – Oya Shizuka 5933 votes (-30 positions -1331 votes) “From now on I want to go on varieties, Thank you very much!”
Holy huge drop batman! I wondered why was she so sad because I swear I forgot she ranked last year OTL well, I hated everything last year so I guess I just repressed it. Her speech was a bit all over the place, so it was hard to pick a part to translate and I just went with the worst one She was talking about how she had set a goal for herself but that didn’t come true, but she was smiling and laughing all through it and being random I guess so she wouldn’t really break down She’s a total pro, because of the way she handled it, but right after she put down the mic you could see how sad she was. Heartbreaking Natsumi was beaming in such a cute way in the audience too…
58. AKB48 Team 4 – Ichikawa Miori 5963 votes (-19 positions +1035 votes) “I was worried that you guys hated Fresh Lemon [...] even though my rank fell, I will continue with a smile for everyone who has supported me”
lol Miorin. I don’t know how to feel about her, sometimes I feel like her trick is getting old, but sometimes I think the ridiculousness of the trick and the fact that she’s beating on a dead horse are very humorous and she’s a great sport and can take a few jokes like a champ. Very entertaining! Seeing her crying and visibly shaken up was quite weird, but I’m glad she’s kept a positive attitude. She dropped a lot of ranks but she gained a lot of votes, so maybe it evens out? I don’t know math at all, but I suspect that if the regular 40 places had been used this time as well she might have gotten a better position. Who knows though?
57. AKB48 Team 4 – Oba Mina 5969 votes (-22 positions +555 votes) “I’m thankful to be standing on this stage, from now on I’ll walk forward and aim for my dreams”
Just a 3 vote difference between her and Lemon Minarun dropped a lot too, but honestly, after everything that’s happened to her in this past year it isn’t surprising, and the fact that the fans have given her a second chance is maybe the reason why she was very humble and wrapped up everything quickly.
56. SKE48 Team E – Kimoto Kanon 5982 votes (new) “I’m very thankful to be standing here, but my aspiration was to be in senbatsu so in order to get closer to that goal I’ll work harder”
I was honestly expecting Non to rank higher as the sole Team E representative, but I guess ranking at all when they are such huge underdogs is a big feat. She seemed to be quite frustrated but kept it classy nonetheless. It was cute seeing the other E girls beaming proudly regardless, I guess they thought it would be hard even for their ace to be there so they must’ve been relieved.
55. AKB48 Team K – Nito Moeno 6025 votes (-24 positions -263 votes) “I thought after the preliminary that I wouldn’t rank this year, and just now I realized I’m 55″
Poor Moeno seemed a bit confused, and I totally understand her because I’ve been in situations of great stress and pressure and it makes my head a bit fuzzy too (this is why I’ll never work in ERs or ICUs btw). It’s sad that she dropped so much because I really love her, she’s fantastic but she didn’t get much of any chances to shine this year. The conspiracist in me wants to say that it’s because in the Minarungate there were some blog posts by her (or Mori Anna, I don’t remember) that talked about how a girl named Moeno in AKB had a boyfriend (I might be remembering all of this wrong, so all of you victorian idol fans, take it with a grain of salt the size of Mitsumune Kaoru’s confidence) and maaaaaaaybe the management was silently punishing her by keeping her out of the spotlight. Or maybe the invasion of “fresh idols” (that word is so weird. Makes me think of veggies) completely set her back. In any case, I hope she has a comeback, because her badass yankii character is refreshing in a sea of fake princesses.
54. AKB48 Team 4 – Yamauchi Suzuran 6027 votes (new -previously ranked in 2010-) “I’m really thankful, from now on I’ll try to become a fantastic idol, so please support me”
Only 2 votes separated Ranran from Moeno. Wow. Talk about the poor Nito fans that must be kicking themselves! Poor things. Anyway, yaaaaay Ranran comeback! She’s a great idol and a very flirty and cute young lady so I’m super happy for her. Since I’m a shallow bitch I oshihen’d to Shiorin after she cut her hair, but I still think she’s amazing and I’m really happy for her because last year I raged about her lack of proper ranking. Yup.
53. AKB48 Team K – Matsui Sakiko 6058 votes (-15 positions +1038 votes) “I wasn’t in the preliminaries so I was very worried, but I still really wanted to stand on this stage”
Sakiko got a lot more votes than last year, so I’m happy about that I don’t know if I’ve been out of the loop (understatement of the year) but I don’t remember a release date being announced for her piano album? I want it and I need it in my life!
52. AKB48 Team A – Ota Aika 6140 votes (-27 positions -3770 votes) “I feel really sorry for everyone who bought more than the one CD they needed for my sake [...] I was given a coupling solo song in Warota’s last single, and it was because of your support”
Lovetan DDDDDDD: I really wasn’t expecting her to drop this much, this is insane and I honestly do not understand it at all. I’d always taken for granted that Lovetan was the most popular Warota member after Mayu and seeing her drop this much is awful! Especially because the difference in votes from last year to now is appalling D: I’ll just lie to myself and think that her fans all ran out to buy the new Warota single because of her solo song and thus skipped the voting for her part In any case, I’m glad she kept it classy instead of throwing a hissy fit like she did 2 years ago when she was center of UnderGirls, at least she has grown up!
51. AKB48 Team K – Kikuchi Ayaka 6185 votes (new) “I had never ranked in any elections before, I’m very happy. But I will work harder to slowly keep climbing higher and higher, please support me”
Ayarinrinrin! I’m super happy for her! I was really gutted when she didn’t rank last year despite being included in the senbatsu of EbiKachu and being one of the girls who did best at handshake events I also really like her determination, even in the face of adversity. That’s what makes her so amazing, she never gives up no matter what and I love her for it.
50. AKB48 Team B – Ishida Haruka 6333 votes (new -ranked in 2010-) “I didn’t rank last year, so I’m very happy to be standing on this stage. I have a lot of memories of Budoukan so next year and the year after that I want to come back here and have a revenge”
Harukyan weirded me out tbh. She was so stone faced during the whole thing! Maybe she was trying really hard to hold back the tears or something, but I thought she would be smilier considering that she didn’t rank last year. In any case, 2011 wasn’t too kind on her what with everyone becoming her anti because of those janken videos and stuff. But this year with her Niconico show and being G+ center she got great opportunities, and I’m glad they worked for her.
51. AKB48 Kenkyuusei – Mutou Tomu 6428 votes (new) “So that this wonderful chance that the fans gave me doesn’t go to waste I’ll work harder and harder from now on”
I know nothing about her other than she’s really really pretty. Maybe one of the most conventionally pretty girls in AKB as of now. Well, I’m happy for her, but I also feel really weirded out because she’s just a kks lol But let’s hope she does well with this job and she can get the spotlight and go places Maybe the reason why Harukyan looked so serious is because she was beaten to the center position by a trainee? Who knows. Tomu has a huge responsability in her hands now, and I’m really looking forward to see what she’s capable of.
Alright folks, it’s almost 1 am, so I’m going to wrap this up! See you tomorrow for the Next Girls and Under Girls!
Next Page »
I wasn’t planning on posting, although I’ve already written and screencapped a review of Seibu Dome Day 2. But then I read this article in Arama they didn’t and I just had to say something because this is breaking my heart.
You should really read the full thing because it’s a great look into the ugly side of the idol world, and incidentally, the one we don’t really hear about since everything is supposed to be about hopes and dreams and smiling and Tehe~ but that’s what made it all the more powerful to me. I’ll give you a review though.
Hara Mizuki is graduating from NMB48. She’s a 14 year old 1st generation member of the group who is still a kenkyuusei and was never promoted to any team. She posted a very long entry about her feelings during her tenure as a NMB48 member, and long story short: she ended up very frustrated because she was always working hard and doing her best but she got no recognition for all of her efforts and never really got a chance to prove herself.
One of the boldest complains she makes is about the girls that were punished, allegedly for fooling around with boys against the rules. She says that they came back after their punishment and retrieved their frontgirl positions without any hassle and she (who had done nothing wrong) was thrown again in the shadows. She talks about how everyone was promoted to N or M and how everyone in the 48 franchise is always talking about how “Hard work pays off” so she felt offended that people might believe that her 1st generation friends who haven’t been promoted either aren’t working hard, because they are getting nowhere, and that’s a lie, because they do as much as they possibly can attending lessons everyday and juggling school with their idol duties and getting pretty much nothing in exchange for their sacrifice. So she’s had it with the 48 thing and she’s calling it quits.
This is already hugely revolutionary because none of the graduates have ever been so honest about their true feelings when they leave. Most of the times, all that is issued is a “Thank you for your support, please keep looking after me in the new path I’ve chosen for myself” cookie cutter statement, even in the awful cases like Saotome Miki’s graduation.
It’s also rather impressive that she wasn’t censored, because almost everything in the idol world is carefully monitored; so much that NMB captain Yamamoto Sayaka had to ask their management to stop censoring their posts.
I wonder who had a hand in leaving this confession out for the public to see? Nowadays the 48family groups have become more and more of a reality show: the first documentary was sweet and moving with its personal interviews and gritty rehearsal footage; but the one that’s coming out this year looks like something out of the Kardashians, with girls fainting and having melt downs all over the place. I understand that these things happen in AKB, but I don’t take pleasure in watching Yuko get a panic attack or Maeda hyperventilate painfully. I don’t take pleasure in watching my idols getting overworked and being miserable just so that their management can cash in on their suffering and say that it’s all because ~they work hard for their dream~ that’s just disgusting.
In any case, Mizuki’s given them all a piece of her mind, and it’s certainly given everyone something to talk about. Starting with the NMB captain, Yamamoto Sayaka
I think Sayanee is one of the greatest members of the whole 48family. She’s talented, charismatic and down to earth, but what strikes me the most about her is that she genuinely cares about her members, and she’s very honest about her feelings in her blog and G+. She is on point when she says that people might think she has no right to talk about this because she’s always been the most popular NMB member (Milky eat your heart out! j/k I love Milky, she’s one of my favorite idols, but this supposed bitchy character of hers that’s become a meme by now is too funny to pass up ), but then she brings out a story about her past as a member of the MAD CATZ band that flopped. And she tells Mizuki that her efforts will be rewarded in something else, which is also incredible for me to be reading because everyone is always sugarcoating everything in this damn fandom.
All you ever read is “AKB has given me so much, thank you Akimoto sensei for giving me this fantastic oportunity” as if all of them were Acchan instead of underdogs and rejects who never even got a chance. I mean, I’m not saying they should be ungrateful, but it’s refreshing to hear some honesty at all in this world of mirrors and smoke.
Sayanee’s message was great to read precisely because of that: She’s acknowledging that the idol world is completely unfair, and that Mizuki is probably right in her observations, but encouraging her to move on and not give up on her dreams just because this didn’t work out.
And then, Akimoto Yasushi himself is weighing in his thoughts on the matter, and part of me wants to punch him and another part wants to stare in awe. I swear I’ve never felt love/hate in its purest form until I heard about this guy.
I’ll spare you guys the Akimoto picture because sadly, he’s not a looker. So have a picture of NMB instead, including Mizuki
Akimoto says what he’s always said: That he’s got a bad eye for picking stars so maybe the hard work of some girls hasn’t been noticed by him. Or something to that effect. But he still encourages Mizuki to try again and keep aiming for her goals in life.
I don’t know what to say, I mean, I agree with Akimoto, there are many 48 members who are incredibly talented and charismatic and never get noticed. However, I’m not naive enough to think that it’s just a case of “Woopsie I didn’t notice you there outsinging everyone else in theater shows! My bad!” it all comes down to profit at the end of the day, because the idol business is, more than anything else, a business; and the producers and everyone else involved in it is in this for the money, especially now that AKB has become a juggernaut force to be reckoned with. Every one wants a slice of that cake, and in order to maximize earnings they have to play if safe, especially because everyone involved knows that this female idol fad will be gone like it appeared, and everyone will move on to something else.
So what is it that bothers me? It’s Akimoto’s fake honesty, actually. It just rubs me the wrong way, but at the same time I understand that he has to keep up an image, and if he appears to be a humble benevolent patriarch everyone will think highly of him. Obviously he can’t come out and say “Yeah, look Hara, you’re just not cute enough and don’t have a gimmicky thing to make people care about you. In turn, you have no fans and the NMB management is not going to push you when they could be giving more exposure to a girl with fans, who will buy a lot of her merchandise and a lot of CDs and bring revenue to the company. So peace out!” so I don’t even know what I expect from him, honestly. That’s what puzzles me and frustrates me the most about him, I can’t have a real opinion about Akimoto without finding polar opposites even within my own impressions of him: either he’s a guy who really tries his best to make this work, and treats the girls right and cares about them or he’s a capitalist mogul who cares only about the money. I think the real Akimoto might be in some kind of middleground, and I also think that he’s not running this on his own, so maybe he can’t have it his way with everything about the 48groups.
Ultimately, I feel like maybe I’m too jaded for this fandom. I’ve lost the spark in my eyes of thinking “Oh, she’s fantastic! I want to see her get her chance at the spotlight!” because I already know if she’s going to get pushed or not and I also know how fruitless and frustrating and honestly heart breaking it is to follow girls who aren’t in the top tier. Sure, my 2 oshimen are senbatsu members, but the rest of my favorites aren’t. Except for Chiyuu and look at how she’s doing after the shuffle!
In any case, I’m glad that people can get an idea of what it’s like for the idols who aren’t in the spotlight. I wish I could read enough japanese to understand Nakayan’s book too, because I’d love to have more insight about this situation. With the 48family ditching the stages and becoming centered almost completely in the singles a large part of what I loved about the group has evaporated for me, because I feel like the unpopular girls are honestly not given chances anymore.
I think it’s becoming more cut-throat every day for the girls, because the competition just gets more complicated with every new sister group or rival group or whatever Akimoto thinks of next to stay relevant in the everchanging music market of Japan. When everything comes down to singles it’s way more complicated for an underdog to make her way up the ranks of senbatsu, because the girls who will participate in each single are already set in stone; this is why the senbatsu for Manatsu no Sounds Good is like 36 girls: Because the top 18 are unchangeable.
They have even scraped events like the Aki Matsuri thing of 2010 when we had a fantastic karaoke competition where the really talented girls could show their skills, in 2011 we got the AKB Kouhaku concert instead, which was focused only on the senbatsu members and high undergirls and lumped everyone else (and everyone who could sing, mind you) in that stupid godawful ballad that came with Uekara Mariko. And don’t even get me started on the Janken single tradition, which started out as a cool idea, until Uchida Mayumi won and they went all “LOL no1curr” with the promotions of the single, especially when you compare it to Uekara Mariko and all the fuss that was made for that one because Shinoda was center and made it marketable.
The stages we have nowadays also give no chance to the unpopular girls to shine, because they aren’t created according to who can deliver a good performance or not, like before, but around who is popular: All units have frontgirls as the lead and the unpopular ones are backup singers, as opposed to what happened before. But I’ll stop right here or I’ll get accused of being an “elitist” old fan who thinks everything was better before, which I’m not. I’m really happy that AKB has gotten where they have, I’m proud of my girls too, but I wish it wasn’t all about the money sometimes.
I wish 2011 hadn’t happened, but since it did, at least I’m glad that the sales stopped rising and have hit some sort of plateau because it’s making them think outside of the box a little bit again this year.
Ultimately I’m frustrated because I hate the way the unpopular girls are treated but I also understand that they have to run a business and look out for their company, and I wish that I wasn’t here since so long ago so that I wouldn’t care or I wouldn’t miss the way things were before ala hipster kitty, I know that attitude is annoying, but I can’t help it. I’m afraid that my love/hate relationship with Akimoto is extending to everything he is in charge of as well, but since there are changes happening this year (Bless your beautiful soul for graduating and infusing a little bit of life in the arid and cookie cutter world of AKB, Acchan) I hope I can work it out somehow.