It's that time of year again in the realm of AKB48! A time for summer, the holidays, relaxing on the beach, and fanservice. Lots and lots of fanservice. By now, everyone knows that this is the "summer single" which means the use of bikinis. Wotas buy it so why the hell not? I suppose it's not terrible but I still wish they'd do something different this year. Then again, the covers/PV haven't come out yet so maybe they'll do something different!! If they played their instruments for their last single who knows what could happen next? I listened to a preview of the song and it's not that bad so far! I think it sounds a lot more different than their last two summer songs which is good! I'm all for not being monotonous! It's still summery but it's listenable too!
But I still hope they'll do something fun for the PV. Like... what if they got stranded on a desert island or something!? That would be awesome! And there could still be fanservice and stuff! The PV would be fun and you could do a lot with the "stranded on an island theme." Anyways, another interesting thing to note is there will be 36 members in the Senbatsu this single which is amazing but also kind of a bummer... I guess because it'll be hard to cram in screen time for everyone and there are more members not from AKB48 in an AKB48 single. Seriously, what the hell is up with that? I'm fine with Jurina, Rena, and Sayanee but this is getting ridiculous! I could rant about that all day but I'm afraid I'll just have to learn to deal with it.
Now... onto the more exciting bit of news for today.
Acchan posted a video on Youtube regarding her graduation and her participation in AKB's 27th single Election Senbatsu. Or should I said her lack of participation because she will not be in the Senbatsu!! So regarding sales, this rejects my initial idea that she'd be center in the last single, make a bunch of money, then prance off to do something else. But now... I think this elections to be a lot more interesting than last year's. Other than the surprising climb of Yukirin to #3 last year was pretty typical. Fans pretty much knew that Acchan fans would vote for her as center to avenge Yuko stealing center in Heavy Rotation so naturally she won with Yuko in 2nd and the rest of the Kami7 (excluding Tomochin for some reason...) still at the top. But this year a shitload of exciting stuff happened like solo debuts, graduations, and the addition of
So what does that hold for the Election Senbatsu this year?
1. Oshima Yuko
This is kind of obvious. Now all the Yuko fans can happily vote for her whilst not having to worry about Acchan! There was actually a fan theory I came upon while browsing through an AKB forum that the fans who loathe Yuko as a center would "hate-vote" another member to be center just so the Yuko wouldn't get #1. Personally that theory sounds like a load of bullshit to me but I admit it would be hilarious if they voted some obscure member like Iwasa Misaki or Akimoto Sayaka the Goddess of Team K as center but even I think that's unlikely. Despite the haters, Yuko is still very popular and was pretty much co-centered alongside Acchan in the AKB singles. Her subgroup Not yet is also doing ridiculously well and overall she's been a huge favorite in both the fans and the management. Because I enjoyed Heavy Rotation so much (despite the... awkward video) I actually wouldn't mind if Yuko got to me center again! Who knows what they'll pull this time anyways?
2. Takahashi Minami
I'm rooting for you Takamina! Don't disappoint me!! Okay, I know it's quite the huge climb to go from 7 to 2 but Yukirin went from 8 to 3 so I have faith in Takamina! What I'm is Takamina will be the "replacement vote" aka the girl the Acchan wotas vote for since their beloved Acchan won't be in the Senbatsu. And why not? Takamina's pretty much the captain of AKB48, leads Team A like a boss, has an amazing ponytail, and she has a sweet and hilarious personality! What's not to like? She also gets really good promotion in singles (especially Give Me Five!) so what's not to like? Some people are predicting that Yukirin will get #2 but I say vote for Takamina! To me, it's her time to shine and join up with the ranks of Yuko to dominate the AKB industry and surge the group forward once Acchan leaves! In case you haven't noticed, I'm a huge Takamina fan and considering she's the only member I truly like to get the promotion she deserves, I really want her as #2. Or #1 preferably.
3. Kashiwagi Yuki
To me #3 was a toss-up between Mayuyu and Yukirin because both of them have been fairly successful since the last election. Yukirin's sub-group French Kiss got it's first number 1 and highest sales with Saisho no Mail but Mayuyu also debuted as a soloist with Synchro Tokimeki, a single that also sold very well. So what made me decide to put Yukirin in the same spot as last year? Her promotion in AKB. Yukirin got slightly more pushed than Mayuyu for Kaze wa Fuiteiru and Give Me Five! especially with the latter. Boring and cliche as the 34-minute long music video was, Yukirin did play one of the four main characters and in Kaze wa the only girls who got more screen time than her were Acchan and Yuko (which honestly is a given). I don't know how much promotion she had outside of AKB but I'd say she'll at least be in the top 5.
4. Watanabe Mayu
Two words: Creeper Smile.
5. Shinoda Mariko
Uh... where has Mariko been? I feel like I've barely seen her doing AKB activities lately! I think that's probably because she's been doing so much work outside of the group like shows, modeling, a successful fashion magazine, she's pretty much been everywhere this year So why do I feel like I haven't seen her that much? I think it's because the most promotion I see from AKB are their singles/albums promotions and Mariko really hasn't been featured as much lately. Don't get me wrong, she's still hugely popular but compared to some of the other girls I think she might be losing steam. However, overall she still has a lot of popularity and influence in AKB so I'm pretty certain she'll at least make it into the top 5. Actually, she, Mayuyu, and Yukirin are probably my three "iffy" spots because at this point it could go either way for any of them! We'll just have to see who comes out on top at the Senbatsu Election!
6. Sashihara Rino
Hello Sasshi. Can I just go ahead and I say I absolutely detest Soredemo Suki da yo? Really. It's bland, cliched, and nothing but a thin veil for Aki-P's "Get Sasshi a High Position and Make More Money!!" Plan. Possibly. But what do I know? Anyways, I think her solo single will have an impact on her position in the Senbatsu but the question is how much it will. I can't make any definite guesses as of now because the single hasn't been released. However, if it does sell well, then that shows she has a decent fanbase that will support her in the election. And if not... oh well? New direction for her music? One that's actually interesting? Either way, Aki-P obviously wants her to do well and he'll probably strive to get her a higher position. How much this will affect her position just depends on the fans now.
7. Itano Tomomi
Poor Tomochin. I felt rather sorry for her after the last election. Going from #4 to #8 is rather embarrassing and the look on her face was just so... crushed. And overall the year's been pretty meh for Tomochin. Sure, she's still one of the main girls of AKB48 but I just feel like maybe some of the other girls got pushed more than she did. Her vocal nodules definitely didn't help her solo career either. Though with the release of her new single, maybe she'll go up even further in the Senbatsu again! Then again, so far the single hasn't looked promising. Clone was bland to me and I don't like Tomochin's voice in general; too squeaky and the layered with Autotune... But considering she still has fans I think she'll move up a bit! I just don't think it'll be very far...
8. Kojima Haruna
Where the hell has Harunyan been? Okay, yes she's been in the Senbatsu and she was even one of the six main members of Give Me Five! but other than that I feel like I haven't heard anything from her. Other than Pedicure Day, it just feels like Harunyan's been lingering the background. I'm sure she's still busy but whatever she's been doing hasn't stuck out to me as some of the other members promotional activities. And unfortunately I think Harunyan's lack of activity is what's going to hurt her most in the next Senbatsu Election. Sure, she'll still get votes and I'm pretty certain she'll still be in the Election Senbatsu but I think #8 is probably the highest position she can get. Good luck to her anyways; maybe she'll do better than I expected!
9. Matsui Rena
I don't care how pushed Jurina is, I still think Rena's growing to be much more popular than she is. I definitely expect both of the Matsui girls to make it into the Senbatsu this year but I'm not entirely sure what their rankings are going to be like. All I know is that they probably won't make it into the Kami7. My prediction is that they'll rank better than members like Kitarie, Miichan, Yui, etc. and I also get the feeling that they'll be closely ranked possibly side by side. But once again, I still feel like Rena's gaining more popularity in both SKE48 in AKB48 despite the fact that Jurina still gets pushed more than she does. Keep in mind she also ranked much better than Jurina last year so I think that goes to show how popular she is. Either way, I just get the feeling that the ranking of the Matuis is going to be tight!
10. Matsui Jurina
Over the course of 2011 and watching Bimyou I've found myself increasingly loving Jurina. She always a bunch of fun to watch and I loved seeing her play someone so bitchy in the Kataomoi Finally PV. But that being said... the girl really needs a break. She's only 15 and all the activities in SKE and now AKB are taking a toll on her health. Honestly, her getting into Senbatsu probably isn't helping her out. But I still think she's going to make it because she's so pushed and so popular. Like I said with Rena, my theory is those two are going to be close in the running maybe even side by side. She got a lot of promotion in AKB48 and as usual is center for SKE48 and I think inducting her into AKB48 is most likely a gimmick to get voters for her in the Senbatsu. So as much as I hate it, Jurina's probably going to rank very nicely. But seriously, give her a vacation, Aki-P.
11. Minegishi Minami
Yay for the spread of the Miichan virus!! I love Miichan and if Sayaka isn't going to be in the Senbatsu then dammit she WILL BE! I think the Kaspersky Virus promotion she did (and how widespread that was) will be what keeps her in the Senbatsu because other than that Miichan wasn't quite as featured in AKB48 as last year. She was in the singles but the thing I remember most was the fantastic and awesome PV for Flying Get filled to the top with Miichan! I'm probably stretching it a bit with putting her so high up but I really want her to make into the Senbatsu this year because frankly Miichan is an awesome and possibly crazy member of AKB48 who deserves more promotion! The no3b single might also boost her promotion but overall I think the major catalyst is the Miichan virus. Let it spread, wotas! Let it spread!
12. Yokoyama Yui
Why does Yui creep me out so much? And not in the good Mayuyu way? Maybe it's that dead smile... Other than that I don't really know much about Yui. I know she's in Not yet with Yuko, Sasshi, and Kitarie and I also know that she's in the process of being heavily pushed by the management like Sasshi! But ironically I think Sasshi's more popular than she is right now... Oh well! Regardless of popularity, Yui's been in nearly every AKB single since her promotion to Team K, much to the rage of some fans. Still, even in singles she's not featured as much as the Kami7 and other popular members. However, I'm sure with the huge success Not yet has been having, Yui will get a spot in the Senbatsu. I'm just not sure which one but judging off last year's election I'm putting her #12! Good luck Yui and have fun creeping me out!
13. Kitahara Rie
I honestly do not know much about Kitarie. I know she's in French Kiss and she's kinda popular and she ranked pretty decently in the Senbatsu last year. But other than that... not much. Oops? Look, I can't follow every AKB member! So I'll just judge from last year's position and the success of French Kiss! And because Kitarie did pretty decently this year in terms of promotion I think she'll stay around here in the Senbatsu. Other than that... good luck to her!
14. Miyazawa Sae
I'm sort of on the same level of familiarity with Sae as I am with Kitarie. But I will admit, I follow DiVA more closely than French Kiss because of the amazing Sayaka and that group also does pretty well. But not as well as some of the other groups... But of the four DiVA members, I think the only one with a chance of making it into Senbatsu is Sae because she's always been popular and in the Senbatsu. True, she's not as popular as some of the other members now but she still has enough popularity left to make it. The awesomeness of Lost the way helps too but I'll talk about that song later. But other than that she hasn't been that prominent in AKB and I think that's what will lower her position along with the push of some of the other members.
15. Yamamoto Sayaka
This one's probably a huge stretch considering the boatload of other AKB/NMB/SKE/OMG members that could fit this slot but I think Sayanee will get into the Senbatsu just barely. One her huge advantages is that she's not only captain and center of NMB48 but she's also frequently pushed into the AKB Senbatsu and she's a favorite among the fans. Even I listed her as one of the front girls I'm okay with! She has a sweet personality, can play the guitar (not letting her play in Give Me Five was a HUGE missed moment of awesome by the way), and her voice is pretty easy on the ears! If she doesn't make it into Senbatsu then I think she'll definitely have a high ranking amongst the Undergirls (or Special Girls or whatever the hell they're called now) but I'm rooting for Sayanee!
16. Sato Amina
This is less of a guess and more of a common default by now. A running joke I've noticed in the AKB fandom is that Amina always gets in the Senbatsu despite her poor promotion in the group. But will the small Senbatsu kick her out this year? Who knows? But I say she's probably in just because. What else can I say? At this point it's almost like tradition!
One disclaimer I want to include is that I'm probably not the most accurate fan of AKB48 to predict the Senbatsu because I'm not the most devoted fan in the world. Sure I listen to the singles, check up on what the members are up to every now and then, and occasionally happen upon a CM but overall I really can't give a certain estimate of all the members' popularity. But I always think doing stuff like this is fun because you can compare the end result to your initial thoughts! The wait is awhile but I think the next single and the promotion for each member is really going to start heating up this May! With solo singles and the impending graduation of Acchan, I think this Senbatsu is what's going to make or break the AKB groups as a whole. So happy voting and may the odds be ever in your favor!
And hears one more thing. Why am I doing it? Because I can. Totally not because I really really really want Sayaka to stay in Senbatsu or anything...
Members I Want in the Senbatsu (That Probably Won't Get In)
1. Akimoto Sayaka
2. Iwasa Misaki
3. Ishida Haruka
4. Fujie Reina
5. Sato Sumire
6. Umeda Ayaka
7. Oota Aika
So... what predictions do you guys have?