003. AKB48’s 4th Senbatsu Election

Konnichiwa, Kelli desu!

One of my guilty pleasures just happens to be AKB48. I find their music to be “fun”, but it’s not the reason I’m one of their fans. Before I watched their first documentary, I saw AKB as a massive group of girls who wanted to be cute. That’s it. I thought nothing more or nothing less of them. It wasn’t until I watched the documentary that I realized each of the girls has a unique personality. A couple of the members appealed to me in a “I want to be your ‘best friend forever'” type of way. The first one to really catch my attention was Oshima Yuko. Her tomboy nature, is very refreshing to watch in Japanese pop culture. I realize that she is not the only idol in Japan like this, but I like the fact that she can be girly with AKB and feel like she can also “hang with the guys”. The point of this post is not to express of my “sismance” about Yuko, but to actually talk about this year Senbatsu Election ranking.

On June 6th, 2012 was AKB48’s 4th Senbatsu Election ranking. Another side-note, I noticed that ranking idols is somewhat common in Japanese pop culture. I am sure here in America we rank our idols in our mind, but never address it publicly. Could you imagine if the Pussycat Dolls had a public fan ranking for its members? They probably would’ve broken up the next day.

Okay, focus Kelli! Focus!

This year’s election was interesting, in that Maeda Atsuko was not in participation. Earlier this year, she announced that she’ll be “graduating” from AKB48 within the year. Noticeably one of the fan favorites, I feel like her absence changed up the feel of this year’s election. You would think, one member leaves everyone just moves up one place. Not the case. I already had a feeling with Maeda gone, Oshima Yuko would be #1. It’s only natural, since she was #1 in the 2nd election and came in #2 in the 1st and 3rd election. What I didn’t expect, but wasn’t terribly surprised by, is Watanabe Mayu’s #2 ranking. In previous elections, she hovered around the #4 and #5 spot. I should have known she would be moving up because of her growing popularity and the recent release of her solo work. So now that Mayu is #2 and Yuko is #1 – will Mayu be the new Atsuko? I guess we will have to see.

The complete ranking can be found here. Google + did a post each of the girl’s speeches, but only for a limited time until June 8th. I didn’t watch them all because I don’t have that kind of attention span. I enjoyed Kashiwagi Yuki’s speech because out of the ones I watched, she was the only one who didn’t cry. I also really enjoyed Miyazawa Sae’s speech. And of course I enjoyed Oshima Yuko’s speech. I think, I enjoyed Yuko’s just because Maeda came on stage to congratulate her. Maeda is in my top 10, so I needless to say I’m super sad she’s graduating from the group.

If you’re a fan of AKB48 and had your own ranking, who would be in your top 10? My top 10 would be:

10. Fujie Reina
9. Itano Tomomi
8.Takahashi Minami
7. Sashihara Rino
6. Shinoda Mariko
5. Matsui Jurina
4. Watanabe Mayu
3. Akimoto Sayaka
2. Miyazawa Sae
1. Oshima Yuko

I would explain why, but then this post would be a  novel and Annie would kill me. So I’m just going to leave it like this. As the winner of the General Election, Yuko will be the center of the 27th single. I hope this single will be as good as “Heavy Rotation”. Omedetou Oshima-san! 🙂

Hugs & Kimchi,

Kelli

Here is Yuko’s inauguration speech. And English dubbed version is also available on the AKB48 Youtube channel.

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2 thoughts on “003. AKB48’s 4th Senbatsu Election

  1. akb fan says:

    Ranking idols isn’t really normal in Japan…AKB was probably the first that made an official thing about it because fans complained about why is this girl being promote over the other girls so the management just let them decide on things.

    Anyway out of all the speeches, Shinoda Mariko is the best. PERIOD!
    Every fans thought her speech is really cool and good speech to motivate the younger girls. There’s translation on tumblr.

    • I didn’t realize that ranking idols wasn’t that normal in Japan. To be honest the idols that I follow, usually do some sort of “informal” ranking on their variety shows. For example, Arashi does a lot of ranking on “Himitsu no Arashi Chan”. I am still in the early stages of getting into Japanese pop culture. So i probably shouldn’t have generalized it, but based on my experience, that’s what I mean more common than here. I like the idea of it, because I feel like the girls want to work harder to improve their ranking.

      I will agree, Shinoda Mariko’s speech was really good too. 🙂

      -Kelli

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