AKB48 41st Single Election

On June 6, 2015 AKB48 held their 41st Single Sousenkyo at Fukuoka Yahoo! Auctions Dome. Unlike last year the concert and election ceremony were held indoors so fans who attended the event this year were at least dry and in an air conditioned environment for its 7+ hour running time.

For those who wisely chose to go to bed and get that sleep or have avoided any idol social media whatsoever, here are the results of the 2015 AKB48 general election.

Center

Sashihara Rino – HKT48 TEAM H (194,049 votes)

Senbatsu

Kashiwagi Yuki – AKB48 TEAM B (167,183 votes)
Watanabe Mayu – AKB48 TEAM B (165,789 votes)
Takahashi Minami – AKB48 TEAM A (137,252 votes)
Matsui Jurina – SKE48 TEAM S/AKB48 TEAM K (105,289 votes)
Yamamoto Sayaka – NMB48 TEAM N/AKB48 TEAM K (97,866 votes)
Miyawaki Sakura – HKT48 TEAM K4 (81,422 votes)
Miyazawa Sae – SKE48 TEAM S/SNH48 TEAM S2
Shimazaki Haruka – AKB48 TEAM A (73,803 votes)
Yokoyama Yui – AKB48 TEAM A (63,414 votes)
Kitahara Rie – NGT48 (61,566 votes)
Watanabe Miyuki – NMB48 TEAM B2/AKB48 TEAM B (55,715 votes)
Matsumura Kaori – SKE48 TEAM K2 (53,667 votes)
Takayanagi Akane – SKE48 TEAM K2 (52,609 votes)
Shibata Aya – SKE48 TEAM E (49,199 votes)
Muto Tomu – AKB48 TEAM K (44,637 votes)

Undergirls

Kodama Haruka – HKT48 TEAM H/AKB48 TEAM K (43,985 votes)
Suda Akari – SKE48 TEAM E (43,665 votes)
Minegishi Minami – AKB48 TEAM K (35,506 votes)
Oya Masana – SKE48 TEAM S (30,021 votes)
Tomonaga Mio – HKT48 TEAM K4/AKB48 TEAM 4 (28,197 votes)
Kizaki Yuria – AKB48 TEAM B (26,994 votes)
Tani Marika – SKE48 TEAM E (26,051 votes)
Furuhata Nao – SKE48 TEAM K2 (25,650 votes)
Takahashi Juri – AKB48 TEAM 4 (25,421 votes)
Kojima Mako – AKB48 TEAM 4 (25,117 votes)
Oba Mina – SKE48 TEAM K2 (24,708 votes)
Kato Rena – AKB48 TEAM B (24,569 votes)
Okada Nana – AKB48 TEAM 4 (23,237 votes)
Takajo Aki – AKB48 TEAM K (22,502 votes)
Fuchigami Mai – HKT48 TEAM K4 (22,487 votes)
Tashima Meru – HKT48 TEAM H (22,191 votes)

Next Girls

Anai Chihiro – HKT48 TEAM H (22,146 votes)
Shiroma Miu – NMB48 TEAM M/AKB48 TEAM A (21,577 votes)
Fujie Reina – NMB48 TEAM M (21,388 votes)
Jonishi Kei – NMB48 TEAM N (21,135 votes)
Sakaguchi Riko – HKT48 TEAM H (20,936 votes)
Futumura Haruka – SKE48 TEAM S (20,590 votes)
Uchiyama Natsuki – AKB48 TEAM B (20,437 votes)
Yagura Fuuko – NMB48 TEAM N (20,354 votes)
Ota Aika – HKT48 TEAM K4 (19,921 votes)
Okada Kanna – HKT48 TEAM K4 (19,739 votes)
Moriyasu Madoka – HKT48 TEAM K4 (19,401 votes)
Mukaichi Mion – AKB48 TEAM K (18,392 votes)
Miyamae Ami – SKE48 TEAM S (18,245 votes)
Kojina Yui – HKT48 TEAM H (18,085 votes)
Tano Yuka – AKB48 TEAM K (18,048 votes)
Kimoto Kanon – SKE48 TEAM E (18,021 votes)

Future Girls

Sato Sumire – SKE48 TEAM E (17,579 votes)
Sasaki Yukari – AKB48 TEAM A (17,466 votes)
Matsuoka Natsumi – HKT48 TEAM H (17,387 votes)
Goto Risako – SKE48 TEAM S (17,330 votes)
Isohara Kyoka – SKE48 TEAM E (17,278 votes)
Kotani Riho – NMB48 TEAM N (17,132 votes)
Soda Sarina – SKE48 TEAM K2 (17,071 votes)
Umeda Ayaka – NMB48 TEAM B2 (17,019 votes)
Mogi Shinobu – AKB48 TEAM K (16,867 votes)
Shibuya Nagisa – NMB48 TEAM B2/AKB48 TEAM 4 (16,386 votes)
Kato Yuka – NMB48 TEAM N (15,729 votes)
Yabushita Shu – NMB48 TEAM B2 (15,666 votes)
Azuma Rion – SKE48 TEAM S (15,539 votes)
Kato Rumi – SKE48 TEAM E (15,474 votes)
Yamuchi Suzuran – SKE48 TEAM S (15,157 votes)
Yoshida Akari – NMB48 TEAM N (14,933 votes)

Upcoming Girls

Saito Makiko – SKE48 TEAM E (14,916 votes)
Kitagawa Ryoha – SKE48 TEAM S/AKB48 TEAM 4 (14,674 votes)
Omori Miyu – AKB48 TEAM 4 (14,669 votes)
Umemoto Madoka – SKE48 TEAM E (14,605 votes)
Nagao Maria – AKB48 TEAM K (14,595 votes)
Kamata Natsuki – SKE48 TEAM E (14,545 votes)
Ishida Haruka – AKB48 TEAM K (14,319 votes)
Ueki Nao – HKT48 TEAM K4 (13,961 votes)
Kumazaki Haruka – SKE48 TEAM E (13,777 votes)
Tanigawa Airi – NMB48 TEAM M (13,744 votes)
Owada Nana – AKB48 TEAM A (13,685 votes)
Takeuchi Mai – SKE48 TEAM S (13,538 votes)
Ishida Anna – SKE48 TEAM K2 (13,269 votes)
Shinozaki Ayana – AKB48 TEAM K (13,170 votes)
Ichikawa Miori – NMB48 TEAM B2 (13,165 votes)
Motomura Aoi – HKT48 TEAM K4 (13,116 votes)

Analysis

Upcoming Girls/Future Girls

I’m going to be honest here. Most of the names listed in the Upcoming and Future Girls were pretty much head scratchers. I don’t follow too many members of the sister groups outside of the front runners and the select few that I find cute, attractive or those that have plenty of screen time on variety programming. Yeah, hardcore fan I am. =p

SSK2K15 RANK 80

But hey, there were some things of note in the first two ranking groups. The Upcoming Girls started with 2 significant drops in rank. Motomura Aoi takes this year’s Ms. Irrelevant rank dropping 32 spots from last year to rank 80.

SSK2K15 RANK 79

The Fresh Lemon Ichikawa Miori also nosedived 26 sports to rank 79, showing that perhaps her freshness date is close to expiring.

Speaking of freshness, there are a plethora of first timers within the Upcoming and Future Girls. Many coming from the SKE48 and NMB48 camps. So congratulations to the following members, may you hopefully continue to rank and not be one hit wonders:

  • Shinozaki Ayana (AKB48 TEAM K)
  • Ishida Anna (SKE48 TEAM K2)
  • Takeuchi Mai (SKE48 TEAM S)
  • Owada Nana (AKB48 TEAM A)
  • Tanigawa Airi (NMB48 TEAM N)
  • Kumazaki Haruka (SKE48 TEAM E)
  • Ueki Nao (HKT48 TEAM K4)
  • Kamata Natsuki (SKE48 TEAM E)
  • Omori Miyu (AKB48 TEAM 4)
  • Kato Rumi (SKE48 TEAM E)
  • Azuma Rion (SKE48 TEAM S)
  • Kato Yuuka (NMB48 TEAM N)
  • Shibuya Nagisa (NMB48 TEAM B/AKB48 TEAM 4)
  • Shinobu Mogi (AKB48 TEAM K)
  • Souda Sarina (SKE48 TEAM K2)
  • Goto Risako (SKE48 TEAM S)
  • Sato Sumire (SKE48 TEAM E)

SSK2K15 ISHIDA ANNA

SSK2K15 SHIBUYA NAGISA

The ones I was particularly happy to see rank were Ishida Anna, Shibuya Nagisa, Kitagawa Ryoha (so, so cute) and Sato Sumire.

Next Girls

The Next Girls mostly had members who were trending up from last year with the largest leap going to Uchiyama Natsuki moving all the way from 63rd to 39th. The biggest drop went to Moriyasu Madoka who went from 25th to 43rd.

SSK2K15 KOJINA YUI

SSK2K15 KOJINA YUI

Congratulations go out to more fresh faces who have never ranked until now, especially Kojina Yui. That was an epic meltdown:

  • Kojina Yui (HKT48 TEAM H)
  • Miyamae Ami (SKE48 TEAM S)
  • Mukaichi Mion (AKB48 TEAM K)
  • Okada Kanna (HKT48 TEAM K4)
Under Girls

This is where business picked up for the program. There were a few questions regarding this ranking group. Would Watanabe Miyuki still be banished to the Under Girls or would all be forgiven and another takes her place? Who would just miss the cut of making the senbatsu? Who would be voted up into this group this year?

Well let’s start with the joyous celebration part. Furuhata Nao and Oba Mina both ranked 1 spot after each other last year (55 and 56 respectively) and are now at 24 and 27 this year. Another member of last year’s Future Girls Okada Nana moved from 51 to 29. Quite the jump for these three ladies.

While the preliminaries had Tani Marika in senbatsu, she makes a respectable debut at 23. Also making her debut is Fuchigami Mai.

SSK2K15 SUDA AKARI

Then there is the agony of defeat. After ranking 10th last year Suda Akari got smacked down to 18th. Suffice it to say, she did not look too pleased about dropping in rank. Personally I find her character fairly annoying and her only redeeming quality is that she’s extremely bendy. So you can probably guess that seeing her go down in rank isn’t exactly going to get any sympathy from me.

SSK2K15 KODAMA HARUKA

Who does get my sympathy is Kodama Haruka. She missed the senbatsu cut by a paltry 652 votes. Yes, The Passion of the Harupi is real and it sucks. Better luck next year if NakoMiku don’t surpass you by then.

Senbatsu

And now probably the hardest group to predict, the top 16. There were many factors involved as to who would place where, especially at the bottom half and top 5.

SSK2K15 MUTO TOMU

SSK2K15 TAKAYANAGI AKANE

Feel good senbatsu moments were aplenty with Muto Tomu and Takayanagi Akane finally ascending into this group. And I guess Matsumura Kaori also getting voted up would qualify as well. But that’s got to leave a little bit of a sour taste in the mouths of those who ranked below her. As in, “This bitch ranked higher than me? Seriously?” Or something along those lines.

Also I guess many of her haters would not be pleased to see her ugly up the senbatsu. She looked like she was going to puke or needed to drop the kids off at the pool badly during her acceptance speech.

SSK2K15 MATSUMURA KAORI

SSK2K15 KITAHARA RIE

Watanabe Miyuki and Kitahara Rie returned to the senbatsu. For Milky I guess all is forgiven after her drop last year. But more importantly Kitahara Rie gets back into the top 16 after hanging out in the Under Girls. All that NGT (and DSL) captain love is somewhere out there.

SSK2K15 YOKOYAMA YUI

Yokoyama Yui made it down to the stage at a quicker pace this year and did not need assistance from staff. She still melted down but not as epically as in past years or like the Yui who came to the stage many hours before her. Still, one has to love the entertainment factor of her speeches.

SSK2K15 SHIMAZAKI HARUKA

Speaking of emotion, Shimazaki Haruka actually showed some this year after dropping 2 spots to number 9. It’s about damn time. I was wondering if she was a robot programmed to randomly glare at people or sit emotionless. She did not look as bad as last year, but man who is styling this girl? She’s been looking pretty good lately and at this event? Kinda blah.

SSK2K15 MATSUI JURINA

The top 5 saw Matsui Jurina fail to get gain any ground on the juggernauts ahead of her and instead she fell further in the rankings. Frustrating for Jurina and her fans for sure.

SSK2K15 TAKAHASHI MINAMI

In her final year as a member of AKB48 Takahashi MInami ranked 4th showing that hard work pays off or that many respect votes have catapulted her close to the top. Either way, a deserved send off ranking for the current GM.

SSK2K15 SASHIHARA RINO

The top 3 had various outcomes but in the end Watanabe Mayu dropped to 3rd, Kashiwagi Yuki took 2nd and Sashihara Rino once again was crowned queen. I avoided social media while watching this live but decided to log in and see the reaction to Sasshi once again taking the crown.

The butt hurt was strong and fierce. I don’t quite understand the hate of Sasshi winning but that’s because I happen to like her. If she were not high in my personal rankings maybe I could understand the backlash but most likely not.

All I know is that the last time she was on top one of AKB’s best current singles was released so while I don’t expect KFC2, I am hopeful that the song for the 41st single won’t be a dud.

SSK2K15 KASHIWAGI YUKI

I was also rooting for Yukirin to win simply because either her or Sasshi would have an ugly winning painting. After seeing Mayu’s up close, it’s too pretty. There must be an ugly ass painting. And Sasshi winning makes me confident that will be delivered.

The one thing I did notice during Sashihara’s acceptance speech is that all the remaining HKT members were standing for her. HKT look like they’re one united front with Sashihara as their undisputed general. She commands some respect amongst all those youngins so that’s always nice to see.

I for one welcome Sashihara Rino back into the ranking of #1 and I hope I’m not alone in wishing she makes good on the promise of a bikini concert. Also, congratulations to her on joining the 2 timers club with Oshima Yuko and Maeda Atsuko.

Were there any announcements?

All the big announcements were made before this event with the withdrawals of several big names and those have been fading fast in the rankings over the past few elections. No one dropped the pipe bomb of graduation or rage quitting. Although I was expecting something momentous out of Suda Akari for dropping out of Senbatsu and Kodama Haruka for barely missing the cut.

I also read that some were perhaps expecting Kojima Haruna to jump on stage and announce her grad, but she seemed to be preoccupied with her Fuji TV duties to do that.

So alas, nothing at all of consequence.

Overall Thoughts

The 41st single sousenkyo certainly had the possibility of being one of the more interesting in recent history. With all the withdrawals there were more than a few spots up for grabs. In the end it was kind of a boring show until the Under Girls.

Many of the opening speeches went a little long and perhaps some of those people with stop watches at the handshake and 2-shot events would have been helpful to keep things moving along.

Although I will give props to Team H’s Kojina Yui for spicing things up a little with probably the best acceptance speech of the night. There’s something about them Yui’s and melting down. Always entertaining.

But compared to last year the pace of the show was a hell of a slow grind. And I guess how much enjoyment you got out of the program would also depend on which broadcast you were watching.

The BS Sky version did not cut away to panelists or endless commercials for push up bras, beer and Biore like Fuji TV did. Although, as the show dragged on it became a bit of a game to determine when Fuji TV would cut to a commercial that was shown about a billion times previously. Those sponsors sure got their monies worth in that case.

If you were one who actually wanted to hear what each girl was saying for their speech, BS Sky was the preferred choice. Although they didn’t have the fancy graphics and stats that Fuji TV had. So I guess it could be taken as a more raw experience without all the distractions of many things on the screen.

Anyway. All hail queen Sasshi. Here’s hoping that the 41st single is similar to this: