AKB Election 2013

April 7 has come and gone in the land of the rising sun and that means that the list of candidates for AKB48’S 5th general election has been finalized. With all the new rule changes this year there has been plenty of debate amongst fans about who has entered and who hasn’t.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way; Maeda Atsuko declared early on that she will not be entering this year’s election. That may be disappointing to the millions (and millions) of Atsuko’s fans but you realize that the entire election would have been a farce with the number of votes she would have generated.

Oshima Yuko & Watanabe Mayu would have had their battleships sunk fairly quickly if Maeda had joined the battle of supremacy. You know, I know it and anyone who denies that is a fool.

With her recent announcement, Akimoto Sayaka has also decided not to enter and instead she will graduate at some unknown time to pursue an acting career. Whether this announcement has to do with separation anxiety with Miyazawa Sae being off in China or if she has reached her maximum potential in AKB is unknown.

What is known is that there is no more Filipina diva time. Speaking of DiVAs there is also no Masuda Yuka in the election this year either.

Digging further into who is in, there’s only one Tomomi listed as a candidate and she’s one of the two who are going to graduate. One last hurrah for Itano I’m guessing? It’s not surprising that Kasai did not declare candidacy.

The saddest story from last year was Matsubara Natsumi sitting by herself at the end and this year she has decided not to participate. Sitting there must have been demoralizing and perhaps was a bit of a reality check as to where she is in the pecking order. Better to spare oneself the same fate and not relive the entire ordeal.

When it comes to AKB kenkyuusei the bald headed one herself Minegishi Minami has thrown her name into the hat. Whether she ranks as high as she did last year is a huge mystery but it would be funny if she showed up in some sort of new non-mom wig and threw it on the ground during her acceptance speech.

Even better is if she had some sort of message or symbol carved into her head. I know it won’t happen and she will probably have some new short do or another mom wig, but one can dream right? Anyway, it looks like a lot of other kenkyuusei from each group have some cajones to step up to the big girls table. Good to see that the future generations aren’t scared of getting their feet wet.

The sister groups seem to be well represented with many of the popular members participating this year. Now that HKT has started gaining momentum I don’t see an all SKE Undergirls this year. It could be the year of the Hakata group when it comes to making close to a clean sweep below the senbatsu.

The foreign transfers have a name missing; Nakagawa Haruka from JKT48 is not stepping into the battle.

Lastly, are the wild cards in the form of members who have left the organization, but were members for the past 4 years of AKB’s existence. Fans were probably expecting a whole lot of former members to jump in at the chance to be part of the election. But in the end there were only 6 who stepped up.

From my understanding of the past of AKB, Ohori Megumi and Hirajima Natsumi appear to have a higher chance than most to rank fairly high. Although it would be hilarious if either of them ended within the Future – Next girls range. A safe bet would be to go with one of them ending up as the old lady within the Undergirls alongside HKT & SKE members.

Now that I’m done with my analysis, let’s take a look at the final list of members you & I will be voting for. Please do not be a douchebag and try to hack serial numbers to get more votes, you are only taking away an opportunity from someone else.

AKB48 5th general election candidates

AKB48 Team A

AKB48 Team K

AKB48 Team B

AKB48 Kenkyuusei

SKE48 Team S

SKE48 Team K2

SKE48 Team E

SKE48 Kenkyuusei

NMB48 Team N

NMB48 Team M

NMB48 Team B2

NMB48 Kenkyuusei

HKT48 Team H

HKT48 Kenkyuusei

Others