Thoughts on the results so far
I will not be able to participate in this year’s Election Podcast due to personal reasons so I figured I would put in my half a cent here. As usual, these are just my opinions and they do not necessarily reflect those of the other Selective Hearing staff and/or our partners.
With the obligatory disclaimer out of the way let’s look at the list of those who have managed to get votes so far. First thing I noticed is that many of these names are foreign to me. I’m pretty sure that speaks to my level of investment in keeping up with the now endless stream of 48 groups.
When you break down the numbers by group members of the various teams of AKB48 are the ones who got the majority of the votes. Coming in a close second are members of SKE48 and in third HKT48. The complete list of the number of members currently voted in by group is as follows:
AKB48 – 39
SKE48 – 30
HKT48 – 20
NMB48 – 14
NGT48 – 13
STU48 – 2
BNK48 – 2
JKT48 – 0
TPE48 – 0
Total = 120
I seriously thought #120 was a typo and was thinking “Who the fuck is Music?”. When I saw her real name (Praewa Suthamphong) I figured maybe Music is a lot easier to pronounce. I did have to look her up and discovered she is a member of BNK48. That is the extent of my knowledge about her.
Anyway, it appears that the overseas sister groups didn’t seem to make a huge impact in the opening numbers. That may change but it is looking unlikely that there will be some sort of massive uprising of overseas group members ranking in. The best rankings for any overseas sister group member will probably be within the opening group of 100 – 81 and not much higher.
Looking further up the list one of my new personal favorites of the current generation of members in AKB48 is just outside the top 100. That person is #104 Ma Chia-Ling. I’m thinking she will probably squeak into the first group of ranked members if not maybe be one of the first called up into the second grouping. The second scenario is more wishful thinking than anything else.
#61 Okabe Rin is another who is high on my list. Her initial ranking puts her in to the Future Girls which is most likely where she’ll end up when the final votes are counted. Or at least one would hope so given her recent promotion to captain of Team A. At the very least she should be rewarded for having to travel to the Philippines for past Team 8 appearances. (I kid my fellow Filipinos, I kid.)
Coming in at two spots ahead of her ranking last year Oguri Yui is primed to make some upward movement into at minimum the Next Girls. Being named the successor to Watanabe Mayu and becoming the first Team 8 member to center an a-side (Teacher Teacher) should provide enough fuel for her fans to push her further up in the final rankings.
When it comes to the top 16 the preliminary numbers are usually not a good indication of how things will pan out. I think Mukaichi Mion and/or Muto Tomu will find themselves back in the final grouping. Joining them will be regulars like Yokyama Yui, Takahashi Juri, Suda Akari and Okada Nana.
As for the rest outside of the top 3? I have no idea who will be voted in. Wota are such fickle people so it is hard to predict who they will push at any given moment.
It is only the top 3 that I believe will be a definite. But in what order? I don’t really understand her appeal but I am going to predict Ogino Yuka will be crowned the new queen bee of the 48 empire. Why? I don’t know. Just a feeling. Miyawaki Sakura will be second and Matsui Jurina will take Kashiwagi Yuki’s spot of forever second runner up.
Will this election end up being one of the more unpredictable ones? Maybe. There certainly are a lot of factors to make it less mundane than previous years. Obviously I have certain members I am rooting for as seen above. Yet I will not participate in the voting process. I no longer have a free vote thanks to my final 48 fan club membership expiring and I’m not going to break the bank for a bunch of CD’s that will only end up in a dumpster or buried deep in the mountains where I live.
I’m not even going to stay up and watch. I’m fine with waiting for the final results the day after and hope that some of my remaining faves manage to rank in somewhere.