On June 6th AKB48 held their 4th election program to announce the results of the fan voting for their 27th single. As a relative newcomer to the AKB fandom I was looking forward to watching this result show live.
Of course I had to do a little bit of homework before so I watched the previous 3 election result shows to familiarize myself with what goes on during this event and to have a bit of history in regards to rankings and such.
The show started with the overture and a mini-concert featuring the entire roster of AKB related acts singing their latest singles at this period in time.
Out of all the performances in this mini-concert I liked the SKE48 ones the most. Those girls get some crazy catchy songs. Second would be NMB48 for their choreography where they carry each other & because of the eye candy that is Yamamoto Sayaka.
I’m not exactly sure why the accountant guy was interviewed when he brought the suitcase of doom out, but I guess it helped raise the tension level in the room.
You know, its funny how that thing was handcuffed to him. It looked like he was a foreign dignitary or some bad ass spy or something with that & the security flanking him. I kept thinking he should have had a Bill Goldberg type entrance with loads of security dudes surrounding him, pyro and menacing entrance music.
As for the election results part of the show? Well it was a lesson for me as I really have no clue who most of these girls are outside of the more popular ones. The Future and Next girls helped put faces to names I have heard many times before.
I know it’s a common complaint that there are just too damn many girls in AKB to really keep track of. To those whiners I say shut your trap and start investing some time figuring things out. Especially if you’re a convert from Hello! Project. If you could memorize all of H!P at their peak when they had millions of girls then you should have no problem with AKB.
Anyway, it was nice to finally have some sort of familiarity with some of the lesser members that my friends at New School Kaidan talk about on a regular basis on their podcast. I’ll probably forget who some of these girls are by the time this is posted but at least this serves as a decent reference point should I get all confused again.
The Undergirls yielded an interesting outcome with SKE48 emerging as the dominant entity within this group of members. People I was watching this with on Twitter were wondering if there should be a renaming to SKE Team Undergirls or something along those lines.
This set of results also threw a monkey wrench into many people’s predictions for the Senbastsu as Takajo Aki ended up being part of the Undergirls. To be honest, that saved me about $30 since I was giving away a $50 gift certificate for those who got the entire Senbatsu correct. Instead it got dropped to $20 because of this.
While that may be celebrating the misfortune of an idol projected to go higher than she did, it worked in my favor. Just saying. =) Other than that turn of events I also discovered new eye candy in the forms of Yagami Kumi, Masuda Yuka, Takayanagi Akane and Yamamoto Sayaka.
The Senbatsu portion of the show started off with the ascension of Umeda Ayaka from the Undergirls to what some say is a rightful spot in the upper echelon of AKB girls. Well deserved according to those who are more experienced in the ways of AKB than I.
After that came Yokoyama Yui. I remember last year’s election when she was so overcome with emotion she could hardly stand, or say a word. And much like last year, she melted down again. Is it wrong to say that I found her incredibly cute while she was freaking out?
What was even better this time is that there were members screaming from their seats encouraging her along with the crowd. Eventually she managed to get through her acceptance speech. I wonder what will happen if she breaks top 7 one day?
Controversy erupted at the 10 and 9 spots as Matsui Jurina ranked higher than Matsui Rena. These two seem generally seem to be within a few spots of each other with Rena being placed higher the majority of the time.
Perhaps Rena fans were feeling a bit disappointed at the younger Matsui besting their favorite but suck it up princesses. You should have voted more. To round things out before the Kami 7, Itano Tomomi. Who once again placed outside of the group. At least she moved up, but not by much.
As the show neared its predictable conclusion one question remained & that was whether Sashihara Rino would pull an upset & rank higher than 4th. And that ended up being a no for this year. I have heard of many Sasshi haters ragging on her but I have a feeling those guys take this shit way too seriously for their own good.
For a fan run “election” people complain an awful lot. It’s up to you with the voting power to do your best to get your favorite(s) a higher ranking so don’t cry about it when the results don’t end up the way you wanted.
As expected Oshima Yuko took the top by a landslide inheriting the spot left vacant by the graduating Maeda Atsuko. Who funnily enough showed up on stage after hanging out on a Fuji TV show covering the election to congratulate her successor.
This is where things got funny on Twitter with people complaining that Maeda should get the hell off the stage & stop stealing Yuko’s spotlight. I’m saying nicely of course, because from what I recall the actual words were, “Get that bitch off the stage, it’s Yuko’s time!”
No offense to you Maeda fans, just telling you what others were tweeting during the crowning of the queen bitch of all AKB.
The top 3 was rather predictable with Watanabe & Kashiwagi being pretty much interchangeable. Although it’s nice to see Watanabe at #2 since maybe this 27th single can be about ass. That’s just my suggestion. I wouldn’t mind Heavy Rotation Part 2 either.
Overall I found this to be an interesting election before the Top 3. There appeared to be a lot of vote spreading from Maeda fans to lesser members and some who were projected to go high dropped to unexpected ranks.
I also thought it was funny that they called bedtime for the loli members right before the end of the show. Just seeing a mass exodus of girls makes you realize just how young this organization actually is on average.
Lastly, I thought the paintings of past winners were horrible. I hope they find a better artist for Yuko’s painting this year.
In the end this was very worth the lack of sleep and I look forward to next year’s festivities.