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On AKB's senbatsu elections, sales figures, graduation of Maeda and all that jazz...

So, unless you've been living under a rock you'll know that AKB just released number two out of their now habitual five singles of the year. As with the past 4 years, this CD contains a voting ticket to determine the ranks and suchlike for their next single. Now, with the most popular member from last year not taking part, one wonders where her vote is going. It's obviously going somewhere, as this is probably going to be the last single she's a part of (she's graduating the day after the Tokyo Dome concerts which take place on the 24th, 25th and 26th of August, which means she'll still be a member as of the next single, but as she's not in the election she won't be in the single. Make sense?), it's got some ridiculous sales figures. 1.17million for the first day alone. Up to 1.3million by the second day.

Anyway, back to my point. The elections.

Once again, AKB fans are getting all the press for all the wrong reasons. Granted, it's not something I can really say I disagree with, I'll personally never understand the method of buying multiple copies unless they all have something different on them; buying for handshake tickets means nothing as I haven't been to Japan in four years; and the election honestly does nothing for me as I know the ones I support the most will maybe make the bottom end of the rankings if they're lucky, and my meagre salary and the slow speed of delivery between Japan and the UK renders any contribution I could make rather moot. Still, AKB have achieved quite a remarkable level of market saturation for a niche product.

The first day results for the election had several surprises and of course several unfortunate cases of predictability.

A full list of the results:

Future Girls
#64 Tanabe Miku
#63 Nakanishi Yuka (SKE48)
#62 Eto Sayaka (HKT48)
#61 Kikuchi Ayaka
#60 Nonaka Misato
#59 Ichikawa Miori
#58 Kinoshita Yukiko (SKE48)
#57 Matsubara Natsumi
#56 Oba Mina
#55 Maeda Ami
#54 Fukumoto Aina (NMB48)
#53 Nagao Mariya
#52 Oota Aika
#51 Katayama Haruka
#50 Ooya Shizuka
#49 Miyazaki Miho

Next Girls
#48 Ishida Haruka
#47 Yamauchi Suzuran
#46 Hiramatsu Kananko (SKE48)
#45 Iwasa Misaki
#44 Kimoto Kanon (SKE48)
#43 Kobayashi Kana
#42 Yamada Nana (NMB48)
#41 Fujie Reina
#40 Nakata Chisato
#39 Matsumura Kaori (SKE48)
#38 Nakagawa Haruka
#37 Yakata Miki (SKE48)
#36 Nakaya Sayaka
#35 Kizaki Yuria (SKE48)
#34 Kuramochi Asuka
#33 Yagami Kumi (SKE48)

Undergirls
#32 Sayaka Akimoto
#31 Ogasawara Mayu (NMB48)
#30 Muto Tomu
#29 Ogiso Shiori (SKE48)
#28 Ooya Masana (SKE48)
#27 Mukaida Manatsu (SKE48)
#26 Suda Akari (SKE48)
#25 Masuda Yuka
#24 Hata Sawako (SKE48)
#22 Furukawa Airi (SKE48)
#22 Shimazaki Haruka
#21 Sato Amina
#20 Takayanagi Akane (SKE48)
#19 Watanabe Miyuki (NMB48)
#18 Yamamoto Sayaka (NMB48)
#17 Kasai Tomomi

Senbatsu
#16 Kitahara Rie
#15 Minegishi Minami
#14 Umeda Ayaka
#13 Takajo Aki
#12 Yokoyama Yui
#11 Kojima Haruna
#10 Miyazawa Sae
#9 Itano Tomomi
#8 Matsui Jurina (SKE48)
#7 Matsui Rena (SKE48)
#6 Shinoda Mariko
#5 Takahashi Minami
#4 Sashihara Rino
#3 Watanabe Mayu
#2 Kashiwagi Yuki
#1 Oshima Yuko


I've italicised the ones I find interesting for several reasons. The first, Eto Sayaka, wasn't added to Team H despite being one of the more popular members. Obviously this is sort of a protest vote, but I doubt it'll make much more headway.

#52, Lovetan. Last year she was upper undergirls, this year she's down in the ridiculous levels. Dunno whether she did something to offend the Japanese fans or they all just couldn't be fucked to vote, but it intrigues me.

#39, Matsumura Kaori aka BBQ. SKE kenkyuusei who started her own show on G+ and got followed a shitload for it. Proving that G+ has at least offered more exposure to the less pushed girls.

#32, Akimoto Sayaka. Quite a drop. Usually her fans always manage to band together and somehow get her into senbatsu, but looks like this time it may be difficult.

#30, Muto Tomu. First thought is "who?" I knew she was a kenkyuusei, but had never seen her on... anything.

#14, Umeda Ayaka. She seems to have impressed more than just me this past year. Centre of the undergirls last time, now staking a place for senbatsu? Go Umechan.

So yea, hopefully this election can throw up a few more weird results and get started on removing some more of the deadwood now that Maeda's finally doing everyone else in the group a favour and fucking off. Maybe next they can set up Kasai with someone so she gets removed for "health reasons."

I can always hope...

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