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Member reactions to this year’s upcoming election

A few details for 2016’s senbatsu sousenkyo election have been released.  For some AKB members, it’s something to look forward to, but there are also some other members who think otherwise.

My news feed was pretty flooded with the 2016 general election news. The details themselves are pretty standard: there is a new single (Mukaichi Mion as center, whoa!), which will contain voting tickets, going on sale in June.

I’ll spare the details, as one thing I noticed was member reactions. Amongst the very positive ones were Oshima Ryoka, who is aiming to get into the top 20, despite being unranked last year.

Of note was declarations of non-participation. This is was Watanabe Miyuki had to say:

Watanabe Miyuki: “The 44th single lineup was announced. Because this is the senbatsu single, I will not be participating in this year’s election.  OK! Looking forward to your continued support!”

The precise reasoning is not really clear, and fans expressed some concern here, which Milky immediately responds to in a follow up Tweet:

Watanabe Miyuki: “I want to take special care in every little thing that I do. With every choice and every decision, I want to be able to say that those decision weren’t a mistake. That’s the life I want to live.  Therefore, please don’t worry about me. I’m having fun, and am very happy.”

Next up, is Watanabe Mayu’s reaction, in a long Tweet, in which only the last few lines are really relevant:

Watanabe Mayu: “Thanks for the photo event! My hiccups wouldn’t stop, so there 7th slot start time was a little bit delayed. Sorry! There was also the 44th single senbatsu announcement. I was chosen to be part of the lineup. It’s all thanks to the fans. Thank you very much! They also said they’re doing an election this year. How scary! It makes me puke thinking about it.”

That’s a lot of information to fit into Twitter’s character limit.  Oh Mayuyu! Don’t start vomiting!

If you need a little more cryptic of a reaction, that Hirata Rina has got you covered:

Hirata Rina says: “Election. I can’t say right away if I will participate.  I need some time to think about it.”

Obviously, it is hard to explain her reasoning, and we can only guess. If 2ch is anything to go by, some of the reactions presented as follows:

  • “I guess if you have no prospects of ranking, there’s no point. But if she quits now, she is basically guaranteed down the path of abandonment.
  • “Being transferred to Team A, and then being part of that new theater, I guess her heart is broken.”
  • “If you’re going to be by the sidelines whether you appear or not appear, she should just show up anyway.”
  • “Don’t run! It’s a festival. Have fun!”
  • “If she quits, she’ll just disappear even more quickly! She’s still only 17 years old — she shouldn’t be afraid of the challenge!”
  • “Maybe she’s thinking about graduating”

Last, and certainly not least, the following Tweet by Nozawa Rena paints an even gloomier picture of the election:

“I won’t become an angel.
My wings have been broken.
My dream of someday flying in the sky has disappeared.
I’m undecided about the election.”


Author: reika

I’m writing about useless and stupid things a lot, and I like to laugh. My policy is 一期一会。It means treasure your meeting with everyone!

  • Derek Vasconi

    Really? So many girls not okay with the sousenkyo this year? I would think with so many of the old guard leaving and positions opening up like crazy as a result, this would be THE year to be excited if you are an unknown AKB member. You might have a real shot at being ranked or even in senbatsu? I don’t get it, honestly, but maybe there is more going on in the lives of these girls than we will ever know. Ganbatte AKB!

    • reika

      It’s maybe a small majority. I think Milky was forefront because she also mentioned to a fan on 755 that might be around for a handshake event later this year. It’s all speculations though, but like you said, these girls probably have a lot going on.

      Are you voting this year? :))

      • Derek Vasconi

        sorry for the late response. I just got back to the US from Tokyo.
        I am thinking about voting. Tani needs all the votes she can get, but as more and more girls opt out of the Sousenkyo, I keep wondering if that means people like Tani will have an honest shot at even a senbatsu position, considering Tani’s rank last year. She hasn’t seemed to have got much of a push this year though? Not sure. How about you? I might also vote for Okada Nana, being that she’s been incredible all year too.

  • Payuyu Fortyeight

    it’s sad but most girls who don’t enter SSK will either graduate or they know that they have no chance in ranking…last yr that was the reason why takeuchi miyu didn’t join, because she knows that chances of her ranking is thin 🙁 and milky…well, i think it’s a hint of graduation. i bet those girls who have never ranked are pretty excited this SSK, i really hope to see new faces this year 😀

    and on other news kojima haruna filled up the candidacy from but she did not fill it up properly lol she joked around maybe it’s a sign kojiharu won’t participate too? XD

    • reika

      lol, yes, I just read Nyan-nyan Kamen’s application. It’s funny. I’m still looking forward to SSK. As you say, there may be many new girls who rank in this year.

  • YuiNounen

    nozawa’s tweet is very dark…….. but she is still fortunate for the continuous free delicious ramen.

  • Jack

    There’s an election every year for the single after the summer single. All other singles have management-chosen members.

  • Jack

    Milky not in the single? Milky not participating? NoOoOoOo! I was gonna vote for her this year too T_T

    • reika

      Oh it’s too bad (TT
      Do you have a #2 oshi?

      • Jack

        My number 1 is actually Yui. Milky’s my number 2 :O

  • hollowman

    Okay, a bit of history here.

    The Senbatsu Sousenkyo is a fan popularity contest first held in 2009. Senbatsu (選抜) means ‘selection’, Sousenkyo (総選挙) means ‘general elections’. Held annually in June (Summer in Japan), the sousenkyo determines who participates in the next AKB48 single, hence the name Senbatsu Sousenkyo.

    Like Jack mentioned, normally the management decides the senbatsu and undergirls (they sing the B-side) lineups for singles, but for sousenkyo singles, us fans decide. For the girls, it’s sort of like a popularity report card; it is also a chance for lesser members to make senbatsu. Thus many girls feel the pressure to get a good ranking. Along the way, there are surprises and also setbacks…

    The term ‘Kami 7’ (or 8) originated from the sousenkyo, because for the first few years, it was a core group of members who consistently occupied the top spots. Just do a simple google search of past results, hopefully you’ll understand what i mean.

    • Far Away

      thankyou @nicholas_chen:disqus