AKB48, or should I say the 48-group (AKB, SKE, NMB, HKT, JKT/SNH), has just released each member’s appeal for the 5th Senbatsu Sousenkyo Elections. The results will be revealed this June 8 in Nissan Stadium, Yokohama.
For those not familiar, before the votes are cast, the 48-group releases appeals for votes from each member. Each member can use the one to two minute appeal time as they see fit and decide on their own what to say and what to wear. Thus, it becomes a showcase of each member’s individuality. Some opt to go for that serious, passionate appeal while some go for that nonsensical, funny appeal.
Let’s see what last year’s top three members have to say this year. Here are transcripts of their videos.
◆ Oshima Yuko – AKB48 Team-K, Rank 1
“I have announced my candidacy for the 5th Senbatsu Sousenkyo Elections. I would now like to put all my ardor and enthusiasm into one kanji character. Of course, as Japanese, a character must be written with a brush and in ink, right? Okay. Let’s do it! (She writes the character ‘matsuri, 祭’ (festival) on the wall, in high-spirits no less) IT’S A FESTIVAL! (She disappears from screen while doing a festive dance and chant)
◆ Watanabe Mayu – AKB48 Team-A, Rank 2
“Last year, because of everyone’s warm support, I was able to receive this wonderful rank of 2nd. And this year, because of my fans’ love and presence, I was able to truly feel the heaviness of this achievement. It has been that kind of year. From now on too, I will spend my days doing my best in returning the favor. For this year’s elections, same as I have said last year, I would once again aim for the top. As the voting comes, please support Watanabe Mayu once again.”
◆ Kashiwagi Yuki – AKB48 Team-B, Rank 3
“This year’s election has a candidacy system, so when I was thinking of announcing mine, I thought of all the chances I was given this year. I thought that I have become a little more confident in myself because of the fans’ support during the elections. I have solo debuted this year and now have individual activities and so I thought that I would give priority to AKB’s dream as a whole and give what ever I have, though it may be so little, to the growth of the group. And with that, I have decided to join this year’s elections. I will work so hard that you will be glad that you supported me. And for my fans, I will put you all in a daze (her signature line)! With that said, I am now at my most motivated this year! Everyone, please favor me this year!
The Senbatsu Elections has always been the most tense and arguably the most looked forward to event of the AKB48 year. All eyes on Oshima Yuko and Watanabe Mayu as they battle for the top spot. We’ll know this year if the young generation would take over or if the veteran members stand strong. Rank 4 member Sashihara Rino (HKT48 Team H) is garnering attention too with her sudden rise in rank despite a scandal. It will also be interesting how now research student Minegishi Minami, infamous for shaving her hair as apology, will fare this year.
Here is AKB48’s Official Channel for all the videos of each member (totaling 248 members).