Reactions to Watanabe Mayu’s win in AKB48 6th General Elections

10 Jun

“AKB48 Senbatsu Sousenkyo Live Special” garners 16.2% rating, peak at 28.7% 

The 6th General Elections which was held at Ajinomoto Stadium had a 70,000 strong audience. AKB48 Watanabe Mayu(20) had surpassed the last year’s winner HKT48 Sashihara Rino(21) in a turn of events, and took the crown for the first time.

The highest rating was recorded at 9:04, when the audience reacted to Mayu’s win with a “Mayuyu” call. The ratings queen in the past 2 years was Sashihara Rino.

A look at the ratings in the past 2 years.

2013 5th General Elections – Average rating 20.3%, Peak rating 32.7% (Scene when Sashihara won No.1)
2012 4th General Elections – Average 18.7%, Peak rating 28.0% (Scene when Sashihara rose to 4th position from previous year’s 9th)



AKB48 seniors’messages to Watanabe Mayu(Twitter/Media Inteviews)

Maeda Atsuko: “Mayu chan! Congratulations! You’re worked really hard! It’s really great!”

Shinoda Mariko: “Mayuyu Senior!” (^v^)

Kojima Haruna: “Mayu chan congrats!”/ “Mayuyu getting No.1  is something all members accept, and a form of encouragement for everyone. She isn’t talented like Sasshi. She makes us understand that we can succeed if we work hard.” / “She’s probably the only member who thinks about getting No.1 through the year. I’m happy that her efforts have been rewarded.”

Sashihara Rino: “Congratulations for getting No.1!” / “Mayuyu! Please make me some karaage next time!”

Oshima Yuko: “I’ll leave AKB48 to you.”

Minegishi Minami: “I’ll also work hard in any way i can, so please take care of me. Congratulations!”

Akimoto Sayaka: “She’s perfect as an idol. She’s shining brightly now. I also hope to receive abit of her light.”


What were you feeling when you were told you are No.1?
I didn’t know what was happening at first. My mind was blank.

What is the sousenkyo to you?
It’s a once in a year event, so it’s something that measures the hard work you’ve put in for 1 year. It’s not scary, but because of it, we feel motivated to work harder each year.

Do you think of your speeches beforehand?
I do think of it whilst the rest of the rankings are being called. But as mine gets closer, i am unable to think. Usually when i stand infront of the mic, the words come out naturally.

What do you want to say about AKB48’s future?
Because the fans are around, there’s us. I want us to become a group that continues to receive such love.



What were your feelings on winning?
I was 2nd in the prelim results. I really wanted to surpass Sasshi, so when my dreams were realised i was really happy.

What kind of song do you want to sing next?
I want the next song to be something widely favoured like Oshima Yuko’s “Heavy Rotation”, or Sasshi’s “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”.

Where do you want to film the PV?

What are your aims for next year?
I want to get a straight win.


To secure Mayuyu’s win, China fans amassed 35,000 votes

Fan votes from China had become a point of focus last year after a report surfaced on the Internet, saying China fans had gathered 9,000 votes for Sasshi in last year’s elections. Sashihara said on TV that it was not only her, other members as well were receiving votes from China. To think that her words would come true.

In this year’s elections, Mayuyu’s fanclub in China reported that they had amassed 35,000 votes, whilst Sashihara’s fanclub reported 14,000 votes. The huge difference of 21,000 votes effectively closed the gap between Mayuyu and Sasshi and even gave her ample space for victory. (Final difference in votes was 17,900.)

Whilst Sashihara’s fans in China grieved over the loss, it was inevitable as many had pulled out from voting this year since she had won before. On the contrary, Mayuyu’s fans were adamant to see their idol take the throne, and so started a crowdfunding campaign as early as February. The money collected was then used to purchase voting tickets. Their efforts were not in vain.



Netizen Reactions 

“It’s finally here!!”
“The victory of the orthodox idol!”
“This must be due to China’s 35k vote missile!”
“So glad that Sashihara didn’t get No.1!”
“It’s good that a cute girl is No.1!”
“It seems like they knew the results beforehand since there wasn’t any live feed of the Oita people.”
“Yes! I’m glad my votes didn’t go to waste the past 2 years!”
“I’m a wota of Matsui Rena but congratulations!”
“I’m a wota of NMB but i’ve been waiting for Mayuyu to win!”
“The real Queen is born!”
“The real Chapter 2 is started. Mayuyu lives up to her name as ace!”
“Thanks to everyone who voted for Mayuyu!”

13 Responses to “Reactions to Watanabe Mayu’s win in AKB48 6th General Elections”

  1. anon June 10, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    I think one of reason the rating was low this time, was because everyone thought Sashihara was going to win again, nonetheless the rating is really impressive. I am sure the next year more people are going to be more curios about the elections.

    I wonder if this 35k votes for Mayu were actually from their fans, or just AKB fans trying to get AKB on top again. Do you think if Yuko had participated in the election, Mayu
    had been able to surpass her ???

    • allthingsjpop June 11, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

      I don’t think it’s about putting AKB back on top. I’ve seen the Chinese campaigns myself and the Chinese fans are really sincere about pushing Mayu to the top cos they can’t stand to see Mayu cry anymore. They used a lot of emotional words to move people so the campaign was successful.

      As for Yuko..if she was still around it’d be hard for Mayu to win I guess. I feel that Mayu won this time because a percentage of Yuko/Mariko/Tomochin’s votes went to her.

  2. Erika June 14, 2014 at 1:24 am #

    I’m a upset with Mayuyu’s win. Her winning the election means AKB might become the typical idol group, which might bore some people. Her refusal to sing other type of songs mean AKB will be stuck with boring generic songs.

    • allthingsjpop June 14, 2014 at 3:08 am #

      Actually, if we look back at Sashihara’s win, nothing changed for AKB. People were expecting the group to turn comical, but they continued with an idol image.

      So i think Mayuyu’s win will not change anything as well. She can’t refuse songs actually, so if AkiP decides to write a dance number, Mayuyu will probably be swapped out for Jurina-Sayanee double center. And now that Kojiharu is getting ready to graduate, we may see another song featuring Kojiharu as center.

      My guess is, Mayuyu will probably continue to be default center for Spring and Summer singles.

      Jankan and Autumn single is a question mark.

      • Erika June 14, 2014 at 8:02 am #

        Of course nothing changed last year. Sasshi was just center for that one song only. The center is still Mayuyu.

        She did refused songs before. Aki-p tried to persuade her to sing non-generic idol songs before. She adamantly refused them and he has given up on trying to persuade her.

        About the Autumn single, there is a high chance that Mayuyu will be the center again. I heard from other fans that Mayuyu took center spots for recent River and Beginner performances. That is not a good news, since most fans have been looking forward for another cool UZA and Beginner-like songs for the upcoming Autumn single.

      • allthingsjpop June 14, 2014 at 11:30 am #

        Excuse me, but the centers from last year’s sousenkyo up till now were Sasshi, Jurina, Kojiharu, Yuko, then Mayuyu. Why are u calling her the center when she only took 1 single?

        Also, Mayuyu refused songs ONLY for her solo single. She has every right to do that cos its her career. But she has never refused a song for AKB. In case u don’t know, she was center for UZA but had to pull out cos she couldn’t dance. If she had the power to refuse the song, UZA wouldn’t be released at all.

        Mayuyu was assigned to replace Acchan in all songs when she graduated. Its not unsual that she is centering River and Beginner.

        The center and style for Autumn single is a question mark. I guess that u are worried that Mayuyu will take center and ruin the dance song. Frankly it’s too early to speculate but looking at the UZA case, Mayuyu will never center songs she isn’t confident of.

      • Erika June 25, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

        Sorry for the late reply. When I said center, I’m referring to absolute center like Acchan before.

        Yes I know about the UZA thing. She was picked at first because they wanted her to be the next absolute center. I think UZA would still be release even if Mayuyu refuse it, since the fall single is all about cool song.

        While she may not be able to refuse AKB songs, Aki-p will still write AKB’s songs based on the center.

      • allthingsjpop June 29, 2014 at 7:27 am #

        I actually don’t think he writes songs based on the center alone. Like last year’s KFC wasn’t about Sasshi. When Jurina won janken, he also didn’t write her a dance track. The only members he customised a single for are Mariko and Yuko, for graduation’s sake.

    • Anonymous January 3, 2015 at 12:27 am #

      I agree with you ^__^

  3. Kate June 18, 2014 at 5:40 am #

    She already wants a straight win, so greedy!!!
    Personally, as much as I like her, I do NOT want her to win again. A straight victory is boring no matter who the reigning queen is.This year I supported her but next year as far as rank 1 is concerned I’ll be cheering for whoever has the biggest chance of dethroning her. This year was crucial for her to win and I do believe she got quite a fair amount of votes from graduated members and chinese people. Now that she has achieved her dream, perhaps fans who are not Mayu oshis will feel the need to support other girls. I
    do not predict her overall vote count to keep increasing unlike previous years, it’ll probably drop quite a bit.

    • allthingsjpop June 19, 2014 at 1:39 am #

      I think that’s the only thing she can say, cos settling for less is kinda rude to her fans.It’s like telling them she doesn’t need their help anymore.

      Anyways, i’d also prefer it if someone else can win, but i’ll only support those who really deserve it.This year’s Mayuyu calls were unforgettable.I hope the other members can work hard to be recognized by such a call in future, and not simply hope that they can become No.1.

      I’m also afraid that Mayuyu’s votes will drop alot. She does not have the opportunities that Sasshi has…TV appearances, leadership positions etc. She does not have a kennin position like Yukirin/Jurina/Sayanee. All the opportunities left for are the center position for 37th single. I hope it becomes a huge hit cos that’s all she can count on to defend her position next year.

  4. angeline♥ 幻想水滸伝 (@bakangel) July 15, 2014 at 8:57 am #

    Hurm to be honest..I prefer Mayuyu to win this year SSK…since am sick of Sasshi already (no offense to her fans but then every fans have their own likes/dislikes girls)..and for next year SSK I don’t mind she winning again..or even better Paruru become the center ehehe…if you guys realized…ALL AKB48 members have a relieve faces when Mayuyu was announced as the center for this year SSK…just look at Yukirin, KojiHaru and Takamina face…they feel relieved that Mayuyu won…and same goes to the graduated members…plus I don’t think so Sashi have the center aura (no offense again) but then I do agreed that her presence is a need like KojiHaru/Yukirin style…


  1. 3 weeks to AKB48 General Elections 2015: A look at China fans’ campaigns | allthingsjpop - May 16, 2015

    […] on how the Chinese campaigns work, since last year it was widely reported that the Chinese fans had a hand in pushing Watanabe Mayu to the throne. This suggests that the elections are no longer a domestic affair, but how much support will the […]

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