Archive | AKB48 RSS feed for this section

Why overseas votes matter for Mayuyu’s last Sousenkyo

1 Jun

 

I doubt many know about the story behind Mayu and Sashihara’s large gap in Sousenkyo last year. Since this is Mayu’s last Sousenkyo, i will cautiously re-tell what i’d seen and read in the days after Sousenkyo 2016 so you know why Mayu is in a precarious situation this year.

The Sashihara fansite admin posted a blog about his campaigning efforts after Sousenkyo 2016. I had translated it and shared it in private with 2 Mayu fans on a forum. He, or perhaps some other leader, had a very detailed estimate of how much votes Mayu was could potentially receive last year.

His estimate breakdown:

  • 100,000 votes from domestic fans (i recall him describing it as a routinely “weak”)
  • 80,000 votes from overseas fans (he mentions this as the strength of Mayu’s votes)
  • 40,000 votes (“Deai no Tsuzuki” single sales in 2015 which would have converted into votes if the release date did not clash with Sousenkyo 2015)

The Sashihara camp set their target at 250,000 votes to secure a win. That, explains why Sashihara managed to get 240,000 plus votes last year.

If i had to commend him, it’d be for getting such confidential info(Mayu’s overseas votes etc) and thereby creating a target which gave Sashihara a good chance to win.

So what happened to Mayu’s supposed 220,000 votes? 

  • Domestic fans dwindling in numbers

A post from the Mayu fansite admin after Sousenkyo 2016 says it all.

“This year, as you can put in 10 votes via mobile, i also thought that the overall votes would increase, but actually it decreased.

Indeed, perhaps the number of people who voted have decreased.
Thinking back, as great numbers of fans leave AKB48, there are remaining Mayu wotas who went beyond their means to vote X times or 10 times more.

I, too, when Mayu decided to participate, thought “so you decided to take part this year too..”
If possible, i don’t want to use my money. That was what i thought.
I already gave all my love to the management.
48G has lost its charm.

I think fans of members with a serious attitude- especially Mayuyu Oshis, many of them have perhaps left.
Sasshi’s 240,000 votes are the result of her fans’ hard work, but perhaps the reason for this huge gap is because we have lost many comrades who used to fight along us.
Originally, Mayu’s camp had the potential to exceed 200,000 votes.

I watched Mayu’s speech over and over again.

On 15th during ANN radio show, the hesitation before she said “I won’t announce graduation” made me realise she actually wanted to graduate. I felt sad about it. But in her speech, she said that she didn’t want AKB to be over like that.

Her words left a deep impression on me.

Pls do something,even abit is fine, to revive 48G before graduating.With this thought, i would be happy to see you work just a while more in AKB.

There are 2 sides to the topic of graduating, but I like the shining idol Mayuyu in AKB. I love her as a solo, but the best is still idol Mayuyu.

To all Mayu fans, Mayu is saying she doesn’t want it all to end this way.

Will you support the AKB led by Mayuyu?”

I would not have imagined this happening but the signs were definite especially during NHK Kouhaku Utagassen last year. According to the chinese crowdfunding committee over at Tieba, they’ve chosen to keep their votes a secret these years because they wanted to hide the fact that Mayu’s Japanese fanbase is weakening.

  • Overseas fans’ funds being allegedly siphoned away

The allegations have been continuing since 2015, when someone (i think originally within the crowdfunding committee) stepped out and accused the leader of pocketing money. It died down and in 2016, they started raising funds again in what i’d say is the most aggressive campaigning effort in history. It was very easy to get into the mood of giving because the Chinese fans were working towards a target everyday, unlike Mayu’s Japanese fans who are very passive( no announcement of targets, voting at their own pace). With all that hard work, I suppose the Chinese fans did not expect the gap between Sashihara and Mayu to be that big, so the allegations blew up after Sousenkyo again. While there is no definite conclusion about what happened to the money, TRUST is gone. They’ve decided to stop crowdfunding this year, and it’s only during recent weeks that something was restarted again. At this rate, this means potentially 50,000 votes from crowdfunding lost this year.

If fellow Mayu fans see it, Mayu is in a precarious position this year. It would have been best if she pulled out of the elections, but she has AKB48 to shoulder and has to face it head on.

If you have a vote to spare, think about how Mayu has behaved in the span of all these elections.

  • She’s never dangled a carrot in front of you promising a bikini concert if she wins. Even when asked to propose a treat for the fans, she declined.
  • She’s only approached these elections with the purest of hearts and sportsmanship.
  • Unlike many of the top girls who bawl yearly just because they lost a preliminary or couldn’t get a good rank, Mayu always faces her fans with thankful dignity.

If you believe in Mayu’s “idololgy” and thinks this should be the 48Group spirit, pls spare her a vote and give her a send-off she deserves!

(This post has been sitting in my mind for almost a year so pls pardon me if i can’t link more sources.)


Purchase the AKB48 49th single to get a voting ticket:


VOTING TICKET

Highlights of AKB48 General Elections 2017 in Akimoto Yasushi’s own words

30 May

 

Excerpt from an article that was published on 28th May 2017.


I was asked about the highlights of this year, but wouldn’t the fans know better?I asked a few fans, indeed the biggest attention will be whether HKT48’s Sashihara would win again this year. Besides the exposure on TV, the declaration of it being her last Sousenkyo makes us question if this would be a beautiful ending. Another question is, how would Yamamoto Sayaka’s withdrawal from the event affect the results? It is said that only Yamamoto can topple Sashihara, but her withdrawal shocked the fans. But we can’t simply deduce that Sashihara’s win is definite. It’s said that a new AKB48 won’t be born if Sashihara isn’t toppled, so the conservative fans are banding together despite being in different camps. It seems like they are amassing votes for orthodox idol Watanabe Mayu who also happens to have announced this being her last Sousenkyo. In other words, starting from votes from Yamamoto Sayaka and Kashiwagi Yuki, this time too, those fans who are wishing for the return of the years when AKB48 were orthodox idols, are raising “anti-Sashihara” votes.

Also, the united SKE48 fans might also concentrate fully on Matsui Jurina and bring her the win. Miyawaki Sakura’s growth is also something to look forward to.

Source

Akimoto san, you don’t need the votes to tell you how much we miss the original AKB48. The number of fans who have left already says it all.

That said, the new AKB48 single will be released tomorrow and if you sincerely believe that voting will change AKB48 for the better, pls vote for Watanabe Mayu becos she = AKB48.


Purchase CD(with Voting Ticket) here

 

 

Watanabe Mayu promotes new photobook “Shiranai Uchi Ni”

15 Oct

ModelPress Interview

w700_a3f48876a50b2adec5761d370a093b74d43bbe30f9139294

After 5 years, Watanabe Mayu is back with her new photobook “Shiranai Uchi ni”(“Without Realizing It”) which will be released on 25th October 2016. This will be her first time showing herself in lingerie and her transformation from an idol to a woman. In the book she will also reveal secrets to her beauty regime.

Q: Please talk about your feelings after seeing your photobook.
It’s full of photos i like and a very confident piece of work! There were ones which were cut, but they are all photos which i wish can be included.

Q: It’s different from your previous work “Mayuyu” released in 2011?
I was 17 then, so this time i wanted to show off something entirely different and talked to the staff. I was able to show off an adult side now that i’m 22. I challenged lingerie for the first time. Up till now i’ve only worn swimwear so i was really embarrassed and nervous. It’s supposed to end up sexy, and since we’re going all the way to LA, i was very worried if i can deliver the effect.But when i reached LA, the open atmosphere made me relaxed. I’ve been to LA on a private trip and i like it alot. It’s a place where i can be open so it was great i went there for the shooting.

Q: Why lift the ban on lingerie at this timing?
22 is an age of a woman, and i wanted to show off something different and surprising from my usual idol image.Also, scenes of me drinking sake while at the Yakiniku, there are lots of scenes which i haven’t shown in the past! I don’t drink publicly, so i’m showing my drunk self for the first time. Swimming is also new…..actually, i can’t swim! I can’t move in the water and kick my feet. This time i dived underwater and opened my eyes! It took some time to do that but once i mustered the courage it was quite fun (laugh). I really put in my best effort for this book.

Q: Your fashion shoot is also very charming in my opinion.Did you style yourself?
While i was doing the fitting, i discussed with staff and chose the best style for myself. I chose the most suitable clothes and lingerie. They are all cute and things i like.

Q: When we talk about Watanabe san, you have the “best hips” that anyone would envy. Pls tell us the secret to it.
Not only my hips. Usually i like to keep myself moisturized, so i apply body cream everyday after a bath. There’s no day that passes without the body cream. I even apply it on my bottom. It makes me happy.

Q: What diet efforts in order to maintain your style?
I can’t eat alot, and i haven’t experienced turning fat suddenly, and i’m picky about food…..I don’t eat vegetables and fruits so there’s lots i don’t eat. On the contrary, i love meat so i eat it as a main dish together with fish and rice. With dance and exercise i think it’s fine to eat that much? Rather than eating what i dislike, doing what i like and being happy reflects on my style.

I don’t do special things like going to the gym when it comes to exercise. The choreographies for AKB concerts and rehearsals are good enough as exercise. I do reference hip exercises on YouTube when it comes to maintaining my hips.

Q: How did you prepare for your photobook this time?
I lost too much weight thanks to the summer heat and my tough schedule. This time it’s important to show off a fuller feminine body line, so i ate more ice-cream and meals to increase my weight.

Q:Did you do anything to show off a more sexy side?
Since i’m 22, i wanted to show off a natural side, so i didn’t put in energy and the usual 100% smile infront of the camera, and just posed as myself.

Q: What’s your aim from now on?
My senior in AKB and agency Kojima san suddenly messaged me on LINE and said “Mayu chan, the agency showed me your photobook. It was great!” I was really happy to receive praises from Kojima san who has lots of female fans. As this book is aimed at the females, i got alot of confidence.

I hope that i’ve shown off a different kind of sexy different from the ones in gravure. My aim is to be well-liked by the females.

[From Oricon Interview]Kojima san previewed my photobook and sent me a LINE message. We don’t message each other that frequently, so i was shocked and thought i did something to anger her. She typed “Mayu chan i saw your photobook.It’s great!” with lots of emoticons. She’s usually not direct with compliments. I felt this was coming from her heart so i was really happy.

Q: Pls tell us the secret to realizing your dreams.
You can’t lose the spirit of challenging -that’s Dreams. I’ve faced walls after entering AKB, but i’m not giving up and not letting it crush me.Continuing is important.

Source

Love Kojiharu’s message of support. 


Oricon Interview (Excerpts)

Q: Were you ever against showing skin up till now?
I don’t like swimwear gravure, but since this is for my photobook, i want to show off a good piece of work so i wasn’t against it. Even if you say it’s a sexy cut, i don’t think of it simply as skin showing. I want to show off “sexy with taste” so i discussed with the cameraman and stylists, tried some shoots and improved from there. It’s something i can accept, like high class sexy.

Q: This time the theme for your photobook is also “Mayuyu’s human side”.
Many think of me as The Idol. I want to update their image of me so i wanted to show off something that says i’m no longer the Mayu of the past.

Q: What is your trigger for it?
After turning 20, my mindset changed. In my teenage years, i had to be perfect idol. But i can’t continue to be like that forever. I started thinking about bringing out the real me. Originally i planned to show off my real side in solo activities, but recently it’s also showing when i’m with AKB.

Q: Regarding your graduation…
I said it in my Sousenkyo speech. AKB is in a pinch. It’s difficult to lead the group and change the situation, but i’m like us to grow more conscious and improve. As someone who knows the group from the past, i’d like to teach the juniors so that the group will be loved by more fans.

Q: Previously, Kashiwagi Yuki mentioned that she’d like to graduate with you.
I have the same thoughts. Various members are leaving and if Yukirin leaves too, i’m worried if we can carry on…She’s more important than just a same generation member and irreplaceable. We’ve supported each other for 10 years. I can’t imagine her missing, and i’d hate it if either of us were to send the other off. If possible, i want to graduate with her.

Source, Source


 

Some previews to her photobook.

Image result for 渡辺麻友 知らないうちに

Image result for 渡辺麻友 知らないうちに


Purchase her photobook below:

Image result for 渡辺麻友 知らないうちに
CDJapan 

Watanabe Mayu News Roundup

13 Oct

Image result for 渡辺麻友「一生の宝物ができた」

AKB48 Watanabe Mayu attended an event for anime “Maho Girls Precure!” on 12th October 2016 and expressed her happiness at making a guest appearance in the anime series.

On the 23rd October 2016 episode of “Maho Tsukai Precure!”, she will appearing as herself, idol Mayu, in the “Nashi Mahou-kai” (The World without Witchcraft).

“This is a dream. I saw the video. They made me all pretty and cute. It’ll be a treasure my whole life. I will record it and keep it forever and pass it to my next generation.”

During the event, she also sang the theme song for the film version of the anime, titled “Tadashii Mahou no Tsukai Kata”.

“I was always watching Precure in my childhood. I can’t believe the day would come when i get to sing the theme song. I didn’t even dream that it would happen so i’m really happy. It’s something i can brag about to people in my life.”

Source


MaYuki reveals details about their personalities and off days

On the 13th October 2016 episode of Nihon TV’s variety show “Himitsu no Kenmin SHOW x DowntownDX Gattai 3 Hr Special”, Watanabe Mayu talked about being particular about cleanliness.

Firstly, she made it clear that men who don’t wash their hands before a meal wouldn’t be considered as boyfriend material. “I can’t imagine it. Aren’t you eating germs at the same time? I always bring a hand sanitizer around and if i don’t apply it i’d feel uneasy.”

The show also followed her and Kashiwagi Yuki as they headed to a restaurant in Harajuku on their off day. The 2 discussed topics like their graduations, future and idol life. Kashiwagi reveals that she sleeps in on her off days and stays indoors while Mayu likes to go on movie/butai marathons.

Source


Mayu becomes 2nd AKB48 member to rank in Best Jeanist Awards 

Image result for mayuyu jeans

The ranking is based on votes from nationwide. This is the 33rd year for Best Jeanist Awards, with graduated member Itano Tomomi previously ranking 9th in 2010.

Female Ranking 2016:
1. Nanao 25,831票
2. Kitagawa Keiko 6,986票
3. Hikari Mori 3,956票
4. Nishiuchi Mariya 3,283票
5. Namie Amuro 3,081票
6. Kiritani Mirei 2,660票
7. Araki Yuko 2,315票
8. Nakamura Anne 2,198票
9. Kuroki Meisa 2,163票
10. Watanabe Mayu 1,979票

Most of these artistes are models/actresses. Mayu is the only idol!

Source

Shimazaki Haruka gets backlash for Ghibli ambitions then retracts her statement

6 Oct

Image result for 島崎遥香「ジブリ

Shimazaki Haruka who announced her dreams of being a seiyuu for Ghibli Studios during her graduation announcement has provoked criticisms from anime fans and antis.

This was due to her talking about not having the abilities to become an actress yet, then following it up with her dreams of being a seiyuu for Ghibli. This made it seem she could easily become a seiyuu even if acting doesn’t work out.

“Paruru please don’t become a seiyuu for Ghibli.”
“Is she dumb? Looking down on the seiyuus?”
“I liked her but i hope she didn’t speak of it so casually…this isn’t what anyone can do.”

On the 4th October, Shimazaki tweeted “I don’t remember talking about wanting to become a seiyuu. Also, it isn’t easy to become one if i say i will.”

She later deleted these tweets.

Source Source


 

AKB48 Shimazaki Haruka announces graduation through CM

3 Oct

2079368_201610030528044001475472644c

Shimazaki Haruka announced her graduation from AKB48 through a new advertisement for “Baitoru”, a job seeking website.

“I will be ending my activities with AKB within the year,” she reported. Her last handshake will be Christmas Eve, and last stage performance will be 2 days after.

Regarding her future she said “I can’t say i’m going to be an actress with my abilities now, but there’s the meaning of being positive about it. It has always been my dream to become a seiyuu for Ghibli.”

Source


Even tho i could see it coming, i expected some news about Kojiharu to come around first. Anyway this tie-in with Baitoru is such a untrendy way of graduating.

CM Kings and Queens for 1st half 2016

10 Jul


According to Nihon Monitor, the CM King and Queen so far in 2016 are Arashi’s Aiba Masaki(3rd year in a row) and Matsuko Deluxe.

In essence, Arashi continues to sweep the men’s category while AKB48 disappeared entirely.

Men’s category:
1. Aiba Masaki (12 CMs)
2. Sakurai Sho, Nishikori Kei, Ninomiya Kazunari (11 CMs)
3. Matsumoto Jun (10 CMs)
4. Ohno Satoshi, Matsuoka Shuzo (9 CMs)
5. Nishijima Hidetoshi, Yutaka Matsushige (8 CMs)
6. Abe Hiroshi, Oguri Shun, Ayumu Goromaru, Suda Masaki, Daigo, Tamaki Hiroshi, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Mukai Osamu, (7 CMs)

Women’s category:
1. Matsuko Deluxe (12 CMs)
2. Kasumi Arimura, Hirose Suzue, Yoshida Yo  (11 CMs)
3. Rola  (10 CMs)
4. Ueto Aya, Ayase Haruka, Kiritani Mirei, Matsuoka Mayu (9 CMs)
5. Ishihara Satomi, Kimura Fumino, Takei Emi, Yamomoto Mizuki (8 CMs)
6. Ann, Kanno Miho, Taira Yuna, Nanao, Honda Tsubasa, Miyazaki Aoi, Watanabe Naomi, Yoshida Saori (7 CMs)

Source


Disappearance of 48Group from the list

In the golden years of 2011, Oshima Yuko had 19 CMs, while Maeda Atsuko and Shinoda Mariko had 17. In the Top 20, more than half would come from AKB.

“CMs are also a barometer for popularity. We can see changes in the “national idol group” which is supported by a core group of fans through this ranking.” – idol magazine writer

This change could also be felt in Fuji TV’s broadcast of the 2016 Senbatsu Sousenkyo last month. The average ratings was 8.7% in Kanto region from 7pm to 9pm. Also, there were calls for TV networks to stop broadcasting and just stream on the Internet.

“AKB has failed in its generation succession. This year, people do not know anyone below the rank of Top 6 so CM offers will probably not come in. CMs are the biggest revenue for AKB, so the management would probably work their hardest to get income from other avenues. Recently, their theaters started selling limited edition photos and also replicas of the Sousenkyo trophies.”

Source


Artistes to lookout for in latter half 2016


Dean Fujioka
The multilingual actor rose to popularity after acting as “Godai-sama” in “Asa ga Kita”. He had zero CMs last year but clinched 6 already this year.

cf284_1455_9afb0e28_7c6bbf1c
Atsugiri Danielson
A comedian (actually IT employee) aka American In Japan who jokes about his difficulties learning Japanese. He had 2 CMs last year, and 5 this year.

Mitsuki Takahata & Yoshine Kyoko
Both are heroines in NHK morning dramas this year. Mitsuki Takahata is currently leading “Toto Neechan” with high ratings while Yoshine Kyoko is set to takeover the same slot in October with “Beppin san”. They have 3 or 4 CMs currently.

Source