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: