[AKB48 Sousenkyo]Watanabe Mayu to graduate, a Kami7 legend no one else will surpass

Updating~

This is my last time participating in Sousenkyo. From the first year, i was ranked 4th, 5th, 5th, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, 3rd and 2nd and was always in Kami7 thanks to the fans’ support. I can’t thank you all enough. As it’s the last time, i wanted to challenge myself once more and win No.1 again but unfortunately i was 2nd. It was really blissful thus far receiving your support and warm words on Twitter. It would be a lie if say i have no regrets. But I am happy. 

I’m sorry to say it this way, but I, Watanabe Mayu will graduate from AKB48. I entered AKB48 when I was 12. In July, it will be my 10th year here. I have experienced alot and learnt much. From now, i will step out into the world and start from zero. I want to leave AKB48 to the youngsters. There is not much time left for this year but i will realise my responsiblities as a member of AKB48.

(Responding to MC question) I’ve been thinking about this the past 2,3 years. In the end, i decided myself. I think i have nothing left to do in AKB.”


 

Coming up

  • Sutou Ririka announces marriage (NO JOKE!)
  • AKB48 Takahashi Juri, Okada Nana express anger at members who landed themselves in scandals/learning from Sashihara.
  • Sashihara begs fans not to ditch 48 Group (TOO LATE!)
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Watanabe Mayu is No.1 in AKB48 Thailand General Elections 2017

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Thailand has been holding unofficial elections prior to the real one since 2013, making this their 5th time. The voting period was from 3rd May to 4th June and 12,625 online votes were cast. The results are below:

  1. Watanabe Mayu (5th straight win) 1988 votes
  2. Kato Minami 1463 votes
  3. Miyawaki Sakura 946 votes
  4. Oguri Yui 504 votes
  5. Matsui Jurina 467 votes
  6. Kato Rena
  7. Yokoyama Yui (Team 8)
  8. Okada Nana
  9. Shitao Miu
  10. Chouku Rena
  11. Kashiwagi Yuki
  12. Omori Miyu
  13. Taniguchi Megu
  14. Tashima Meru
  15. Yokoyama Yui (Captain)
  16. Tanaka Natsuki

Izuta Rina who transferred to Bangkok48 was ranked 34th.

Source

Thailand Site

How to vote for Watanabe Mayu in AKB48 General Elections 2017

  1. Access this link. It goes direct to Mayu’s page.
    http://akb48-sousenkyo.jp/vote.php?membercode=1307&parent=team&parentkey=103
  2. Get the serial number which you received in the 49th single and enter it in the 2 boxes below.
  3. Press the button at the bottom of the page to vote. You won’t be able to use the same code again. If you try to enter the code again, it will show a timestamp indicating your vote is used.

Some common questions:

  • Do i need to log into VPN?
    The chinese fans believe that this is more secure as it is not sure if overseas votes were counted in the past. However, the FAQ from the official voting site indicates that overseas fans can vote as long as they “access the voting site from smartphone”.
  • Can i use PC to vote?
    FAQ says as long as you get a timestamp after voting, that means the vote went through. It is a vague answer but it should be fine. However you will be seeing a blown up version of the mobile site.

Why overseas votes matter for Mayuyu’s last Sousenkyo

 

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

Watanabe Mayu promotes new photobook “Shiranai Uchi Ni”

ModelPress Interview

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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:

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CDJapan 

Watanabe Mayu News Roundup

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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 

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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

Excerpts from 29th Feb episode of Momm!

In this week’s Momm!, the new generation of AKB48 makes a guest appearance to promote “Kimi wa Melody”. Below are interesting excepts from the show.


Paruru and her surprisingly warm attitude towards Nakai

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Translated this segment as Paruru used to shy away from her interviews with Nakai. I remember in last year’s UTAGE, she actually told Nakai to refrain from talking to her.

Paruru: Nakai san, how are you?
Nakai: Yes, how are you? Did you lose weight?
Paruru: Yes! You noticed!
Nakai: What did you do?
Paruru: It was stress. *very bright smile*
Nakai falls over and says: But everyone has stress!
Nakai then notices Mayu/Sasshi/Minegishi serving drinks.
Nakai: What..so the seniors are doing work while the juniors sit?
He points at Mayu and says: Just now you put on a scary face!
Mayu:No! It was just a good face.
Nakai to Paruru: This is stressful too? The stress from the higher ups being enthusiastic.
Paruru: No….but today i came because i was curious if Nakai is fine.
Nakai: You came because of that? Isn’t it because of the new single?


Payuyu relationship during New Generation Introduction corner

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*Skip Yuria,Kojimako,Juri*
Nakai to Sakura: I haven’t met you?
Sakura: Yes, i came here before. With HKT48…
Nakai: Oh i have a deep impression from that time.
Sakura: What do you remember?
Nakai: Um…i don’t know…(*everyone laughs) Sashihara, who are you closest with?
Sasshi: Sakura
Nakai to Mayu: What about you?
Mayu: Eh…..everyone! (*laughs sheepishly)
Sasshi: She’s really bad at this! (*referring to interacting with members)
Mayu: But we’re all friendly!
Nakai: Tell us the charm of the members.
Mayu: Eh……(*tries hard to say something)
Nakai: Do you know who is who? Have you girls talked to her before?
Minegishi: Do you have someone whom you promised to have a meal with?
Nakai: Ah…Shimazaki and you definitely don’t have a relationship?
Mayu: Not really. Our hometowns are the same, Saitama. We’re also the same age.
Nakai: But don’t you go out for meals?
Paruru: She’s my senior, so no.
Sasshi: Paruru entered AKB because she looked up to Mayuyu.
Paruru: Yes. I can’t call her ‘Mayuyu’. It’s ‘Mayuyu san’.
Nakai: But you’re the same age. You’re scary, Watanabe!
Mayu: It’s not because i’m scary.
Nakai to Paruru: Ah, you fell sick because of Watanabe!
Mayu: That’s not true right? Please let me off!
Nakai to Mayu: If you don’t get closer to them, you won’t have any friends!
Mayu: I do have friends!


Members and their cleanliness habits

Minegishi: I placed a bottle of vegetable juice on the side table. It expired after a short while and it was difficult to find a timing to throw it out. I thought i’d do it later, but one day when i was in the bedroom, there was a sound of something exploding. I was so scared thinking there was someone in the house that i creeped out only to see my sofa turning green. It was troublesome to clean it so i just draped a cloth over it.

Minegishi: There was a time when i wanted to cook nabe,so i took the pot out but it dropped. Then the leftovers from a previous nabe spilled out.

Nakai: No wonder, i always thought that you smell!
Minegishi: But i do clean myself properly.
Nakai: What about Sashihara’s house?
Minegishi: She has a room which she told me not to enter. When i opened the door to it, it was so dirty inside!
Sasshi: I put everything inside.
Nakai: Do you live alone? What about the rest?
Paruru: It’s a secret. (*Nakai is shocked.)
Nakai: Please ask me the same question! (*He mimics Paruru’s expression when she answered his question.)


Watanabe Mayu and her love for cosplay

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Minegishi: Mayuyu just said that she doesn’t play with the members, but i got attracted to danso cafes previously. It’s a place often seen in Akihabara where girls will dress as guys and serve customers.When i told her, for the first time Mayuyu said she wanted to come along.

Mayu: I love things about the neutral gender.
Minegishi: She also does it herself. I think she loves cosplay.
Nakai looks at a photo of Mayu cosplaying as Anna from movie “Frozen”
Mayu: During this Halloween event in Disneyland, customers can cosplay to enter, so that’s what i did in my private time. I stayed in a hotel close to Disneyland the night before, woke up early to do my makeup. That’s all my personal clothes.
Nakai: If your boyfriend knows about it, he’d be so shocked.


Paruru talks about getting recognized in the streets

Nakai: Shimazaki don’t you get recognised when you go shopping?
Paruru: At this time, i’d pretend not to hear anything. When they touch me and ask if I’m Paruru, i’d say no.
Nakai: But they’d insist you’re Paruru?
Paruru: When i say no, they’d just clear off.


Performance below