Final Edit – Final votes reported for all except Jurina. (Don’t read if you think it’s gonna be spoilers.)
I thought i’d give the international fans a deeper understanding 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 Chinese fans give this time?
Below is a list of Group48 members who have got significant campaigning going on in the Baidu Tieba threads(fyi that is where the activities are concentrated). I have ranked them based on how much funds their fans have contributed so far. *Note that these funds is not all-inclusive since there may be other campaigns who don’t report their earnings, and there will be fans who choose to vote directly instead of participating in crowd-funding. Fan clubs will announce the number of votes they’ve contributed before final results.
7. Yamamoto Sayaka
Amassed funds: 125,000RMB
Sayanee entered Kami7 last year and is now the handshake queen of 48G. However, her explosion of popularity in Japan is in stark contrast to the growth in her chinese fanbase. Much like the fans from her hometown of Osaka, her chinese fans seem apathetic and not at all interested in pushing her to the top.
6. Takahashi Minami
228,817 283,476 RMB
Takamina wants to aim for No.1 this year before she resigns in December. Her fans are reportedly quite happy now that they have amassed funds equivalent to last year, but they are equally aware that this amount will at best keep her in 9th place, not any higher. Lets just say that the Japanese fans will have much work to do if they want Takamina to see her wish being granted.
5. Shimazaki Haruka
Amassed funds: 462,601 RMB
Paruru’s fans are the most creative when it comes to running campaigns. One of them is so fun that i’d find it hard not to participate. Basically they’ve created this imaginary restaurant called “Paruru Cafe” and the menu only has 2 items – the Salty combo or Sweet combo. The Salty combo consists of Shio Ramen,French Onion Soup, Croissant, Salty Popcorn and Salt Soda Drink while the Sweet combo consists of Borscht,Sukiyaki,Melon Buns,Almond Sweets and Juice. Each combo costs 111 RMB, and whilst you don’t really get to eat anything, you can see eventually which combo is more popular amongst fans – guesses anyone?
4. Miyawaki Sakura
Amassed funds: 400,000 RMB
I previously posted that Sakura had only 10,000RMB worth of amassed funds. It turns out that she had more than that. The entire Sakura camp(including Japanese fans) are working hard to land her at Kami5 this year. It is said that her vote count will reach 80,000.
3. Sashihara Rino
661,345 674,898 RMB
Sashihara has the smallest fanbase amongst all the other Kami level members in 48 Group. According to her site, the 35,000 number of followers is only about 1/7 of Takamina’s followers. However, it seems like they are the ones proving that action(and perhaps wealth) is what matters, since they’ve easily surpassed Takamina’s funds more than 3 times.
Sashihara has promised to do a swimsuit concert this year if she wins the elections.
2. Matsui Jurina
Amassed funds: 760,000 RMB
Vote Equivalent: 15,200 (*No final report.)
Much of the lobbying this year is centered around talk of Jurina turning 18, how they don’t want to make her cry, and how after this year she’ll have no more excuse to use her age as the reason for aiming No.1. There is not much fanfare about her campaigns, simply pleas asking fans to help fulfill the target.
Meanwhile, Jurina herself has promised to take on the “punishment” of riding on what may be the world’s scariest roller coaster – ACROBAT, if she does not take the crown this year.
1. Kashiwagi Yuki
Amassed funds: 1,200,000 RMB
If we were to talk about the fanbase who will go all out for their idol this year, it would probably be Yukirin’s. Ahead of the sousenkyo preliminary results announcement, her chinese fanbase have already surpassed last year’s standards and are even making Mayu fans panic.
According to Yukirin’s interview in the Sousenkyo Guidebook, it was mentioned that she has never specifically asked for a position as she wanted to “leave an exit route for herself”, in case she fell. Now that she’s one of the older members and probably wouldn’t have much chances to participate in Sousenkyo anymore, she wants to “push herself to the edge” and aim for the top. Yukirin has promised to challenge an event worthy of Sashihara’s swimsuit concert if she wins the elections.
0. Watanabe Mayu
Amassed funds: ~930,000 RMB in May 2015
18,600 (*No final report.) 34,000 (Updated as of June 2016)
I didn’t give Watanabe Mayu a ranking because her campaign results is quite a mystery! What i listed here is the funds accumulated in May 2015. How much they’ve accumulated in the dark is unknown.
If you ask me how Mayuyu’s campaign is faring so far, i’d say that the enthusiasm is still there, judging by the variety of campaigns which started in the New Year. My favorite campaign is one where fans donate private items(cosmetics,anime collectibles etc) to those who participated in the crowdfunding.
However, there are lots of complaints about sabotaging going on, or journalists harassing the big voters, fans withdrawing their votes etc. Their team has decided to keep the results private this year.