AKB48 GE37: Mayuyu Crushes Sasshi “I Will Protect AKB”

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The results to the 37th AKB48 general election have been announced, seeing something of an upset as super carnivore Rino Sashihara’s reign was ended by Mayu Watanabe with 159,854 votes.

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AKB48’s own 20-year-old Mayuyu’s 159,854 votes clinched her the victory, her first after several years of loser also-ran status at third or fifth place.

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Ominously in her victory speech she proclaimed “I will protect the AKB group!” – though from who or what exactly was not specified.

With Watanabe in position and apparently as unburdened by individuality, talent or scandal as idols come, a timely return to a more orthodox candidate seems to have come to pass, as even AKB’s own seem to have had trouble stomaching Sashihara’s ascendancy.

HKT48’s 21-year-old super carnivore and previous number one Rino Sashihara was on the verge of tears as she lost, proclaiming her title loss with a paltry 141,954 votes to be “really annoying” but rather unconvincingly maintaining “a setback may be for the best!”

The top 10:

1. Mayu Watanabe – 159,854 votes – AKB48 Team B

2. Rino Sashihara – 141,954 votes – HKT48 Team H

3. Yuki Kashiwagi – 104,364 votes – AKB48 Team B

4. Jurina Matsui – 90,910 votes – SKE48 Team S

5. Rena Matsui – 69,790 votes – SKE48 Team E

6. Sayaka Yamamoto – 67,916 votes – NMB48 Team N

7. Haruka Shimazaki – 67,591 votes – AKB48 Team A

8. Haruna Kojima – 62,899 votes – AKB48 Team A

9. Minami Takahashi – 57,388 votes – AKB48 Team A

10. Akari Suda – 48,182 votes – SKE48 Team E

The devotion of fans was not just evident in the vast numbers of votes most of them seem to cast – torrential rains hammered Tokyo on the day of the event, but seem not to have so much as dampened enthusiasm for the election:

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