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.
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.
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: