With voting for the AKB48 8th Annual Senbatsu Sousenkyo finally come to a close yesterday as well as the results being revealed later today, I thought I’d sit down and try to predict what this year’s Senbatsu line-up will be like…
Before I begin with listing my predictions I wanna mention an interesting article I had read that kind of inspired me to properly try and predict this year’s Senbatsu Sousenkyo line-up. The article for the most part talks about the history of one of the top contenders for this year’s Senbatsu Sousenkyo, Sashihara Rino and how she might be one of the greatest member within the entire AKB48 Group both past and present. However what particularly got me thinking is this specific sentence in the opening paragraph that states quote:
If Sashihara Rino is able to once again claim the top spot, she will not only be the first member ever to go back-to-back in the General Elections but she will also become the first ever three time champion.
This, as obvious a thing as it is, never really crossed my mind for some reason, and also got me even more excited for today to see if Sashihara is able to make AKB48 history! But before we see what the final results are tomorrow, I’ll try and predict what this year’s Senbatsu Sousenkyo line-up will be like!
The factors I’ve taken into account while making these predictions are last year’s preliminary and the final results as well as this year’s preliminary results. Additionally, there’s some hopeful thinking mixed in as well because all of us hope that our favorite members do well in this annual event.
#16 – Minegishi Minami
It has been 3 years since the infamous scandal which was the cause for Minegishi‘s sudden drop from being a regular in the Senbatsu line-up back in 2013 but I think enough time has passed since then to warrant Minegishi’s return into the line-up, especially considering that Minegishi announced that this year would be her last year participating in the Senbatsu Sousenkyo and what better way to make it your last than to return to the place you were once a part of.
#15 – Mukaichi Mion
When I was initially making my predictions for this article, I didn’t add Mukaichi into it mainly because of the fact that her rankings both last year as well as in this year’s preliminaries weren’t the greatest, however considering the amount of pushing she has been getting by making her the Center of their previous single Tsubasa wa Iranai, I do think there’s a high chance Mukaichi will rank pretty high in this year’s results.
#14 – Takahashi Juri
Team 4’s Captain Takahashi is someone I’m quite uncertain about if she will actually make into the Senbatsu Sousenkyo line-up, however her gradual increase in support over the last few years as well as this year’s preliminary results showing a pretty decent jump in support makes me think that Takahashi will enter the famous line-up if not at least be a part of the Undergirls group.
#13 – Oshima Ryoka
I think all of us were pretty surprised to see Oshima at the 13th spot in this year’s preliminary results (just as she was), especially considering that she didn’t rank in the final results last year as well as barely ranking in that year’s preliminaries, however I don’t think it was just luck that made Oshima rank this high. To Jump from being almost last place in last year’s preliminaries to suddenly being in the top 16 is a really big feat and I don’t think Oshima will end up dropping much if at all in the final results.
#12 – Shimazaki Haruka
Shimazaki has been slowly losing the popularity she gained around the release of Eien Pressure back in 2012, however this year there’s a pretty big drop in support which is evident when you compare this year’s preliminary results with last year’s. However considering the rumor is going around that this year’s Senbatsu Sousenkyo is Shimazaki‘s last (which wouldn’t surprise me) then she could suddenly get a big push which could result in her ranking higher, I however think she’ll rank pretty averagely like in the past couple years if not lower.
#11 – Kodama Haruka
Why Kodama hasn’t entered the Senbatsu Sousenkyo is beyond me. You’d think that someone as recognizable as her would have entered Senbatsu by now, but I think that because of Sashihara & Miyawaki they kind of overshadowed Kodama even though she has been the Center of HKT48‘s most recent singles. Now granted she was the Undergirls Center last year which means she was almost a part of the Senbatsu line-up but I do think that this year Kodama will finally enter the Senbatsu line-up and will be able to shine just like her 2 fellow HKT comrades!
#10 – Yokoyama Yui
Our 2nd General Manager, Yokoyama has always kind of held this secure spot in the middle in the past couple of years when it comes to the Senbatsu line-up and I don’t think that’s going to change this year. Though if possible, I would like to see her rank into the single digit ranks.
#9 – Suda Akari
Suda was part of the Senbatsu line-up of 2 years ago for the Kokoro no Placard, followed by dropping down into the Undergirls group last year, however I do think that Suda will make a strong return into this year’s Senbatsu Sousenkyo. You don’t just jump from 32nd to 5th in the preliminary results for no reason, and after Matsui Rena‘s graduation last year it would certainly be nice to see SKE48 be represented at the top by more than just 1 member.
#8 – Miyawaki Sakura
Similarly to Yokoyama & Shimazaki, ever since entering the Senbatsu Sousenkyo line-up Miyawaki has held this position of being just below the Kami7 and I don’t think that’s gonna change this year. Though Saku Saku Kamen might have given her some extra support which might make her enter the Kami7 however, like the General Manager Yokoyama Yui said herself 7th rank should only be for…
#7 – Okada Nana
Now this is just where there’s a huge bias being at play because Okada Nana is my favorite member (Oshimen) and when I saw that Okada ranked 7th in the preliminary results, I was filled with joy because Okada had said that her goal for this year’s Senbatsu Sousenkyo is to enter the Kami7 which she did in the preliminary results. Even though when the results were revealed Okada was on a hiatus due to her poor health, I knew this ranking was well deserved. I had followed all of the hard work she was putting into making sure she ranked into her desired position which is assumed to be the cause for her poor health and all that hard work had payed off. Now thinking realistically I don’t think she’ll rank 7th, but a fan can always hope.
#6 – Nyan Nyan Kamen
Nyan Nyan Kamen is probably one of the most amusing, if not the most amusing thing about this year’s Senbatsu Sousenkyo. Not only are we getting entire lore for this character in the form of 2 short episodes showcasing the backstory of Nyan Nyan Kamen but this story will also be continued & maybe even concluded later today during the actual Senbatsu Sousenkyo itself. Honestly I just want to see Nyan Nyan Kamen rank high to see what she and Kojima Haruna will do to make this entire character one to never forget.
#5 – Kashiwagi Yuki
As much as I want to Kashiwagi to rank higher or even win, I don’t think that’s going to happen this year. Kashiwagi lost quite a lot of votes comparing this year’s preliminary results with last year’s, now this might be because a lot of fans deciding to support Watanabe Mayu to make sure she returns to the throne, however the numbers still point towards the fact that Kashiwagi will unfortunately not be in the Top 3 this year.
#4 – Matsui Jurina
Matsui much like Yokoyama, Shimazaki & Miyawaki is just kind of stuck at this 4th/5th place spot and even though she ranked 3rd in this year’s preliminary results, I don’t think she’s going to escape the position she’s been in for the last couple of years just yet.
#3 – Yamamoto Sayaka
This is where a little bit of bias comes to play again because even though I really like Matsui as well as Yamamoto, I want to see Yamamoto rank higher than Matsui this year, especially considering that at least in my predictions she’s the only NMB48 member. So it would be nice to see Yamamoto in the Top 3 as the only NMB48 representative in theS enbatsu Sousenkyo line-up.
#2 – Watanabe Mayu
As sad as it is, I do think that Watanabe will unfortunately lose this year to Sashihara mainly because of the fact that if you take into account last year’s preliminary & final results, you’ll see that there’s an absolute massive jump in votes for Sashihara. It’s even more massive when you look at the vote difference between Sashihara & Kashiwagi of last year’s final results. If you apply that something similar is going to happen this year as well as the fact that the difference between Watanabe & Sashihara in this year’s preliminary results is just under 2000 votes. I do think that Watanabe‘s chance to reclaim the throne from Sashihara is unfortunately just out of reach for her.
#1 – Sashihara Rino
I honestly have nothing to add considering I already talked about why I think Sashihara will win this year’s Senbatsu Sousenkyo and become the first repeating winner as well as the first third time Senbatsu Sousenkyo winner. And that is also because of the article I mentioned earlier in this article, I feel like it perfectly describes why Sashihara is such a massive powerhouse within the AKB48 Group and why I think she´ll win this year.
The Senbatsu Sousenkyo will start at 12:00 JST with a Group Concert with the actual voting results being revealed at 16:45 JST.
The friendly folks over at 48Family Indonesia have provided a helpful list of various different streams that will be showing the Senbatsu Sousenkyo so you can sit back & enjoy AKB48‘s biggest annual event from the comfort of your own home. Unless you live in Europe and you have to either get up extremely early or stay up through the night to be able watch everything.