With the Senbatsu Sousenkyo being fully underway or General Election as it’s also known as, I thought I’d explain what exactly the Senbatsu Sousenkyo is for those who are curious about AKB48’s biggest event.
The Senbatsu Sousenkyo is an annual event where the members of the 48 Group see who can be a part of AKB48’s new single, this includes members from AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, HKT48 as well as the first time inclusion of the fairly new NGT48. It’s similar to a popularity contest where fans can vote for their favourite member(s) so they can participate in the new single. This is the 8th year this event has been held and the 8th single for which the members are participating for being the group’s 45th one.
How the Senbatsu works is that members who want to participate must send in an application which will make them eligible for being voted on. The top 16 members will be part of the Senbatsu Group and will go on to perform the 45th single.
- Ranks 17 through 32 will be a part of the Undergirls.
- Rank 33 through 48 will be known as the Next Girls.
- Rank 49 through 64 will be the Future Girls.
- Ranks 64 through 80 will be the Upcoming Girls.
The groups who make up the 17th through 80th place will perform the coupling songs for the 45th single while the members who’s votes put them below the 80th place will be unranked.
Last year’s Senbatsu Sousenkyo, which was for the group’s 41st Single Halloween Night, was especially interesting, considering it was the last time participation of the then AKB48 General Manager & long time member, Takahashi Minami. As well as to see who would take the Center position, in the years prior to it Watanabe Mayu & Sashihara Rino had claimed the Center position with Sashihara winning in the end.
AKB48’s 41st Single, Halloween Night
However, this year’s Sousenkyo is just as exciting because 5 of last year’s 16 Senbatsu members either aren’t participating or have graduated! As well as the First Day Results showcasing a massive boost of support for members who either ranked really low or had alright spots or didn’t even rank at all in last year’s Senbatsu Sousenkyo.
There’s also the announcements that it is going to be certain members last Sousenkyo like Minegishi Minami & Oba Mina. Oba also mentioned that it was going to be Shimazaki Haruka‘s last time participating along with Minegishi however unlike Minegishi, Shimazaki has not officially stated herself if this is indeed going to be her last Senbatsu Sousenkyo.
Voting for the Senbatsu Sousenkyo is eligible until the 17th of June at 3PM JST with the final results being revealed the following day on the 18th of June at the HARD OFF ECO Stadium Niigata.