All sleep-riddled thoughts are my own. If you read my blog and think 'Wow, this is nonsense', then just remember this... It probably is nonsense.
Be warned that I have not been to sleep yet; I am writing this after my experience with the Senbatsu results, or at least after the call ended with everyone who took part in the call provided by Selective Hearing's Greg. That said, I think I am wide awake enough after today's exciting events that I have experienced. So... who would like to talk about it?
For anyone who is unaware, this happened to be my very first experience with the Senbatsu results. I originally did not intend to participate in the group chat, nor did I want to stay awake for it, but due to curiosity, and staying awake at weird hours of the morning, I decided to participate and, because everyone else was doing it and I didn't want to feel left out, I decided to change my facebook (and Skype) profile picture to the girl that I wanted to get Centre position, or at least a nice Senbatsu Senbatsu. Can you guess who?
... Yeah, kinda obvious, right?
I had three girls I didn't mind winning; Sasshi, Paruru or Mariko-sama - either one of them being in centre would have made me happy, but Sasshi was the one I wanted to win the most because, good lord, she is amazing. So I went in hoping for that, and my expectations were, I admit, very very high... sadly, throughout the entire night that the senbatsu was on, I really could not talk because it was early hours in the morning here in England, and my family were asleep. Thankfully I could enjoy the commentary from everyone else on the group chat; Greg, Allen, Flypside, Ashley, Serenyty, Garry and Holly were all drinking merrily and predicting who would be chosen next, and there were some jokes about Paruru thrown around, happiness over certain members being picked, and shock at a few girls who ranked lower than we thought they would, and whilst I did not participate in the conversation much, it was great fun listening to everyone and watching the results themselves.
One of the best parts about the chat, though, was listening to everyone say what they were tweeting (especially Allen) or bashing the commentators and wishing that they would shut up; in fact, even twitter was full of tweets wishing that those bloody men would shut their cake holes. We wanted the elections, already! It was annoying, to say the least, but luckily the Skype call was entertaining and everyone was able to talk to each other (... well, all but me) to ease their boredom. Also, people were drinking, so it kept them even more entertained!
Eventually, once the commentators shut up and got on with the results, we came to the results themselves... there was quite a bit of surprise for some people, but for a while I was just sitting there, waiting for girls I knew to be called out... I am still a newbie to AKB48 I think, because I don't know anyone's names except a few of the girls, so whilst everyone else was taking about the girls on Skype, I was just waiting quietly for certain girls to be called out, more so, the Senbatsu members...
Thinking about the results and my experience watching the election for the first time, it was really exciting - a lot more exciting than I ever thought it would be. I had a lot of moments where I was gasping with surprise or waiting impatiently, and then moments where I just wanted to cry - especially when it came to the Under Girls and Senbatsu members' announcements; when Minegishi Minami was announced for Under Girls, I was extremely overwhelmed - I had thought that she would make it, even after her scandal, and when I heard her name being called, well... I was just really happy. Sure, I would have loved for her to place in Senbatsu, but Under Girls is still amazing. I am glad that she was still able to place, even if people thought that she wouldn't. It was great, and to see her so happy, walking confidently without her wig... it was beyond amazing for me, even if I am just a casual supporter.
But the emotions really kicked in when it came to the Senbatsu results; there were things that I sort of expected, and then things that I did not expect... there was a lot going on, to simply put it; When it came to the senbatsu, everyone was predicting when Paruru would be chosen, which was quite funny when you're listening to people who have been drinking all night, making the Senbatsu in itself a game. I was honestly hoping that Paruru would break the Top 7, but of course she didn't... instead, she ranked 12th, which I think is pretty good, and I happily accepted that... not that Paruru did, of course.
Hoo boy, she actually scared me in the election... -shudders-
When her placement was announced in the election, her face was very much... well, it was very much Paruru, but she looked pissed, especially when Miyazawa Sae took the #10 spot. As everyone in the Skype chat said, it was like she was a robot that had shut down. She had pretty much given up after that! To me though, it also looked like she wanted to murder Miyazawa for taking #10... in fact, I have a feeling that Paruru wanted to kill everyone. She was not a happy bunny.
Of course Paruru looking like she wanted to kill someone wasn't really that shocking, but the fact that Itano Tomomi placed 11th was surprising... actually, I was taken aback. I did not expect it, and I doubt quite a few fans expected it. I actually thought that she would rank around the 8th mark upwards, not right before Paruru... I thought this because she is graduating, so it seemed like she would get more votes, but no... she ranked down, and that really surprised me. I am, by no means, a Tomochin fan, but when she went to give her speech, she did it very gracefully and accepted her position with tears in her eyes. Again, I was surprised, but I Tomochin seemed happy with her rank, even if she did fall down a bit.
But as the elections went on, I was pretty sure that something was going to happen, like an announcement... in fact, I half expected Takamina, when she was called as number 8 (which is shocking, I did not expect her to rank that low), to announce her graduation. She didn't, surprisingly enough, so I thought that all was fine, or that at least Yuko would announce her graduation... of course that did not happen, either, but as many of you will already know, a graduation was announced, and a lot of us on Skype were yelling at the screens of our computers or laptops, shaking our heads and quite possibly crying... in fact yes, I did cry.
Because Shinoda Mariko announced her bloody graduation.
I was overwhelmed, who wouldn't be!? Mariko was the first girl I actually wanted to learn the name of when I slowly started to get into AKB48. She is like Mother Theresa in the group, a flicker of 'Flash' in a cave full of Zubats, A Lioness leading her cubs... you know, she is just glorious, so I was extremely sad and shocked by her sudden announcement. We all were, and there was a lot of tweeting about it. I mostly went 'NOOOO MARIKO, YOU WERE MY FIRST LOVE IN AKB!!!!', but other people were in denial or just unhappy with it. Okay, realistically, I knew that at some point she would leave, but not until she was like... 30, 34... so I was a bit unprepared for it, like most of us were.
That said, Mariko really did steal the thunder for the senbatsu; she may have ranked 5th overall, but she really did make the spotlight shine on her by announcing her departure. Everyone on the Skype chat (minus me) was saying how no one could top that. Luckily, I think everyone joking around on Skype allowed me to get over the news pretty quickly, or at least adapt to it at a much faster pace, because it pretty much felt like we were all in it together in a way, experiencing the same feelings and supporting each other... so it was good that the Skype call was going on, or I may have bee a bit of a weepy wreck.
... After all of that, it came down to the Top 4. When Kashiwagi was announced at Number 4, I was quite happy, but that's because I don't care for her, she bores me. Of course the Top 3 was the most nerve-wrecking, because as everyone knew, it was ultimately down to Sasshi, Mayuyu and Yuko... and on twitter, there was a lot of Mayu fans who were praying that Sasshi got #3, Yuko #2 and Mayu #1. There was quite a bit of fun-poking at that over the Skype chat, because everyone was pretty much betting on Sasshi at that point, and so when it came to who would be picked for the #3 spot, there was a lot of chanting going on from the Skype call, mostly 'AKB48 Team B... AKB48 Team B...' and a lot of anticipation. I think I held my breath for a while when I waited for the results, but when they were called, and that name was spoken...
I died. I really think I died from happiness! I did not want Mayu as a centre. I mean I love the girl, don't get me wrong, but in my eyes she is not centre material, or at least not for such a gigantic group like AKB48, so to hear her name being called for 4th place... I was ecstatic. Okay, there were times that I was fearful that she would win, and I was ready to embrace it, but when she was called for third... yeah, I was happy. A lot of other fans weren't, in fact I think most are 'done with AKB48' from what people have told me, but my god... that was the most anticipating moment of my short time as an AKB casual fan, I swear, but my lord it was worth it...
I'm still a bit overwhelmed by it now, actually, because it was pretty invigorating if you ask me...
Of course it boiled down to two, and really, it could have one to either Yuko or Sasshi at that point. I was, at that stage, mentally preparing myself to hear Sasshi's name being called out for second place. I don't think that someone on Skype chanting 'HKT48, Team H... Sashihara Rio...' helped at all, but I was just preparing for the worst because, whilst the senbatsu have changed a lot this year, the centre could still go to Yuko, so I waited... and waited...
OH MY GOD, YUKO IS SECOND!!!! YES!!!!
I was crying then, I was so happy. Sasshi has won, it was obvious - Sashihara Rino, a member of HKT48, the girl who had been in a scandal last year and made sure to climb her way back up the 48 Family ladder, had come out on top and had won. Okay, so her name had not been called, but seriously, if it wasn't Sasshi, then who would it have been? I was so happy because, whilst I like Yuko and think she is an amazing centre, it was obvious that AKB48 needed that change. Of course not everyone agreed with this, in fact a lot of twitter users were pissed off and are 'so done' with AKB48 now, but honestly? I could not be happier. The girl I had wanted to win Senbatsu had won senbatsu!
Of course Oshima Yuko took to second place gracefully and happily like she always does; she looked so happy for Sasshi, and whilst I think that either one of them would have made an amazing centre, I do think that it was time for someone new to take on the centre position in a senbatsu single, though that is just my opinion.
Seeing, and hearing, Sasshi win the senbatsu election was really amazing; it was what I had pretty much hoped for when I realised she would be entering, and something my sister really wanted. I know that for some people she is not the 'ideal' centre, but I think that a change of pace is good, and Sasshi is a hard worker and a fighter, and she has the support of her fans as well... and because of her fans she was able to win something that I had thought she would never be able to get thanks to her scandal. Of course Sasshi proved me wrong, she probably proved a lot of us wrong, and she came out on top... and seriously, that is amazing, and I am so so happy that it is Sasshi who is the winner, because she really deserves it in my opinion.
This was my first experience with the Senbatsu system in full force, and surprisingly, I really did enjoy it. It was emotional and fun, and nothing like I had expected it to be. It was great to be able to attend a Skype call with others and listen to what they had to say, as well as anticipate how drunk they would all get, whilst the elections went on. The results were nerve-wracking, and it took a long time to get through (especially with those fucking useless commentaries from the bloody commentators!) but I do think that it was worthwhile because, all in all, it was a great election. I had a lot of fun, and I got to experience what other AKB48 fans have experienced before me, and to me, it was really good... but I doubt it would have been as fun as it was if I did not have everyone else talking in the background from the Skype chat, because really, those comments were indeed the highlights of my morning until Sasshi was crowned the Queen Bee of AKB.
|Stolen from Allen's Twitter! WHOOO!!!|
And on a lighter note, I will also anticipate the hoard of scandals that come through in the up-coming year for AKB, SKE, NMB and HKT, because if Sasshi, and Minegishi for that matter, have proven anything, it is that even if you get into a scandal in AKB48 now, all you need to do is get yourself dropped into a new group or the Kenkyuusei, work your ass off, or get pity votes by shaving your head, and run for senbatsu. My god, if it works for them two, then it can kinda work for everyone else... right?
|Whomever made this glorious thing needs a medal, I swear...|
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PING!!! Idolminded Recommended Reading: June 8th, 2013