My Thoughts on the AKB48 Senbatsu (Part 2)

Please don’t forget to read My Thoughts on the AKB48 Senbatsu (Part 1)

akb48 senbatsu

Fanaticism and commercialism: AKB48 fan buys 5500 copies of “Labrador Retriever” to vote for favorite member (Image from

AKB48 senbatsu power voting

As far as I can understand, there are three different types of an AKB48 single release. Each type features the main single, but different coupling songs (or what you call B-sides) and cover (each type with a different cover featuring different members). Well, it’s okay to buy all types to complete an AKB48 discography collection, but a box load to power vote your favorite girl to prominence? Unsettling!

If the information from Wikipedia is to be believed, AKB48’s summer single last year “Sayonara Crawl” sold about 1,450,881 copies on the first day of release (1,762,873 on the first week). Their 2012 summer single “Manatsu no Sounds Good!” sold 1,170,554 on the first day (1,616,795 first week). Their 2011 summer single “Everyday, Katyusha” sold 942,475 on the first day (1,333,969 first week). What big sales! Because each summer single were ticket to the senbatsu single of the year. And now you know the reason behind those big sales.

With such a devoted fan base, AKB48 sure knows how to promote their merchandise. And the sister groups sell big too, with each of their recent release selling over 300,000. And if you are not an AKB48 follower, but of the sister groups, you would want to purchase the AKB48 summer single to push your favorite member to the senbatsu top spots. And yes, because your favorite member appears in AKB48 singles too.

Prominence of certain members from sister groups

Which brings me to notice the appearances of sister group members in AKB48 releases. The senbatsu 2013 class featured members from the sister groups, and these members happen to be the top members. From SKE48, Jurina Matsui, Rena Matsui and Suda Akari. Jurina also happens to be an AKB48 member, and has appeared with Rena on a number of AKB48 singles. Rena is also member of the official rival group Nogizaka46, and her membership there will surely help her to land a senbatsu spot again. Another SKE48 member in the class is Suda Akari.

jurina matsui rena matsui ske48

Rena Matsui and Jurina matsui, the aces of SKE48. The are known as the WMatsui. (Image from

From NMB48, Sayaka Yamamoto and Miyuki Watanabe, and their inclusion in the class was due to their prominence in the sister group. From HKT48, the senbatsu senter Rino Sashihara who was demoted from AKB48 and sent to the sister group last 2012 for her involvement in a scandal.

It should also be known that Ikoma Rina from Nogizaka46 was given a concurrent position in AKB48. If Nogizaka46 fans would bother to vote, they could usher her even to a position in the undergirls squad, lower than the senbatsu.

Well, a number of AKB48 senbatsu members also hold positions in the sister groups. Yuki Kashiwagi and Yui Yokoyama both have concurrent positions in NMB48. Sae Miyazawa has a position too in both SKE48 and SNH48, a sister group based in China, and if the SNH48 fans will be voting, Sae will be a senbatsu member again. Her chances could double up if SKE48 fans will root for her. And yes, the aforementioned girls also have membership in the sub-units.

Yes, with their multiple appearances, these girls have better chances to place, but fans will have to remember them and vote for them too. And this goes with purchasing multiple copies of summer releases.

(To be continued)


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