Settling the Score – Watanabe Mayu vs. Sashihara Rino

Bashing and Criticism Ahead

With the results of the Preliminary Results for the Senbatsu Sousenkyo have been released for a few days now. There have been big surprises like 20 SKE girls managing to rank in the Top 64, HKT48 had 8 girls getting in, and AKB having a little less than half of 64.

What exactly happened?

Shibata Aya ranked 8th place which was one of the surprises of the night. Sashihara Rino ranked 1st and got around 28,500 votes while topping last year’s two biggest contenders Watanabe Mayu and Oshima Yuko. Sato Amina, one of the higher ranking Under Girls failed to make it to the top 64. Itano Tomomi, Shinoda Mariko, Takahashi Minami and Kojima Haruna failed to make it to the top 7 ranking. Takajo Aki and Kitahara Rie fell to the Next Girls ranking and to the surprise of many people.

What’s with Sashihara and Watanabe fans having such a fuss which lead to fans of the other fans of the other girls a part of it?

I think the fans of Sashihara went out and told that maybe it’s her time. Looking back at her sousenkyo experience, she initially ranked 27th 4 years ago and has ranked her way up to the senbatsu ever since. She ranked 19th in 2010, 9th in 2011 and 4th last year, breaking the Kami 7 wall.

A lot of fans were surprised at her ranking especially those people who went to Kojima Haruna’s Seitansai last Wednesday. When Yuko was anounced at 3rd with 14,000 votes, fans were “whoooaaa” at the announcement. I heard fans were cussing at themselves as if Yuko didn’t deserve such rank. They were speculating if Sashihara or Watanabe would get 1st place. It turns out Watanabe Mayu got 2nd with a little less than 1,000 vote lead on Yuko and Sashihara got 1st place. I guess what made it more astounding was the fact that Sashihara has about double the amount of votes as Watanabe at around 28,500 votes which sent fans home wondering if Sashihara fans went all out on her on the 1st day or that she has more fans than expected.

Sashihara fans are eager to win to what could be the biggest sousenkyo of her entire AKB career. Her anti’s try to bring up last year’s scandal and compare it to the recent scandals as if it will bring her down. Other fans say it’s too early to tell and Watanabe fans are contemplating that if they lose to Sashihara, it will be a let down. They said that if Watanabe Mayu will lose, at least let it be to Oshima Yuko and not Sashihara Rino.

But Oshima Yuko is still AKB48’s top girl, why is there less mention of her?

Oshima Yuko fans are quiet about the issue and are confident that they will give Yuko the victory through her votes. Others might have other plans.

So what now?

Apparently, this Sashihara fan, jumped ship and looks like lit a flame on the Watanabe fans and Oshima fans as well by saying that Sashihara will be a tough opponent because of her big lead on the first day.


During the 3rd senbatsu election, Acchan haters perfectly knew that in order to take her down, they had to vote for Yuko.

This time, there’s a little problem : If you want to beat Sasshi, to who you have to cast your vote? It can be as much Mayuyu as Yuko. Haters (if they exist, that is) actually will split their force on Mayuyu or Yuko but won’t be able take the first spot.

Everyone though it was a big duel (even management looking at their official guide) But Sasshi came like a trouble maker with a 10k lead. And you don’t know who to vote since there’s 2 equal runner up.

That’s going to be difficult. Even I was surprised.

a Watanabe Mayu fan replied with this (again verbatim):

To be honest, Sasshi’s lead isn’t such a big deal. I actually think her wota tried hard to make a statement in the prelims, but her votes won’t dramatically increase compared to last year. The disparity in votes between her and Mayuyu is so obscure, it had to be a joint effort by her wota to just throw as many votes as possible in the prelims. Realistically for her to win this year considering all that’s happened up until now, she would probably need to double the amount of votes she got last year to stand the best chance.

If I’m even more honest, if you’re worried about who to vote for if you don’t want Sasshi to win, you should vote for Yuko. But really, you should be fine even if you vote for Mayuyu. Both will finish ahead of Sasshi when all the votes are counted.

So yeah, it might have sparked something but then…

Why leave Oshima Yuko out of this?

While Oshima Yuko was the one considered as the rival of graduate Maeda Atsuko, who was AKB48’s top member, she provided competition in which no member has been able to thus far. Oshima Yuko was the only person in AKB48 who dethroned Maeda Atsuko of her throne back in 2010. Maeda Atsuko fans, once again shocked the world by taking back her throne the following year. Still 2 years, after she still is a tough contender and we all saw how she beat Watanabe Mayu by 30,000 votes who apparently was the runner up.

So why the title?

I just think that both girls are very successful in AKB48 thus far but both of them have had followed different paths.

Watanabe Mayu, started in AKB48 relying on Kashiwagi Yuki and a lot of the seniors around her. She is serious and honest in what she does and that made her gain a lot of fans besides being an Anime and a Takarazuka fan (a little later). She was always the ace of original Team B together with Kashiwagi Yuki and for 6 years, both of them spearheaded the team to what was once the most inferior team to one of the best. After last year’s sousenkyo and Maeda Atsuko’s graduation, there was a need to find the next center for AKB48. She tries to keep up despite the pressure from other girls who want to get that important role in AKB48 – to be the center. The likes of Matsui Jurina and now Shimazaki Haruka keep on appearing and maybe, Mayu has something to prove if she wins this election. AKB48 is indeed ready for her. to lead the charge

Sashihara Rino started as a backup dancer for AKB48 and started as a KKS. She got promoted to Team B after the purikura scandal with Kikuchi Ayaka, therefore taking over her spot. She got transferred to Team A after the 1st big shuffle and instantly became one of the rising stars of that team. She uses that hetare character that worked into gaining a lot of fans and worked to become a great host which she is now known for. She usually excels in variety shows. When the unfortunate scandal leaked out, she had to go to HKT48 to serve her punishment. Since then, she has been the senpai and the leader of HKT48. She has fans that come to her because she just can. She may be pushed by Aki-P but she really deserves what she is getting now mostly because of her own effort. What could a happier ending to her story if she wins the election by beating 2 of her toughest enemies.

Still people might be convinced that Yuko might win the election?

Yeah maybe you can uphold that until June 8th. But I think right now what Sashihara and Watanabe fans needed to do is to focus on inputting those votes because we don’t know who would come out on top.


One thought on “Settling the Score – Watanabe Mayu vs. Sashihara Rino

  1. Hop Sing

    no offense to her fans but Rino looks like a 65 year old woman. ANd another point, i’m not familiar with this whole election thing. If this isn’t political, what in the hell is the point of it? It just seems like a high school popularity voting contest…


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