Everyone is expecting this election is going to be the election for Sashiko, the last hope of Japan and the world

Asahi Geinou conducted a interesting survey.

Popularity ranking of AKB members among middle-aged men

Note: This survey was conducted on 1,000 men who are over 40 y/o. They are allowed to name maximum 3 members. Atsuko Maeda was excluded since this is supposed to be the forecast of the next election.

() :ranking in the last election/rank/name/age/votes

(2)①Oshiriko-san (Yuko, Oshima-san, Yuko Oshima) 23 457votes
(3)②Mariko-sama (Mariko Shinoda) 26 346votes
(8)③Tomochin (Tomomi Itano) 20 277votes
(7)④Takamina (Minami Takahashi) 21 208votes
(3)⑤Yukirin (Yuki Kashiwagi) 20 189votes

(6)⑥NyanNyan (Kojiharu, Haruna Kojima) 24 168votes
(5)⑦Mayuyu (*Mayuyu Watanabe) 18 138votes
(9)⑧Sashiko (Rino Sashihara) 19 103votes
(17)⑨Sayaka (Okaro, Sayaka Akimoto) 23 79votes
(15)⑩Miichan (Minami Minegishi) 19 55votes
(11)⑪Sae (Sae Miyazawa) 21 47votes
(14)⑫Jurina (Jurina Matsui) 15 44votes
(19)⑬Yui Yokoyama (19) 38votes
(10)⑭Rena Matsui 20 30votes
(12)⑮Akicha (Aki Takajo) 20 23votes
(18)16 Amina Satoh 21 11votes
(28)17 Sayaka Yamamoto 18 9votes
(21)18 Mocchii 22 8votes
(40)19 Reina Fujie 18 6votes
(27)20 Miho Miyazaki 18 5votes

(skip) What drew our attention was Tomochin, who was slipped down from 4th to 8th in the last election, is honorably placed in 3rd, which reaffirmed us her sustainable popularity among older generations.

Comments from those who voted her included, “Different face from other members” (Mie, 55) “She has different aura from others” (Aichi, 45), which for us kind feel like they were just saying they can’t remember and differentiate the faces of other members. Though she can stuck up to Takamina or Mariko-sama in this small battle field, she is expected to face a tough fight in the real election.

A man who knows well on this matter said “It is absolutely true that Itano is popular among over 40 folks, but most of genuine AKB fans are reluctant to vote her since she is lacking a important factor in the election. People want to see their favorite members grow and forge their way as they cast their votes to the members. In this process fans and members are synchronized with each other. But in Itano’s case, she is already perfected that there’s no room to enjoy this process. I think there’s few people who eagerly want her to be No.1.”

From he beginning, Itano is standing out among AKB members. She has admired dancer and R&B singer Amuro Namie, and keep herself away from being categorized as an idol. She is also a close friend of Atsuko Maeda, so she must be motivated by her graduation and to forge her own career path outside AKB. Her fans also realized this, making less and less people is going to cast a lot of votes for her.
NY Based Beach Sandal Brand Bubbleflop Pick Tomomi Itano (AKB48) as Thier Face in Japan

Contrary to Itano, a member who are in the middle of nation’s attention and expected to make a great leap is Rino Sashihara aka Sashiko.

“Sashihara is in what we call comedy team of AKB. Her popularity is not based on her appearance (though she is actually beautiful), but her down to earth, unsophisticated but straight forward attitude that can be seen for example updated her blog 100 times in 24 hours. Blog, G+, Twitter, those online media is the most important platform for them to interact with fans and make them their loyal fans. Management closely watch how they’re making the best of those media and give promotion those who’re making it. So why Sashihara is expected to gain enormous votes? Because until recently her common image is a girl who are not cute like as an idol but because of the system of AKB, which put emphasis on close interaction with fans became very popular. But nowadays her fan want to prove that ‘No, she is not just about utilizing social medias or just doing crazy things to get attentions, but she is actually cute as an idol.‘ which drive tons of fans want to push her into the top. This movement is happening in a scale that we’ve never seen in previous elections.”

“Thanks to increasing exposure in mainstream media, she has gained light fans. I can say she will never fail to be in top-5.”

Sashiko Ota (lol) Plan To Name Horse Race On 2th May With Her Name To Celebrate Her Solo Debut

Speaking of new waves, Jurina Matsui has temporarily joined team K while also remains in team S. People see this move as preliminary step to make her a Ace in coming next chapter of AKB.

At the tender age of 15, she already drew remark like “She is cute but cool!” from 56 y/o man, but it may be too early to expect her to play a central role in AKB.

“Maeda and Oshima has been perfecting their appearance as they were growing old. But as for Jurina, she had already impeccably beautiful face when she was 13 or 14 y/o. It sounds good, but that makes her appeal to fans less captivating. That is the huge difference between Jurina and Maeda or Oshima, who still look not professional idols but have burning souls inside, which make no one can avoid from being magnetized to them.”

Let’s talks about Yuki Kashiwagi, who was in 3rd place in the last election. Though she is raked 5th in this peculiar ranking, most of people are expecting Kashiwagi will be 2nd in the upcoming election.

“I think the gap between Oshima and her will be smaller. Because of the increased exposure especially in Magazine Gravure, she’s never lost her momentum.”
Yukirin Released Her 2nd Photobook ‘Yu, Yu, Yukirin…’

Now look at Shinoda, who was 4th last year, is in 2nd this Middle-aged man select.

“Shinoda is not standing out among AKB, because she always tries to not stand out among members. But she is playing active role when she thinks she has to, for instance, she is leading the charity visit to Tohoku area. I think she will be in 3rd place as widely expected.”
Mariko Shinoda And We Fans Are And Will Always Be Home To Graduated Members
But pople associated is foreseeing Shinoda, Kojima and other grown up members to be ranked down.

“Likes of Shinoda, such as Kojima already have a wide and firm fan base outside AKB which they have built up through solo activities. That make fans think they don’t necessarily ranked in top-places since they have their unique position in this industry. On top of that, Maeda’s graduation will be a headwind for those who people think can be doing fine if they graduate the group at this point. Since the reason of her graduation in terms of AKB as a group is for prompting Generation Change, people are likely to paint this election as a time to see new faces.

Source Asahi Geinou via G-labo