20 April 2015, Singapore – Welcome back to my second article on AKB48. This week, I would be discussing about the the Kami – 7 (God – 7) of the entire AKB48 group. But first things first, what I will be discussing do not represent the opinions of all AKB fans and is entirely my personal opinion. If I did not mention your oshimen (推しメン), please do forgive me, as all AKB48 fans know, there are 293 members in the group and if I do mention everyone, it will be a LONG article. By the way, for newbies to the group, oshimen (推しメン) means the member that you support (or in the Japanese term “push”) and hope that the member is being pushed to the front.
Kami – 7 (God – 7) would mean to be the 7 most popular members in all the “48” groups. The 7 members do not necessarily mean being the center during performances, but the 7 do get their chances at the prominent positions. Being center often means being given the most screen-time and in the best position from the view of the audience. I believe this logic is no different from K-Pop groups.
Left to Right: Watanabe Mayu (渡辺麻友), Sashihara Rino (指原莉乃), Kashiwagi Yuki (柏木由紀)
Let’s first review the Kami – 7 of 2014. 1st was Watanabe Mayu (渡辺麻友) (the Idol Cyborg), who is described as she was believed to be born an idol. In 2nd place was the Wota Idol also HKT theatre manager Sashihara Rino (指原莉乃), who took HKT48 onto the scene when she was transferred back in 2012. In 3rd place, Kashiwagi Yuki (柏木由紀) the queen of reactions with her over-exaggerated reactions. 4th place goes to the ace of SKE48, Matsui Jurina (松井珠理奈) whom recently turned 18 and producer Akimoto has mentioned that he will polish her seriously for her progression. 5th place is Matsui Rena (松井玲奈), the geki-kara(激辛) of SKE48 who has a talent of being able to “inhale” very spicy foods. No, she is not Jurina’s sister but they are often referred to as WMatsui (double Matsui). 6th is the ace of NMB48 Yamamoto Sayaka (山本彩), who was often teased by the other members for the her chin. Prior to debuting with NMB48, she was a lead guitarist for her band, MAD CATZ. 7th place was Shimazaki Haruka (島崎遥香), known for her salty remarks and often called ponkotsu (which loosely translates to be “can’t do anything right”) by the other members.
Left to Right: Matsui Jurina (松井珠理奈), Matsui Rena (松井玲奈), Yamamoto Sayaka (山本彩)
For the Sousenkyo (総選挙) for 2015, some points are quite interesting to note. 1st being there are actually some prominent members who are not taking part such as Kojima Haruna (小嶋陽菜), Matsui Rena and Iriyama Anna (入山杏奈), as such the race is pretty much fairly open. Secondly, a few weeks back, Takahashi Minami (高橋 みなみ) had openly expressed her desire to get 1st place at her last sousenkyo prior to her graduation (obvious hint to fans). I sincerely believe most “48” groups fans would actually give a few of their votes (apart from their oshimen) to Takamina (Takahashi Minami’s nickname) in a bid to let her win 1st place, acknowledging the effort and hard work she had done for the group in the last 10 years.
Left to Right: Shimazaki Haruka (島崎遥香), Miyawaki Sakura (宮脇咲良), Kojima Mako (小嶋真子)
The following would be the members whom I think would be the Kami – 7 of 2015, in no particular order, Takahashi Minami, Watanabe Mayu, Yamamoto Sayaka, Matsui Jurina, Sashihara Rino, Kashiwagi Yuki and Miyawaki Sakura (宮脇咲良). For me, I believe it will be a close fight between Shimazaki Haruka and Miyawaki Sakura, as Miyawaki is seriously rising to prominence from her previous position of 11 in 2014. Another member to look out for is Kojima Mako (小嶋真子), her rise is also quite interesting, as it seems the company is seriously pushing her to the front.
I would end here for this article, but do come back next week for my thoughts on the individual teams and some of their members. If you missed my first article, read “[Paparazzi Corner] Your newbie guide to popular Japanese group AKB48“.
Article by: Melvyn @ KAvenyou.com