NSK trainee Quiana gives you the rundown on how she thought each of the AKS groups performed over the last month.
|(=)||AKB48 takes the first place spot this month yet again, mostly because the group just gets so many more activities than the sister groups (though that should be expected of the main group). June started out with Oshima Yuko’s graduation concert at Ajinomoto Stadium, which almost got rained out yet again, but was able to carry on despite the weather.
The concert was immediately followed by the 37th single Senbatsu Sousenkyo, and this year Watanabe Mayu dethroned last year’s winner Sashihara Rino to take first place for the first time. Though nobody in the newly formed Team 8 ranked in the top 80, the entire team later appeared in its first PV, “Koisuru Juden Prius”, with Sashihara Rino as center. Team 8 also had its first graduation – Okubura Chinatsu of Gifu Prefecture left on June 18th.
Also in June was the ‘official’ comeback of AKB48 Team Surprise with “Mirai ga Me ni Shimiru”, a song on the team’s second stage, “Bara no Gishiki”. Another reappearance was the announcement of a new TV show “French Kiss no Tabi” for none other than the subunit French Kiss, along with a new song “Omoidasenai Hana” for member Takajo Aki’s new drama, “Savepoint”.
Finally, there were a few announcements for AKB this month - the group’s 47-prefecture national tour, started in 2012 but never completed, was restarted as “AKB Zenkoku Tour 2014”. Additionally, three concert dates at Tokyo Dome for the entire AKB Group were announced. With all of these upcoming concerts, subunit comebacks and sousenkyo rankings, it’s no wonder that AKB is still the #1 on the power rankings for this month.
|(=)||NMB48 has been seriously living it up with activities in June, keeping the group at #2 yet again. First came the sousenkyo rankings - though NMB had the fewest amount of full members (12) ranking in the election, Yamamoto Sayaka broke into the Kami 7 tier, ranking 6th out of 310.
Later on in June was the PV release of “Ibiza Girl” and the announcement that the song was being switched from a single to the title track of NMB48’s second studio album of the same name. "Ibiza Girl" was later performed on Music Station, the prestigious music program that top artists in Japan are featured on. A nationwide tour for the group was also announced, with dates spanning from July 9th to September 19th during the summer of 2014.
Sadly, there was one downside to this month - Yogi Keira of Team N announced her graduation. However, with the sudden spike in events, NMB is continuing to be the strong, lively idol group they were meant to be.
|(=)||Nogizaka46 stays at #3 for another month, yet again unable to break the top 2. Early in June was the senbatsu sousenkyo, which only one Nogizaka member participated in. However, that member was able to push her way into senbatsu; Ikoma Rina took the 14th spot, to the surprise of most likely every onlooker of the election.
In relation to Nogizaka-only activities; the title, tracklist, covers and PV for the group’s 9th single were all released — “Natsu no Free & Easy” will release July 9th. The single has had a lot of coverage compared to previous singles - the song was performed on Music Festival and will be performed on Music Station later in July.
"16nin no Principal Trois" wrapped up this month and brought about the announcement of a new member: Sagara Iori (who passed the 2nd generation auditions along with the rest of the 2nd generation members) became an official member after having not participated in the group’s activities due to studies. Another announcement in June brought the spotlight again onto Nogizaka with the announcement of the group’s appearance at Japan Expo in Paris, which marks the first international concert for Nogizaka.
A downside to June was the graduation announcement of Ichiki Rena, who is graduating to focus on her studies. However, this past month has seen a lot going on for the rival group and if activities keep up, the group might just be able to rise to 2nd place and beat down the other sister groups.
|(+1)||The past few months have been pretty harsh for SKE48, but June brings about the slightest rise in news and activities. First in June was the sousenkyo, and SKE sure flaunted their “first sister group” position with four spots in senbatsu and the Under Girls center position. Matsui Jurina, Matsui Rena, Suda Akari and Shibata Aya all ranked in senbatsu (4th, 5th, 10th, and 15th respectively), while Matsumura Kaori took 17th place. This show of strength in rankings shows how much power SKE can have even with low amounts of activities and exposure.
June also brought about a long-awaited major announcement for SKE in the form of a new single. “Bukiyou Taiyou” was announced along with its 20-member senbatsu on the SKE48 YouTube channel.
Other than that, not much has been going on with SKE lately, but as performances are announced and more details revealed for “Bukiyou Taiyou”, we can expect more coming up for the group in the next month or so.
|(-1)||HKT48, at one point taking the #2 spot, now falls to the bottom of the heap in a sour turn of events. The group had two members ranking in the top 16 of the sousenkyo this year — Sashihara Rino took a devastating 2nd place after topping the ranks last year, while Miyawaki Sakura broke senbatsu and made her way to 11th place, marking her future 2nd appearance in an AKB48 single as senbatsu.
There hasn’t been any good news for HKT other than the high sousenkyo ranks, however; all that was left in June was Murashige Anna’s late-night walk with a Johnny’s Jr. member, captured and detailed early on into June. With these developments, it’s interesting to see what management has in place for HKT in the next few months as other sister groups have new singles and albums releasing.
How would you rank all of the AKS groups over the past month? Leave a comment and let us know!