So I haven't talked about AKB48 and Co. for a long time have I? Well, that's because though I've been following them for a couple of years now, I still don't feel confident in my knowlegde about them. However, since my last post about them, I have been able to recognise a lot more of the members and have even decided on some favorites! I decided to include the rival groups in this as well because to be honest I don't really see them as that separate (Sorry any hardcore fans who disagree with this). The members in the running are any girls who are or have been a member of AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, HKT48, NGT48, SDN48, JKT48, SNH48, Nogizaka46 or Keyakizaka46 before the date of 24th August 2016. GNZ48 and BEJ48 will not be included since they were formed after SNH48 became independent from AKB48 (and I don't follow them anyway).I wanted to include the international sister groups but I don't really know any of the members so they are technically in the running but won't appear on the list.
10. Iwata Karen - AKB48 (graduated)
I'm sad she graduated early in her career. It's like one minute she was there and the next, she was gone. I always thought she was cute but I can't really put her any higher given that she wasn't a member for that long.
9. Nakamoto Himeka (Nogizaka46)
Like most people, I expect, I became interested in Himeka when I found out she is the older sister of BABYMETAL's Nakamoto Suzuka. The talent is clearly a family trait. Below is a video of her and Suzuka singing a duet back when thay were both attending Actor's School Hiroshima (if you know anything about J-Pop, you know that an idol who has attended ASH is destined to be a star).
8. Hirate Yurina (Keyakizaka46)
The main reason I like Techi is because of her relationship with another girl on this list (more on that later). Firstly she's super cute (I love her haircut) and seems to be a serious and dependable type of girl which is shocking when you find out she's the youngest member of Keyakizaka46. She seems like a hard worker who won't take her position as center for granted and for that you can't help but like her.
7. Sashihara Rino (HKT48)
There's a reason Sasshi is the three time queen of AKB. There's just something undeniably awesome about her.
6. Kinoshita Momoka - NMB48
Cute. Badass. Awesome hair. Funny. What's not to like?
5. Minegishi Minami - AKB48
Miichan was the first member I was able to recognise so she holds a special place in my heart.
4. Kojima Haruna - AKB48
I love Kojiharu cus she's pretty. I can't lie. She's probably one of the most beautiful Japanese girls I've ever seen (right up there with Nakajima Saki). I also like the fact she likes morning musume because we agree on that. While researching for this post I only just noticed that we also share the same birthday which excites me way more than it should. I also love her nyan nyan kamen persona from the last election. I'll miss her when she graduates in February.
3. Ogino Yuka - NGT48
Yukarin is clearly the best member of newly formed NGT48, if you can't admit that, I can't help you. Firstly, she's adorable. I mean, Look at her! Secondly she clearly desparately wanted to join the group. First she was a tentative AKB Kenkyuusei but failed to join a team. Then she auditioned for Team 8 but failed. Then she became a member of Baito AKB and after that group came to an end, participated in the 2015 Draft. Finally she was chosen to become a member (and vice-captain) of NGT48. In the lead up to the 2016 senbatsu election, I enjoyed watching her livestreams on Showroom (even though I had no idea what she was saying) and was super sad when she didn't end up ranking. I hope she does well in the future, she definately seems to be popular and is super cute and charismatic so I wish her the best of luck in the next election.
2. Iwasa Misaki - AKB48 (graduated)
Hands down, favorite member of AKB48 ever. I shouldn't need to explain why, it's her heavenly voice. she's super cute too and it's difficult not to love her. Her ambition to become an enka singer is cool and I'm she's been able to achieve that dream. I think I'll just let Wasamin's latest single speak for her.
1. Nagahama Neru - Keyakizaka46
Finally we have the MV of her first solo song, Mata atte kudasa. It's a super adorable love story.
Neru is the first idol who I read interviews about almost obsessively. She always has something cool or unexpected to say. This is my favorite interview of her's, where she talks about her relationship with Techi (Hirate Yurina). It's super sweet and heartfelt. Techi and Neru are probably the first time I've ever shipped two idols!