What is Sousenkyo?
AKB48, as the headquarter of the 48 group have their own pattern at releasing their singles. They release 4-5 singles every year in average. Those singles have their own gimmick which are called and consecutively arranged like this:
1. The graduated single (Mae Shika Mukanee, So Long, Give Me Five, Sakura no Kini Narou, Sakura no Shiori)
2. The summer single (Sayonara Crawl, Manatsu no Sounds Good, Ponytail to Shushu, Everyday Kacchussa)
3. The senbatsu single ( Koisuru Fortune Cookie, Gingham Check, Flying Get, Heavy Rotation, Iiwake Maybe)
4. The Janken single (Suzukake Nanchara, Eien Pressure, Ue Kara mariko, Chance no Junban)
5. The random single- single where the management can push certain members (Heart Ereki, UZA, Kaze Wa Fuiteru, Beginner)
Sousenkyo (election) is an event originated from one of many ways for AKB48 to determine their single senbatsu (Selected members) which later well-known as the grand senbatsu sousenkyo. It’s an occasion where all the fans can vote all the members within the group to be standing as the top sixteen girls.
Since AKB48 Sousenkyo happens and valid for 48 group in Japan, the ranking result is widely stretched for 64 members and divided into four hierarchy:
1. Senbatsu (ranking 1st – 16th)
2. Under Girls (ranking 17th – 32th)
3. Next Girls (ranking 33th – 48th)
4. Future Girls (ranking 49th – 64th)
What makes Sousenkyo valued as a massive event is the event itself becomes a certain indicator of members themselves. It measures to the extent what kind of things members have been through and efforts they put in for the whole year.
Sousenkyo is a tear-jerking phase for every members, emotions overflow when all efforts deserved to be highlighted. The hardworking members sure will be paid off with the higher position than the others. Hardworking, efforts, attitude is some essential things heavily considered by fans to vote certain members, then this event becomes more like a fine reflection of beautiful mutualism in the fandom.
The sousenkyo system has been running annually for five times in the last five years. Sasshihara comes out as the first on the last Sousenkyo while the rest are equally divided to Atsuko Maeda and Oshima Yuko. Beside the chronicle of the winning horses, the competition will be led by fans who will personally or by group making purchases of hundreds to thousands voting ticket copies.
So, how this Sousenkyo system run and how to vote your favorite? There are quite some ways, but the general and easiest way of course is by purchasing the single. In other words, Sousenkyo is a part where AKB48 can rapidly increase their CD sales up to 1 million copies or more.
The voting period of Sousenkyo will be held at one single before the Senbatsu single. On this system, it will go directly to the sales of Summer single. Summers singles are known for their visual tempting beach and bikini landscapes and the record breaking sales.
According to the records, the sales of summer singles in the last three years is reaching the average sales of 1,7 million sales.
Sayonara Crawl (1,955,800 sales) -> Koisuru Fortune Cookie Senbatsu
Manatsu no Sounds Good (1,822,220)-> Gingham Check Senbatsu
Everyday Katchussa (1,608,299)-> Flying Get Senbatsu
JKT48 management (JOT) have announced that they will use this Senbatsu Sousenkyo system for their 6th single. The decision makes another history footsteps of JKT48 as the first sister group outside Japan to hold their own election. Whether they will follow the AKB48 Sousenkyo textbook or have their own rules, this must be wrapped up in a transparent and sacred way.
As what I stated above, the easiest way of voting is the purchase(s) of the single. The voting period will likely be held on JKT48 5th single (Flying Get), and the voting by purchasing system will be JKT48 chance to increase their sales rather than their usual short messaging services method.
JKT48 have already released four singles so far and allegedly have reached the record of 40-50 thousand copies each. Bear in mind that there’s no third party neutral corporation that supplies statistics and information on music and the music industry in Indonesia.
Let’s hope the senbatsu single will appear as the long awaited original JKT48 song and we can buy a lot of it with satisfied and glorious feelings.
At the end of the day, there will be much expectations of JKT48 Sousenkyo despite their current management service problem and internal issues. It is also the chance for fans to make their voices louder, they can honestly point to who deserved to be the front-line girls and those who don’t.
I personally can not wait for this event as well as another JKT48 upcoming events such as the like of team KIII new setlist, new kenkyuusei, third generation stage. Let’s have this with honest and supportive feeling. May the best remain forever.