Best Rivalry | AKB総選挙にみる最高のライバル関係。







The biggest election among Japanese girls group fans is not the prime minister election – it’s an annual election held to decide the ranking among girls in the Japanese biggest group, AKB48 group. (This election is such a huge thing in Japan that I can’t describe well, so please refer to this AKB wiki page made by fans if you are curious.) I watched the election in a train yesterday even though I only know like two people out of hundreds of members – I really enjoyed watching most of the winners’ speeches.

Anyway, I would like to write about the best rivalry today.

This year’s main topic on this election was whether Rino (the top star who is actually from my hometown) would win the championship three years in a row, or Mayu would win for the second time in her AKB life since 2007. This election was the last election for both of them who have always been competing with each other, and all the fans were looking at the live streaming of the election to see how their battles would end.

The most memorable moment in this live show was when they hugged each other after the announcement of all results. Although the result ended up with Rino winning the third consecutive championship, they hugged each other crying, thanking each other for being the best rival.

When you are competing with someone in any field – sports, music, anything – I think it is natural for you not to like that person because you really want to beat your rival. Although, after competing for so long, your feeling towards the person changes especially when you no longer compete with him/her. As you have walked the same path and you understand each other’s struggle almost too much, you just want to congratulate each other for being the best rival, and you begin to like that person so much. I learned this from competing in classical music world, but I am sure this is the universal thing in any country, culture, and field.

I cried in a train seat when Rino said to Mayu “I am supporting your new embarkment.” – it was just an election for a J-pop idol group, but it conveyed struggles and pains of young singers so much that I couldn’t watch the entire show without tears.

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