Miku Tanabe Wins 2016 AKB48 Janken Tournament in Kobe! STU48 Announced!
On October 10, 2016, the 48 Group 2016 Janken Tournament took place at Kobe World Memorial Hall. It marked the first time the tournament was held in the Kansai Region. This year’s format was slightly different: there were only 7 blocks, and the winners from each block would debut as a unit while the 7 runners-up will perform the coupling song.
The mini concert before the event started with Nana Fujita, last year’s Janken winner, performing her solo song “Migiashi Evidence,” followed by a performance of the group’s 46th single, titled “High Tension”, which features graduating member Haruka Shimazaki as center.
As usual, there were many excellent costumes this year, such as Miku Tanabe’s drunken businessman look, Haruka Komiyaka’s elaborate devil costume, Mion Mukaichi’s Minion outfit, and Nana Okada (along with her younger sister)’s Re:Zero cosplay.
After several heated bouts, the following members emerged as the top 7: Haruka Komiyaka, Rena Nozawa, Saki Takeuchi, Ami Yumoto, Seina Fukuoka, Nagisa Shibuya and Miku Tanabe. Tanabe won the final bout and took the center position of the unit single. For the 3rd generation member who joined the group 10 years ago with Mayu Watanabe and Yuki Kashiwagi, this marks her first time centering an A-side. Her first words after winning were, “This is not a prank, right?”, echoing her words when she ranked 71st in the AKB48 37th Single Senbatsu Sousenkyo in 2014.
Just before the last performance, it was revealed that the next theater would be on a ship traveling the Seto Inland Sea, which is surrounded by Hyogo, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Ehime, Kagawa and Tokushima prefectures. The group, slated to start in Summer 2017, is called “SETOUCHI48” (STU48), and it will be the first time that a sister group is not based in a city.
Comment from Tanabe on centering the new unit:
I am Miku Tanabe, a 3rd generation member of AKB48, and I’m technically from Shiga Prefecture of Kansai Region. I am very thankful for all the “Tanamin” calls, even though I’m just someone who’s been here for a long time. I am not sure if it’s my place to say this, but even if you don’t like me, please don’t dislike AKB48. Thank you very much!
AKB48 Official site: http://www.akb48.co.jp/
STU48 Official site: http://www.stu48.com/
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