Want to watch some nerd event that's NOT somehow related to E3 this week? Are you an idol fan (or planning to become one)? Japan and Google have just the thing for you! This Wednesday, June 6th, they'll be livestreaming the 4th AKB48 General Election, the event for fans of the dozens-strong idol group and future saviors of humanity.
What is it, you ask? Nothing, just the most important event in the average AKB fan's year! It's during the General Election that each new AKB single's "center" girl is chosen, through the votes of the fans. The top sixteen vote-grabbers also show up on the next single. In a move worthy of a prime seat in the special hell they send marketing geniuses to, "voting" in the typical AKB election consists of purchasing a copy of the group's latest single "Manatsu no Sounds Good!" (which retails on Amazon Japan for Y1200). Which means die-hard fans can (and do) skew the vote by buying multiple copies. Rumor has it that one fan bought a thousand copies so far.
Thankfully, internet-savvy and international users won't need to shell out this time. They can cast their votes for members of AKB48 or any of its sister groups (SKE48, NMB48, HKT48, or the Indonesia-based JKT48) on this special multi-lingual page, as well as watch the bilingual English/Japanese broadcast on Wednesday, June 6th, at 1730 Japan Time. The winner will be announced at 2300. Predictions suggest that Yuko Oshima, who won the 2nd election, may take the top spot again, now that Atsuko Maeda is on her way out.
Who are you voting for?
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