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My Top 10 AKB48 Members

On December 8, 2017, AKB48 celebrated its 12th anniversary. From a group of 48 girls performing in Akihabara in 2005, to the hundred of members in Japan and internationally, AKB48 as a group has come a long way.

And as a tribute, I am making this top 10 list to share my favorite members. Some of which, I am fortunate and thankful to have met personally.
As there are other groups under the '48' flag such as SKE48, NMB48, and so on, we'll be looking at members from the group that started it all in Akihabara. All the members in this list are currently active within the group, as of this post.

1. Minegishi Minami (峯岸みなみ)

Miichan as she is known to fans, she is one of the first generation members of the group, and as of this article, the only one left. She was also a member of a sub-unit called No3b (pronounced no-sleeve).

I saw her on a local tv show in the Philippines (which featured clips from a Japanese show) back in early 2012, and it was like love at first sight. Upon doing more research on her, I found that she is an amazing singer and dancer, which made me admire her more.

However, in early 2013, she shocked the world, when she posted a video on Youtube, where she was shown, head shaven clean. The original video (now deleted) was posted as an apology for breaking the so-called "love ban rule", after being allegedly caught spending a night at a man's apartment.

But what made me admire her more, was her determination to make amends for the group, starting over as a trainee, instead of deciding to leave. Despite her popularity taking a big hit after the scandal, she has recovered, and is still performing with the group, and is also seen in many variety shows.

I finally got the chance to meet her in person earlier this year, which you can read about in this article.

2. Okabe Rin (岡部麟)

Also called Rinrin or Berin, she is a member of Team 8, a special unit of AKB48 that has 47 members, each representing a prefecture of Japan. Rin represents Ibaraki Prefecture.

When Team 8 made its debut in 2014, Rin became distinct for having the same voice as former AKB48 member Maeda Atsuko (前田敦子), who was the most popular during her time.

Rin is not only one of the best singers in Team 8 and AKB48 in general, she is also amazing at drawing. She is credited for creating Team 8's own personal mascot Eito-kun, and made various artworks used by Team 8.

What I personally love about her is how adorable she looks like when she gets angry at people for calling Ibaraki 'Ibaragi'. It was worth seeing that face when I met her in mid 2016.

3. Murayama Yuiri (村山彩希)

Yuiri was a child actress years before joining AKB48, appearing in various dramas from 2005-2008.

Yuiri is known for her angelic smile, matched with rock-hard abs. Nonetheless, her adorable nature makes her a fan favorite. She is also a skilled dancer and singer.

4. Kitazawa Saki (北澤早紀)

Despite being one of the lesser-known members, Sakkii is still one of my favorites. Her rather quiet nature may leave her unnoticed when placed with livelier members, but if you focus on her, she has this sweet, innocent aura.

Peroformance-wise, Sakkii has a sweet singing voice.

She is also currently performing as a stage actress.

5. Ma Chia-Ling (馬嘉伶)

Ma Chia-Ling, or Macharin, is a Taiwanese member of AKB48, Selected from a special audition held in Taiwan in 2015.

What makes her admirable is her ability to quickly adapt to living in Japan, Learning Japanese, apart from singing and dancing, in a span of a year.

She recently gained attention through variety shows, telling Japanese jokes and strange Japanese expressions that she earned from other members.

6. Takahashi Juri (高橋朱里)

Juri is a fast-rising star in AKB48. Initially known for lifeless expressions, her quick development and her breaking out of her shell makes her popular among fans.

Juri is also pushed as potentially the next General Manager of the entire 48 Group, a title currently held by Yokoyama Yui.

I was fortunate to meet her in late 2015.

7. Yokoyama Yui (横山由依)

Known to fans as Yuihan, she is currently the General Manager; the leader of the entire 48 Group. Initially shy and reserved, Yuihan quickly adapted to variety shows and became more lively. Her experiences as part-time member of NMB48 in 2012-2013 helped her change.

Yuihan is also one of the better singers in the group. She was also part of the sub-unit Not Yet.

I got to meet her in 2015, where she was right beside Juri, as they were in the same lane.

8. Iriyama Anna (入山杏奈)

Known also as Annin, she is one of the best visuals of the group. Her uncanny beauty makes people think that she is not purely Japanese, but Annin herself states that she is indeed fully Japanese.

Despite being an idol, she is better known as a model and actress, and is known for playing the lead female role in the live-action adaptation of the horror game Ao Oni.

In 2014, she was involved in the infamous "Iwate incident", where a young man assaulted her and fellow member Kawaei Rina (川栄利奈) with a saw during a handshake event in Iwate Prefecture, leaving both girls and a staff member seriously injured. Despite fully recovering after the assault, Annin and Ricchan (Kawaei) never participated in handshake events again. Annin is still active with AKB48, but Ricchan decided to leave in 2015 due to the trauma.

See the our article on the incident here.

9. Mukaichi Mion (向井地美音)

Like Yuiri, Mion was also a child actress prior to joining AKB48. She made her break in the drama series 'UNFAIR', as the daughter of the series' main protagonist. Her popularity as a child actress helped bolster her name.

Other than being an acting specialist, Mion is also a visual of the group.

Her perceived star quality leads people to dub her as the next ace of AKB48.

10. Nagano Serika (永野芹佳)

Serika is a member of Team 8, representing Osaka, as an Osakan, she loves jokes and stand-up comedy, and often performs Manzai, a form of stand-up comedy commonly performed by 2 people. Her partner is Hama Sayuna (濱咲友菜), representative of Shiga prefecture. Sayuna delivers the silly lines, while Serika delivers the retorts.

As a child, Serika was already active as a model, thanks to her naturally good looks, and fair skin, and is dubbed as the fairest member in Team 8 by her fellow members.

Serika is just as fair in person, as she is in her photos, when I met her in 2016.

Any other AKB48 fans out there? Who is/are your favorite/s? Tell us in the comments.

Also, see our articles when Team Jefusion went to meet AKB48 Team 8 in Manila! Rinrin and Serika were also there!

All images and videos here are property of their respective owners and used for reference purpose only. We claim no rights to it unless otherwise stated.
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