I shall now prepare for the legions of flamers amassing at my gate. Drumroll please....
I can't stand Acchan. I just can't. I tried so hard to like her, but I really can't. I understand that she has legions of fans both here and overseas for good reasons. However, not everyone can worship her.
It's not because she's the frontgirl. It's not because she's the perpetual center...well, okay, maybe that's partially it, but there are many other reasons, some stemming from this. Watching my first senbatsu election this year after catching up on what little footage I could find from last year when Yuko won, it's clear that Acchan now feels somewhat entitled to the center position. Her emotions were so fake and so staged it kind of made me want to gag. There is plenty of fakeness in the idol world, I get that. I have also seen times where she is genuinely emotional. But not this time. My partner, who knows approximately dick all about AKB48, agreed with me when he saw the footage.
I resent all the promotion she gets, because while she does have talent, there are others who deserve it too. I don't like the fact that she constantly referred to Yuko last year as "the center," because it was just her being butthurt and not trying hard to conceal it (or better yet, get over it). And I really can't stand the way all of AKBs PVs place her in the position of "perfect angelic little virgin" while it's perfectly ok to make the others look, well, HUMAN and less than she.
HOWEVER, I honestly don't completely hate her. Acchan is nailed to a huge, untouchable pedestal which not only should no one be put on in the first place, but that she can't handle anymore. (At least, not with as much grace as she used to.) And for the most part, it isn't her choice. She has worked way, WAY too hard recently, and it is not only not fair to other lovely girls in the AKB family who haven't gotten promoted much, but, most importantly, it isn't fair to her. No one should be put out from exhaustion as much as she has been. It's wearing her down to the point where I'm honestly worried about her future career.
When I saw the PV for "Flower," I saw an Acchan at her happiest and, though she was acting, most genuine. She is a great actress, and that is where she belongs. AKB48 really doesn't need her for much longer--she has a wonderful path laid out for her in the world of acting, and I can see that that is where she really wants to be. And frankly, I would LOVE to see her as an actress. But as an idol, I really want to see less of her.
Runner-up: Takagi Reni