5.) Kato Yuuka (加藤夕夏) “Uuka” (NMB48 Team BII, 3rd Generation)
↑51 Ranks (From Rank #84 in the 8th Election to Rank #33 in the 9th Senbatsu Election, 2017)
Yuuka is no stranger to 48 Group West, as we recently spoke about her in our article NMB48; Datte Datte Datte and 8 Members You Should Know, which you can read by following the link. Her rise to 33rd place was unprecedented and surprising. Many fans dispute the reasoning behind it still to this day. Known to be one of the better dancers of 48 group, Yuuka has been consistent in presenting high energy and calculated performances. Most currently, you can find her taking part in Danceable, a dance-based NMB48 subunit who just recently had their first concert. Click here to find yourself at one of Yuuka’s solo stages from the event where she sings the well known theater song, Blue Rose while adding her rhythmic rock aura.
The most recent thing our Yuuka has done, however, is take part in Yoshida Akari’s Graduation Concert, which occurred mid October 2020. Below you can can find the two of them, along with Danceable’s Ishida Yuumi, performing an old NSFW SDN48 song, Yuuwaku no Garter.
4.) Yoshida Akari (吉田朱里) “Akarin” (NMB48 Team N, 1st Generation)
↑61 Ranks (From Rank #77 in the 8th Election to Rank #16 in the 9th Senbatsu Election, 2017)
Akari appears alongside Yuuka in our NMB48 article as well as a few others. If you’d like to read more about the newly graduating star, follow the link! Since our last time writing about the Youtube makeup guru, she has sadly announced her departure from the group, and was gifted her first and last A-side Center position for NMB48. You’ll find NMB48’s 24th single, Koi Nanka no Thank You below. Most recently, Akari has celebrated her graduation and NMB48’s tenth anniversary along with her groupmates (and quite a few ex-groupmates) at her recent graduation concert.
There is no disputing the cause of Akarin’s sudden rise to the top in 2017. After working tirelessly churning out makeup content via Youtube, she was beginning to get recognition from various brands and significant groups. Her fandom grew quickly but steadily, from hard work and stark brand awareness. Below is a somewhat recent upload of hers, as she dances with NMB48 Captain, Kojima Karen.
3.) Fukuoka Seina (福岡聖菜) “Seichan” (AKB48 Team B, 15th Generation)
↑65 Ranks (From Rank #97 in the 8th Election to Rank #32 in the 9th Senbatsu Election, 2017)
Seina is a rather underrated talent of Team B who has enjoyed some moderate success due to her consistency and popularity with the fans. Always performing well in AKB48 events, Showroom rankings, and even doing well in a few AKB48 mobile games, she has enjoyed a couple of b-side centers during her 7 years with the group. Below, you can see her most recent center song, Yume e no Process, released in 2018 on AKB48’s 54th single.
Most currently you can find Fukuoka Seina participating in on and offline stages for her AKB48 subunit, Honey Harmony. Click here to watch a full Online Live from September of this year! Below we’ll enjoy a fancam of her performing the ballad Anata ga Ite Kureta Kara.
2.) Nakai Rika (中井りか) “Rikachan” (NGT48, 1st Generation)
↑73 Ranks (From Rank #96 in the 8th Election to Rank #23 in the 9th Senbatsu Election, 2017)
As mentioned in our previous article on the Highest Ranking Senbatsu Newcomers, quite a few NGT48 stars burst through the ceiling of fame almost immediately with no buffer in the middle. Rika, the original center of NGT48, gained her popularity from her unprecedented attitude. Unlike most idols, Rika was not afraid to show her dislike or disdain for certain things and ideas. Much like earlier generation AKB48 member Paruru, it was the sheer genuine nature of the star that drew people to her. Below she centers NGT48’s first single, Seishun Dokei.
Rika has had a very successful ride in 48 group, centering quite a few b-sides across the AKB48 and NGT48 discography and being chosen for AKB48 senbatsu consistently since debut. After the downfall of NGT48, Rika was one of the members who’s hands seemed to come out clean. Below you’ll find her solo song Daite Yaccha Sakuragicho released on NGT48’s 2nd single.
1.) Ogino Yuka (荻野由佳) “Ogiyuka” (NGT48, 1st Generation)
↑90 Ranks (From Rank #95 in 8th Election to Rank #5 in the 9th Senbatsu Election, 2017)
We’ve spoken about the rise of Homme Hinata and Nakai Rika on 48 Group West, but we have now finally come to the true meteoric rise of NGT48’s Ogino Yuka. Originally a draft member, handpicked to join NGT48 by the team itself, Yuuka won the hearts of thousands as soon as she hit the scene. She was not the most talented, but many of her fans will implore that she was the most earnest. She danced with no restraint and plainly looked as though she were living her dreams onstage. The group’s 2nd single, Sekai wa Doko Made Aozora na no ka, was released later that year and was Ogino Yuka’s first role as Center for an A-side. The song ended up a great success for the group, winning AKB48’s 2018 Request Hour and cementing Ogiyuka’s place in Kami 7 of AKB48. Watch the fan favorite below.
Ogino Yuka continued to be a reliable face for the group, centering their 4th single, Sekai no Hito e, the next year. Her popularity did not waiver in the next year, and she was able to rank at an impressive 4th place in the 2018 Senbatsu Election.
Due to the immense controversy NGT48 has suffered in the past couple of years, Ogiyuka’s popularity has been quite shaken. In the event that AKB48 chooses to bring back the Senbatsu Election, Ogiyuka would be the prime member who’s ranking 48 Group West is interested to see. Below, enjoy Sekai no Hito e.
BONUS VIDEO: Nakai Rika and Ogino Yuka backstage dancing to NGT48’s most recent single, Sherbet Pink.
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