To be honest, even I don’t have a very good answer to that. I suppose it’s one of those ‘Your Oshi chooses you’ cases, where it… just happens.
What I can tell you, is that Mayuyu was one of the few members that caught my eye at the very start of my journey in the 48G fandom back in late 2012. At first, at a time when I was still going back-and-forth between different favourites, it was just because she was a cute little brat - a very superficial reason, I know.
But as I delved deeper into the histories and backgrounds of each and every girl, I began to develop some sort of… affinity for Mayuyu. A quiet, reserved person on the outside, but one who really opens up when she’s in the company of a select number of close friends; a girl who would much rather go straight home after work to read manga and watch anime, than to go out with colleagues for a drink and meal; a dreamer who, had she not become an idol, would have made one hell of a manga artist (if she didn’t stray down the path of the hikikomori first, that is). I could identify with those personality quirks of hers.
In more recent outings, she has fashioned these quirks into what I call her ‘Gap Factor’. One wouldn’t normally see Mayuyu’s prim, proper character as one that would stand out on variety TV, but Mayuyu has turned that assumption around on its head, showcasing a wilder, more unrestrained (some would say violent and repressed) side of herself that makes for some pretty hilarious situations. See AKB48 Konto and the recent Mechaike specials for examples.
On a more serious note, as I followed Mayuyu’s journey in AKB48, I found myself becoming increasingly impressed and inspired by her. She may not be the strongest dancer, or the best singer, but I’ve always found that her spirit of Professionalism is second to none. Taking everything in her stride, forever giving her 200% in each and every opportunity she has, stepping to to the plate to do her very best every single time, and most of all, staying serious and true to the values and standards that both she and the Industry have set for herself.
And in the end, what it all boils down to, is that I want to see this girl through to the very end. I’ve seen Mayuyu blossom from a shy little girl into the amazing, beautiful young woman that she is today. I’ve seen her stand tall in the face of immense pressure, and while she may have buckled a few times under the weight, I’ve seen her fearlessly leap back on her feet every single time. I’ve seen her take the hits and dish them back out two-fold. And I want to see her successfully battle her way to take the top spot, just for once.