The Goddesses of AKB (Acchan, Takamina, Mariko, Yuko, Yurikin, Sasshi, Tomochin, Mayuyu, Nyan-Nyan) Who do think their successors are/will be?
I think the “successor” concept was a way to try and effectively push new generation idols, but it was eventually discarded once circumstances changed. The original front line of AKB is absolutely revered by fans even to this day (that’s basically what AKB0048 was about), but when the new generation is asked to fill the shoes of their predecessors it can seem really scary. How do you try and make fans love these new girls as much as they love the old girls? By trying to make comparisons between them. If you can convince people that this idol has the same qualities as a popular graduated idol, the hope is that you’ll at least pay attention to the new girl. Karen, Jo, and Paruru were all pushed at one point or another by drawing comparisons between them and Acchan, but they all ended up taking very different paths in 48.
The reason the successor concept was dropped is because 1) new generation idols and AKB in general just won’t be as popular as the old gens and 2) fans want to like idols for who they are, not who they’re supposed to be. As an idol matures and gains experience, she’ll develop her own character based on her own experiences with AKB. Labeling a young idol as successor sort of works because they can come off as blank slates, but once they grow up the differences become more and more apparent.
That being said, idols do sometimes share certain qualities that make them easy to market. For example, Sakura can be called an orthodox idol in the same sense as Mayuyu, but you can also draw comparisons with Yukirin because they’re both nice girls (and gravure queens ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)) who treat their fans well. Pushed idols who give off the “girl-next-door” vibe get inevitably compared with Acchan because Acchan is the most famous pushed girl-next-door type idol. The successor system is a good springboard, but ultimately fans like it more when they can see an idol forge their own path
If I HAD to choose, though, Acchan = Kojimako, Takamina = Yuihan, Mariko = Annin, Yuko = Mion, Yukirin = Sakura, Mayuyu = (not sure on this one you could say like 10 different things here), Sasshi = (not sure on this one either), Tomochin = Moechan, Sayaka = Tano, Kojiharu = Paruru