Acchan’s 2nd Solo Single – Kimi wa Boku da Radio Rip

1 05 2012

Atsuko Maeda’s 2nd solo single ‘Kimi wa Boku da’ will hit the shops on June 20th and it’s the theme song for SMAP member Shingo Katori’s movie LOVE Masao-kun ga Iku! which is apparently a true story about a labrador dog named Masao. Yesterday saw the song played out for the first time on Japanese radio and somebody was kind enough to capture the song and put it on Youtube. Have a listen to it below.

I really like the song, it’s different from Flower and it suits Acchan well plus it’s got a nice melody to it. A definite ‘must buy’ for me.

NEWSFLASH: Acchan Pulls Out From AKB48 4th Senbatsu Election

4 04 2012

In a video posted on the official AKB48 channel, Acchan announces that she has pulled out from the AKB48 4th Senbatsu Election. In quite a sombre and emotional video, Acchan looks nervous and goes through what we already know about her graduation. She also starts crying and said she was sorry for causing so much trouble for the staff, fellow members and fans. She thanks everybody for the support she’s received so far and hopes they’ll continue to support her after she graduates.

I sort of had a feeling that once she had made her graduation announcement she wouldn’t be taking part in the senbatsu election as the result would have been an overwhelming victory for her. Does this mean then that AKB48’s next single will be Acchan’s last? Watching the video did make me feel sad. As an AKB48 fan I will miss her but I’ll still support her after she graduates.

Acchan’s withdrawal opens up a whole load of questions as to who will take the no.1 spot in the election. Many think that Yuko will be Acchan’s successor but I think it’s going to be a close election for the top spot which could spring us a surprise or two. It all depends on which member that Acchan’s fans will vote for. The majority might not go and vote for just one specific member, the votes could be evenly spread out amongst many members. They could go for anyone: Mariko, Mayuyu or Yukirin. I really do think that this year’s election will be far more interesting than previous years.

Take a look at the 7 minute video below:

EDIT: If you want to watch the video with English subtitles, go over to this link:

The Acchan Effect Begins

30 03 2012

On March 28th the expected media scrum took place at Haneda Airport as Acchan came back from her short trip to Hong Kong. Flanked by Harugon and Yuttan, the three looked quite surprised at the throng of media people that was in attendance. Surprised for them maybe but not for us fans. This is how it’s going to be now until she or Aki-P gives us a definite graduation date. Naturally the reporters were desperate for any kind of scoop from Acchan but she was keeping her cards close to her chest. They even asked who would be the next center in AKB48 but Acchan skilfully brushed the question aside by saying she hoped all members would do their best.

The news of Acchan’s graduation has propelled her solo single ‘Flower’ back into the Oricon Top 30 where it languished outside the Top 100 before Sunday. Suddenly it has shot right up the charts and the same goes for a couple of AKB48 singles where sales have been boosted by her news.

Acchan Receives Overwhelming Support From Fans

27 03 2012

I think Acchan has been worried how fans might react after her graduation announcement on Sunday. Naturally a lot of fans are going to be upset at losing their oshi but the majority will want to wish her well in the future. Acchan’s blog has gone into overdrive since Sunday. Her latest blog entry has received 38,000 comments!! Usually the average is about 5,000.

Yesterday Acchan escaped from the glare of the Japanese media and headed over to Hong Kong with Harugon and Yuttan to attend the 40th anniversary of friendly relations between Japan and China. In front of 700 fans, the trio sang a couple of songs. There was a handshake event afterwards and Acchan received a lot of positive support from the fans.

Now I’m sure everybody wants to know what Acchan had to say in her blog entry. Naturally she talks about the moment she announced her graduation at SSA and explains her decision on why she wants to go.

To check out her blog entry in full which has been translated into English, click on the link below:

Videos Of Acchan’s Announcement

26 03 2012

As expected, the Japanese media has picked up yesterday’s story about Acchan’s graduation so here’s a couple of videos I’ve found on Youtube so you can finally see Acchan’s speech. You will able to see the reaction on some on the other members’ faces. The last video also shows the announcement of Jurina and Milky’s temporary transfer to AKB48.

I don’t expect these videos to stay up for long.

Aki-P Comments On Acchan’s Graduation Announcement

25 03 2012

Aki-P has shared his thoughts on Acchan’s graduation announcement on Google+ today.

Apparently Acchan has talked to Aki-P many times about graduating from AKB48 and he’s tried to stop her but in the end he said the decision must be hers to make. He also told her that if she was going to announce anything it had to be on the last day of the SSA concert. When he saw Acchan putting her hand on her chest and trying to calm herself down, he knew that she was going to do it.

Aki-P says that Acchan is a person who endures pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining. As she doesn’t open up to anybody he feels she’s a lonely person. Acchan is quite hard on herself and this can sometimes be misinterpreted as clumsiness to some people. He feels that if she stayed on with AKB48 her mood swings and her ego would perhaps grow worse.

He finished by saying that Acchan has been the center for AKB48 for 6 and a half years so now he wants to let her do as she wants. The fine details about her graduation haven’t been finalised yet but he hopes that everybody will congratulate Acchan on her graduation.

It seems to me then that Acchan wanted to leave AKB48 last year but perhaps because of the disaster that hit Japan she stayed on to give joy and hope to those in the affected areas.

Details On What Acchan Said On Her Graduation

25 03 2012

So then guys, have you all caught your breath back after the shocking graduation announcement. It’s gonna take a while for me to take in this news. AKB48 without Acchan is going to be incredibly strange.

Well anyway this is a recap of what Acchan said in a very emotional speech. She told the audience that she’s been a 1st generation AKB48 member since she’s been 14 years old and it was a big decision in her life. The 2nd biggest decision is graduating from the group. During her time with AKB48 she has caused trouble for many people due to her mood swings but thanks to everybody’s help she is here today. She’s wanted to perform at the Tokyo Dome since she was 14 years old. As this dream will come true now that she’s 20 years old, it’s time to move on towards her next dream. She’s worked hard for 6 and a half years. She’s worried and anxious about what is to come in the future for her. There is no details or timescale as to when she will graduate.

All of the AKB48 members seemed to be in major shock at the news. Poor Tomo~mi was hyperventilating like crazy. I can’t imagine how they’re all feeling right now.

I think it’s pretty obvious that AKB48’s biggest concert to date at the Tokyo Dome will be Acchan’s swansong which I think will be a fitting venue for her graduation.

If Acchan’s heart isn’t in AKB48 anymore and she wants to do something else then we have to support her. It’s going to be difficult for a lot of fans to accept her decision but we have to. We should be happy for her. She’s given everything for AKB48 – blood, sweat and tears and for that we should be so grateful for all that she’s done. She’ll never be forgotten by the fans.

EDIT: A fan at the concert has kindly uploaded a voice recording of Acchan’s annoucement on Youtube