Dammit. Two graduation posts in a row. This is too much for me to handle. And to think that I went to sleep a few minutes before the announcement.
Last night, 15 year old Oku Manami of AKB48's Team B made a sudden announcement on the AKB48 Official Blog. She will be graduating. Her reason for this is that she wants to focus on her education. Having joined AKB48 since the age of 10, she has yet to experience life as a student and longed for it ever since. After consulting with their producer Akimoto Yasushi as well as some staff, her new goal is to enter University some time in the future and decided to graduate so she could fulfill that dream. The exact date of her graduation has been confirmed to be 30 April.
Maachan is a 2nd generation AKB48 member, part of the first 48, and originally from Team K before the big shuffle in 2009. She is part of the subgroup Honegumi from AKB48 with the Single Honehone Waltz. She is also one of the few members in AKB48 to release a solo Single, Katatsumuri, although under an alias Ogu Manami. Maachan is half Italian and is the "little sister" in Team K along with Ono Erena, and because of that the two of them are very close friends. Erepyon graduating last year could be one of the reasons why Maachan decided to graduate as she felt lonely once Erepyon left. Despite Maachan's low rankings, Akimoto Yasushi once called her "the future ace of AKB".
Since we are already on the topic of curses since last night, could this be the Hatsukoi Dorobou curse? Hatsukoi Dorobou is a unit song from Team K 4th Stage [Saishuu Bell ga Naru], and it's members are Hayano Kaoru, Ono Erena and Oku Manami. Kaorin graduated on April 2009, Erepyon graduated on September 2010, and now Maachan will graduate sometime in April 2011.
It's sad that Maachan is leaving. I was just starting to warm up to her recently. She is, despite her emotionless exterior, pretty adorable. I am sure that's what Mariko and Meetan find endearing about her too. (Both of them are close to her and sad about Maachan leaving.) I feel bad for how Maachan was always mostly in the background and now she's graduating without having achieved anything proper in AKB, besides a solo single (that didn't do very well). In any case, I wish her well after she graduates since she has academic aspirations. All the best for your future endeavours, Maachan!
Oku Manami's graduation announcement
Translated by loveandcoffee
Today I have a sudden announcement.Update from Oku Manami
This time, Oku Manami will graduate from AKB48.
I joined AKB48 when I was 10, and without knowing anything, I’ve always done my best with what I was told to do.
There haven’t only been good things, but I have made myself a lot of good memories.
And more than anything, I have been able to come all the way so far thanks first to Akimoto-sensei, then to all the staff, and especially thanks to the support of my fans.
Being in AKB48 for 5 years I’ve met a lot of people and I’ve been able to experience many things.
Without understanding a thing, I’ve just struggled my way to here but somewhere inside my heart, the desire for the
I haven’t been able to experience grew bigger and bigger, and the days I spent worrying “What do I really want to do?” have been really hard.
As I stayed in AKB while feeling so half-hearted I felt guilty towards the people who supported me, and after thinking many times and asking many times for staff’s advice, I decided to graduate in order to pursue my new dream: advance with my studies.
For 5 years, I have given you a lot of hard times and made you worry…
But all the time, I don’t know how to say it, but I’ve always been so thankful to all the people who supported me.
Thank you very much.
I think the last time I will be able to meet you is the April handshake event.
I will announce the details of my graduation as soon as they’ve been decided.
Then, there’s just a little time before my graduation, but please keep supporting me.
Translated by Hana
It seems as though I surprised a lot of people,
including the fans,
with my sudden announcement, so
I want to say
I'm sorry for
This isn't a lie or the truth, but
I started thinking things like,
"I wonder if I don't belong here..."
But when I would think of the fans that support me, I thought,
"Alright, I'll do my best!"
and that's how I made it this far.
But, even if I stay here like this,
I think I can't do things that I want to,
and so I'll graduate from AKB at the same time that I graduate from middle school.
I haven't had much of a student life through elementary and middle school,
so I want to live the life that I only can now, that I'm 15.
AKB is really busy now, so
once I enter high school and things have calmed down,
I want to start my show business activities again.
If I didn't, that would be betraying the people
who have supported me for so many years.
I'll work hard towards my dreams in a different way,
so please watch over me from now on as well
while I haven't read all the comments yet,
that all of you think of me
makes me really happy.
For those people as well,
I'll definitely do my best.
There's still time until April 30th, so
please support me.