14 February 2011
Kenkyuusei Nakamata Shiori gets promoted
Yesterday 12 February 2011, during the evening Kenkyuusei performance, 10th gen Kenkyuusei Nakamata Shiori was promoted to member status.
The move comes just after she got accepted into the Department of Politics and Economics at Waseda University. This is to be effective immediately, although she has not been assigned to a Team yet. This brings the total member count in AKB48 to 57, with the 9 extras being team-less promoted Kenkyuuseis.
Nakamata's appearance in the AKB48 Theater was a surprise as she was not scheduled to perform for that day. Right before the end, she appeared on stage in her high school uniform and announced to everyone about her admittance. While they were still celebrating, AKB48 Theater staff Nishiyama-san, or more commonly known as Saru Obasan, appeared on stage with a letter written by their producer Akimoto Yasushi. Addressed to Nakamata, he congratulated her of her hard work and being accepted into Waseda University, and then surprised everyone when he announced her promotion.
I can't say much about Nakamatta as I haven't been paying much attention to the Kenkyuuseis. So I don't know about her vocal, dance or entertainment skills, but I have been told that she is very very hardworking on both her studies and idol career, so congratulations to her. However I can't help but think that Aki-P promoted her for bragging rights. Like "Hey look, my idol group has students in Waseda. hahaha :P" or something.
Also somewhat related, auditions for 12th gen Kenkyuuseis have already started on 13 February. The final audition will end around 20 February, and we can probably expect to see them a month or 2 later.