From Shukan Asahi, this is about Kitahara Rie and her close friends (or comrades if you prefer Danny Choo style :/). I really respect those that leave their hometown to chase after their dreams.
The "Yell" from My Bosom Friends Who Support My Decision to Go to Tokyo
Translated by mammothb
It was spring when the light red Higanzakura flowers on the bank of Kiso River^ were starting to blossom. 3 years ago, I, having just passed the AKB audition, decided to move to Tokyo on the day of my high school first year's closing ceremony. But I felt embarassed, and evaded questions from my friends about when I was going to leave.
On the platform of the station with barely any other commuters, I was holding onto my baggages while checking the my train's schedule on my memo. I wondered how much would I have changed the next time I return here. Just a while back, I was really filled with hope and expectations of my trip, but now, being unable to see what my future holds, I was assaulted by this sense of uncertainty. As I thought, maybe I should have told these things to my friends. With that thought in mind, I raised my head and I realized my close friends were standing in front of me......
My teammates from the handball club I participated in middle school came to see me off. Among them, Maki(fake name) was also there. Without mentioning a word, we formed a circle* like how we always do before a match.
At the moment, those words warmed me up like they always have. But, because of that, I didn't want them to see me cry. I wanted to leave on my journey with a smile. Hiding the feelings which were welling up in my heart, I boarded the train. Matching the speed of the train, everyone started running along the platform! And when they reached the end of the platform, Maki shouted, "No matter what happens, we'll always be Rie's supporters!"
Soon, the platform was no longer in sight, the moment I sat down, I bursted into tears. Thank you, everyone. With this, I'll be able to do my best in Tokyo......
When I first met Maki, I thought, "I definitely can't become friends with her." Unlike me who dislikes causing discord, Maki was someone who won't accept an opinion that's different from hers. She often got into quarrels with the senpais, and even with us too. And finally, the worst case scenario occurred...... The handball club's ace said that she wanted to quit the club as she couldn't get along well with Maki. We, the juniors, all gathered together and discussed. We put the blame on Maki.
"Why did such dispute occur?"
"Put yourself in others' shoes more......"
After hearing everyone's opinion, Maki stood in front of the ace and bowed her head and said, "I'm sorry. Please don't quit the club......"
At that moment, I realized I have misjudged Maki, she wasn't being egoistic, she just just being frank with her opinions. Because she believes that that should be the way to treat friends... She lost her father at a young age. So Maki really treasures friends more than everyone else. She's just a little different from us, that's all. That was time I truly understood the meaning of being an outsider.
There are various members in AKB. There are members you click with and there are also members you take some time to become friendly with. But, since that day, after I finally understood why Maki acted the way she did, I grew up a little. Maki gave me the confidence to believe that as long as we open up our hearts, we'll definitely be understood. I'm really grateful to her.
Soon it will be Sakura season. No matter what happens, I have my close friends who will always be support me... Even till now, my hometown is within that circle***.
^ it's this scene
* the "circle formation" like the one the AKB girls do before a concert, of like the one that Team B did during Team B 3rd Stage
** if you want a tl on this, it would be Rie, fight-! but that sounds weird, so I just left it in romaji
*** the circle formation she did with her handball teammates of course (: