As announced in the theater on January 18th, Okada Risako, a 2nd Generation Kenkyuusei, will graduate from NMB48. The reason is that she wants to focus on her studies.
Risako is the third 2nd Generation Kenkyusei to graduate from NMB48, following Takiyama Akane and Otani Riko, who just recently graduated for the same reasons. This means three 2nd Generation members have left (or are about to leave) the group in the short time of just about one month!
I actually wonder if anything is going on among the 2nd Generation members. Three graduations in such a short time is really unusual, and with the prospect of Team M to be formed soon, I was expecting the 2nd Generation to move forward now.
NMB48 Captain Yamamoto Sayaka made a comment about the graduations too, and she sounds quite devastated to me. Read a translation of her comment below.
Please let me write my true feelings here.
I am sorry if I have made you feel bad.
To be honest, I am perplexed.
Getting to know about the graduation of a member later than the fans is shameful for me as a captain.
This will be the third person and so, even though there is nothing to feel guilty about 'giving priority to school activities', I can't help but feeling insecure wondering 'what is not working in NMB?'.
On the other hand, the 2nd Generation members are even getting used to the graduation of their fellows.
Stay firm, Sayaka!