Team S Captain Hirata Rikako announced her graduation from SKE48 earlier this evening, during her 23rd-year-old birthday show. Her reason for leaving was to chase her dream of becoming a reporter.
It is currently unknown when Rikako's graduation date is, or if she will leave immediately. With her graduation, Team S has dropped to 13 members, and there are only 41 full team members left in SKE48. It also begs the question of who the new Team Captain will be. This is the first time any Captain has graduated.
Hirata Rikako's graduation blog post
Translated by HoneyRoastedPeanuts
I have an announcement to make.
I've decided to graduate from SKE48. I told everyone at the end of today's show - the fans, who I love so much, in this theater that is so important to me.
For about one year, I've been thinking about making this next step towards my dream of becoming a reporter. There's still lots I've got to learn on the road but I'll do what I can so I can keep on showing you my smile.
The day of my graduation hasn't been decided yet. I will let you know once there's a date.
A lot has happened in those four years. I'm proud of having met the fans and my dear friends in the group. I've just gotten 23 and I'm walking forward.
Please keep supporting me as well as SKE48 while I do my best. I won't lose against wind or rain.