SKE48 Team S member Deguchi Aki has announced during her birthday show on March 13th that she will be graduating from the group. She wants to focus on becomíng a singer. The graduation will be in April, further details will be revealed on a later date.
Before becoming an SKE48 member, Deguchi Aki had already been an AKB48 Kenkyuusei. She joined AKB48 in 2007 as part of the 4th Generation but graduated the same year. Being originally from Mie, a region close to SKE48's home base Nagoya, she decided to make a comeback and applied for SKE48 when it was formed in 2008. She became part of the 1st Generation and later an original Team S member. As part of Team S she was also senbatsu for the 1st single [Tsuyokimono yo]. She never made senbatsu again nor ranked in the election, but last year, at SKE48's Request Hour, her duet song with Sato Mieko [Anata to Christmas Eve] was voted no. 1 by the SKE48 fans. Her graduation brings down the number of 1st Generation members left in SKE48 to 5.
Deguchi Aki's graduation announcement
Thank you for holding such a wonderful birthday show today. The past year as a 25 year old was a very intensive one of my life. Being able to sing [Anata to Christmas Eve] as number one song at the Request Hour last year was a really big event for me, and as part of SKE48 I was able to stand (on the stage) in the Nagoya Dome, which also had been my dream. Thanks so much to all those who supported me till now.
Making use of this opportunity today, I have something to tell you. I, Deguchi Aki, will graduate from SKE48 in April. This is a forward-facing/looking graduation. As a 1st Generation member, I have been active for approx. 6 years and I really was able to learn a lot.
Because of this, graduating will be very sad. But because I want to study singing professionally from now on in order to advance on the way to my dream of becoming a singer, I will graduate SKE48. From now on a lot things will happen, but I want to live on with the memories I have made in these 6 years in SKE48 in my heart.
The exact date is yet undecided, so I will tell you later on. Please continue to support SKE48 and Deguchi Aki.