On April 13, AKB48 member Kikuchi Ayaka announced her graduation. She wants to pursue a career in fashion. Her graduation show will be Team A's Senshuuraku on April 21 but she will continue to participate at handshake events until September 23.
Kikuchi Ayaka first joined AKB48 in late 2006 as part of the 3rd Generation and became an original Team B member but had to leave in 2008 because of a purikura scandal. She re-auditioned and came back to AKB48 as part of the 7th generation. She was promoted at AKB48's first Sokaku Matsuri in 2009 and became a Team K member but then was transferred to Team A at the following shuffle. She made senbatsu six times, ranked at the election twice (2012 and 2013 at #51) and was a member of the subgroup Watarirouka Hashiritai.
Ayarin was supposed to transfer to NMB48 this year but declined that transfer and also did not announce her candidacy for the election, now we know why.
Kikuchi Ayaka's G+ post about her graduation
At tonight's theater show, I announced my graduation.
I began thinking about graduation at the occasion of the Watarirouka Hashiritai's disbandment live. It was an opportunity to take a break with my AKB48 graduation.
I wanted to move forward finding more things that I wanted to do, not as an idol but in the field of fashion or as a model. I properly thought about this before making my decision.
Even though I will graduate, there continue to be no stops on my way. My life is a one-time only thing so I want to work hard and move forward and forward without regrets.
My last show wil be on April 21, the senshuuraku of Yokoyama Team A will be my final one.
To my fans who support me: I am sorry for this soon date.
I will continue to participate at individual handshake events until September 23, so I want to make a lot of memories with you.
The senshuuraku is near but I want to treasure the short time I still have and give my best with full power!!
Please support me until the end.