What’s Going On Inside AKB?

  March 29, 2012

Surprising announcement of Atsuko Maeda’s graduation was a sensation not only among fans but also allover Japanese entertainment industry. She is one of the earliest member of AKB48 and has been a central figure in the group. There are some questions that “Is it really possible and acceptable to leave the group by her own will if the person is essential figure in a group?” Some people argue that there are complicated relationship inside the group.

Once Maeda said “I will dedicate my life to AKB.” But her management agency, Ohta Productions, has explicitly expressed their willingness to let Maeda leave the group as well as the other member Yuko Oshima, who is also in the same agency. For their point of view, this graduation is something they wished to achieve for a long time but long been unable.
Insiders spoke to Saizo (Japanese Entertainment magazine) that they were amazed when they heard Ohta productions official comment on Maeda’s graduation which said “We heard this for the first time today.” It is well known among insiders that one exective in the production is very influential to her decision of any kinds, and even AkiP’s relative is a member of boards in the production. Ohta production is the most essential agency for AKB48.
Many members gave their thought on her graduation, but there’re not many who made it clear that she really wants her to stay. On top of that, recently there are some speculation on the graduation of other members.
“It is widely expected that the first member of Kami 7 (goddess seven are Yuko Oshima, Atsuko Maeda, Mariko Shinoda, Tomomi Itano, Mayu Watanabe, Minami Takahashi and Haruna Kojima) to graduate would be Tomomi Itano, who has dropped from top-7 for the first time at the last election. She expressed her will for graduation to people of management side, and even there was a media report that she would graduate last fall. In addition, when she failed to in top-7 in the election, she didn’t express any regret and her agency was reportedly had positive reaction to the result that they can make her concentrate on solo work.”
“The reason AKB itself and other productions who manage members of AKB accepted Ohta productions’ move is because Ohta Productions was the best contributor for the group and offered a lot of help to the group even when the group wasn’t widely known in mainstream media. Also, Maeda’s graduation can be a biggest event of the group, so it must be a story that intricately planned since some time before.”
“They said anything have yet been decided. Of course this is their strategy to create media Buzz.” “since until the end of April, her schedule is completely filled with work, her graduation will be after April. Think about forthcoming big events, there are the election on 6th June, and Tokyo dome concert in August. Media buzz will continue to speculate when and how she will graduate from AKB48. “
We only hear that her graduation is “her own decision”, but the reality is not that simple. It has long been said “AKB48 is like a school. It needs generation change just like a school.” Now our eyes are fixed on Acchan’s graduation, but sooner or later, other members may also leave the group. Maybe we’d better worry about our own favorite’s members possible graduation in the future.
Source: saizo

Kami seven is a common term used among AKB fans to describe 7 top members of the group. The following are the names in kami7

*Yuki Kashiwagi rises onto top-3 At the last election, making Tomomi Itano drops from top-7, marking the end of kami7 era.