Acchan looks happier and more light-hearted these days!

She definitely smiles more often these days.
Also, the amount of harsh comments online directed at her has drastically decreased since her graduation announcement.
She looks like…. a senior student of high school who has just finished her entrance exam for university and is enjoying a carefree life!!

But personally I think Acchan was the cutest and happiest around 2009, especially in this MV….

Junen Zakura / 十年桜

There’s a line in the Drama part of Sakura no Hanabira Tachi he, “How we remember this moment 10 years later…”.
A lot of fans thought that this line inspired AkiP to write the lyrics of this song, Junen Zakura.

It’s widely agreed that this MV is quite puzzling, especially the depiction of Takamina.

The first Drama portion, which depicts the girls 10 years after their high-school days, Acchan and Yuko are reading a letter which reads

“Thank you so much for today. I was so happy that I could be with you after our graduation until the last moment… We experienced a lot of things, and though I was discouraged, thinking to give up a lot of times… and was about to stop going school… whenever I was having hard times, you supported me, encouraged me and I finally could graduate with you… (This letter can be understood written by Takamina)”….

When Acchan and Yuko reflect on their school days, saying, 
Yuko: “Do you think she will come?” “It’d been like a dream…”
Acchan: “Sure.. It really was like a dream…”, 

As Junen Zakura started playing, the setting then changed, showing their school bus and school field. (The bus and field were the representation of Yuko and Acchan’s past, and the dream they’re talking about). 

The scene from 4:37 to 4:41 depicts the bus, on which members were on board, caught in a traffic accident (there’s also a cut of the turned over truck at 3:44 in the model of ‘Future Map’ they are making.
*illustration drawn on Sakura-shaped card describes them 10 years later)

As members were getting off the bus, only Acchan and Takamina were left on the bus, and Acchan was fast asleep… in the next cut, Acchan woke up and found Takamina had gotten off the bus and left a letter in her hands…

This MV raised a lot of speculation from fans on whether Takamina was killed in the accident or not, and what the true story is behind the video.

When asked about the relation that MV has with the line, “How we remember this moment 10 years later… (Yuko said this to Acchan)”  in Sakura no Hanabira Tachi, Director Takahashi said,

“It’s a puzzle for me, too lol But personally I feel some connection between them, and I think MV of Junen Zakura has a sort of concept of Death and Life, which I felt from  ‘Graduation and Sakura‘ depicted in Sakura no Hanabiratachi he.

Matriculation is Birth and Graduation is Death. Of course this Death also mean Birth in a next stage, namely Re-creation. I thought Sakura can symbolically describe those themes. I also thought school is where we virtually experience the cycle of Death and Birth….

This MV has a feeling of… kind of like Dream or the other world… school bus and school which Maeda and Oshima of 10 years later were remembering…. I think that’s why this school has obsessively too much decoration and psychedelic mood, and why members were getting off the bus right middle int the field, though I didn’t intent to give a specific meaning for each scene. Yuko’s pregnancy is also a symbol of Birth and I think people who felt an image of Death from Takamina have a sharp instinct.

Though there’s no clue whether Yuko was in the bus with Acchan when Takamina got off the bus or not, and since as director suggested Yuko’s pregnancy symbolizes birth, the conclusion can be drawn that the only members who are definitely alive 10 years later are Yuko and Acchan.

Standing in the middle of a road, staring at Acchan, Takamina shed tears, symbolizing separation and loss of her friends…
I think that in this story she died soon after graduation..
Takamina had been frequently absent from school because she’d suffered some kind of serious illness,
but her friends encouraged her, cared about her, cheered her up…. so that she could share the moment of graduation with her friends….

I think that those sweet memories were relived during the party-like scene inside the bus.

10 years later, Takamina is standing alone, looking off in the distance.
Because the background is blurred, she looks like she is somewhere far away from the other members.

At 1:34, Yuko said: “I think we shared the good last moment …”

In the last portion of the Drama part, when Yuko was asked what if she had decided on a name for her baby, she answered: “If my baby is a girl, I’ll name her Sakura.”

She placed the accent on Ku of Sakura, which is unusual for a human’s name. With the accent it usually means a cherry blossom flower…

It’s also not clear if Mayuyu, Kojiharu and Tomochin are alive either…

At 7:10, if the people that they are waving their hands at are Acchan and Yuko, then that means they are alive but if it’s Takamina…. then… they are also dead.

At 6:20 the second half of Takamina’s letter continues,

“Today was so fun.
Thank you everyone for having cared about me, shared fun moments, done crazy, funny thing together…until the last…
We won’t be able to meet again soon…. but I’ll never forget you….
If it’s possible, if you will still remember me…
Let’s meet again ten years later…