|Atsuko Maeda speaking to fans about her leave from the group|
Now that Atsuko Maeda revealed her graduation from the group, everyone thinks about who will be the next Ace of AKB48. In the last year’s AKB general election, Atsuko Maeda got 13,9892 votes making her No.1, and Yuko Oshima picked up 12,2843 ended her in the second place.
As Yuko Oshima said after her loss to Acchan, the Ace of AKB48 needs to have special, unique character that clearly distinguish her from everyone else.
In the early period of the group, producer Yasushi Akimoto chose Atsuko Maeda for the leading position (center role) of the group. People familiar with him explained “Mr.Akimoto chose Atsuko Maeda because she is unfit the most for the center role. Everyone can understand the cheerful and energetic character of Yuko Oshima, but Atsuko is a little bit puzzle.” That mysterious charm of Acchan has been an engine of the group’s rise to the stardom.
“For now, there is no one who can potentially fill Acchan’s role among the major members of the group. If there is someone who can, probably she is not yet to be known to many.” But given the speech of Atsuko Maeda, explained the reason of her leave “for the sake of her juniors”, it is likely that younger faces who are yet in trainee classes are coming up to the top groups.
In the nation’s favorite music show on new year’s eve, Kohaku-Uta-Gassen, last December, Mayu Watanabe of AKB48 and Juria Matsui of SKE48 were introduced as Next Ace Candidates. Mayuyu got her momentum with her solo debut in Feb, and Juria’s participation to AKB48 is meant to be the process to become a Ace.
(source Yahoo Japan)