I personally don’t think that any of us can say that we didn’t see this coming.
Yuko had a great year in 2012/2013 with a lot of national TV appearances, the highlight of which her being casted with SMAP’s Takuya Kimura as the main characters of the TV drama Ando Llyod.
During last night’s AKB48 performance on the 64th NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen, right after Koisuru Fortune Cookie part finished and just before Heavy Rotation started, she announced her graduation with a big smile on her face. Just like the one she had after her name was called on 2013’s general election.
Member reactions on stage
From our Twitter feed:
“I haven’t yet decided exactly when I’ll graduate” says Yuko, “But it won’t be too long. I’ll discuss on the timing when the time is right” — AKB48WrapUp (@AKB48WrapUp) December 31, 2013
Yuko: Thnking about what members are feeling right now, various thoughts go through my head, but as an individual, I’m thrilled to see what- — AKB48WrapUp (@AKB48WrapUp) January 1, 2014
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Yuko-chan announced her graduation…
It was impossible to hold tears in my eyes.
Now I settled a bit, but am still unable figure out all things happened.
Yuko-chan has been an emotional pillar for all of us in AKB48 Group. When times get tough, Yuko-chan is smiling and leading us from the forefront.
Yuko-chan has been always working frantically, headlining the group, and I Sashihara believes that the fact we have her in this band assures members to have luxury to go with their distinctive characters (and that the whole band won’t go out of balance because of that), not to mention that includes none other than my character itself.
I’m a little bit concerned that AKB48 Group would lose it’s focus and intensity or a sense of tension after she leaves.
We don’t yet know when her actual graduation take place, but we members just need to discuss with each other to unify our opinions and visions.
The rest of the video is watchable on the link below: