At today’s press conference for the screening of AKB48’s new documentary “NO FLOWER WITHOUT RAIN Shoujo tachi wa Namida no Ato ni Nani wo Miru?”, Itano Tomomi announced her intentions to graduate within the year. She explained that even though Acchan’s graduation last year did make her think about leaving, this is not a hasty decision and she’s ready to take the next step forward.
Takahashi Minami: I have heard from several people that Tomochin is going to graduate, but the rest of the members only knew when Tomochin announced it in their restroom before the press conference. Honestly, it’s going to be lonely, as we’ve been together since the start of AKB. But we’re going to support her decision.”
Kojima Haruna: We’ve been together since the start of AKB, it’s going to be lonely. I have thought about my graduation as well, but that requires alot of courage. I think she’s cool for making this decision.”
Watanabe Mayu: Graduating is something everyone will have to do in future. We will send Itano san off with a smile. I will also support her in future.
Shinoda Mariko: I’ve heard her talking about it a number of times, so it’s a sooner or later issue. But it’s going to be lonely. They have paved the way for us like this, so we’ve got to work harder on our side.
Tomochin’s words for Takamina: I think you’re great for always supporting and leading the team. Please continue to do so after i leave.”
Actually i think it’s about time for her to graduate. Her image no longer matches with the cheerful/girly/sometimes childish songs that AKB48 likes to release. She would be able to BE HERSELF by continuing with her solo/fashion work. Furthermore, despite her Sousenkyo ranking staying at #8 the past 2 years, she mentioned last year in her acceptance speech that she will continue to be her cool self. Isn’t this a hint that she no longer wants to bother about popularity and is ready to go her own route?
On a side note, i have a feeling this announcement came early so that Miichan’s scandal can be covered up.