There was a brief period of time when i was thinking why Matsui Jurina and Oshima Yuko were the double centers for AKB48’s 28th single “UZA”. Based on the rankings of General Elections 2012, Watanabe Mayu, who placed 2nd after Oshima Yuko, should be rightfully pushed alongside Yuko. But looking at the style of “UZA” which requires strong dancing skills and a fierce aura, Jurina seems like a better fit instead.
Yesterday,Yahoo Japan posted an article which revealed that the real center of “UZA” was supposed to be Watanabe Mayu. I’ve translated it with my limited Japanese…so pls don’t mind if you find my translation awkward.
[Interviewer] I’ve interviewed you for so many times. Recently, your face seems to have changed?
[Interviewer] Seems like you’re showing the face of someone who has been entrusted with the responsibilities of a center. Did you even notice that you’ve changed?
[Mayuyu] I’ve changed. I’m from the 3rd generation so i’ve always relied on the 1st and 2nd generation seniors. But now i have to think deeper about the group as compared to the past. My time spent thinking about the group has really increased.
[Interviewer] Is it tough? Thinking about the group?
[Interviewer] The first time when you knew that you’d be the center for “So Long” was in November last year when you were shooting for the PV?
[Interviewer] What were you feeling at that time?
[Mayuyu] I was abit nervous, but i looked forward and told myself to work hard.
[Interviewer] Your dreams of becoming the center of AKB48 has finally come true!
[Mayuyu] Really…i’ve worked hard all these while so i’m happy that everything has turned out well. Just like what Takamina-san said (“If you work hard, your efforts will be rewarded.”), i truly feel the meaning of her words.
[Interviewer] Actually, you were entrusted with the center position of “UZA” last year, but as you were unable to perform the difficult dance, it ended with Oshima Yuko and Matsui Jurina taking over as double center right?
[Interviewer] Do you regret that moment?
[Mayuyu] Yes, i thought that i have to work harder than ever at that moment. It became a great experience actually.
[Interviewer] At the backstage after last year’s General Elections, Oshima Yuko said that she wanted to entrust you with the title “Next Generation Ace”. Have you thought about carrying the burden of leading AKB48 after that?
[Mayuyu] Yes, having placed 2nd in the General Elections, i’ve in fact thought much more about that.
[Interviewer] You made an impression when you were crying at last year’s Japan Record Award?
[Mayuyu] I took over Maeda Atsuko san’s center position for “Manatsu no Sounds Good!” after she graduated, so i thought i had to do a good job and was pressured by that. It was the first time we “challenged” the Japan Record Award after Acchan graduated, so when i heard we won, my nervousness and happiness just spilled out in the form of tears.