[Updated]Shinoda Mariko graduates, appoints Yokoyama Yui as new captain of Team A

22 Jul


Translating a flurry of articles on Mariko sama’s graduation..

Shinoda Mariko & Aki P come to a decision on Team A’s new captain

AKB48’s Shinoda Mariko(27) announced the official successor to Team A’s captain position in her graduation concert at Yafuoku Dome today. This person is none other than Yokoyama Yui(20), a member of the 9th generation who hails from Kyoto.

“She’ll be able to carry on my will. If it’s Yui, she can do it.” explained Shinoda.

In response, Yokoyama Yui said “I’ve never been a captain in my life. No one has nominated me before. I may not be fashionable, but pls look out for Yokoyama Team A from now on.”


Fans ditch Japan’s Parliamentary Elections to send off Mariko sama

Fans gathered early outside Yafuoku Dome to prepare for AKB48’s concert. Even though today was the polling day for Japan’s parliamentary elections, alot weren’t interested and chose to give up their votes instead.

A man who voted for Shinoda Mariko in this year’s general elections came to the concert with his friend without casting his vote for the parliamentary elections. “I wanted to send off Mariko sama no matter what,” he said.

A nurse from Northern Kyushu also ditched the political elections and said “As Mariko chan’s fan, it’s more important to send her off.”

A housewife from Kumamoto who voted for Takajo Aki(21) in this year’s elections came to the dome concert with her husband. “As fans, we’re already too busy thinking about the AKB members, much less the parliament elections.”


Tomonobu Togasaki talks about his first impressions of Mariko “She loved Hamtaro…”

AKB48’s theater manager Tomonobu Togasaki, who has been around ever since the founding of AKB48, talked about Mariko of 8 years ago.

“She was an ordinary girl who came to Tokyo from Fukuoka bearing her dreams. She loved Hamtaro…and always carried a Hamtaro bag to the theater.”

Although she failed the 1st generation auditions, Mariko didn’t give up on her dreams and continued to work as a waitress in the AKB48 cafe next to the theater. During popularity polls, her name was nomiated even though she wasn’t yet a member.

The T&C for her debut in Jan ’06 was to learn the choreography for 12 songs in a matter of 4 days. “It was only 4 days,but I saw how professional she was because she memorised it all. She was already good in dancing, and hated to lose. She’s a hard worker, but she doesn’t show it to people around her,” he reflected.

AKB48’s music director Yuasa Junji also commented “She takes care of everyone like a good sister. When SKE48’s Matsui Jurina joined AKB for “Oogoe Diamond”, she was the first person to talk to Jurina and get close with her. Having been a 1.5th generation herself, she must have felt something for Jurina.”

With regards to Shinoda’s possibility of a music career, he said “Actually she can sing both high and low notes. I’d be happy if she can continue to sing after graduation.”


Shinoda Mariko on possibility of a lightning marriage …

Q: What do you intend to do after graduation?
I want to live my own life. I’m actually bad at working in groups, but i’ve managed to survive so far. I’m almost 30 now, so i wish to change things around. I had dreams to start a fashion brand 10 years ago, and i’m beginning to realise it now, so it’s a starting point for me.

Q: So you’ll be increasing your fashion related activities?
Yes, because i like being a model.

Q: Have you thought about becoming a solo singer?
No way! I’m bad at singing,so never thought about it.

Q:What about getting married quickly?
Never thought about it…but actually,that’s not a bad thought. If i’m asked why i’m graduating, i’d be great if i can say i’m getting married, but i don’t have a partner yet. (Laughs)

Q: How about a last message to fans?
In these last 2 days, pls take a good look at my achievements these 8 years and keep them in your memory. I’ll also take a look at each and everyone of you and remember your faces in my heart.


[NEW]”I’ll get married by 32″, says Shinoda Mariko

After her last performance at the Akihabara Theater, Shinoda Mariko returned to where it all started – the cafe where she worked as a waitress 8 years ago, to greet her fans.

The cafe, which is now closed, was specially opened for 1 day so Shinoda could give her fans a high five. “I told Akimoto sensei that i wanted to hold a high five event at the cafe after the performance, and he said i had good sense. After so many years,i finally understood the feelings of Akimoto sensei.”

About the fights that she had with Oshima Yuko, Itano Tomomi, and Takahashi Minami, she said “Even if there are disagreements amongst us, we don’t hate each other. This is what you call a bond. We are a group whose bond deepens with every fight. To me, this bond is a treasure.”

With regards to the lifting of love-ban rule after her graduation, she said “I have no interest in getting into relationships now, so i’ll take it slowly. When I wear a wedding dress, i’ll feel like getting married. I want to get married by 32, to someone who has a who is able to control and lead me.I have quite a strong personality myself, so i want to be able to lean on someone.”

She later clasped her hands infront of the wall where all the members’ portraits are hanged and said “Thank you for the 7.5 years,” before taking down her own picture.


[NEW] Chances of getting tickets to Shinoda Mariko’s final theater performance is 200 : 1

-Skipping most of the repeated parts-

Basically the article is saying that the number of people who balloted for tickets in Shinoda Mariko’s last theater performance was over 200 times the available amount of seats. (Available seats is 250 only.)

As per Acchan’s graduation last year, fans who couldn’t get a seat gathered outside the theater to send her off.


You may also be interested in these articles:

Shinoda Mariko’s graduation footage: “I’ll still choose AKB48 in my next life”
Shinoda Mariko’s tearful farewell on Kayou Kyoku
Shinoda talks about marriage and upcoming elections
Shinoda Mariko’s final stage on Music Station


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