Full Senbatsu Lineup: 1st row：Matsui Rena / Shiraishi Mai / Ikuta Erika / Nishino Nanase / Hashimoto Nanami 2nd row：Matsumura Sayuri / Akimoto Manatsu / Ikoma Rina / Sakurai Reika / Fukagawa Mai 3rd row：Eto Misa / Wakatsuki Yumi / Hori Miona / Hoshino Minami / Takayama Kazumi / Saito Chiharu
The senbatsu members for Nogizaka46’s 10th single has been announced. Unlike the previous single which had room for 17 senbatsu members, the 10th single had only 16 spots open. Saito Chiharu was one of the under-girls who made it in for the first time.
Expectations for the center mostly fell on Shiraishi Mai(center for Girls Rule), Nishino Nanase(center for Kizuitara Katamoi,Natsu no Free & Easy) and Ikuta Erika(17), who just returned from a hiatus. In the end, center was given to Ikuta Erika.
Erika was dumbfounded when she heard the announcement. “I didn’t expect this….I had left for awhile. I just came back, and to be in the center position is a complicated feeling for me. Some may think that its unfair. It’ll be good if i can give my all for this single.”
Erika was born in Germany but moved back to Japan when she was 5. She started playing the piano when she was 3 and has ranked in national competitions. She is also good in opera-singing and has most recently snagged the lead role of stage play “Niji no Prelude”. Despite being multi-talented, she has a rather dumb image in variety shows, which has endeared her to audiences. Akimoto Yasushi once said he’d found a “Maeda Atsuko” lookalike during the formation of Nogizaka46.
“She has the highest specs in the idol world. She is the hidden jem amongst all the idols Akimoto Yasushi has every produced. It’s a waste not to let her be center just because she looks like Maeda Atsuko,” said an idol writer.