The 2014 AKB48 Tokyo Dome Concert titled “Don’t! Don’t! Please don’t graduate?~” kicked off on the 18th August. It will run consecutively for 3 days, with sister groups joining in on 19th and 20th August.
The suggestive title “Don’t! Don’t! Please don’t graduate?~” was decided by listeners of the radio show “AKB48 no All Night Nippon”. Around 182,000 votes were cast for it. During an emcee corner, Team K captain Yokoyama Yui(21) wondered if any member would actually dare to announce their graduation over these few days. The camera panned to Kojima Haruna(26), which made fans laugh as she had previously hinted at an impending graduation during this year’s sousenkyo.
Yokoyama then turned to Takahashi Minami, saying “News of your graduation is flying around.” Takamina replied “Who says so?!”
In other news outlets, Kojima Haruna was reported to have said “Everyone! About the graduations, don’t be so timid about it!”
Tokyo Dome Concert Day 2: No graduations announced, awards for Koisuru Fortune Cookie Covers announced
During Day 2, awards were given out for covers of the hit song “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”.
Samantha Thavasa Group was awarded for garnering the most views on YouTube(over 6million). Nihon Kotsu won the corporate award, Saga Prefecture was recognized for uploading their cover first, and the overseas award went to a fan who comes from Texas, Houston.
Sashihara Rino also had an award named after herself and “forcefully” presented it to her hometown Oita. “Many people have danced to this song, so i am thankful.”
It was also announced that “Kokoro no Placard” would have its own video awards next year. Interested parties should send their fan covers from the 27 Aug. The timeframe for submission runs until 31st July 2015. More details at official site.
Tokyo Dome Concert Day 3: Members grilled about their graduation intentions
During the last day of this concert, Takamina started to grill the members about their graduations.
Kojima Haruna: “It’s all about the timing. This time round unknowingly the title became like that. I’m not gonna graduate just like this!”
Takamina then turned to Sasshi, saying that she’d still be popular even if she graduates from 48group now.
Sashihara: “I’m being called to various shows because of AKB48. I’ll stay until i can become a power talent who can appear on any show. I’m not quitting.”
Attention then turned to Kashiwagi Yuki, who showed her ambitious side this time, stirring surprise and shock from her fans.
“I failed my first auditions, and i had to convince my parents before joining AKB48. I have things left to do here and i want to teach the juniors…Also, I haven’t reached No.1 in Sousenkyo…”
Minegishi Minami tried to create a tense atmosphere as she stepped up next.
“I was the one who clung on even after the scandal! As an idol, i lost my “flower” (referring to her hair), so i’m gonna stay until the flower blooms once more,” she said.
Watanabe Mayu who became the center of “Kokoro no Placard” through Sousenkyo, said “This year, didn’t I finally achieve No.1? There’s still room for growth and I want to lead the group, so I can’t quit like that. I’m not leaving!”
Takamina then grilled the younger generations next.
Kawaei Rina : “I just returned to activities! Why did I do the ‘You Can’ challenge if i was going to graduate?”
Shimazaki Haruka: “I don’t know…can I continue to stay on being like this?”
Sashihara: “The most suspicious person is Takamina! You’re like the elder sister who missed her marriageable age!”
Takamina: “I have not reached my marriageable age! I’m gonna release my 2nd solo single this year! Please take care of me Akimoto san!”
The final conclusion? No graduations.