Countdown to graduation: SKE48 Matsui Rena and member talk

16 Aug

Decided to dedicate more “airtime” for my favourite SKE48 member Matsui Rena since she’s graduating soon. I hope Music Station gives her a special graduation stage next week just like all the former top members. Rena certainly deserves it!

Full MVs for “Mae no Meri” and “2588 days”

I was expecting alot of tear jerking footage of Matsui Rena since this is her last single but this music video was very bright just like the song itself. What i liked are the natural scenes of members surprising Rena with a party as she arrived in Okinawa. No script, no directing. The members each pass a sunflower to Rena and relay their personal messages. From there you can see what a motherly figure Rena has been for the group. One scene which struck me was the backview shot of Jurina crying. I’ve never been much of a Jurina fan but she must be feeling really lonely now that her co-pillar is leaving.

This is Matsui Rena’s last solo song “2588 days”, a documentary style music video showing footage from auditions, concerts, sousenkyos.

Matsui Rena x Takahashi Minami talk on Mujack

Matsui Rena appeared on Mujack hosted by Takahashi Minami and chatted about private topics.

Takamina: Who are the members you’ve dined out with so far(just the 2 of you)?
Rena: Takayanagi Akane only.

(Takamina is shocked.) Only her? So i’m the 2nd member you’re dining together with?
Rena: Yes

Takamina: Your graduation is a big thing for SKE48. Are you worried?
Rena: How do i say it? When i decided to graduate, i believed i had done what i can, so naturally i had to take the next step. Surely, when i pull out, something new will takeover. More than being worried, i’m looking forward to seeing how everyone creates a new SKE48.

Takamina: I’m most worried about Jurina. What are your feelings about Jurina? I thought that you were quite troubled in the past since Jurina is childish. She has to lead SKE and when she doesn’t know how to go about doing it you’d have to guide her. What is her presence like to you?
Rena: She’s like a sister to me, so i didn’t spoil her. (Takamina: Surprisingly you were rather strict?) Well she’s young and i can just praise her by saying she’s cute. But as we’re also colleagues,during times like @#$@#$ i’d say No, and when i see her feeling weak i’d encourage her. I think i was a rather strict sister.

Takamina: Did your relationship change after you announced graduation?
Rena: I didn’t change but Jurina will keep cuddling up to me, saying she’s lonely for example.

Takamina reads a letter to Rena: What i want to say is – Thank You.Even though Rena is straightforward,principled and concentrates well, i think you’re unable to multi-task. Your body seems weak too, so i was often worried.Also, you’re more of a loner and not accustomed to group activities but for the sake of SKE48, you didn’t choose to graduate immediately. As part of WMatsui, you led SKE48 together with Jurina. Jurina was quite the child in the past, and the person who supported her was Rena.You were like her sister, but now that both of you have grown up, seeing how you discuss the future of SKE48 and sometimes disagree, i think you’re both no longer sisters but friends. Honestly, i’m not able to imagine SKE48 without Rena, but since you’ve decided to graduate now, you must have seen the new SKE48. I’m also graduating myself. There must be lots of things that can’t be started without graduating first.  This applies not only to the group, but also yourself. So please move ahead to realise your dreams as an actress.

Rena reads a letter to Takamina:To me, AKB48 was my idol. When i first saw your performance “Skirt Hirari” on TV, i never stopped being a fan. Entering SKE48, being selected for AKB48 Senbatsu, standing on the same stage as the people i admired, i never thought this day would come.When i first entered senbatsu “Juunen Sakura”, i couldn’t remember the dance moves but Takamina encouraged me and gave me courage. We were the same age, but you were so mature. In such circumstances, you didn’t complain.I learnt alot, and i think alot of members gained courage the same way. When i talked about graduation the day after sousenkyo this year, you supported me just like the first day you talked to me. We will go on different paths from now on, but you’ll always be my star. I want to go to Takamina san’s live and cheer in a loud voice. This was my dream as a fan in middle school. From now on, please continue to show a cool side to everyone.

WMatsui talk on Nikkan Sports

SKE48 Matsui Rena(24) will be graduating on the 31st August after her last theater show. She has been active as part of WMatsui together with Matsui Jurina(18) since 2008. Even though Nikkan Sports got the scoop on her graduation first, Rena had already called Jurina to tell her the news 1 day before she announced graduation.

Q: Rena announced her graduation in June.
Rena: I wanted to tell the first generation members first. But, Jurina was sad after the sousenkyo, so it was bad timing to tell her. While i was worrying about it, Nikkan Sports had reported it.
Jurina: Laughs
Rena: But i had contacted her 1 day before the report came out.
Jurina: It was good that you told me, otherwise i’d be mad.
Rena: She cried hard over the phone.
Jurina: I was practically hyperventilating.
Rena: She was more emotional than me.
Rena: Oya Masana had asked me when I was planning to graduate. I thought everyone had an inkling about it.Although the day was decided, Masana told everyone my graduation hasn’t been approved yet.
Jurina: Masana was happily telling me that you won’t be graduating. *laughs*

Q: Your relationship?
Jurina: Soulmate will be good.
Rena: Eh? Friends? It’s more like family. Very often, people will ask me “Jurina is very special to you?” but personally, she’s like a sister.
Jurina: To me, Rena chan is special.

Q: You 2 look very balanced together.
Rena: We don’t share the same perspectives. Although we’re facing different directions, we try to be move towards the ideal goal. There are always 2 choices, so that’s good.
Jurina: During the early period, i didn’t think that people would call us “JuriRena” or “WMatsui” for long. The fans see us as rivals, so I also thought that we had to become rivals.

Q: What would have happened if one of you wasn’t around?
Jurina:…..I would have quit immediately.
Rena: Eh??Immediately?
Interviewer: That’s if you didn’t have a compatible partner.
Jurina: Yes..
Rena: I also think that if it wasn’t Jurina, we wouldn’t be compatible.  But as a rival its different. Because it’s impossible to topple her presence, i had to think about how to approach so I can move foward.

Q: You will be holding a graduation concert on the 29th and 30th in Aichi Prefecture Toyota Stadium?
Rena: What do i want to do? I want to sing Kareha no Station, if the fans and members are happy with it.
Jurina: I want to do all the songs with pair dances. Shall we?


Check out my other posts from the “Countdown to graduation” series:
Matsui Rena and the people she wants to apologise to
Matsui Rena holds thanksgiving festival for fans

Purchase Rena’s graduation single below:

Limited Type A

Limited Type B

Limited Type C

Limited Type D

Regular Type A

Regular Type B

Regular Type C

Regular Type D

3 Responses to “Countdown to graduation: SKE48 Matsui Rena and member talk”


  1. Countdown to graduation: Matsui Rena holds thanksgiving festival for fans | allthingsjpop - August 18, 2015

    […] 5000 fans in attendance.. how long does it take for all of them to get their cards? Check out my other posts from the “Countdown to graduation” series: Matsui Rena and the people she wants to apologise to Matsui Rena and member talk […]

  2. Countdown to graduation: Matsui Rena and the people she wants to apologise to | allthingsjpop - August 18, 2015

    […] Check out my posts from the “Countdown to graduation” series: Matsui Rena holds thanksgiving festival for fans Matsui Rena and member talk […]

  3. Countdown to graduation: Matsui Rena’s last Music Station and Fukuyama Masaharu’s godly treatment | allthingsjpop - August 23, 2015

    […] Matsui Rena and member talk […]

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