Last year, AKB48 Group had all 4 of their domestic groups appearing in the annual year end show. However, SKE48 and HKT48 were dropped from the lineup for this year. According to an interview with chief producer of the show, he explained “We came to this decision based on 3 factors – the results of this year’s activities, public opinion and performance concept.”
Momoiro Clover Z,also one of the idol groups dropped from this year’s lineup, has since announced their graduation from Kouhaku. “We will in our own way, walk our path with everyone.” They also promised a huge countdown live for this year.
Reactions from dropped artistes
HKT48 Sashihara Rino on Twitter: “We cried. Just a bit, but it seems like next year will be fun!”
In a followup tweet, she said “It’s frustrating! It seems like fans will just tell us to work hard for next year, but pls don’t (laugh)”
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu: “I didn’t make it into the lineup this year, but it’s not the time to be sad! I will work hard.
Nishiuchi Mariya, who had hopes of making her first appearance said: “I’m sorry, it’s frustrating! I had my expectations too high. I will write more songs and open a concert first.”
SKE48 Oya Masana: “It’s regretful to be dropped, but SKE48 will restart from now.”
SKE48 Matsui Jurina: “I don’t want to SKE48 to shy away from this. Whatever difficulties we face, I want to overcome it with everyone.”
I thought that NMB48 didn’t deserve to be in the lineup as well, but some reports are saying that they were given the spot thanks to Sayanee singing NHK’s asadora theme song.