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Matsui Rena: “I want friends fast!”

3 Sep

This is probably the last article i will translate about Rena. Excerpts from interview after her last theater stage on 31st Aug 2015.

Q: Pls talk about your last dress.
Purple(a color i love) was used in it, as with the costume in “Mae no Meri”. The special part is this linkage with “Mae no Meri”.

Q: Your thoughts while singing the last song?
I always thought it’d be a happy moment, but while introducing the song i cried. It was abit embarrassing. For the last time i wanted to smile and convey my happiness.

Q: Your happiest and more regretful moments in these 7 years?
Being able to smile and end the stage today is most special for me. It was a great day. Regretful and tiring moments are just happy moments for me now.

Q: You can start dating now.
I didn’t think about it so i don’t know how to answer you. But i want friends fast! Someone who doesn’t think that i’m a female, a friend who can express thoughts frankly and objectively.

Q: What are you doing tomorrow?
Tomorrow’s work. If there’s a holiday i’d like to bring my family to see me doing power sports! (Rena actually does muscle training.)

Q:How are you going to take advantage of the things you learnt in SKE?
In SKE there are various bright or sad love songs. My feelings towards the songs change everyday. I hope to express these feelings through my acting.

Q:Would you challenge bed scenes?
If there’s a need to.I’d talk to the producer.I’m prepared for it. It also depends on the time and place.

Q: What’s your aim as an actress?
I’ve always received opportunities to appear on Kouhaku with SKE48. It’d be great if i can get a role in Taiga dramas or Asadora(morning dramas), and appear in Kouhaku in a different way.


Last theater

SKE48 Matsui Rena graduation concert in Toyota Stadium

2 Sep

Matsui Rena held her graduation concert on the 29th and 30th August in Nagoya’s Toyota Stadium, mobilising 75,000 fans.

Kizaki Yuria who was transferred to AKB48 last year made a surprise appearance. Nogizaka46, whom Rena had held a concurrent position with also made a live video call from their concert venue in Tokyo to express their well-wishes. Rena was quite surprised and exclaimed “Wait wait, this is live?” Nogizaka46 then presented Rena with the first costume she wore as a member of Nogizaka46 and said “We don’t want Rena to forget us.When you want to be cheered up pls return to Nogizaka46.” Rena replied “I’m happy with this many surprises, lets get everyone excited for our lives!”

At the end, remaining members from the 1st generation of SKE48 read her a letter.

Matsui Jurina: Actually, i didn’t want to say it, but congratulations.Rena is like the sun to me. I wasn’t able to be frank, but i really like you. Today is the last time i can stand on stage with you, so i feel lonely. I don’t want you to worry. I will become stronger. There are only 2 members from the 1st generation left, but we’ll protect SKE,so Rena chan, please watch over us. This is my last promise. 

Matsui Rena: 7 years seems long, but it flew past quickly for me. “What is your most treasured memory so far?” is a question i’m always asked. I can’t pinpoint one as every single moment was special. For SKE48, being able to stand on Toyota Stadium stage like this is something i have to thank everyone for.We started off in the theater, with only 1 performance a week. That one performance is more fun that anything else. Because the fans supported and discovered various members, we were able to stand here. I will be leaving on another path from now, but my experience here will always follow me. Thank you.

The crying members watched on as Rena sang her solo song “2588 days” and said her goodbyes to the fans. When she left the stage, rain fell from the skies.


Pics from Toyota Stadium:

It is said that the Nogizaka46 fans displayed this “sea of green” as well. Green is Rena’s lightstick color.

First generation members

Beautiful graduation dress, i love it

While Akane is crying away, i’m fixated by the backview of this dress

JuriRena pic

I would have loved to attend her graduation concert…
Rena has very good expressions when she performs. When it is a dance song she makes it look energetic(even though she’s frail looking). When it’s a ballad, she makes me think the song is beautiful. My favourite 48Group song in the past year is actually Bukiyou Taiyou. 



Countdown to graduation: Matsui Rena’s last Music Station and Fukuyama Masaharu’s godly treatment

23 Aug

This week was Matsui Rena’s last Music Station appearance. Despite her being ranked amongst the top AKB48 girls over the past few years, Music Station did not grant her a solo stage(atrocity!!). Anyways, below is the translation of their talk with the MC.

Jurina: I received a mail from Rena at 4am in the morning, saying she’s announcing her graduation the next day. I was shocked and called her. 
Rena:I was informed that my announcement would be reported in the sports papers the next day, so i scrambled to contact her.
Tamori: What did you talk about?
Jurina: I was crying so much i can’t remember..
Rena: I was quite cool but Jurina was crying for 1 hour..anyways i told her we could always meet in private after graduation, or go for meals together.
Jurina: I can only remember this part.
Tamori: It’s tough to talk to a crying person for 1 hour?
Rena: If i had talked to her earlier, this wouldn’t have happened so i felt guilty and obliged to listen to her.

Towards the end of the show, Fukuyama Masaharu was asked for a comment but he showed some care for Rena, saying “Today’s Matsui san’s last appearance so please talk instead.”

Taken aback, Rena said “Thank you, sorry. I’ve received alot of opportunities to appear on Music Station and i’m thankful for the wonderful memories.”

His gentlemenly response has gotten a wave of good reviews on GirlsChannel.

[+1760] Both his face and heart is ikemen
[+1239] That’s kind. He doesn’t even know AKB that well..
[+1435] With this Matsui san will fall for him
[+1233] But this will embarrass the female announcer. According to the order, Matsui should be the last to talk.
[+610] Anyways, Matsui is graduating?

Well it’s hard not to fall for him after this. He just showed respect to an idol! And he’s a top level singer as well!

Checkout other posts from the “Countdown to Graduation” corner:

Matsui Rena holds thanksgiving festival for fans

Matsui Rena and the people she wants to apologise to

Matsui Rena and member talk


Countdown to graduation: Matsui Rena holds thanksgiving festival for fans

18 Aug

On the 17th August, SKE48 Matsui Rena held a thanksgiving festival at Saitama Super Arena, with 5000 fans in attendance. Tickets were all given out 30mins before the event and staff scrambled to arrange message boards and exhibits for the rest of the fans who could not enter.

During the event, Rena gave out message cards bearing her heartfelt thanks to the fans. The music playing in the background was also chosen by DJ Rena.

When all the message cards were given out, Rena said to the remaining fans “I hope that my feelings of gratitude have been relayed and i wish to see you all again.” Fans responded with “Thank you Rena chan”.

With 14 days left to go, Rena’s graduation live will be on the 29th and 30th August in Toyota Stadium.

Source, Source

SKE48 members write a Kanji word to describe Rena.
Matsui Jurina – Sun
Takayanagi Akane – Love
Tani Marika – Benefactor

I’d always thought Rena looks best in Yukata.

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

Countdown to graduation: Matsui Rena and the people she wants to apologise to

17 Aug

Graduating SKE48 member Matsui Rena(23) revealed an episode when she asked Group Producer Akimoto Yasushi to rewrite his lyrics for single “12gatsu no Kangaroo”, released in December last year.

On a TV show “Gyoretsuno dekiru horitsu sodanjo” aired on 19th July,there was a theme “Person i want to Dogeza to” and Matsui Rena nominated Akimoto Yasushi.

She said that whilst looking over the lyrics to “12gatsu no Kangaroo” for the first time, something felt wrong so she directly sought out Akimoto san and asked him to revise the lyrics. When she received version 2 and compared both of them, she came to realise that the original version was the better one,so she’d like to apologise for her immature attitude.

“What is ‘December’s Kangaroo’?” was what Rena thought at that time. “I asked for another version since Akimoto san should have a better phrase to express the close relationship between a guy and girl.”

In the TV show, Akimoto san also left a comment. “Matsui’s stubbornness is also due to her being young. In a way it’s a great thing. Having worked in this industry for years, even though i know that the first lyrics were better, i didn’t want to force it. So i wrote other lyrics and hoped for Matsui to accept it.”

In the past, fans asked Akimoto san what was brilliant about Matsui Rena. He replied, “Beautiful stubbornness”.


The other person Rena wants to apologise to is AKB48’s Kizaki Yuria. Yuria was originally from SKE48 and during her early days as a member, she witnessed Rena banging her head against a clothes rack. She was traumatised by scary Rena, couldn’t talk to anyone and continued her activities in fear for a long time.

Rena explained, “At that time i had alot of pain around my waist, but i was doing a live show with 3 songs left. When i was thinking about how to disperse the pain, i saw the clothes rack infront of me. When i finished banging, i was feeling dizzy. But usually before going on stage, i’d slap my cheeks to get in shape. My juniors are pretty scared after seeing it.”

She demonstrates slapping her cheeks causing guests around her to be scared too.

Full episode with Rena’s segment starting 27:50~

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

There’s Miura Haruma in this episode too if anyone’s interested. Basically he wants to apologise to a senior actor for not recognizing him when he called, and also drinking his beer. Fortunately, the senior actor is a jolly man and forgave Miura because of his bright smile =)

[Update]Will Matsui Rena announce graduation tonight?

10 Jun


Matsui Rena has announced her graduation on the radio show. She will leave the group at the end of August 2015. “There is little time left, but staff have been planning a live show for me in Nagoya. There are other events other than the handshake sessions, and i am thinking so i can meet as many fans as possible.”

She had been thinking about graduation 2 years ago, and seriously considered it this year. When fans asked about graduation she did not lie and deny as she was indeed thinking about it. When asked about her reason for revealing it today, she said “My schedule towards graduation has been planned so with this chance i decided to tell everyone.”

Source, Source

SKE48 Matsui Rena(23) has decided to graduate from the group, as reported 9th June. She entered SKE48 at the age of 17 in 2008 and worked as one half double center WMatsui. As one of the main figures in 48Group, she was ranked 5th in last year’s Sousenkyo but held back from participation this year. She will talk about graduation herself possibly on the 10th June.

Behind the fuss of this year’s Sousenkyo, she had already made the important decision and expressed her intentions to Akimoto Yasushi. It seems like they had made preparations for the announcement in secret.

-Skip part about her achievements-

After the age of 20, she branched out into various fields like acting, reporting, radio. This year she also challenged voice acting and boasts a busy solo portfolio. Last month she also took on the leading role for AKB48 musical “Majisuka Gakuen”. “She might have felt that her role in AKB48 Group is fulfilled,”said insider. It seems like she will continue to fulfill her dreams as an actress.

Tonight, she will appear in radio show “AKB48 no All Night Nippon” at 1am. On the show’s homepage, they had already posted “Something big has happened to that person! The first move after Sousenkyo! Something big will happen!” in teasers. NikkanSports talked about this teaser “It happens everytime, but you won’t know what happens.”

Will Rena announce it herself during the show?


Akimoto Yasushi on graduation “I’ll leave it to her”

SKE48’s Matsui Rena(23) has decided to graduate from the group. Akimoto Yasushi appeared on a radio show and talked about his discussions with Rena.

Matsui Rena’s graduation was reported by NikkanSports. She is set to appear on All Night Nippon(radio show) at 1am to talk about it. On the website, a teaser title describes “Tonight, Matsui Rena Announcement Special ~Starting at 1am! Please listen to it live!”

Akimoto Yasushi commented “As a first generation from SKE, she has led the members thus far. She is someone who supported the members in various ways.”

When asked about his consultations with Rena, he said “We talk about various topics on a regular basis, but i told her i’d leave it to her. The method of announcement in her hands. Of course, it could be graduation, but it can also be a hiatus. She is someone who thinks properly. Not participating in Sousenkyo is a way of discovering herself one more time. It’s also not a call for her to resign. She will talk about it in her own way.”

About her possible graduation announcement tonight, he said “What will happen? I leave it to her. What she announces and in what way. It might be something related to Graduation. It could also be what she wants to do in future. I think she’ll talk about the improvement in SKE48’s performance in Sousenkyo too.”

“Will SKE48 be fine without Matsui Rena?”

“She probably thought much about it. If she speaks about graduation and alot of SKE members enter senbatsu, she might see a path for SKE without her.She thinks alot about SKE and loves it alot. When she was working with Nogizaka she saw their strengths and seeked to reflect it in SKE.”


Applications for AKB48’s 7th General Elections open, who’s in and who’s out?

29 Mar

The applications for AKB48’s 7th General Elections aka Senbatsu Sousenkyo have opened as of today. For the next few days, we’ll see members from each of the 48-groups signing up in the hope of winning 1 of 80 spots for the group’s 41st single(to be released August 2015).

As per previous year, the top 16 elected members will form the Media Senbatsu to perform the A-side song. The subsequent groups of 16 will form Under Girls, Next Girls, Future Girls and Upcoming Girls, to perform the coupling tracks.

Members will have until 29th March 2015, 10pm to sign up.

Meanwhile, it was also announced that this year’s Sousenkyo will take place in the hometown of HKT48 – Fukuoka(Yafuoku! Dome). This decision was made after considering issues like weather, noise levels and stadium capacity.

Website to check members’ application status

Matsui Rena bows out 

From her SKE48 blog:

This is Rena.

I will not be participating in this year’s elections. As for the reason, let me say what i am can.

1 year ago, as i was waiting for the election results, at around the 10th position, I was excited and smiling more than anyone, unlike previous years where i was nervous to the point of breaking down(although during the preliminary results i was very uncomfortable). I’m probably the only one who was smiling at that time. When i stood before the mike, “this might be the last” was what I felt.

Of course i was happy and honoured to receive my rank. Everyone around me said “it’s great” and i was full of gratitude. I especially felt the praise from my fans.

The feelings i had from last year won’t surface again. Worrying about whether my thoughts are correct, i came to this conclusion. Have I made everyone happy with my activities as a member “within the group”? Honestly, i can’t say so.

In the past, i said i wanted to be No.1.
It’s not like i changed my mind, but my vision has widened. That is because i met alot of people and had the chance to work in lots of places. What i learnt is that i have to look at myself objectively. When I appeared in shows or magazines everyone was happy for me. When i appeared in dramas and movies, people also told me i’m moving closer to my dreams. I was so happy to hear these words.

What i am striving for, and what i should do now, is something very important. 

-Skip a part which talks about going above and beyond meeting expectations and how it doesn’t have rankings-

I want to move forward seriously with everyone, so i chose not to participate in the elections. There is no ranking in the road moving forward. It is a battle with myself. I think i will keep thinking about this decision from here on, but i wish for everyone’s blessing. You can always congratulate or thank me in future, so please don’t worry, as this is what I hope for above everything else.”

Takahashi Minami signs up

From her 755:

“This year i’ll participate without hesitating! I’ll enjoy it with everyone till the end!”

JKT48 Nakagawa Haruka opts out

From Google+:

“I’d like to work hard in my Jakarta home, till the end with no regrets!”

AKB48 Kuramochi Asuka opts out

From her ameblo:

“Hi everyone, the applications for the sousenkyo are ending soon. I troubled over it until today.I will pull out from the elections this time. I will watch over the elections this year while thinking about what i want to do.
This is a really big event and even though the ones who participate are the ones who get noticed, surely those who’re not participating will also be missed.
As for these applications, it is another chance to question myself.
To those supporting me, i feel very sorry. But this experience will certainly my chance to grow. I will work hard from now.Please support me!”

AKB48 Kojima Haruna opts out

From her twitter:

“I’m leaving for overseas for work! It’d be great if i can take it slowly. Passport and mileage card..did i forget anything?”

“Ah..i forgot about the sousenkyo deadlines!”

“So as u may know I won’t be participating this year! Actually i’ve been thinking about Sousenkyo seriously these days. This is the result. From now on I won’t have much chances to appear for AKB. I will do things my way! Going off!”


Will update this space if more notable members signup/opt out!

Meanwhile, for those who intend to vote, pre-order the 40th single(and voting tickets) below:

Regular Type A
Regular Type B
Regular Type C
Regular Type D

Limited Type A
Limited Type B
Limited Type C
Limited Type D