entertainment

Atsuko Maeda 'graduates' from AKB48 after 4-day sendoff

31 Comments

AKB48 member Atsuko Maeda, 21, on Monday night "graduated" from the mega-popular group. Maeda's farewell took place at a concert at AKB48 Theater in Tokyo's Akihabara district.

About 230,000 fans applied for the 250 seats available at the theater. The concert, which began at 6 p.m., was streamed live on the Internet. Most major media, including NHK, covered the event.

Maeda, popularly known as "Acchan," auditioned for AKB48 when she was 14 years old. One of the more popular members of the group, she stunned fans in March by announcing she was leaving the group.

As part of her send-off, AKB48 performed three concerts at Tokyo Dome on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, the first time they have played at that venue.

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31 Comments
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I managed to catch the last 45 minutes of the Sayonara Live. Very pretty but Fuji TV? was disgraceful, cutting to ads in her final song and then ending coverage during her final speech! Maybe they shouldn't have made it a two-hour special if time is of the essence.

Anyway, no Atsuko Maeda, no AKB! This group is finished!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

So she "stunned" fan by announcing she did not want to be part of a bunch of 14-19 year olds any longer?

About 230,000 fans applied for the 250 seats available at the theater.

Why such a small venue? If she was the heart and soul of the group as Daijoboots claims, could she not have had a 1000 seat wedding hall or bigger?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

AKB needs to learn how to actually dance. Jumping & pointing are cheerleading moves and it's very boring.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Was she crying because she will miss the other members, or because she will have to find a real job? I watched her goodbye, and if there's one thing I hate, it's fake crying. Her voice was cracking and shaking, she was blinking and patting her heart, but not one tear ran down her cheek.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

At 20, I guess she was too old for the group's adult fans. Best get a new, pure 14-year old in there for them to drool over.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Now she can screw whomever she wants.

"Atsuko Maeda Wants to Study Abroad in New York"

http://mantan-web.jp/2012/08/27/20120827dog00m200010000c.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It must be devastating news for so many men all around Japan. I'm sure there will be a salaryman or two crying into their bento at lunchtime today!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well, I think their SAYONARA LIVE! was just awesome.

Why such a small venue?

They've had countless shows at the AKB48 Theater over the last seven years. Incidentally, just seven people turned up to their first show.

Was she crying because she will miss the other members, or because she will have to find a real job?

Maybe she was crying at the mere thought of being in a cubicle all day for a petty fraction of the income. Atsuko (I'm on a first name basis with her) and a handful of others raked in the cash. Atsuko says that she would like to study in New York.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

This drivel was even on NHK news this morning. The crowd appeared to consist entirely of sweaty men.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This will be one of those famous dinner party questions: Where were you when Atsuko Maeda announced she was leaving AKB?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm glad they put the word 'graduates' in inverted commas.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The crowd appeared to consist entirely of sweaty men

Really? If you watched various footage you would find that's not entirely the case. Lots of female fans, especially those around the same age who are inspired by my Atsuko to do the best in what they themselves do.

Where were you when Atsuko Maeda announced she was leaving AKB?

Well it was five months ago but I clearly remember dropping my food and then crying in the toilet.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I'm glad they put the word 'graduates' in inverted commas.

Me too, as I've seen the same in Japanese numerous times.

Love you Acchan (^3^)

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Jeez, there are 48 of these girls. Are we going to have to go through this much lame crap every time one of them "graduates"?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

did I actually waste the time to click on this link, read it and then comment? I need to get out more

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I know that AKB48 is popular and they deliver harmless pop entertainment to the masses. However, I haven't heard of anything nearly on the scale of this in the entertainment industry. Broadcast live on television and streamed over the Internet! All because this one girl is leaving? I would guess that she was more than just a little embarrassed by it all. Makes me wonder whether more people saw Maeda "graduate" than saw Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

She got kicked out for having a boyfriend, why wont people remember this? This is all just brainwashing to make you forget it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Graduated from bubble gum porn to...???

More adult stuff?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Can't wait to see her in Moody.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What's even funnier is that 2 members will transfer overseas to JKT (Jakarta). Japan is such a saturated market that even idols need to work abroad!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Atsuko Maeda Wants to Study Abroad in New York"

http://mantan-web.jp/2012/08/27/20120827dog00m200010000c.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The miming, the crap dancing, the fake crying, imagine all h back-stabbing and bitchiness that must go on.

That would make great TV.

Hopefully she'll still have a career on the shopping channel by the time she's 28 or so.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lots of female fans, especially those around the same age who are inspired by my Atsuko to do the best in what they themselves do.

Atsuko (I'm on a first name basis with her) and a handful of others raked in the cash.

Oh please. Stop now.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hasn't she been "graduating" now for like 5 months?

They really milk anything they can with these girls...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Never ceases to amaze me how much spleen is vented at a pop group and their fans.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

where was I when Atsuko Maeda said she was going to retire? I was sitting in my room adorned with AKB48 posters listening to AKB48 music reading all there latest news. I totally burst out crying asking why why why..... oh then I awoke and thanked god it was just a nightmare...sigh

0 ( +0 / -0 )

'bout time we got to the real news!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

She retired. That is the proper English word for it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Don't quit your day jo---oh...never mind.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

retired haha wright!!!, she got made redundant, too old now needs to make way for some younger fresher meat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She wasn't even the oldest member.

Oshima, who just won that election is older than her and even she's not the oldest member.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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