AKB48′s EVA01 announced graduation, bye bye Acchan.
Acchan, the nickname of singer/performer Atsuko Maeda, announced leaving the girls band AKB48. At the end of the final day of the AKB48 concert called “Gyoumu Renraku. Tanomu zo, Katayama-buchou!” Atsuko announced the hard news she would be graduating from the incredibly popular girls group. In front of a full Saitama Super Arena, she announced her leave, yet did not specify when exactly her decision would be enacted.
Atsuko has been a fully fledged EVA01 member (so to say so in Evangelion terms). She was first generation member of the group, active from the young age of 14, now Acchan turned 20 and decided after a fruitful but hard 6 and a half years of on-stage performance, she would like to call it a day. The decision felt hard for the fans, since Acchan is one of the most popular members. This said, Atsuko’s latest photobook called “Bukiyou” sold over 38 000 copies in the first week on-sale. Big selling photobooks might not strike you as “amazing”, but when you know that the #2 ranking at Oricon actually was the 1st highest ranked female solo photobook in the chart’s history, you could say she “Big in Japan”.
Acchan, cute as the nickname might be, was also a bit of a notorious member. Mood swings, not showing up for practice and the occasional excuse of depression had taken her reputation down a bit. She told the Saitama crowd that it has been her dream since she was 14 to perform live at the Tokyo Dome, this dream came true, so now it is time to move on and see what the future brings for me, she said.
AKB48 is holding a new (4th) senbatsu election on June 6th at the Tokyo Budokan; just like previous years. 240 members will be participatings, in essence the top 21 will be viable for the A-side tracks; whilst nr22 through 40 will be active in producing the single’s coupling tracks. The producers are looking for a 5th team called “Team 8″.
Fun fact: the photobook was shot in Paris (happens to be Atsuko’s dream location), so if you’re looking to visit Paris this summer, you finally can get a tour/photobook where the ‘tour eiffel’ actually looks sexy.