Sponsors, advertisement agencies and record company were surprised by Maeda Atsuko's graduation announcement.
Usually I'm supposed to be the one making all the arrangements,
but it turned out like this because I let Maeda make the final decision.
I think she was able to do it without hesitation and confusion because I told her, "Don't think about anything else and decide for yourself."
I would like to apologize to all the staff.
I will take full responsibility.
But her smile was so refreshing - wasn't it great?
I am writing this because I've been getting an earful at meetings about commercials and CD releases, after the graduation announcement hype calmed down a bit.
Maeda Atsuko’s solo song moves up on Oricon
The Maeda Atsuko effect is currently taking place on Oricon. After she announced she would be graduating from AKB48, the solo single she released last June, titled “Flower”, moved up on Oricon’s Daily Ranking.
The previous day, “Flower” was ranked outside of the top 100, but after the announcement it jumped up to #31. It has been 238 days since Maeda’s single was last in the top 50, and it seems to be blooming a second time after her announcement.
In addition, AKB48’s songs like “GIVE ME FIVE!” and “Everyday, Kachuusha” have also moved up in rank.