On November 9th, the semi-annual fashion guide/magazine ‘Mgirl‘ will be releasing its 2012-2013 autumn-winter edition and this time the cover and main pictorial will be graced by former AKB48 member Maeda Atsuko.
The strikingly beautiful and vivid pictures were taken by none other than famed photographer and director Ninagawa Mika who once again makes use of plenty of colors in order to draw us into her unique world. Maeda herself also invites the readers into her world with an extra long interview where she also reflects on all the difficulties she faced as a member of AKB48.
Ninagawa already worked together with Maeda and AKB48 for the popular PV of their hit song “Heavy Rotation“. This time the two were trying to picture the more mature – post-graduation ‘Acchan’.
Maeda commented ahead of the shooting, “I want to show you a completely new side of me.” She continued, “I was so nervous that I couldn’t sleep at all last night.” The result of her ambition are plenty of great pictures with adult-like expressions, bold cleavage shots, a gorgeous regent styling and sexy lingerie.
It was Ninagawa who requested to take a pictorial with Maeda and it seems like Maeda agreed to do it asap for a certain reason. She explained jokingly, “We have to take it before I grow fat. I’m living quite comfortably now, so it’s impossible for me not to gain weight from now on (laughs).” She revealed that her body is prone to gain weight rather easily. “Things like fasting for three days or going to the gym at least three times a week. When I was still a member of AKB48, I had to all kind of things (to maintain my weight).”
The singer has been standing in the center of the idol group for seven long years. She said, “I felt like I’m in the eye of a typhoon and wasn’t really aware of all the things going on around me. It’s up to you how you spend the time you have for yourself. This is what I learned as a member of AKB48. You have to make use of all the time you have to yourself such as bedtime, and be as productive as possible. There is plenty of time, you only have to know how to use it.”
Her most difficult time were the two weeks before her graduation. “It was painful,” she expressed. “It was both the most difficult and most happiest time for me.”
More than anyone else, Ninagawa thinks very highly of groups like AKB48 for all the professionalism that is often being forgotten by people who only see their bright smiles and think that’s all there is to idol groups. She also depicted this gap between appearance and reality in her most recent movie ‘Helter Skelter‘, which was greatly influenced by AKB48.
Ninagawa stated, “I always had to think about the members of AKB48 when filming this movie. I respect those girls. It seems like everything they do is done almost effortlessly, but there certainly has to be a side to them that we can’t see from the outside. I thought it would be a great idea to explore and to depict what’s going on inside them – all the responsibilities they bear while standing on stage, the different feelings they go through all the time, and everything else that can’t be seen from the surface.”
She also praised Maeda and her almost infinite charms. “No matter what task or challenge you give her, she’s always going to exceed your expectations. Not to mention her killer smile. I also like her unflattering side.” She continued, “It really would be nice to film a movie with her sometime. Well, I might sound quite a bit presumptuous here, but ever since our first meeting I thought that this girl got it going. I can only imagine what she’s going to be like in a couple of years.”