WARNING : I’ve wondered all afternoon if I should or not translate this article knowing full well the wailing it would engender but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather see fans react after having read the complete thing rather than launch in perilous speculations and interpretations based on badly translated bits of article.
About the source of the article, Cyzo, one should know that the website and publisher has since long work with SKE as they published the 2D enthusiasts association’s interviews on their site in the past and have also published their photobook in April. So they could well have insight into SKE and contacts among the stafff. Plus Men’s Cyzo has a good reputation online (not considered a rag in any aspect). This doesn’t make the content of this article, especially the SKE related person’s statements undeniably true but it does give the article some weight… Believe who will.
Matsui Jurina (15), SKE48’s center and member of AKB48 Team K, has become the subject of worries among fans who noticed she had lost weight considerably those past few months. The young girl who had always been athletic and energetic since her debut became noticeably thinner this year, to the point voices have risen at each of her appearances on TV programs since autumn 「Didn’t she lose too much weight?」 . Finally, a few days ago when she appeared for the NHK Kouhaku public announcement she was barely recognizable, with hollow cheeks and extremely slim limbs, which prompted an unprecedented surge of worry among her fans which unanimously evoked eating disorder as the cause of her sudden loss of weight.
Certainly, at the sight of Jurina’s arms or thighs, there is nothing left which would make one believe that the double center Matsui Rena (21) who was sitting next to her that day and had always been extremely slim, was once slenderer than the young girl. What on earth happened?
AKB48 staff - name kept secret - Back in April of this year Jurina was suspended from handshake events and sent to the hospital because of 「dizziness caused by anemia and overwork」. Global producer Akimoto Yasushi stated she would take a break for an undecided period of time, until she was in good enough condition to resume her activities. But then she appeared on stage a mere two weeks after having recovered and returned to having normal activities after that but again in November her condition worsened and she had to take a week of rest. There is actually a rumor going around that she suffers from Meniere’s disease.
Meniere’s disease is characterised by violent vertigo and buzzing in the ears which can last for several minutes and even temporary deafness. If not treated early, complete recovery is extremely difficult. In the past, artists like Kago Ai, Kubota Toshinobu and High Heel Momoko have suffered from the same disease. One can reasonably wonder if it’s not because her symptoms worsened that Matsui Jurina had to take a break last April.
AKB48 staff - same as previously - She was very busy around that time and her body reached its limit. She is extremely zealous when it comes to her dance performances and her image as an idol so from the moment her concurrent position with Team K was decided she trained extra hard every night with little to no time to sleep. Seeing how she barely took any rest, staff members tried to warn her 「You should sleep a bit」「Eat more」, but she insisted 「I’m not hungry」「I don’t feel like eating」, so she didn’t take proper meals. For this reason she progressively lost weight and in June already she had become slenderer than Rena. She even said as if she was willingly self-torturing herself 「My legs have become leaner than Rena-chan’s ones～」. But when the symptoms of her disease become too strong, she becomes sensitive to even the slightest noise and is assailed by dizziness and nausea, making it impossible for her to dance. If only she would listen to staff more and take better care of herself… She is only 15 and midway through her growth, but with all the strain she goes through and her extreme loss of weight it wouldn’t be impossible even for periods to stop at this point.
When devoting yourself without restraint to the idol occupation and living as a working slave, it is no surprise your physical condition will pay the price. It is also said that following those circumstances the young lady was like isolated within her own group.
AKB48 staff - same as previously - SKE’s Team S is full of members older than Jurina, I’m not saying there is anything like bullying going on, but it’s as if those big sisters had half given up on Jurina 「She won’t listen to anything we tell her, so better let her do as she please」 . When with other members, she will follow around one she is particularly close to or depending on the place she will stick to a particular staff member who caught her attention. She looks mature and extremely devoted to her work but emotionally she is very much a kid still. SKE management isn’t in a position to control her anymore, if the situation remains as is it could become very dangerous.
Nothing can be done as no matter how many times people around her ring the alarm bell, she won’t listen to their voices and simply answers 「It’s alright, I can do it」. In those conditions the best option would be to put her on forced holidays until her health is fully restored, but given her status of center and ace this option is in fact inapplicable.
AKB48 staff - same as previously - Truth is, there is a graduation rush scheduled for SKE for next year. There should have been all kind of announcements this year already but because of NMB’s graduations bombing they have been postponed to next year. But add Jurina’s poor physical condition and disobedience… Looking at the mountain of problems coming their way next year, big shots are already having headaches.
The end of year will probably be rather depressing for the staff. Putting all your might in activities of the group or individual work isn’t always enough to receive praises from others. Matsui has been entrusted with heavy responsibilities and therefore should pay a little more attention to the situation surrounding her. If her condition was to deteriorate beyond the point it has reached today, it will not only be a problem for people around her, but more than that, she will have to deal with the remorses of preventing herself from dancing.
Source / Translation (sakaeandfrog @ tumblr)