AKB48 1st Generation member Itano Tomomi revealed at the premiere of AKB48′s documentary “No Flower Without Rain” that she plans to graduate within the year.
She appeared before the press on the stage set up for greetings and interviews and announced her plans by saying: “This is AKB48′s Team K’s Itano Tomomi. I know this is a sudden announcement but I, Itano Tomomi, will graduate from AKB48.”
There is little other information about this announcement right now as the news is very fresh but in regards to the timing she stated: “The exact timing hasn’t been decided yet, but when it does I will announce it. I’d like to spend my remaining time in AKB48 having fun and with my fellow first gen members.”
Also, confirming many fans belief that there would be graduations at the spring AKB Fair concert in the Nippon Budokan, she commented: “I had originally planned to wait until the spring concert but my true feelings came out in an interview.”
The interview that she is referring to is a scene in the documentary in which Itano is quite simply asked when she will graduate. She replied by asking, “When will this footage be released?” When the interviewer told her that it would be coming out with the movie in February she gave her answer quite directly: “I will graduate from AKB48 in the next year. Since this will be released next February, it will technically be ‘this year.’ I want to take the the next step.”
Itano is both a member of AKB’s Team K and a solo artist and has released multiple solo singles.
Can't say it was unexpected...