Akimoto Sayaka has announced she will not participate in this years Senbatsu Sousenkyo, and will instead graduate AKB48. She posted to her blog:
The senbatsu election.
Today is the deadline to turn in applications.
I thought up until the end about whether I'd apply, but while I was thinking, I also found myself thinking about the timing of when I'll graduate.
I learned a lot and felt a lot during my time in AKB, and also experienced my youth in the group.
Because of the support of countless people, starting with Akimoto-sensei but also including the staff, my fans, my friends, and my family, I am who I am today.
I really am thankful.
However, while keeping the things I learned and experienced in AKB close to my heart, my feelings of wanting to step up into a new world and work towards my dream of becoming an actress grew stronger.
And so, after much thought, I've decided to make my announcement during this election season.
I, Akimoto Sayaka, will not participate in this year's election, and will graduate from AKB48.
Blog entry, translation
I guess we all saw this coming, but that doesn't stop this being sad. ;-; My oshi... With Sayaka, Tomochin and Sae out, my interest in AKB is seriously low.