Another graduation announcement has come again from one of idol group AKB48′s members. This time, it’s from Team A’s Tomomi Nakatsuka. She announced her plans of graduating yesterday, May 20, after Team A’s regular show in the AKB48 theater.
“It has been five years since I started doing activities in AKB. I was 14 to 15 then, and will be turning 20 now. I thought that it would be the perfect time to take a step forward, and restart my life. I embraced those thoughts and decided to graduate.” says Nakatsuka on her latest blog update. “There are so many things that I want to do. I know that the world is unkind, so I want to be able to do what I want and do my best for myself.”
Nakatsuka passed the second research student auditions last 2007 and is part of the 5th generation, also considered “lucky” by the older members. She entered the same time as last year’s #4, HKT stage manager and now idol producer Rino Sashihara, last year’s senbatsu #13 and Team-K Rie Kitahara, and two graduates Moeno Nito and Haruka Kohara. Nakatsuka unfortunately almost always is just close to a ranking member during the last four elections and has withdrawn from this year’s.
Nakatsuka is the fourth member to withdraw from this year’s elections along with fellow graduating members Natsumi Matsubara, Mika Komori, and high-ranking member Akimoto Sayaka. Among these four, all except Komori participated in last month’s Tokyo Auto Salon in Singapore.
Many veteran members have been graduating and a old-to-young generation-shift kind of movement is happening in AKB48 right now, exemplified by the battle for the top spot between Yuko Oshima and Mayu Watanabe. It is also noticeable how many young members get promoted and how aces from other groups are put in the senbatsu for non-election singles.
The voting for the 5th AKB48 General Senbatsu Elections starts today, may 21. The counting of the votes and the reveal of the rankings will be on June 8, on Nissan Stadium, Yokohama. We’ll know then if the Kami-7 and the veteran senbatsu members stay strong, or if many young stars will take over their spots.
That's every member that didn't participate in the election has announced graduation. Probably thats the end of any graduation announcements until after election single promotions.