Recently, AKB48’s Morikawa Ayaka announced graduation to pursue a career in modeling. Nogizaka46’s Hatanaka Seira announced graduation as well. You can kind of notice that there has been a wave of graduation announcements left, right and center. Perhaps not as frequently with AKB48 and Nogizaka46, but graduation announcements have affected other groups in the 48G family.
Let us start with the good news. NMB48 gets rid of all of their kenkyuusei…but in the best way imaginable.
NMB48 just revamped their roster by adding in all of the kenkyuusei to teams N, M and BII. The original Team M center, Jo Eriko, after graduating from NMB48 and returning as a kenkyuusei, makes it to Yamamoto Sayaka’s Team N roster. Also, Uno Mizuki, who made an appearance on the AKB48 Janken single, “Kimi wo Hohoemi wo Yume ni Miru”, gets promoted to Team M. NMB48, alongside AKB48, are the only two groups in the 48 family (including JKT48, SNH48 and Nogizaka46) who do not have any kenkyuusei. However, two members of NMB48 have already announced graduation a while back: Team M’s Murakami Ayaka and Yamada Nana. The addition of the kenkyuusei to the three NMB teams help aid the upcoming loss of Nana and Ayaka, but the graduation wave affects some groups more than others.
The bad news is that graduation announcements have affected one group more so than the others: SKE48.
Just look at this list of members who announced graduation: Nakanishi Yuka, Sato Mieko, Abiru Riho, Furukawa Airi, Iwanaga Tsugumi, Ogino Risa, Sasaki Yuka and Yamada Nana (who has a kennin with SKE48). Some graduation announcements affect more of the members and fans than others. Furukawa Airi’s graduation is the hardest hitting so far, given how she is the leader and one of the main forces behind Team KII. But never forget how Nakanishi Yuka and Sato Mieko helped SKE48.
Yes, SKE48 is having its 7th generation members named soon, but there is a sense that more members of SKE48 may graduate soon as well. Perhaps during the Sousenkyo election, where we saw Shinoda Mariko announce graduation from AKB48 in 2013, and where we saw Kojima Haruna fake a graduation announcement out in 2014. Someone will probably announce graduation this June. The question is, who?
SKE48 is not exactly making things easy for their fans when THIS is the trailer for their upcoming documentary.
It is titled “Idol’s Tears”. Given the many graduations and graduation announcements the group has experienced, someone is going to cry their eyes out. I know I might. It also does not help that Kizaki Yuria is there since she, well, got transferred permanently to AKB48…
But SKE48 still has a fantastic roster. Of course the W-Matsui duo of Jurina and Rena are still here, and Shibata Aya, Suda Akari, Takayanagi Akane, Oya Masana, and for you kenkyuusei fans, Matsumura Kaori, are all still here. At least 3 of them will probably make Sousenkyo senbatsu, since 4 (almost 5) did last year.
Don’t forget some of the other up and coming 6th gen members that may capture your heart such as Kumazaki Haruka and Kitagawa Ryoha, and don’t forget transferred members, such as the dorky Tani Marika! These are some of my favorite SKE48 members, especially Marika.
So there is definitely hope for SKE48 to climb back up again from graduation announcement after graduation announcement. The 7th generation members could be what the 9th generation was to AKB48 and really set the tone for the future of the group. Heck, SKE48 has two members from AKB48’s 9th generation and one of them is co-Team KII captain. But anything can happen, and all we can hope for as fans, is the best.
But as we publish this, we just got another one. Kobayashi Ami has announced her graduation as well...