Yes, the face of AKB48 have announced her graduation at the age of 20. She has been in AKB48 since 14 years old and was unwittingly chosen to be the face of AKB48 by the producer Akimoto Yasashi.
As a Acchan Oshi, her graduation kinda sadden me, but after some thinking, I figured that it’s actually a good move for her. She can finally choose to go down her own path, the path she dream to be. What Aki-P said in his G+ post also helped sort my mind out…
Translation Quoted from AKB48 Journal:
Maeda Atsuko’s graduation has been announced.
She has talked about this to me many times, and of course while I tried to stop her, I always said, “In the end, it’s up to you to decide.”
We’ve also talked that if it’s going to be announced, it will be at the last day of SSA.
According to setlist, at MC after “Dareka no Tame ni.”
When I saw Maeda put her hand on her chest to calm herself down, I thought, “She’s going to announce it.”
Maeda Atsuko is a stoic.
Because she hates compromising relationship, she corners herself.
She is lonely.
Sometimes that irritation to her own self is misunderstood as “clumsiness”.
But, everyone are being considerate to her and looks like it also pains her.
Perhaps she’s afraid that if she keeps staying at AKB comfort zone, she will become more egoist.
That’s why seems like she is challenging herself to jump into the strict world.
I have made that clumsy Maeda as center for this six and a half year, so I think now I want to let Maeda do as she please.
Specific things about this has not been decided yet, but everyone, would you please congratulate Maeda’s graduation?
You have done well.
Her own solo career might be fog in uncertainly but knowing it’s her, I am sure she will be able do even more!
So fellow fans for AKB48 and Acchan Oshi, please don’t do anything stupid or hurt yourself, she still needs our support in the future!
AKB48 is not the end goal of an Idols career, it’s a jump board for them to start, and we should keep that in mind. Thus,
Congratulation Acchan on your graduation!
I look forward to your future produces!
*Aki-p should just start issuing Diplomas accrediting those who completed the tour of duty… Since Acchan skip high school completely to commit full time on AKB48…