Maeda Atsuko receives 38,000 comments after her graduation announcement
Maeda Atsuko’s graduation announcement was the biggest surprise in AKB48’s history and the chatter over it didn’t settle down even well into the night.
On March 26th, Maeda went to Hong Kong to attend the 40th anniversary event of Japan-China friendly relations “Genki na Nihon Tenjikai”, in which AKB48 took part as a supporter, along with Nakagawa Haruka (20) and Masuda Yuka (20).
The moment Maeda took the stage at 8pm, everyone burst out into cheers of joy. Maeda appeared relaxed, possibly relieved after the announcement of her graduation. The trio sang three songs, including “Aitakatta”, in front of 700 people. The news of Maeda’s graduation also hit Hong Kong and during the handshake event fans cheered for her by saying, “I’m supporting you” and “I love you!”
Fans in Japan also expressed their feelings over Maeda’s graduation on her official blog. Comments were mostly bittersweet: “I don’t want you to graduate”, “Thanks for everything”, and “Good luck going after your dream.” Maeda’s blog was last updated on March 23rd and instead of the usual average of 5,000 comments per post, her latest post gained more than 38,000 comments – showing how much effect this huge announcement has had.