A barrage of news has just been announced in today’s AKB48 handshake event in Makuhari Messe, Chiba. Included in the news video are Tomomi Itano and Sayaka Akimoto’s graduation dates. Akimoto will be graduating on August 22 on their first day Tokyo Dome performance, and Itano on August 25 – their third day.

The peaceful handshake event with approximately 100,000 attendees was suddenly rattled with the news video – starting with the words “AKB48 2013 Summer Dome Tour ~Mada Mada Yaranakya Ikenai Koto ga Aru~” (there are still things to be done), their dome tour title, on screen. Then, after the words “Eien no Nakama-tachi” (our everlasting companions) were shown, was a speech by Shinoda Mariko, who is graduating on July 21 in Fukuoka Yahoo! Auction Dome. It was then that the graduation details of Itano and Akimoto were revealed.

“And then, to another of our everlasting companions… We want to stand on stage with you too.”

Next that appeared is the announcement of Atsuko Maeda’s performance with AKB48 on July 31 in Sapporo Dome, much to everyone’s surprise and cheers. Maeda will be performing a new song in that live. Last announcement is the formation of a new unit on the same day as Maeda’s participation. The video ended with the words, “PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE. Everything will be connected in this summer dome tour,” leaving everyone confused but also anxiously excited. The event was more emotional than they expected.


AKB48’s management sure has something up its sleeve for us this coming summer. Could the new unit be one with AKB’s former ace, Maeda, in it? If so, who would be the other members? I’m sure you want to know now too, but only time will tell.

source: Oricon (1) (2)



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