Haruka Shimazaki AKB48 Theater Graduation Performance Report
The story that started when a 15-year-old girl that had a difficult time learning how to sing and dance named Haruka Shimazaki made her debut in AKB48 as a 9th generation member in 2009, ended 7 years later after a multitude of experiences turned her into an independent 22-year-old woman.
Shimazaki’s graduation performance at the AKB48 Theater on December 26, 2016 started with “Eien Pressure”, “Sayonara Crawl”, “Bokutachi wa Tatakawanai” and “High Tension”, 4 of the group’s singles that she was a center of, or was part of multiple centers.
During the first MC, she thanked fans for choosing to come to this performance over the series finale of a long-running show, which she recorded and would be watching later.
All of the unit songs were also connected to her and definitely have a special place in the hearts of her fans. She performed in some of them, such as “Tomodachi de Irareru nara” (with Yui Yokoyama) and “Risuke” (with Mariko Nakamura), and left some others, like “Kimi no c/w” and “Hatsukoi no Kagi”, for her juniors.
Jurina Matsui, a close friend of Shimazaki even in private, was revealed to be the surprise guest after the units, and performed “Toy Poodle to Kimi no Monogatari” with Shimazaki, who did not know the dance but sang along anyway.
As Shimazaki’s hand-crafted setlist came to the encore, 9th generation members, along with ex-member Mariya Nagao, took the stage for “RIVER”, which was the first song performed in 9th generation’s theater debut, and centered by Shimazaki. They also performed “Hashire Penguin”, the song that ranked 1st in Request Hour 2013, and “Better”, Shimazaki’s graduation song. Shimazaki was smiling throughout, while being surrounded by teary members.
The final song was “Kimi wa Kimagure”, a song that both fans and members wondered if it was written specifically for Shimazaki, since the lyrics have many similarities to her personality.
After the performance, she was not in her “salty” mode as she smiled and waved from the building balcony to fans that have been waiting to say goodbye to her.
Comments from Shimazaki:
It would be too long to say everything I want to say, and I wish there was something better than “I thank you from the bottom of my heart.” I still can’t believe it’s over. It still hasn’t sunk in, but I’m glad it was a happy ending just like the lyrics to “High Tension”. Thank you very much!
AKB48 Official site: http://www.akb48.co.jp/
Haruka Shimazaki Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/paruruchan0330
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