Kojimatsuri Day 1! The Emotional Eve of Haruna Kojima’s Graduation Concert!
The 2-day celebration of Haruna Kojima opened at Yoyogi National Stadium in Harajuku on February 21 Kojimatsuri 〜Zenyasai〜, the prelude of the graduation concert of AKB48‘s most senior member.
With chants of “Wasshoi!” and “Kojima!” and Japanese festival music, Haruna Kojima appeared before the 12,000 fans in the arena sitting atop a mikoshi accompanied by the “Kojima Corps” which included comedians Yoshio Kojima and Kazuya Kojima, group members Mako Kojima, Natsuki Kojima, Karin Kojima, and yurukyara Kojibou. She called out to the audience with a lively “Kojimatsuri Moriagatte Ikuzo!” (Let’s get this Kojimatsuri excited!) before kicking off the performance with a matsuri-styled version of “Heart Gata Virus”. The excitement kept rising as the Kojima Corps and the members of AKB48 continued with “LOVE Shūgyō” and “Flying Get”. DJ Marc Panther made a special appearance for “High Tension”, cranking up the mood several more notches.
Kojima then left the stage and moved to the guest seats to take a short break and watch the performances of Team 8 (“47 no Suteki na Machi he”), the 16th generation kenkyuusei (“Ōgoe Diamond”), and a Rina Izuta centered rendition of “Kokoro no Placard”. Graduated member Sayaka Akimoto made a special appearance to perform “Mushi no Ballad” and Team B donned cat costumes in a remake of “Kimi no Koto Suki Dakara” as “Nyan Nyan no Koto ga Suki Dakara”.
Just as Kojima seemed to be at ease while enjoying the performances, Rino Sashihara, her longtime rival in the “Sashihara Pride” series from Ariyoshi AKB Kyowakoku, interrupted and challenged her to a final battle, resulting in a tug-of-war using an elastic bandage between the two. An extra special treat arrived as Ai Takahashi, former leader of Morning Musume took the stage to perform “Hare Ame Nochi Suki♡” with Kojima, Sashihara, and Yuki Kashiwagi. Sayaka Yamamoto, Yui Yokoyama, Minami Minegishi, and Rie Kitahara joined in for “LOVE Machine”.
Kojima and the rest of the new Stage Fighter senbatsu shot signed balls into the audience using air-powered cannons during “Heavy Rotation”.
A live relay with Saitama Super Arena where Nogizaka46 was holding their 3-day 5th Birthday concert was established, enabling a performance of the NogizakaAKB song “Mazariau Mono” which had fans at both venues thoroughly excited.
Former SKE48 member Rena Matsui delivered a video message congratulating Kojima on her graduation while also requesting that she perform “Takeuchi Senpai”. Sakiko Matsui returned to play the piano for “Ponytail to Shushu”, which was followed by Kojima’s center song “Heart・Ereki”.
The high flying mood came to a standstill as the intro of “Omoide no Hotondo” reverberated through the arena, Mayu Watanabe joining Kojima for the heavy ballad. Minami Takahashi, who had been sitting in the guest seats for most of the concert, made her way to the stage for “Oteage Lullaby”, which transitioned into a short 3-song No Sleeves reunion, which had Kojima boldly declaring that the group would not disband at the end of it.
The end of the concert drew to a close with “365-Nichi no Kamihikouki”, “Kimi wa Melody”, a Kojima/Kashiwagi duet of “Yokaze no Shiwaza”, and “Green Flash”, concluding with Kojima’s final song “Shoot Sign”.
Returning to the stage to the shouts of “Haruna!”, Kojima thanked the fans once again for supporting her and announced that her final AKB48 Theater performance had been confirmed for April 19th, her 29th birthday. The encore began with her graduation song “Kizukarenai Youni”. as the encore continued with “Sakura ni Ki no Narou” and “10-Nen Zakura”, Kojima’s eyes became blurry with tears as the members reached out to embrace her. Finishing with a second performance of “Heart Gata Virus”, Kojima brought the curtain down on the evening as she declared, “I really, really, really love everyone! Thank you very much!” (Hontō ni hontō ni hontō ni, minna no koto ga daisuki desu! Arigatō gozaimashita).
Haruna Kojima’s 2-day graduation concert concludes on February 22nd (Nyan-Nyan Day) at Yoyogi National Stadium.
01 Heart Gata Virus
02 LOVE Shūgyō
03 Flying Get
04 High Tension
05 47 no Suteki na Machi he
06 Ōgoe Diamond
07 Kokoro no Placard
08 Mushi no Ballad
09 Nyan Nyan no Koto ga Suki Dakara
10 Zutto Zutto
11 Heart no Dasshutsu Game
12 Kaiyūgyo no Capacity
13 Hare Ame Nochi Suki♡
14 LOVE Machine
15 Futari wa Dekiteru (Roulette)
16 Heavy Rotation
17 Mazariau Mono
18 Takeuchi Senpai
19 Ponytail to Shushu
21 Omoide no Hotondo
22 Oteage Lullaby
24 Kimi Shika
25 Kuchibiru Furezu
26 365-Nichi no Kamihikouki
27 Kimi wa Melody
28 Yokaze no Shiwaza
29 Green Flash
30 Shoot Sign
E1 Kizukarenai Youni
E2 Sakura ni Ki no Narou
E3 10-Nen Zakura
E4 Heart Gata Virus
AKB48 Official site: http://www.akb48.co.jp/
Kojimatsuri special site: http://www.akb48.co.jp/kojimatsuri/
Haruna Kojima Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/kojiharunyan
Haruna Kojima Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nyanchan22/
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