Rina Ikoma Bids an Emotional Farewell to AKB48’s Team B During Her Final Theater Performance!
Nogizaka 46 member Rina Ikoma had her last performance as an “exchange student” in AKB48’s Team B at the AKB48 Theater on May 14th, 2015, just slightly over a year after her debut with the group at Seibu Dome on April 12, 2014. Although Nogizaka 46 has been formed with the concept of being AKB48’s official rivals, there seemed to be nothing but mutual love and admiration between Ikoma and the members of Team B that evening.
Despite the shock of the last AKB48 Group Dai Sokaku Matsuri on February 24, 2014 that brought Rina Ikoma to AKB48 Team B, she had came a long way since the day where she was thrust into the spotlight of the biggest idol group in Japan. Having established herself as a reliable member of Team B and capturing an impressive 14th place ranking in the 6th Senbatsu General Election in 2014, it was time for Ikoma to leave her new comrades behind.
Mayu Watanabe’s praise for Ikoma, who shared the stage with her during ” Temodemo no Namida”, was almost unending. Watanabe congratulated Ikoma on being named the center of Nogizaka 46’s 12th single and continued with,
I love everything about her! She looks cute and when we were positioned in the same lane during our last handshake event, I couldn’t stop looking over at her! I wondered, ‘How can she be so cute? She’s like a chick that had just been hatched!’ But even then, she’s very composed. She has so much power in her tiny body!
At the end of the performance, there was a belated birthday celebration for Ikoma with a cake provided by her former Captain Asuka Kuramochi and fellow team member Rina Izuta (transferred to Team 4 during 2015 Shuffle in March). Ikoma commented, “I want to become someone that everyone can rely on and not worry about”. Mayu Watanabe surprised Ikoma by reading her a letter that she had written for the occasion.
It feels like you’ve grown up so much since before you had been selected to hold a concurrent post in Team B. It’s like the current “Iko-tan” doesn’t have anything to fear. Take everything you have learned here and use it to pull Nogizaka 46 forward as their center. Let’s do our best in our different fields! I’ll always love you!
With tears staining her cheeks, Ikoma replied,
When I first came here, I hadn’t relied on anyone besides the members of Nogizaka 46 but, Mayu-san and everyone in Team B would say “It’s okay” and help me become stronger. I feel happy and reassured that there were so many “dai-senpai” (more experienced members) entertainers that I could think of as my comrades. I feel extremely blessed. Thank you very much!
Team B closed out the encore of Rina Ikoma’s final stage performance with Nogizaka 46’s “Oide Shampoo” and sent her on her way to her bright and hopeful future.
02 Hissatsu Teleport
03 Gokigen Naname na Mermaid
04 Futari Nori no Jitensha
05 Tenshi ni Shippo
06 Pajama Drive
07 Junjo Shugi
08 Temodemo no Namida
09 Kagami no Naka no Jean D’Arc
10 Two years later
11 Inochi no Tsukaimichi
12 Kiss Shite Son Shichatta
13 Boku no Sakura
EN1 Wasshoi B!
EN2 Shiroi Shirt
EN3 Oide Shampoo
AKB48 Official site: http://www.akb48.co.jp/
Nogizaka 46 Official site: http://www.nogizaka46.com/
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