Sayaka Yamamoto Announces Graduation on The First Day of NMB48’s Tour
NMB48 opened their nationwide “NMB48 LIVE TOUR 2018 in Summer” on July 30, 2018 at Nakano Sunplaza in Tokyo, where Sayaka Yamamoto announced her graduation.
It has been two years since NMB48 last held a nationwide tour in 2016. For this year’s tour the member lineup will vary by location. On this day, the 16 members that appeared were Sayaka Yamamoto, Akari Yoshida, Yuuri Ota, Nagisa Shibuya, Ayaka Yamamoto, Eriko Jo, Rei Jonishi, Momoka Iwata, Azusa Uemura, Airi Tanigawa, Chihiro Kawakami, Cocona Umeyama, Ayaka Okita, Karin Kojima, Suzu Yamada and Kanae Iso.
Right after the overture, the members emerged onto stage with the opening declaration: “Members, fans, let’s all come together and make this the best summer ever!” With that they kicked off the setlist with “Warota People”, before continuing with “Oh My God!”, “Kitagawa Kenji” and “Sasasa Saikoo!” alongside the feverish the crowd.
The middle of the setlist brought the unit corner to the stage, where Ayaka Yamamoto, Umeyama, Jonishi, Iwata and Yamada sang “Good Timing” for the first time. Sayaka Yamamoto and Yoshida also charmed the audience with a sweet rendition of “Avocado Janeshi…”.
The members fired up the fans in the audience, giving them a delightful surprise as they went up close to them in the seats. Sayaka Yamamoto later revealed that she had run to the fans without remembering to zip up her costume, earning laughs from the crowd.
In the later half of the live, they brought the sun to the venue as they sang summer-themed including “Ibiza Girl”, “Nagiichi” and “Bokura no Eureka”. With that, the curtain closed on the setlist.
The first encore song was “Niji no Tsukurikata”, and the 41 members not part of that day’s lineup appeared out of the audience and went up on stage. All 57 members sang “365 Nichi no Kamihikouki” together, before Sayaka Yamamoto took the mic to make an announcement before the last song.
She revealed: “I, Sayaka Yamomoto, will be graduating from NMB48.”
The sudden announcement stirred up the audience, as she continued. With tears, she earnestly conveyed her emotions:
“I’m sorry that I have to make such an announcement on the first day of the tour. This October NMB48 will turn 8 years old. Thanks to everyone, I was able to spend such a rich, precious time. Time flew by so quickly, and I experienced so much from happiness to fun to struggles to pain. In the meanwhile it took me many years to face the word ‘graduation’. I constantly thought about it and forgot about it, over and over again, thinking about what I could still do and wanting to continue fighting alongside everyone. I worked recklessly till today.
But in these past few years new members have come to take the center, and I’ve watched each one shining and doing their best without me there. More than thinking that it’s better for me not to be there, I realized that this is the crucial timing for me to leave NMB48 to let the group rocket higher. The members come and go, but that’s why I feel that this is the best time and the best lineup to start again. I hope the new members who joined us will continue to lead the group forward, and create a new NMB48 from now on.
Honestly I debated about this again and again before coming to this point, but I’m still inexperienced and weak so if I give into my loneliness and worries I figured that it would only get harder to resolve myself. I want to take on the challenges and live my life abundantly. That’s the resolution I made once I took the courage.”
“Although I may be graduating from being an idol in NMB48, I don’t believe that this is the end of my own dreams. My dream now is my ‘current life’; I want to learn more and more about music, so that I can continue to sing in front of everyone my whole life. Whatever happened up till today, I believe from the bottom of my heart that it’s because of the members who worked together with me, the staff and all of the fans who supported me that brought me this far.
I’m glad I entered NMB48. I want everyone to think so too, and be glad that you supported NMB48. I want to work hard with everyone till the very end, so please support us.”
Upon the conclusion of her words, the audience erupted with applause and endless “Sayaka” calls. Despite being teary with emotion, Sayaka Yamamoto showed relief at being able to deliver her graduation announcement in front of the NMB48 members. The last encore song was “Seishun no Lap Time” as all 57 members, and the curtain closed for the final time with Sayaka Yamamoto’s smile.
“I turned 25, but my life is just beginning,” Yamamoto had said. “I’ll make my life as well as NMB48’s even better than before.” Her words lingered in the venue long after she left the stage.
01 Warota People
02 Oh My God!
03 Kitagawa Kenji
04 Sasasa Saikoo!
07 Namba Ai
08 Good Timing
09 End Roll
10 Ookami to Pride
11 Kiseki wa Ma ni Awanai
12 Avocado Janeshi…
13 Must be now
15 Masaka Singapore
16 Ibiza Girl
17 Ponytail to Shushu
18 Durian Shounen
21 Bokura no Eureka
22 Shigamitsuita Seishun
E1 Niji no Tsukurikata
E2 365nichi no Kamihikouki
E3 Seishun no Lap Time
NMB48 LIVE TOUR 2018 in Summer
August 3, 2018 Culttz Kawasaki (Kanagawa)
August 15, 2018 Sendai Sunplaza (Miyagi)
August 17, 2018 Nitori Culture Hall (Hokkaido)
August 21, 2018 Civic Center Sears Home Dream Hall (Kumamoto)
August 23, 2018 Fukuoka Sun Palace Hall (Fukuoka)
August 30, 2018 Ueno Gakuen Hall (Hiroshima)
September 3, 2018 Kobe International House (Hyogo)
September 5, 2018 Nagoya Congress Center (Aichi)
September 14, 2018 Niigata Terrsa (Niigata)
September 28, 2018 Honda no Mori Hall (Ishikawa)
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