Thank You “Akicha” and “Mariyagi”! Aki Takajo and Mariya Nagao AKB48 Graduation Concert Report
AKB48 bid farewell to Aki Takajo and Mariya Nagao in the group’s first dual graduation concert on January 21, 2016 at Tokyo Dome City Hall.
The performance began with Nagao and the rest of the 9th generation members (Haruka Shimazaki, Yui Yokoyama, Haruka Shimada, Miyu Takeuchi, Mariko Nakamura, Mina Oba, and Suzuran Yamauchi) performing “RIVER”, “Hashire! Penguin”, and “Sobakasu no Kiss”.
Aki Takajo made her appearance sitting on the stage under a giant kotatsu (heated table) with Shizuka Oya and Rie Kitahara as they reminisced about her early days in AKB48 and how she was the fastest kenkyuusei to be promoted to full member status. Getting up from behind the table, the trio performed “Heart Gata Virus”. They were joined by Maria Abe, Miho Miyazaki, Haruka Shimada, Yui Yokoyama, Chisato Nakata, and Mariya Suzuki who added their memories of Takajo before continuing on with “Dear my teacher”.
Nagao had her own special talk corner with Miho Miyazaki, Chisato Nakata, and Mariya Suzuki on a set resembling a bar before running through a medley of 5 unit songs: “Avocado Janeshi” (Nagao, Oba, Kitahara), “Koi Yorimo Dream” (Nagao, Nakamura, Oba), “Tsundere” (Nagao, Kato, Muto, Aigasa, Oshima Ryoka), “Zipper” (Nagao, Nakanishi, Aigasa), and “Kimi wa Boku da” (Nagao, Shimazaki).
After taking turns on stage separately Takajo and Nagao finally appeared together for “Scandalous ni Ikou!” a duet made famous by Yuko Oshima and Haruna Kojima. Graduated member Mayumi Uchida made a surprise appearance at the center position of “Nagisa no Cherry”, ramping up the mood in the audience.
After the fan favorite “Kimi no Koto Suki Dakara”, Mariya Nagao’s graduation ceremony begun, starting with a video reflecting upon her 6+ years in the group and continuing on with the emotional “Yume no Kawa”. Producing a letter that she had hidden in her outfit, Nagao thanked the fans for supporting her despite her not being very good at being an idol, a point which she apologized for, “Out of hundreds of girls, thank you very much for finding me” (Nan-byakunin no onna no ko no naka kara, watashi wo mitsukete kurete arigatou). Maria Abe and Haruka Shimazaki followed by reading letter that they had written to Nagao, bringing her to tears.
Aki Takajo’s graduation ceremony also had a video reflecting on her time in AKB48. Rie Kitahara joined her for the duet “Omoide no Hontondo”, the both of them fighting through tears to finish the song. Graduated fellow 6th generation member Misato Nonaka made a surprise appearance to join Takajo for “Himawari”. Along with a video message from the members of JKT48, Shizuka Oya and Rie Kitahara read letters that they had written for Takajo.
During the encore Takajo and Nagao appeared on stage in glamorous evening gowns alongside the other members as they delivered their parting messages to the fans. It was announced that Nagao will be releasing a photobook on her 22nd birthday, March 10, 2016. With tears running down her face, Takajo thanked her fans once again for supporting her for the past 7+ years and asked them to continue supporting her as she vowed to keep taking on new challenges. Glittering pieces of confetti fluttered down on Takajo and Nagao and the rest of the members for the final song of the evening “Arigatou”.
Aki Takajo will be performing in a stage play based on the TV drama Kasane which she starred in during the spring of 2015. The play runs from January 26th to 31st, 2016 at the Akasaka Red Theater in Tokyo. Mariya Nagao has been cast in the drama Kazoku no Katachi which began on January 17, 2016. Takajo and Nagao’s final AKB48 Theater performance dates have yet to be announced.
02 Hashire! Penguin
03 Sobakasu no Kiss
04 Heart Gata Virus
05 Dear my teacher
06 Avocado Janeshi
07 Koi Yorimo Dream
10 Kimi wa Boku da
11 Miniskirt no Yosei
12 Scandalous ni Ikou!
13 Enkyori Poster
15 Nagisa no Cherry
16 Kimi no Koto Suki Dakara
17 Yume no Kawa
18 Tanpopo no Kesshin
19 Omoide no Hontondo
21 Sakurairo no Sora no Shita de
AKB48 Official site: http://www.akb48.co.jp/
Aki Takajo Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/AKI_WISMALU
Aki Takajo Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/akiii_takajo/
Mariya Nagao Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/mariyagiii310
Mariya Nagao Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mariyagi_san/
Kazoku no Katachi Official site: http://www.tbs.co.jp/kazokuno_katachi/
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