Toyota Stadium Glows SKE48 Orange During Day 2 of Rena Matsui’s Graduation Concert!
On the second day of SKE48’s 2-day concert at Toyota Stadium, Rena Matsui returned to the deck of the marine-themed stage and commanded the “ship” to leave port with a cheerful “SKE48-go (go is a common naming suffix for boats in Japanese) raise anchor!” (SKE48-go shukkou!).
Beginning with SKE48’s debut single “Tsuyokimonoyo”, Rena was joined by the rest of the 51-member (excluding kenkyuusei) crew as they navigated through “Sansei Kawaii!”, “Banzai Venus”, “12-Gatsu Kangaroo”, and other of the group’s uptempo hits as they made for the open sea with 45,000 fans cheering them on.
When Sae Miyazawa asked Rena how she was doing on her final voyage, she replied casually, “I’m having so much fun that I haven’t even begun to feel like this is my graduation concert (it had been raining before the beginning of the concert); the sun even came out so I’m feeling very happy right now!”
Continuing with several team songs, the audience let out a shout of surprise when Rena was joined by Akane Takayanagi and Akari Suda to perform “Wimbledon he Tsureteitte”, one of SKE48’s oldest and most well known songs. This was followed up by a surprise appearance by Yuria Kizaki (who had been transferred to AKB48 in 2014) who returned to a SKE48 stage for “Gomenne, SUMMER”.
The surprises didn’t end there! Shortly after, there was what seemed to be a video message from the members of Nogizaka 46 (Rena had spent more than a year as an “exchange student” with them) but, it turned out to be a live broadcast from their concert happening at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo! The fans at the Nogizaka 46 concert in Tokyo delivered warm congratulations to Rena and she was presented with a Nogizaka 46 outfit. Smiling warmly, Rena replied, “Thank you. I love everyone!”
There was a 5-song medley featuring Rena accompanied by several costume changes, including a duet with Akane Takayanagi for “Seishun no Mizushibuki”, Nogizaka 46’s “Boku no Taiyou”, the Undergirls’ classic “Kimi no Koto ga Suki dakara”, “Banana Kakumei”, and ending with “Ame no Pianist” performed by Rena, Jurina, and Masana Oya.
The final stretch of the concert alternated between SKE48’s fast and slow songs beginning with “Utsukushii Inazuma” and “Escape” followed by Rena’s soft yet emotional solo “Kareha no Station”. The pace shifted back into high gear with “1! 2! 3! 4! Yoroshiku!”, “Oki Doki”, “Coquettish Juutai Chuu”, and “Pareo wa Emerald”. During “Tegami no koto”, Jurina and Masana presented letters to Rena, Jurina’s eyes filling with tears as she opened the letter and began reading, “I don’t want to say it but, congratulations on your graduation. For me, Rena is like the sun in the sky. I love you. I want you to graduate without worrying so, I will become stronger. Please continue to watch over SKE48.”
Rena admitted that she had also written a letter, “To all the members, SKE48 is something that you have all helped create. By trying your hardest and sometimes being a little reckless, the view you have made is truly beautiful. Because we were all able to see this view (meaning Toyota Stadium filled with orange cyalumes) together, I am truly happy. Please continue to take care of my beloved SKE48. As the orange cyalumes began to fade, the main part of the concert ended with “Nakama no Uta”.
Reappearing at the bow of the ship, Rena began the encore with her first and last song as a solo center, “Mae Nomeri” as a video showing her progress over the past 7 years played on the screens in the stadium. Rena cheerfully called out to the fans, “Thank you everyone for coming out to Toyota Stadium today! 7 years went by so quickly. This will become one of my most treasured memories. It’s all thanks to you that we could stand here in Toyota Stadium today…I will be taking a different road from now on but, this has been an experience that I will never forget. Thank you very much.”
Ascending to the top of a giant water fountain at the front of the stage, Rena sang her graduation song “2588 Days” before leaving the stage. Her final message to the audience was, “SKE48 to me is ‘youth’. Let’s meet again someday!” Jurina then addressed the fans, “Seeing Rena keep smiling until the very end was so pretty that, we can’t mope around and be sad! Until the very end, she was there pushing us forward.”
The remaining 70 members (including kenkyuusei) of SKE48 brought the encore to a close with “Aishiteraburu!” and “Te wo Tsunaginagara”, giving a performance overflowing with the smiles that will be the strength of the group moving forward. Rena Matsui’s final SKE48 Theater performance was held the following day on August 31, 2015.
02 Sansei Kawaii!
03 12-Gatsu no Kangaroo
04 Hatsukoi no Fumikiri
05 Koi wo Kataru Shijin ni Narenakute…
06 Dear my teacher
07 DADA Machine Gun
08 Seishun Curry Rice
09 Kesenai Honnou
10 Wimbledon he Tsureteitte
11 Gomenne, SUMMER
12 Aozora Kataomoi
13 Seifuku wo Kita Meitantei
14 Pinocchio Gun
15 Chime wa LOVE SONG
16 Nante Ginga wa Akarui no Darou
17 Seishun no Mizushibuki
18 Boku no Taiyou
19 Kimi no Koto ga Suki dakara
20 Banana Kakumei
21 Ame no Pianist
22 Utsukushii Inazuma
24 Kareha no Station
25 Mirai to wa?
26 1! 2! 3! 4! Yoroshiku!
27 Oki Doki
28 Coquettish Juutai Chuu
29 Pareo wa Emerald
30 Tegami no koto
31 Nakama no Uta
E1 Mae Nomeri
E2 2588 Days
E4 Te wo Tsunaginagara
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Rena Matsui Graduation Concert at SKE48 Toyota Stadium Day 1