“Like Takamina already said in her 755, I’ve put a hidden message in the intro choreography. hand gestures make a "T K M N” letters and a bye bye. “Takamina bye bye” - everyone is brightly sending her off. will anyone notice?“ - Anna-sensei (AKB’s choreographer/dance instructor)
I suddenly remembered what Oshima Yuuko told me after she graduated. “The saddest thing… isn’t to be graduating from AKB48… The saddest thing is to be graduating from the theater”. I now understood the meaning of those words. Although not on a daily basis, for ten years I could stand in this theater, perform in this stage and grow up with all of you fans who came to see us. I’m really grateful. It’s called a ‘special stage performance’, it’s the last one, so I was allowed to perform all the songs I like the most. It might be only self satisfaction, however I really enjoyed it. …I really did. With today, I really feel like there are no more things I’ve left behind. I did everything there was to do. Throughout these 10 years, I’ve not only experienced fun things, but also harsh and difficult things, crying a lot. Maybe are more the times in which I cried… However, even during the tough times I was able to confront myself. “Why have I come so far since I entered AKB48?”, the answer to that is… This might sound hypocritical, however it really, truly was because you fans were here. Truly, if you guys weren’t here I wouldn’t have done my best. You always asked me if I ever thought to truly quit. However, often were the times in which I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore but that I couldn’t tell you and at those times, you guys’ words such as “Are you OK?” really, really led me standing here today. Gosh… There’s really nothing much to say… We really talked about many things, however the reason why, in the end, I’ll end up being no longer “Takamina” but “Takahashi Minami” is because of this theater. I’m entirely grateful to these 10 years. They made me the happiest. I wanna thank all the people that have supported me so far, I wanna thank all the people of the staff who have supported the 48groups, and thank You (turning to the members) for having followed me during the time I turned General Manager…… You guys, really…. Came to talk to me a lot, and you got mad at me …. I really feel sorry about that…. But… It is thanks to all of you that listened to me, that paid attention to what I said, that we could be able to do all of this so far. To be handing over to Yokoyama the position of General Manager at this timing… I honestly feel deeply sorry. But, something that I’ve realized is that time won’t stop flowing. Since when I was 14 until today that I turned 25 years old, I kept moving, time kept flowing, and although I thought, “I wanna stay in AKB48 forever”, one day time for graduation must come. It’s sad, however these 10 years of mine, throughout which I’ve had the chance to meet these members to whom I’ll be leaving all of this now, are my trasure. By entrusting the future of the group to the remaining members, I’d like to keep moving on on my own too. I want to be of example for the remaining younger members.
―After “Sakura no hanabiratachi”
(To the graduated members) Thank you y’all for coming. I’m sorry… These really were 10 happy years. Everyone here graduated before me… As though I didn’t want to lose to them I’ve been running, hurrying until this day. Actually, it is true that I’ve kept running throughout these 10 years. However, I’m not willing to stop hereafter, I’m willing to keep running, always. (To the audience) Everyone, please follow me. ‘Cause if you all will be with me, I know I can go anywhere. Really, thank you to all the people that have been supporting me.
Also, AKB48, thank you for the past 10 years.
― No3b on stage… Nyan-Nyan: Is it over? Minegishi: It is… Minami: to leave the two of you behind is really hard… as same generation members… Nyan-nyan: *wiping tears* Minegishi: I think Kojima-san is the one who’s gonna take it the hardest, here… I can keep doing my best still for a little longer, here, but she… I think she’s gonna have some troubles very soon… Nyan-nyan: What should I do? Minami: During solo handshake events are you with anyone? Nyan-nyan: I’m not… Minegishi: Well then, I’ll do my best to become more popular so that we’ll be together… Nyan-nyan: Thank you… Minegishi: Sorry for going back home always before you… Minami: I really didn’t mean to graduate before you two… Minegishi: But Takamina’s last speech was shorter than we expected, wasn’t it? Nyan-nyan: Yeah… Minami: For the first time in my life- nah, that sounds weird… Today all I wanted to say became just 100% clearer than all the things I’ve been saying here lately… Like, I actually wanted to say something. I wanted to say many things. Actually, I made notes of all the things I wanted to say. This is really the last time… Like, as I said before, in a sense I’m really gonna be no longer “Takamina” and only “Takahashi Minami”, and that’s I think because I’ve been standing on this theater’s stage since when I was 14. I really wish for it to keep being here, this theater, from now in the future. I really feel like I was kinda born in this theater. I really won’t be able to come back here to stand back here, however I wanna come to see y’all. I wanna come to see you. I wanna sit there, normally, and look at this theater. Look at those pink tapes and see 20-30 of them. Seeing members that don’t even know about me performing. I wish for such an AKB48 to keep being here. I really had fun. So much fun. Honestly, when I had to sing “Sakura no Hanabiratachi” acappella I thought, “What am I gonna do if I’ll start crying and won’t be able to sing it!?” but, I was just able to perform it. I have no regrets. Starting tomorrow, I’m gonna do my best as Takahashi Minami. Everyone, thank you so much for today.
※I did this all by listening to her/them talking and I’m not a native Japanese speaker so please pardon me if there are any mistakes.
これなんですね。みんなが最後に見てきた景色は。 This is it, isn’t it. The last scene of me you’re seeing here.
私が初めて人生で一番、初めて一生懸命になったことがAKB48でした。 The very first thing for which I started to work hard in my whole life was AKB48.
14歳から10年間。いま24歳です。いろいろなことがありました。 Since I was 14 years old, for 10 years. I’m 24 now. Many things happened.
楽しかったこと、つらかったこと。たくさんのメンバーとの出会い。その数の別れ。取り残されていく自分。いっぱい、いっぱい泣きました。 Joyful things, tough things. The encounter of many members. And the departure with just as many. I, who was being left behind. I shed so, so many tears.
「 つらいなら辞めればいい」 “If it’s too hard, then just leave”
一度、母に言われたことがあります。 That’s what my mother told me once.
でも、その時辞めなかったのは、AKBが大好きだったからです。 But, the reason why I didn’t leave that time, it’s because I really loved AKB.
AKBを頑張っている自分が、もがいている自分が好きでした。 The me who was doing her best, the me who was struggling, she loved AKB.
だからずっとこのグループにいたいと思いました。メンバーとみんなとずっといたいと思いました。 That’s why I thought I wanted to be always in this group. I thought I wanted to be always together with the members.
でも、それではいけないということを知りました。 But, I realized that’s something impossible.
好きだからこそ、前に進まなきゃいけない。 Right because I love it, I have got to move on.
そう教えてくれたのは、先に卒業していった仲間たちの背中でした。 This is what my dear friends and members who have graduated before me have taught me.
私にもまだやってみたいことがたくさんある。自分を試してみたい。 There are still many things that I want to try to do. I want to challenge myself.
だから、10年を振り返るのは今日で終わりにしようと思います。前に進もうと思います。 That’s why, with today I want to stop looking back at these 10 years. Let’s move forward.
これから歩む道、自分の無力さに苦しくて、へこたれることもたくさんあると思いますが、後ろを振り返ればたくさんの仲間たちがいる、たくさんの後輩たちがいる。その子たちに、いい背中を見せたい。 Throughout the path I’m going to walk now, I think there will be many things that will discourage me, tough circumstances due to my own
helplessness but, if I look at my back, I’ll find many of my trusted friends and many junior members. And to those girls, I wanna be of good example.
だからここで約束させてください。 That’s why, please let me promise something.
私、高橋みなみは「努力は必ず報われる」と、卒業したこの先、必ず証明します。それが、AKBにできる私の恩返しです。 I, Takahashi Minami, just after my graduation, will definitely prove that “Efforts will always be rewarded”. That will be my repayment for AKB.
いつだって優しい声をかけてくれる皆さんの温かさに10年間支えられました。皆さんの声がなかったら、私はここにはいないと思います。 You people’s kind voices and warmth have been supporting me for 10 years. I think I wouldn’t be here now if you people’s voices hadn’t been there.
こんな寒い中、来てくださった皆さん、48グループを愛してくださっている皆さん、本当にありがとう。 I sincerely thank you for coming here despite the cold and for loving the 48 group.
そして、いつも私の長い話を聞いてくれていたメンバー、本当にありがとう。 Also, I thank all the members who’ve always listened to my long speeches.
舞台チーム、こんな素敵な場所を用意してくれてありがとう。 To the stage team, thank you for providing us such a beautiful place.
衣装・メイクチーム、いつも素敵な衣装を作ってくれて、私たちをもアイドルにしてくれて本当にありがとう。 To the costume
・ Make-up team, thank you very much for always making us such beautiful costumes and for always getting us ready to be idols.
メイキング・ムービーチーム、いつも邪険にしてごめんなさい。みんながいい画(え)を撮ってくれるから、思い出がいっぱいです。ありがとう。 To the Making of
・ movie team, I’m sorry for being always hard on you/having a bad attitude with you. It’s thanks to the movies y’all filmed if we can also keep these memories. Thank you.
スタッフ・マネージャーチーム、変な人ばっかりです。 About the staff
・ managers team, they’re a bunch of weirdos.
スタッフらしくないし、マネージャーらしくないけど、一生懸命頑張ってくれるみんなが大好きでした。本当にありがとう。 Although they didn’t give the image of any real staff or manager member, I truly loved these people who worked so hard and did their best for us. Really, thank you.
そして最後に。秋元先生、こんな最高のグループを作ってくださり、本当にありがとうございます。 Lastily. To Akimoto-sensei, thank you very much for creating such a great group.
私は、幸せでした。 I was happy.
I’ll sing with all my feelings of gratitude. Senaka Kotoba.
Tomorrow is, Takamina’s birthday, and the day she is graduating from AKB48. In the 金スマ broadcast tomorrow, I was told by the program staff that I have an irreplaceable position in AKB’s Takahashi Minami’s journey, and that made me teared. I was really touched by Takamina’s past, which I didn’t know. There’s going to be live (from theater) during the program too. For AKB48′s Takahashi Minami’s last, What a day will it be. We had been saying this everyday, and now we can really feel it.