Akimoto Sayaka graduation : Shadow of the colossus
Let me say things straight : i always found team K the less attractive of all team. I was a supporter of Ori team B (Mayu oshi, and favourite song shonichi) then i switch to team A (shuffle with Mayu team A, Kennin members in it). I never had the time to get into team K, even though i acknowledged their strength (good unit song, cradle of all AKB captain). But like a storm, Sayaka’s sotsugyo remind me how POWERFUL ori team K was.
While Mariko was grateful to AKB, AKB was grateful to Sayaka giving her center position on “Flying get”
Akimoto Sayaka embodies the spirit of team K to perfection. Strong and high spirited. A strength you can rely on. While member like Acchan or even Yuko built AKB on the outside (AKB image to mainstream audience), Sayaka has developped a great sense of leadership in order to not let other members to loose their path or determination ( even the most common performance must be performed with all their heart). That’s why Sayaka’s has greatly contributed to AKB growth, but on the background (in the shadow?)
Her graduation concert was amazing in two points : first, the performance. I liked how it was HER time to shine and the job was perfectly done. Her signature was to make every song into a celebration. While Mariko’s “plastic no kuchiburi” made fans busy watching it silently, Sayaka’s “Uho Uho” made everyone jump and dance alongside team K.
it isn’t an euphemism to say Sayaka’s was team K itself. The concept of Kami7 has been greatly emphasized over the years, but team K bond (twin towers) has nothing to be ashamed of. Oshima Yuko had the most exposure and has been showed along Senbatsu members, but the members she has been the closest to are undoubtly team K members. But then, the same person who made team K so strong is also the one who is going to leave to move forward. Not that team K laid her back, but it was time for team K to grow without Sayaka tremendous influence (and Sae too)
Yuko has seen her nakama leaving the group one by one; the AKB she has known is definitively changing
i was personally moved by Sayaka’s graduation performance the most. Because it was unexpectedly beautiful. For one concert she swapped her captain status to glowing center. Her “mushi no ballad” resonating in an 50 000 wota audience was breathtaking. There were many version of the song, i can recall Tomochin, Yukirin, Kuumin, but from Sayaka it’s just something else. It really match her character and path. The green glowstick really helped make the moment one of a kind. A communion between Sayaka and her fans, religiously waving at their icon.
Akimoto Sayaka, ascending to Ace status during her Sotsugyo
And the commemoration didn’t end up there. “Tsuyosa to Yowasa no Aida de” was an awesome follow up to her mushi no ballad Solo. The song was great to convey team K feelings toward Sayaka and i would even place it ahead of “Saigo no door” and “Namida Sei ja nai”. Sayaka voice really fit the song that Aki-p wrote for her. I appreciate that this song wasn’t half baked : even though it didn’t get his PV, the essential is done and the result was plenty satisfying. I’m eagerly waiting for “Tsugi no Ashiato” (AKB next album) to get the studio records of the song. Even if the appearance of old K members was a given, it tells how the bond between them go largely beyond their moment together as a team.
Team K forever and beyond
The killing move must be “to be continued”. It really got me interested with team K songs. You can’t reach “To be continued” max power without the two previous song. Sayaka walking through all 48 members corridor, with a smile on her face, Yuko realizing it’s truly the end and breaking into tears is so moving i couldn’t help but cry at a member i barely know. Thanks to this Sotsugyo i rediscover what made team K a great pillar of AKB with popular song like “end roll”, “korogaru ishi ni nare” and “dakishimeraretara”.
“I’ll decide one thing that I want to do tomorrow, With my goal done, I’ll be able to walk straight ahead without being lost Those footsteps won’t be in a hurry If I look back, today was OK as it was -To be continued chorus”
AKB48 is an entity that has many faces. You start liking one aspect, then you realize the other part is also interesting. And so on. Going deeper and deeper in your research, you realize almost every team has the power to make you a fan individually. And we’re not talking about sister group. AKB could be considered like a little world itself. Team K proved that even though they weren’t the most exposed team, they never lost in term of dedication. Mainstream audience look at AKB as cute girls singing idolish song but team K proved that character and fierceness also has his place in Idol world.
GD : "Don't say you're going to do well, you guys are doing well. Since you're doing well, all you have to do now is enjoy it. Don't be so aware of your surroundings either." KHB : "I understand." GD : "I'm your awareness."