This entry will be longer and personal, since it concerns a member I love.
Where are they now?
Oh, Rinatin. My ever and eternal kami-oshi.
I remember the exact moment I fell in love with Rina. It’s weird, for the other girls I like, I know what parts of them attracts me to them, but I don’t remember the exact moment I oshi’d them. But with Rina, I remember well. I’d watched A1, and enjoyed it, but there were no members who particularly stood out for me. Then I watched A2. The first song of A2 is ’Nageki no Figure’, performed by Acchan, Takamina, Tomochin and Rinatin. I heard the kindest and gentlest voice sing the line ‘koko de matte iru no’ and thought 'an angel has come down to earth and joined AKB’. She had my heart entirely.
Rina was a 1st gen AKB48 member, and was 17 whe she joined AKB48. She was an immediate frontgirl in Team A, and in fact stands centre for the first song of A1, ’Party ga Hajimaru yo’. She always received great unit positions on stages, and was a regular senbatsu member for AKB’s first 7 singles, including being one of the Sukahira 7. In June 2007 she debuted as centre of AKB’s first subgroup, ballad group Chocolove, alongside Sayaka and Sae. I think a lot of people haven’t heard Chocolove, but they are seriously great, with Rinatin’s angelic voice, Sayaka’s powerful and clear vocals, and Sae, well, she’s there too. (and their MVs are all subbed on h!o so go dl them!) However towards the end of 2007 Rina’s health took a turn for the worse, and between injuries and hospitilisation, Rina was unable to appear in senbatsu for 'Yuuhi wo Miteiru ka?’, 'Romance Irane’ or 'Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2008’. This also meant she didn’t take part in any H2 performances, despite being a 1st Unit member for H1. She was able to return to senbatsu for 'Baby! Baby! Baby!’ but announced graduation a few months later with Hana, Risa, O-Yay and Hiipink, citing her poor health as the reason.