Atsuko Maeda 'graduates' from AKB48 after 4-day sendoff
AKB48 member Atsuko Maeda, 21, on Monday night “graduated” from the mega-popular group. Maeda’s farewell took place at a concert at AKB48 Theater in Tokyo’s Akihabara district.
About 230,000 fans applied for the 250 seats available at the theater. The concert, which began at 6 p.m., was streamed live on the Internet. Most major media, including NHK, covered the event.
Maeda, popularly known as “Acchan,” auditioned for AKB48 when she was 14 years old. One of the more popular members of the group, she stunned fans in March by announcing she was leaving the group.
As part of her send-off, AKB48 performed three concerts at Tokyo Dome on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, the first time they have played at that venue.