Sunday, March 25, 2012

My 2 cents on Acchan's graduation


Today, H!O delivered to me the HOLYCRAPNEWS that Maeda Atsuko, the center and heart of AKB48, is graduating this year.  And as much as I had lamented her in a post I did last year for the 30-day idol challenge, I began to have a bit of a change of heart after reading everyone else's opinions on the subject of Lady Acchan's glory.  I shit you not (and keep in mind, this really was before I learned she was graduating, honest to bibbles!), I actually started to like her.

Being a fledgling AKB48 fan, I've had barely enough time to get to know some of the girls and become devoted to my goddess of all things idoly, Sayaka.  My initial impressions of Acchan are familiar to a lot of AKB fans: bored, distant and a little fake.  But getting to know her a little better, I actually found myself relating to this gloomy, beautiful girl.  I felt like I saw myself in what we know about her pre-idol fame story. Maeda Atsuko was never instant star material.  She was quiet, shy and had a secret smile only seen by those who knew her well.  When New School Kaidan did a post which featured the story of the early AKB days,I couldn't help but notice the cautious center girl and her meteoric rise.  It stirred something in me, and while she never broke my top 10, she shot far out of the fuzzy zone of blah in my idol fandom.

I actually purchased her newest photobook last week, because it is absolutely beautiful.  After looking at the previews, I couldn't help but feel as though it was a side of not just Acchan herself, but of idol femininity that we don't see much.  To me, it felt so authentic.  Even I, as a former Acchan dissenter, had to buy it.  And I'm so glad that I did.

So what will become of the center position now?  Even though I have always wanted to see other AKB members in the center outside of janken singles, it will be strange not to see Acchan anymore. Even though I'm not her biggest fan, Acchan is an incredible idol and an amazing person, and I will miss her very much.

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