Team B (and former Team K) member Oku Manami to graduate

It was announced today that longtime AKB48 member Oku Manami will be leaving the group in May. To be honest, I’m not upset by this announcement in the least bit. Oku has always been incredibly low in my rankings, primarily due to the fact that she is not that great of a performer. She never showed any emotion on stage, and I always thought as the years went on, she got worse instead of improving. In short, she was somewhat boring to watch on stage.

I think it got even worse when it was stated in an interview that AKB’s head honcho, Akimoto, viewed her as an “ace” in the group. How he ever came to that conclusion is beyond me, as Oku was leagues behind a great many of the girls in AKB. I guess that whole “ace” thing no longer matters though, seeing as we’ll never see it come to fruition. Still though, graduations suck, no matter what, and I can only feel sorry for her fans. It’s never nice to lose your oshi.

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AKB48 News – February 17, 2011

First up, AKB48 is once again shattering sales records (like thats a suprise anymore đŸ™‚ )
AKB48’s 20th Single, Sakura no Ki ni Narou, sold an astounding 655,344 copies on the first day alone. This is the highest first day sales figure EVER since the ORICON charts first started recording the daily sales numbers. These numbers mean that Sakura no Ki ni Narou could enter the 1 million mark in a matter of weeks. AKB48’s only other million seller, BEGINNER, took a few months to reach the million mark, so this is pretty fantastic news. As of now, the total sales for this new single stands at 756,648.

Also in the last couple of weeks, we’ve had both a promotion and graduation in the AKB family. Kenkyuusei Nakamata Shiori has been promoted to the status of full member, though which team she will be placed on has yet to be said. The general consensus seems to be that she will be headed for Team B, however. Over at SDN48, however, 1st gen member Ito Kana has graduated due to poor health, as apparently she had been previously away from the theater due to issues with influenza.

Despite not having even aired as of yet, AKB’s new drama, Sakura Kara no Tegami, is already getting a series of DVD releases. There will be 3 seperate DVD volumes released, with 2 additional box sets. Here’s the details (as of know):

Vol.1 DVD – 3000 yen US$35/84.58

Description: First DVD release from the TV drama series “Sakura Kara no Tegami” featuring all AKB48 members.

First Press Details:special feature/bonus available

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Vol.2 DVD – 3000 yen US$35/84.58

Description: Second DVD release from the TV drama series “Sakura Kara no Tegami” featuring all AKB48 members.

First Press Details:special feature/bonus available

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Vol.3 DVD – 3000 yen US$35/84.58

Description: Third DVD release from the TV drama series “Sakura Kara no Tegami” featuring all AKB48 members.

First Press Details:special feature/bonus available

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DVD Box [5DVD+micro SD / Limited Edition] DVD – 17048 yen US$202/84.58

Description: DVD box set release from the TV drama series “Sakura Kara no Tegami” featuring all AKB48 members. The set includes three discs plus two bonus discs. Also contains a micro SD card with bonus video footage, a booklet, and more.

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DVD Box [Regular Edition] DVD – 12190 yen US$144/84.58

Description:DVD box set release from the TV drama series “Sakura Kara no Tegami” featuring all AKB48 members. The set includes three discs plus a bonus disc. Also contains a booklet.

First Press Details:special feature/bonus available