On the very next day of the end of a series of live concerts at Tokyo Dome(http://www.tokyo-dome.co.jp/e/) Aug 24-26 so successfully, which about 144,000 people had visited in total, AKB48 hosted the “graduation memorial concert of Atsuko Maeda” at AKB 48 Theater in Akihabara on 27th. The former was a glorious realization of AKB’s dream-come-true since its foundation. And there had been a plan of Maeda entering the Theater for the concert after showing herself from a car in a parade on nearby roads of the area in Akihabara, which unfortunately aborted due to an instrcution of the police for security’s reason.
A lot of posters of Maeda was put on various places in Akihabara station, special books, photo collections, items said to be available only on that day were sold at boolstores, AKB48 Cafe &Shop and other stores there. The available number of the tickets of the graduation concert was just 250, and more than 230,000 people applied for , so, the winning rate was about one out of 916 ! Agter the concert, Maeda showed up on a balcony of the building and waved good- by and sent her final salute as a AKB member to the people there.
Coincidentally, I was in Akihabara on that very day, and bought a Maeda’s memorial photo collection for graduation at a special stall of a bookstore in the station building. I felt sepecial atmosphere of excitement in the town.
In addition, three days later , to my huge surprise, I just happened to witness two AKB48 members,namely Mina Ohba and Suzuran Yamauchi in Shibuya near the station while walking down there. Actually they didn’t stand out so much in the huge crowd there, but accidentally my shoulder and Yamauchi’s shoulder touched in the busy crowd, when we passed each other. In that place Maeda’s big billboards were on the walls of nearby buildings, and ad-buses of the newest AKB’s song “Gingham Check” were driving around and their music was heard everywhere… That was a quite strange and impressive situation ,and I have found Shibuya is also an “turf”(?) of AKB48 groups or popular idols in general.