Oku Manami, Why?!

It was reported on the official AKB48 blog that Oku Manami, an original Team K member, is graduating this May.

She was pretty popular at first, but it dwindled to nearly nothing in the past 2 years, most likely from her weight gain and her uncanny ability to become a wallflower wherever she went.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Oku, but I always thought she was cute and had hope for her. I always believed that she would eventually get motivated, lose weight, and rise above her current slump with a great comeback. In Oku’s situation, it’s impossible to be deaf to criticism about her weight; I’m sure she gets shit all the time about it, from fans and management.

I guess I’ve always wanted her to succeed because I had a large weight gain phase when I was younger and was able to lose it through exercise, so I knew Manami could do the same.

… I also wanted her to succeed so I could rub it in everyone’s faces when they realize how cute she could be. I think Akimoto Yasushi(the producer) shared the same sentiment; he’s said before that he saw Oku as a potential “ace” girl for AKB, and she’s always been chosen for Undergirls, despite being largely unpopular.

Anyway, it’s a severe disappointment that I won’t be able to see her grand comeback, but it’s also just saddening to see her go as another original Team K member, following Ono Erena.


About Dae Lee

-Dae, aka Mizu -Writer, broadcaster, and podcaster on New School Kaidan

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  1. This makes me really sad, I always felt Maachan was a kindred spirit so this does not come as a surprise to me at all, in fact I expected it much sooner than this, while hoping it would never happen.

    Maachan did a lot in the short 5 years she was there, a solo single, model for Little Missmatched, the other girls said she was like an angel though a little bratty at times, she always seemed a little uncomfortable on camera and stage, though when she was happy she light up the stage with her innocent smile.

    I really feel the management failed here, they started with her a to little to late after she was already starting to get disenchanted and tired I think of being ignored.

    I hope she does well in her studies and reaches her dream, whatever that may be.

    She will be missed, but I will treasure the moments she has given us.

  2. Ouch. I was just watching some older AKB videos and noticed Oku in them. In a way, this shouldn’t be a surprise, but it once again seems to cement the reality that none of the girls have permanent positions.

  3. I bet you’re now happy to know that she has come back :’)

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