SDN48, the Japanese idol girl group started by Mr Yasushi Akimoto back in 2010, returned to Singapore over the weekend as part of their Final Stage tour.
The group was created to appeal to a more mature fan base, and was created based on an “adult idol” concept, with an average age of 23 years among the members. Their debut song “GAGAGA” was a hit in the Oricon singles weekly charts, and their singles have consistently crossed 60,000 for the 1st week sales.
But while AKB48 and its sister groups continue to dazzle fans with chart-topping records in Japan, Asia and worldwide, an announcement was made last year that all members of SDN48 will graduate at the end of March 2012.
An emotional Elliott Danker spends the afternoon speaking to the girls before their farewell concert in Singapore, to find out more about their feelings for the fans here, the graduation, and their future plans.
POPCulture Online: How has your life changed since SDN48 was formed 2 years ago in 2010?
YUKARI SATO: Before joining SDN48, I used to be one of the AKB48 members. I’ve since gone on to play more important roles such as emceeing during concerts and even doing interviews such as this so I feel I’ve learnt more and improved.
POPCulture Online: What’s your most memorable experience or significant performance / event from your time in SDN48?
SERINA: I have many enjoyable memories but the most memorable ones for me are the hardships that I’ve gone through. I feel that hard experiences have helped me to improve such as before our debut we had very tough training for 1 month, it’s conquering tough experiences like these that have helped me improve a lot as an artiste and those are the memories I treasure the most.
POPCulture Online: During your time with SDN48, were there any particular activities that you normally do but couldn’t because you were busy with SDN48 and would you pick them up after you graduate?
CHEN QU: Before I joined SDN48 I was already in Japan and I’d call my parents every week to tell them what has happened in my life and how I was doing. Since I joined the group I haven’t had time to call them or even see them these past 2 years. So after the graduation I’d like to do something for them to show my gratitude for their support.
POPCulture Online: I’m sure you girls are close friends, how does the group plan on staying in touch?
SERINA: SDN48 represents a lifelong ambition that we’ve all been working towards and even though after the graduation we will all move on to pursue different projects and ambitions, our history being part of SDN48 means we are still connected with that dream as well as with each other and that’s how we will try to stay in touch.
POPCulture Online: What happens after SDN48 for you? What are your plans?
REIKO NISHIKUNIHARA: I love singing and so I’ve been training for a musical in Japan directed by Amon Miyamoto. So I’d like to improve on that and do more singing and acting like I’ve done for this musical not only in Japan but all over the world as a stage actress.
POPCulture Online: Do you have any special message for your fans in Singapore?
SDN48: We love Singapore because the people are very warm and welcome us, the weather is also nice! We want our fans to continue supporting us individually after we graduate but more importantly, please don’t ever forget SDN48!
The night went on to be an emotional one as all the members of the group gave their all and more in their final performance in Singapore. The crowd was clearly affected by what would become memorable Saturday nights with SDN48, a group who were a mix of class, elegance, style and sexiness like no other.
SDN48, Thank you for sharing your dreams with us!
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