On July 20th, AKB48 held the first day of their 5 major dome tour at Fukuoka Yafuoku! Dome, where they made a surprise announcement of the formation of a new Kenkyuusei unit.
This announcement was originally going to be made later this month during their Sapporo Dome concert. The group's first Kenkyuusei unit will be comprised of 7 members including AKB48's 14th Generation Kenkyuuseis Kojima Mako (16), Nishino Miki (14), and Okada Nana (15), SKE48's 6th Generation Kenkyuusei Kitagawa Ryoha (14), HKT48's 2nd Generation Kenkyuuseis Tashima Meru (13) and Tomonaga Mio (15), and NMB48's Kenkyuusei Shibuya Nagisa (16).
On this day, SKE48's Kitagawa and NMB48's Shibuya were absent because the concert was held in Fukuoka. When the group's general manager Togasaki Tomonobu made the announcement, the 5 members stood still in amazement. Tashima, who was given the microphone, called out to Sashihara Rino (20), "Sashiko-chan, what should I do!" In response, she made the crowd laugh with, "Go home, go home! I don't know anything either."
Okada expressed, "I heard this for the first time, but my name is Nana and it's a 7-member unit. So I think it's fate." The unit will perform for the first time during AKB48's upcoming Sapporo Dome concert on the 31st.
Source & Image: Oricon