Oya Shizuka (大家志津香) “Shiichan” (Age 28)
AKB48 Team B (3rd Generation)
Birthday: December 28, 1991
After Minegishi Minami and Kashiwagi Yuki, Oya Shizuka is the 3rd longest running member of 48 Group. Over the many years, she has switched back and forth between Teams A and B, currently waving a Team B flag. Never completely conforming to traditional idol views, Oya has gained a small amount of fangirls due to her unique nature. Watch her in Bokutachi no Chikyuu, a coupling song from AKB48’s 2017 Janken single, Tenshi wa Doko ni Iru?
Below, you can see the three of them perform the song live at Kitehara Rie’s graduation concert!
Although she regularly performs in the theater on select nights, Oya has not been very active as a promotional member in the past couple of years. Her last appearance in AKB48 singles was also her first time serving as center. Watch the song, Ike no Mizu wo Nukitai below!
Takayanagi Akane (高柳 明音) “Churi” (Age 28)
SKE48 Team KII (2nd Generation)
Birthday: November 29, 1991
Takayanagi Akane is a member who is set to graduate at an undetermined time later this year. Hailing from SKE48’s 2nd Generation, Akane has long been a moderately popular member of the franchise, centering several songs over her history with the group. Below, you’ll find her sharing the center spot with Furuhata Nao in the song Konya wa Join Us! Click here to watch the full music video.
For us here at 48GroupWest, we know Akane to be part of many of our favorite theater songs. Her role in Team KII has been that of a very strong performer. Whether its helping lead the girls in the 5 minute high-stepping cardio intensive Kizashi or serving center in the cult classic CROSS, below, Akane has always shown an energetic face to her audience.
Coming as a big disappointment to longtime fans, Akane announced her graduation from SKE48 last year. Below you’ll find her Graduation song, Seishun no Hoseki, which released as a b-side to SKE48’s 26th single.
It was announced that Akane would indeed hold a large scale graduation concert in Yokohama Arena during Spring of 2020. Unfortunately at that time, COVID-19 swept the world, emptying audiences and forcing groupmates to stay far apart from each other. Watch as Akane walks inside an empty Yokohama Arena, saddened by her canceled concert.
Suda Akari (須田 亜香里) “Dasu” (Age 28)
SKE48 Team E (3rd Generation)
Birthday: October 31, 1991
The current center for SKE48, Suda Akari is known to many as an idol that you oshi after shaking her hand once. Beloved by fans, Akari has been a 48-Group senbatsu regular centering many b-sides across the discography of the groups. Watch her share the center spot in Kaisoku to Doutai Shiryoku with AKB48’s Kato Rena in a b-side of AKB48’s 33nd single. Click here to see the full eleven minute music video
Akari has a very unique performance style that is not found very often in 48 group. Akari is one of the few classically trained dancers in the group, and she uses her flexibility and awareness of her body to effortlessly portray any concept or characterization expected of her. Watch her perform what may be the sexiest version Warukii at the 2020 SKE48 Senbatsu Concert by clicking here.
Having served on all SKE48 teams, she was transferred to Team E in 2014 where she remains today. She has remained as the center for the team, centering all promotional Team E songs since SKE48’s 21st single. Watch her center the song Kimi wa Ramune below.
Most recently, Suda Akari is known to have obtained 2nd place rank in AKB48’s Tenth General Election. Leading up to Jurina’s graduation in 2020, Akari was announced as the new center for SKE48’s 26th Single, So~Yu~Toko Aru Yo Ne? This song served as the first A-Side center of her longtime idol career.
Yokoyama Yui (横山由依) “Yuihan” (Age 27)
AKB48 Team A (9th Generation)
Birthday: December 8, 1992
Yui Yokoyama is known to most as the second General Manager of the AKB48 Group family. Time and time again she is shown to house deep values of perseverance and loyalty, these values translating into her speech as well. Loudly applauded by the earlier generation, or Golden Age, of members, Yui has since pledged to stay in AKB48 for as long as she can. Watch her share the center spot in Hikari to Kage no Hibi, a b-side to AKB48’s 45th single below:
You can watch the full version here, or watch her perform the song solo below.
Yui has always been known to be one of the more stable singers in the domestic 48 groups. Usually, when performing solo, she usually performs a ballad of some sort. Below, she sings the AKB48 classic Migikata, originally performed by Atsuko Maeda.
Just like Minami’s stint in No Sleeves, Yui also served in a stable quartet sub-unit called Not Yet, along with Rie Kitehara, Oshima Yuko, and Sashihara Rino. All of whom are now graduated. Below, Rie returns from graduation at Sashihara Rino’s Graduation Concert to accompany the group (with Oya Shizuka filling in for Oshima Yuko) in a throwback performance of their debut song, Shuumatsu Not Yet.
Most recently, Yui participated in two songs on AKB48’s 57th Single, Shitsuren, Arigatou, and along with other girls, began her Youtube journey by opening her own channel. Yui’s channel has set itself apart by being cleanly edited with a notably precise and professional finish in all the videos she uploads.
Minegishi Minami (峯岸 みなみ) “Miichan” (Age 27)
AKB48 Team K (1st Generation)
Birthday: November 15, 1992
So much can be said for Minegishi Minami, the longest running member of AKB48 and all of it’s sister groups and spinoffs. The story of AKB48 is Minami’s story. Watch her lead some 48 girls in an acapella verson of Mata Anata no Koto wo Kangaeteta, a song she centered from AKB48’s 46th single.
When it comes to the music of AKB48, Minegishi Minami is most known from her involvement in No Sleeves (No3b), a three member subunit who released 9 singles over the course of their five years of activity. Watch them reunite at Kojima Haruna’s graduation concert in 2017, performing their classic: Relax!
Minami is known to be a great orator, and in many instances she can be found leading MCs at concerts and even hosting older episodes of AKBingo! Since the beginning, she has always played opposite many of the members casual and non-fans know and love, whether in dramas, tv shows, or showroom broadcasts. Let’s dive back into No3b as they perform AKB48’s 39th single in the Theater below.
After being famously demoted to Kenkyusei after a dating scandal, Minegishi was promoted to become captain of the newly reformed Team 4 in 2013. Although she later transferred back to Team K in 2015, the original Minegishi Team 4 reunited in 2020 to sing her Graduation song, Mata Aeru Hi Made.
Although Minegishi Minami announced her graduation in December of 2019, her leave from the group was delayed by the international pandemic, COVID-19. We are still awaiting a Minami Graduation Concert. In the meantime, enjoy her newly opened Youtube channel, where you can keep up with her after her departure from the group.
Oba Mina (大場美奈) “Minarun” (Age 28)
SKE48 Team KII (AKB48 9th Generation)
Birthday: April 3, 1992
Oba Mina is a member with a thrilling background that is very reminiscent of members such as Sashihara Rino (Grad) and 1st Generation’s Minegishi Minami. After auditioning many times to be in the group (since the year of AKB48’s debut), she joined the 9th Generation of AKB48. Serving as the inaugural captain for the original Team 4, she was publicly scorned following a dating “scandal”, which caused her to be demoted to kenkyuusei.
After being promoted back into the group months later, she was reassigned as Captain of Team 4, and shortly later her kennin position with SKE48 was announced. After a year of serving in both groups, fans were surprised when she was moved officially to SKE48. Watch her perform a small show in Hong Kong with her SKE48 group-mates Ego Yuna and Takayanagi Akane below.
Oba Mina has had a great last few years. She has continued her captaincy of SKE48’s Team KII, ranked #8 in AKB48’s most recent Senbatsu Election, participated in many SKE48 A-sides, released her first photobook, and starred in her first stage play. To celebrate her high rank in AKB48’s senbatsu, she chose to perform Dakishimecha Ikenai backed by her SKE48 posse at the Thanksgiving Rank-in Concert that year. Watch the spectacle below!
Kashiwagi Yuki (柏木 由紀) “Yukirin” (Age 28)
AKB48 Team B (3rd Generation)
Birthday: July 15, 1991
Yuki is the eldest and, arguably, the most publicly loved active member of the entire 48 Group family. Serving in the group for almost fifteen years, Yuki was a founding member of the original Team B. She has continued to be the face of the team to this day. Her popularity at one time was so great that she was often grouped in with the original Kami7; fans would simply call them the Kami8 or the Kami7 + Yuki. Watch her perform AKB48’s 10’s single, Oogoe Diamond live at her 1st solo tour below!
Before Watanabe Mayu’s graduation in 2017, she and Yuki were often paired together in small units or performances. They double centered many songs and were considered one of the most memorable pairs in 48 Group history. Below, they perform Seigi no Mikata Janai Hero, a B-side from AKB48’s 28th single.
It’s nice to know that Yuki and Mayu were publicly very close friends and retain that friendship to this day. It’s not very often that Yuki is NOT asked about Mayu’s current whereabouts after her leave from the entertainment industry. Below, they perform the AKB48 graduation classic Omoide no Hotondo, at Mayu’s graduation theater stage.
Yuki has centered many songs and participated in multiple different sister groups and sub groups during her years with AKB48. In a documentary near the middle of her career, she remarked that her dream was to be an idol that AKB48 depends on, and that was what she wanted to be remembered for. Most recently, she made a public announcement that she wouldn’t even think about graduating until after the age of 30. Yuki is one of the few active 48 Group members who has a fanbase that encompasses many non 48group fans. She is able to draw large crowds with her appearances and has multiple concerts under her belt. Watch her perform a full concert in the freezing cold below!
Now that you’ve enjoyed almost 2 straight hours of Yukirin, you can check out what she’s been doing recently by following her on her new Youtube account. She continues to regularly post videos of her everyday life to keep fans entertained.
Which of AKB48’s elder members is your favorite? Which member are you most afraid to see graduate? Tell us in the comments!