Atsuko Maeda (前田 敦子 Maeda Atsuko?, born July 10, 1991 in Ichikawa, Chiba) is a Japanese singer and actress known for her work in the Japanese idol group AKB48. Maeda was one of the most prominent members in the group, and placed first among all AKB48 and sister group candidates in the group's general 2009 and 2011 elections, and second in the 2010 election. She also appeared on many of its album covers. On March 25, 2012, she announced her graduation from AKB48;it was held on August 27. She has since continued with a solo singing and acting career.
At age 14, Maeda became a member of AKB48's first group, Team A, which composed of 24 girls and debuted on December 8, 2005.
In 2009, Maeda won the first edition of AKB48's annual general elections, which are described as a popularity contest. As a result, she was the headlined performer for the group's 13th single, "Iiwake Maybe".The following year, she placed second overall, but still had a significant choreography position in the lineup for "Heavy Rotation".Later that year, AKB48 employed a rock-paper-scissors tournament to determine the top spot of AKB48's 19th major single "Chance no Junban". Maeda placed 15th, which secured her a spot on title track.Maeda would also win the group's third general election held in 2011.
Maeda was one of the members who sang on every AKB48 title track since the group's inception. Her streak of A-side appearances ended in 2011, when she lost to Team K captain Sayaka Akimoto at a rock-paper-scissors tournament which determined the featured members for the group's 24th single "Ue kara Mariko"
On March 25, 2012, during an AKB48 Concert at the Saitama Super Arena, Maeda announced that she would leave the group. This caused a large buzz in the Japanese news, and spawned a rumor (later proved false) that a student from University of Tokyo had committed suicide over the announcement. AKB48 later announced that Maeda would leave after the Tokyo Dome concerts; For her final performance, there were 229,096 requests filed for seat tickets. Her farewell performance and ceremony occurred on August 27 at the AKB48 theater, and was streamed live on YouTube.
Solo career Edit
On April 23, 2011, Maeda announced that she would make her solo debut with her debut single "Flower", released on June 22. It was met with commercial success in Japan, debuting at number 1 on the Oricon Charts with first week sales of 176,967 copies.
The follow-up single "Kimi wa Boku da", released in June 2012, was Maeda's last solo single while still a member of AKB48. It debuted at number two on the Oricon charts and reached number one on the Billboard Japan Hot 100.
On June 15, 2013, at AKB48's handshake event held at Makuhari Messe, AKB48 announced that Maeda would appear as a special guest at the group's summer concert series at the Sapporo Dome on July 31. There, she performed her third single, "Time Machine Nante Iranai" (タイムマシンなんていらない Taimu Mashin Nante Iranai), which was later released on September 18. It was selected to be the theme song for the live-action adaptation of Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo(Yamada and the Seven Witches). Maeda described the song as "cheerful and fun" and hoped it would liven up the show. "Time Machine Nante Iranai" eventually peaked at number one on the Oricon Daily charts, and number two on the Oricon Weekly chart. On Billboard's Japan Hot 100, it debuted at number one and stayed there for just the week of September 30.
Acting career Edit
In 2007, Maeda played a supporting role in the film Ashita no Watashi no Tsukurikata, which was her debut as an actress. She starred in the 2011 filmMoshidora and appeared in Nobuhiro Yamashita's 2012 film Kueki Ressha. She also starred in Hideo Nakata's 2013 horror film The Complex. It was announced that she will co-star with Tony Leung Chiu-Wai in Kiyoshi Kurosawa's film 1905.
In 2013, Maeda starred in a series of 30-second station ID videos for Music On! TV where she played Tamako, a Tokyo university graduate who does not find a job and lives at home where she just eats and sleeps, over the course of the four seasons. This became a TV drama special, and has been developed into a full-fledged film, Tamako in Moratorium, the last of which is planned for a theater release in November 2013.
Maeda starred in the film Seventh Code where she plays a Japanese woman in Russia who is trying to track down a guy she previously met. The film was shown at the Rome Film Festival in November 2013, and will be released for a short theater run in January 2014. She is planning a release of a single of the same name on March 5.
Stage units Edit
A listing of Maeda's participation in AKB48's theatre programs, called stages:
- 2005-2006: Team A 1st Stage: "Party ga Hajimaruyo" (PARTYが始まるよ)
- small group songs: "Skirt, Hirari" (1st + 2nd units) and "Hoshi no Ondo" (2nd unit)
- 2006: Team A 2nd Stage: "Aitakatta" (会いたかった)
- small group songs: ""Nageki no Figure", "Nagisa no Cherry", "Senaka kara Dakishimete", "Rio no Kakumei"
- 2006-2007: Team A 3rd Stage: Dareka no Tame ni (誰かのために?)
- small group songs: "Nage Kiss de Uchi Otose!" and "Seifuku ga Jama o Suru"
- 2007, 2008:[note 1] Team A 4th Stage: Tadaima Renaichuu (ただいま 恋愛中?)
- small group songs: "7ji 12fun no Hatsukoi"
- 2007: Himawari-gumi 1st Stage: Boku no Taiyou (僕の太陽?)
- small group songs: "Idol Nante Yobanaide" (1st unit)
- 2007-2008: Himawari-gumi 2nd Stage: Yume wo Shinaseru Wake ni Ikanai (夢を死なせるわけにいかない)
- small group songs " Hajimete no Jelly Beans" (1st unit)
- 2008-2010: Team A 5th Stage: Renai Kinshi Jourei (恋愛禁止条例)
- small group songs: "Kuroi Tenshi"
- 2010-2012: Team A 6th Stage: Mokugekisha (目撃者)
- small group songs "Ude o Kunde"
Solo singles Edit
|Title||Release date||Chart positions||Oricon sales|
|Billboard Japan Hot 100||RIAJDigital Track Chart||First|
|Total||"Flower"||June 22, 2011||1||1||5||176,967||213,787[better source needed]|
|"Kimi wa Boku da"||June 20, 2012||2||1||4||136,212||170,944[better source needed]|
|"Time Machine Nante Iranai"||September 18, 2013||2||1||60,687||74,293|
|"Seventh Chord"||March 5, 2014||4||3||42,784||51,120|
|Year||No.||Title||Role||Notes||2006||Ind-1||"Sakura no Hanabiratachi"||A-side|
|2006||Ind-2||"Skirt, Hirari"||A-side, Center||One of seven members who sang on the title track.|
|2007||2||"Seifuku ga Jama o Suru"||A-side, Center|
|2007||3||"Keibetsu Shiteita Aijō"||A-side, Center|
|2007||5||"Boku no Taiyō"||A-side, Center|
|2007||6||"Yūhi o Miteiru ka?"||A-side, Center|
|2008||7||"Romance, Irane"||A-side, Center|
|2008||8||"Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2008"||A-side, Center|
|2008||9||"Baby! Baby! Baby!"||A-side, Center|
|2009||11||"10nen Sakura"||A-side, Center||also sang on "Sakurairo no Sora no Shita de", Shared center with Jurina Matsui ofSKE48|
|2009||12||"Namida Surprise!"||A-side, Center|
|2009||13||"Iiwake Maybe"||A-side, Center||Ranked 1st in 2009 General Election|
|2010||15||"Sakura no Shiori"||A-side, Center||also sang on "Majisuka Rock 'n' Roll"|
|2010||16||"Ponytail to Shushu"||A-side, Center||also sang on "Majijo Teppen Blues"|
|2010||17||"Heavy Rotation"||A-side||Ranked 2nd in 2010 General Election, also sang on "Yasai Sisters" and "Lucky Seven"|
|2010||18||"Beginner"||A-side, Mint, Center||Also sang on "Kimi ni Tsuite" as subgroup Mint.|
|2010||19||"Chance no Junban"||A-side||Placed 15th in rock-paper-scissors tournament., also sang on "Yoyakushita Christmas" and "Kurumi to Dialougue"|
|2011||20||"Sakura no Ki ni Narō"||A-side, Mint, Center||Also sang on "Kiss Made 100 Mile" as Mint.|
|2011||–||"Dareka no Tame ni – What can I do for someone?"||–||charity single|
|2011||21||"Everyday, Katyusha"||A-side, Center||also sang on "Korekara Wonderland" and "Yankee Soul"|
|2011||22||"Flying Get"||A-side, Center||Ranked 1st in 2011 General Election, also sang on "Seishun to Kizukanai Mama", "Ice no Kuchizuke", "Yasai Uranai"|
|2011||23||"Kaze wa Fuiteiru"||A-side, Center|
|2011||24||"Ue kara Mariko"||B-side||Did not participate in title song; lineup was determined by rock-paper-scissors tournament;She sang on "Noël no Yoru", and on "Rinjin wa Kizutsukanai" as Team A|
|2012||25||"Give Me Five!"||A-side (Baby Blossom), Selection 6, Center||Played rhythm guitar in Baby Blossom; she also sang on "Sweet & Bitter" as Selection 6|
|2012||26||"Manatsu no Sounds Good!"||A-side, Center||Did not participate in 2012 General Election.|
|2012||27||"Gingham Check"||B-side||Did not participate in title song. Participated in "Yume no Kawa" which was also her graduation song|
- Mubōbi (2011)
- Ashita no Watashi no Tsukurikata (2007)
- Densen Uta (2007) - Kana
- Nasu Shōnenki (2008)
- Moshidora (2011) - Minami Kawashima
- The Drudgery Train (苦役列車 Kueki Ressha) (2012) - Yasuko Sakurai
- 1905 (2013) (Production cancelled February 2013)
- The Complex (クロユリ団地 Kuroyuri danchi) (2013) - Asuka Ninomiya
- Tamako in Moratorium (もらとりあむタマ子 Moratoriamu Tamako) (2013) - Tamako
- Pikachu and Eevee Friends (2013) - Narrator
- Seventh Code (2013) - Akiko
- Eight Ranger 2 (2014)
- Kabukicho Love Hotel (2014)
- Documentary of AKB48: The Future 1 mm Ahead (2011)
- Documentary of AKB48: To Be Continued (2011)
- Documentary of AKB48: Show Must Go On (2012)
- Documentary of AKB48: No Flower Without Rain (2013)
Television dramas Edit
- Swan no Baka!: Sanmanen no Koi (2007)
- Shiori to Shimiko no Kaiki Jikenbo (2008)
- Taiyo to Umi no Kyoshitsu (2008)
- Majisuka Gakuen (2010)
- Ryōmaden (2010)
- Q10 (2010)
- Sakura Kara no Tegami (2011)
- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (2011)
- Majisuka Gakuen 2 (2011)
- Saiko no Jinsei (2012)
- Kasuka na Kanojo (2013)
Television shows Edit
- AKBingo! (2008–2012)
- Shukan AKB (2009–2012)
- AKB48 Nemōsu TV (2008–2012)
- Gachi Gase (2012)
Radio shows Edit
- Atsuko Maeda's Heart Songs (2010–2013)
- Hai (2009)
- Acchan in Hawaii (2010)
- Maeda Atsuko in Tokyo (2010)
- Atsuko in NY (2010)
- Bukiyō (2012)
- AKB48 Sotsugyou Kinen Photobook "Acchan" (2012)
- 2011: Voce Beauty Awards 2011 Best Cosmetics Grand Prix – The Best Beauty of the Year
- 2012: 35th Japan Academy Awards – Popularity Award – Actor/Actress for Moshidora
- 2012: 21st Japan Movie Critics Circle – Best Newcomer for Moshidora
- 2012: Japan's Foreign Film Importers and Distributors Association – Foreign Cinema’s Best Supporter
- 2012: 4th Tama Film Awards – Best New and Upcoming Actress Award for Kueki Ressha
- 2012: Vogue Japan Women of the Year
- 2013: 22nd Japanese Film Professional awards – Best Actress for Kueki Ressha
- Jump up^ Team A would return to performing the 4th Stage program from April–October 2008