Unless you’re pretty well versed in all things J-pop idoldom, you probably didn’t know that there are actually two Keyakizaka46 groups: the main one written in kanji and the sub-group written in hiragana. “Hiragana Keyaki,” as the sub-group is usually called to differentiate between the two, recently wrapped up its 2018 domestic tour on Tuesday (July 10).
The tour supporting Hiragana Keyaki’s first album Hashiridasu Shunkan kicked off on June 4 in Yokohama and stopped at five venues for ten concerts. The final show took place at the Makuhari Messe Event Hall, where the girls performed songs from their debut album including the lead single “Kitaishiteinai Jibun.”
After the 20-song main set, the girls returned to the stage for the encore, where member Kumi Sasaki asked the crowd if they missed a certain member. Cue the surprise appearance of Yuuka Kageyama, who had announced on June 1 that she would be taking a temporary break from performing to concentrate on her studies.
Kageyama explained that she had longed for an opportunity to speak directly to the group’s fans. “There were some things I’d planned on saying here,” she addressed the Makuhari crowd. “But now that I’m standing on this stage, I only feel one thing. I really love Hiragana (Keyaki).”
“Since everyone else is working so hard like this, I intend to do the same and graduate properly from high school so that I can pursue my dream on my own,” she continued. Kageyama joined the rest of the group to perform the four songs in the encore.
A new stage production starring members of the group was also announced at the show. Based on the highly acclaimed animated series from 2011, Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record will run from Aug. 24 to Sept. 9 at the TBS Akasaka ACT Theater in Tokyo and will star ten members of Hiragana Keyaki as the main characters.