The big news of this post is of course the graduation of NMB48 member Jo Eriko. I think like other NMB48 fans I am understandably shocked by the announcement as it seems to have come from nowhere. That and Jo held the status of Ace for Team M so to have her leave is definitely going to make a difference with the group.
In her graduation statement she cites that she feels as someone entering their third year of junior high that she would not be able to handle both work and school. So she has decided to graduate from NMB48 to concentrate on her studies.
I honestly do not think that there is any hidden scandal with her debut. Usually the rumor of the scandal breaks out before this kind of announcement and Jo has always come off as honest so it does not seem to fit her image. So I do believe that her reason to concentrate on her school work more is sincere unlike with most cases when it is used as a reason for graduation.
It is known that she is a big fan of Maeda Atsuko and many speculate that with her graduating Jo may have lost some interest in continuing being a part of the AKS family.
What is known is that she will leaving a big hole in Team M and the NMB48 senbatsu line-up. She was the one constant member of Team M that got pushed.
Her graduation has hit me harder than I thought it would. Probably because I actually had the chance to know her. But I can sympathize with wanting to put school first and not feeling up to being able to balance the two well. So I wish her the best in whatever her future brings and I want to enjoy the remaining time she has with the group, as I will miss be missing her brilliant smile when she is gone.