Declaring that she herself is the embodiment of the group and represents the will of all their fans, Hirate Yurina proclaimed herself the center of Japanese idol group Keyakizaka46 “for life”.
The announcement comes days after she featured as center for the group’s eighth single in a row, “Kuroi Hitsuji” despite speculation about her health and recovering from an injury. Hirate has been the center of every Keyakizaka46 single and is the longest-reigning center in the history of SakamichiAKB.
In a chilling speech before Parliament, the 17-year-old announced that she was suspending the group’s Constitution, instituting martial law, and requiring all members to swear loyalty to her, “lest they face the wrath of a revolutionary Kanji fan base united by Techi’s Divine and Virtuous might.”
Observers have long speculated about this potential outcome. Unlike her counterparts in AKB48, Hirate has never been elected to the role of center, and the group has long rebuffed calls from the United Nations for fair democratic elections. Political experts point to the graduation of Imaizumi Yui as a turning point in Hirate’s consolidation of absolute power.
“Let all idol fans know this: the sun has risen on a new Keyakizaka46, one that is strong and will rain righteous hellfire on our enemies,” Hirate, dressed in an ornate military uniform and flanked by her personal guard, proclaimed to several minutes of continuous applause. She then announced dates and venues for the group’s annual nationwide tour, renamed the Democratic People’s Keyakizaka Republic.
At press time, thousands of fans on message boards expressed excitement over speculative rumors that Keyakizaka46 will be bringing back a certain old uniform.