Rie Kitahara, a former member of AKB48 and current captain on NGT48, has announced that she will be graduating from the group next spring.
The idol made the announcement on August 21 during NGT's 2nd anniversary live in Niigata which commemorated the introduction of the group's members for the first time in 2015.
Most of Kitahara's group mates had not been informed of her decision prior to the announcement. Many broke down in tears and screamed in shock at the surprise.
Following her graduation, Kitahara is said to be pursuing an acting career. This was one of the idol's goals since before she became a member of AKB48.
Kitahara joined AKB48 in 2007 as a 5th generation member. She was transferred to NGT48 in 2015 when the group was formed and serves as its Captain.