When they cheer, I feel the power!

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Akari Sato / AKB48 Team8

Whether I’m playing tennis or performing on stage, the sound of a cheering crowd is always a great source of power for me. That kind of energy is something I’d like to tell you more about.

The first time I experienced such support from my teammates was during a match against another school back when I was on the junior high school tennis team. When the opposing team scored, my teammates encouraged me by yelling, “Bring it back with one point!” After I made a few mistakes in a row, they continued to spur me on by shouting things like “The next one is yours!”

I’m the type of person who gets depressed when something doesn’t go well, but because my teammates were backing me up, I was able to focus on the match. I often played singles matches, but even when I was out there all alone on my side of the court, just imagining my teammates directing their energy at me was enough to pump me up.

I can say the same for my work as an idol. When I’m on stage, hearing the crowds cheering me on boosts my spirits and makes me feel like I can do my very best. I’m not sure if it’s the adrenaline or not, but my body feels lighter and I’m able to put on an even better performance.

Shouting out support for someone is super effective and I know this, which is why I make sure to encourage my fellow Team8 members by yelling things like “That’s so cute!” when we’re doing our choreography practice.

Our supporters give us so much power and we hope all of you can continue to cheer us on!

Akari Sato

Born on Nov. 9, 1996. She participated in the National High School Championships in tennis singles and doubles when she was a high school student in Miyagi Prefecture. Miyagi-kizuna Ambassador. She is called “Akarin.”