Tokyo Sports published an article on the 8th alleging that ex-AKB48 member Tomomi Itano (23) intended to “wage war” against singer Ayumi Hamasaki (35) after dropping her debut album S×W×A×G on the same day as the veteran pop star’s Colours.
“Hamasaki’s album was released the same day as Itano’s, but their respective first-day sales placed Itano in 6th and Hamasaki in 5th [on the Oricon chart], a painful defeat,” an unnamed entertainment industry official claimed in the piece. “When Itano got the news, she wailed, ‘I lost to Ayu! This is awful!'” The same anonymous source added that Itano then went on to message past and current AKB48 members as well as staff, declaring that she would “surpass” Hamasaki.
Itano addressed the rumors on Twitter alongside a screenshot from her phone of the article:
I noticed Twitter was all in a fuss and then…
This is so disappointing…
That’s not what I think at all. I never said anything like that
But articles like this still come out, I’m really sad about it… (>_<)
I’m sorry for the upset this has caused to Ayumi Hamasaki-san’s fans. But those are not my words (*_*)
Within a mere thirty minutes of the tweet, it received 2,800 retweets as fans consoled her with replies like “Don’t worry about it” and “You have no reason to apologize.”
Nonetheless, Oricon weekly chart numbers have yet to be publicized; time will tell if Itano surpasses Hamasaki in this round after all.