Two of the Top 7 girls of MNL48 have walked away from the group, less than a week after they held a successful first fan meet.
Trixie Tano and Zen Inot, who were supposed to fly to Japan to train with AKS, the talent agency that handles the popular Japanese female act AKB48, as their prize for being part of the Top 7, announced their decision Friday.
In heartfelt messages, Tano explained that she needed to focus on her education after learning that she will not be graduating from Grade 12 this year, while Inot cited homesickness and the difficult training as part of her reasons.
Their places in the Top 7 were given to Ella Amat and Ashley Garcia, who were part of the Top 16 girls of the group.
Other members Mae Batocael and Vanessa Yap also said that they are leaving, paving the way for Alyssa Garcia and Erica Sanico to take their spots in the rankings within MNL48.
To fill the gap left by the four members who exited, Andi Garcia, Coleen Trinidad, Rans Rifol, and Niña Guirnalda were plucked from the roster of trainees, dubbed "Kenkyuusei," as replacements.
Members leaving idol groups --which MNL48 is-- are not new. The Japanese use the word "graduation" to announce such news.
There's no word yet on when MNL48 will release their first single, although they did already perform Filipino versions of AKB48 songs during their first fan meet held last Sunday.