First of all, let me go ahead and anser that. No. Matsuura Aya is one of if not the best vocalist from H!P and one of the most successful idols in general. She had charisma, a beautiful voice, a charming personality, and all the elements of the ideal idol. I personally don't think anyone could ever replace her... but that doesn't mean no one tries to. And this brings me back to Sashihara Rino, or my new nickname for her, Sasshi-desu. I wrote about her debut as a soloist a few weeks back and after that I found out something very interesting about her, or something she said. Unbeknownst to me, Sasshi-desu openly stated that she thought AKB would last for another 2 years tops before becoming defunct. This sparked controversy and criticism amongst AKB's wotas who condemned Sasshi-desu as "the negative idol". However, I had the opposite reaction. Along with that, Sasshi-desu also commented on her plans for the future and what she wanted to do once AKB stopped being relevant. I think it was very brave for her to say something like that out loud and I really respect her for having such a clear head. Sasshi-desu strikes me as the type of girl intelligent enough to know that her fame isn't going to last forever and while she should enjoy the moment, she should also plan for the future. Is that necessarily true? I have no idea, but Sasshi-desu still impresses me and gets my respect points.
Still... just because I respect her doesn't I respect her music. I watched a live performance of her debut single, Sore Demo Suki da yo, and the first thing that popped in to my mind was "Ayaya?"Is this even Sasshi-desu's? Because to me it really sounds like a scrapped Matsuura Aya single. Hell, it sounds like something Mano Erina
Matsuura Aya's crappy replacement would release. When I was first researching H!P I looked up a lot of Ayaya concerts and I just couldn't help but think about them when Sasshi-desu performed. The moves, the mannerisms, the audience participation, I felt like it had all been done before and done better. So is Aki-P planning to take Sasshi-desu in this cutesy, Ayaya-esque direction? Because I'm not okay with that. Unlike Mayuyu, who has a cuteness and creepiness that works to her advantage Sasshi... doesn't. During the live, I couldn't help but feel like Sasshi was rather awkward throughout her whole performance. I really didn't think the song worked to her advantage or her vocals hence it came out to me as more of an Ayaya-wannabe single. Even what she wore seemed like something pulled out of Ayaya's wardrobe from her early days! But as much I want to like this solo debut because I respect Sasshi do much... I just can't bring myself to. Who knows? Maybe the PV will change my mind! Or not... But what do you think? Sasshi, an Ayaya wannabe or an idol in her own right?
It could just be me over-analysing the situation as I love doing so much. But I'll definitely watch to see where the hell Aki-P's taking Sasshi.