Monday, May 28, 2012

A Revised Prediction of the Senbatsu!

So the preliminary results for AKB48's 27th Single Senbatsu came out! And let me tell you, I'm pretty damn excited to see this year's results considering the pushing of come members (Mayuyu <3, Yui, and Sasshi) and the fact that Maeda Atsuko won't be in this year's election! The day they were announced I was waiting anxiously, wondering who'd get shafted and who'd climb the list like a snake! And now that they have come out, I've decided to revise my predictions because parts of it were severely off.

1. Oshima Yuko
2. Watanabe Mayu
3. Sashihara Rino (or Kashiwagi Yuki)
4. Kashiwagi Yuki (or Sashihara Rino)
5. Takahashi Minami
6. Shinoda Mariko
7. Matsui Rena (or Matsui Jurina)
8. Matsui Jurina (or Matsui Rena)
9. Itano Tomomi
10. Kojima Haruna
11. Yokoyama Yui
12. Miyazawa Sae
13. Minegishi Minami
14. Takajo Aki
15. Kitahara Rie
16. Umeda Ayaka

Happy Surprises

First of all, can I say how happy I am that Umechan actually has a chance of being in this year's Senbatsu? In my first post, I listed her as one of the girls I wanted to be in the Senbatsu but didn't think would get in! But to think she'd finally be out of Undergirls for once and in an AKB single because she's popular is just so... AMAZING! Higher up on the list, I'm extremely happy that Mayuyu, the Creeper of AKB48, is at #3! How awesome is it that she climbed her way up to the Top 3!? Now all she has to do is climb past Yukirin and two of my favorite front girls will have the top 2 spots!! By the way, Mayuyu will overtake Yukirin; I just know it! They're incredibly close in votes and with all the pushing Mayuyu's getting it's bound to happen! Then the reign of Mayuyu and Yuko will BEGIN! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Eh heh... yeah. Can you tell I want Mayuyu to be the new front girl of AKB yet? Mayuyu and Yuko are just awesome and practically made to dominate over the AKB girls! Speaking of Yuko, it's nice to know she'll get to be center again but I'm hoping for a single/music video that little less awkward than Heavy Rotation. Seriously.

I'm also happy that Matsui Jurina and Matsui Rena are climbing the list! If the results match the prelims they could both be in the Kami8! How amazing is that? But I'm still a little worried about Jurina; she's really stretching herself thin. I have friends her age that do half the amount of stuff she does and they're already stressed out so I can't imagine how much pressure she has on her head right now. Another member who's climbing up the AKB totem pole is Yui. I know a lot of people are pretty divided about her and her frequent pushing but personally I think she's pretty cool! I saw her Honmayan sketches on Bimyou and that was what won me over; she's really funny and has this sort of deadpan snarker air about her. If she's going to be one of the new front girls I'm pretty okay with that! It's also nice to see Mariko and Takamina still in the Kami8 even though I wish Takamina was a bit higher but I'll take what I can get! Overall, there's only one person that really surprised me when I saw the top 10. It's pretty much the same people from last year; they're just all in different positions! Speaking of that...

Unhappy Surprises

Sasshi. Okay, I do like Sasshi. I just don't want her so high up on the list. I think it's mostly because I absolutely loathe her voice and her solo debut single but she doesn't seem... right so high up on the list. Call me traditional or whatever, but I'd rather have another member like Rena or Takamina in that position. But then I guess it doesn't bother me too much... just as long as she's not in the Top 3 at the end. Speaking of the Top 3, I also don't want Yuki at #2. I mean, I really don't want Yuki at #2. I was pretty okay with her being at #3 last year because she was still fantastically overshadowed by Acchan and Yuko. But if she gets that high then she'll get more exposure and might get pushed (unless the management still continues to shaft her). And like Sasshi, I just can't see Yukirin being that high. I said this in my Arama comment, but Yukirin's like that really awkward friend everyone has that's constantly shoved at the end of group pictures because no one know what the hell to do with her. I think behind that awkward smile, she really has no idea what she's doing here and neither do we; I never imagined she'd get so high on the list. I'm just hoping that she and Mayuyu will switch places so that Mayuyu may dominate over the group with her magnificent Creeper Smile!

Another unhappy surprise for me was the fact that a lot normal front girls and some of my favorite members are all very, very down on votes. First of all my biggest complaint: why the hell is Akimoto Freaking Sayaka at #32? I have half a mind to march (or swim?) over to Japan and buy 5000 copies of the singles just to vote for her like that creepy stalker guy did! Actually... no. I need that money for college. But I'm very, very disappointed that the bestest member of AKB48 is even getting shafted by the fans now. I really, really wanted her to at least be center in Undergirls but now I don't think she'll even get that honor. Well, at least Kasai Tomomi has a chance of being center even if she is getting kicked out of Senbatsu. In fact, I noticed a lot of the normal Undergirls were being shafted in favor of SKE/NMB members. Like Yamamoto Sayaka and Watanabe Miyuki are both at the top of the Undergirls rankings while members like Sato Sumire aren't even in the list. And I hate the Wasamin and Reina are fantastically low too, though I should be grateful they even made it on the list. But still, I wish they'd at least made it into Undergirls. Why is it I always get attached to the unpopular members? It never turns out well in the end...

The front girls have it a little better I suppose. Even though Harunyan's down from her rank last year she was at that #10 for the prelims last year and bounced back up to #6! So I'm not particularly worried about her. I think the member who has the most to worry about Tomochin. Poor Tomochin. From #4 to #8 last year and now from #8 to #9. I really don't see why she's fallen out of favor so quickly with the wotas; even though personally I can't stand her voice everything else about her I really like. She has a sweet personality, she's cute as a button, and she's pushed very well by the management. She has several solo singles so why are members like Sasshi getting higher rankings than her? It's really quite the enigma to me. It's just weird because Mayuyu and Sasshi were both pushed just as much as she was but they're ranked much higher. Odd. I have this horrible feeling Tomochin's popularity is starting to wane. Oh well... at least I still have Mayuyu! Some other members like Kitarie and Sae are down a bit but I don't really care about them. But Miichan... please, please, please let Miichan stay in the Senbatsu! She prelims show her #15 and if she gets lower... I don't even want to think about it. If Sayaka can't be in the Senbatsu then at least let Miichan grace them with her hyperactive, awesome presence!

Well there you have it! The Senbatsu really is a double-edged sword to me because as fun as it is to watch it, I still feel bad for the girls who get low votes and must beat themselves up over it. Well, I suppose I shouldn't take these results too seriously considering it's only 10% of the actual first day votes but I think it still shows which members are more favored and gives a good idea of what may or may not change when the real Senbatsu comes out. Only time will tell but one thing is for certain: on June 6 I can assure you some shit's going down in the wotasphere.

And if Miichan's booted out of the Senbatsu by some SKE/NMB members I don't care about...

Yep. That GIF sums up my reaction pretty well.

More Momosu Madness!

When Ai left and PyokoPyoko YuckYuckYuck came out, I had this horrible feeling that Morning Musume would get into this cruel cycle where they had one good single then one bad single. Here's what I thought of each single after the 9th Generation joined:

Maji Desu ka Ska! - good
Only You - bad
Kono Chiyuu/Kare to Issho - good
PyokoPyoko YuckYuckYuck - BAD
Renai Hunter - good

If the pattern continues, then their next single is going to suck. At least that's what I thought. But I also had to factor in this would be Momosu's 50th single and a double A-side. Then I assumed "Great. A repeat of Ai's graduation single." The single is titled One Two Three/The Matenrou Show so I couldn't exactly tell much from the titles; I think Matenrou Show will be in the same style as Kare to Issho which is okay because I love that song. But I was still looking on with a wary eye because I didn't know how they hell they were going to go without a good vocalist (or you know, someone in the group who can actually sing but just isn't used). So on we went to their 50th single! So naturally because this is their 50th single, I expect some effort from Tsunku and UFA this time. Don't disappoint me. And so far... things are looking pretty good! The girls performed the first A-side, One Two Three, at the Girl's Awards Spring/Summer Festival 2012 and it was pretty freaking awesome! Much better than anything I had expected! Earlier this week I had seen the outfits previews and when I first saw them I actually thought they looked good! But upon further inspection I realized they're kind of... well... slutty. I just get a little creeped out when I see 12-year old Haruka rocking a boob-squeezing white corset (she's too young to even have cleavage!). But everyone still looked very good; flattering hairstyles, good makeup, and they're not chicken costumes!

The song itself is pretty decent; I definitely didn't see this coming from Momosu considering the only styles they'd had are cutesy/happy and serious/sexy. I'm all for electro-Momosu even if that trend is a little outdated at this point! I will say, I think it was best to go with a more electro-style tune for this song, because you can Autotune all the vocals to hell and it won't sound like an awkward attempt to hide the weak vocals MM has right now! I have to admit, I'm actually fairly surprised at how unfazed I am by the vocals. Usually I'm rather OCD when it comes to vocal ability but for once I'm thinking "YEAH! 95% of you sound like Autotuned cats but who cares!? You sound AWESOME!" The only part I don't really like is the painfully distorted "wow wow"s; they just sound very shrieky. Wait a minute! Shrieky vocals? Gee, I wonder who's singing them... could it be... RIHO? Probably. I'm getting to the point where I just don't care. I'm also a little disappointed at the line distribution too; I mean, you have ten girls and you only use three of them frequently? I guess I should be grateful that everyone at least gets a solo line (more like one syllable...) but it still bothers me that this is how their fiftieth single will look. But at least I can still hope the Matenrou Show will have better line distribution... let's see how long that hope lasts before it's crushed by the boot of UFA! Despite that little flaw (and a couple other nitpicky things) overall, the song really isn't that bad! Dare I say it's... pretty good? It's about on the same level as Renai Hunter for me so that's a plus! And it's catchy! And I'm always up for electro songs with a ton of energy behind them!

Well Momosu, you have a decent song. An okay dance. Now let's see if you can try not to royally fuck up the PV for this song! Good luck UFA! I eagerly await your decision.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Oh Hai 11th Generation Auditions!

Woo hoo! It's that time of year again! More auditions! Hopefully, these will be the only auditions I'll have to write about (UFA, if you do 3rd Gen. S/mileage auditions I will strangle you) That means lots of happiness, sadness, hope, and most importantly rage from all the other bloggers who are enthusiastic about the 11th Generation auditions! Even I'm excited at the prospect of seeing everyone get fantastically pissed off when their favorite auditioner doesn't get in! But... is another audition really the best thing for Momosu? On the surface, it does. Even I'm excited for another audition coming in the next few months. But I also have to think from an analytical standpoint this audition is like a wild card and can go either way. So... I think the best way to approach this is from a rational and grounded perspective. Hence I've decided to sort out the pros and cons of more members being added to Morning Musume.

Le Pros

More people! Woo hoo! I think the announcement of 11th Gen. auditions pretty much confirms UFA's plan to cram as many new members into MM before Sayu and Reina's inevitable departure! That way after 2-3 of building up certain members and letting everyone else languish in the back (think of Mitsui Aika times eight) Reina and Sayu can graduate with Momosu remaining stable with a new group of members to take the reins! So yeah! Woo hoo! But this time I've decided to be picky about what I want in the 11th Gen. For 9th, I was just getting into MM and didn't really pay attention to the auditions and for 10th I just didn't care. But this time, I've resolved to follow this closely and try my best not to develop any biases because that usually just ends in me throwing a pencil/pillow/history book across the room in frustration when they don't get in. And it will happen. So this time I have a plan! I will give what I want to see in the whole generation and not latch on to just one auditioner! For this generation, I really want it to be mostly talent because Momosu really needs some right now. With Gaki gone and the only people who are remotely decent singers being Reina and Fuku they need better vocals than Sayu the Shrieking Cat and Riho the Shrieking Spoon. And Ayumi's kinda creepy. She can't sing either. But I also want a generation that will add to the group and not just be an awkward addition to Momosu.

In other words: I want an ace. I want another Goto Maki. Do you know what that means? I want Miyamoto Karin.

That's right bitches! I KNOW I'm fabulous!

I mean, seriously. Why haven't they done something with her yet!? I don't believe the whole "saving her for later" crap because if it was true, we've been way too long! Karin's the whole package: great voice, great personality, great looks, so why isn't she in MM yet!? I really want Karin to audition for the 11th generation and if she does, I really want her to get in. I think she could be Momosu's "ace." I'm going against popular opinion, but Riho is not an ace. Neither is Ayumi. They're both fine or mediocre but they just don't do much for the group. I blame management but if they're going to push someone I want them to push Karin! After listening to her solo song and seeing her S/mileage auditions (which by the way, that pissed me off too, UFA) I can't wrap my head around the fact that something hasn't been done with her! She's cute as a button, has a great singing voice (especially for a 13-year old), and she can dance! I probably just hate the fact that for the first time, I was really pulling for an auditioner that didn't get in even though she obviously should have. And I guess I'm also a little worried the same is going to happen with the 11th Gen. auditions: someone awesome will audition and she'll get shafted. I just know it's going to happen. For 10th it was Sara.  For S/mileage it was Karin. But I'm really hoping this time, Tsunku and UFA do something right and get an ace that really is an ace and isn't forced into the position!

Le Cons

More people. Dammit. I suppose from a more critical standpoint, there are already a boatload of members in Morning Musume. Granted they're not the size of AKB48 or anything (but hey, they hold a Guinness Freaking World Record so no one is) but it's still a pretty decent crowd. So... is it really necessary? My view point is that a lot of members as is good long as you know who the hell is who. And the only two members with a lot of recognition/seniority are Sayu and Reina. The other girls still have to build up their fanbases. Well, except for Riho because UFA basically handed it to her on a silver platter delivered by unicorns. But I digress. I just don't know how having of bunch of relatively unknown girls in Momosu is going to make them sell well. I suppose they're trying to make up for the lack of older members but it's not like they can all get their own little cult of wotas overnight. These things take time unless you're Goto Maki or Abe Natsumi. If you look at the past songs and history of MM a lot of the front girls we know and love today weren't as popular as they are now. So will certain members get recognized over time? Yes, but it takes time. There are some exceptions though and it seems one of two factors is what helps idols

A. Genuine talent (ex: Abe Natsumi, Goto Maki, Takahashi Ai)
B. Personality (Yaguchi Mari, Ishikawa Rika, Kusumi Koharu, Michishige Sayumi)
C. The undying love and persistent devotion of UFA (Tanaka Reina, Sayashi "I'm So Bored at the Front" Riho)

Okay, not really that last one but note that only one of those is possessed by each of the people I mentioned. Mari, Rika, Koha, and Sayu are all hilarious and brought a bunch of quirky insanity to shake up Momosu but none of them could sing. Especially Koharu. But that girl is hilarious. And Nacchan, Maki and Ai all have great voices and stage presence but offstage... well, Maki's the one that comes closest to any personality but none of them stand out in terms of personality as much as the former girls I mentioned. And right now, Sayu stands out the most from a personality standpoint and in terms of talent everyone else kind of sucks. True, some are better than others but they all have a long way to go to improve and reach a level of talent or personality to be recognized as a staple to Momosu. And their personalities are also not quite very memorable. Like at all. But I can understand that; they're all in middle school. Do you remember how you acted when you were in middle school? Think hard. Did you act like an immature, stupid moron? I know I did! Hell, I'm in high school and I still feel stupid! But at least my stupid antics aren't broadcast and scrutinized by a legion of (mostly) middle-aged old men judging every move I make and everything I say. Naturally, most of them don't know how to act to please their demographic so most of them just come off as awkward. Except Eripon and Kanon. But UFA shafts them anyways so I've given up on them ever receiving recognition.

But anyways, if you take the 9th or 10th generations and add another group just like them to the mix of Momosu members right now what do you get? More awkward preteens/teenagers! Yay? Unless they find a mind-blowingly good ace like Maki or Nacchan, I just don't see this audition as very necessary because once Reina and Sayu do leave (and I can assure you, that won't be for awhile) I think these new members right now will be ready to keep MM going without their help. But if this 11th generation just bogs down the age gap and awkwardness even more, their addition might hurt Momosu more than help them. The best thing for the group would be a generation of trained, talented individuals who can stand out and carry the group. In other words: the H!P Eggs. Yes, I'm bringing them up again because something has to be done with them! Especially Karin. But I've already heaped praise on her so I'll try to stay on point. It would just be nice if they could pull another Fujimoto Miki and add someone who's already in H!P and not an inexperienced individual who may or may not help the group. So put those Eggs to use already!

Well, pros and cons aside I'll definitely be keeping an eye on the Momosu lineup. I smell another graduation. From what group, I'm not even sure; It might not even be Momosu. But I still think another mind-blowing graduation announcement is coming. But time will tell.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

6 Graduations I Will Truly Dread

Well, it's done. The double graduation of Morning Musume's 5th Gen. member Niigaki Risa and 8th Gen. member Mitsui Aika is finally over with. As I've said before, I have a combination of sympathy but acceptance for Gaki's graduation and 100% apathy for Aika. But I also feel like this was necessary, almost a relief there's going to be some more "out with the old, in with the new" for Momosu. So overall... these graduations really aren't affecting me much. Neither member was my absolute favorite of Momosu (though I admit Gaki was pretty awesome) and I'm getting to the point where I think MM needs to graduate its older members so Tsunku will be forced to give someone besides Riho solo lines! But Nia! the hypothetical you I'm using for this scenario says That's so mean! How would you feel if it was one of YOUR favorite members and someone was acting like you are? Actually... that would really suck. And I do understand how fans of Gaki/Aika are feeling about this and I'm thankful one of my favorite idols isn't graduating. Yet. I kept thinking about graduations and how they'd affect the groups I know and love. And the more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that just because my favorites aren't graduating now eventually they'll have to. Whether it be from age, unpopularity, or just wanting to move on to something else they can't live to entertain the fans forever... unless that idol's Hatsune Miku but I'll deal with her later. 

So even though I won't mourn for Gaki or Aika, these are the ones I will mourn for when the time comes. I only have six but they all mean a lot to me and I'll hate to see them go. Here it is: six graduations I will truly dread.

Akimoto Sayaka

Oh, noble, beautiful 23 year old Sayaka. Why does the management enjoy shafting you so? Without a doubt, my favorite member of AKB48 is Akimoto Sayaka. I think she's a great captain, her skits on AKBingo and other TV shows are hilarious, she has a beautiful, deep singing voice, and she speaks very good English! So maybe one day she'll happen to come to the east side of the USA again to grace us with her presence! And she's also very devoted to the group and her team, one of the reasons why she's the perfect captain for Team K. And also the reason why I'll be dreading her graduation. I know that as time goes by and since that scandal she's probably never going to be in the regular Senbatsu again (as much as I want her to). As much as that sucks, I'll keep my ranting to a minimum. Because of her constant shafting, she might not even make it into the 27th Senbatsu Single this year (but I'm praying for her to be the glorious center of the Undergirls). And that makes me worry if her graduation out of the group is coming soon. I hope not but if so... I still have Miichan! So take THAT Aki-P!

Watanabe Mayu

Mayuyu!! Adorable yet creepy, Mayuyu with her Creeper Smile and voice that sounds like she swallowed a gallon of helium. Please don't graduate any time soon! Or ever. I'm really banking on the idea of her being the new front girl for AKB based off the PV for Manatsu no Sounds good! and hopefully a high spot (like #2-3) for her in the next Senbatsu elections! I think this graduation's probably the one I have to worry about least considering Mayuyu's only 18 and can use her Creeper Smile to hypnotize Aki-P into keeping her in AKB FOREVER! Mwahaha!!! Yeah... but the day she leaves is not going to be a happy day for me. But hey, I'll still have Miichan and Yuko and Yui's starting to grow on me and I'll have Takamina as good ol' Team A captain. Speaking of Takamina...

Takahashi Minami

I have to say, of all the "popular" members of AKB48, Takamina's probably my favorite. Partially because she seems like a sweet, gullible person with an overall nice personality and she has a really good voice to  boot! But the best part about her is that she's a really great captain of Team A and an even greater leader of AKB48. Okay, it's not official or anything but don't deny that Takamina rules the group with her iron ponytail! Or something like that! In my opinion she's one of the best group leaders even outside of the 48 family. So I really don't want her graduating soon. I just think it's not very often that we see someone who's so devoted to the group that she's willing to tough it out through both the bad times (a.k.a. before the group was popular) and still be so humble that she and her group have gotten so far. The day Takamina leaves, is probably the day my interest in Team A (and AKB48 in general) probably goes down. Because honestly, I can't see anyone else leading them but Takamina. Adorable, short, sweet Takamina. May you lead them until the day they disband.

The Hello! Project Kids

I've said before how I have this slightly irrational fear that Berryz Koubou and/or C-ute will be graduating some time soon. From a rational standpoint, it's unlikely to happen now considering they're not terribly old and C-ute last single is now the best-selling single to come from the H!P Kids' discography. But I still believe it's going to happen soon. Not this year, but maybe in the next 2-4 years. Sort of the point where everyone's in their 20s and looking to do bigger and better (or smaller and non-idoly) things. After all, they can't stay in H!P forever and right now they have the more seniority than the current members of Morning Musume. I really think that's saying something for how long they've stuck around. And during that time it's been cool to see how they've grow from awkward little girls into beautiful women which will only make their graduation more nostalgic and heartfelt. But I still won't be looking forward to the day they all graduate.

Michishige Sayumi

All hail Queen Sayu! Yes. I've been waiting anxiously for the day Sayu finally begins her terrifyingly awesome reign over Morning Musume! I just hope that reign isn't as short as Gaki's was. I think right now with all these new members (and even more new girls coming in soon, which I'll talk about later) Morning Musume needs a good captain that knows how to deal with all these squeaky little preteen girls. And I can't think of anyone else better than Sayu. She's cute, funny, can't sing worth a damn, but has a personality that cliques well with a lot of the younger members. And trust me, unless UFA's going for the awkward preteen stereotype for Momosu, the group needs someone who can guide all these girls into blossoming and carry the torch, so to speak. And I think the person who has been destined to do so is Sayu! I think of all the future graduations on here, hers will probably be the closest but hopefully not too close! I want at least 1-2 years for Sayu to rule the group with an iron fist so she can let Fuku lead the group forward at 16 or 17. But still... I really do dread the day she leaves. Even if she can't sing, Sayu's probably the girl with the most personality in Momosu right now (or at least the one who's least afraid to show it). Who knows? Maybe Eripon will follow in her footsteps!


Everyone has to die someday

That's one of the lyrics to my favorite Perfume song and I think it sums up pretty well how I feel about my favorite members graduating. I know it's coming, but it's still going to hurt. And the one that's going to be hardest on me is Perfume. I suppose that's pretty obvious considering I haven't been shy of pouring my absolute love for them in nearly every post on this blog. Mostly because they're awesome and can do no wrong- see, I'm fangirling again! But amazingness aside, I don't think I can emphasize how much Perfume means to me. From their music to the personalities to seeing them go so far it's been great to see them blossom into such a great unit with great music and dances and everything! The great thing is that they've together for so long, through both the good and the bad times. To think that one day they'll have to set all that aside and move on with their lives makes me very sad. I wish they could go one forever, making music and smiling but it's true. Everyone has to die someday. Just so I don't sound creepy, that lyrics is from their song Edge. But you get the point: they can't last forever. But like the other entries in this list, I hope they last a pretty damn long time.

Just so I don't sound completely heartless, I am sad two girls are graduating but I just don't care enough about them to write about it... Bye!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Well Well Well...

Am I the only one completely okay with this?

Today I got home from school to find out some interesting news: 8th Generation Morning Musume member Mitsui Aika would be graduating alongside Niigaki Risa on May 18. And so all the blogs I've read are posting heartfelt, deeply thoughtful posts about how much they've adored and how H!P is totally screwed without her. They've been quite nice to read and are making me feel increasingly guilty for the apathetic approach I'm taking to this announcement. Seriously, my first reaction was "Okay?"

So yeah. Should I feel bad that I feel absolutely no sadness or regret that Aika is graduating so suddenly without a proper graduation? Well, yeah. At least that would be the polite and correct thing to do. But honestly? I feel nothing toward this graduation. It's not Sayu. It's not Eripon. It's not Riho. There's just no level of emotion that I have toward a member like Aika graduating. I'm not ecstatic to see her go but I'm sure as hell not completely devastated about it. That's just kind of member Aika has always been to me: that one member I literally don't care about. I know she's there, I know she sings (occasionally), and I know she got in even though Kikkawa Yuu or Sato Sumire would have been freakin awesome but other than that I can't care about her. I think it's because I know that there's really no point by now. The thing is, I started to getting into Momosu around late 2010. It was around mid-2011 that Aika started having foot problems and ceased to appear in dance shots and was generally left out of the group with the exception of a boatload of MCs I don't understand. From my point of view I didn't see why I should get invested in someone who was so disconnected from the group. And yes, I know she was featured a teensy bit more in their past songs but I wasn't around for that. I didn't personally follow the 8th Generation auditions and feel that thrill of Aika getting in or the ecstasy when she first sang her solo in Egao YES Nude. Sure, I can look at those performances but it's just not the same. As I've said numerous times, the reason I have such a strong love of Perfume is because I followed them when they were getting successful and felt like I could see them grow and blossom into the wonderful group they are today. I never saw Aika blossom. In fact, even looking at their past concerts, I never really saw her grow in general. I'm sure she but I just never noticed her.

Anyways, she had foot problems and her days in Momosu were obviously numbered. But even I honestly didn't think it would be this soon. I pinpointed her graduation date around September or even October this year. Definitely not this early and definitely not shoved into Gaki's big graduation that was actually supposed to be alongside Ai even though Gaki decided to be a good sport and stick it out to dress up as a Peeps Marshmallow treat and then have her own epic sendoff. Even I could agree that they each need to have their own day in the limelight and I just know Gaki's going to overshadow Aika because she's been in Momosu for so long, she was leader for a short time, and she's totally awesome. Aika is... not. At least not on stage. Behind the scenes she seemed a little more interesting but not enough for me to care about her. I also heard she was a good mentor to the new members but once again, I do not care. I simply do not care. Do you see my point? But I'm not surprised. Up-Front is notorious for shafting various members like Makoto, Junjun, Linlin, even Rika. And they never seemed to keen on promoting Aika. And why not? After all, she's just there. She doesn't bring the group down but she sure as hell isn't leading it forward either. She's that one member who will forever be in the back, forever in the shadows, forever getting less solos than squeaky 13 year olds. And I was okay with that. For the fiftieth time, I don't care about her. It's a terrible I know, but it's true. To put it in perspective... think of extras in a play. You know they're there but you don't really focus on them because the main characters are busy having their big moment on the stage. I know what it's like to be in the back; maybe not in an idol group but in other situations. And I have an idea of how that must feel to be stuck in that position for years and years while young members than you get pushed to the front after being in the group for one song. It's frustrating and it makes you want to just quit doing what you love because you feel like you're not getting anywhere with it. And who knows? Maybe that was how Aika felt. Maybe this was her decision and she decided for herself that she had given everything she could to Momosu but they couldn't give everything to her so she's jumping ship. Maybe UFA decided for her; I'll probably never know. But I do know what it's like to be in the same position she's in and I can understand her reasons for wanting to graduate as much as it may hurt for her small but devoted fanbase.

Well... it was fun, now it's done. Aika fans... you'll just have to find a new favorite member. I recommend Eripon. Or Zukki. Or Haruka. And look on the bright side! She'll still be in H!P! Even though my guess is they'll probably forget about her just like they did after those first few singles she was in... Eh heh... Here, have a pretty Aika picture!

So long Aika! Thanks for... existing in Momosu!

So... does this mean Queen Fuku is one step closer to her reign over MM?