It was announced at Hello!Project’s summer concert that 5th generation Morning Musume member, and current leader, Niigaki Risa will be graduating from Morning Musume and Hello!Project. She will be graduating at the end of Morning Musume’s spring tour, which wraps up on April 1st. After her graduation Risa intends to focus on acting in dramas as well as theater work.
I honestly don’t know what to say. When I first read that Risa was graduating my actual reaction was, “What. I was not expecting that at all.” And you know what? I honestly wasn’t. It seems everyone out there was waiting for and expecting this announcement. Call me stupid, but I seriously didn’t see Risa graduating until she absolutely had to. Risa is only 23 I thought we would honestly get about 2 more years from her and the 6th gen, considering how unstable the current line up is. But since this was Risa’s choice you can’t really go by what would be best for the group. I am really shocked by this, I obviously do not want Risa to leave the group. I don’t really say this enough in my blog, but Risa has always been one of my favorite members in Morning Musume. I really honestly love the girl. She seems to have so much love for Morning Musume, and she had to work extremely hard to be one of the main singer within the group. And because of that I have so much respect for her. I think Risa is incredibly charming, an all around great idol. Both her singing and performing are very powerful and incredible. To me Risa will always be the Korean loving, Disney freak, and reaction queen.
But you know through this all I am not really sad about this. For some reason I feel really calm and I pretty much accept that it’s her time to go. She’s been a member for 10 years, a front girl, and the leader, regardless of how briefly it was. You know, I saw this now, but no doubt I will be bawling through her graduation concert. If I even manage to get through it. Ai-chan wasn’t really my favorite, but there I was crying during the Suki na Senpai performance.
I do hope they give Risa a proper send off. People are already saying that Pyoko Pyoko Ultra is her graduation single, but I honestly don’t think it is. Pyoko Pyoko Ultra is being released January 25th, and Risa isn’t graduating until April 1st. They can totally squeeze out another single. When Ai-chan was graduating they squeezed out 3 singles and an album in 5 months.
This does leave me worried about Morning Musume’s future a bit. Graduations make me worried about any group. But the recent graduations and the next few graduations really worry me. Losing Ai-chan and Risa very close to one another is a big blow singing wise. They aren’t really any members in Morning Musume who can really take over the lines, or step up to the plate so to speak. None of the new members are really at a high enough singing level. Let’s be honest Zukki, Erina, Haruna can’t really sing at all. It will probably been a while before their voices are at a fairly decent level. Masaki and Ayumi had strong voices during the audition but they still need a bit of time to polish their voices. In Morning Musume we should ideally see Reina, Aika, Riho, Mizuki, and Haruka taking the main singing parts. While the other members have supporting roles. Depening on the song style Sayumi’s voice could work. Like it has in recent singles and album songs. But I doubt that will happen, it will probably just be more of shoving the most popular girls up front. While the good singers are over looked. Aika is more then capable to handle a decent amount of lines now. And don’t even get me statred on Mizuki. When she joined I thought she would immediately be a front girl because of her singing ability. Mizuki’s voice is a lot stronger than you’ve heard in Morning Musume. Go listen to Arigatou ~Ookiku Kansha~, epecially the live version, and tell me the girl’s voice isn’t great. But since Morning Musume is most likely taking a childish direction the songs are most likely going to be super high pitched, which would match the current member’s voices. And this also makes me think we’ll be seeing an 11th gen sooner than you think. I’d see the announcent could be as early as this fall.
But, anyway, good luck to Risa with her new career. It hurts to see her leave, but I do wish her the best. I look forwar to seeing her in a mess of dramas in the future.
Here’s a clip of Risa’s killing a song per usual.
And a clip that, no doubt, Risa has a blast filming.