Talk about unexpected. Of all the things happening in the world of H!P the one thing I absolutely was sure wasn’t happening for about another year is happening right now. (Well not right now. But at least announced now.) Morning Musume’s longest running leader, and co longest Morning Musume member ever, Takahashi Ai will be graduating from Morning Musume. Ai-chan will be graduating from Morning Musume and Hello! Projfect at Morning Musume’s 2011 fall concert.
I can honestly say I was completely thrown off guard by this shocking announcement. Yes, me. The girl that said in so many words, “Dear god when are Ai-chan and Risa leaving? I want some new blood. They’ve been members too long!” But even I cannot believe this. I completely 100% thought that 2011 would be the last year for Ai-chan. I thought she would let the 9th gen get settled in a bit. Have the 9nin Momusus release a single or two. Give Ai-chan a chance to really train the new members. Have a concert tour or two and then graduate. And that is exactly what Ai-chan is doing, because honestly that’s the logical thing to do. I said a few times that I wanted to see Ai-chan straight up pull a Yossie. And she completely is! In a way I should be happy. I made a nearly exact prediction and Ai-chan’s long overdue graduation is finally happening. I should be ecstatic, except I’m not. I am, of course, happy to see her graduate, but at the same time I am incredibly sad. Not sad for Ai-chan, but sad for Morning Musume.
With Takahashi Ai graduating here’s what Morning Musume will look like: Niigaki Risa- leader, Michishige Sayumi-sub leader, Tanaka Reina, Mitsui Aika, and the 9th gen. (Sayashi Riho, Suzuki Kanon, Ikuta Erina, and Fukumura Mizuki, just in case you forgot.) With the recent triple graduation Morning Musume has had a significant blow. They lost a main singer with Eri, and a potential main singer with LinLin. Now Morning Musume is going to lose, in my opinion, the best singer they have ever had. Losing Eri and Ai-chan means practically half the lines in songs are up for grabs. I’m going to guess that Eri’s lines will go to Sayumi just for seniority and nothing else. Which is horrible. Sayumi desperately wanted to take over Miki’s lines in Shanimuni Paraidise. Danced to it on a show proclaiming that! And they were obviously given to Eri. And why’s that? Because everyone knows she can’t sing. But now she’ll most likely take over her lines. Michishige “I literally beg for more lines in singles” Sayumi will now butcher Eri’s lines. And I’m going to guess Ai-chan’s lines will be taken over by Aika + 9th gen. (I really want to see Aika sing Eri’s lines though. :/) That or Ai-chan and Eri’s lines will be divided evenly between Sayumi, Aika, and the 9th gen. But who are we kidding? In Japan seniority rules, so Sayumi rules. Even more so because she’ll be the sub leader.
But Ai-chan’s lines aren’t the biggest problem/fear I have. Takahashi Ai is an extremely popular member. And we all know Eri was also an extremely popular member. I don’t know how Morning Musume is going to survive after losing 2 widely popular members practically one after another. I am certain this will be a gigantic blow for Morning Musume’s popularity. And we already know it’s dwindling. I am really not looking forward to seeing the sales for Morning Musume’s first Ai-chanless single. And you thought Mikan sold bad. Morning Musume really seems pretty hopeless right now. They really need to rise from the ashes, and soon!
But the absolute biggest worry I have from this is, Ai-chan is not only graduating from Morning Musume but also Hello!Project. I was so sure that when Ai-chan graduated she would obviously just float over to being one of their soloists. But her leaving H!P too makes me really concerned. It makes me think she’s going to pull a Goto Maki and sign with Avex. Which wouldn’t be a huge problem. I mean she’s getting older, has the voice for it, and would at least still be making music. But I just cannot imagine Ai-chan not being an idol anymore. She has this totally bubbly, cute idol aura about her. Even is she doesn’t have the personality to back it.
But not only that, this also means that Risa is not too far behind in graduating. Risa right now is like a ticking bomb. I give her about a year-a year and a half at most before her time too is up. I am SO not looking forward to an eventual Sayumi lead Morning Musume. The sheer horror of even imagaining it now!