A little over a week ago it was announced that Hello!Project’s sole soloist, Mano Erina would be graduating from Hello!Project. Mano Erina will graduate from Hello!Project on February 23, 2013 during H!P’s winter concerts. Erina stated her reason for graduating was so she could pursue her own potential and to broaden her abilities in singing and acting beyond what she has now.
This really is surprising news. I can honestly say I didn’t see it coming. I actually thought that ManoEri would stay with H!P for a while, because despite her singles not selling all that well she does get a decent amount of magazine work. I actually just recently said pretty much exactly that on H!O. I also said, “Because of that I doubt H!P would let her go anytime soon, so if she does graduate soon it will be because she wants to.” And of course I also said something about her only being 21 so she could be an idol for 4 or 5 more years. And I seriously must be cursed because everytime I say I don’t think an idol will graduate anytime soon, poof they announce their graduation. Weeks prior to Aika’s graduation I said on tumblr that people don’t realize Aika is only 19 and could still be an idol for 7 more years. And we all know how that went down.
I have to say, quite honestly, I am not that effected by ManoEri’s graduation because I wasn’t that big of a fan of hers. When I first heard the news I gasped and said, “Oh no.” That was honestly it. I’ve always had a love hate relationship with ManoEri, and I’ve had a lot of fun with her over the years. Saying that she looks like a rabbit and her singing voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard. All in good fun of course. But the truth is I did like her. I wasn’t and super huge fan, and I’m not going to claim to be because she’s graduating. I was always just a casual fan.
ManoEri started out in Ongaku Gatas which is another group I wasn’t that into. To be honest, I only listened to them because my beloved KonKon was a member. I remember thinking it was completely random to pull a memeber out of the group to go solo. But I gave her the benefit of doubt. However, when Mano Piano was released I was pretty much done. The chorus of that song was just so rough. Rough isn’t even a strong enough word. Let’s be honest, it was awful. After that I really didn’t listen to her solo stuff.
Once ManoEri went major I decided to give her another shot around the time her second single came out because I liked that it had a different sound and was more energetic. I actually liked it. But it still wasn’t enough for me. So I just became a fan who listened to her singles every once in a while.
It wasn’t until Genkimono de Ikou came out that I went, ok ManoEri is awesome. And after that I started to really like most of her past singles. But still just her singles. I think I’ve listened to her album songs a grand total of once. But I did start to follow her upcoming releases, which was more than I was doing before.
I’ve just realized that this entire post makes it seem like I don’t care at all she’s graduating. But that’s not the case. I do care, just not at the same level as someone like Aika or Koharu. I am still sad to see her go because I absolutely love Song For The Date, I think it was her best single ever in my opinion. I love the full on dance direction her music was going into with her past few singles and her More Friends Over album. It’s really a shame we won’t get to see what kinds of music she was going to make in the future. But since it’s August now I expect we’ll get 1 or 2 more singles and maybe even a final album before she graduates. I would have liked to here even more than that from her, but what are you gonna do?
I must also add, that losing an H!P girl is always a sad moment. Whether or not they are my favorites, there are always some reedeming quality about them. And with ManoEri it was her bright smile and who absolutely bubbly she was during concerts. I’m honestly going to miss that.
And as always, as a celebration to her, here are some of my favorite songs featuring ManoEri.