A completely shocking and unexpected announcement, that honestly feels like a punch to the stomach, was made today on S/mileage’s official website. The announcment was that the youngest member, Ogawa Saki, will be graduating from both S/mileage and Hello!Project. Ogawa Saki will be graduating on August 27th without an official graduation concert. Her official reason for leaving is wanting to be a normal junior high student.
I don’t even know what to say. I am honestly at a loss for words and am literally on the verge of tears. Saki was never my favorite member. That top spot always was, and always will be, reserved for Kanon. But lately I’ve been growing more and more attached to this cute and gluttonous girl. I have always loved Saki’s voice though. She’s in the top 2 singers in S/mileage. Her voice isn’t perfect, but you could tell that it had the potential to develope into something great.
And suddenly the S/mileage auditions make a lot more sense. When they were first announced I thought it was done merely because Tsunku saw the potential in them to become a long lasting, revolving door idol group like Morning Musume. But it turns out that Tsunku was freaking out when Saki asked to graduate and had hastily announced the auditions. Just by the fact that Tsunku used the word hastily, makes me think that auditions weren’t always S/mileage’s game plan. Or if they were, he hadn’t expected to hold until years down the road. Some bloggers out there had even said where there’s auditions, there’s graduations. But I just brushed those comments off as fans overanalyzing the situation more than I was. But in all honesty, I brushed them off because I didn’t want to think like that. S/mileage for me, since day one, has always been incredible. They haven’t really dissapointed me yet. Which is rare for an idol group.
I don’t know what to make of this. Saki wasn’t my absolute favorite member, but that doesn’t really make this announcment any less painful. It’s always sad to see an idol graduate. Like I’ve said before, it honestly feels like you’re losing a friend. This person doesn’t know you, but you know so much about them, so there’s a bond between you. Even if it is a one-sided bond. With Saki I just started to like her, so the bond wasn’t really that strong. But now that she’s leaving, it feels like I’ve wasted a lot of time. And it really makes me sad that I’ll never get the chance to become a bigger fan of hers. (And this oddly reminds me of aMa no Jaku. XD)
I do wonder how this announcment will affect the new members. Even though Saki told Tsunku she wanted to leave 1 month before the new member auditions, it still feels like there could be so some animosity towards the new members from Saki wota. For the mere fact that their beloved Sakitty is gone, and in her place are random newbies. That, or it could help the new members. With Saki leaving, I’m sure all the Saki wota have a void to fill. Maybe they’ll fill it with a new member.
But there an aspect I don’t like about this whole situation. Why isn’t she getting an official graduation concert? Did she want to leave so badly she couldn’t even handle one more S/mileage concert tour? Every member of H!P that graduates, who isn’t leaving because of a scandal, gets a graduation concert. Even Ishimura Maiha, who I think is seriously the only H!P member to legitimately leave to continue their studies, had a graduation concert. I’m not saying I think Saki was in a scandal, because I honestly don’t. But I just don’t understand why this was announced 3 days before the date of her graduation, without a proper send off event. It doesn’t make any sense at all.
But right now none of that matters. As the shock, sadness, and overall numbness kick in, I can only think about the happy times. Right now all I can think of is Saki crying when the members of S/mileage were announced. Her being full of energy after finishing her practice for the S/mileage and C-ute joint concert. Her always overeating. And most of all her smiling face. That apparently had been hiding feelings of longing for a normal life, but her smile never faltered. Which adds to the unexpectedness of this announcment. But, idols never really show that they are graduating in their faces. Even if their graduating was planned for months ahead.