Kago-chan Turns 18

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

Kago Ai turns eighteen today. I’m both stunned and bemused at this. As much as I talk about W and the Tsujikago team growing up, eighteen pretty much brings that home. Of course, I only got into Morning Musume a couple years ago – but like many fans, I’ve had prolonged exposure to her early years, so it really feels like I’ve seen her grow up from her auditions at twelve to now.

She’s been at the idol business for a full third of her life now… and from the start, she was pretty damn great at it. I love her in Tanpopo, I love her in Minimoni, I love her Gackt imitations… one of my earliest exposures to Momusu was actually the “date” with Gackt where she tries to get him to do “Aaaiiinnn!”. This provokes Gackt into admitting, “Youth are scary.”

One thing that strikes me is that Kago’s now the age her mother was when she became pregnant with Aibon. (And Mom’s had several other kids since. Here’s a post from almost a year ago on W’s appearance on Sanma no Mamma and a follow-up that day about Kago’s family.) That’s quite striking to me, the difference in lifestyles from one generation to the next. This may be impending fatherhood talking, but having your kids doing better than yourself strikes me as the greatest gift one can pass along.

I doubt Kago’s parents envisioned their daughter would be dressing up in dinosaur outfits or exchanging marital decorative fingernails with another woman on television. But for that, we should be especially grateful. It’s the discretion of parents such as these which provide Jpop fans with hours of enjoyment.

As much as I love my U15 idols, Kago still has a special place in my heart and probably always will. My child may have her first name, after all, and I’ve got the Kago posters right above the desk on which I’m tapping away – one Kago, one W. (The Berryz calendar will be arriving in a few days…)

Her greatness helped make the fourth gen great in general, and she’s become the standard by which I can compare other idols. Can this idol be as kawaii and get away with it as Kago? (Okay, many of my favorite U15 can.) Is this idol as fun to watch as Kago? (Outside of Berryz and SweetS, few are.) Does this idol have the same chemistry as Kago has with Tsuji? (Very, very few do.) Can this idol be as funny and cutting as Kago? (Almost none are.)

So happy birthday, Aibon! Enjoy your new responsibilities with the H!P Kickball Team. Good luck on the next W single. Have a yummy birthday meal or two. Don’t get knocked up just yet, but otherwise enjoy your special day!

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4 Responses to “Kago-chan Turns 18”
  1. acetonic says:

    Aibon is great and Momusu is still reeling from the departure of Tsujikago in my opinion. I’m glad they have both maintained their since of fun despite hit the ripe old age (in idol years) of 18. I’m the guy who subbed that Gackt & Kago date skit 4 or 5 years ago. I’ve had so many people tell me that it was one of the things that got them hooked on H!P and or Aibon. I’m always amazed that one of my shortest, earliest projects still packs a punch!

  2. Tsuji_Eriku says:

    haha. Kago-chan no tanjobi desu ……I know what you mean, even though I am a relatively new fan I feel like I have seen her grow up through the years & KNOWN her forever watching the huge amount of material I have amassed over the year & a half or so I have been a fan of Momosu. My friends will tell ya I’m more of a Nono guy though. Happy birthday Aibon.

  3. acetonic:

    THANK YOU for the fansub, I’m obviously one of those who was helped along H!P fandom with that clip.

    Tsuji_Eriku:

    Yeah, one of the great things about H!P fandom is how you get a full sense of their history in a short amount of time. Why, just watching the H!P Kids blossom alone is amazing…

  4. CJ Marsicano says:

    Ah, Aibon, sweet Aibon… my how you’ve grown.