Konno and Ogawa To Graduate This Summer

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

Hm. I was talking about waiting for the other shoe to drop, for some piece of news that will frazzle my otaku nerves and leave me upset…

This isn’t it.

I’m amused at this highly unexpected turn, a little sad to see Mako-chan go, but otherwise this is a decision I can live with. As a result, the conspiracy theorist and paranoid in me still suspects that there is horrible news lurking, waiting to be announced. (One worst case scenario: Berryz has another graduation of its own this year. That I can’t live with.)

The news can be found at ikimasshoi, as always. A translation of the statements from Konno, Makoto, and Tsunku are in the thread about this topic at the MM-BBS.

Anyway, I may have some more to say later but here’s some initial thoughts:

They’re out of Hello! Project and not just graduating. This hasn’t happened in Morning Musume since Sayaka… back before Gen Five even joined. This will be an odd sensation in some ways, knowing they’ll be completely out of the picture.

Two more lost to education! The reasons for Konno and Ogawa leaving are at least admirable – Konno is going on to university, Ogawa to study abroad. The list of idols lost to common sense grows… And hey, what if Mako-chan studies at UH Manoa? That’d be something.

I kind of predicted this. Okay, not predicted exactly, but these are two of the three I figured had little future as musical pop idols post-Musume in my Chokkan 2 round-up… The third was Sayumi, but if she follows a Rika-like track then she’s okay for now.

Miki was hosed. Dammit, at least give her a solo career again! That said, the lost of two fifth gen – even those who weren’t as musically important to the group as these were – means she’ll be around for at least another year.

Meanwhile, seventh gen’s star is on the rise. The same month as Konno’s graduation, Kusumi will be releasing her solo debut. Mildly ironic, and we’ll see if this’ll prove Koharu’s miracle girl status… but that’s just further proof that Miki was hosed.

So does this mean new auditions? Hm. Auditions become more interesting since if they go with the usual twelve- and thirteen-year olds, the group will resemble Berryz Koubo more and more. But if they go with older girls, they won’t have the same chance of molding the talent and idol persona as easily as with younger girls… And God help me if they decide to poach from Berryz (most likely Miyabi), that would be devastating.

Eight is a manageable number, though… It’d be nice to see the line-up stay as it is now. For one thing, the singing talent is pretty solid at this juncture – especially with Miki getting hosed and still in the group. For another thing, it’s the same number as the original line-up of “Love Machine”. And perhaps most important of all, the group have a better chance to differentiate themselves as individuals, which has been a problem as of late.

Having written all this, it seems like I’m more of a Mikitty and Berryz fan than a Momusu fan. I think that’s accurate. I’m hoping a leaner Momusu line-up may mean the group will be re-invigorated and that I will be excited by them again.

But mark my words: this isn’t the end of the shake-ups and changes. There’ll be more news announced before the start of summer…


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8 Responses to “Konno and Ogawa To Graduate This Summer”
  1. Dennis Bovell says:

    “And hey, what if Mako-chan studies at UH Manoa?”

    Oh boy, that was my first thought. I’m hoping to transfer there next Spring to study Japanese. If Mako-chan winds up there, my head would explode. I can dream can’t I? =P

  2. CJ Marsicano says:

    Sure makes me want to go back to college 😉

  3. Alice says:


  4. Chuck says:

    And thus ends a brilliant potential career as a gravure idol.

  5. Drew says:

    This makes me sad. =(

    Konkon! ;_;xalot

  6. Johnny says:

    Just when I’m starting to like Makoto more…this happens.

    Darn it.

  7. Chuck says:

    On the other hand, I guess we now know two of the Musumes who said they wouldn’t do it all over again if they had the chance. Five more to go and then we know who’s actually had a good time dancing for a bunch of otaku dudes. (Yeah, I’m still kind of curious about that.)

  8. kagofeet says:

    So sad seeing Konno and Makoto go. I heard somewhere down the grapevine that Miyabi of Berryz might be joining MoMusu. That is if there’s any Momusu left after all this.