Maybe It’s Time To Let Aibon Go…

Filed in American Wota 1.0

This is going to end up at least slightly convoluted, as my nerves are frayed yet again by Hello! Project drama. Please take everything I say with a huge grain of salt…

First heard the news from Jinryuichi of Hello Non-Pro Hour – Kago Ai’s been caught in another scandal, this time going to an onsen resort with a married man twice her age. It isn’t Friday to break this but Gendai – though the editor of that magazine was the editor of Friday when the Kago smoking scandal was broken last year…

Already, there’s rumors that Kago’s been dismissed by UFA. Considering how quickly Megukami was booted for just having a boyfriend – never mind an adulterous rendezvous with undertones of mutual nakedness – I’m willing to believe that such a firing is a fait accompli. Whether or not Kago is actually guilty of anything is beside the point – the appearance of impropriety in the midst of recovering from an earlier scandal is just too much for the strangely purity-obsessed management of Hello! Project.

A lot of people are probably asking, “What was Aibon thinking?”. She probably wasn’t, of course, but I think that makes it more compelling: she didn’t care enough to protect her reputation as an idol. She had other priorities that outweighed it. Whether or not those priorities are what fans or her managers or her fellow H!P girls share is beside the point – she obviously thought the risk was worth it. Apparently, there’s also rumors circulating on 2ch that Kago did not want to go back to her idol life in the first place, that she wanted to settle down and get married. If this is true – and that’s a huge if – that only proves the point that she has other priorities, and perhaps – just perhaps – she’s either purposely or unconsciously sabotaging her comeback.

The notion that she wants out in order to settle down has the ring of truth to me: after all, I wrote about her parents marrying young way back in Cult of Pop 1.0 and on version 2.0 hypothesized that maybe she wanted to do the same. Which may be a whole lot of pop-psych claptrap, but she did seem happy in her home life. It may even be argued that her weight loss during her exile is a sign of how much she preferred being out of the spotlight: food could have been a form of gratification to get through the stress of her life as an idol. When the stress was gone, the desire to overeat disappeared. That said, I liked Kago in her chunkier days as well as how she looks now; her weight was never an issue with me, though we can’t discount the idea that weight issues can reflect deeper problems.

(In that light, la belle dame sans merci may well have been cruelest to herself during her years as an idol. It also played into her persona as a mischief maker: I remember a commercial for a snack food she did with Tsuji, and how Aibon joked about how she kept messing up the takes so she could eat more of the food they were shilling. If we follow my idea, the mistakes both allowed her to eat and was a passive-aggressive way to express displeasure at her geinou duties.)

With Kago almost assuredly out of H!P now, I’m disappointed, of course. I love Kago a great deal, she’s one of my all-time favorite Morning Musume members – second only to Ayappe, actually. (Who ducked her own scandal by leaving Momusu before her shotgun wedding…) It would be wonderful if she could continue her career and bask in the spotlight. There are so many who love her, who remember the spunky twelve-year-old who joined Morning Musume (which may be part of the problem), who love her work in W.

But if she doesn’t want the spotlight… I think the best thing is to wish her luck, give her our love, and let her live her life the way she wants. Don’t approve of her being involved with someone twice her age? (About my age, by the way.) Well, she’ll be a private citizen and so it truly is none of our business any more. As fans, we’ll need to make that leap – that respect of privacy – if she no longer wants to be an idol. (And the tabloids will hopefully do the same as well.) I’m not saying this out of disgust or anger, but sympathy for what must be a very difficult choice for her. She spent her adolescence in a very demanding career – she was wildly successful, but the later years haven’t been as bright as her days in Morning Musume’s Golden Age. Beyond that, what she wanted at twelve may well be quite different from what she wants at nineteen. Think of how many idols began their career as kids and wanted out as they grew older: many focused on their education but that’s not the only path one can take. Kago may look at her family – who she probably hasn’t spent enough time with while growing up – and sees another model for a happy post-idol life, one she considers perfectly normal as seen by her blase attitude on that Samma no Mamma episode two years ago.

As fans, the pieces we’ve been given fit this particular picture quite well, perhaps moreso than the idea of a conspiracy singling out Aibon by a malicious editor. But only “perhaps” – the coincidence about the editor is certainly strange and worth looking at close. And let me say again: this is all hypothetical. Maybe Kago wants to be an idol more than anything else; if we find that out, I’ll jump to her defense and support her as an artist. But there’s way too much circumstantial evidence to deny at least the possibility that she’s trying to escape a career that she no longer desires.

The worst part for fans about this sudden development is how it leaves us hanging yet again. I’d feel better if I knew definitively one way or the other if Kago will return or if she’s out. That’s a selfish notion, of course, and what I really want is for Kago to be happy in whatever choice she makes. (Or happy with whatever choice is made for her, as it turns out.) But we’re not privy to what she really wants, nor will we ever likely be. So at this point, given the past year and this recent development, I think it’s best to be understanding – to be willing to let go – if Kago’s career as an idol finally ends.

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23 Responses to “Maybe It’s Time To Let Aibon Go…”
  1. Johnny says:

    Man, I didn’t wanna believe it myself. There’s also rumors about her being in an orgy with this guy.

    Any word about this?

    Crap, I’ll never look at W’s Robokiss PV the same way ever again…

  2. Iknewit says:

    Well it’s obvious they are in some sort of relationship if you look closer you would that there hands are interwined. You don’t hold hand like that with a older relative his age.

  3. Ray Mescallado says:

    Did the orgy look anything like this?

  4. Johnny says:

    Haha… I sure hope so. That chick playing Tsuji is starting to look hot to me.

    Good Lord, I suddenly have this image in my head of that guy boinking Aibon.

    I sure hope they were just there at the resort to hold hands.

  5. pengie says:

    Oh no, what the hell. This is the first I’ve heard of this.

    I really hope this is all just a big misunderstanding.

  6. pengie says:

    And now that I’ve read some more, I think only you and Jinryuichi have been levelheaded about this, Ray. Most of the people on forums are being (for lack of a better phrase) stupid fuckfaces.

    Truth be told: I don’t think it’s her in the pictures. But I guess we’ll find out. Everything is just speculation right now.

  7. CJ Marsicano says:

    I am trying not to take this all too seriously, and from the looks of UFW’s statement, I don’t think they are either.

  8. Chuck says:

    I’m with Pengie. Doesn’t look like Kago to me except a bit in the first picture where her face is half-covered.

  9. Garamond says:

    I’m not sure it’s Kago either. At least her nose looks different in that profile picture.

  10. Craig says:

    I don’t think verisimilitude* is neccessary for trouble considering I could hardly make anything out of the pictures Friday released B4.

    * The quality of appearing to be true or real.

  11. Hanachan says:

    Now that pengie points it out…it really doesn’t look much like Aibon in the second picture. Maybe the editor for the tabloid sent out an Aibon look-a-like just to cause trouble-I mean, he appears to really not like Aibon. Okay, I’m totally kidding about that conspiracy theory, but it would be interesting…

  12. Danji says:

    Such a sad state of affairs they let Aibon go.

  13. Dan says:

    I’m a new reader of this blog and I’m not a Kago fan but…

    Saying she had something “adult” with that guy while they stayed in an onsen room … maybe they did something like that but maybe not. Who knows? Same goes to “there hands are interwined. You don’t hold hand like that with a older relative his age.” Who says that? My niece is always doing that with me but we don’t have any affair. Also lots of girls do that (to me) and we are neither related nor in love, just friends.

    If Kago wants marriage then I’m sure she isn’t so dumb as to fall for a married guy.

  14. Japonaliya says:

    UPFRONTS says the guy is a family friend. If they were going to boot Kago, why wouldn’t they either just say so (since this was a much bigger no-no than smoking) or remain silent until they made a decision?
    Also, how do we know it IS Kago? Rmember the AV sex dvd featuring Tsji and Kago lookalikes?
    Plus…what is to prevent Kago from being a popular singer sans H!P? As an adult, she could be contracted to any company and reform W or any kind of project she wanted to with or with out Tsuji, who may want to leave H!P too, since she has done almost nothing for about a year…

    She might also want to do PBs (NN) now that she prob. looks killer in a two-piece.

  15. Japonaliya says:

    KAGO’S GONE FOR REAL, FOREVER, NO MORE KAGO, NO MORE W, NOTHING LEFT TO LIVE FOR!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The smoking was silly, but the “dating” of that coffee addict freak who has another girl friend to boot, is downright suicide. She might just as well strapped a bomb to her chest.
    The guy looks like one of those members of that cult that put poison gas in the Tokyo subway…

    How could she fall for that idiot when I am her only true love, and would give her the respect she deserves??

    Well, no more W…it’s more likely that that AV porn video featuring Kago & Tsuji look a likes that was linked here a while ago will now be more prophetic than ever……

    What’s next Momoko and Risako found out to be lesbian lovers?
    We already know about Ai Takahashi and Tsunku…..yeah..sing another duet ….perv…

  16. Anonymous says:

    Aibon can do so ,much better than that 37 year old… He taking advantage of the fact she’s vanerable.
    But now shes gone from H!P and W are no more

  17. Gackt-kun says:

    A make up story i think,she ‘did’ all this just because she wants to quit from UFA,maybe there is sumtin planned in her mine right now,we’ll face the truth later in the future,besides,we do things we like to do,why bother doing things that stresses u……”let me go,i had enough,i want to do it my own way….” she’s good at acting haha….the paparazzi just know when to take their snaps

  18. Japonaliya says:

    I don’t agree that Kago made the whole thing up.

    First, if she wanted out of her contract they would have let her go. Even if she had to give up her royalties or something like that, it sure would beat “house arrest” for a year!
    Considering her potential income, she could have scaled down her work load, but in any case, she surely wasn’t under the same level of stress being in W as she was when in MM.
    Now maybe Kago subconsciously wanted out, that may be true. After being out of H!P for almost a year, and with all the hoops and latters she had to be go thru in order to return..she might have said “fuck it”. in her mind, but again, she wouldn’t have to “act” a false scenario.

    I DO think though, that her old man BF who seems to be a shady character, has tried to convince her that HE could do much better as her manager than H!P. Though he surely doesn’t have the $$4 backing that UFA has…he probably convinced her that she could make more $$ and retain more $$4 if she left H!P.
    Only time will tell.
    Either Kago will re-appear in the entertainment world sans H!P, or she will, in about a year have a little Kago to raise.
    Will she name her Mini-moni??

  19. risucko says:

    I was wondering, can I please use some screencaps from your posts from before in my blog? I’d like to save and upload them, because I don’t know how to take screencaps >_>

    Thank you!

  20. Ray Mescallado says:

    risucko – Go ahead, I have no problem with that.

  21. kde says:

    sad case. i really thought she would be the future of H!P I think everyone did. Then smoking-gate, and finally this.

    On a happer note, who’s the eye candy in the side bar? She’s stunning.

  22. Bonnie says:

    No, no…NO NO NO NO! I could care less about wat she did! What about W? What about Nozomi Tsuji? This sucks and i hate all of you who think difrently of Aibon!!!!!!!!

    ps. Make bad comments all you want, but….she is still an amazing person! Just remember the way she was and admitt, she is still that person!

  23. Ray Mescallado says:

    kde:

    That’s Shihono Ryo in the eyecandy side picture.

    Everyone:

    Sorry for being MIA for the most part these past couple weeks, I’ll be back posting in this blog (the Melon Kinenbi piece is almost done!) and Intl Wota in the next day or two.