Friday, September 30, 2011

Saying goodbye to Takahashi Ai

Today was the last time was able to see Aichan as Morning Musume's leader.

10 years is a long time to do anything, not to mention being an idol for that long.

She went from the shy Tettekete to the fierce performer that we know and love today.

I really, really wish I was there to see her off in person, but thanks to the wonders of technology, we are never too disconnected from the world. Here's a mp3 of the graduation ceremony (thanks to the wota who recorded it):

I wasn't able to be there, but many notable Japanese people were able to attend, including (but not limited to): Mikitty, Gomaki, Yossie, Tsuji, Ogawa Makoto, Konno, Eri, Kikka, some of S/mileage. Manoeri, the Possible members, and a couple non-UFA celebrities. And thankfully Aika was there as well.

I was hoping that by today she'd be able to perform in the last concert like Aichan did with Yossie's graduation concert, but it was nice to at least see her there. And, she showed some strength by getting out of her wheelchair to deliver her goodbye message.

Speaking of goodbyes, TKMR translated Aichan's farewell speech. Here is an exerpt:

Right now I am really glad to have become a Morning Musume member. When I became leader, I was really worried, but Tsunku-san said to me “You should make Morning Musume a Takahashi-styled cosy feeling group”. Because of those words, we have the family-like Morning Musume that we have now. 

She finishes with,

My precious members, the love of the staff, and most important of all the support from all you fans… I am truly grateful. During the bus tour we had in Fukui a little while ago the fans threw a surprise and read thank you letters to me, that was truly the best. Thank you to everyone who listen to our songs at home or on the road. I will treasure the moments I have spent with you guys at concerts and fan club tours and events. And because I have these treasured moments, I will continue to work hard. Thank you. 

And let me say one last thing… I love you all!

Read the rest at TKMR.

It really hasn't quite sunken in for me yet - it almost feels like an elaborate party for Aichan and tomorrow it will be business as usual even though I know that it won't. I'll definitely be an emotional wreck when I watch the DVD of it all. There was an unedited concert DVD sold like at the EriJunLin concert, so if a kind wota wants to upload it, we can get to see it early. Until then, here is an encode (not by me) of Aichan's graduation memorial DVD - it's basically Aichan reflecting on the past as well as some messages from her fellow group members.

You can also grab it from the tracker if you prefer.

Byebye Aichan. I wish you didn't have to go, but I know that's how it must be. You were my first ever #1 favorite member and will always have a special place in my heart. I wish you the best of luck in your future!


  1. I really miss her! my inspiration!!
    since now she'll be gratest Star Shining in the Sky!
    Takahashi Ai! ♥

  2. Ai-chan...before,now and after...forever kawaii...we will continue to provide support regardless of where you are!!

    Go2 Ai-chan ♥♥♥♥

  3. Goodbye Aichan!
    I will continue to support you however I can!

  4. bye bye ai-chan you will always have a special place in my heart and your graduation song will always have a special place in my ears