Saturday, May 5, 2012
I'm not going to make a long post here because there's nothing particularly strange about this one (except maybe the suddenness of it, but that's due to a recent medical check-up: "from an examination this year on April 23rd, it was concluded that '...if she is to participate in any intense performance, there is a chance of her returning to her injured state.'")
To be honest, I don't know which is harder to take - a scandal where a girl breeches unwritten idol rules or something like this where a girl does everything correctly but is physically unable to continue due to injury.
I really feel sorry for Aika because she really seemed to love Morning Musume. I think that the fact that even after injuring herself multiple times she didn't give up and participated whenever possible is proof of that. She gave it her all (and perhaps that's the reason for injury; going 100% in an already stressful routine on a fragile body is recipe for disaster) and had incredible heart, but unfortunately it wasn't enough for her to continue.
She wasn't heavily featured in singles or dances so there won't be a major change there, so its easy to say that it's no big deal for her to leave, but I disagree. Aika was a good senpai to the younger members.
She has a caring personality that's almost mother-like and she showed that on camera quite a few times when teaching Morning Musume's kouhai members. Even if she was occasionally harsh, she definitely cared or else she wouldn't have taken the time to teach them. (She even spent some one-on-one time with them despite not be able to properly walk or dance.) It might have not been flashy or obvious, but she definitely had an impact on Morning Musume and it sucks to see her leave.
The only thing I really have a problem with is her graduating alongside Risa. This isn't a knock on Aika, but Risa deserves to graduate alone. (Aika does too; everyone does.) Aika's leaving will be overshadowed by Risa's gradation and Risa's leaving won't be 100% about Risa as any proper graduation should be. I'd much rather have Aika graduate at the H!P summer concerts. However I can't complain too much since some H!P members didn't get a graduation concert at all. Aika gets one at the famous Nippon Budokan.
On the bright side, I think that this means that Sayumi and Reina will stay a little longer than they (or the powers that be) might have planned. I don't think they would have left this year or anytime soon anyway, but Aika's leaving ensures that they extend their Morning Musume tenure by a bit more. If one (or both) of them leaves then that means that Mizuki either becomes sub-leader or leader (!). Not that I have a particular problem with that or anything (somehow I think Mizupon has become my favorite Morning Musume member), but it just doesn't seem like it would happen. At least not in the near future.
The other good news is that Aika (probably) will be staying with H!P ("I’m consulting with Tsunku and the staff in hopes that I might be able continue activities with Hello!Project.") so at least she's not just going to disappear. Still, I'm sad that we won't see Aika as a Morning Musume member after May 18th.