Morning Musume Turning Over a New Leaf

So much has happened in Morning Musume within just the last few days. Along with Aika and Risa’s graduation this past Friday, we also have news about auditions and an upcoming single. Without further ado, let’s begin on Morning Musume’s new start. (click title)

May 18th brought a heart-wrenching and tear-jerking end to Risa Niigaki‘s longest member tenure and 8-month leadership. Not only that, but one underdog who has accumulated much hate and much love had to move on as well: Aika Mitsui. They had one thing in common, however: it was their time to go. One to a new stage in her life and one to injury; neither were quitting, they were just moving on.

Despite truly liking Risa since the beginning of my Morning Musume fandom, I wasn’t really hurt by this. Like I’ve said so many times before, I called it. I knew she wasn’t going to stay leader for over a year. I knew she wasn’t going to stay long without Takahashi. Guys, 11 years is a long, long time. 11 years ago, I was friggin’ 5 years old. Meanwhile, this energetic, ready-to-shine 12 year old was just entering Morning Musume, raring to go. Seeing the transformation from the bang-less pigtailed cutie in Ayaka’s Surprise English Lessons to a stunningly gorgeous 23 year-old woman is something that I’m proud to have seen. Risa Niigaki is someone who represents Morning Musume as a whole. She started out young & innocent and grew into a mature, all-knowing goddess. This is what Morning Musume should be about, and this is what the rookies must learn. You grow with the group and the music. You stick it out and do whatever you can to be that ultimate idol. Consider Risa Niigaki your hero and admire her. She’s what you’re looking up to, kyuukies and juukies. And this is what keeps me from being upset–knowing that she has made her mark and now it’s her time to shine on her own. I’m happy that Risa can graduate with a smile on her face. I hope she realizes that her legend is what will go down in MoMusu history(and yeah, maybe along with Takahashi). I wish you all the luck in the world in your next stage in life, Gaki. Hope to see you with a boyfriend soon! ;]

As for Aika, I’ve stated my feelings for her in a previous post. But for the sake of this post, I’ll let you all know again. At first, I didn’t really like Aika. I thought she was a really useless addition to the group. But as the years past, I started to just tolerate her. She was there and that’s basically it. While everyone else is trying to tear her down and rip out her soul, I’m just like, “Chill. She’s young and isn’t even that bad.” I was actually surprised with myself; usually when I don’t like someone, I try to erase them out of my memory, but I actually found myself defending Aika. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her, but I really don’t think she brings anything to the table for Morning Musume. I feel bad for the Aika fans, considering her graduation had to be rushed and she’s been participating only 50%. I’m sorry that Aika had to graduate this way, but, alas, it must be done.

Morning Musume will truly be different now, with only 2 older generation members and nothing but kids left. But maybe this is what Morning Musume needs. Maybe they need fresh faces to bring a fresh audience. We are obviously in the declining stage of MoMusu. The group hasn’t been able to sell more than 60,000 since Nanchatte Renai. And that’s nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands of sells they used to get a decade ago. Maybe the fact that their lineup didn’t change for nearly 2 and a half years was part of their downfall. Newcomers begin their fandom with Morning Musume, gain favorites, and then are crushed when their favorites leave because they aren’t used to that change. I know I was hit hard when EriJunLin left, and that basically caused my fandom for Morning Musume to end. If even a couple new girls were added within that 2 years and a half duration, MoMusu’s upcoming audience wouldn’t feel so put off. Honestly, I think the new generations might just do the trick for Morning Musume. Hopefully, Tsunku won’t take a step forward and two steps back when it comes to music. People aren’t going to waste their money on shitty music–it’s plain fact. Pyoko Pyoko Ultra was their least selling single of all time(yes, even worse than Mikan). And why? Because it was ass. It sounded like it should have been made for a kids’ anime. Even though I love the song(ain’t that some shit?), it was a poor excuse of a single. New generations and new, fresh music is what Morning Musume needs to bounce back from their setbacks.

The one truly good news I found in all of this is Sayumi‘s succession. Another one of my predictions came true when it was announced that Sayumi will be the next leader of Morning Musume. For whatever reason, the question of whether or not Sayumi will be leader has been withheld up until the ceremony. Now, I totally think that’s a huge smack in the face to both Sayumi and Reina, considering Reina hasn’t been crowned sub-leader yet. I have not the slightest idea why the information would be withheld, even from the members themselves; it’s as if Tsunku doesn’t even trust the two as leader and sub-leader. At least, that’s the vibe I get from that little “secret.” Either way, I’m kind of excited for Sayumi‘s reign. Since Takahashi left, I’ve been wanting Sayumi as leader, Reina as sub, and Aika as a little big sister(I didn’t expect her to be leaving). She already has a great relationship with all of them(from what I can see), so why not let her smack ’em around? For whatever reason, I can see myself getting back into Morning Musume with Sayumi as leader…

On top of two members leaving, 11th generation auditions were announced by Tsunku himself. It looks like he’s trying to get in another set of girls as quickly as possible… The requirements are the same: 10-17 year-old girl and the deadline is June 25th. I kind of want to see older girls, like Haruna‘s age–more or less. I just want that huge age gap to be filled a bit. No duck songs, no sexy songs. Less love songs maybe? Or is that the only thing that Tsunku knows how to write? Time for Morning Musume to turn over a new leaf, Tsunku!

Above is the first altogether MoMusu photo without Aika or Risa. Seems a little empty despite all the faces, right? But on a different note, Morning Musume’s 50th single has been announced as a double a-side entitled One・Two・Three / The Matenrou Show, set to release on July 4th. Judging by the titles, I’m expecting something fun and classic. I really hope it’s better than everything else released this year. I honestly cannot wait for the first single with Sayu as leader.

To end this post on the most positive note possible, look at this picture!! It’s a little blurry, but look at all the Older Musumes that came to support Risa and Aika! I absolutely love how they keep in touch somehow even without being in the group. It really shows some true appreciation and support. Also, look at how Hitomi is way too cool for a peace sign, haha! <3

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