I realize this is not the time for tasteless jokes and comments, but man, talk about getting shafted!…At the worst possible time!! Today it was officially announced that 8th generation member Mitsui Aika will graduate alongside Niigaki Risa from Morning Musume.
We always see it coming, but we never see it coming quite so soon. Ever. Aika has had issues with her leg for quite some time now (around this time last year, I believe), and that has caused her to remain incredibly and unfortunately inactive as a member of Morning Musume for a while. Her lack of appearances on dance shots of PVs, concerts, events, etc. had led fans to speculate the worst: Was the lone 8th gen member going to graduate soon?
Aika had apparently recovered, but her doctors told her that there is always the risk of recurrence. So for health reasons, the group’s favorite animal lover has made the decision to graduate from Morning Musume, but still stay active within Hello! Project! Fans can breathe a short sight of relief. Usually, as we have all come to see, most members that graduate leave their respective groups and H!P entirely, and thankfully this is not the case for Aika. Hopefully by staying at least within the mothership, fans can still see her from time to time on variety shows and other such related events. I smell concert MC opportunity right here. Here is her statement regarding her graduation:
Thank you for always supporting me.
But at this time I, Mitsui Aika, have decided to graduate from Morning Musume. Last May, I felt a lot of discomfort in my foot. There have been various attempts to help me improve my problem, but I have been diagnosed with an ‘abnormal’ bone disorder. Because of this, I’m closing full activities as a Morning Musume member so that I may rest. Recently, I’ve been feeling more grateful for being able to participate in Morning Musume and have been looking forward to participating in a range of activties. However, I went to get diagnosed on April 23rd. Although they said “You bone doesn’t show any signs of abnormality. So it won’t be problem during everyday life activities”, they also said “however, if you continue with strenuous exercise, this could potentially happen again”.
I thought maybe I’d be at 100% one day as a Momusu member, but the diagnosis said there is a risk of recurrence. I spoke with my mother about the consultation and my future. You need to put your health first, and not worry about the members, staff or fans. So, I wish to graduate. As it’s because of my body, I should graduate soon.
Tsunku and the staff agreed that the best time to graduate would be during the spring tour since the last performance on May 18th is at Budokan. I know it is sudden. I want to apologize to the members and the fans and hope they understand.
I’m sorry to the fans who hoped that I would be able to dance in full. So until the end of the Budokan performance, I will do my best. So until the last show, thank you for your support.
After Morning musume, I will consult with the staff and Tsunku about what kind of activities I can do within Hello Project.
Though Aika was never my personal favorite, or much of a fan favorite member in general, even I find this to be a rather unfortunate announcement. First of all, the poor girl already has to deal with the fact her leg just blows, so there go any real future opportunities to do what she came to do initially. Second, due to the late consultation I suppose, Aika did not receive the “no-go” sign from her doctors soon enough for her to tell Tsunku and the staff, and thus got shafted from a decent graduation ceremony. And finally, where does she go from here? While variety shows don’t usually require much stress on the legs, they do require some charisma and personality. These are two areas in which some fans can argue about, but let’s get real everyone. Admittedly, I never really thought she had too much of either, but that didn’t make her any less special than the rest, that’s for sure.
It’s just such a shame that Aika couldn’t at least get half or even a fourth of what Gaki or Ai had for their graduation glitz and glam ceremonies and goods. No FC tours, no commemorative recording specials, no solo song/PV recordings, NOT EVEN A FREAKIN’ SHIRT!!! Again this could just be due to the time issue regarding her doctor’s consultations and whatnot, but still. Hopefully the company can pull something together for the poor girl by May 18th. After all, graduation goods are a great source of income for the company, and although Aika was never really much of a cash cow in a sense, her fans and then some would certainly buy goods if they’re graduation goods. There’s just something about ’em…
So in a few days, not only will we be shedding tears over and bidding farewell to our last gokkie and beloved leader Risa, but we’ll be saying a too-soon-goodbye to our last representative of the 8th generation, Aika. These are some unfortunate circumstances for the group, losing two very viable senpais to guide the impressionable and increasing amount of new faces to the group. Hopefully with Aika hanging around H!P, there will still be opportunities for such things, but who can ever tell?
The girl has worked hard throughout her stint in the group. Despite any sense of negativity or “hate” from local and international wota alike, the girl has pushed through and gave it her all. I’m sure even she felt bad about having to miss out on several events and it must not have done any wonders on the self-esteem to not be actively participating in the group you wanted to be in for a long time. It’s really sad to think about, but the least we can do as fans of the group and of the member is to support them 150% along their journey to their final performance in Morning Musume, and life after.
Now it begs to be mentioned: With the last of the gokkies and 8th gen leaving, this truly does make Morning Musume a group to be ran by a purely rokkie revolution! Reina was rather shocked with the announcement (according to her blog entry) and is now wondering when it’s time for her or Sayu (or both) to graduate; they’ll surely be next. I don’t want to even think about that right now, but I have a gut feeling it will be sooner than later. But for now, enough with the depressing speculations. Let’s all continue to support Aika as well as the remaining members of Morning Musume on their current and future endeavors!