Mame graduates.

Well. Happy New Year, indeed! Once again, we start off with goodbyes.

I knew someone would have already used this, but I need to say it all the same. When I read this news, my first thought was what Mame said to Yossy when she graduated: “With your departure, the Morning Musume in my heart will completely disappear.” I shouldn’t say such things, of course. Yossy is my favourite and I’ve loved Momusu even after her grad. It’s just…

It’s MAME. Beanie. Gaki-san.
She’s the last of the Gokkies.

There is no other generation I care about the way I’ve always cared about the Gokkies. I’ve probably said this in other entries, but they have always struck me as the last generation to really feel like joining the group was a big deal – not just because the group was so popular when they joined, but because they truly loved it. No one loved it more than Mame. She wanted in so badly. Through the years you could always tell, the fifth gen never lost that vulnerability. There is now confidence, of course. Momusu helped them all grow, gave them the opportunity for many other things, but that sense of vulnerability never went away. It kept them close to each other, maybe moreso than any other generation, minus the first and second.

When Takahashi left it was emotional enough. She was leader for a few years in the only stable line-up the group has ever had. Now they are returning to form with all these people leaving left and right and all these new kids.  I have always sworn that I would love the group no matter what they did. This strange feeling in the pit of my stomach really brings home that sense of being spoiled. The stability and consistent sound of Momusu spoiled us. Now we all expect things to be stable but they just never have been. They tried keeping them stable and everyone complained.

You do realize this means the sixth gen “rules” now?

Miki was leader for about three seconds once her Yossy was gone. Even in past years when Momusu was consistently changing their members, the leader always had someone either from the same generation, or close to her age, to back her up. Niigaki must be where Miki was in 2007.

There really isn’t anyone for her to confide in anymore, no one she’d feel as comfortable relying on. She’s surrounded by kids, who are cute, but helpless and loud. Who is her sub leader? The one dressing them in bunny outfits and giving them candy – Michishige. Winky is probably already trying to take over as leader, even though she technically won’t be the leader any time soon, unless Shige is planning to split. I can just see her sending the little tenth gen girls to get her dry cleaning, while Niigaki looks on helplessly.

Not on my watch, sista.

I’m being facetious. A little. You probably don’t wanna mess with Niigaki…

I have no doubt that Gaki is an awesome leader. I have no doubt that she still loves Momusu. But I know that when you are close to someone and suddenly that person is gone, it doesn’t get easier overnight, especially when all kinds of pressure is heaped on your shoulders. The sound of this new single is just…strange. It’s nothing like what they’ve done before and many have commented on how similar it is to S/mileage. One thing you could always say about Tsunku is that he gives each group their own sound, subtle or otherwise. Is this another one of his unconscious attempts to merge S/mileage and Momusu? The members have already expressed concern (or as much as they can when so much just isn’t allowed to be said). You can’t avoid changing the sound, since everyone is young again, but…duckies? Really?

Of course, this is probably just a case of Mame doing as she is told. She was originally going to leave with Takahashi, but they wanted her to break in the new members. You can’t exactly argue with that. I know I always get all sentimental about it, when it’s all probably just business, but I can’t help it.

I find myself much more emotional about this one than about Takahashi. I guess because Mame is the last of the members that I fell in love with, the last of my favourite generation, the last of a breed of Musume who remembers what being a member used to mean and carries that in her heart.

I wish there was more time.

I wish she would get a solo song release, so then I could pretend that she got the solo career I really wanted her to have.

I wish we’d hear her more in the new single, but I doubt Pyoko will deliver anything but Winky-Riho.

She worked so hard to become what she is – a dynamic and joyous performer. I am so proud of her.

And honestly, I don’t think I could have handled a double graduation with these two.
I cried enough at Konno and Ogawa’s…

She better get a damn good send off.

*sniff* Why do you do this to me, Momusu!?


4 thoughts on “Mame graduates.

  1. I totally know what you mean, I’m so sad about it.

    It’s Risa, it’s the last of the Gookies. I know it must be hard for her as well, since MM is something she loves so much. But she is being brave and putting on a smiling face for all of us.

    She’s special, the Gookies are special. Out of all the generation Gookies was always my favorite. I always felt like there was something magical and special about the 4 of them. They were truly a tight knit group.

  2. I admit that I never really thought much about how hard it must be for Risa to be in (let alone lead) Morning Musume without Ai by her side, but you’re absolutely right.

    It’s going to leave a huge hole in group when she leaves. It’ll be hard for me to still look at the group in the same way once she is gone, but then again, change is the name of the game…

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