Well then!

This past weekend I babysat for my adviser, taking care of his four (count ’em! Four!) grandchildren, all aged 4 or under. Every night I was too exhausted from running after naked toddlers or finding blankies to do anything other than fall into bed. As a result, I hadn’t checked for news from the Wonderful World of J-pop for three days. I logged on today, my final day of caring for the Little Monsters, not expecting to find much news.

I went to Hello!Online. Saw the same boring post about the MM girls’ lucky numbers. Whatever. Nothing new–

Oh, wait, what’s that over on the twitter feed? Hm, can’t be anything too major…

What?

WHAT?

WHAT?!

You know how older people always remember where they were when World War II ended or man landed on the Moon? I think I’m going to be the crazy old person who remembers literally falling off of her chair when she read that three members, including her first and second favorites, would be graduating from Morning Musume.

Man…

I’ve always suspected that Kamei might be the next one to graduate, but I can’t understand the way that the Pandas were tacked on. To be honest, this reminds me of when Makoto graduated- instead of being given a real graduation concert, she “shared” Konno’s. It hardly seems fair to the girl or to the fans. Let’s hope that when it comes time for them to graduate, each girl is truly honored.

I’m feeling kind of numb about this right now. The thing that scares me the most is, of course, Lin’s future. When she was in Morning Musume, I knew that she was secure. Even more than that, I had some “guidance” when it came to being a fan of hers. I know about Japan. I feel familiar with it from having spent so much time learning about its culture. I know how to be a H!P fan, where to go to find translations of Lin’s videos, where to find pictures of her, who to talk to to find out more about her. The idea that Lin is going back to China to do who knows what is scary for me as a fan. I’m afraid of not being able to be a fan of Lin as a member of H!P, because I’m not sure how to be a fan in any other way.

It’s just frightening. I always thought that Lin would be in Momusu for at least another year. If she had just stayed for another year, I could have gone to see her in Japan.

I’m sorry that this post isn’t very coherent. I’m just not sure what to feel yet.

I just always thought that I’d have the chance to get to see her.

A quick edit because someone asked me to comment a little more on my feelings about the other two:

Like I mentioned above, I thought that Kamei might be the one to go after Koharu. There was a rumor going around a while back that she would announce her graduation, and even though it ended up being just that, a rumor, I have always felt that there must have been some grain of truth in it. I adore Kamei, but I think she’s reached her peak within the group. She couldn’t possibly become any sexier, funnier, more talented. She needs to leave in order to grow. I think that her presence in the entertainment industry hasn’t ended. My guess is that after taking care of her health, we’ll see her again. Momusu will be a less gorgeous group without her.

As for Junjun, my thoughts of her are drowned out by my cares for the other two. She started out as a favorite of mine, but I eventually lost interest. Still, she’s a sweet girl with a pleasantly combative personality. I’d have liked to see her stay longer if only because she was so feisty. Plus, of course, she’s entrancingly pretty.

8 Responses to Well then!

  1. Shaye says:

    The moment I found out, I actually searched for your blog, since your feelings for Lin2 and Turtle mirrored mine so much, and I wanted to see your opinions on it.

    This is how my friend Gen and I view the panda send off. Tsunku will never let LinLin and JunJun be sempais to Japanese girls. Momusu’s Sempai-Kohai structure is very strict. Longer service=higher status from line distribution all the way down to who gets first choice of bento. They just couldn’t have Chinese girls above Japanese. Unfortunately, Jun Jun and Lin Lin were novelties to add appeal in the Chinese market. Even more unfortunately, they are novelties that are pretty awesome, and people grew to love, which makes it royally suck that they are being tossed away.

  2. Usa-chan says:

    Thank you for thinking of me!

    You know, I wonder about Tsunku’s role in everything H!P. People seem to treat him like the be-all, end-all decision maker in terms of just about everything related to the Project. I’m thinking that he doesn’t have as much creative control as all that. I could be wrong, but it seems like he’s just the convenient public figurehead for a much larger creative team that shapes the future and fate of MM. I know that Tsunku is very complimentary of Linlin’s singing, and in his blog he’s mentioned that he likes Jun’s personality. I don’t think he’d pack them off just because he doesn’t want them to be a sempai for a new Japanese girl. Crazy as I think he is, I do think he’s less petty than that.

    • Shaye says:

      It might not necessarily be Tsunku alone, but he is the face of the powers that are in charge of Momusu. The failed Chinese expansion is part of it, it made them even less monetarily valuable.

      But Momusu has a very strict Kohai-Sempai structure. The mistreatment of the Pandas was always kind of justified by the fact that they were the lowest in rank, and most of their fans were under the impression that they would eventually get what they deserved after a couple graduations and a 9th gen. However, that would put them over Japanese girls which really isn’t acceptable to the powers that be. It would probably have been much more acceptable if they had become little money machines, but they didn’t. In the present state of things, it would have been putting two Chinese girls with no real monetary use, over a Japanese girl with some potential to make money.

      I feel so sad for them, though. They gave up everything to go to Japan, a place where they knew no one and didn’t speak the language well, and now that they are being shipped back. All that time spent learning the songs, the dances, the language was for nothing. *Sigh* Poor little Pandas… I’ll miss them so much!

  3. Cat says:

    I think the real reason why they’re graduating JunLin is because the whole MM expansion to China didn’t work out. I mean, their manager said it himself, so they probably scrapped the prject altogether. HOWEVER, it makes me really mad, because LinLin was one of the most talented girls in MM. Ever. And JunJun was a lot of fun.

    As for Eri, I think she’s amazing, and very talented, but I’m glad she wants to take care of her health. Atopic dermatitis can be a bitch, and wearing cake make up and shiny, furry or sequined itchy dresses it’s also not a good way to deal with such a skin problem. More power to her anyways.

    • Usa-chan says:

      I think that may be a big part of the reason, but honestly if it is the reason, then that’s even more ridiculous than anything else. It shows that whoever is making the decisions in H!P has the imagination of a toad, and the ability to perceive reality of an inmate in a mental hospital. Jun and Lin are more than just persuasive tools to get the rest of Asia to notice Morning Musume. For someone to not understand that is inconceivable.

      I agree.

  4. […] (Shanimuni Paradise) Kamei Eri, Jun Jun, and Lin Lin’s thoughts on graduation (Tokyofied) Well then… (Aoi♥Usagi) In Which we’ll have 5 Again… (Itsumo […]

  5. Mica says:

    I was really shocked with this announcement.

    There were rumors circulating when the larger venue was chosen and all, but I managed to pass them off as the “graduation panic” that happened before every concert.

    But all three of them???? Like most, I was expecting Aichan and Gaki to graduate, they have been in the group so long, I didn’t expect them to continue wanting to do this. But graduating Eri and the two newest members?

    They all brought such spark to the group though!

    Eri I can understand, health should come first, especially when someone is trying to make it in the idol industry. I just feel really sorry for her that she had to deal with it for this long. I liked hearing her harmonize, she had a good enough voice that she could hold her own in concerts and singles, and was a joy to watch. Although, like many, I thought of her leading the group, she is probably better off taking care of herself.

    Junjun, although she didn’t have a voice that jumped out at me, still won me over with her personality. She was so funny, even though she got a little spotlight, she managed to make her mark in the small window of opportunity she got. She was such an odd character that she made you look at her twice, whether it was from her banana fetish or her “cute” act that could change at any moment.

    Linlin is my favorite. Her voice, her personality, her ability to jump right into almost anything. It’s hard to believe that it won’t be a part of Morning Musume anymore.

    I still don’t really understand why Junjun and Linlin have to go. They both had so much to offer the group. They made it really interesting. What will happen to the group now?

    • Usa-chan says:

      I share every one of your fears and worries. It’s incredibly pointless to make JJ and LL leave the group along with Eri.

      I can sort of see why Jun might have been chosen to leave. I mean, she is “old” by Idol standards, and she herself remarked that she felt a little bit strange being in the group. But Lin… Lin is everything Morning Musume should be. Energetic, young, cute, pretty, talented, funny…

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