*takes a looooong sip of peppermint tea*
I actually learned of Takahashi Ai’s graduation announcement this morning over while trolling aramatheydidnt on livejournal and if I am to be completely honest here, it’s about time that they did so.
Initially, I was surprised to learn of another graduation so soon but the time is right. Along with Gaki-san, Ai-chan has been one of the longest running members of Morning Musume and as such has had the second longest tenure as the leader of the group for 3 years and 7 months. Before this, the longest leader ever seen for the group was Iida at four years from 2001 to 2005. Her and Gaki have been in over half the singles for the group and are arguably the most noticeable and memorable members of Morning Musume as they joined the group during its peak. Ai herself is also one of a few members to release a solo song out with a Morning Musume album (Yume Kara Samete on Pucchi Best 7.
However, I’m not surprised by this announcement anymore. It’s time for Ai to move on to bigger and better things. Ai’s got so much going on for her. She’s the most talented singer the group has ever had, she’s a great actress and she’s just this amazing photogenic girl that I didn’t like that much in the beginning. I can’t deny however that she’s blossomed into the young woman that she should be since becoming the Leader of MoMusu. Let’s face it, Ai-chan had no personality in the beginning and was so terribly shy. Now, she’s so animated and bubbly!
But let’s face the music here. Ten years is a long time for any person in a group. It’s time for Ai-chan to move on from Morning Musume and Hello!Project. Through the countless singles, photobooks, dvds and stage plays, Ai-chan’s certainly got a lot to her credit but now, it’s time let her spread her wings and fly.
And that’s my two cents on her Graduation. I wish her nothing but the best and will be supporting my fellow Final Fantasy Geek until the very end.