Today nothing was supposed to happen. It was another mundane day out of many in life. Check in & check out so to speak. But things changed with the announcement of Maeda Yuuka leaving S/Mileage & retiring from the entertainment industry at the end of 2011.

Maeda Yuuka

Why? Well she wants to focus on her studies and go to college. Well that’s the official company line. It’s much more believable than leaving the idol world for a chance to shake one’s ass on the runway. (pole is optional depending on how low one has sunk in their post-idol life) Conspiracy theorists think that there is much more to this than we fans are being trained to believe. Most of that mindset believe there is a bit of a “Fuck this gong show & these new bitches.” kind of vibe resonating from this sudden announcement.

They could be right. If you have paid close attention during the audition announcement so many moons ago you could tell that some of the original 4 were not pleased at the thought of ruining their chemistry with noobs. But perhaps some of us were seeing things instead? Dissension among the ranks is not uncommon & maybe Maeda had enough of having a bunch of fresh face youngins making her look like a grandma & out squeaking her vocally.

Whether you believe in the whole college student reasoning behind her departure is going to depend on what side of the fence you are on when things like this happen. Are you the eternally optimistic “glass is half full”, S/Mileage will survive with the 2 remaining first gen and the noobs? Or are you the pessimistic “glass is half empty” type of person who thinks the future flagship group of Hello! Project just got fucked over?

I think everyone knows what side I’m on. I was openly against the auditions but still accepted them. They went as I expected after nature basically took out one finalist, the rest got a free pass. The entire “competition” portion of the audition was a complete farce made to keep fans with high hopes and lowered IQ’s from figuring out the obvious.

Darth Vader No

This? This I cannot accept. Maeda Yuuka is the only reason I’m clinging on to S/Mileage and now that she’s going away the group will be dead to me come midnight of January 1 2012. Okay, that’ s not necessarily true, but their music and videos will most likely go lower on the totem pole of reviews as a result this event.

The departure of the group’s most popular member is going to have a huge impact until the rest can pick up the slack. This is a prime opportunity For Dawa and Kanon and the noobs I can’t name to show that they won’t go easily into the idol abyss. Although their status as the next flagship group is now in question. Perhaps we should start looking elsewhere for the eventual replacements for Morning Musume when their 30th generation results in Tsunku desperately recruiting directly from the womb.

There is already talk amongst the fans that there may be another audition to replace Maeda. I think that would be a bad idea. We just had 2 in Hello! Project. Having another so quickly kind of devalues them in a way. Shouldn’t we let the remaining members try to save themselves from a sinking ship first before throwing them a life preserver in the form of an audition? While this may seem like the time to hit the panic button it’s probably not the best long-term course of action.

Hello! Project sure seems to keep everyone guessing don’t they? The hurricane force winds of change are sweeping away those most beloved to fans and odds are Yuuka isn’t the only victim to get caught up the storm before the year ends.

Nothing was supposed to happen today.