When I first heard of Kusumi Koharu’s graduation from Morning Musume & H!P in the wee hours of the morning I thought it was a joke. It just didn’t make sense to move her at all. If anyone should be graduating (from Morning Musume) then I would say the logical choice would be to select the remnants of the 5th generation (Ai & Risa). As tragic as that would have been to read at least it would make sense.
But the news popped up on both the Hello! Project fan club site & the official Hello! Project site main page and I soon realized that this was no joke. Normally I take a neutral stance when it comes to members of H!P leaving. A couple of examples being the most recent, Kanna & Umeda. Kanna? I was very meh on her leaving. She never left much of an impression on me & I would have been more caring if one of the leads of C-ute bailed along with her at the time. Umeda? Well… I sort of cared because to me she was eye candy and with her departure I have one less cutie to stare at. Superficial I know but at least I’m honest.
There are two exceptions to my neutrality, those being anything to do with the Elder Club and Morning Musume. If anyone comes or goes from those groups I care… A lot. Why? Well I guess I’m extremely loyal to what got me into H!P in the first place. So Koharu leaving Morning Musume and H!P is quite shocking. The majority of fans were expecting Ai & Risa to graduate, but Koha? What the fuck?
It appears that she will be following the lead of Umeda Erika and will be pursuing a career as a model. I have no doubt that she will be successful in that endeavor, just look at her.
Besides being incredibly hot she has a crazy work ethic (you got to have that to be able to juggle voice acting, Oha-Star, Morning Musume and whatever else UFA assigns her to do) that will serve her well.
But I can’t help but think that this announcement was rather sudden. It makes me wonder if this graduation is voluntary or forced? I’ve heard rumors of a possible 9th generation audition so is this a strategic move to make room for new members? If so I still don’t see why Koharu has to be moved out of Morning Musume. The group was as big as 14 members during the golden age wasn’t it?
The other thing that I was wondering about was whether she will be retained by UFA (or one of their affiliates)? It would be a dumb move (from a business standpoint) to let one of the more popular members of H!P just walk away. I’m hoping that she ends up like many of the Elder Club and stays within the UFA fold in some capacity.
Another possibility is that she may follow Maki Goto and start fresh at a new label. Doesn’t Avex have modeling contracts? If they could help refine her vocals a bit she could be a successful solo artist over there. Although I have no clue what they could do with her musically that would not be a drastic change in style. Which could be a good thing I think. But of course all of this is just speculation. Something I’m sure many of you are doing as well.
Speaking of speculation, there seems to be some debate as to why she is being graduated from H!P instead of just from Morning Musume. I think that’s something none of us will ever really know. I just find it sad that she’s leaving.
I may not have found her the most vocally gifted of the group. I think it was because I believe some of the singing style she did for Kirari Revolution (uber-cute & high pitched) transferred to her Morning Musume performances. Eventually I warmed up to her vocals and I think she was sounding really good over the past few Morning Musume singles and concert performances.
So while I may not have liked her singing at first, she did immediately win me over with her goofy personality. I loved watching her on Hello! Morning, Haromoni, Yorosen, backstage concert film and whatever else she was a part of.
My favorite song of hers, the awesomely spazztastic Balalaika
With all that said I will miss her as part of Morning Musume & H!P. She’s always a blast to watch on stage & I’m glad I got to see her perform in L.A. I will forever remember her hyping up my side of the crowd at the AX concert by slapping her ass & waving at us. Good times. I’m also glad that I managed to get her autograph & touch her (not that kind of touching you pervs… I got a handshake).
As much as I think her leaving sucks, it’s something (as an H!P fan) that I have learned to accept as part of the circle of life with this organization. So… Good luck Koha, you will be missed.