Speaking of Graduations and Disbandments
Outside of Hello! Project, just as much went on in the Idol world in terms of graduations and disbandments. In January, Doll☆Elements disbanded so that the members could focus on various things, then Rev.from DVL disbanded this March for pretty much the same reason. Especia disbanded in March as well, Dream disbanded in June, same as the popular voice acting duo YuiKaori. DEEP GIRL ended this September, whilst Musubizm, PALET and Pottya announced their own disbandments for this very month. So, yeah, we’ve lost quite a few groups already.
And then there are the individual graduations of certain members from various groups. In the AKS realm, big-names such as Kojima Haruna, Watanabe Mayu and Kinoshita Momoka graduated their respective groups, whilst Afilia Saga lost their last few original members, Kohime Lit Pucci, Yukafin Doll, and Miku Doll Charlotte in June this year. Before this, Fudanjuku held the graduations for their own remaining original members, Uramasa and Kojirou, who left the group in March this year. And for fans of Up Up Girls, September saw the departures of veteran members Sengoku Minami and Sato Ayano.
We also saw quite a few withdrawals and dismissal from the Idol world, too. These are a lot more sudden, leaving very little time to prepare for the day itself, and a few of these announcements shocked fans of the individual groups. Denpagumi.Inc shocked fans with the announcement that Moga Mogami had withdrawn from the group completely in August, with the reason for her sudden leave being that she wanted to go in a different direction to the group. Another shocking withdrawal from the Idol industry was Kuromiya Rei’s departure from The Idol Formerly Known As LADYBABY. Thankfully, many fans have supported Rei’s decision to leave the group and the Idol business, though there is no doubt they will miss her dearly.
Other withdrawals and dismissals include Yamada Akari of Yumemiru Adolescence, who reportedly broke contract, and quite a few HouPri YOUTH members such as Tanaka Asami and Horii Nina, who left the group in June this year for various reasons, including health (Asami) and wanting to pursue other things (Nina). Yuduki Nene left the group in November of her own accord, whilst Haruyama Muta was dismissed in September~October after it was found that she was already signed to another agency. Nozomi Ota was also fired in February, after it was revealed she had been dating one of the NEWS members.
I am pretty sure that SAY-LA lost a few members, too, and READY to KISS lost Noda Hitomi, as well. DEAR KISS have had a graduation or withdrawal, too, but off the top of my head, I really can’t recall who.
… And that’s all I have for you. There are a great deal many more graduations and withdrawals in the Idol industry, however, these are the ones I am actually aware of. It’s a lot (especially when you throw in those who have left H!P, and any other AKS girls who I’m unaware of), but that is how the industry works. It’s one giant, revolving door, and whilst their graduations, disbandments and departures make us sad, we understand that sometimes, this is how it has to be. It is something we embrace, albeit begrudgingly.
Onto the next part, aye?
Now, How About Those Debuts?
I haven’t paid much attention to debuts this year, but one debut that did catch my eye what that of =LOVE, the Sashihara Rino cash-cow who have amazed me. I adore this group, and so far, they’re my stand-out newbie of the year 2017. I love their content, I love their look, and I love whatever magic Sashihara Rino has given them. They’re great, and they’re so damn adorable.
I’m also completely besotted with their music. I don’t know how, or why, but =LOVE the song is crazy good. It’s stuck in my head.
Of course, there are a bunch of other debuts aside from =LOVE. We have the handful of newly added members to various groups, such as the various debuts within H!P, Michishige Sayumi and Inaba Manaka’s re-debuts, the many additions to HouPri YOUTH, as well as the debut of Deadlift Lolita and Kasai Tomomi’s re-debut (I was delighted by the latter). Furthermore, Sasaki Miho (aka: Ayase Miho) made her re-debut with READY to KISS this year, after graduating Houkago Princess back in 2016. Much like the return of Kasai Tomomi, Mihotan’s return really delighted me, and I probably cried from happiness.
The K-Pop Industry also saw its fair-share of debuts, with Dreamcatcher and BONUSBaby being two of my favourites. Though I rarely tune into that side of the music industry, I have found both groups rather appealing, and would love to see their future works, and watch how they develop as artists.
In short, it’s been just as eventful in debuts as it has been in withdrawals and graduations. Despite losing a good deal of Idols to the revolving door that is the Idol industry, we have gained just as many back. Hopefully, these debuts and additions will only further fuel your love for Idols, music, and all things J-pop. Hopefully.