Arama They Didn't

9:21 am - 01/09/2011

Takahashi Ai to graduate from Morning Musume and Hello! Project in Autumn 2011

Announced at the end of today's first show at Nakano Sunplaza, Takahashi Ai is to graduate from Morning Musume and Hello! Project at Morning Musume's 2011 Autumn concert tour.

According to the official announcement Takahashi Ai will continue to be active in music, theater, and live events after her graduation. Details will gradually be released.

Takahashi Ai to graduate from Morning Musume in autumn 2011
Announced at 2011.01.09 Hello! Project winter concert

Audio of Takahashi Ai's announcement at the Hello! Project winter concert this evening


Official web announcement (Japanese)
Translation thanks to H!O

This is the comment regarding Takahashi Ai's graduation from Morning Musume

Thank you for your continual support as always. As announced directly herself on the stage of January 9th's show at Nakano Sunplaza, 5th generation member, Takahashi Ai will be graduating from both Morning Musume and Hello! Project in Morning Musume's concert tour this fall.

When the proposal for Kamei Eri's graduation was made last year, I told Takahashi Ai, "It's about time you should consider the timing of your own graduation and what you want to pursuit afterward" as an advice.

The 5th generation members will have joined Morning Musume for 10 years. Takahashi Ai is the 6th leader and has been in this position for 3 years and 7 months. Takahashi Ai holds the record for being the longest in the group and the longest to hold the leader position. Looking back, she has honestly carried the responsibility for all this time. (In no disrespect to all former members and leaders of the group...excuse me)

I have talked with her about various things, such as her activities afterward As announced in the new year concert, her graduation will be in Morning Musume's Autumn concert tour, this was the right time to make the announcement.

Since there are still more than half a year to go, the 9th generation members have to familiarize themselves with Morning Musume's music and dances, to become self aware that they are part of the group. Takahashi plans to properly finish her job as leader in the mean time.

Please be looking forward to what will become of Morning Musume.

Takahashi Ai will continue to be active in music, theater, and live events after her graduation.
Details will gradually be released.

Also, after Takahashi Ai's graduation, Niigaki Risa will assume the leader position of the group,
and become the longest active member of Morning Musume


Takahashi's official comment (Japanese)
Translation thanks to H!O

It has been decided that, I, Takahashi Ai, during Morning Musume's concert tour this Autumn, will be graduating from Morning Musume and Hello! Project.

At the time when Kamei Eri, JunJun and LinLin's graduations were decided, Tsunku-san told me, "It's about time Takahashi should think about your own graduation's timing!" which has gotten me thinking.

I will have been in Morning Musume for 10 years comes this August, So I thought it will be a good time! to graduate in the Autumn Morning Musume concert tour.

As there are still around 9 months left, I will do my best as leader until that time to shape up this new Morning Musume.

I will be affectionate to the newly added 9th generation members as I try to teach them various things, everyone please rest assured.

Takahashi Ai

awkwardnormalcy 9th-Jan-2011 09:39 am (UTC)
dude, does this mean Sayumin is going to be the sub-leader? Weird, I've been wondering what Sayu has leader is going to be like for so long, and with Eri gone the steps between her and the position got shorter, and now look...Sixth Gen takeover, initiate!
you_speak_lies 9th-Jan-2011 09:42 am (UTC)
I think Sayu would make an awesome leader.
awkwardnormalcy 9th-Jan-2011 09:48 am (UTC)
I agree, Sayu has a very pragmatic mind, I mean look at this persona she built up and how she has made it work for her. She's had more appearances on variety shows recently than any other Musume because of the planning, and she is one of the most well read Musume in recent generations (outshined only by Konkon).

She is also independent and strong, which I admire. Erinin even mentioned that in her goodbye DVD. /rant
you_speak_lies 9th-Jan-2011 09:51 am (UTC)
All this. And, although I can't remember what it's from, I swear I once saw a video of Ai saying that, of the two of them, Sayu was the responsible one.
awkwardnormalcy 9th-Jan-2011 09:54 am (UTC)
-nods- I remember that too, and a long long time ago Miki said on a radio show that it annoyed her whenever Sayu was acting all cutsey because in all reality she is more mature than that.
you_speak_lies 9th-Jan-2011 10:01 am (UTC)
Of course, the only problem with this is that she'll be the last leader ever because I'm fairly certain Sayu is never leaving Morning Musume. I still think that the real reason Koharu graduated is because Tsunku told Sayu that she was going to be the next to leave, then went home that night to find Sayu sitting in the dark, holding his baby and saying, "It sure is a shame that Koharu is graduating, isn't it? I'll miss her but I'll keep bringing cuteness to Morning Musume. Forever."
ryocchi 9th-Jan-2011 10:13 am (UTC)
Yet I disagree, this persona works for herself but not for leader material, she's the most hated member/less liked member by the non fans, and for the New Momosu we NEED a Leader that could bring a new generation of fans, she's very sincere in her opinions and all but yet I see her as a very individualistic girl, who would be rather bearing than enjoying the leader position, she's awesome as she is because she have more freedom to be herself =).
awkwardnormalcy 9th-Jan-2011 10:31 am (UTC)
But just like Takahashi stepped up whenever she became leader and became more colorful during shows and interviews, Sayumi can also become more appealing to non-fans when necessary. Her and Koharu bonded even though they were 'rivals' and I think she will help this new generation, while reaching a new generation of Morning Musume fans through her modeling that she has already started, and her experience on variety shows. Sayu leader will not be the same as just Morning Musume's Sayumi.

She is rather individualistic but if you think like that then more success for Morning Musume = More success for Sayumi, and remember that Sayumi loves Morning Musume, her and Gakisan may love the group more than any other members.

Sorry I went on a bit of a tangent there, but I really liked your opinion, I think you make some interesting points!
ryocchi 9th-Jan-2011 10:58 am (UTC)
haha you flatter me =) I just said my honest thoughts, and you gave me something to think about in return, thanks!
ryocchi 9th-Jan-2011 10:08 am (UTC)
I disagree, Sayu is awesome, but she doesn't have the charisma or the maturity for an idol, not going very further this year she she got in some scandals & gained a lot of haters.

She's very sincere, which is okay as long as she reflects herself, but as a leader she needs to see not just for herself, but for the whole group, & I think having to refrain would make her unhappy.
you_speak_lies 9th-Jan-2011 10:20 am (UTC)
I don't agree about the charisma thing but for the sake of argument, nobody thought Ai had the charisma to be leader either but she blossomed in the role and I don't think anyone would argue she hasn't been great.

As far as maturity and the ability to take the whole group into consideration goes, I think she does have both of those things. Although it's possible I may have missed a lot, I can't personally recall any of the other members saying that she's anywhere near as immature or selfish as her persona is. I've actually heard her called the responsible big-sister type repeatedly, which I think is exactly what a leader needs to be.
ryocchi 9th-Jan-2011 10:27 am (UTC)
I hope to be wrong if it comes the time for her to be the leader, and she blossoms as beautifully as Ai did, for the sake of Momosu, but i still think Sayu needs to find that something to attain her fully potential, as for the current time i would prefer to Reina to take over the sub-leader position =)
you_speak_lies 9th-Jan-2011 10:33 am (UTC)
I think bypassing her would be an unnecessary slap in the face. If Tsunku really wants to avoid making her the leader, he can just force her to graduate or say she's voluntarily giving the leader position to Reina when Risa graduates.
awkwardnormalcy 9th-Jan-2011 10:41 am (UTC)
What scandals? Are you talking about the humming AKB incident?

And what..? Sayumi is one of the most mature Musume...0.o
you_speak_lies 9th-Jan-2011 10:54 am (UTC)
I seem to remember something about her making "Chinese" eyes, although I'm not sure how anyone could tell they were specifically Chinese. Maybe she said they were. But there were two other girls in those pictures, too, and I think Reina was one of them. Or maybe Ai was. There have been a couple of kerfluffles about people posting mean stuff in her blog, but that's blown over by now. Both have, as far as I know.
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