The idol world can never sit still for a minute. This is something that we should all know, but it has seemed more volatile lately than usual, and it’s got me thinking.
Over the past year, some of the groups that I’ve come to love have changed a lot. We’ve had graduations from many groups, some expected, and some unexpected. We’ve also had auditions and additions, also both expected and unexpected.
Recently, more graduations and auditions have been announced for some groups that I follow, some of which have taken me by surprise. The 2 groups that have surprised me with auditions recently are Passpo, and now also Fairies. Although both relatively new, neither had had members added before, and both have a fairly large amount of girls in the first place (even with one out of the picture for Passpo). It seems that, more and more, a revolving roster is becoming the “in” thing for idol groups to do. We’ve had groups like Morning Musume and xxx48 who already had an established adding and subtracting process, but established groups that never really did that before are now doing it, and groups that are still relatively new are as well.
I know there’s a good chance I’ll end up liking the newbies – I usually do, unless they’re really bad. I just don’t really like the idea of every group shaking things up with new people constantly. I don’t mind a few with changing line-ups, especially if the groups were made with that in mind, but it’s jarring to have it happen with almost every new group out there. Not only that, but it also means that the underdog girls we may have been rooting for will have even less of a chance to shine.
On the opposite side of auditions, we have graduations that have happened or have been scheduled to happen in groups, as well. Ebichuu and Super Girls have had girls leave recently. S/mileage is down to only 2 original members out of 4. Passpo’s member who graduated left due to an injury. Among the 48 factory, there have been scandals causing the dismissal or resignation of girls. And now, another group I’ve come to like, Sakura Gakuin, is graduating the 3 oldest members after their next single, when they enter high school.
I suppose that’s part of the plan for that particular group, to keep the age focused at the junior high level, but I feel like it puts a very limited time on the current and (I assume there will be) future members… Doesn’t it?
Realistically, there is a time limit on how long you can be a good, successful, relevant idol in general. But I’m a bit dismayed that this group I like so much is so temporary in its lineup. Graduations may happen with other groups, like Morning Musume, but the timeline isn’t pre-determined by age or grade. Somehow having a junior high graduation looming as the deadline for being in the group makes it seem like everyone is just waiting for their turn on the chopping block.
I’m also not too keen on the whole Fairies audition, either. Does this mean graduations are ahead? Or does it just mean more girls, and less time to shine for the current members? There’s a wealth of talent there already, just waiting to show their stuff. Is it too much to ask to get to really know all the original members before stuffing the group so full of girls you can’t keep track of them?
Maybe that’s a little harsh, since this is the idol world we are talking about, and that has never had permanence as one of its traits, but… Some stability, even if it’s only in our heads, might be reassuring and make it easier to be a fan.
Just my thoughts.