It’s both a joyous and sad day today. Well, maybe sad is too strong – closer to bittersweet, I think. Niigaki Risa, who has been a member of Morning Musume for over 10 years, has graduated. It really was about time, but I do find it a bit sad, because while she started out weak, her voice became quite powerful and unique in the group, and unlike some other members, I have never felt overwhelmed by her presence in the group. I feel like she has always added, and rarely if ever taken away from the draw of the group. That’s why it’s a bit hard for me to see her go. I will miss her, but it was time.
Oh yeah, Aika’s gone too. Not that the group has really changed much from that though, vocally she wasn’t much of a presence, and aside from singing she hasn’t really done anything over the past year due to her injury. I still think that the group benefits from her leaving, but I am a little sympathetic to her plight, it’s really a shame that it had to end that way for her. But then again, if she hadn’t been injured I still wouldn’t want her in any longer because I don’t feel like she ever brought much to the group in the first place, even at 100% function.
Oh, but that’s not all the news we have for today. And that’s why it’s a joyous day for me…
11th generation auditions have now officially been announced! I really, really love me some Momusu auditions. It’s weird, because with other groups, I don’t care for a rotating roster – I get irritated when they announce new auditions for other groups, especially when it seems like a cheap grab for publicity. But Morning Musume is different for me, the influx keeps it fresh, and so I welcome it.
The past 2 generations that have been added have really reawakened my love for this group. We’ve had 8 girls added, and I actually love each and every one of them. I wouldn’t put back a single one. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some (for instance, I’ve grown quite fond of Mizuki and Masaki lately), and some I’ve been gung-ho for from the beginning (Haruka, Kanon). I found both auditions very enjoyable to follow, and the blooming process for the girls has been delightful to watch. Now I’m really hoping that 11th generation will bring that same revitalizing feeling to the group and keep the good times rolling.
The only thing I’m iffy about is that I do still feel like some of the new girls haven’t had a chance to really shine yet, and I’d like to see more from them before the line distribution gets stretched thin from getting more members. We have some great singing talent in girls like Mizuki, Ayumi, and Haruka, but it hasn’t been used yet. We have some girls whose singing voices I don’t even really know yet because they haven’t had many lines at all, like Erina, Haruna, and Masaki. So, I hope that the singles coming up for Morning Musume in the next few months can show off these girls some more, before I fall in love with the newbies.
This is rather optimistic for me, assuming that I will like the new girls. There have certainly been generations that were total duds for me (thankfully all gone now). But, the last ones have been so good, I can’t help but be filled with excitement and high hopes!