Tsunku came, Tsunku saw, Tsunku even ate, but Tsunku left without leaving anything for us Aibon-hungry fans.
The highly anticipated announcement about Kago Ai's fate at the dinner show at Nara never took place. The streets of the cyber forums went amok, everyone was almost sure that Aibon will never come back. Well no announcement is maybe better, if the announcement is a negative one of course.
So what's next?
Most comments I found, and most fans agree, since Aibon is not part of the Winter Tour 2007 show, is that she may never return this year, but maybe after she reaches 20 years of age. Not good at all.
Being realistic, observing the common lawful usage of contracts, is that UFA may want to stall the activity of Aibon, until her contract expires. Then she may be released after that. Or she may be released prematurely with a certain amount of compensation. Compensation not to Aibon may be, cos one may argue that Aibon breached the contract in terms of personal conduct. UFA may need to continue compensate all related parties for monetary loss, however. Like the music publications and stuff.
If you want to be hopeful, here are some points to consider, based on my personal observation:
1) Aibon's profile is still in H!P site. She may return later. If she is deemed to be terminated, her profile should be long gone by now. H!P is very effective when it comes to such things. Konno Asami's references have been removed entirely from the artist list though her pictues remained intact (can't be helped)
2) Tsuji did not get any solo act. Though she is scheduled to a variety of activities such as Hello! Morning, variety show appearances, FLETS, concerts, etc. She has never been scheduled for any musical project. You see, she is never considered to be a solo artist. Like Ishikawa Rika, Tsuji doesn't have a personal artist bio in Hello! Project nor Up Front Works. So W is the only way for her to perform. You can't have Tsuji act as a variety idol for 2 years, can you? (Err, well maybe you can, looking at Yaguchi Mari's current condition. But that's different) Therefore, we may expected Tsuji to be able to perform when W is reactivated, along with Aibon
or when Aibon is replaced with someone else.
3) There's that link about the suspension of Aibon and W activities, as mentioned before. And it's STILL there, lingering on the front page 'Topics' and the news list. What gives? H!P wants us to forget about Aibon, but not wanting us to forget her entirely? It's just not natural, you have an old link mixing around with the newer news. Something is brewing. I just know it.
Right now, I'm sadly listening to the continuous loop of W's rendition of "Matsu wa" (I will wait)...