It's been a month and more since the graduation of two of the probably most underrated members in Morning Musume, Konno Asami and Ogawa Makoto. So how's life with Morning Musume without them?
Morning Musume has now become more of a variety group more than music artists now. After the finish of the stage musical tour Ribbon no Kishi, this seems more apparent. There were many activities in queue. The bunkasai cultural festival, the anti global warming campaign, Ecology Environment Culture festival, radio shows, the World Volleyball promotion etc. Their focus have now taken a different direction. No longer riding on the fading fame that they have attained during their "golden era". Personally, I don't know if it is a good thing, because I would prefer to see them in performance, than promoting campaigns. Yes, their appearances have their firmed up their existance more than other idol groups, but that has probably caused fans turn their attention to other groups for performance-entertainment. Many have started to think that their popularity has declined, and will inevitably disband someday. "Nothing is forever" I would say, but I want to see how far they would go before they do.
As for Konkon and Mako-chan, well... there may have been many speculations to their "real reason" behind their graduation. Yes, it is officially reported that Konkon is graduating from Momusu to concentrate on her studies, and she is aiming to enter a university. Mako-chan wants to study language abroad. But many have thought otherwise. Here is what I have heard so far:
- They are involved in some romantic scandal and are prematurely removed before any more development.
- Their producer Tsunku, had just got married to a former model, and it is said that it is under her influence that the "ugly ones" need to be filtered out of Momusu.
- Konkon has been partying around and drinking too. To avoid this being discovered and turned into scandal news, she is terminated early.
- Konkon and Makoto do not forsee a favourable future with Momusu if they stayed longer to graduate, as they are kept in the background most of the time. So they decided to plan for their own future.
These are just rumours and speculations, and even though they have even appeared on the newspapers, most deem this to be publicity stint for their own press company. I have the scans of those clippings, but I do not want be seen as jumping the wagon in order to get more hits for my blog. So I'll let you guys search for it yourselves, it shouldn't be hard to find based on the point I have here. Good luck!
On a separate note,
Konno Asami: She is still in Japan preparing for her pre-university examinations. She is spotted recently with Tsuji Nozomi attending a AAA concert together. Some people had taken raw pictures of them and are auctioning them at Yahoo!. Strange to see Hello!Project artists attending an Avex concert. They are supposed to be rival companies.
And Ogawa Makoto: It is reported from someone had spotted her at New Zealand. I'm skeptical about it, but I'll let you guys decide if it was fact, fluke or fiction. Read it here. Don't worry, the English excerpts are there too.
Hmm.... I seem to be sourcing from WHG a lot these days. But that's because that BBS has Japanese news by the Japanese themselves.