Been SO busy with work and I didn't have the time to digest the news of Tsuji's marrying Sugiura. Please take this blog post as my personal way of ranting and collecting my thoughts. Apologies in advance for any offense caused.
So here we go...
There are so many scandals going on in Hello! Project. That I can't help but wonder - what has happened? Who or what started it? Here I recount some, and only some, of the many scandals that I can recall and blog about.
Any news press that talk about scandals within Hello! Project will surely mention Marippe on their articles. Now, she is not only remembered for her outgoing and outspoken personality, she has become the mother of all scandals in H!P. Sure, Nacchi and Kaorin had been rumoured to have boyfriends, it wasn't as shocking as Marippe's.
I've said this before and I'll say it again - I've always thought Yaguchi Mari's scandal with Oguri Shun wasn't a coincidence. At the back of my mind, I still think that it was damn well planned and orchestrated. Why? Because I've read news, rumours and other hear-says that Marippe was tired of being Morning Musume leader but nobody listens to her, or do not offer enough respect. When I watched the video of the jacket photoshoot for "Namida Tomaranai Hokago" single, I saw the other girls playfully teasing Marippe for her height. Sure they're friends and all, but come on... she's their senpai and leader. You don't see them do that to Kaorin, do you? (With the exception of Yossie, of course) Therefore, I suspected that she used this method to force her agency to remove her from Morning Musume.
Now, being a big fan of "The Gooch", I still reserve about 30% of doubt about her scandal. Maybe she did indeed found a happy relationship with Oguri. However, apparently due to work commitments, they broke up, but Oguri found another girlfriend soon after, in Tokuzawa Naoko . Marippe, on the other hand, doesn't seem too shaken by this, and found herself headlining the Friday tabloid with another relationship, this time with former Kansai Johnny's Jr. - Uotani Teruaki.
But, no matter what was the truth behind her private life and relationships, in my view, this has caused a chain reaction of scandals later on. Did the other girls used Marippe's case as an example? Did Marippe's daring actions and having the guts to make her own decisions about her own life affect others?
Kago Ai was caught enjoying a puff on Virginia Slims at a restaurant, and as we all know, was suspended for underage smoking. Later on, she was reportedly feeling the regret, and worked as an intern en route to her come back. Then it happened again, and not only because that she was reported by Weekly Gendai that she was smoking again, she spent the night with Ishimoto of SOMA at an onsen.
However, I suspected that this incident may have happened much, much earlier. There were sightings of Kago going for onsen trips during the same year of her suspension, so maybe that news was recycled again due to her hot comeback news. Cos' I still cannot get over the fact that the current chief editor of Weekly Gendai was formerly working for Friday. Nevertheless, Kago had admitted to the relationship.
Ayaya have long been associated with Keita Tachibana of Jpop super trio w-inds. Later on, good ol' Friday tabloid made it official when they spotted her loaded with bags groceries and stayed over night at his house that one night. This news didn't get too publicized, due to it being an "open secret". The storm slowly settled down and nobody got kicked out of either of their agencies. Which brings me to the next person who also didn't get kicked out.
This by far is the least scandal-like. Mostly due to the positive feedback by UFA, and the much televised press conference announcing the marriage. Why, yesterday's Haromoni@ even featured the announcement in the final minutes of the show. Tsuji did the right thing of pre-informing the agency about her relationship, probably have lessen the severity of her "scandal". However, I still lament the timing of it. But who knows, maybe the agency have gotten used to these news already, OR maybe this is a start of how differently the management view their talents' personal life.
... and the most ironic of them all...
Sorry I had to bring this up, CJ.
I dove into my picture archives and found this....
Can't remember when and where I got this from, but most possibly it was back when Reina got Friday'd last year.
Reina was involved with a boy in high school, and eyewitnesses said that they saw the two have been going out together many times. The agency couldn't afford to lose her to a scandal at that point of time, where Morning Musume's popularity was already fading and was trying to promote her by making her center in the "Ambitious! Yashinteki de Ii Jan" single.
So the agency summoned her to the meeting room and asked her "Either you break up with him, or you quit", in which Reina promptly replied "Okay, I'll quit", much to their surprise. We don't know what happened in the end or what UFA did, eventually Reina is still around and her boyfriend was never mentioned ever again. But as a result, Reina was never featured much ever since then and became the least active member in Morning Musume... compared to Sayu, Kame, Gaki-san, and even newcomer Mittsi, who have their own radio shows.
The ironic part of that news clip is that a personnel from another agency suggested a surefire method for her freedom from UFA - get pregnant. However, this method cannot be executed smoothly because her boyfriend was still in high school. Whether Tsuji picked up this idea from Reina or not, is up to us to guess.
These are only a few that made it to the headlines. I didn't even list down the other rumoured scandals yet and...... you know what, I think I might do that on my next post.
Thanks for reading.