Tsunku has announced on his blog that Takahashi Ai is to graduate from Morning Musume and Hello! Project at the end of the Autumn 2011 tour.
The most beautiful, talented, good-hearted, sweet and unique idol Hello! Project has ever had will be leaving Hello! Project but hopefully not the music industry.
I’m getting used to these Sunday morning shocks now. Although to be honest Ai-chan leaving isn’t really a shock to me. The early announcement of it is though. I expected her to go this year. She’ll have been in Momusu 10 years and will be 25 years of age. I am not as disappointed as I was when I learned Koharu and Junjun were leaving. Ai-chan has had a great stint in Momusu as an idol and as a leader. Also I always wondered about the Nine Smile version of Joshi Kashshimashi Monogatari too…
She was bang in the middle of her stint as leader it seems.
Personally I really hope Ai-chan gets a solo career after this (should she want one of course). She has the talent and beauty to be very successful. Whatever she does though I wish her the best of luck. I will never forget all that she has done in H!P and all the enjoyment she has brought. Ai-chan has really enriched my life. Her personality is a great example to everyone. She is a true idol. Meeting her last July in Paris was one of the most amazing experiences for me. I still get really intense happy flashbacks to it. 🙂
A lot of people criticise Ai-chan for getting the majority of lines in songs but that’s hardly her fault. They should be criticising Tsunku instead (or maybe thanking him). Ai-chan has been the face of Momusu and H!P since Yossie and Miki left. She has been the perfect spokesperson for both the group and the record company. She cares so much for Momusu as can be seen by her tears on shows like Kizuna Restaurant. Ai-chan is in a (top) class of her own as both an idol and a human being. People who criticise her are also in a class of their own to me…at the other end of the spectrum.
I feel very positive for Ai-chan’s future. Besides this isn’t a time for sadness it’s a time to feel glad for all that she has given. She has enriched my life and I know she has enriched many MANY other people’s lives as well. Now we are lucky in that we can ensure we fully enjoy her last year in H!P. Personally I’ll be celebrating her perfection for the whole rest of the period until she graduates. I’m so glad now I ordered a personalised signed photo from the H!P fanclub. Maybe come the Autumn I’ll have to join the M-Line fanclub too. ><
Ai-chan I salute you!
Edit: Hello! Online have translations of Tsunku’s comment and Ai-chan’s. It seems after her graduation ai-chan will continue in music, theatre and live events which is great news! 😀