Her name was Riho and she danced across the stage…
Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
How has your week been? To provide some context towards the initial mood of this post, allow me to rewind to two weeks ago when a slight saga began. You might have heard of it…
It’s a saga involving one of my favorite artists. Long story short, she was harassed to the point of attempting suicide a fortnight ago and the fallout’s been messy; you can read about it here. I followed her because I was a fan of her webcomic Basin Vale and Tumblr was the only way I knew how to do so at the time. Good thing too as she has a rare chronic inherited condition that affects her ability to draw at times. Needless to say, besides an RSS feed, following her Tumblr is a somewhat reliable way to know when updates come–and when this went down two weeks ago, I pretty much had a front row seat.
This was around the time of the YouTube Red nonsense, which was a source of anxiety and (at times) depression during the following weekend. (Needless to say, writing the post helped get my feelings out and my thoughts together.) I considered taking a break from Twitter throughout the entire thing as whenever the artsy antics of my fellow artists wasn’t on my feed, it was the idol fandom.
Oh and one other reason I considered a hiatus was besides the artsy antics and the idol fandom’s meltdown, one other topic was the aforementioned drama involving the bullied fanartist as others began to speak out. (It even got mentioned on one of the series’ TV Tropes page under “Why The Fandom Can’t Have Nice Things” early in the week.) It made me further embarrassed to be a fan of the series (and I’m well aware how vitriolic certain fans can be).
Later that week, I began to open up to use YouTube like I normally did (as H!P isn’t the only reason I come to the site). While Hello! Station aired normally (and that didn’t suffer the effects, but it might be a while before I watch), everything seemed normal. The morning I watch AlphaOmegaSin chime in on the other drama (and you know it’s bad when not only does he gives his opinion on something non-game-related but also doesn’t close out his video normally) was followed that afternoon with…
I had just woken up from a nap and hoped the cries of “Riho’s graduating!” on my Twitter feed was a collective joke. Upon seeing this (re)tweet…
…and then Up-Front LINK’s tweet…
…reality hit me. Perhaps the emotional drain from YouTube Red and “Zamiigate” left me too numb to feel any shock (and the first thing I feel with grad announcements is subtle shock). Maybe it was the fact I was just woke up.
The first thing that came to me was TheNumber244’s review of MM15’s “Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki” and this quote, which inspired my related post about grad scaremongering:
…Consider also that the current longest tenured generation, the ninth generation, are well past the median tenure length for Morning Musume and have released as many singles with the group as Tsuji Nozomi, Kago Ai, Fujimoto Miki, and Kusumi Koharu. If you think they haven’t been in the group long enough to warrant a graduation, you’re wrong….
Perhaps they were more prophetic than I thought, than we thought even with that statement. Well, the clock began ticking and we’ll see if Riho’s graduation will have an effect on sales.
(Of course it will. You know it’s bad when you have celebrities freaking out about your announcement.)
Now… about a week later and we’re still processing the news. Just take a look at the various reactions around the fandom (and then some) collected on the Tumblr side-blog.
Just today, we received more footage on Hello! Station and even a little video on the Up-Front Link Facebook page:
Oh and if anyone’s wondering, the haggled artist is fine now and doing better, though she’d like to be left alone for the time being.
Keep talking for free, Eternal Idol Fans!
…Oh Rihoriho, hear them shout across the plan’
From atop Mount Fuji to seas far beyond Japan.