Loss Stinks: No Country for Manakan


(Don’t worry. This’ll be the last post to begin like this, but the pun was too irresistible. Had to bring in some humor to this dark time!)

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Enjoying the Games so far? At least they provide a welcome distraction from the loss we experienced last week.

So let’s dig into “Manakaloss” and see… well… how we came to this point, for starters?


The act of surviving the departure of an idol is a brave act in of itself.

Brave In!


Back in April, it was reported that Country Girls member Inaba Manaka would go on hiatus, due to her asthma. The Country Girls’ spring/summer tour and the H!P summer tour were without her and a performance of their musical cancelled.

For months, fans worries and some even began to suspect that the “hiatus” announcement was merely a slow graduation period. (Despite my pessimism, I tried to keep up hope.)

Sure, Okai Chisato (who announced a similar hiatus a month later) returned from her break after a while. Starting with MC spots, Chisato eventually returned to full singing duty the very next performance.

Unfortunately, not all tales end the same way.

Instead of sharing in Okai Chisato’s fate of returning to the H!P stage, Inaba has joined the ranks of Mitsui Aika and Arihara Kanna; It was announced that Inaba Manaka had graduated from Country Girls effective immediately, due to a lack of improvement in her asthma symptoms. However, she is still under the Up-Front Umbrella and the management will explore possible activities with her in the future.

My Double Lincolns

It was nearly 4pm by the time I found out, going by the fact my retweets came hours after the news broke. (In fact, it did so just as the Kobushi Factory review was published. Oddly enough, in spite—or possibly because—of this, it still received a decent amount of views that day. If it wasn’t for the fact the Rio Olympics were officially beginning that week, I would’ve pushed it back.)

We all know that like the White Hare of Inaba (particularly the Kojiki version), an idol hops precariously on top of a bridge of sharks towards the next stop on her life’s journey—and she does so at the risk of being flayed. It is an intense world to be in, between the vocal/dance lessons, the constant performing under lights, the intense tour schedule, and the aforementioned  crocodiles…. What are those sharks? Anything in the idol world that can metaphorically wreck her, be it the critics and tarento or the fans at large.

The shark that rended Manaka’s flesh (metaphorically and sorry for the rather grisly imagery; blame her last name conjuring images of the tale) was her asthma. Given the fact that Manaka is still listed until UFA talent is one consolation to this sad news. At least one fan entertains the idea of her being involved in Hello! Pro Kenshuusei’s new Hokkaido branch.

The latest M3 Mystery deals with “Manakaloss.”

Stay brave,


    4 Responses to Loss Stinks: No Country for Manakan

    1. […] the terrible topics from last week, here’s one that’s more positive! Last week, the 2016 Ice Fairy […]


    2. […] landscape in the idol world. The rise of the Tsubakis came in a summer filled with promotions, graduations, “training completions,” and a disbandment (or […]


    3. […] third single. Unfortunately, it was posted at the same time as a sorrowful bit of news came out: Inaba Manaka’s impromptu graduation. Compounding this was news of more departures, this time from the […]


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