And Then There Were None

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

Happy New Year! …kinda.

As the sun set on a decade, tears of Country Girls faithful were dried by the promise of a new tomorrow. The COUNTDOWN PARTY went as expected (unless you were watching a certain stream) and we welcomed the new days.

A day passed without fanfare, the calendar having hit the Refresh button to mark a new beginning. Of course, as expected from the start of a winter tour, an announcement was made:

Great news for all! What a way to begin a new year. After all, Morning Musume’s 15th Generation audition was announced on that date, along with the (initial) 13th Gen audition for the same group.

Of course, that wasn’t the end of the surprises throughout the winter (tour). If you remember the way I titled certain posts (or sections of a post) (or just took a look at the Hello! Project website‘s news section–or the H!P online fandom), then you’d have a good idea what I’m talking about:

Of course, such an announcement would not be without reaction:

True story: The above tweet was how I found out about it, hence my own little remark:

Wait, so U.N. Owen was… Ayapan? (Might still be UFA though.)

Of course, if you’re inclined to believe the rumor mill, the real reason Kobushi Factory is disbanding is because Hamaura Ayano was caught with a boy! Her beau posted pics on social media and the wota went wild!

…Yeah, you can tell I’m a little skeptical about that line of thought (contrary to certain types on a certain Discord server and other such places). Considering how organized the “farewell tour” is (last single on March 4, last concert 26 days later on the 30th), it’d be a tad strange to suddenly drop the hammer because some “photos” surfaced a few days (i.e. two days, as of this writing) ago.

Doesn’t help that the more I think about the wota’s “detective work,” the more I think of that heartbreakingly creepy story involving an underground idol who was assaulted by a fan who found out where she lived by looking at buildings reflected in her eyes in her photos!

I’m also now reminded of a portion of an interview done with Purin at Ask Japanese:

Cathy: What do you care about being an idol?
Purin: What I care…. Avoid being found.
Cathy: You mean avoid your house being found?
(Purin nods)
Purin: There are a lot of idols who were found. When it is a rookie who just started out, they would take selfies on a train or do this at their closest station. When it’s uploaded, it is instantly found and the Otaku was waiting at the station.
Cathy: (gasps) Ah….
Purin: Those happen.
Cathy: That’s a bit scary.
Purin: (nods) You can’t easily receive gifts. I’m told so often about this. Stuffed animals would have a wire tap and have GPS is quite famous.
Cathy: They find where you live, and listen to what you are saying.
(Purin nods)
Cathy: Ah, Scary!
Purin: Scary. That’s what I’m careful about.
(They nod)

Ask Japanese – SAD TRUTH about being an IDOL in Japan: shocking confession of an ex-idol

Anywho, regardless of whether you think the disbandment was the result of diverging paths or punishment for having some on the side (or both), it is still a sad day for Hello! Project and its fans.

My reaction may be along the lines of below…

…But it doesn’t change the fact that it was a shock and unexpected, especially so soon after an audition was announced.

(Given that Inoue Rei is staying in H!P, there’s immense speculation about what group she may end up in, if at all. ANGERME and Juice=Juice are top contenders, followed by Morning Musume ’20, Tsubaki Factory, and a possible new group.)

No matter what happens, I wish the One Punch Maggies (who really gave us quite the punch) all the best. (Maybe I’ll finally get to reviewing their newer singles. I’ve been meaning to tackle one in particular.)

Oh, and before I forget, in true H!P fandom fashion, a graduation project has sprung up!

Eight Little Magnolias debuted in Idol Heaven.
One got terminated and then there were seven.
Seven Little Magnolias cured our idol fix.
One graduated and then there were six.
Six Little Magnolias tried to stay alive.
One also got booted and then there were five.
Five Little Magnolias chased the new sun.
All ended activities and then there were none.

Until next time,

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