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Who do you think graduated too soon / too late? 25 replies to this topic Started by Farrah , Aug 03 2019 01:24 PM · 

#1 Farrah

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 01:24 PM

I'm really curious on people's opinions about this.  There are a lot of girls who I wish had stuck around a little longer, and a few I think went stagnant but refused to leave.   

 

Yossie is one for me where it felt like she was around forever.  I don't think the group's path would've been any different if she'd left when Koharu came into the picture.  Her best skill was variety and by that point in time, MM's variety presence was quickly declining.  I'm aware this is an incredibly unpopular opinion though.  

 

I'll always wish Kamei had stuck around just a little bit longer, but it's impossible to imagine her in the songs that came after her departure, so I guess in a way it was meant to be.  I just miss her voice so much!

 

Gocchin moving to Avex made perfect sense - she accomplished most all she could at a company like UFP and her talent was growing beyond what they could foster... but it basically ended up killing her career because Avex could never figure out what the hell to do with her, lol.



#2 AquaChan

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 03:47 PM

As much as liked the Rival Survival concert, I'd wish JunLin (and even Kamei too) would have stayed longer to be there when 9th gen would joined.



#3 JPope

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 04:27 PM

Oh, this is catnip for me on a day off!

 

The ones I wish hung around longer are Fukuda, Iichi and Fujimoto. In hindsight, maybe Linlin, but I wasn't really following the group when she left. Actually, I wasn't following them when Asuka and Sayaka were members, either, but I liked both of them and would love to have seen how the songs soon after they left would have sounded with them. 
 
Fujimoto is interesting, as she got four-and-a-half years in the group, which wasn't out of the ordinary at that time, but she was also part of the generations that would end up staying a long time. Her abrupt departure didn't help.
 
In general, I think most of the 5th and 6th gen Platinum era girls were there too long, even if they were among the most talented. The group got stale for a few years, and the girls that should have taken the torch from them -- Koharu, JunLin, Aika -- either didn't or couldn't, and ended up graduating before them. OTOH, the Sayu Era totally justified her long tenure in the end. I wouldn't trade that for much.
 
WRT to Maki, I would have loved it if she stuck around another year or so, too, but I get why they graduated her. The time for starting her proper solo career was right then. 
 
I think the company that never knew what the hell to do with Maki was UP FRONT, and because of that, she probably waited too long to move to Avex. Had she moved the moment she graduated MM, she would have been near the peak of her popularity, would have still been fairly young at 17, and would have avoided being tied to the decline of both MM and H!P overall. As it was, I think Avex was just sort of taking a flyer on Goto, in the same way a major league sports team does when they sign an aging vet to see if he has anything left in the tank. I don't think they ever planned on being all that serious about promoting her career unless one of her early realeases managed to break out, which obviously never happened.

 



#4 Madara

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 06:31 PM

I think Reina should have stayed longer. I liked the Reina and Riho show while it lasted. LoVendor turned out to be a good group, but it wasn't my style of music.

 

And, of course, Riho. It pained me when she left and it has pained me ever since that she's gone.

 

I can't think of anyone who outstayed their welcome, not even among the current crew. Well, except maybe Koharu. In her last year or so, she seemed unhappy in MM and didn't do much for the morale of the others. This despite having racked up a surprising solo career on the side, complete with albums, singles and PVs, more than any H!P soloist after her got, except possibly Erina Mano.



#5 DonJuan

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 07:15 PM

Too soon:

 

Unpopular opinion: Ogata Haruna. I know she wasn't well liked in this forum and I agree, she was kind of a fodder-member - but there's really nothing that sticks. She could have been a visual but as soon as her weight problems started (first becoming too thin, then becoming a bit chubby) they'd always put her in the back. She could have done some of the little variety stuff they do, but then it was just way too little (and they did keep her down nevertheless). I won't talk about her singing/dancing. I think if she had stayed a bit longer she could at least have gotten Harunan's position - the talker. While she was still in the group there were pretty much always Harunan, Ayumi and even Ikuta talking first (and the leader, of course), if she had stayed she could have gotten more. But well, in the end it's not that much of a difference, right?

 

Then the usual. Asuka, Ichii, Linlin... I'd also throw in Aika - I know, another unpopular opinion. But she was ready to take up that senior position after having been the youngest for how long? 6 years? I'm so glad they finally gave Akane some kouhais. Of course, Aika wasn't good at performing and she wasn't that charismatic either, but just as Oharu, she could have stepped up as soon as the older members graduated.

 

That being said, I'm usually against the "everybody will have their spotlight once the senpai graduated" thinking. It's important to push yourself as soon as possible. The only 12ki member who did that was Maria and it helped her a lot. (Yokoyama) Reina too - talking back to Haruna made her stick in some people's memories. And she's not even that popular! But management sees something in her, probably diligence.

 

On Goto: Well, she jumped ship! Granted, MM didn't go down that quickly after her graduation, but graduating at your peak is better than graduating without having reached anything.

 

Too late:

 

Oof. There's a bunch. As mentioned above this part colludes with the "too soon" graduations. Had Ai, Gaki, Reina, Eri and Sayumi graduated earlier, Aika could have actually done something in the group. Had Ikuta or Harunan graduated by the time Oharu was still in the group, said girl could have been more memorable. (Though to be honest - might be the Harunan fan in me - Harunan had a perfect tenure.) Currently I'd say the oldest three definitely are at that point. Mizuki, Ikuta and Ayumi can't grow anymore, but they could easily give a bit more responsibility to Sakura, and judging from her interviews she is one who values the senpai system a lot, so she would never step up on her own in topics that don't focus on performing. Same with Miki, unfortunately. At this rate the girl will graduate as a third line singer just because she doesn't push herself next to the seniors.

Masaki is a special case, she doesn't want responsibility.

 

I remember back in the day people said Iida was in the group for too long. Values have changed, eh. I kind of understand where they were coming from, though. Rika would have made a great leader (skipping Yaguchi again).

The problem with Yossy was the gap in maturity/experience/whatever. The gap between 4th and 5th gen. I'm sure Miki would have left soon after again, simply because she didn't want to be leader, so it would have gone to Ai again - and at any point earlier than reality that would have been too early. So looking at Yossy as an individual, yeah, she stayed too long. She would have gotten a better ending to her active idol career if she didn't graduate during MM's low years. For the group though? Difficult.

 

To wrap it up: Generally the Platinum girls (Koharu, Aika and Pandas aside), they're repeating that mistake with the 3 oldest current members. Back in the day maybe Kaori, maybe Yossy.

 

 

Interesting topic by the way. Seems like this forum is on a roll! Keep the discussion topics coming!



#6 WonderBuono

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 08:31 PM

Assuming we’re not just talking about Morning Musume - First to come to mind: Uta. That girl’s career was the definition of “five minutes of fame” xD

#7 JPope

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Posted 03 August 2019 - 08:48 PM

The problem with Oharu was that she never seemed comfortable doing anything, and if you're going to be a face/spokes-idol for the group (which is about the only shot she had to contribute to MM), you've got to be comfortable talking and doing the give-and-take that Japanese variety shows demand. I think she was just overwhelmed by everything from the start, and never managed to get her head above water. 



#8 Farrah

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 09:52 AM

 

Oh, this is catnip for me on a day off!

 

The ones I wish hung around longer are Fukuda, Iichi and Fujimoto. In hindsight, maybe Linlin, but I wasn't really following the group when she left. Actually, I wasn't following them when Asuka and Sayaka were members, either, but I liked both of them and would love to have seen how the songs soon after they left would have sounded with them. 
 
Fujimoto is interesting, as she got four-and-a-half years in the group, which wasn't out of the ordinary at that time, but she was also part of the generations that would end up staying a long time. Her abrupt departure didn't help.
 
In general, I think most of the 5th and 6th gen Platinum era girls were there too long, even if they were among the most talented. The group got stale for a few years, and the girls that should have taken the torch from them -- Koharu, JunLin, Aika -- either didn't or couldn't, and ended up graduating before them. OTOH, the Sayu Era totally justified her long tenure in the end. I wouldn't trade that for much.
 
WRT to Maki, I would have loved it if she stuck around another year or so, too, but I get why they graduated her. The time for starting her proper solo career was right then. 
 
I think the company that never knew what the hell to do with Maki was UP FRONT, and because of that, she probably waited too long to move to Avex. Had she moved the moment she graduated MM, she would have been near the peak of her popularity, would have still been fairly young at 17, and would have avoided being tied to the decline of both MM and H!P overall. As it was, I think Avex was just sort of taking a flyer on Goto, in the same way a major league sports team does when they sign an aging vet to see if he has anything left in the tank. I don't think they ever planned on being all that serious about promoting her career unless one of her early realeases managed to break out, which obviously never happened.

 

 

I can't believe I forgot to mention Fukuda!  It would've been such a treat to have that voice in MM for a bit longer.  In a way, it feels like her departure defined the group because they immediately moved away from the more vocally challenging stuff into dance music.   In general, it's a big deal when a vocal group loses it's best vocalist so I've always wondered if that whole genre shift happened as a result of her graduation.  And if I assume the move to more traditional idol music was already planned, then I'm forced to imagine Asuka in songs like Love Machine and Koi no Dance Site... which I can't do, because she wouldn't have fit at all LOL.  Either way, it would've been great to watch her grow, she was insanely talented for someone so young.

 

I have... a lot of feelings about the Maki / Avex thing, haha.  Maki skipping out on H!P for Avex was a big news story, and I'm sure many people would've tuned in to her debut, but Avex had her in the dungeon.  Right after signing on to Avex, she did an appearance on a women's radio show and over 30,000 people wrote in with questions for her, so the interest was obviously there. But, that was essentially the only public appearance she did, so the interest quickly fizzled out.  There were no TV performances, no variety appearances... Avex did nothing to keep the general public's attention. Worse yet, they only released the Sweet Black singles digitally, and everyone knows that idols have terrible digital sales. I'll always think Avex dropped the ball.  They should have taken a more traditional approach to her debut.

 

I can't believe I forgot Uta!  That girl had the potential to breathe new life into H!P as a whole, imo.  The fanfare surrounding her was really, really big.  I hadn't seen wota so excited about someone in years, and they still constantly talk about her wasted potential.  I think her mom likely did her a huge favor by pulling her out of the game - show business is a generally shady place.  But there's no denying, she was on the fast track to becoming one of H!P's biggest idols.  I feel like we'd still have Country Girls had it not been for Uta's graduation.  Everything felt kind of weird after that.



#9 DonJuan

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 11:22 AM

The problem with Oharu was that she never seemed comfortable doing anything, and if you're going to be a face/spokes-idol for the group (which is about the only shot she had to contribute to MM), you've got to be comfortable talking and doing the give-and-take that Japanese variety shows demand. I think she was just overwhelmed by everything from the start, and never managed to get her head above water. 

 

I disagree. To me it looked like she didn't know what was okay for her to do. Probably because management has told her to keep her weird antics down.

 

Talking about other groups: Uta, definitely. Also Murakami Megumi. Maybe she would have made °C-ute's earlier-to-mid years more interesting and less of an Airi show. Come to think of it, I also think Yanami was a bit too early.

Of course, someone graduating to an illness is always sad. I would say that at least Eri has made a name for herself during her time in MM, but I'm still sad about Maho.



#10 Solarblade

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 06:51 PM

I think I could make a list for now of both!

 

===Too Soon===

Asuka Fukuda - I think just for the fact she was so talented and young and left at their 5th single was enough to qualify, but as Farrah said, it is a bit difficult to imagine a timeline where she was in the line up for songs like "LOVE Machine" and further on....she was just that mature of a voice (then again Yuko, Kaori, and Ayappe too seemed to be ok)

 

Aya Ishiguro - I would say she left too soon just for the simple fact that she left Tanpopo more.  I dunno why but I seemed to really enjoy 1st Gen Tanpopo the most and wasn't fully into the cute shift once Aibon and Rika joined.  Not sure about Momusu since she was more of a supporting member to me, but I felt her graduation was a bit of a bummer

 

Hiromi Yanagihara - Doesn't need to be explained

 

Azusa Kobayashi - I mean I kind of get why she left, but I kind of played the what if scenario here I wonder if she hadn't had left maybe Country Musume would've been different.

 

Danielle - I think she left too soon almost on the basis that she was an amazing singer during her tenure.  I'm not sure what could've happened had she not left, but I don't know

 

Lehua - 3 singles, but I don't feel quite as bad letting her go since she wasn't near at the level of Danielle, Mika, or Ayaka

 

Taiyou to Ciscomoon / T&C Bomber - Just so much talent gone after almost 2 years of activity.  I really liked them and wished they had all continued longer than what they did.

 

Sheki-dol - I was more curious to see where this group would go because they were pretty good too...but I didn't think they'd disband so immediately after a major debut.

 

Chinatsu Miyoshi - 3 singles was not enough IMO, despite not being produced by Tsunku, I don't know what her future could've been within H!P be like (maybe she could've been like the same route as Michiyo or even Yuko post-Enka singles)

 

Maki Goto - Just in the Momusu sense...I think having her focus on her solo was a good idea, but having been in only 8 singles (and 3-ish albums) doesn't seem long enough for me.  Plus she was the group's biggest deal at the time so I don't know what the company was thinking letting her graduate early on that sense.

 

Rika Ishii - She had potential and could've been placed in a group and not be the "Douyou Pops" girl...I felt like her tenure was just kind of a waste of time.

 

Miuna Saito - I feel like she got shafted in the long run being only in 3 singles and basically left to rot in Country Musume, It makes me wonder why she (or Kimura and Satoda) were just never sent to anything post "Shining Itoshiki Anata".

 

Ai Kago & Nozomi Tsuji - Just in Momusu, I think they could've done a couple more years in the group since they were still pretty young, but the focus on W made sense

 

===Too Long===

 

Yuki Maeda - I may love her music, but I felt like she stayed way too long for performing such a niche category of music (which if I recall wasn't really selling all that much to begin with).  Didn't help she only like released one single a year xD (except 2004).  Still having to drag her career up to the Elder Club graduation was just not helping much.  Great songs, but those singles could've been released in maybe 3 years time and not 8 years.

 

Kaori Iida - Yeah, too long, but it didn't feel intrusive to me that she was in Morning Musume for as long as she was.

 

 

I'll continue this later!



#11 JPope

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 12:28 AM

There's one name I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned yet.



#12 TicTacAnyone

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 12:55 AM

Assuming we’re not just talking about Morning Musume - First to come to mind: Uta. That girl’s career was the definition of “five minutes of fame” xD

 

Girl yes, that was and still is such a loss to me. I know not everyone got her hype but to those of us that really liked her, we were hyped for a reason.

Members who left too soon: 

  • Aiai.... Under the circumstances, you can't be mad... but I really do think she had more to bring. She had some great features at Meimei's grad concert, Kyuui Ittai, that I still like to go back and watch. Aiai had an interesting aura and personality that just made her really lovable and a great addition to ANGERME.
  • Speaking of ANGERME, I do feel both Yuukarin and Saki left too soon. But it's sort of a moot point to even think about them staying, since the group changed so much after they left.
  • Yanagawa Nanami; luckily she did have her decent amount of spotlight in Country Girls and even more in Juice=Juice, but I always felt like she was just about to hit her peak when she decided to graduate.
  • Ogawa Rena and Taguchi Natsumi; it's really a shame these two ended up leaving. Taguchi was a joy to watch on stage and behind the scenes, and had such a long tenure in H!P... while Ogawa never felt like she got anywhere near her peak. I was never a fan of Rio, so I didn't add her here.
  • Finally and surprisingly, Sayashi Riho; I was the first person in 2015 to complain that Riho needed to go--I was just so sick of her getting soooo many lines. It felt like the Riho & co. show back then... But what I didn't know is that the rest of the group wouldn't be able to ever get back to that same level once she left (for me.) Not designating the next ace "heir" made Riho's graduation actually feel like it came way too soon. I do think Riho was unhappy that year, so I support her decision to leave... but god what I would kill to see a MM that still had Riho in it, but with her taking a little bit of a step back while still teaching all the other girls. I think it would have great to have her do some solos and tone down her MM amount, sort of how Karin is doing a solo tour here soon. Anyways, back then I thought she reached her peak, but I think under different circumstances she still could have kept going further.


#13 JPope

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 01:17 AM

Taguchi's fall bummed me out, too. She was a great example of an idol who contributed to her group despite not being that great of a singer. Can you imagine how good her "Oh NO!" promo vid would have been?



#14 yuzu

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 05:46 PM

I wish EriJunLin and Maki stuck around longer.  It has ALWAYS killed me that JunJun and LinLin never got to have kouhai.

 

Reina and Aika should have graduated sooner.  To this day I sometimes forget Aika was even in the group during platinum era.



#15 Saya

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Posted 05 August 2019 - 11:09 PM

Left too soon: Shimamura Uta, Maeda Yuuka, Kobushi (Rio, Rena, Taguchi), JunLin since they basically got forced out
And basically anyone who didn’t get a proper graduation like Riho and Ogawa Saki.

Too long: Tanaka Reina

#16 Zange

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 12:03 AM

I will always be of the opinion that Ishiguro left too soon, I would've loved to hear her in Koi no Dance Site or Happy Summer Wedding.

 

Everyone from H!P kids that left before their groups disbanded, I wish could've/would've stayed longer. I wonder if Berryz and C-ute (esp. the latter) would've ended up any different if they stayed.

 

Someone else that left far too soon was Kosuga Fuyuka, and I just feel bad for her because there was literally no way she could've controlled it, it was a medical thing. Same goes for Maho to an extent.

 

As for who stayed too long, Reina for sure. Probably Takahashi and Gaki as well. Can't really think of anyone else though.



#17 Mizura

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Posted 06 August 2019 - 05:46 AM

Riho left too soon for me. I’m ok with why she left since she did seem really miserable in 2015. But at the same time, her departure ended up making me lose all interest in MM.

At the time I remember being fine with her leaving since it would give an opportunity for more people to have lines but no one was ever really able to step up. They really shouldn’t have set up the group so Riho and Reina had to carry it all

#18 iDOL1641

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 08:12 AM

For me it's JunJun, LinLin, and Riho. JunJun and LinLin are some of the member's who are on the short end of tenure in the group, (Maki basically leaving to get her solo deal and Yuko leaving because she was basically too old to be in the group), but it's sad that they were basically kicked out to make way for the 9th gen where they could've had more presence in the group especially when they were starting to change their style with the new 9th gen members. With Riho, I really wanted her to have a tenure almost like Ai or maybe Sayumi because she was really talented and she was the whole package. Honestly I'd rather have her in the group than Mizuki, who I feel like has been in the group for too long.



#19 JPope

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 10:16 PM

There's one name I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned yet.

 

I remember much wringing of hands and rending of garments when Aina Otsuka left JJ, so I'm surprised she has yet to be mentioned.



#20 Saya

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 12:24 AM

YESSSSS OMG I FORGOT AINA

#21 DonJuan

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 01:54 PM

Oh right, Taguchi really was a loss. Kobushi might have lost the troublemakers but also their character - the remaining 5 are the better singers but not much more charismatic than MM right now.

 

Personally I didn't feel like Aina was a loss. Her voice was pitchier than Karin's and 5nin-Juice turned out to be good enough.



#22 yuzu

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 03:47 PM

Oh I only answered based on MM since that's what people seemed to be answering so far.

 

So yeah, add Ogawa Saki and Maeda Yuka to the list of "too soon" for me.  Also 7nin Berryz lol.

 

Rina should have left long ago she has seemed disinterested for years.



#23 WonderBuono

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:08 PM

Yes to Ogawa Saki and Murakami Megumi being gone TOO DANG SOON. Saki was my number 1 in Smileage and if I had been a fan at the time, Megumi would have been 1 or 2 in C-ute.

#24 Ap2000

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 10:07 AM

As much as liked the Rival Survival concert, I'd wish JunLin (and even Kamei too) would have stayed longer to be there when 9th gen would joined.

 
Very much agreed.

Also, Fukuda or any of the early girls that had to leave soon again.
 
As for "too late"... Koharu, since she never should have joined.  :cop:

 

In retrospect, as much as I liked it when the lineup was stable with long running members for years back in the 2000s, I agree with the sentiment of some here that it might have made the group more interesting if they scrambled it up more.

 

OTOH

WRT

 
wat :confused:



#25 Valerie

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 02:07 PM

On The Other Hand

 

 

With Regards To.



#26 Saya

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 02:14 PM

Ogawa Takahashi Oda Harunan.

Will Rina Try.