So again: who’s next to go? Can we really be sure anymore? Has living in a post-Maeda world given us a quantum mechanics level of uncertainty in knowing who will be sticking around and who will leave? We make our guesses and conjectures, but like Schroedinger’s Cat we don’t know what turd of a graduation announcement will suddenly appear.
Sophie of J. Popping considers whether or not Berryz is ripe for the plucking, and amasses information that may leave fans a little unsteady and thinking the unthinkable. Berryz have been pretty lucky up to now – the one member defection they suffered happened early on, and it didn’t impact the group in a major way. (I love Maiha and especially how she grinned through her graduation, but we’ve gotta be honest.) At this point they’re the oldest stable line-up of any current H!P group: both in average age and in how long the group has stayed together. Nowadays, that almost seems like a liability. Also – in Sophie’s opinion – their act isn’t aging as gracefully as it could. I haven’t really listened to Berryz in a long time, and what I’ve tried hasn’t really suited me, but that speaks volumes in itself.
While Sophie makes a compelling case for the group being graduated and maybe passed along to do other things, we may be thrown a curve ball and face other possibilities? Maybe some of them will finally go on and become the eleventh gen of Morning Musume? (Okay, not likely.) Maybe some of them will see the writing on the wall and get goin’ while the gettin’s good? (Risako would do well in such a case.) Or maybe some of them will pursue their own studies?
And in what I guess is a reverse deadpool – lifepool, I guess we’ll call it – is speculation that Goto Maki may return to the H!P fold, if only temporarily. Her blogging about her old colleagues – and Tsunku sharing a picture of himself with Gocchin – has led to the notion that Goto Maki will perform with Dream Morning Musume on this year’s Kouhaku. Which sounds like a whole lot of wish filfullment fantasies being voiced, but considering how rejuvenated Gocchin looked when she was onstage with the Dream Musumes recently… Oh God, I want to believe this, too, so very much.
How would this effect her hiatus, though? And could it possibly signal a full return to the UFA fold by Gocchin? That seems even less likely, but then Goto Maki becoming an Avex artist was generally unthinkable before THAT happened, right?
If I had to measure up these two possibilities, I’d say Gocchin teaming up with Dream Morning Musume – if only for one show, especially Kouhaku – is far more likely than a full return to UFA, and both are much more likely than Berryz calling it quits anytime in the near future. I could be wrong on any of this, though. What do you all think?