This isn’t going to be as long as my normal posts. I wasn’t planning on covering this, because I’m attending a convention this weekend and I don’t really follow Juice=Juice all that much other than following their basic single stuff, but some of the discourse surrounding this announcement made me want to briefly write something.
If you haven’t heard yet by now, Otsuka Aina is leaving the new H!P group Juice=Juice. Chiima of Okay!Musume Time posted a translation from Hello!Online on her blog HERE, but the gist of the announcement is that there were some contract issues, and her family decided Aina wasn’t continuing on.
1. Aina’s parents aren’t the worst parents ever. I know there’s a lot of hyperbole thrown around surrounding this and you probably aren’t really wishing all these bad things upon them. At the same time, I just want to be the person to remind you that there are worse parents out there.
2. I know that graduations suck, especially ones without much notice. H!P’s had issues with that especially with the S/Mileage gradutions and now Aina. However, it’s not personally a decision made against you, it’s a decision made with Aina in mind. You may not agree, but we don’t know all the factors.
3. Being an idol is hard. I know Aina’s been an Egg for a while, but seriously, being an idol is time consuming, wearing on the body, and mentally taxing. While they’ve been easing J=J into it, now that they’re making their major debut I imagine they’re going to try to push these girls harder and harder, and some girls just can’t do it. Not at any fault of their own, but it’s just hard, with not that much financial gain (they don’t make THAT much, especially in relation to Western celebrities), and not much job security. There are a lot of benefits to being an idol, but it’s a lot of work and it’s just flat out difficult, and I don’t blame girls for graduating, even if it’s hard on us fans.
4. Speculation has been that there may be more than meets the eye, and I think that’s fair. I mean, let’s be real, we don’t know everything that goes on. If they were unable to reach an agreement on the contract and it just ran out, that sounds fairly unprofessional on Up-Front’s part. If it’s about money, you pay money for your Egg training, from what I understand, so I doubt that it’s a big financial issue of not making enough. Also, you’d think they’d figure out contracts and things ahead of time, so you can have graduation events and things. With how hasty things have gone, I wouldn’t be surprised if something is behind this.
Not sure my main point, other than just be careful with generalizations, there might be more things at play, and you should think about the idol. That said, I’ll be sad to see Aina go because she was a really great addition to J=J, and I know she had fans who loved her a lot. I wish her the best in the future.