With the resignation of leader Miki Fujimoto following last week’s scandal (a scandal by idol standards, anyway)…
My girl Ai Takahashi has become the new leader of Morning Musume! Woohoo!
As I’ve tried to explain to glum Miki fans out there, there’s no reason to feel bad about this turn of events. Miki wanted off the idol stage. Whether she realized this herself or not, her actions clearly indicated it. While not much of a Miki fan myself, I’ve always respected her vocal talent. I fully expect her to maintain her career and popularity outside of Morning Musume where she is no longer bound to perform under the peculiar restrictions of the most elite group of performers within H!P.
The responsibility of leadership now falls to the girl who would least desire it (and has gone on record saying as much!). Many are voicing concerns over her ability to lead. Yes, she can be dorky, clueless, naive. No, she may not be all that talkative or assertive, and plainly lacks confidence when it comes to free speaking (she has said this about herself, too). But she is–and the other members will admit it–the most talented singer and dancer in MM today. She is respected by them. She will lead them by example.
Everyone will also say this about Aichan — she is a very hard worker who takes her responsibilities seriously; a true professional.
I picture a new age of Morning Musume dawning. No more scandals for the near future. (nothing remotely scandalous has ever been reported among the behavior of the remaining members, unless one counts some baseless allegations once made against Reina) A chance for the young and inexperienced girls to develop their talents. A chance for MM to work hard and regain some of the popularity they have lost in recent years. It may be, as other observers have suggested, a kind of return to the days when MM was just starting out and nobody had heard of them. The older, popular members from the heydey of MM have now all either graduated or resigned, leaving a gaggle of relative unknowns with the challenge of building up their reputations.
Perhaps also a chance for MM to lose the negative wota-driven image widely attributed to it since the elder members began to leave? Aichan, for her part, has always been tremendously popular among male and female fans alike.
I may be unduly optimistic. This will be forgiven, I hope, when my #2 favorite person in the entertainment world has just become second-in-command of my favorite pop group, and my #1 favorite person in the
entertainment entire world has just become its first-in-command. Viva Momusu!