While I was putting the finishing touches to my article "Idol Matsuri & Me, Part 3" I received some sad news about the very group that I traveled to Washington to see. According to this post in Aither's blog both Megumi and Sakura are leaving Aither to focus on school. I think the article says Megumi will perform for the final time today, July 2, and Sakura will perform for the final time on July 5. This is very disappointing, especially since Yuuka has stated in recent interviews that she felt the five member version of Aither was the group's "final lineup". Megumi is a very good singer and I warmed up to Sakura a lot more after seeing her in person. I'm unsure whether Aither will continue as a trio like they were when the group first formed, or if they will add two new members again to become Aither-Five. I was hoping member changes would not happen to Aither since this happened to Yuuka's and Airi's previous group, Party Rockets. (Airi never performed or recorded with Party Rockets, although she was in two publicity photos before leaving due to illness.)
Whether as a trio or as a five member group, I still believe in Aither! They are one of the best indie idol groups in Japan and have many unique qualities that keeps them head and shoulders above the crowd!