Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Konno Yuuka's Announcement
Today I woke up to some very startling and sad news. I was told by two of my friends that Konno Yuuka, the leader of Aither, was leaving the group. I was also told that the announcement was on Aither's blog early in the day and then it was removed. It reappeared later so I could see it myself. I read it with Google Translate but it didn't really say why she was leaving. Sometime later it was deleted a second time, but it has now reappeared. I'm not sure if it will stay on the Aither blog for long, but here is the article. Yuuka's announcement is quite surprising. Aither have had an interesting year, having added two new members who unfortunately stayed for only nine weeks, and performing their first overseas live at Idol Matsuri in Silverdale, Washington, which I attended. Furthermore, their U.S. performance came less than a year after their debut and without the support of a major label or an anime tie-in, something that - to the best of my knowledge - has never been done by any other Japanese idol group. During their first year as a group Aither released three singles, all of which contained four vocal tracks and no instrumentals, another unusual thing for an idol group to do. Aither's songs are more like artist songs than typical idol songs too. I was feeling pretty good that Aither were on the road to success. Now I still don't have any real reason as to why Yuuka is leaving, so hopefully this will be revealed soon. I am personally going to miss her if she leaves, as she is my favorite member of Aither.
My friends already know this, but some of you reading may not, so I'll confess something about myself. I used to have a blog that was named "I ♥ Miyoshi Ayaka's Idol Musings". I deleted this blog and other personal accounts for personal reasons. When I wrote this blog I wrote several articles about idols that no one else wrote about, similar to what I am doing now. Among the groups I was the first to write about in English were B Flat and Party Rockets. I first wrote about B Flat in January 2012, in reference to a concert named Girl's Revue. B Flat was one of seven idol groups that performed at this event. The lineup of B Flat at the time was basically the lineup that later became Party Rockets, Watanabe Koume, Konno Yuuka, Tsujimura Airi, Fujita Akari, Kikuchi Fumika and Sato Hiyori. Of course Airi became ill and had to leave the group before they debuted. I wrote about the members of B Flat graduating and forming the group Party Rockets on June 14, 2012, 17 days before they made their live debut on July 1. I wrote about them a couple more times before July and only after their first performance did other bloggers start writing about Party Rockets. Now I got a tip off about B Flat and Party Rockets from a Japanese friend who actually saw B Flat live. She wrote a detailed history on Facebook which I copied into a document that I have kept on my computer ever since. I give my friend Yacchan credit for bringing these girls to my attention. Without Yacchan I would not even know about Konno Yuuka. Even if you count June as when I really started to take an interest in Yuuka, I still have been her fan for more than two years. Only Japanese fans like Yacchan can claim to have been supporting Yuuka longer than me. I cancelled the internet for 14 months and then decided I wanted it back. On November 2013 I finally watched the promo videos for Aither that were on YouTube, and slowly learned more through the live videos uploaded by Chibineko, who I am now fortunate to be friends with. No one else had written about Aither at the time so I decided that it was time that idol fans knew about this awesome new group and became the first to write them. In July of 2014 I asked Chibineko for information on Shamrock, Yuuka's side project with two members of Links. I wanted to be the first to write about Shamrock so that I could say that I was the first to write about all of Yuuka's groups. Of course I didn't have much info to go with so I turned my article into a joint Links and Shamrock article. I'm glad I did as I can now rest easy knowing that I have done my absolute best to show my love and support for one of my favorite idols.
If Yuuka is leaving Aither for good, no matter what her reason(s) may be, I will be heartbroken. But this is her decision and as a fan I should support her no matter what her choices are. I sure hope this will not be the last I hear from her. Yuuka has cancelled her Twitter account with fashion designer Frank Valleee, but has started a new Twitter account. It says she has tweeted three times although I can only see one tweet. Perhaps those other tweets were deleted or private. So maybe this isn't goodbye, but rather a new start. Only time will tell.