Friday, November 28, 2014
After the controversial way Aither leader Konno Yuuka left in October it came as no surprise to me when I read the latest Aither blog article written by Misaki on November 27 that the group was breaking up. Their final live performance will be on December 29, 2014. This is very sad news for fans of the indie idol group who made Japanese pop history when they were the first idol group to have an overseas live (which I attended) in less than a year after their Japanese debut without the backing of a major label or anime tie-in. When Yuuka left after claiming of being treated poorly by the management and not getting paid, many of Aither's fans stopped following the group. My Japanese friend Chibineko Suwano, who was filming most of Aither's live performances and uploading them to YouTube, suddenly stopped this. When Yuuka created her own personal Twitter account she gained over 1,000 followers in short time. Meanwhile, very few fans seemed interested in filming Aither's live performances and sharing them on YouTube since the group had been reduced to a duo, with Tsujimura Airi handling most of the vocals while Misaki primarily danced. Tellingly, there seem to be very few photos of Airi and Misaki together on Aither's blog or Twitter. (The above photo was the most recent I could find, and I prefer photos without text or "touch-ups".)
Honestly, I am very sad about all of this. I was the first to write about Aither in English last November and now I am reporting their disbanding one year later. Aither could have been a great and successful idol group had all of the members been treated fairly and had the group stayed together. Not many idol groups make Japanese pop history, even if it's in minor way, but Aither certainly did. I really hope Yuuka, Airi and Misaki find much better management and form a new group. All three girls are pretty special to me, and I thought it was really awesome meeting them at Idol Matsuri in June this year. I wish them all the best because they really deserve it!