I completely overlooked in my previous articles on Japanese idol graduations the fact that the entire Smile Gakuen project has been disbanded. I heard back on February 22, 2015 that the four current (and remaining) Smile Gakuen members would graduate. There was the question of whether or not the "Tryout Members" would form a new Smile Gakuen, but as it turned out, they were also graduated by the management. This was confirmed on the Smile Gakuen Facebook Page on March 23.
I first took an interest in this group last year when I went to Idol Matsuri in Silverdale, Washington. My friend Chibineko was selling some CDs he didn't want, including a couple by Smile Gakuen. Eventually he decided to give away for free a few of them and I picked up the first two Smile Gakuen singles from 2011. Since then I was trying to catch up with the group, only to discover that there were many lineup changes and subunits formed. Of all the songs I heard from this group, the subunit Smile Kiss Gumi had the best song.
Peekaboo is one of those idol groups really off most fans' radar, although I listed their song "Kosoku Ihan" as one of my favorite idol songs of 2014. March 31, 2015 was the graduation concert for two members, the single-named Momoka and Kikuchi Reina. Here is the official video for the retro-rock "Kosoku Ihan".
Today I learned of the sad news of three graduations from the group Sakuran Bom Bom, alerted to me by Chibineko. Miu, Rio and Kii will all graduate on April 26, 2015. I have been a fan of Sakuran Bom Bom since around January 2014 and I was the first to bring them to the attention of many idol fans outside of Japan. I have always liked these three girls, and I consider Kii to be one of the best singers in the group. All three will be sorely missed.
When I became a fan of Sakuran Bom Bom there were nine members. Ami, who went "on hiatus" last year to study to be a voice actress, still has not returned. At this point I doubt she will. I guess what makes this tough for me personally is that the group will be reduced to four members from now on. Here is a video edited by Chibineko for the song "Bom Bom World☆".
Finally, I would like to get something off my chest regarding idol blogging and article writing for idol websites. I have discovered three examples in a little more than a week of fan-created idol websites, blogs and Facebook pages that have copied and pasted various things I written in my blog. Actually, this is not the first time I have discovered such examples of plagiarism. I have been plagiarized for at least four years now by a variety of people, including former friends. I know I am not the only idol blogger being plagiarized either, because I came across a foreign website that had six of my articles copied and pasted on it as well as several articles about idols written in a variety of other languages! (I tried to find the website again, but I can't for some reason. It's possible it's been deleted since I made a complaint against it.) Now all of the Facebook pages and groups that have copied and pasted what I wrote in the past few years aren't any more "official" than my blog, but if you are going to use information taken from my blogs (I have two currently on the internet), my website Sensational Idols or my Facebook page Young Idol Singers, how about giving me some credit? I think those people who are doing this are very young and naive and probably don't have a clue what the word "plagiarize" means. Perhaps some of them are foreigners who have English as a second language and can't write very well in English. This still does not give you the right to copy and paste me or anyone else. Real writing involves coming up with your own words and ideas. If you do not have the intelligence or skills to do this, please stop pretending you are a writer right now. Apologize to those whose hard work you stole and then delete your website, blog or Facebook page or group. If you feel the need to say something there are always forums, other people's Facebook groups and YouTube videos that offer places for your comments. Something tells me, though, that none of the people who are plagiarizing me or other legitimate writers will ever confess that they have done anything wrong. I have never gotten a sincere apology from anyone who copied my words.