Ogawa Saki to Graduate from S/mileage and H!P

Ogawa Saki is going to graduate from S/mileage and Hello! Project and go back to being a normal student. … I can honestly say that I did not see this announcement coming; it snuck up behind me and punched me in the back of the head, or, at least, that’s what it felt like. When I saw the news, I had just woken up from a nap after having a terrible headache earlier. At first, I thought I saw it wrong. Then, I thought that I was thinking of the wrong person. It’s still hard to believe.

After reading the announcements, it almost sounds like not everyone was happy with this outcome. Saki is arguably the best singer in S/mileage, so I can see why Tsunku wouldn’t want to graduate her until he could find another strong vocalist for the group. His comments that she is “still an immature student” and that a working adult would understand that abandoning work half way is “an inexcusable act” show that he may not completely support her decision, or, perhaps, he supports her decision, but not the timing of it.

The thing that shocks me the most is how soon she’ll be graduating: the end of this week! So she’s not getting a graduation concert, huh? That’s terribly disappointing. Is this further evidence that they’re not very happy with her decision? Honestly, though. The girl’s been in H!P for seven years; you think she could get some sort of celebration or recognition.

I also feel bad for the other members. If this was only decided recently, then they must not have known. If it’s this big of a shock to us, how much more so it must be to them. I guess that’s why Saki was crying so much in the audition-related clips…

I’ll continue to support S/mileage… though it’s definitely going to be odd for Saki to just not be there. =\ I also support Saki and her decision; I can only imagine how demanding the lifestyle is, especially for someone so young. I’m glad that she thought seriously about it.

~ Surimu-chan

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