A Winter of Change – the “ins and outs” of the idol world

We are now a month into 2018, and the dust seems to have settled a bit in the idol world. This winter saw an unprecedented amount of change in our fandom. Idols and groups from almost every Japanese idol tribe (AKS, H!P, iDOL Street, etc.) turned over at a massive rate. The list of groups is expansive and includes some of the highest profile idol acts. It would be impossible to give full detail to each and every lineup change, so we will just mention a few of the ins-and-outs that caught our eyes in the last two months.

Watanabe Mayu as Amélie Poulain
The third generation fixture announced her graduation at the 9th Senbatsu Sousenkyo June 17, 2017. Mayu’s graduation concert was held on October 31, and her final performance at the AKB48 Theater on December 26. As of graduating, things seem to be going Mayu’s way: her next appearance will be as the lead in the Musical “Amélie” running from May 18 to June 3 at The Galaxy Theatre in Tokyo and at Osaka’s Morinomiya Piloti Hall from June 7-10.

The third generation member has been out of the lineup and on hiatus since since January 11, 2017 due to a struggle with panic disorder. Although there have been indications of improved health, Maho officially graduated on December 31, 2017 from both ANGERME and Hello! Project.

Founding member Pour Lui will leave BiS on the final stop of their current tour on March 4 in Tokyo. The decision was announced on January 6. With the move to major label, Pour Lui decided that the group no longer needs her and she has no more need of the group. Read her tweet from January 6.

After the departure of Mogami Moga on August 6, 2017, the Dear Stage group added new members Kaname Rin from Beboga and Nemoto Nagi from Niji no Conquistador. Both new girls will hold concurrent positions with Dempagumi.inc and their current group.

Fullfull ☆ Pocket
Founding members Tatsuki Miia and Nakahara Arisu (of both Fullfull ☆ Pocket and Karat☆) took their final bows from the group on January 7, 2018. The group is currently scouting for new members to supplement their current 2nin lineup of Ishii Shiori and Ushiki Hina.

As detailed here at NSK, the iDOL Street group are set to disband on after their March 25 concert. You can read more information regarding GEM here at NSK.

Idol Renaissance
After talks regarding the future of the group, Idol Renaissance will dissolves as of February 24, 2018. No information about the nature of the discussion between management and the idols were made public. All we know is the group formed in May 2014 will no longer be with us a month from now.

Member Kuromiya Rei has been out of the lineup since November 17 of last year. Rei had been rehabilitating her throat, and did not want to threaten her future as a vocalist with a rushed return. Further, Rei mentioned that she felt her personality was ill-suited to be an idol. LADYBABY continues with Kaneko Rie and is currently recruiting new members.
Ariyasu Momoka
Momoiro Clover Z
Member Ariyasu Momoka graduated from the group on January 18. Her decision was announced barely one week before her graduation, which raised more than a few eyebrows. MCZ continues as a 4nin. See our article on NSK for more details.
Kudo Haruka as Lupinranger Yellow
Morning Musume
10th generation member Kudo Haruka marked her graduation from both her group and Hello! Project with a concert at Nippon Budokan on December 11, 2017. After her seven years in H!P, Duu stated that her goal would be to pursue an acting career. With a role in the Super Sentai Series “Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger” series as Lupin Ranger Yellow/Umika Hayami, she seems to be making good on her promise.
Ichikawa Miori
Fresh Lemon Ichikawa Miori announced her graduation from the group on January 19. After a stint under Stardust Promotion as a member of Power Age, Ichikawa became a research student in 2010 and full member of AKB48 in 2011. No details about Miori’s spring graduation have been released.

The little sister group of PASSPO☆ and Predia held their final live on December 28. The group had been in existence since 2012 when the starting lineup were candidates for a second generation of PASSPO☆ . No plans for the future of the 8 final lineup members have been released.

Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku
The Stardust Promotion group suffered the devastating and unexpected death of Matsuno Rina on February 8 last year. Rina’s loss remains one of the worst tragedies of the idol world. In August the group was dealt another blow as Hirota Aika announced her graduation on August 31 last year. Aika, 18 at the time of her announcement, stated that she wanted to live her teenage years without regret. Hirota’s final performance with Ebichu took place on January 3 at Nippon Budokan.

Yumemiru Adolescence
After the unexpected graduation of Yamada Akari due to “serious violations of the rules of the group activities” on March 31, the group of Pichi Lemon models was left as a four-piece group. In August last year, YumeAdo began accepting applications for a new generation of girls. On Christmas Day, the group introduced 3 new members: Minase Yuki, Yamashita Saya, and Yamaguchi Hanon. As of writing, Yumemiru Adolescence were promoting their “ULTRA YUMELIVE! 2018” on February 12 and have not announced a new single.

About Number244

Contributor to New School Kaidan, idol fan TheNumber244 gets tickled mainly by Hello! Project. A former musician and full-time nerd, he calls Los Angeles his home. TheNumber244 is waiting for the day someone calls him "senpai".

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