So the day all of us Morning Musume fans have feared has finally come to fruition. Michishige Sayumi, Morning Musume 14’s leader and one of the greatest idols that has ever lived, has finally graduated after one of the longest and most successful idol careers ever. After 11 long years, Sayu is finally calling it quits, wrapping up her tenure at the famous Yokohama Arena, a venue fitting for one of the best to ever do it. If you’ve read my Top #30 idol rankings, you would know that Shige is my #2 favorite idol of all time so this is gonna hurt for awhile. But Morning Musume is eternal and this is a natural part of the group, young unpolished girls coming in and amazing idols and women coming out.
The setlist for the graduation concert was a special one as always, but his time it was super special. One of the biggest setlist I have ever seen in an H!P concert this one included over 30 songs that mostly focused on more recent music but also through in a few favorites from the past. Recent singles Tiki Bun and Toki wo Koe were performed in the very beginning which is a bit disappointing for me, i’d rather they save two big hits like that for the latter half. At this point the first major event of the concert, the announcement of the new leadership in Hello! Project. As expected Fukumura Mizuki will be the next leader of Morning Musume, but as a surprise their will be two co sub leaders. Ikubo Haruna will be one as expected but also my favorite active member, Ikuta Erina will be the other. I originally thought that Ikuta should have been sub-leader from the get go as she is probably the most responsible even though she doesnt seem like it, plus she’s the only one of the leaders who has the courage to truly scold people who aren’t doing things right. Either way, the PonPon leadership I hoped for is finally here.
Finally!!!! Wouldn’t feel right if she didnt get her kiss
Ikuta’s like “Ah ha, she finally got you. Don’t act like you didnt like it though” lol
Then we got to see some more alumni and veterans show up as both Tanaka Reina and Nakazawa Yuko paid a visit to see our legendary idol off. Reina was a given since they are both 6th gen members and grew up together but Yuko was a bit of a surprise. Still I think Shige is one of the few people that Yuko truly liked even though she is notorious for hating others. Yajima Maimi was there to receive the title of Hello! Project leader from Shige which makes since, she is the 2nd oldest member after Shige leaves. I’m kind of pissed that they didnt give it to Shimizu Saki for at least a couple months even though her group is disbanding next year. Saki is the oldest member in H!P and longest serving leader so they could have let her have the title to close out her career. Highlight of this segment of the concert though is the Michishige x Sayashi kiss lol. She finally got her!!!! Shige sama is known for trying to kiss the members she loves on the lips and had been wanting to kiss Riho for awhile now. Remember back to the platinum Era at how persistent Sayu was in trying to kiss Aichan before she finally succeeded so it was only a matter of time before she got Riho too. I’m happy, it wouldnt feel right if she never got a chance to do it, and the fact she saved it for her graduation stage makes it even better. Shige sama knows how to please us huh, she knows what the fans wants.
A little mishap during the performance caused Shige sama to roll her ankle. She was in noticeable pain for the rest of the concert and even had to have a chair to sit down in during her Graduation ceremony. Sucks that had to happen at such a momentous occasion but she persevered through the pain to finish the concert even though it obviously hurt and her dancing had to become minimal.
As for the graduation ceremony, they used new single and Michishige Sayumi tribute song Mikaeri Bijin for the intro song and for Sayu’s costume. The 12th generation also made their first appearance of the night dressed like the other members and doing the same choreo even though they didnt sing. Sayu looked just as pretty as she did in the video if not prettier. A lot of tears were shed in the member send offs, quite possibly more crying than I have ever seen for a graduation. You can really tell how much Sayu was loved by the group and how much she meant to the organization
Sayumi!!!! Sayumi!!!! Sayumi!!!!
Michishige Sayumi calls rang through the arena as the 2nd and final encore would soon start. The see of pink was awesome like I expected, I still believe to this day that Morning Musume fans are the best fans in the whole world. It was time for the solo song of our graduating leader and the unveiling of her graduation dress. Would it be everything I expected it to be???
Yup!!!! That dress just screams Sayu!!!!! Its so frickin pretty and pink. The flowers all shaded different colors of pink and white looked amazing on her. I truly dont think i’ve seen a prettier graduation dress than Sayu’s, maybe Gaki’s comes a bit close with her green chinese themed dress but Sayu’s takes the cake.
Sayu choose to sing Akai Freesia by Melon Kinenbi. While I personally dont really care for that song in general I totally understand why she choose it. It was the song that was used for the 6th gen auditions. So what better way to end your career than to you use the song that started it. Its awesome that she has the ability to think like this.
Shige sama don’t cry
To close out of concert and the final performance of the legendary Michishige Sayumi they performed Happy Daisakusen which has become the standard for the current era of Morning Musume. I personally liked the Namidacchi choice of graduation song of the platinum era, that song is high octane energy and the perfect closing to a concert as well as my favorite Morning Musume song of all time. But Happy Daisakusen isn’t bad, its a song from this current era so its fitting as well. Once again though can I stress just how pretty Shige sama looks!!! I remember that she was recently complaining that her “I’m the cutest” narcissistic character doesnt really work anymore cause when she says that stuff nowadays most people truly tend to agree with her lol. Its not funny anymore because it became true lmao.
Anyways, the last of the Platinum Era Musume’s has finally graduated and with her closes the legacy of arguably the greatest era of idols ever assembled, all of them legendary in their own ways. Michishige Sayumi is one of the most well known and successful idols that has ever lived. Her 11 year tenure in the idol world has been a miracle journey of perseverance and hard work. For someone who was widely considered the least talented idol ever, to come this far shows just how great she truly is. Her vocal ability and dancing are leagues above the level she started at, while not anywhere near the best, they still are acceptable in todays idol game. No one would’ve expected that the little narcissistic girl would grow up to be the beautiful leader of one the best idol groups ever in the world. Who knows what the future entails for Shige, she says she wants to take a break from the entertainment industry for awhile which is well deserved since shes been doing it for over a decade. The question is will she ever come back??? If she does, most people expect her to have a amazing career in the variety field where she already made a name for herself. In my opinion, shes the best variety idol in japan, even surpassing the variety goddess Sashihara Rino.
As for the state of the group after her departure, I think they’ll be fine. Morning Musume is a group, an empire, where no one person makes the group what it is. They live on no matter what and this current lineup has grown so much under Shige’s leadership that they can be argued to be the most talented lineup ever. Even more so, we can look forward to seeing the next generation of Morning Musume truly start, all of the idols of the current lineup were added in this decade. Leaders have been decided, characters have been established, vocals are outstanding and dancing is probably the best the idol genre has seen. With the 12th gen debut on the horizon, little over a month away, I have high hopes for the future and am excited to see what the group has in store. I’m sure they’ll live up the legacy and tradition of Morning Musume and will make Shige sama proud. Until then………..
Thank you Michishige Sayumi for all your hard work. You are a legend and you will be missed.
Omedetou and Arigatou