Well, this was a a surprise. A pretty gutwrenching surprise.
Official statements from management and the girls themselves right here:
— UP-FRONT LINK (@UpFrontLink) April 28, 2017
So, Minami and Ayano are out of Up Up Girls, presumably some time in Summer. Minami has plans to become an actress, while Ayano will be retiring from entertainment.
To be honest, I should have seen this coming; I had a suspicion that something was happening when the Up Up Girls 2 auditions were announced, especially when the girls said that it was a required change when the girls have had the same lineup for almost seven years. But despite this, it was still a shock announcement to me; Up Up Girls has had a very solid lineup as far as idol groups go. Seven years without anyone taking off is something impressive, and if you include their Hello! Project Egg days, they have been active for over a decade. So of course its going to be devastating to see something that’s been going for so long finally come to an end. It is especially sad for Sengoku Minami, who has been the group’s leader from day one, to graduate due to her health.
What does this mean for Up Up Girls? Best case scenario, Up Up Girls gets a new leader, maybe the sister group Up Up Girls 2 will be added as a second generation as expected, and then they’ll keep going for even longer! Worst case scenario, this could lead to a chain of more graduations, especially with the original lineup getting older (by idol standards; by real world standards they’re hardly old fogies) and possibly wanting to move on to other activities.
Either way, good luck to Minami and Ayano, I think I’m going to spend the rest of the day crying while watching this on loop. I’m quite upset.
Sorry, puns are my way of dealing with grief.
And that’s how we know that Kerrie’s a natural for this business!