Well, if this wasn’t the SINGLE most unexpected thing to happen recently! Okay, that’s kinda sarcasm. What with the death of certain Hollywood celebs that don’t even need to be named, I suppose I should narrow down my criteria into H!P stuff only eh?
Okay so there is that new cover album with all the awesome new versions of Minimoni. Tanpopo etc. Which by the way, I’m well excited for! But, you know, it’s nothing compared to losing another member of H!P so suddenly. I mean, she’s already left! No time for fans to even make a goodbye post in the days leading up to her quitting, no time for the haters to explain all the good things that will come from this; we get the news two days after the event happens!
And you know, it doesn’t matter that she’s been out of action for a long while. I was excited to imagine of the day that she would return; what it would be like. Perhaps my imagination runs a little too far, but this is something of what I imagined it to be like:
°C-ute gathers to the front of the stage during an MC in one of their future concerts. As usual, the Wota are yelling out the names of their favourite members, but stop in respect just as Maimi starts to speak. They start off in the usual manner, pepping up the audience with their talk of “high tension” and the like. Then, they start the roll call, with the usual slightly over-practiced yet still cute charm which they use when introducing themselves.
Once the 6 members have finished that however, there is a small silence. The girls look at each other; real, unscripted smiles on their faces. You can hear the excitement in the voice of the girl, whichever one she is, as she starts to speak to the audience. “And now,” she says as her eyes show a hint of seriousness (not that the audience can see that, mind you), “I’ve been chosen to tell you all of some very exciting news. As you know, °C-ute became a 6-person group back in February, if only temporarily…”
At this point, a few Wota throughout the audience have guessed what is happening and are starting to yell their lungs out. What they’re saying, nobody can tell (not an unusual trait of the Wota), but whatever it is, it’s raising the tension of everyone in the arena. They know something big is about to happen! The girl continues to speak despite the rising volume of the audience, “Thank you for continuing to support us despite the change in members. But we’re also very grateful for those who continued to support Arihara-san during her absence. She has missed singing and dancing for all her fans very much, which is why I’m so glad to announce that, tonight, we would like to reintroduce our 7th member back into °C-ute…”
In this one second all the girls raise their microphones to their mouths and stretch their arms out to one side of the stage, beaming smiles on their faces. The Wota have their glow sticks at the ready, they take in a deep breath to prepare for the scream-fest about to follow. And just offstage, one girl is shaking more than she ever has in her life, even more than the first time she set foot in front of an audience like this. Will the fans accept her back? Was the group better off or liked better when she wasn’t there? Is she really ready? Whatever she’s thinking, she pushes it aside and puts one foot in front of the other, ready to greet her audience for whenever she hears the words:
“Arihara Kanna-san.” The arena explodes with the sounds of (unfortunately) mostly male screams of pure… wotaness, shall we say? The idol herself, ignoring the slight pain in her foot, puts on her best smile without even trying, running out with a sensation she hasn’t felt in many months. The unspoken feelings of adoration, pity, perhaps even disappointment that all her fans have built up during the past half a year all comes out during this one moment, one that’s too hard to capture by words. Its electric. Its magical, and it brings the girls to tears of happiness.
They hug, hold hands, and then let Kanna speak to her audience. She expresses her heartfelt apologies and thanks them the best she can. She’s so overcome with emotion that everything she planned to say has left her mind. The fans cheer her on, but all she can do is thank everyone one over and over again, failing to hold back her tears. Its too much, but the other girls understand. They call on the next song, perhaps one of their first indies singles, and the feeling and power that they put into it blows the audience away. Kanna shakily gets through all her lines, but the fans don’t care. All that matters is that (, Megumi aside,) °C-ute is back to the way it should be.
… But now, that will never happen.
I’ve never really thought about it, but I really was quite a big Kanna fan. Whenever someone commented on her being too boring or being a leso or just basically said something bad about her, it really got to me. Well, moreso than I would if anyone made fun of say… Erika, for example. She was a really good idol in my opinion. Her voice didn’t grate on the ears, she was cute, she didn’t try and overdo her character or anything. Some might say she was a little boring in that way, but I beg to differ. She was doing her job, and yet it never seemed to me like she was being forced to do anything. She seemed to enjoy her time as a star, while it lasted.
I know she’s been gone for months, so for a lot of people it may feel like the right time for her to leave. Perhaps that’s true. It’s still a bit of a shock to me though. The truth is, I haven’t had internet for almost exactly the same amount of time that she hasn’t been in °C-ute. So, you know, try to imagine it.
To have a member you like announce that she’s on hiatus until she gets better is a sad thing, but you’re still supporting her and awaiting the day she rejoins the group and does her job well once again. There’s a future to the story still. Fast forward a bit, having absolutely no internet, and in turn absolutely no news about H!P for months (except for the one or two times at a cousins house), and then you finally get the internet. You cruise along for a week, catching up on the latest news about the MM AX concert, the two °C-ute songs that Kanna didn’t participate in etc. You’re just getting back into it when BAM! °C-ute suffers another loss. Not so “important” as the loss of Megumi perhaps, but to me it’s still pretty big. Sure, she wasn’t a main player as far as vocals were concerned, but when she got them she did them well.
I’ve dragged this on long enough. I wish her well for whatever she decides to do in the future, and I really hope she gets better. Still, the thought of what could have been if she had stayed… What is in store for °C-ute now?
And the final question.. what will this do for Berryz? If the cases of Maiha and Megumi are anything to go by and you enjoy entertaining the idea of the little “curses” of H!P, then will this spell the loss of another member of the opposing group in a years time?
Goodbye Kanna. And goodluck.