Iikubo Haruna Graduation Announcement

Iikubo Haruna promoting her last single, “Furari Ginza / Jiyuu na Kuni Dakara”

Morning Musume 18’s Iikubo Haruna has announced her graduation from Hello Project. According to her official statement, Haruna wanted a new challenge. Therefore, she will graduate to pursue solo activities in various fields in the entertainment industry. Her graduation ceremony will be on December 16, 2018, at Nippon Budokan.

Despite her somewhat vague reasoning for leaving, I am not surprised that Haruna decided to graduate. This is Morning Musume’s second graduation for the year, with the first being Ogata Haruna’s. I should have guessed this announcement was coming by the amount of double Haruna features that was released in print and on the web right before Ogata’s graduation.
At 23 years old (going on 24), Haruna is also the oldest member of the group. It is also the prime graduation time for Hello Project members, which also made it less of a surprise for me. Although, I will admit that I expected Fukumura Mizuki to be the next to graduate. However, it seems that she would be here for a little bit longer as ANGERME member Wada Ayaka will be passing on her Hello Project leadership to her. However, despite the predictability of Haruna’s graduation, I am still sad. Her departure will leave a glaring hole in the group, especially on variety shows and during concert MCs. She is one of the best and most engaging talkers in the group. Thankfully, the group still has Masaki, Maria and Ayumi to hold down the MCing fort.
Remaining 10th Generation members: Ishida Ayumi & Sato Masaki
All these departures from Morning Musume will reduce its member count to 11 members. The 10th generation will only have two members left. I wonder if this will result in a search for new members. I am surprised that an audition has not been announced as yet, but that may be because the Hello Project “ONLY YOU” audition is still ongoing. Personally, I would prefer for administration to choose new members out of the Kenshuusei. Especially, those that have been training for a while. They would have stage experience and honed skills that would make for a more natural integration in the fast-paced and challenging life of Morning Musume.
There are only a few months left before Haruna graduates. Until then, I hope she continues to shine in the group and take advantage of the time in Morning Musume. I wish her all the best in the future.
1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.