Country Girls and Juice=Juice member, Yanagawa Nanami announced that she would be graduating from Hello Project in March 2019. She will be leaving to focus on her studies. The official announcement and her statement can be found on Hello Project’s website. A translation of her statement can be found here.
This announcement was a shock to many fans, including me. Nanami is still very young (16 years old) and had a lot to offer to Hello Project. She only joined the organization in 2015 as a member of Country Girls. She has only been a concurrent member of Juice=Juice for a little over a year, so I was surprised and devasted that she decided to graduate when her career was just starting.
Many fans speculate that Nanami lost her enthusiasm to be an idol because of the downgrading of Country Girls to a subgroup (let’s be real H!P treats Country Girls like a temporary group) and being placed in Juice=Juice. She was forced to change her image from cute to mature, even releasing a gravure photobook.
She was separated from one of her closest friends, Funaki Musubu.
While we would not know if this is the case or not, I noticed Nanami’s smile and cheerful personality diminishing since the member shuffle. Apparently, she cried a lot more during her days with Juice=Juice versus her days in Country Girls.
While watching behind the scenes footage, I realized that Country Girls were a more easygoing group. Practices and music video filming were more light-hearted. I can imagine the shock Nanami got when she joined Juice=Juice, where training and schedules were more intense.
While I did make these connections, Nanami stated that she is leaving the company to pursue her studies. Yuka claimed that she saw Nanami’s determination to take on this new goal, and I respect that.
Since Nanami will be leaving the entertainment industry, we will not be getting many updates about her, which makes me sad. However, I wish Nanami the best and good luck with her studies. I will cherish every moment until she graduates.