Morning Musume without Michishige Sayumi and Tanaka Reina?


I know it’s still a bit early to start thinking about Morning Musume without Reina or even Sayumi, but the thought of it really makes me wonder. With Reina’s graduation coming up this spring, leaving the only member left from the Platinum Era, Sayumi to take care of Morning Musume for only a bit longer. It wouldn’t be really surprising to see Sayumi graduation next year or so, or even before then.


With 6th Generation recently celebrating their 10th year anniversary within Morning Musume and Hello! Project, it isn’t surprising for them to start thinking about graduation (same case with Takahashi Ai and Niigaki Risa). In Reina’s case, she already has announced her graduation and her future plans with her band. It just leaves Sayumi. I’m not wishing for her graduation or anything, but if and when she does graduate, I’m highly curious and excited to see Morning Musume reborn.


I became to like Morning Musume when Nanchatte Renai was about to be released. I wasn’t in the fandom before then so I wasn’t there to see Morning Musume not having any new members join or any old members leave. I was there when Kusumi Koharu was about to graduate at the end of the year. I was use to their then-current members, and I still cling to this era simply because it’s the era I first loved. It was and still is strange for me to see all the members of that era almost gone.

It will be absolutely heart-breaking to see Reina graduate, leaving a possibility in the near future for Sayumi’s graduation. I really love Sayumi and Reina, and I don’t really want to see them leave but the possibility is there. 10 years is quite long for an idol, and is quite long for a member to be in Morning Musume.


I’m sure Sayumi will stay within Morning Musume and Hello! Project for a bit longer than Reina to help the other members become more skilled in the idol world before she decides to leave them. I would probably guess that Sayumi will stay for another year or so, until the other members are mature enough to carry the Morning Musume title by themselves without any help from previous members (such as Reina, Sayumi, Ai, etc).

When Sayumi became leader, the sales for Morning Musume really went up. From usually being around 35k – 50k when Takahashi Ai and Niigaki Risa were leaders, under Sayumi’s leadership, Morning Musume’s sales have been up to 88k – 110k! It’s a really huge raise from their usual sales from previous leaders, and hasn’t been done since 2004. Sayumi has been able to get Morning Musume selling well again, their catchy songs and the good promotion has been able to get people to remember Morning Musume again. I’m proud to say that her leadership is leading Morning Musume back in the right direction (I have no problems with previous leaders, and I really loved when Ai was around, but I think people were beginning to get bored of never changing line-up).


If and when Sayu does graduate, the main question is “who would be the new leader of Morning Musume?” It would either be Fukumura Mizuki or Iikubo Haruna. I personally wouldn’t think Haruna would become leader, even though she’s older than Mizuki, Haruna doesn’t have that much experience as Mizuki has (since Mizuki was a Kenshuusei prior to joining Morning Musume). I’m going to assume that the leader title will be given to the member with the most experience in their given generations.

But when Yoshizawa Hitomi graduated, the leader title was given to Fujimoto Miki from 6th generation, skipping over 5th generation entirely because Miki was older than Ai. Would that mean Haruna will become Morning Musume’s leader instead of Mizuki? Nobody really knows for sure who will become Morning Musume’s new leader after the last Platinum era member decides to graduate. The title being for Mizuki or even Haruna, either one I wouldn’t mind them being leader.

When both current 6th generation members graduate, Morning Musume will be reborn.


Of course, Morning Musume will still be Morning Musume. The only difference would be that the group is filled new members only. Yes, it would be a bit weird at first and I’ll probably would need some time to get use to Morning Musume without any members from the line-up I first came to love, but I seriously think that the newer members can make Morning Musume seem younger and more fresher.

Lately Morning Musume’s songs have been more catchier and ended up selling quite a lot. This once very popular girl group seems to be trying to claim their title again. With newer girls, and probably some future generations, I think Morning Musume can claim “the best girl group” title they once had. There is some tough competition for the Morning Musume though, such as Momoiro Clover Z (they seem to be getting quite popular lately), the 48 groups (AKB, SKE, NMB, HKT, etc), and K-pop groups. But with newer members coming in every year or so, and older members graduating. I wouldn’t doubt that Morning Musume will become a group we didn’t expect to see and may raise their popularity once again.


There is some people though who are afraid of change. The problem Morning Musume may have is that people who use to like them before and no longer do now, simply because there’s too much new members and they don’t know their names. We cannot force people to like Morning Musume, but with the groups recently great promotion, it’s not hard to hear their names or see their pictures here and there. Therefore, it may lead to curiosity, and their curiosity may lead some old fans or new fans to listen to Morning Musume.

But I would think that the total change in the line-up is a really good change for Morning Musume. There was a time in Morning Musume history that for a couple of years (2007 – 2009) the line-up did not change at all. No members graduated and no new members joined. It may have been boring for some (truthfully, I’m kinda glad I became a fan a couple of months before Koharu graduated, I enjoy Morning Musume when the line-up is constantly changing because it’s interesting!). Morning Musume without constant change wouldn’t really be Morning Musume now would it? Honestly, it wouldn’t be Morning Musume if the members weren’t always changing.

When the 6th generation members decide to leave, (as of now) there will be 9 members to carry the Morning Musume name. The members are of the newer generations (9th, 10th, and 11th generations), these members are in Morning Musume for a reason. They’re all very talented, in vocal wise, dances wise, personality wise, or even entertainment wise. Each member has something to give to Morning Musume, Hello! Project and even the idol world.


The newer Morning Musume girls have some really entertaining personalities and idol characters. They all have some really good idol-like qualities that really compliment Morning Musume, some current members even have some previous member qualities.

Fukumura Mizuki


Mizuki is very kind and caring towards the other members and can be seen as a mother towards 9th generation members. Mizuki really loves Morning Musume and Hello! Project, and sometimes she can be seen as quite an air-head. Mizuki may only be at the age of 16, but she’s really known for her sex-appeal and princess features. She’s still currently coming out of her shell, but in a few more months or so, she’ll be even more of a better member in vocals and appearance. Mizuki’s voice is quite good and her dancing skills are also good, she’s becoming a really great idol already and it’s only 2 years since she joined Morning Musume.

If Mizuki is given the title “leader” when Sayumi decides to graduate, I’m sure she’ll be a really good one. Since she’s really loved by the other members, I’m sure they’ll listen to her. Mizuki isn’t the one to be seen as scolding other members, but I think she’ll try to help them in a kind and caring nature instead.

Speaking of Sayumi, I personally think that Mizuki is the newer and younger Sayumi. Mizuki is often given the Uh’s and Ah’s in recent singles, along with Sayumi. Not only that, but Sayumi is really gorgeous and cute, and same with Mizuki. It’s little things, but I think they’re what makes Mizuki similar to our current precious leader.

Ikuta Erina


Erina isn’t in the front or center of Morning Musume, and is usually seen in the back. But someday I think Erina has what it takes to be a front or even center someday in the future.

Her KY personality makes her quite entertaining to watch, and her love for Niigaki Risa is really cute. Her singing and dancing seems to be improving from when she first joined Morning Musume, they don’t really seem to be as awkward anymore. Actually, Erina hasn’t really been being as awkward as she use to be from when she first joined, she still has her KY personality but it’s not as bad as it use to be. Erina also seems to be quite good at talking on variety tv shows lately, and I wouldn’t doubt she’ll become a regular in the future (besides Oha star).

Sayashi Riho


Riho loves and enjoys drinking cider and sleeping, also, Riho is already titled an ace in Morning Musume and can be seen singing as much lines as Tanaka Reina. But because of that, either a lot people love her or hate her (it’s a shame to see Riho being hated on though).

She’s a talented singer and she’s very good at dancing, but besides that her personality is quite quiet. Her hamster-like qualities are what makes her quite adorable and fun to watch during lives and concerts. Riho and Sakura are probably going to be the ones who will be Morning Musume’s main vocalists in future songs when the last two remaining 6th generation members graduate.

Suzuki Kanon


Kanon is the new energetic comedian in Morning Musume, similar to 5th generation’s Ogawa Makoto. Not only that but they have similar deep voices, quite different from their own generation members. Kanon brought back the the energetic liveliness into Morning Musume once again. With her jokes and bug impersonations, she’s really fun to watch interacting with the other members. She has the personality that Morning Musume once needed again, after when the comedians graduation (such as Makoto, Koharu, and Eri). It’s really great to see that kind of personality in Morning Musume, and it’s what makes Kanon really adorable and entertaining.

Iikubo Haruna


With her long hair and lean body, Haruna seems to be quite similar to Iida Kaori. Haruna is very soft spoken, and doesn’t have much of a loud personality. Her dancing and singing skills weren’t that great before, and seemed really awkward, but they are really improving in the last year or so, it’s really surprising how well they improved in such a short time. With every single and concert, Haruna seems to be getting better and better. Her personality seems to a bit clumsy and odd, such as doing really odd faces and poses in pictures, but her odd personality is what makes her funny and entertaining.

If Haruna becomes the new leader, wouldn’t that be interesting? Would she be able to control the other members? I’m sure she will do just as a good job if Mizuki became leader. They’re both quite gentle and nice to the other members, I’m sure either one will do a good job as being future leader. I wouldn’t complain if Haruna or Mizuki became leader, they both have the qualities that would make them a suitable leader for Morning Musume.

Ishida Ayumi


Ayumi is the dance machine in Morning Musume (along with Riho) and she’s quite good at singing. Ayumi is very cute with her sharp features and skills. Even though, Matsuura Aya wasn’t a Hello! Project member who was in Morning Musume but it’s who Ayumi somewhat reminds me of. Ayumi’s personality is quite outgoing and she seems not to be shy at all, she also seems to be very well determined and a hard worker, which are very good qualities to have in the idol world. Ayumi is recently becoming a rapper within the group, with her rapping in a b-side for their newest single “Help me!!”. It’s what the group somewhat needs to have, since the “rappers” graduated. And with having a rapper in the group, it makes the group and Ayumi more interesting.

Sato Masaki


Masaki is very clingy towards the other members, and always seems to be energetic and in happy mood all the time. Masaki possesses a Ishikawa Rika aura, because she always seems to be happy, cute, and having a personality that affects everyone (meaning that when she’s not around, other members tend to miss her).  Masaki has a very cute but very good voice and her dancing skills are also done quite well and very cutely. Masaki’s very high energy level makes her very entertaining to watch during MV’s, events and concerts.

Kudo Haruka

EPSON scanner image

Haruka is the tomboy of the group, and even she said herself that she doesn’t like to wear skirts. Her boyish charm and personality is somewhat similar to Yoshizawa Hitomi’s. Haruka has a deep/husky voice which really stands from the other members and is lovely to listen to, her voice fits her boyish character quite well. Her cool character is very refreshing and fun to see in Morning Musume again, since the group hasn’t had a very boyish member for quite awhile.

Haruka constantly teases the other members and usually gets them with her pranks, such as not letting Masaki cling on to her, and chasing Mizuki with a bug. It’s amusing to see a prankster in Morning Musume, and Haruka is very amusing to watch but you kind of have to pity the other members for being victims of her pranks. Besides her boyish and prankster ways though, she’s very well organized and well prepared for events and concerts, as described by the other members, they even say she’s similar to Mitsui Aika in that way.

Oda Sakura


Even though Sakura has just recently joined Morning Musume, her skills are already quite good and her character is already starting to develop. I would consider Sakura as the new ace of Morning Musume, a new Goto Maki if you wish. Though she’s a new member she doesn’t seem shy as new members might be when they first join, she’s already talkative, she seems to already have good relationships with other members, and she seems very confident. She’s even already considered a new center of Morning Musume, even though her debut single hasn’t even been released yet.

It surprises me that Sakura already seems to fit in quite well in Morning Musume, and she only joined a couple months ago. Her vocal skills are very good, Takahashi Ai good, and she seems to have no problems with dancing. She’s developing so quickly and it’s very impressive.


With Mizuki, Erina, Riho, Kanon, Haruna, Ayumi, Masaki, Haruka, and Sakura. All their skills, personalities, and characters fit in with each other quite well. They’re younger and have the ability to make Morning Musume seem new and more refreshing. They also have the abilities to make Morning Musume a very popular group again who has really great promotion and who sell really well from the help of their previous senpai’s.

Whoever may be in Morning Musume in the future, I’m sure that they’ll carry the Morning Musume name quite well. After all, Morning Musume will always be Morning Musume. The same songs will be sung, just by different members. Your favourite members may or may have already graduated, but your favourite songs will forever be sung by Morning Musume.

Since Reina won’t graduate until the spring and Sayumi still having another year or so to her Morning Musume days, let’s enjoy and love our 6th generation members before they decide to leave our precious group, Morning Musume.


I really love Morning Musume, and whoever the future members may be I will still love them. But when Sayumi decides to graduate, I’ll be truly sad to see the beloved Platinum era members gone from the group. On the bright side though, Morning Musume will be reborn.

8 responses

      • Sayu Fan is correct. Miki auditioned with the 4th Generation members and was recruited as a soloist. She had an outstanding performance at 2003’s New years concert that resulted in Tsunku adding her with the 6th Gen members but she wasn’t to be treated as a 6th gen. If you watch the Mechaike Okajo Taiikusai Special (Also known as “The Crap Girl Competition” 2003) The host claims she is one of the new girls, but not to be treated as such.

        I would like to thank you for the post. When I found Morning Musume the twins were still part of the group. I still follow the group in the news but I don’t know much about any of the girls except Sayumi anymore. Unlike you I didn’t follow the group much post Hitomi era, but the last change to disappoint me was Risa’s graduation. Sayumi has grown though, especially since becoming the leader, and as of this post they have topped the Oricon chart with their last 4 releases. It is nice to see their popularity on the rise again.

  1. My favourite after Tanaka Reina leaves is Haruna Iikubo. She just seems to go out of her way to please the fans that are usually left out. My favourite example is that whenever there are promotions for French speakers, she will speak in French. It is really impressive to me. 🙂

  2. Not Really, Mikki was a H!P member before 5th join, she didn´t pass 4th generation audition but Tsunku inmediattly said that she become a soloist within H!P, i did it. Mikki´s debut was in early 2001, before 5th get in. This is the reason that she became leader before Takahashi Ai.
    But she never had a single as leader =(

  3. i think fukumura mizuki or haruka kudo should be appointed as the lead after sayumi leaves cause mizuki knows her responsibility and haruka should be the lead cause she’s very cute

  4. well,, i guest morning musume now are not as strong like the old member era.. the best paltinum era was at Roman my dear boy single until my sexy boy.. they all the best of the best,, and in my opinion the biggest losing of Morning Musume was when Ai Takahashi graduated,, that was the ultimate bomb,, and sayumi’s graduation its just the perfect closing of the real sad story that now MM no longer the super idol group,, ( best platinum era,, 4 – 7th gen )
    the new member are have no strong character,, they just like other girlband in japan,, so sad,, and i guess its very difficult to Tsunku bring MM back to become super idol like best platinum era again,,

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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