One of the inevitable pains of being an idol fan is accepting the idea of graduations. This is when a member of a group retires from the group and pursues other goals, such as a solo career or a break from the public scene. Hello! Project has recently seen one of its most beloved groups go on an indefinite hiatus (graduate, for all intents and purposes). With this week’s episode of Hello! Project Station another graduation announcement was made: Fukuda Kanon of ANGERME (formerly known as S/mileage).
Kanon began by announcing that after almost 11 years in Hello! Project (almost 6 years in S/mileage and ANGERME) she would be graduating from ANGERME and Hello! Project this coming fall. The addition of the 3rd Generation members last year (Murota Mizuki, Aikawa Maho and Sasaki Rikako) kicked off a major change and shift for the group, along with a name change. Kanon stated that it was at this time that she started to think about her own graduation. She was careful to mention that this was her own decision, and that she wants to walk a new path in life. She’ll be taking a break from university until her graduation so that she can put her whole heart and time into ANGERME until her graduation. She didn’t specify what she wants to do after she graduates, but she did mention that she wants to study hard and graduate from university. The precise date of her graduation is still to be determined.
To all the fans out there who love Fukuda Kanon, don’t forget to support her through to the end. Graduations are in the very nature of the industry. This does not make it any easier for the fans, but it certainly is to be expected. She came to this conclusion on her own, and her decision should be respected. It’s been a tough year so far for Hello! Project fans, but we have received some good out of it too. Remember to always love and support the idols you enjoy, and never forget the good times either!
Fukuda Kanon, born March 12, 1995, is one of two remaining 1st Generation members of Japanese pop idol group ANGERME. She began her career in Hello! Project as a Hello Pro Egg in 2004. After much practice and dedication she finally debuted into a major group in 2010: S/mileage (they officially started in 2009 as an indie group). Since then she has participated in various productions, many singles, survived S/mileage’s evolution into ANGERME and even voiced a character for an anime (Hime Chen! Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri).
Below is a link to a translation of the announcement done by Up-Front Link and below that is a link to the segment from the Hello! Project Station.
NOTE: The announcement starts at 7:55 and ends at 13:10.
◆ Rin Rigoni