When you’re an Independent music artist it`s a mix of creative freedom that can lead to some commercial success and at times hardships. When you’re an Indie Idol unit ,you don`t expect to have success and hardship hit at the same time ,for it`s a genre were you are trying to break out of a crowded pack.
For Kamen Joshi overcoming the death of a member to get their first #1 selling single [132,000 units sold first week] and becoming the first Japanese Female Indie artist to ever have a number one ranking on Oricon music charts , a new TV variety show ,booking an year ending Saitama Super Arena show ,sold out daily concerts ,the good ship had at last sailed into their port it seems.
Sadly this has not been the case for this unit as success has brought the unit a dark cloud of unsettled times and unproven tabloid rumors.
Welcome to no longer being an underground Idol unit ,all the camera lights ,dirt sheet reporters hiding in the shadows and the pressures of performing 1,000 concerts a year [unit performs multi-lives daily at their own concert theater] are starting to take effect on the unit.
Since their number one single hit the charts in January ,the unit has had 14 member moves. The most recent have created a domino effect of unsettled times and lineups.
Trying to backtrack all of the fallout can be confusing however some events have taken place since February that has caused the current unsettled times for the group ,that should be mentioned.
Watanabe Maari announced that she would be graduating with a graduation concert set for April 12th. This was a sad moment for fans ,however this was just the start of events.
The very next day
Koyanagi Tomoe quit the group and company with a troubling blog post that included the following
It’s Kamen Joshi and Steam Girls Koyanagi Tomoe!
By the way, I’m writing this without going through the office.
It’s my last, so leaving doubt on whose words they are just something I don’t want to do.
Everyone listen carefully.
Being straight to the point, I, Koyanagi Tomoe, will graduate from Kamen Joshi and Steam Girls.
The reason is not the reason what the agency often makes people say, “having found the thing they want to do”, but, because I believe that I’m not “living” here.
Because I feel like I can’t shine here.
To be clear, this is not a dismissal.
I jumped into the entertainment industry at the age of 15.
I was just a person by herself with a dream from Nagasaki who knew nothing about Tokyo when she moved there.
Budokan and Zepp Tokyo’s one man lives. Whenever you think back on those times, Koyanagi Tomoe was shining, right? Theater, Budokan, Miyako rock festival, Rockin’ Japan, Zepp Tokyo and everything else… They are all treasures, but My treasure is all of you fans
Everyone will forever be my pride.
I really wanted to see the top together with everyone, but I can no longer shine here, so I quit.
I decided to ‘begin’ by myself. I will decide the end by myself as well.
About the continuation of my dream with everyone, it might not be bad to quit while I’m reluctant about it.
If the Koyanagi Tomoe continues to shine inside everyone’s minds, that alone would make me happy.
Right now, I’m just tired. I will rest for a little while, if I would feel like doing something afterward, please take care of me!
And with that Kamen Joshi and Steam Girls Koyanagi Tomoe will graduate.
Finally. Thank you for loving me.
Original translation done by http://mayuyu.co.uk/post/111815179445/graduation-2015-02-23-08-10-20-hello
Tomoe was joined by Steam Girls leader Satsuki Araya deleting all her Alice Project tweets and announcing that she was leaving , Hayase Amu changed her tweeter name and deleted everything related to Alice Project ,Aizawa Mina who had been absent and not blogging issued a tweet apology and Matsugami Yuko has not been heard from since mid-December.
With these moves many fans hoped this was the end to the changes ,it was until March 11th
On March 11th more changes came and the results of all of these graduations triggered member movements across the board.
March 11th Aizawa Mina, , Amaki Jun and Hayase Amu all announced their graduations.
Amu is leaving because she has panic disorder ,Aizawa said she was leaving after thinking about her future and Jun is a successful Gravure Idol and has decided she enjoys that more than singing.
With these graduations and the ones before a series of member unit moves took place completely changing the look of all units in
Alice Project. Those moves are the following.
Slime Girls -> Sato Nanase promoted to Pa-ken! ,Araki Himeri promoted to Pa-ken! ,Shina Mimi promoted to Pa-ken!, Kitamura Maki promoted to Pa-ken! ,Otagi Kana promoted to OZ and Takanashi Sato promoted to OZ
Pa-ken!-> Kusunoki Mayu promoted to Armor Girls ,Momose Hitomi promoted to Armor Girls ,Kojima Yuuka promoted to OZ
OZ->Mizusawa Mai promoted to Steam Girls ,Hoshi Aina promoted to Steam Girls ,Maeda Natsumi promoted to Steam Girls, Sakamoto Mana promoted to Steam Girls
With these moves fans are talking among themselves about what is happening to a company they have watched grow over the years and who will leave next.
With so many popular and important members leaving Alice Project it brings sadness , but also a chance for new stars to be born.
With fame comes pressures and changes ,how the members and group handle their new found fame and tabloid rumors will say a lot about this unit being able to rise to national Idol level. A goal that everyone is hoping they will reach.