In my time as an idol fan, I've not had the emotional experience of a true favorite, an honest-to-god oshimen, leaving a group. Until today.
While Erika of C-ute and Akari of Momoclo are still close to my heart, it was too late for me to really get to know them by the time I'd become a fan of those groups. I really liked Linlin, Aichan, and Kiyomura Kawane, and Aika will forever be my baby. But even they never found the place in my heart that Sayaka has. And that she will always have.
I can make a good and convincing case for saying that I was not shocked at her graduation announcement. I can go on and on about how we all saw it coming after the team shuffle last year that traded Sayaka for Oshima Yuko as Team K captain. I can lament about how her decreasing rank in the
But even still, I was shocked. For the past year or so, Sayaka has been one of three reasons I've really bothered paying attention to AKB48 as a group (the others being Mariko and UZA, lol). And now that she is leaving, I really have no reason to continue. I adore the sister groups, but for me, AKB48 has become a black hole, and I don't have much left to say about it aside from cynical quips and calculated jabs.
I know now how it really feels like to have the impending loss of an oshimen looming on the horizon. And it feels icky. But I really do feel better knowing that Sayaka has lots of better things in store for her. And I am looking forward to seeing them.