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Morning Musume's Takahashi Ai talks about her impending graduation and future plans

September 3, 2011 @ 5:04 pm
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On September 3rd, Morning Musume kicked offTakahashi Ai's final tour to commemorate her impending graduation. Takahashi Ai joined Morning Musume back in August 2001 as a 5th generation member, and became the group's 6th leader in June 2007.

Sanspo snagged an interview with the much-loved idol, where she shared some of her thoughts on her upcoming graduation and her plans for the future.

Takahashi began, "I don't want to cry. I want to make it a graduation where people will say, 'She was cool'. If I'm sad, then the people watching me won't be able to smile."

She aims to hold a graduation ceremony like senpai Ishikawa Rika, who graduated in May 2005.

"[Ishikawa-san] wrote a letter, and read it herself," said Takahashi. "There were a lot of things that wouldn't have been delivered if she cried, but she fought through it. I thought that was cool."

The tour carried a motif of Takahashi's name and was given the title, "Ai BELIEVE".

On the upcoming tour, Takahashi revealed, "This time, I gave a lot of my input into the tour. Such as the stage costumes, and the tour concept designs."

When the reporter asked, "You mean, like hats?", she put her hand to her mouth and said, "Right," revealing the 'secret'. Then she continued, "Even jacket and T-shirts. I want to put 100% effort into it, so I had them listen to my selfishness."

Takahashi has been in Morning Musume for 10 years with Niigaki Risa, who is also a 5th generation member. As a leader, Takahashi will set the longest record with 4 years and 3 months.

"I never thought I would be in Morning Musume for 10 years, moreover, to be a leader for such a long time... The 5th generation members were close from the start and we were always together, so the manager used to scold us by saying, 'That's why your individuality doesn't come out.'"

However, a 'non-conformist' broke out from the group. This was Konno Asami, who graduated in April 2006 to attend a university, and became an announcer at TV Tokyo in April of this year.

"It was encouragement. She was heading towards a different genre, and she was able to make those dreams become reality. I realized that it's okay to do things that people may think is impossible, and it pushed my back."

Takahashi continued, "The other day, I saw her and she told me, 'You're going to graduate' and 'I'll be there'. Konkon [Konno] is a natural airhead, so I wonder if she'll really come."

After graduating, Takahashi plans to continue her activities in the entertainment business, mainly focusing on acting. She also confessed that she'll be more open for love.

"Rather than wanting to be in love... My mother and father got married when they were 20, and had me when they were 21, my sister when they were 23. It's strange to think that they already had two children when they were my age. Being in Morning Musume, your mentality stays as a child, so I think there are a lot of new things to learn about after I graduate."

Though Takahashi will greet the world soon as a mature woman, in her smile, an innocence from her early debut days remain.

Takahashi Ai will officially graduate on September 30th at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo.

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Source: Sanspo

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