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Small talk : Teruyuki Tsuchida thoughts on Imaizumi Yui, and why you should give yours too

“Tsucchi” is for Keyakizaka what Bananaman is for Nogizaka : humble, kind father-in-law that guide keyakizaka members through their idols career. He has a tremendous amount of experience involved in the entertainment world and daily interact with idols for almost 6 years. It started with sashiko no kuse ni, Tokyo idol festival, and many more. Then obviously his opinion on what’s currently happening is highly valuable to read. It’s also pointing out that beyond plain criticism, sharing thoughts is a way to develop empathy and understanding on situations that we don’t fully comprehend in first instance. Let’s break it down in this short comment.



ことを受け、12日放送のラジオ番組「土田晃之 日曜のへそ」で、「率直に一言で言うと、寂しいですね、本当に。学校の先生の気持





“She wanted to be a singer at first, and took lots of solo auditions, but along the way, she ended up joined Keyakizaka instead. She’s certainly skilled at singing. She announced she wanted to keep working as a talent though. Talent is a pretty broad term, but if we’re speaking about variety shows, it might be a bit difficult for her…” “Right after they’ve graduated, it’s pretty easy for ex-idols to appear on TV shows. But those times only last for so long before the effects wear out.”

“The only ones who have successfully gone from idols to variety talents are Miyuki Imori and Wakako Shimazaki, and they’re both monsters. Actual beasts. I don’t want Imaizumi to become like them, and she doesn’t have what it takes to become like them.” “That said, if she wants to enter the world of Talents, I think we will meet again one day in front of a screen. I’m looking forward to this day.”

translation from @kayseur

In contrary of what i supposed on my Zuumin graduation reaction post it was not as much health involved as i thought. Rather the desire to evolve as an individual entertainer in the japanese show business. When you gather info, like other members reaction on their blog (Yuuka said we must respect Zuumin decision, implying she made a choice or Ozeki who wants to support her as talent) or reading through japanese matome, you realize they discuss much more about Zuumin wish to go solo than health.

it’s important to not assimilate seeking info as making a judgement. For fans to discuss it, is a way for understanding, and if possible an easiest path to move on. (when your teacher gives you a bad grade, do you contest or do you try to understand why you failed?) I think a lot of us in the fandom are sensitive after Zuumin sotsugyo and haven’t yet to sort out our feelings, so criticism is hard to accept and you mostly get epidermal reactions. You can discuss Zuumin graduation without being judgemental. You can be extremely sad over her announcement without opposing her decision. It goes both way. Actually there’s like 600 message of fans expressing frustration, feelings or rather observation on all the consequence that is implies. The topic is boiling, and prove that the fandom is still quite active.

That being said, let’s discuss on Tsucchi piece of mind. The highlight is on the word “talento”, and he rightfully does : talents need to have many, broad skills. Singing won’t be enough, and other power-ups will be mandatory to survive : variety timing, perhaps fashion, or developing business relationship (finding the right persons to work with is a skill in itself). He also point out the momemtum that girls have when leaving their idol group as extremely short, and not rely on it too much. And of course, to survive on her own she will need to keep sharpening her own personality, flavour, something that becomes much more difficult because as keyakizaka member, she was in a tinier environment (she was compared to keyaki members, while now she’s competing the whole pool of female entertainer).

Put it into perspective, Zuumin choice was as follows : to eventually wait for the center spot to be available, or to set sail in a bigger, more competitive environnment. What Tsucchi did was not telling her that it was a harder, therefore a worse idea to go solo, but making preventive advice and to be prepared to what was coming. A mental preparation i believe she did as she consulted other members (well, not all members…). Yes, Zuumin had Yuichanzu, lot of screentime, even solo songs that were supposed to nurture her own personality. But what is comfortable for us was probably not enough for her, thus leading to this decision. When we think about it, she waited for more than 3 years. To the “she put her own interest over the group” argument, actually there’s many occasion in idol history that members graduate because they finished high school (aka the playtime period) and than they choose to continue studies in university. In some way, they are putting first their own interest, it’s just that it is more morally accepted by the fanbase.

credit to @aoi_minoko

Zuumin played the long game. Like an entrepreneur, she evaluated the risk she could afford to take for her future and bet on it. I think people were hurt because they feel like being abandoned, but it doesn’t apply because what has been built as Keyakizaka Imaizumi Yui were not done like Temporary measure, or should i say stepstone. In no way keyakizaka imaizumi Yui was half hearted. This is what’s important in my opinion.

I want to encourage people to share their feelings and thoughts, even if you anticipate the backlash of other fans who disagree with you. Teruyuki Tsuchida gives his in an objective way, with the experience that he has. Do you really think other fans will have a go at him because he said Zuumin can’t be the like of successful entertainer like Miyuki Imori? No. Giving your thoughts, whether it’s kind of clumsily expressed or not, aim to be food for thoughts, put things into perspective; put things into context. It’s actually helpful. Thanks to that, you stretch your arm and enrich your own view. Thanks to all the feedback you have of the community, maybe your view on members can change, improve, worsen, whatever. The point is, to not have a fixed vision of what’s happening for the sake of ideology. (ex : i will be a forever supporter of the love ban rule)

Let’s put it another way. Why do you think keyakizaka management makes their choices? We could either dislike their latest release then proceed to call them incompetent (Techi eternal center spot is debatable) or we can try to understand what’s beneath techi choice as center : songs world view, concert production, aiming the japanese filming industry… then perhaps it’s change your mind. Or not.

#conspiracy theory : the timing of zuumin graduation and sakamichi joint audition is uncanny…