Reina will graduate from Morning Musume at the last concert of the upcoming spring tour. This will leave Sayu as the last remaining 6th generation member and the last remaining “platinum generation” member. To be honest, this isn’t that much of a shock. When Tsunku announced the formation of the (as yet unnamed) Reina band, the writing was on the wall. When Oda Sakura was announced as the highly touted Uta Hime winner, we knew that Reina was already halfway through the door. Personally, Reina was the first member who really drew me into Morning Musume. When I watched concerts, her stage presence drew me in more than the other girls. Sure, she spent much of her career in need of a bagel or two, but I like skinny girls as much as the next guy. I’m going to miss her winky/wonky/yankee personality. As a plus, though, Reina will still have a singing career with the Reina band. Do I dare hope for something great? I’ve always imagined how great Reina would be singing for something like SCANDAL. Hopefully I’m not disappointed.
Here’s a picture of the announcement and a tiny look at her new band mates. Tanaka Reina will be accompanied by Okada Marina (vocals), Miyazawa Marin (guitar), and Uozumi Yuuki (Guitar). Two singers and two guitarists, eh?