Now, Uta-chan didn’t die. If all of this reads like an obituary, that’s not my intention. I’m just trying to clear my head of the mess left behind. Before you read my thoughts, you might want to read the official press release from Hello! Project, or the translated press release from blog! project. You may want to also read playing manager Tsugunaga Momoko’s thoughts on the Shimamura Uta affair (EDIT) or blog translations from Yamaki Risa, Morito Chisato, or Ozeki Mai. Fair warning: Yamaki and Ozeki’s blogs will crush you.
Hello! Station introduced the world to little Utachan on November 12, 2014. At the time time, Country Girls and Uta made a big enough impression on me that I went to great lengths to learn all about these fresh young faces. Shimamura Uta shared a scant 219 days of her life with us idol fans and HaroWota. In this short time, Uta rose to the forefront of Hello! Project as one of the faces of the new generation of idols. For a couple of months, it seemed like EVERYONE was mad about Uta. You name it: wota and idols alike were taken by Uta’s innocence and charm. I personally spent a few nights tweeting nothing but pictures of Shimamura Uta. Even if she wasn’t my clear favorite in the group, I enjoyed her charm and presence. Let me make this clear: I LOVED Shimamura Uta. I know many wota invested heavily into Uta-chan.