Too misery! Mari Mizuta to Leave Pla2me at the End of May
In what at first seemed to be a cruel April Fool’s Day joke, a notice posted on Pla2me’s official website, echoed by blog entries on Mari Mizuta and Saki Kamiya’s blogs around 1:00am (JST) announced that Mari would be leaving the group on May 31st due to artistic differences between the two. At the same time, it was announced that Pla2me would be conducting auditions for new members and that anyone male or female between the ages of 17 and 28 would be eligible. Given the timing of the announcement and the reputation of their manager Junnosuke Watanabe (WACK) for pushing the boundaries with Saki’s former group BiS, the news was hard to take at face value.
In the blog entry by Mari, she explained that an rift had formed between her and Saki. With many of Pla2me’s activities taking place in Tokyo, far away from her home in Osaka, Mari would often stay over at Saki’s home but, in spite of that kindness, being away was always difficult for her. Expressing her love for the music, choreography, and outfits of Pla2me as well as the fun times she spent with Saki shopping, watching anime, and cosplaying, there were things that Mari wanted to do but felt that she could not if she stayed with the group. Mari ended by thanking everyone for their support with the reassurance that she looked forward to being able to maintain her friendship with Saki.
Saki’s blog entry explained that Pla2me was born out of her wish to do something together with Mari, apologizing for the situation becoming what it was. She had sensed the rift between them shortly after their January 10th “one-man” (solo concert) at Daikanyama UNIT and the release of their 2nd single “UNIT”. Saki apologized for not bringing the issue up earlier and letting the rift grow bigger, despite noticing warning signs popping up. She also apologized by not being strong enough to support Mari and help her through the rough times. Unable to tell which side was correct regarding the matter, Saki sympathized with Mari for persevering, despite being able to say anything as well. Despite the end of their partnership as Pla2me, Saki looked forward to continuing her friendship with Mari and asked for fans to keep supporting her until her last day, despite the difficult emotions involved.
The Japanese entertainment industry is well known for their love of “dokkiri” (practical jokes) and to announce such serious news on April Fool’s Day, it was easy to dismiss Saki’s claim that it was not a joke at first, or to think that maybe the news sites reporting it didn’t understand the nature of the holiday. The duo of Mari and Saki as Pla2me made a huge splash on the idol scene in 2014, the first group to come out of the end of BiS. While idols graduating or resigning from a group is an accepted fact of the business, it is still difficult to see something come to an end, particularly when so many of them have already happened in 2015. Pla2me will continue with new members but it will never be same as it was when it was Mari and Saki together.
Pla2me Official site: http://pla2me.com/index.html
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