Emotional Final Stage of Shizuka Sugino: Graduation at Tokyo Idol Festival 2015
Twin Tail Association Japan‘s iconic group drop bid an emotional farewell to Shizuka Sugino (aka Shizurin), during their performance at Tokyo Idol Festival 2015’s Doll Factory stage on the evening of August 1st. Shizurin had been taking a rest from performing with drop for a while and it was announced by the group’s producer Furuya Kan on May 22nd that she would graduate after performing at drop’s 1st anniversary live (July 7), her 21st birthday live (July 11), and the 1st day of Tokyo Idol Festival 2015.
The fans had been waiting for hours to see Shizurin for the last time, perhaps ever since drop’s Sky Stage performance. A voice rang out in the darkness, “This is drop’s final live as 4 members!” (Hai! drop 4-nin saigo no live iku yo!), and the crowd raised their voices in eager anticipation. Leader Misaki Misato (aka Misa-Misa) feebly announced “Nanimo Iranai”, as the group began the song, Haruka Oba (aka Haruppi) picking the mood up as she pumped her fist and lead the fans in the MIX. She and Misaki later changed the lyrics “Tada kimi no koto daisuki” (It’s just that I love you) to “Tada Shizurin no koto daisuki” (It’s just that I love Shizurin), and the fans shouted back “Ore mo” (I do too)!
After their customary animated self-introductions, accented by enthusiastic audience participation, the members of drop picked up their pen lights and switched them to yellow, as the fans in the Doll Factory did the same. Shaking their hips and waving their lights like pistols, drop gave a perky and cute performance of “Toumei na Juu” before Shizurin was asked to say a few words to her fans for the last time. She thanked the fans for supporting her during her time as an idol. Noting that a “new drop would start tomorrow”, she asked them to continue to support the group. A loud groan of protest swept through the room as Shizurin tried to segue into the last song, causing her to hesitate and admit that she didn’t want to leave yet. The other members echoed her by saying they didn’t want to go either, as they wiped away tears and smoothed their hair.
Leader Misa-Misa stepped into save Shizurin, asking the fans to get excited with all of their remaining power for the last song, “Watashi ga Watashi de Aru Tame ni”. Despite her moment of strength, Misa-Misa and the others were visibly shaken as the sentimental piano intro began playing. She and Hikari Takiguchi (aka Takki) reached out to Shizurin as she sang her lines, eyes watering as they realized that she would not be there tomorrow. Shizurin maintained her composure, leaving nothing behind as this would be the final memory fans would have of her as a member of drop. Takki’s eyes were red as she struggled to sing her solo lines retreating behind Misa-Misa. At the end of the song Shizurin called out cheerfully in her child-like voice, “Thank you for everything! I love you all!” (Ima made arigatou! Minna daisuki!)
Joining hands on stage, drop took a bow as a 4-member group for the last time. As she walked offstage, Shizurin turned back and called out, “It has to be drop, right?” (Yappa, drop da na?), before disappearing, leaving heartbroken fans inconsolable on the floor. While the reasons for her graduation were not clearly explained, some say that because of her perfect pitch (Shizurin is a piano major at a music college), being onstage so often caused her to have severe headaches. With the average volume at a venue hovering around 90 dB and the constant performing that idols do, this is not that difficult to believe. Although it is definitely painful for fans when the idol that they have been supporting decides to leave, it should also be a time for them to remember all the priceless memories that they have received as well. Thank you and until we meet again Shizurin.
drop Official site: http://www.drop-collet.com/
Twin Tail Association Japan Official site: http://www.twintail-japan.com/
Shizuka Sugino Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/shizurin24
Photos by Kenji Harada
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