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“Haru became strong!” Morning Musume.’17 Haruka Kudo Graduation Concert Special LiveReport

ーハル、強くなりました!ー モーニング娘。誕生20周年記念コンサートツアー2017秋 ~We are MORNING MUSUME。~ 工藤遥卒業スペシャル ライブレポート
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“Haru became strong!” Morning Musume.’17 Haruka Kudo Graduation Concert Special LiveReport

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Chisaki Morito: “This was our first and last tour together but I’m glad we got to do it. I’m sorry for always causing trouble even since rehearsals began. Back when I’d just entered Morning Musume. and was worried if I could ever fit in, Kudo-san supported me from behind and reassured me if I was a member of Morning Musume. That one line encouraged me and gave me confidence. We’re the same age but Kudo-san has such a keen perception and so much talent at everything from singing to dancing to doing MCs. I respect everything about you. We spent a short time together, but you taught me so much and comforted me so much with your lovable self. Thank you!”


Reina Yokoyama: “When we went to Saitama for the fall tour I kept feeling sorry that I was going to be part of your last homecoming concert, but Kudo-san told me to enjoy it and later at the end told everyone to take care of me from now on. That made me so, so happy. Being able to do a homecoming concert with Kudo-san will always be my treasure for life. You were the 13th generation’s mentor and taught us so much, and gave us so many good memories that I’m grateful for. From now on please treat me kindly as a fellow Saitama person!”


Kaede Kaga: “Over the past one year Kudo-san taught me so much, and taught me how to adapt my low voice to my surroundings because you shared the same trait. That made me appreciate Kudo-san so much. I don’t just respect you as a senior but also as a person. The 13th generation will always be Kudo-san’s juniors. From now on too, we’ll do our best to chase after Kudo-san. Thank you so much! I love you!”


Akane Haga: “Kudo is the symbol of everything cute in this world. It makes me so sad that my kind, beloved Kudo-san is graduating, but I think it must also be lonely for Kudo-san to leave a group as big as Morning Musume and set out by yourself to become an actress. Therefore I’m going take the responsibility to tell you good morning and good night every day. I’ll love Kudo-san the most until I see the last star in the sky, so I’ll be happy even if you just remember me as that creepy girl who loves you. Thank you for the past three years! I love you the most in this world!”


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Maria Makino: “When I first joined Morning Musume., you told me that it was the first time a junior had said she wanted to be like you and that you’d do your best to become a senior who could do her best and have my back. I was really happy, and from then on I always watched Kudo-san and tried to catch up to you even though I never could. From now on too, I want to love Morning Musume. the way Kudo-san did. Maria was super happy to have a senpai like Kudo-san! Kudo-san, LOVE-rin! I really, really, really love you!


Miki Nonaka: “Kudo-san was the first senior that talked to me when I joined Morning Musume. You always came running to me when I was in trouble, teaching me lots of things and talking to me freely. You have so many amazing qualities that I want to be like you. But I think I caused a lot of nuisances for Kudo-san and worried you a lot. Kudo-san often worried and said the 12th generation were like kids, but I don’t want you to worry about us! I’ll continue to grow, and show Kudo-san my reliable self. So please don’t worry! Also, Kudo-san told me you were looking forward to my performance before the concert began. I won’t definitely forget those words. I’ll answer to Kudo-san’s expectations! Thank you for everything till today! Please take care of me from now on too! Kudo-san, please watch me always!


Haruna Ogata: “Kudo-san was a senior who taught us everything whether it was through words or actions. Kudo-san was always surrounded by people and you accepted everyone warmly; if I were to describe you as an electrical appliance you’d be like a kotatsu (laughs). Thank you for being so kind to me when I’d just joined the group and didn’t know my left from right. During today’s MC Kaedii was invited to join the Triple As, but Kudo-san! Even if you graduate from Morning Musume. you’ll still be a part of the Triple As! Whether you’re the actress Haruka Kudo or Triple A’s Haruka Kudo-san, please treat me kindly from now on too! Thank you so much! Congratulations on your graduation!”


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Sakura Oda: “When we line up by order of seniority I was always behind Kudo-san. It gave me comfort to follow behind you, but now that it’s going to be Sato-san from now on I’m a little worried (laughs). Weren’t there a lot of unspoken nuances that only we could understand? Like this syndrome? (points at head) Though you should probably keep that to yourself as you become an actress. We had lots of serious conversations too. The first senior that I showed my weaknesses to was Kudo-san, and the first senior that showed me her weaknesses was Kudo-san. You were someone I could really rely on…or rather, we had a different kind of closeness as a senior and junior…I loved that you’d somehow always be by my side. From now on I’ll do my best to pass on everything Kudo-san left us with to the juniors, so please watch over me as I do my best. Thank you for all your help!”


Masaki Sato: “Duu, congratulations on your graduation! When I first met you I wondered why everyone loved you so much, even though you complained and picked on me so much! I was bewildered that someone who gave Masaki that kind of attitude would be so well-liked by everyone. But my way of thinking has changed since I was a 6th grader till now as a 3rd year in high school, and now I understand why everyone loves you that much. I used to be so frustrated and irritated. I’m a troublesome girl who won’t notice if you don’t show me more love than I’m expecting (laughs). So back then even though we were always the Maaduu pairing, I wanted to be far away from you in the beginning. Do you get it? Please understand. That’s how I used to feel. It’s what I realized recently after becoming a high school senior. I’m a person who only thinks about herself. Duu is a person who only thinks about others. Do you get me? We’re different, right? It makes me somewhat frustrated…hmm? What was I saying? (laughs) I can’t sort out my feelings to say what I want to say! I don’t know if I’m trying to act grown up or not, and I can’t tell what I’m saying. I don’t even understand this atmosphere right now. Why is everything orange? It’s not entering my train of thoughts. So I think it’ll all hit me only after Duu graduates and you’re not here any more. Stop, don’t look at me, look the other way! It’s not that I didn’t enjoy these 6 years. I was frustrated, but I didn’t hate it (laughs). After you graduate, I don’t want us to remain as Sato, who only thinks about herself and Kudo, who only thinks about others. The next time we meet, I want us to be a combination of both where we can think about ourselves and others at the same time. Not that I know how I’ll do that (laughs). What should I say now? Help me, everyone! We really, really went through a lot these 6 years, but congratulations on graduating!”


Ayumi Ishida: “You’ve worked hard! When I first saw Duu at the audition training camp, I instinctively thought to follow you even though you were an 11-year-old kid 3 years younger than me (laughs). You made me think of that. I wasn’t that popular, but I thought that I didn’t want to lose to this girl who was taking the lead among the 10th generation at every opportunity. I was also pretty envious that everyone always talked about how cute you were, and I didn’t want to tell you that you were cute (laughs). But you’re shining so brightly now. Yeah, you’re cute (laughs). I was thinking what I should convey to you in the end. Since it’s the last time and we’ve come to an end—I know it won’t matter what I say, but don’t quit! I don’t want to be apart from you! I really, really don’t want you to leave, but since you’re graduating with your own dreams I want to support that. As a member of Morning Musume, when you enter a new world, you have to shine even brighter as an actress than you are now or I’ll be mad, okay? I’ll be doing my best in this space you love, and protect it from now on too. Watch over me! You’ve done well!”

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Haruna Iikubo: “Up till today it didn’t hit me at all even after we came to the venue, and it’s felt so surreal. But just as we were about to start the real performance, it hit me that it was beginning. I didn’t want it to begin and I suddenly felt so lonely. When Kuduu spoke about becoming an actress, I understood that it’d be better to start as soon as possible and somewhere inside me I felt peace. But because I love Duu so much, it’s also impossible for me to not be this sad because we were always together and I could talk to Duu about anything. But more than anyone else I’m rooting for Kuduu’s dream to become an actress; there are even more people outside this audience that are rooting for you. So when you’re dispirited and feel like you don’t have the strength of a hundred people, please remember this view and cheer up. As Kuduu’s only big sister, I’ll come to you at any time so let’s stay together for a long time. Congratulations on your graduation! Do your best!”


Erina Ikuta: “Duu’s done a lot of male roles in the stage plays and performances up till now, and I always wondered how you could bring out that manliness better even without any guys around. But I think from now on it’ll be different. You’ll probably have to bring out your femininity more and show everyone that charm. Eri also want to see that shining side of Duu. Duu has this many supporters, so do please your best from now on too. I think it’s a huge step to decide on your next path and graduate at the age of 18. That will surely give lots of people courage and hope, so I believe it’s good to hold that confidence always. There must be people who look at Duu and decide in their heart to find their next dream. Work hard! I’m rooting for you!


Mizuki Fukumura: “Duu debuted at Nippon Budokan too. When you first stepped on this stage, I was truly happy to see a fellow Egg! It’s like we had a different way of thinking from the others, and we didn’t feel like the typical senior and junior. I think we were able to come here because we shared the same spirit from our Egg days. It makes me lonely to think Duu is graduating. I’m finally starting to feel reality and it makes my heart hurt. Duu always tells me that I can count on you for anything. Back then I always thought Duu was a weak kid. But before I knew it, you’d grown from a weak kid to a strong presence that Morning Musume needs and I feel that every day now. I’m sad that Duu is graduating. I love the Duu who sings and dances, I love the Duu who acts together with me, I love the Duu I see in everyday life. I’m sure it’s not just Mizuki but everyone else here who feels the same way. Even if you become one person after graduation, Duu was a great support to Morning Musume so I know you’ll be fine even by yourself from tomorrow onward. But I also know you’re not good at depending on others, so after you graduate please rely on us and let us pamper you. Call me whenever you get lonely. Thank you for your hard work for the 6 years you spent in Morning Musume, and the 8 years in Hello! Project.”


The sounds of crying filled the audience, as the opening melody of “Wakaindashi!” began. It may be a bright song inspired by tropical house music, but at the same it evoked feelings of loneliness. The corresponding lines of “What can I do? Do!” sounded like a cry of sorrow, and rang around the hall like a message to a loved one. This space, constructed on the love towards Kudo, can hardly be expressed. Love. That’s all it is.

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Led by the cute pop intro, the members were ready to perform their debut single “Pyoko Pyoko Ultra”. The sight of the girls wearing their yellow chick costumes left a deep impression. Duu never did suit a solemn farewell. With their biggest smiles, the 14 girls danced like chicks and left smiles on everyone’s faces. It was a rare experience of crying and laughing at the same time, and emotions were running wild. It was all down to the gratitude felt towards Kudo.

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But that little chick from 6 years ago has left the nest and grown into a splendid bird, ready to leap into a new world. The members marked this new journey with a song of support, “Namidacchi”. Like the lyrics go, “don’t suppress your overflowing emotions”, the members burst with emotions as they sang and dance. Budokan reverberated as the audience sang along with all their might.

Laugh, cry, and eat with abandon like a child
Take pride in yourself like a human
Tomorrow forms the base right here

With all her heart, Kudo grew. There mustn’t been a single day where she forgot her love for Morning Musume. or her gratitude towards the fans. It was the biggest yell of support she could receive. Mizuki Fukumura greeted the crowd one last time: “Thank you! This was Morning Musume.’17!”, and the idol Haruka Kudo closed the curtains on her 2266 days as an idol. I want to conclude this report with Kudo’s final words shown on screen that she wrote herself.


“See you again!” – Haruka Kudo


Haruka Kudo

Haruka Kudo
Morning Musume.
September 29th 2011 〜 December 11th 2017


Set List:
01.Wagamama Kinomama Ai no Joke
02.Narushisu Kamattechan Kyousoukyoku Dai-5ban
03.Kimagure Princess
04.THE Manpower!!!(updated)
05.What is Love?
06.Jamashinaide Here We Go!
07.CHO DAI
08.Watashi no Nannimo Wakacchanai
09.Ai no Tane(20th Anniversary Ver.)
10.NIGHT OF TOKYO CITY
11.Honki de Atsui Theme Song
12.Mikan
13.Mr.Moonlight ~Ai no Bigband~
14.Gosenhu no Tasuki
15.Koi wa Toki ni / Fukumura, Ikuta, Ishida, Sato, Kudo, Nonaka, and Morito
16.Medley
-Sexy Cat no Enzetsu
-Kimisae Ireba Nanimo Iranai
-A B C D E-cha E-cha Shitai
-What’s Up? Ai wa Dounanoyo~
-NATURE IS GOOD!
-Be Alive
17.Tomo
18.Jealousy Jealousy
19.One・Two・Three(Updated)
20.Oh my wish!
21.Dokka~n Capriccio
22.ENDLESS SKY
EN01.Moshimo… / Haruka Kudo
EN02.Wakaindashi!
EN03.Pyoko Pyoko Ultra
EN04.Namidacchi


Related Links:
Hello! Project Official site:http://www.helloproject.com
Morning Musume.’17 Official site:http://www.helloproject.com/morningmusume/

Translated by SHARURU

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Author
ykmk
ykmk

Growing up in Akihabara culture, ykmk became an otaku covering idol, anime, and pop music.

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