[Special Article] The story of the ex-Morning Musume. member Gaki-san !

[Special Article] The story of the ex-Morning Musume. member Gaki-san !

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Hi everyone, this time I would like to share the story of the ex-Morning Musume. member Gaki-san, who became Morning Musume.’s 7th leader and holds the record of being the member to stay the longest time in the group : 10 years and 9 months.

This article was originally written 8 years ago by 99shiki-san, who is a Momusu wota and was going through some issues at work and in his personal life. I translated it because most of us in this world had, or is having the same hard time as 99shiki-san and Gaki-san did. I hope you’ll enjoy this and that it’ll encourage you!


Legend of Niigaki Risa (by 99shiki. written in Oct, 2004.)

“The person I respect”

Recently, I’m in a deadlock at work…
The position in the company I am in now is underling. Half of what I do is miscellaneous work. Although being active and positive at work is required, there’s no particular problem if I don’t work hard.
Instead of responsible work, there are lots of comfortable routine.
Every day is passing quietly and ordinary.
However in the meantime, the younger generation enters to the company and moreover they are filled with pure passion and motivation which I am losing.
Feeling like I am worthless, struggling with the pressure of work, insecurity to the future, I’m losing self-confidence…
When I am in such a weak state, I like to remember somebody. The girl who was driven in more and more difficult situations but has overcome all of them, one of the 5th generation of Morning Musume. who started her MoMusu career from nowhere, or even less than that. Niigaki Risa.

“Give me love”

“Love Audition 21” was where she auditioned and passed. “I want to be in Morning Musume. !”. Thanks to this passionate feeling, she belonged to an entertainement office as a child actress.
She had also appeared for the commercial of a toys company… Everything she did was to become a Morning Musume. member.
However some “Momusu” fans who weren’t happy with the auditions’ result revealed her past and have spread the rumor that she used her parents’ networks of relations to be in Morning Musume. and that the audition was a well contrived fraud.
She went to the audition with her whole family. On their way home, her family prayed to TV Tokyo to let them making this young Risa becoming a member of MorningMusume..
This family helped and honestly supported the innocent and childish dream of their daughter who was a primary school child.

When Risa expressed all her feelings to her family in a magazine interview, again some fans consciously misunderstood what she thanked, saying that “She publicly admitted the contrived audition!”
During her TV appearances, she introduced herself as “Niigaki Risa from Morning Musume. !” and was always saying “our song” when she was talking about their single “Mr. Moonlight” even though she was a Morning Musume. member since only a few days.
It was an outcome of a sense of responsibility, but senior members’ fans roundly criticized : “Know your position!”, “Reckless and too wild girl!”. During some dance rehearsal scene, when she was taking hard dance lesson, she smiled and half-cried but told herself confidently “I’m not crying, crying in front of people is a shaming”.
Some people have understood it as a “cheeky, impertinent” personality.
Everything she thought she did well worked negatively. Her fanclub goods didn’t sell at all either. During her first concert, some people in the audience were shouting out “Die!”, “You should quit!” to her.
These people were merciless to a 12 years old young girl. This “trend” kept on going on the Internet.
Even so, she never blamed anybody, never complained, never stopped smiling. She always said “Thank you” to not only her personal fans, but also to the entire Morning Musume. fans.
There was a Question & Answer where, as a reply to the “What is the most painful thing that happened during your time in Morning Musume.?” question, only Risa’s answer was a blank.

“Rise above hate/ towards a dream”

Eventually, Goto Maki and Abe Natsumi who Risa always respected and inspired to be like, graduated from the group.
Tsuji Nozomi and Kago Ai, who were loved by all the fans thanks to their childish character also graduated. Before Risa noticed it, the 6th generation joined MorningMusume. and she couldn’t be the innocent underling girl anymore but had to be the one that connects the senior members (the “senpai”) to the youngsters (the “kouhai” who just joined).
When Yasuda Kei left Morning Musume., she sent her a message stating that people will finally notice her if she continues to work hard.
And this is what that 13 years old girl did, despite of the merciless and strong blame she received.
On stage, she never forgot to smile as much as possible, to show her gratitude towards the fans and to put a strong effort in what she was doing.
Risa’s work and positive attitude had given a subtle change to the golden age fans’ mind.
Little by little, the atmosphere which surrounded her begun to change.

One day, she stopped making the “osage” hair her charm point. She cut her bang, as seen in “Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari” lyrics.
It seems pretty trivial, but it was the first step of a new era for her.
Farewell with the past. The awkward smiling face had turned into a true and cute smile.The comments on Internet also changed too, now they were saying “Niigaki became really beautiful”, “In fact, you guys think she’s lovely, don’t you?”.

At last, the “Momusu wota” could see Niigaki Risa truly fairly, without any prejudice.
Yoshizawa Hitomi once said “Idol, that is hope to live”. Risa proved it and showed it to us really strongly. She’s now 15 years old, and different from what she used to be.
Her smile that overcame the adverse wind will bright up everything.
Her first photobook is about to release on October 7, a “must see” book.

(This article was originally written 8 years ago
by Miyamoto “The Ninja” Yuujirou 新垣里沙伝説 | 九十九式)



written by Yuji Hara

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Yuji Hara

I lost my way in life due to the hiatus of Berryz Kobo.

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