Hey, Senpai!

Melon Lives

Posted on: February 19, 2010

…at least until May. As it turns out, the new Melon Kinenbi album (CDJapan) I hyped earlier this week will be the group’s last.

Mixi has seen some activity, though whether that’s from the album release, the graduation announcement, or both is anyone’s guess. As of a week ago, the group had 1054 followers. Currently, that number has risen to 1085. The girls haven’t seen any significant change in their individual followerships, and it’s likely they won’t until more is known about their future plans.

The fans on the Melon Lounge blog are… subdued. It’s one long scroll to get down to the member entries (look for the ones dated for February; staff announcements are dated May 3). Boss Saitou posted a statement that only five fans have responded to so far, and the announcement at the top of the page has several comments as well. 

The last post before the announcement was made is from Ayumi, before the live. The comments are a bit surreal – most are congratulating the group on ten years and gushing about how they’re looking forward to the live. Then, a comment timestamped 22:02 compliments the live, says that the goods show that they’ve really become adults, and then asks what Saitou meant when she spoke of disbanding. Following that post, the tone of the comments varies from thankfulness for the ten years to shock and sadness. One poster comments that he or she hopes it’s a dream, hopes they’ll wake up and it won’t have happened.

I haven’t followed Melon very closely, but I’ve been fond of them ever since I first heard their music. Of their H!P work, “This is Unmei”, “Saa! Koibito ni Narou!” and “Renai Restaurant” are probably my favorites. I had been on H!O right before the announcement dropped, and when I hopped back on to check a forum thread and saw the headline my breath caught in my throat a little. It’s a bit surreal when a girl or a group you like decides to move on, isn’t it? Even if they’re not absolutely central to your fandom or your life it kind of feels like the pod people have come and replaced the real world with a cheap imitation, and the feeling takes a while to fade.

The irony of the title “Melon’s Not Dead” certainly hasn’t been lost on anyone, but perhaps the title is apt after all. The group has chosen to end their career on the heels of what is probably the most active period in their history rather than resigning themselves to years of low activity limbo and obscurity. I look forward to seeing what the girls do with themselves as Melon Kinenbi goes forth into the world. Will they stay in the entertainment world? Will they marry and settle down? Whatever they choose to do, they’ll be living their lives to the fullest, and as a fan that’s the very best that I could wish for them.

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