[Graduation Special] Sayashi Riho: The Colorful Ace

Just a few more days before Sayashi Riho will be graduating from Morning Musume. 
This mean it's time for me to look back on all the wonderful times we had with her and enlighten you with some of my thoughts about her and her role in the group. 

5 years ago Kamei Eri, JunJun and LinLin graduated Morning Musume. I had been a fan for about 8 months and it broke my heart. I didn't really know how H!P worked back then, so I was really suprised when auditions were held. I followed them closely and fell in love with the girls that were auditioning. I remember thinking that Tsunku would be an idiot to not let Riho (or back than the girl with the necklace) into Momusu. Riho danced so wonderful and her singing was also good! So when the news came that she got in, I was not suprised. 

I actually thought Riho would become my favorite out of the new generation. I don't really know why, but I felt like her voice was cute and she just looked so young and adorable. But before I knew it Kanon and Eripon bumped her of. I always kept loving her, as I love all members, but I kinda lost interest in her. Still I remember hearing her solo lines in Only You (the ones after the bridge) and feeling like she really belonged in Momusu. 
I think Sayashi always had that kind loner feeling or she at least didn't mind being on her own. She did have a great bond with Ai-chan and Kanon, but still I always felt like she treasured her time alone. When the 10th gen came and Ai-chan left, something changed with Sayashi. She was still pushed the most out of all the new additions, but she was looking less and less happy. I always felt that this was due to the addition of Ayumi. Riho always said how much she adores dancing and that she joined Momusu to dance, but when Ayumin joined, she became the dancemachine, not Riho. 
As a fan I couldn't help noticing that Riho was having a hard time as the ace. She was singing more than dancing and she was out of breath a lot. I was really worried about her and she started to look less and less happy. When Sakura joined it looked like she was really happy someone else would be pushed more to the front to sing. And with Sakura, Mizuki and Masaki got pushed a whole lot more. Sayashi finally got a chance to dance more and was often paired with Ayumi to do a dance of. 
Still the burden of being the ace was hard on Sayashi. When Reina left, Sayashi became the ultimate ace and was always in the center. The other girls got pushed too, but not as much as Sayashi. She looked tired and so serious, a lot of fans noticed. After Reina it was only a matter of time before Sayumi would leave and when it happend Riho had a little breakdown on stage. It really broke my heart to see her so sad and struggling so much. 
Around this time I felt that we wouldn't have long with Riho. So when during Morning Musume '15 other girls got a push, I was not suprised. Eripon, Kudo, Zukki, Maria, Miki all got a push. When they released Oh My Wish! and Imasugu I felt like management was testing how well Momusu would do with song that did not feature Sayashi as a center. And Sayashi got the chance to dance more. The single sold well and I knew what was coming next.
And still as much as I was expecting it, the announcement came as a big suprise. Seeing Riho leave and so soon, makes me really sad. I have been following her for so long and I have been worrying so much about her. I am really happy she is following her dream and finally gets the chance of dancing as much as she wants to. But gosh Momusu will be changing so much now. The Ace and center is leaving and within a few days. 
I will miss Riho so much. I adore her in musicals and It will be hard seeing Momusu without her. Yes I do know Momusu will be fine and same for Riho. But it's so weird seeing a member leave you have followed from the auditions. 
Sayashi, I wish you all the best and hope to keep seeing you within H!P. Please don't make me crying during you graduation....


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