My life was enriched with Sakura Gakuin (さくら学院) only days after watching Babymetal videos and concerts. It all happened so quick I hadn’t had the time to feel I might miss Hana, Yui, Moa and Yunano. All those feelings came later after I saw Road to Graduation 2012 and 2013. Here’s my previous blog post In spirit and energy with Sakura Gakuin I wrote on the day when these four girls graduated on 29th March 2015.
Today, five months after writing a blog post of Sakura Gakuin’s fourth Graduation Day held on 29th March, 2015, I come to think of times spent watching in earlier videos, live performances, LoGiRL shows, new releases, and expanding myself to becoming fans of Perfume and Nogizaka46 (乃木坂46) as well. Although this isn’t the end, I’m sure there is more than what can be seen.
Even when I became a Sakura Gakuin fan, I didn’t know of the wonderful Reddit community where its members shared a common likeness. As new posts were posted, I thanked each one of them in silent appreciation for their contributions. I also came to know after the graduation ceremony about Onji-san’s translation project he’d started on Sakura Gakuin diary entries. I hadn’t known they wrote diary posts before. Soon enough, I realised there were even more members who translated a lot of stuff, videos, graduation speeches, song lyrics, real-time live translations during LoGiRL and Night of Spica on Stolabo Tokyo shows, documentaries, and other videos where votes were taken from fans and members of the community.
I write most of my writings, both fiction and daily journals, accompanied with songs by Sakura Gakuin, Ayami Muto, and Babymetal, Nogizaka46 and Perfume. I can’t believe myself to have switched from English to Japanese songs. I could easily declare that I’ve been listening to Japanese music at least 95% of my listening time. Going back to Sakura Gakuin’s past, I still miss all the moments they occurred. There’s a different feel between watching things live in real, on screen, recorded, and those recorded long back in the past. I just watched Ayaka and Airi’s show yesterday, and I could feel their touch I had missed when they themselves had been in Sakura Gakuin. They sang and performed pretty well. I finally heard Airi-chan’s voice as she sang. I had heard her voice in the songs probably occurring less than the fingers could count. Ayaka-chan’s voice is still beautiful as it’d been in her Sakura Gakuin days. But listening to Airi-chan singing made me feel happy. I hope someday, I’ll see all the graduates make a legendary comeback and create an Alumni Unit with Sakura Gakuin’s collaboration to bring back the original Sakura Gakuin voices they had been back when they’d been in Sakura Gakuin themselves. Gosh, will I ever hear Suzuka-chan’s voice in “My Graduation Toss” or “Cherry Blossom Colour Avenue (桜色のアベニュー)“? Or even Second generation Minipati? And others as well. I can only hope for such an event. It’ll be the 5th Road to Graduation next year, but I can only keep my fingers crossed for such a performance. It doesn’t matter if they do not perform. It’s their voice and their presence that matters to me. Their aura brings positive change in me. Listening to their voice is already wonderful, but watching them as they perform is like a bliss. Oh, how quick and easy it is to leave the real world when they perform with such beauty, elegance and grace.
In the beginning, I had wondered whether I’d be able to recognise all Sakura Gakuin members easily. I had to keep watching the videos, and the Sakura Gakuin’s Sun episodes (e.g. Ep. 01). I got hold of them quickly. Nene-chan and Marina-chan had been off for quite some time. When they appeared at the Babymetal concert and I saw a picture, I did feel they had changed so much. Marina’s quick movements and Nene’s all-time smile-on-the-face had a charm on me from the videos I’d seen of them. Hinata-chan, Ayaka-chan and Airi-chan regularly posted pics on twitter. And finally, I recognise them all now.
I guess it’s time to talk about the current Sakura Gakuin members. After I watched Road to Graduation 2014, I couldn’t withstand my tears to flow on. Although I didn’t understand what Rinon-chan, Moa-chan, Mori-sensei, or Kuramoto-san said, their expressions spoke a lot of sentiments and feelings. Even after the latter two put forth some jokes to laugh and smile, I still lost my tears. Gosh, why it makes me wonder why I’m again getting the same feeling again. Now, I’m literally writing this a few minutes later. Well, I do miss Hana-chan, Yunano-chan, Yui-chan and Moa-chan more as I was already their fan. And missing them would simply break my heart. On the other hand, I was happy as they had progressed ahead in life. They were now ‘Super Ladies’ along with other graduates, and I felt good for them. Well, not all. I’m glad to see all but Yunano-chan’s progress. I didn’t know much about her until the graduation, but her playful approach and her style of speech had made it seem like that. Yui and Moa had been known. And Hana’s frank and friendly fashion on LoGiRL with her introductory dialogue was cool enough for me to miss her. Fortunately, she’s in Torahime Ichiza and I wish to see her performance there as well. From the promotion video, I’ve taken interest and plan to watch their musical play when I visit Japan.
It still sounds more like all the graduates been spoken of. But there is a lot to speak, and I might never be able to stop unless I hold my reins on my horses. This year Rinon, SakiS and SakiO lead the group with Sara, Aiko and Megumi along with the new transfer-ins of this year Mirena, Momoko, Marin, Maaya, Soyoka and Kano. I had some problems identifying them in the beginning. But replying to their comments on their diaries and watching the LoGiRL shows solved such problems. The new transfer-ins are now four months as Sakura Gakuin members and it already feels good to know them. I’m happy Sara-chan won’t graduate alone next year, but also feel a little sad that I’ll see a little less of Mirena-chan since she’ll graduate with Sara-chan. Whatever it is, I’m sure Mirena-chan will do her best that comes in front of her. With the new units set now, I look forward to all their performances, especially the new songs they create in the upcoming albums.
It looks like Aiko-chan read and implemented an activity I wrote in one of my comments on her diary. Aiko-chan had asked in one of her diaries what activities that we had during school. I had written about the spoon with the table tennis ball in it. Of course, in my case, it was carrying and passing the ball from one end of the room to the other without dropping them. Obviously, due to less space on LoGiRL, they must have shortened the distance to a table. Anyway, the comment may as well not be read and could be their invention as well. Nonetheless, it doesn’t matter. I felt glad that the activity was played.
There’s been so much activity and watching them grow through the years along with all the pressure gives me the motivation to write further. But I guess it could never end. So, I’ll keep it for some time later in the future. All-in-all, Sakura Gakuin transformed me to become something I never felt before. I shall always be happy for their presence through spirit and mind. And my blessings shall be over them all be they graduates or current, or not in Mariri-chan’s case. 🙂 I hope they will all receive the best of what the world has to offer them. I wish them all the luck in the world to have a great future.