Is S/mileage Doomed?

In the aftermath of the Yuuka graduation announcement, this is something that many blogs (even International Wota - though was perhaps said with more irony than truth) said. Yuuka graduating = death of S/mileage.

Is it the case? I really don't think so.

That isn't how this industry works. If a graduation, even of a popular member, signalled the end of the group, then I'm afraid to say Hello! Project would have died very early on. Instead we find that our favourite groups are still going strong.

The truth is that, while the Yuuka and Saki leaving H!P is a great loss for S/mileage, it's not the end of the world for the group. Those fans who don't find a new favourite member will vanish, sure, but that's not so much a loss for S/mileage as a loss for those fans.

Remember when S/mileage's major debut was first announced? What was it, 10k smile photo submissions in a week or something? They passed that challenge with flying colours. Not just by the dedication of the fans who sent in their own photos and spread the word, but by the dedication of the girls themselves, who went out onto the streets of Tokyo trying to drum up support for themselves.

If those girls hadn't done their best back then, S/mileage wouldn't exist. If those girls weren't doing their best right now, S/mileage wouldn't exist.

But because they are constantly striving to give it their all in the name of the fans, they will continue to exist long after Yuuka is gone.


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