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A Personal Memory about Takahashi Ai September 30, 2011

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Morning Musume, Takahashi Ai.

Alternate title: "O Captain, my Captain"

This post should go live at the very beginning of Takahashi Ai’s graduation concert, which means by the time you’re reading this Morning Musume is going to be down it’s longest lasting leader and has swelled in size to twelve including the four brand-new tenth gen members.

I’m actually a little hesitant about titling this post as “Remembering…” as in Takahashi will no longer be with us. Luckily it looks like that won’t be the case as Ai-chan already has a musical in the works as part of her post-graduation plans and it was even mentioned that Jishin Motte Yume wo Motte Tobitatsu Kara would only be the first of her solo songs. I’m really only using this title to tie back in to the good-bye I gave to Eri, Junjun and Linlin back in 2010 as I had good reason to believe that we really wouldn’t be hearing all that much from them afterwards (reasonably correctly too, I might add). [Edit: I’ve succumbed to pressure and changed the title anyway… ^^;]

So in keeping with the theme of “Remembering…” I’d like to talk about a personal memory I have of Ai-chan from July of 2009 when I was fortunate enough to see Morning Musume when they attended Anime Expo in Los Angeles, California. At the time I wasn’t a huge Morning Musume fan, but I was pretty familiar with them through their association with Hello! Project and thus, Matsuura Aya.

The first event that Morning Musume participated in was a Q&A event closely followed by a signing/handshake session. At that session they had all of the girls lined up by seniority, so Ai-chan was first, Risa second, etc.

Now if any of you are unaware, Reina has a very complex signature. Complex to the point that it took her so long to sign things that she was significantly holding the line up, and because of that people got to spend quite a bit more time interacting with Ai, Risa and Sayu than the rest of the girls.

So when I finally get to go up to the front of the line you have to realize I’m nervous as all heck. It was really a surreal moment to see these girls in the flesh, to actually realize that they’re real people. It sounds so incredibly silly when I think back on it, but that really is the general feeling that I had at the time.

So I go up to Ai-chan and we exchange a “Hi,” I hand her my poster, she signs it in few seconds, hands it back, and I say thank you.

…and then I just stand there.

I’m standing in front of Ai-chan. Both of us are just starring at each other. Oh gosh, what the heck do I do? Should I say something? I should say something! What should I say? I shouldn’t say it in English, she probably wouldn’t understand. So I open my mouth, still forming the words in my head…

“Me gusta…”

CRAP! That’s Spanish, that’s even worse than English! So I close my mouth quickly without saying anything. Again, again! I need to try again! So I try to take a second shot…

“Creo que…”


It was at that point there that I broke and realized the absolute absurdity of my situation. I was standing in front of Takahashi Ai, the leader of the Japanese pop group Morning Musume, in the middle of downtown Los Angeles and I’m desperately trying to speak Spanish to her. If you would have told me that such and event would transpire just six months before hand I wouldn’t have believed you, heck I still sometimes have a hard time believing it actually happened!

So after coming to such a realization I just giggled. It was the only thing I think I was actually capable of doing at that point; the whole thing was just so silly.

Takahashi, God bless her, was just beaming at me the whole time I was standing there in front of her. And you know what her response was to my giggle?

She giggled right back.

Takahashi Ai and myself giggled at each other.

I didn’t have much of chance to take in what had happened as maybe two or three seconds later the line moved and I went to see Risa.

Our whole meeting lasted maybe 25 seconds over two years ago and I can still remember every detail perfectly. Seeing her face light up like that when she giggled is something that I’ll never forget.

So, thank you Ai-chan.

Thank you for helping make that day something special. Thank you for leading Morning Musume for the entire period of time in which I’ve actually been a fan. And, finally, thank you for simply providing me with so much enjoyment over these last two years through your work.



1. isilwentari - October 1, 2011

If it makes you feel any better, I would have not been able to say a thing, beyond “hi”. In fact I would have been lucky to say anything. You’re so lucky!! I really think Takahashi’s Momusu was something awesome and you got to meet them!!! And giggle with the leader!!! XD

Nights4Saturn - October 2, 2011

The group under her really was special. It was a pleasure just seeing all those girls whenever they were together, you could really tell how close they all were.

As for being lucky, I can’t deny that 😀 It was an absolutely amazing weekend in every sense of the word. Just seeing them live would have been fantastic, but being able to be so close and interact with all the members just put it over the top!

2. MTSayuRin - October 1, 2011

Thank you for sharing this cute memory with Aichan! It made me smile. 🙂

Nights4Saturn - October 2, 2011

You’re quite welcome! It was nice just revisiting it ^^

3. Takoyaki - October 2, 2011

I don’t really like this title post 😦 it sounds like Aichan passed away or she is gone for good whereas she’ll take another path in her career.
You should have choosen a cuter title since your personal memory was really cute and sweet.

I couldn’t stop laughing about “Me gusta”, it sometimes happens me the same kind of situation when my Broca’s area mixed up everything so I can understand your embarrassement at this moment.

Be proud of your slip of the tongue because you succeed to make laugh Aichan which a lot of Aichan’s personal fans would like to do once in their life (^-^)

Maybe you should have continued to speak in Spanish at this moment, after all Aichan probably would have been happy to see her overseas fans showing interest towards her, not matter where they come from or which language they speak 😉

I didn’t know that you could speak Spanish because currently I have some Spanish grammar questions I need to solve!

Nights4Saturn - October 3, 2011

I can’t deny that it turned out pretty nice in the end. If I had actually managed to say something like “I think you’re very cute” I can’t imagine it would have been anywhere near as special 😀

There were actually quite a few Spanish speaking fans there! A sizable number made the trip up from Mexico to see them in LA. I noticed at least 10 or 15 during the events, but I’d imagine even more were there! I remember even talking to a girl who came all the way up from Mexico City to see them perform! She was a huge Yossie fan! lol

Oh, and I guess I should have mentioned it, but I can’t speak Spanish! >< Back when I was in high school I took a few Spanish classes because they were mandatory, so my knowledge is extremely rudimentary. Sadly, it's still my best language other than English, so that's what "not English" defaulted to in that time of panic!

Also, you were right about the title. I changed it.

Takoyaki - October 4, 2011

Better title for your post! (^-^)b

I wondered if you talked to Kreuz_Asakura because she’s indeed a fan of Yossi and Mikitty (also Aya) from Mexico and she was also a regular poster from Matsuurian forum.
(In this hypothesis it would be very funny, two Matsuurian members meeting each other without knowing both of them are registered in the same forum! hehe! I must say this to Matt lol!)

I know some people who are non English natives speaking with their mother tongue when they are nervous or affraid.
But if your mother tongue is English, why did you speak in Spanish? lol

Nights4Saturn - October 4, 2011

Huh, that would have been something, huh? While I’m pretty sure the girl who I’m referring to definitely wasn’t Kreuz_Asakura, I certainly could have seen another Matsuurian and not even realized it!

About the speaking Spanish part, I thought that Ai probably wouldn’t understand something if I tried to say it in English, so I tried to say something not in English. Unfortunately, Spanish was all that came up from that line of thought lol

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