Graduation for idols usually mean that they have chosen to quit their current job or leave their current group. Usually the decision is made by themselves. If an idol leaves a group without announcing her ‘graduation’ or holding any graduation events, it could mean a few things. They could have been fired from their agency, or have issues that even prevent them from holding a graduation event (for example, illness).
Not only will we look at some reason why idols graduate in this post, we will also take a look at those of otakus. Why do us, otaku, ‘graduate’ from our hobbies?
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Like graduating from school, where the school holds a graduation ceremony at the end of the academic year for the graduating classes, when idols graduate they usually hold a graduation event. The idol will first announce their graduation usually quite some time before their graduation event, which unlike graduating from school can happen at any time of the year. Some will state their reasons for graduating, while others choose to keep quiet about it.
Usually for those that keep mum about it, their reasons for graduating can be:
They have decided to be a freelance idol, basically without some agency managing them.
Idols who go down this path would usually disappear for a period of time (days to weeks or months) and then reappear again under a different name. You might wonder why they have decided to go without management. Unless they choose to reveal their reasons, no one will know. But of course one can make an educated guess. Maybe the idol has a goal she wants to achieve or a direction she wants to take or maybe she just wants the freedom to be able to choose where and when she performs and not be bound by management.
An example of an idol going freelance is Myuna Shindo (神堂未祐奈) from Moso Calibration, she is currently known as Miu Yuzuki (柚希未結). She graduated from Moso Calibration in October 2014 and then from Akihabara Dear Stage in early mid 2015. She disappeared from social media for a short period of time and then reappeared again as solo idol, Miu Yuzuki. She has since wrote and released a solo song titled Erunato (エルナト). You can check it out below.
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Idols who are scouted usually keep mum about that and announce their graduation from their current place. They too, similar to those who go freelance, disappear from social media (if they have one) and reappear under a different name. An example that comes to (my) mind would be Mui Rinne formerly from Akihabara Dear Stage and now known as Rin Wada from maison book girl.
Check out an MV from maison book girl below. When Rin Wada joined maison book girl, an existing member graduated from the group.
Hardly is this ever revealed. Who would reveal internal conflicts within a group? It would most probably damage the reputation of the group if the reason an idol graduating from that group is due to internal conflicts. Though she may drop hints, it is hardly revealed directly.
The above are some reasons that are rarely revealed as reasons for graduation before the idol actually graduates. Now we move on to reasons that might or usually gets revealed.
Better Career Opportunities in Showbiz
Not related to being an idol. Usually more common in mainstream idol groups, where the graduating idol already has a certain level of fame/following. They would want to or are too famous to not bring their current following over to their new job as maybe a solo singer or actress or sometimes, though rarely, a voice actress.
Be it graduating to further their studies or to concentrate on their current studies. Most idols start young, some even as young as middle school. It is not surprising that they might choose to graduate due to studies. Some idols are able to balance studying and their idol activities, it requires some skill to do well at both and not many can do it. Graduating from being an idol for studies might not mean the end of their idol activities. They might come back again after completing their studies.
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Of course there are those who do not come back to being idols because they have moved on to pursuing work related to their studies after graduating from university.
Which brings us to the last example I will be covering in this post.
Getting a Normal Office Job
They have completed their university studies, maybe a year or more ago and have finally decided to put the knowledge they studied so hard for to use. Or maybe they have reached their goal as an idol in addition to the line before this. Why waste the degree they managed to attain after studying for years?
There are a lot of idols, but not everyone can reach the level of Dempagumi.inc or Momoclo. Getting a normal office job with their qualifications is most likely a better future for them. Examples include Miu Atobe from Dempagumi.inc (many years ago) and more recently Meru Amena of Dearstars from Akihabara Dear Stage.
She announced her graduation in February during her birthday event saying that she will graduate from Dear Stage at the end of March, just in time for the mass graduation (from university/highschool)/hiring cycle in April. She said she started thinking about graduating since last November when another fellow member graduated due to studies. She decided to put the qualifications she attained to good use and got a normal 9-5 job.
That concludes some of the reasons why idols graduate.
Do you have some examples for the above reasons? Feel free to leave a comment.
Now to why you would quit your hobbies! Feel free to stop reading here.
Why would you quit your hobbies? Have you thought about how long you can maintain your hobbies without losing interest? Have you thought about what you would do if for example your favourite seiyuu retires, or the idol you’re supporting graduates and you have decided that that is as far as you go with your hobbies?
There will come a point in your life that you have decided to move on to other pursuits. Something else managed to catch your interest and you can’t balance it with your anime/manga/related hobbies and slowly you drift away. Congratulations on graduating from being a anime/manga/related otaku!
This reason usually happens to idol wotas. Your favourite idol decides to graduate from her current group and stop being an idol. You who have decided to only support this one idol, follow suit and graduate from being an idol wota.
Maybe the reason for you graduating from being a seiota/idol wota is because the group or individual you are supporting changed directions. You do not like their current style, and thus, decided to ‘graduate’ from supporting them.
You just can’t balance work/studies with your hobbies and decide to call it quits. Sometimes it just happens in life.