Day 23: Your favorite ex-Idol.
I kind of really want to be contrary and go "ah, but what does it mean to be an ex-idol?" when that's actually a valid question. Can I count Ishikawa Rika, my favorite idol of all time, to be an ex-idol since she isn't in a regular idol group? How does Dream Morning Musume count into this equation? Can they still be active in some regard, not just "idol" activities? What if they're still doing some gravure (or AV) idol work, just not singing in an idol group?
Furthermore, when thinking about celebrities, I actually put idols and singers into a separate category. Idols can transition into being singers (which happens with soloists, I've noticed) and even from singers into idols (what happened to Morning Musume), but they're just different.
And because of that reason, I have to say that my favorite ex idol is..
I LOVE her idol stuff, don't get me wrong. I think that all of her singles in her early days in H!P were excellent, and she really was an excellent idol.
However (regardless of the break she's on) Aya is now a singer. She's always had a beautiful voice, but there came that point where her singing and her music became more of a priority and she stopped doing straight up idol stuff. She started performing live, too (Aya the Witch is one of my all time favorite concert tours).
I know a lot of people who do write off her post-idol work as being boring, and I think that if you put it to an idol standard that yeah it could be considered boring. It's considerably slower and less straight up exciting and happy than idol music, and lacks a lot of the things I love about idol music. Yet I still love a lot of her post-idol work; Double Rainbow is in my opinion one of the best albums released under the Hello!Project label, and is such a joy to listen to. I think it's also material that is something that needs to be sung by someone focusing on their vocal skills, which is honestly not a priority for idols. Even though I do love my idol music a lot, occasionally I do want music with a great vocalist, and Aya is PERFECT for that.
Nevertheless, I love her music. Even though I didn't find it up to par with the wonderful Double Rainbow (seriously, I love that album), I thought that Click You Link Me was quite excellent, and it really deserved better treatment from UFA. UFA, remember back when Ayaya was huge and selling up there with MoMusu? How about you promote her!
Though if you consider ex-idol as someone not in the public eye fairly regularly, here:
I really really like Ishiguro Aya (another Aya!) and I'm honestly really bummed she didn't stay with Hello!Project/MM longer. She is honestly (IMO) the most enjoyable member to watch in the Love Machine PV, and I would have liked to see her do more idol songs, because Ayappe is really TOO fun in that PV.