|Sayashi Riho, ace and center of Morning Musume|
|Riho, at the concert that|
announced her addition to
|Sayashi in the Maji Desu|
Ka Ska! outfit
|Sayashi in the iconic|
One, Two, Three outfit
Riho became the most popular member of the group and while other girls are certainly popular in their own right, Riho was the ace, the one everyone knew and maybe at least hated a bit, but also the one person that so many admired.
Riho was viewed by many (her senior members, junior members and fans) as a very serious girl with a professional outlook. She took her job seriously and made sure to always deliver to the best of her ability. However, if you watched some of the DVD's where she's on her own, or in a non-professional setting with her peers, you come to realize that despite her fierce appearance on stage, she's a very shy and fragile girl. She loves to have fun, make jokes, EAT (she's a huge eater, which I loved, haha), has pretty good English and more than anything, she loves to perform. She concentrates on her own every time before a show, going through her lines and the choreography. Many fans commented on how she seems distant in the backstage footage, how she's a lone wolf who doesn't try to get along with everyone else but I can see where her need to be alone comes from. Riho is clearly an introvert, but she loves dance so much that she overcomes this to get on stage and do what she loves. Despite her exuding confidence, she is uncertain of herself and prefers to follow others rather than lead. And that's completely ok, but when Michishige left and Riho became one of the seniors (and by most accounts, one of the most liked and popular seniors) she likely became very self-conscious about it. I'm sure she was shy around the 12th generation members, knowing that they admired her but hesitant to get close to them lest they see any flaws. Riho knows she has done great and admirable things, and she's proud of that - as she should be!, but she is also aware that this creates expectations from others than can be hard for her to meet.
|Lilium stage play|
This doesn't mean I'm not sad though. I feel at a loss to be honest and that's why I decided to write
Best of luck Riho, and while I will never see you performing live with Morning Musume, my fingers are crossed that someday I may see you perform in any capacity :) I end this post with a list of some of my favorite performances from Riho and videos that show her growth:
Kimagure Zetsubou Arigatou (from the play Stacy's).
Ai Wa Itsumo Kimi no Naka Ni (She's the first one to sing)
Wagamama Ki No Mama Ai No Joke
Osaka Koi no Uta (concert rip)
Solo Lines from her first concert tour
Solo Lines from 2013 concert tour (about 2 years of growth)
Solo Lines from Gradation (2015 concert tour)
Furereba Kokoro Ga Afuredasu (from musical Triangle. She has a male role here).