30 Day Idol Challenge 29 ~Best Leader~

1 03 2012

The second to last day of the 30 Day Idol Challenge is who you think is/was the best leader of an idol group.

I’ve seen this one coming for a couple days, so I tried really hard to find a leader that wasn’t the obvious, stereotypical choice that everyone would choose for this.  I thought a lot of really great leaders, such as AKB48’s Takahashi Minami, SNSD’s Taeyeon, SHINee’s Onew, Super Junior’s Leeteuk, 2NE1’s CL, Berryz Koubou’s Shimizu Saki…. but really, in comparison, they just didn’t measure up to the best idol leader of a group I’ve ever fangirled.  I’m sure by process of elimination you might have a pretty good guess who it is.  I’m sorry guys, I really tried to be original, but I just have to be honest here, it’s…

Takahashi Ai, former leader of Morning Musume.

It wasn’t the fact that she was the longest-running leader ever in a group of constantly changing leaders and members that made Takahashi Ai stand out.  No, it was the places she took Morning Musume.  She came into leadership in the midst of a scandal and led the group through a new image to save face.  She broke international boundaries in both South Korea, China, and Taiwan with her members.  She was the only leader to unite culturally diverse members through barriers of language and experience.  She kept a lineup strong and successful for three entire years.  She mothered all of Hello! Project through some of its most radical changes and the most bullshit.  Through all of that, she never lost her smile and remained positive, hard-working, and hopeful.  In addition to that, she had the best vocals in the group at the time and was a phenomenal dancer and actress.

No, I’m not trying to over-glorify her or Morning Musume under her leadership.  I hated her when she first took the reigns from Mikitty and for a while into her leadership.  I think there were a lot of flaws with the group as a whole, and I was getting very frustrated towards the end of her tenure, but that was more of Tsunku’s fault than Ai’s.  I think she took all the crap he threw at her very well and I think she left when she should have.

I mean, there are a lot of really great idol group leaders out there, but I think none quite measure up to Takahashi Ai.



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