To Mano-chan,It feels like just yesterday you were playing Mano Piano for the first time. Do you remember your debut event? I was there too. Back then you kept going “Yajima-san, Yajima-san” and wouldn’t call me “Maimi-chan”. I was determined to eventually get you to call me “Maimi-chan”. I found out that when you were little, you used to like climbing inside of the laundry basket. I was surprised and glad to find out we had this hobby in common. One time when your manager at the time gave you a script to read, I kept teasing you and pretended to act all strict… this was still when you were brand new and not used to anything yet. I want to apologize for that. But I was able to learn a lot about you from that event. It’s been about 5 years since that event. I’m sure I couldn’t even imagine how much harder things were since that starting point. Every time I see you cry or when you blog about your worries, I think to myself “Will she be okay?”. I always hoped you would reach out to me whenever you needed help. I was so happy the first time you came over and shared your problems with me. I really got to see how amazing of a person you were from how much you cared about your fans and how much effort you put into your work.
I was always wondering when your graduation day would come, and now it is finally here. I’ve watched you since your indies debut and at first I thought “Wow she looks nervous, I hope she does well, good luck!” and it even made me nervous, but over these past 5 years you’ve grown up both inside and out. Before I knew it, you had become that mature girl I admired and respected. It’s sad to think that you won’t be at any of the Hello! Project concerts anymore, but I wish you the best now as you start off in a new direction and head towards your dreams. You’ve already crossed so many obstacles to reach this point. I am positive that if you run into any walls in the future, you’ll be able to handle it no problem. I am not worried about that at all. But if you ever run into rough times, please don’t keep it to yourself. You aren’t alone. If you just look around, you’ll see you have your staff, Manofure, and of course me. We are all rooting for you. Starting tomorrow I’ll be supporting the new Mano Erina with all my heart. Congratulations on your graduation!