*Though Mayuka has already Graduated Houkago Princess, I wanted to properly appreciate her, and give tribute to this member of a group I dearly love. It's late, yes, however I wanted to pay my respects and voice my thoughts on her, as I did with Mihotan and those many Hello! Pro members I've written for prior to this. So, with that said, thank you and read on.
On August 15th 2016, Miyashita Mayuka took to the stage one last time as a member of Houkago Princess. A 1st / 2.5th generation member of the group, the 23 year old made the decision to graduate this year after much consideration for her future, in which she hopes to become an anime voice actress, a dream she has long been harboring even before becoming an Idol.
Though her Graduation has come and gone, I want to take my time appreciating and thinking about the Idol that is Miyashita Mayuka here on my blog. I want to share with you my thoughts on her, and to fully dedicate something to this wonderful girl who filled many fans' hearts with joy. So, even though she has already taken her final curtsy, let's think about and love HouPri's original songstress, and revel in the darling that she is.
In the early days of my HouPri fandom, it was Mayuka who I admired for her voice. Of all the singers, she was definitely the most pitch-perfect, the most seasoned and well rounded in voice. She was a talented girl, and whilst she might not have stood out to me in looks, she stood out in voice. I always thought 'wow... she's good!'. So, whilst she might not have been one for me to focus on visually, she was a girl I liked to hear in songs, especially when there was someone like Nanayan hurting my ears in earlier tracks.
Her voice was a saviour, if you will. A graceful tinkle to the ears that you were extremely thankful for.
In 2012, however, Mayuka graduated, and I really didn't think much of it at the time... she was pursuing a career in fashion, and whilst her voice was a loss to the group, there was Nene at that point, who was the vocal successor of Mayuka at that point. However, in early 2013, Mayukyandi made her return to the group as an Apprentice / Cadet, before being promoted to the Regular lineup where she was appointed a 2.5th generation member, and yet again, a sub-vocalist.
Her second solo song was soon released, 2.5 jigen no Genjitsu, and it was a surprise, showing off the power and maturity in Mayuka's vocals that had not yet been revealed in previous songs. Of course, her voice was still adorable in lilt, however it was lower, cooler, a lot more prominent than it had ever been, and it was at that point I thought Mayuka was HouPri's best singer. Even with Maika as a member, she couldn't compare to Mayuka's flexibility and change of tone... though a sub-vocalist, Mayukyandi surpassed HouPri's best singer, at least in my eyes.
To simply put: I thought Mayuka was an incredible singer, and that she deserved more than her sub-vocalist status. Sadly, she really didn't get any further than that.
Now in all honesty, I never found Mayukyandi that eye-catching as a member. Yes, she is extremely cute and nice to look at, however, she never quite charmed me like she did my friends. It was always her voice I found wonderful, as opposed to the girl on the screen. Her lack of online presence could have something to do with how I felt towards her, because I like following the HouPri girls' twitter accounts and reading their blogs from time to time, but Mayuka was always quite quiet and gentle.
She looks how she acts, if you think about it; very demure, docile and sweet. I guess you could say she bored me, personality wise, though she proved to be quite enjoyable to watch in music videos, sometimes.
I have not followed Mayuka as much as I did Mihotan or other members, and whilst I liked her, she was never my favourite member, or someone who stood out to me. I have watched others love and adore her more than I ever could, and seen how happy she makes my friends in performances and more. She is a great Idol, that's for sure, and she is a vocal treasure that will never be replaced in HouPri, and honestly, I do think they have lost out, because Mayuka was really talented, and her flexibility cannot be matched by anyone else, at least not within the current Regular lineup. This girl was never a one-trick pony, that's for sure.
Seriously, I'm going to miss that voice of hers.
A quiet girl with a voice more prominent than others, Miyashita Mayuka is someone who was treasured dearly by her fans. She is definitely more than a cute face, and she had so much to offer the group in many ways. There is no denying that she was loved by the other members, and that she loved them and HouPri in return, however Mayuka was also clear from the get-go where her future lay, and what she hoped to pursue during and after her time in HouPri. She never lied, never sugar-coated her desires, and never gave up that chosen career for the sake of being in a group she had seen from its beginnings until now.
Mayukyandi, despite how quiet and demure she can seem, is someone who knows what she wants and will run towards that dream. She worked hard to get to where she is today, and tried her best to focus on being both an Idol and a voice actress. But when she realised it was all too much for her to do the two things she loved at once, she made that decision to put one above the other, and follow the path she knew would make her the happiest.
I am sad that Mayuka has graduated a group I love, but I know that she graduated with the desire to become a voice actress. At the time the decision was made, Mayuka was falling ill continuously, trying her best to juggle Idol activities and voice acting school, only to find that she couldn't do two things that greatly strained her voice. So, I understood why she made the tough decision to leave Houkago Princess, because whilst being an Idol seems great, it's not a career that Mayuka herself sees for her future. She wants to be - has always wanted to be - a voice actress, and that is what she will be aiming for from here on out, and I am happy she chose what she knew she wanted more.
Though she may not be my favourite member, I do like Miyashita Mayuka and I will miss her greatly. Her voice is one I will listen for, even though I know it won't be there any more, and when I don't hear it, I'll feel quite sad and put out, because she was always someone I wanted to hear whenever HouPri brought something new out.
So, yes, I will miss you, Mayukyandi, in voice more than image, but nonetheless, I'll miss you. Your presence was a great one, if you ask me, and despite that sweet, demure look and feel you have, I think you are a stellar performer, and someone who truly made Houkago Princess great. And, for sure, I know many others will miss you, because you were the heart and soul of the group for many fans with your cute face and wonderful voice.
Thank you for being a part of this group, and for delivering to us all your song! The smiles you have brought to many will never be forgotten, and neither will you.
A girl with a 2.5th Dimensional Dream is heading on for a career in voice acting, however before that, she was a voice within HouPri that resonated with many fans, from Japan and beyond. Though she may not have been a lead in songs like Odagiri Nana or Maika, Mayuka still made her mark within the group and showed us all just what she was made of, and that she was more than a cute face and a demure personality. She was an incredible part of this group, and one of the most talented members to walk through the halls of HouPri.
And now, with her diploma in hand, Miyashita Mayuka has graduated from Houkago Princess with a smile and treasured memories of the group she watched grow from the ground up. From here on out, she will watch them through the school gates as an alumni, and hopefully as a fan of the future Houkago Princess to come.
Miyashita Mayuka, Sotsugyō Omedetou! I hope to hear your voice again soon.