For those of you who are unfamiliar, Babymetal started with three singers: Nakamoto Suzuka, Kikuchi Moa, and Mizuno Yui. At one point, Yui had to leave the group for unspecified health reasons (which are none of anyone’s business, if we’re being blunt about it) and hasn’t been heard from since. Many fans miss her a lot, and there are lots of videos and blogs and stuff saying how much they miss her and wish she would return.
This isn’t one of those.
I worry about her.
In my life I have had many opportunities pass me by or prematurely aborted by health problems of one shape or another. I won’t go into what they are, but they, to this day, are only managed, not conquered. I had to leave college for those reasons, and I also had to leave my first job and the first city I moved to. And every time that happened, I had a sense of incompleteness, of failure. I felt like I failed at whatever it is I had done, and I couldn’t move on until I proved to myself that I actually could do it. So that’s why, after a few years, I took an office job, even though I don’t like office jobs, and why I moved back to the city I left, even though there were probably better cities for me to move to. It’s because I had this need to prove myself, to prove that I actually could do it.
Mizuno-san spent a lot of time in Sakura Gakuin, and I wonder if she has been dealing with that burden for the rest of her life – having had a budding career that got nipped in the bud for reasons beyond her control. Unlike me, maybe she’ll never get back into it. And I wonder what kind of toll that takes on her, emotionally.
And the truth is, I don’t even know what I’d say to her if I could meet her. I don’t know if I would tell her it gets better, because I don’t know if it does. I don’t know if I’d tell her that she can still be successful in whatever career she chooses – though that’s undoubtedly true, I’m not sure it’d be helpful. Maybe there will always be that part of her that says she failed, that she couldn’t do it, that she didn’t ganbatte. I don’t know her, and maybe none of these things are true, but I’ve experienced them, and I worry. Maybe I would tell her that there are many fans out there who love what she did do, and maybe that’s enough.
I don’t know. But I worry. I don’t know her, not a lot, not at all, but I do worry. I hope wherever she is, she’s okay and made a good life for herself.