In which 2020 delivers a new single from HouPri, and another Graduation to keep our tears fresh and falling...
The single is set for release on July 29th, 2020, and will be available in four editions. It has been described as a summer tune that will bring its listeners energy when they listen to it, and contains the message of remembering the fun you had during the summer in the past, and awaiting that feeling for the up-coming summer.
This will also serve as Maika's last single, as she will be graduating from Houkago Princess once all activities related to the release have ended. She will continue to work as a solo artist under the name Miyashita Maika.
Left: Type A | Right: Type B
Left: Maika ver. | Right: Tropical ver.
Cleopatra, who lived with strength in a world of turmoil, still shines as an icon 3,000 years later. With Cleopatra as the singles theme, this song contains a wish to bring back the listener's liveliness and create a brilliant summer for the year 2020 through the power of music...
Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye / Zesse Cleopatra will be the groups second Double A-side, as well as the second release to portray a Queen instead of a Princess. Both the figure and the theme seem to have been chosen by Maika, who had wanted to portray Cleopatra since Houkago Princess began their Princess series, and will finally portray her in her final single release.
Maika commented on the release that it was her mission to sing these songs in her final act as an idol, despite the current conditions of the world. In her graduation announcement, she also stated that for the final days she has left, and the last summer that she will spend as a member of Houkago Princess, will be spent with as much passion and heat as Cleopatra, and she hopes that she will be remembered forever, never to be forgotten.
The single will contain two songs, as well as their instrumental counterparts, on all four editions of the single. This will also be the first single to feature Sato Sumire, a Houkago Princess Candidate, and Yoshinaga Yuriko, a newly appointed Apprentice. Both will appear on the Type B edition of the single.
The lyrics and composition for Zesse Cleopatra were done by Ishitani Hikaru, whilst arrangement was completed by Kushita Mine, whilst Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye had lyrics penned by Fujiwara Yuki, and the composition and arrangement was by Daisuke"D.I"Imai.
- Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye
- Zesse Cleopatra
- Shakunetsu no Mystery Eye (Instrumental ver.)
- Zesse Cleopatra (Instrumental ver.)
I am honestly shocked. I mean, not that surprised, but I'm still shocked, because whilst I did have an inkling that Maika would graduate at some point, I never expected it to be so soon. But I also never expected to see a Houkago Princess without her, especially not now. It just feels very soon, and a bit sudden, even if the signs were there.
She declined becoming the leader to focus on her solo activities, being the first one, but that was back in 2018. And then, with the recent graduation of Yuria, Natsumi and Hiyori, it was clear that Maika wasn't prepared for even more juniors to leave before her. I can't imagine how it felt when Nobara, who was supposed to be their third most important vocalist, left the group. And now Maika herself is leaving.
It's clear this was a plan for a long time - she even stated it herself in her graduation message - but it still feels weird to see this announcement. Heck, I even cried. I just never expected her to leave so soon, especially when the group has already had four graduations this year alone.
Of course, I'm thankful that Maika will continue to pursue a career as a soloist. She loves music, and she loves performing, and it's amazing that she wants to focus on her solo career now and become a full-fledged artist as opposed to keeping the title of idol... but, still: It's sad, and I say that because Maika is an integral part of HouPri, and an amazing idol. Am I happy that other members might finally get the chance to shine? 100%. But after six years of HouPri being mostly about Maika, I do think that the group will look a little lost.
No matter how much I disliked Maika being one of very few members that all songs were focused on, despite how much I craved for other members to get a bit of spotlight, I am disheartened by this news and in slight disbelief. It feels surreal, and not in a good way.
I just can't imagine HouPri without Maika.
But as she herself said, she has been talking with the company about this for a while. Maika has done all that she can, inherited a lot of knowledge from past members, and now she believes that it is her time to protect the group not as a member, but as a graduate who watches over her juniors as they continue the group she was a part of.
Now Maika will move forward to continue her dreams as an artist, and whilst I am sad about her graduation announcement, I support her completely in this as a fan. It's good that she realised what she wants to do, and I am happy that she has found herself at a place in her career where she can confidently end her career as an idol, and walk forward as an artist.
Whether we like it or not, it's Maika's time to stop being the idol she had longed to return to all those years ago, and to instead take the stage as performer and an artist. I can only wish her luck in her endeavours, and anticipate the music she will bring us with this continued venture that she began back in 2018.
Still... I am sad. I dread the day that we say goodbye to Maika of Houkago Princess.
Until next time, guys. Take care and cherish your idols.
Maika Graduation Announcement
Maika Graduation Tweet