Happy (belated) birthday, Chika Takami!
You’re the perfect leader for Aqours!
I remember when Aqours started making a splash. People were so mad about the possibility of μ’s being replaced. They seemed especially critical of your character, claiming that you were nothing but a Honoka clone and that you didn’t have any redeeming qualities. Sure, you have a few similarities with Honk, but one of the major parts of your character was you trying to find a way to differentiate yourself from μ’s. You shine in your own way, and you definitely have redeeming qualities!
When you first started out as a school idol, you were this
U’s μ’s superfan that was so enamored with μ’s that you took everything they did to heart. When things didn’t work your way, you’d turn to their methods for guidance. You thought that it was best because they were these normal girls that managed to become phenomenal school idols, and you were just this Normal Monster Chika-chi that couldn’t compare. Eventually, you found your own path.
“I think I get it now...what was great about μ's. We can't compare ourselves to them. We can't just chase after μ's, or Love Live, or that shine... What was great about μ's was that they ran straight through an empty place, a place with nothing. To realize their dreams…they were free...and honest...and that's why they could fly! To shine like μ's, we can't be chasing after them. We have to run freely, right? With all of our bodies and our hearts! We can't let anything hold us back! We have to be true to our feelings!”
“Dear Honoka, I love μ's. When I saw μ's, all these normal girls shining so bright, I kept wondering how I could be like that, and if I could be a leader like you. I finally understand. I'm fine the way I am. I can look at my friends, at all the things around me, and run on, straight ahead. That's what μ's is. That's what it means to shine. That's why I will find my own place. I'm not going to follow you, I'm going to run forward, in search of my own place... With everyone. Someday. Someday...”
Your drive to be uniquely you is what helped you to excel at being a school idol. That fighting spirit of yours…the way you never give up once you have a set goal in mind…that’s what makes you shine! You’re so inspirational, and, as an adult that really has no idea what she’s doing, I can only hope to find my own shine the way that you did someday.
I love your endless optimism and can-do attitude, your Broadway-esque solos, the energy you bring to each song, the wacky hijinks you get yourself into, and everything about you! Admittedly, regarding my preferred leader, I always favored Honoka for the longest (although I did still like you), but now, you could probably give her a run for her money. I can’t wait to write something up for her birthday, too, but for now, this one’s for you!
Never stop being the mikan-loving, hardworking idol that you are! Kan kan mikan!
(P.S. This Miracle Wave handspring lives in my head rent-free)