She's done wid it. Namie Amuro announces her retirement.

She's done wid it. Namie Amuro announces her retirement. | Random J Pop

When Namie Amuro started making a big deal about her 25th anniversary I expected there to be an announcement that she'd be releasing a Best fiction 2. But Namie has instead announced that she will officially hang up those boots, put the ruffled corset dresses into storage and retire.

Avex had tried to reach Ayu to tell her the good news, but she couldn't hear her phone ringing. Girlfriend needs to get one of those setups where a police light goes off in crib when the phone rings.

Namie had posted the following on her website...

Thank you very much for your continuous support.
September 16 marked the 25th year since my debut.

I could not have gone 25 years without your support, for which I am eternally grateful. Thank you!

Today, I would like to write about something that I have carried on my mind and have decided on the 25th anniversary of my debut.

I, Namie Amuro, would like to take this opportunity to inform all of my fans of my decision to retire as of September 16, 2018.

I plan to make the last year of my music career meaningful by focusing my full attention on creating a final album and performing at concerts. Then, I will welcome the date of September 16, 2018 in the best way I can.

I hope this year will be filled with wonderful memories for me and the fans together.
Together, let’s make this coming year the best one possible!

Namie Amuro

That message had not one shred of emotion. But that's Queen Namiserable I for you. Stone cold until the end. We'd be silly to expect a long and deeply heartfelt message. That's really not her Style.

Are you shocked by this announcement? Because I'm not. In the few interviews that Namie had done outside of Japan to promote her album _genic, Namie was asked how much longer she thinks she'll continue to release music and tour and she said she wasn't entirely sure. But her answer wasn't in the vein of 'Who knows what the future will bring! 10 years ago I wouldn't have thought I'd still be here, so who knows', but more 'I'm kinda done with this already tbh'. We've been making jokes here for years about how Namie sings and dances on stage like she has not a single fuck left to give. But she really doesn't.

Retirements in the entertainment industry are rarely ever permanent. There have been many artists who have retired and then come back years later. But this indefinitely means that once September 16th, 2018 rolls around, we will not see nor hear a damn thing from Namie for years. Possibly fo'ever.

Namie has never seemed like the kind of act who has been in the game for the same of being in it. The timing of her retirement says a lot. It's not possible for her to be any more popular in Japan than she is now. Namie has released a string of successful albums, which have outsold that of her peers, up and coming and acts and the likes of Kumi Koda and Ayumi Hamasaki. There were many points in Namie's career when she had been written off: when she fell pregnant out of wedlock, when she divorced, when her mother had died, when she tried to do the R&B thing. People put her down for the count, but she kept bouncing back and managed to not only maintain a level of popularity, but have it hit an insane trajectory which saw her album sales increase across a period of time when album sales were declining. Her opening weeks sales for her past 4 albums have far exceeded that of her direct competition, Ayumi Hamasaki, an artist at one point that many never thought Namie would become more popular than and shit on sales wise. Namie has done everything that she's wanted to and more. Many never thought that Namie's career would last 25 years and she probably didn't think it would neither. There's no better time for her to retire than now. When she's happy, content and she's at the peak of her career. This is how one bows out gracefully. On their own times when their shit is at an all time high. With the way that Kumi Koda and Ayumi Hamasaki's careers are going, they won't get the same luxury.

The documentary of Namie Amuro
But just to make sure we really miss a bitch when she's gone, a series called The documentary of Namie Amuro will be available exclusively through Hulu. New episodes will be released monthly, every month up until September 2018. The documentary will be an episodic look at Namie's Past and Future. A look back on Namie's 25 year career and the run up to her official day of retirement. This is a pretty big deal, as it will be an insight into the life of a star who has not done press in Japan nor shown anything behind the scenes of her music, videos or tours for the past decade. It's bittersweet that Namie lifts the veil as the curtains are closing, but at least she's giving her fans some decent content alongside her final album and tour. But for all we don't know, Namie might not show us a damn thing. Namie is not here for people having their business in her business. The US and UK press and the Beyhive think Beyoncé is guarded. Ain't nobody seen the face of Namie's son and that boy is 18 years old. She don't play.

The final album
Namie has mentioned that there will be a new studio album. So Namie will not be bowing out with a Best fiction 2, although there will inevitably be one anyway. It's going to be interesting to see what Namie pulls out of her boots for her final studio album. Will it be a continuation of what we got on _genic? Will she go back to singing in Japanese? Or will the album be produced to be a retrospective throwback to all of the sounds that Namie has tried over the course of her career? One thing is for sure, her first week sales are going to be ridiculous. And if she releases a new studio album and a Best complication album as two separate SKUs on the same day, then my prayers will be with those releasing albums on the same day. Because their shit will have no chance of debuting higher than number 3 on the Oricon albums chart.

What Namie's retirement means for a has been like Ayumi Hamasaki
Ayumi Hamasaki would otherwise be glad at Namie's retirement. But just as Hikaru Utada's 2011 hiatus meant that Ayu had to compete with the ghost of Hikaru's successes (side note: Hikaru's ghost was juggling Ayu's wigs for fun), she'll have to do the same with Namie's. Living that life of 'Yeah, but Namie woulda', 'Namie already did' and 'If Namie were here'. Ayumi Hamasaki will never again see the levels of success and popularity that she had during her Guilty days. So when she does retire, it will be when her career is writhing around on the floor, bleeding out, begging to be put out of its misery - which it kinda is. Or when she goes completely deaf, which will be real soon if she doesn't stop touring and start taking care of herself. She won't get to go out at the top like Namie did.

In the case of Ayu's hearing, with the way she's refusing her Doctor's orders, her hearing might not even last until September 16, 2018 when Namie retires.

At the very least this means that there might be some extra money at Avex for Ayu and Kumi Koda's music videos. But until they both start pushing Past < Future units, they may never see it.

Updated: September 21, 2017 @ 12:18am
Namie will indeed release a best album on November 8, 2017. But there will be no last studio album of original material. This Best album will be it. I was not expecting this to drop so soon. But I guess it makes sense to capitalise on a Best release whilst everybody is buzzing about her retirement, her new song "Hope" which will feature as the new One Piece opening theme and to have it in stores for Christmas. No doubt there will also be a a third Filmography DVD. But this will probably come after her retirement, to ensure that all of the focus is geared into the home release of her final tour and to also ensure it includes all of the videos that Namie will shoot this year and next for her final set of singles and her album.

Shout-outs to Michele in the comments for the heads up on All time best.