Your criticism is understandable and in some parts well deserved. Part of it being me not really following the group. Still the only members I can name and recognise are only Yukafin, Kohime and Maho.
My comment about "them not going anywhere" wasn't in regard of sales. I meant the creative growth, as I see not much invention in neither their output nor performance. Granted this is a very subjective feeling, which I can't really undermine with facts.
The declining in sales I got from my limited infos on the group (mostly your blog
). Thanks for correcting that. The sales figures really appear decent. Sounded much worse when you wrote about it. And to make things clear: I never expect ANY regular idol group to perform at Budokan. That isn't a criteria that increases my repect for them in any way. On the contrary I refuse publicity stunts like Babyraids show their, just performing at Budokan for the sake of it. Such event should be deserved, otherwise it doesn't have any emotional value, neither for the fans nor the group itself.
Still I am surprised about the negative effects of maid cafés you described, although your reasoning makes sense. As we talk about a form of otaku culture, I expected it to rather have a positive aspect. You know, meeting the girls easier or at least appearing to support them through visiting the café.
But to see the positives in my statement: It was worth a nice discussion