In Which Isilie catches up.


img20090617134750814I’ve been away from here awhile, and what a while it’s been! We’ve gotten Momusu going across the sea (to somewhere other than Hawaii), new/old shuffle groups, new single for the girls, and so on and so on. I’ve been itching to post, so I decided to just cover those things and anything else that drifts through my mind because I really can’t think of a good way to connect them all.

Blogs = self indulgence.

Hooray!

And regarding this pic: do I ever need a reason for random Gokkie love? Gracious Mame is tiny, even compared to Takahashi!

To those people in the U.S who actually saw her up close, was it like looking at a tiny life-like doll? That’s the sort of image I get when I try to picture any of these girls as real live human beings. They look small enough on pvs and such, but in reality…man they must be tiny.

I’ll stop stating the obvious and just get on with it.

I lied. One more obvious thing: MOMUSU JUST WENT TO AMERICA!

*cue American anthem and inappropriately loud bellows of triumph*

…ok.

Next stop Canada, right?

*waves flag meekly* We’ll give ya maple syrup…

*……………………..*

*cough*

Before we get into all that, let’s do the other news.

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Bye Bye Kanna!

I was just getting interested and now they tell me she’s leaving to be “a normal girl”.Will she ever be a normal girl again?

Was anyone else intrigued and weirded out simultaneously by her stint in Yorosen? That’s where she got me. She just had this odd, slightly passive-aggressive, or maybe just unflappable and focused way of running things. I didn’t expect it at all, judging soley by all her smiley photographs. Btw: I love this shirt. The ‘true life seek’ shirt also intrigued me. That costume pwns.

Overall she just seems to have this bad-ass-ery that the rest of C-ute does not. Without her, their releases have been terrible. The last two were so boring I can’t even remember their names. Not that Kanna really got that many solo lines, but her presence was probably enough. I’d really like to know more about her, but it’s probably too late for that now.

I’m actually pretty sad about this. We’ve lost a potential character.
*sigh*

I can just picture the ‘firing’ scene: she texts her Johnny’s boyfriend (the rumour guy is in Johnny’s right?) and then gets called into some head office.

“[Basically] you’re out.”

Kanna looks up briefly. Smirks. Then goes back to her phone for a moment.

Stands up. Bows.

“Thanks for everything then. Got a date.”

I’m not saying she’s not sad, but I don’t think it’ll keep her down.


The New-Old Groups

Tanpopo, Pucchi Moni, Mini Moni, Biyuuden…etc.

Basically, Tsunku has mixed up the kids with Momusu and a few random eggs to reform the groups he didn’t officially retire. I have two questions.

1) Why?
2) Tsunku, why can’t you just admit that  you’re getting a little too old to manage like fifteen hundred girls and just let someone else write the freakin’ songs once in awhile? Stop all the remakes of old things. Some times that’s nice and fun, but I really don’t see the point in this.

Maybe it will be awesome, but with a Pucchi Moni involving Mano Eri, I hold little hope for anything that isn’t all kinds of bland.

And now some rather detailed musings on Anime Expo:

  • the arrival of Momusu and screaming fan-videos: So, so SO embarressing! I don’t blame people for being excited and such. How else can one really show support, not really being able to touch or talk to them? But, hearing their names in either terrible accents or in the midst of frantic rapture was just too much. Seeing cameras suddenly falling over and voices all around going up a couple of octaves… And before you say it, no I would not have screamed like that if I’d been there, even if everyone else in UNIVERSE had been. Not because I’m somehow classier than the average fan. Far from it. I just think I’d be more likely to gawk like an idiot than make any sort of sound. Come on. TELL me those videos didn’t make you cringe, just a little bit. I’m glad we got that glimpse of the girls. And I understand what an event this was…but yeah. Still felt embarressing to me.
  • their live sounds like it was pretty awesome: Yeah, I listened to the scratchy muffled fan recordings of it and even with all the inevitable distortion and random “woo”-ing it sounded pretty bad-ass. I’ll tell you why – they weren’t lip-synching. Say what you will about the singing ability of the members (goodness knows I can and will), but at least when you pay for a LIVE PERFORMANCE that’s what you’re getting. Those girls work so hard. It’s awesome that even with all the jet-lag they were ready and willing to do their jobs without cutting corners. Western pop-stars so often lipsynch because they whine that they’re dancing…if you can’t do both then get a new profession! If I wanted to hear the cd, I’d listen to it at home and save the time and money. Grr

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  • the panel discussion: This one might take awhile, cause it really made me think about a lot of things.

Being an idol, contrary to all our candy-coated fantasies of glory and sparkles, must be really, really boring. Think about it. Let’s factor in the obvious hard work in maintaining the image, the dancing and singing, the random appearances, the constant smiling, the constant high-heels even when you have to jump around stage…that’s all part of the package, but that’s only a couple hours of the day. Inbetween everything there must be a lot of waiting. Wait to arrive at your location, wait for make-up and hair etc, wait for go on stage/set/whichever, wait for your chance to be on camera and then most annoying of all, wait to see if you’ll get a chance to speak.

And even if you do get to speak, inevitably you’ll be asked the same things, over and over as though people have some sort of permanent memory block and your answers are always absorbed and then instantly forgotten so they need to ask it again, a slightly different way, next month. Even if a question is a little different, it’s still not allowed to be any more substantial than a basket of doilies or the company will be all over your ass for messing with “the image”.

So we get stuff like, “how do you like this new single?”; “tell us which of you is the most like a puppy (wtf???)”; “how do you feel about pudding?”

Face + Palm = Me.

Really though, is it so shocking that any groups who had questions with substance for the girls were unceremoniously denied from asking them? Those who did dare a question like, “tell us why being an idol can SUCK HORRIBLY” (only it was phrased much better) were pretty much ignored. Winky’s answer to that one was something like, “Hmm…well let me tell you what I like about being an idol [blahblahblahwinkwinkblah]…”

Oh really? You like things about it eh?

WE KNOW!article200907071933467593

A lot of the fan questions though made me cringe, but since I play the devil’s advocate even against myself, I do admit that if Yossy (for example) were in the same room as me and giving me her full attention, the only semblance of coherence I’d be able to muster would be the helpless muffled squeaks I’d let out as I slowly melted into a puddle of pwned mush. So to those of you who managed to TALK let alone ask your questions in Japanese, I salute you.

Yossy was there.

The jealousy is astounding…I’m seeing green right about now just thinking about it.

Anyway…

As much as I’m curious about things like what they hate about being an idol and what they really struggle with, I can sort of understand why those things just aren’t allowed to come out. The cynic in me demands that I point out: idoling is all about making money and if you can’t sell the happy-go-lucky image anymore, you aren’t gonna last. Also, the company doesn’t want to look bad. If it is a horrible place where they emotionally break little girls, we’ll likely never know because then no other little ones will want to become H!P idols. I don’t think it is quite that horrible of a place, but I’m sure there are things that suck about H!P that we really don’t want to know about.

I also think some of us don’t fully understand the idol thing. There really seems to be a “noble” purpose in it. As far as I’ve been able to figure out, the idol is a dream, created between the girl [I use girls as my example] and her fan. She gives the name, the image and the tunes, let’s say. A basic glossing over of pieces of her real personality and then we fill in the blanks, think we know her and are content in this ‘relationship’. That’s why I can say ridiculous things, like how I identify so much with Takahashi thinking she is boring and with Yossy’s bravery in the face of tough times.

Of course I THINK I know what they’ve been through. I don’t at all, but I’d like to believe I have this connection. There’s a satisfaction in it. There’s a feeling like you’re connecting on a more personal level even though you clearly haven’t.

This idol thing is powerful, and the successful idols know exactly what they’re doing.

That strikes the Western mindset as ingenuine. A ploy to drain our wallets and take advantage of honest feelings. I guess it’s because I’m from this Western background that it’s so easy to understand wanting to know everything about a celebrity. The fantasy that we “know” the idol isn’t quite enough. We tend to want the bad with the good. We want to know the smile is strained some times, that some things make them angry, that they hate certain things that they are stuck with, because then they’ll have that much more colour. We want to know that they are not just robots or girls so dim that all they really think about is shortcake.

article200907071933392035But maybe stepping outside of that fantasy is too intrusive. These are real people, underneath the sparkles. They need at least a few things to be their own. If your face and name belong to the public, then what is left for you and for those you want to really confide in? If everything about you is public knowledge then you have little chance for any sort of real intimacy, romantic or platonic. I hate to throw this reference in, but think about Michael Jackson: the moment he let everyone in to his private world, we all wished he hadn’t. I’m not comparing him to Momusu, I just think that, like his situation, if you knew it all you’d probably be disappointed.

So rather than just covering their asses, although goodness knows that’s a factor, I think the company is just trying to look after the girls and their fans. The wota are what keeps them standing right now, as far as I’ve been able to tell. If they alienate that crowd, I don’t think they’d be able to go on. Even the most maniacal fan knows deep down that it’s all a fantasy, but he or she is not paying for reality. All entertainment is to get away from reality, even just a little bit.

But “It’s not like we were asking them to reveal their deepest secrets, you insane freak!”
Yeah. Still.

“It’s all about MONEY!!! THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT FEELINGS [insert various cynical viewpoints]”
Maybe, but I’m not going to beat that dead horse, because life has not yet horribly crushed my innocent spirit of hopefulness.

And because IT’S ALREADY DEAD!!!

~Isilie

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