H!P, Morning Musume

In Which we’ll have 5 Again…

Everyone is using this picture. I know that, and yet I will use this picture too, because you can see that no one in Momusu is happy about this graduation announcement.

Ahem…let me rephrase.

THESE supreme-wtf-grad-announcementS.Yeah.

*shakes head*
I’m pretty much baffled.

Apparently Kamei has had a skin condition SINCE SHE JOINED (wow, that really sucks) and so wants to recover before doing anything else. Even though her dancing is now absolutely awesome and her singing isn’t far behind. Even though she is gorgeous and absent-mindedly random. Even though she is best buds with Shige and can baffle Mame to no end…

Yeah. Gone.

Now let’s talk about LinLin and JJ. Also, gone.

This is completely stupid. I guess it would be easier on them, in terms of culture, language, etc to make a career in China…it’s just so irritating that they were finally starting to get comfortable in their careers in Japan. It will be said, time and time again, but let me say it here too: so much potential.

Look at JJ: she pimped, she argued, she was adorable one second and seduced you the next…Her voice isn’t the strongest, but since Shige joined that argument no longer means a damn thing. Shige has made it on personality and charm and that is exactly what JJ has managed to do. I don’t think that her singing is that bad, frankly, but it’s nothing close to Linlin’s.

Ah, Linlin. The most huggable-little-sister-character ever. She is random almost in the same way that Kamei is. She is a house…of power. Her voice is almost too powerful for that tiny body. She gets lost in the music, she gives her all to the dance and she genuinely loves her fellow members. At least, that is the impression she gives me. According to things Takahashi has said, and also to bits of her blog, or even the pocket-mornings, she has had more than a few tears during her transition to Hello!Project. But she made it. She was starting to really shine, and…yeah. Gone.

If only Momusu had a show again. You know. a good one. But then if they had, I guess this would hurt even more. We would have been able to see even more of their personalities and there would be even more to miss.


Ninth Gen, huh?

Tsunku: you need to get yourself more than one girl this time.

There will be five left in Momusu. That has worked SO well for C-ute, eh? (sarcasm alert!)

Well, one could argue that they began with five.

Let’s look at that, shall we?

We had Nakazawa Yuuko:
One: Hawt.

Two: Awesome singer.

Three: Absolute Pimp.

Four: Absolute Leader (of all).

Five: Full of feeling and self-discipline.

Nakazawa was the leader because she was the oldest, but I think that she would have been through sheer force of personality.

Let no one say she is not attractive. Maybe she has always been the older one in H!P, but she made up for it by being freaskin’ classy. Even in her little shorts there. Classy, lady-like and a force to be reckoned with.

Now we have Takahashi Ai:

One: Hawt.

Two: Awesome singer.

Three: Absolutely pimp-prey (she gets kissed-on more than anyone I’ve seen in a long time).

Four: Leader…of Morning.

Five: Full of feeling and self discipline, but also self-doubt when faced with talking by herself.

I’d say, onstage, that Takahashi is a force to be reckoned with, but off-stage has more the feel of a big sister. A shy one, who just wants to sing and do-her-best, without having to talk about herself. Really though, why is that so bad? Her leader-ship works because Momusu is so soft right now. I’m curious to see how she’ll do with new members, especially since the audition age is TEN to seventeen.

Then there was the ‘face’ of Momusu: Abe Natsumi

One: ADOR-able. And also hawt. Randomly bad-ass too (oh, I love this woman).

Two: Awesome singer that got stronger and stronger.

Three: Gave her all to every performance.

Four: Featured a LOT.

Five: Learned to adjust to however big the group was, even though she wanted to be a soloist.

I think a lot of people identified her alone, until Goto came along, when they thought of Morning Musume. She was probably Tsunku’s first “favourite”, in that he featured her endlessly. I can’t complain about that, but I can see how one would, because back then, everyone in the group was so powerful. It did see extra odd that he would only focus on one. I love her voice though. She was born to be in show business. It seemed like she always knew how to conduct herself. Plus, her random bad-ass-ery pwned.

And then there is Winky…or Tanaka Reina.

One: Many say she is hawt. She dabbles in bad-assery (or brattiness, depending on your view).

Two: Many would argue that her intense-squirrel-esque voice is great. It certainly holds up well in concerts.

Three: In performances…she wears a lot of accessories.

Four: Featured a-LOT!!!

Five: Enjoys her juniors, but also says that they aren’t very useful to her. She wants to be leader.

Alright. So I don’t like her as a performer. I’m sure I’d get along with her…well, maybe not. But whatever. A lot of people love her, so much so that I think it would be safe to say she is like the face of the group. Maybe Takahashi is a better argument for the “face”, but let’s just leave it. I don’t think you could safely say she is the “new” Nacchi. She does get an impressive number of solos, photobooks and so on though. Let’s hope they don’t give her another ‘Furusato’. I don’t think I could handle that.

Then there was Ishiguro Aya.
One: Hawt (no question).

Two: Mature, sultry, strong singer.

Three: Capable of bad-assery, complete with nose piercing.

Four: Tanpopo…nuff said.

Five: Not afraid to speak up for herself.

I know precious little about this one, except for what I’ve picked up in old Utabans and such. She was the first Musume to leave due to pregnancy and she left at the peak of their popularity. I love her voice, especially in Tanpopo before the image changed so drastically. She was (still is) beautiful.

Now we have Niigaki Risa (sub-leader).

One: Hawt. And also adorable.

Two: Mature, sultry, strong singer, who is sometimes one step away from yelling.

Three: Capable of bad-assery when singing certain songs.

Four: was also in Tanpopo, but it wasn’t quite the same.

Five: Not afraid to speak up, in general.

I expect even greater things from her. She has never stopped loving the group, even after she discovered there was much more to it than smiling. Her can be tough, she can be a sweetie-pie and she can be papa-musume, making sure Riida is settled and that the others are listening. I can actually see Mame with a nose piercing, but I doubt it will ever happen.

There was also Iida Kaori.
One: Hawt, when she grew into her limbs. Also she never really changed her hair.

Two: Beautiful low voice, once she developed control. Plus – Tanpopo!

Three: Random, bratty, spacey personality that grew into classy, but slightly high-maintenance motherly-type personality.

Four: Dancing was always a bit fail, only because of her long, long limbs.

Five: Very serious about things, sometimes to a bewildering extent.

I adore Iida. She always stood out, partly because of that spacey, bratty personality and mostly because she was long. Tall. Long-limbed. Long-haired. She also shines because she is so beautiful. Really. There is something calming about her. Back at the beginning she couldn’t hide how badly she wanted the spot light though. Her voice got better and better and she really shone in Tanpopo, even when the image changed.

Now there is Michishige Saymi.

One: Hawt, when she grew into her baby-face.

Two: She sings, bless her heart. Really! She does her best!

Three: Shy but egotistical personality that grew into a talkative and sharp-tongued egotistical personality.

Four: Dancing is always a bit fail, but it’s cute when she looks at the floor to make sure she’s not tripping.

Five: Very serious about thinking she is cute, to a bewildering extent (see almost ANY of her blog posts).

Shige is nothing like Kaori, in terms of performance, but I guess you could argue that…well…neither of them really ever changed their hair. They are both a bit egotistical, it’s just Shige can’t hide it.

Really, I’ve got nothing else.

And last, but not least we had Fukuda Ayaka.

One: Some would say she isn’t very pretty, but I think there is a cute, youthful charm.

Two: Awesome singer, even though she was 14.

Three: Shy.

Four: Youngest in a group of teens and yankee-ish 20-somethings.

Five: Mature for her age. She knew right away that she didn’t want to be there for long.

Ah, I know so little about her, but Ayaka is the one I’m most curious about. She has said that she didn’t feel welcome in the group or in the business. Her feelings didn’t match to theirs, they were cold to her, she didn’t want to ‘lose herself’. However it went, she wasn’t there long, but her vocals are amazing. She has beautiful eyes too. I hope that she found a happy life.

The only one left is Mitsui Aika.

One: Some say she is not attractive at all, but I beg to differ, because she is ADORABLE. Her face is not traditionally pretty, but she knows how to work the cute.

Two: She can sing, she just needs to sing in her range, with a bit more power.

Three: Was shy at first, but blossomed into a cheerful ball of genki.

Four: Youngest in a group that has been together for a long time and had two people join after her who needed a lot more attention.

Five: Mature for her age, but can still be bratty if she wants to. She knows she wants to be here.

I worry for her. Little-puppy Aika! I remember Yossy saying that she was like a puppy and she really is. She seems like she’d jump around you, squealing and being excited until you had to settle her down. I love that energy though. There are times when she seems to get shot down and quiet though. I worry for her in those times. I want her to keep getting better, because she seems like she was really overlooked. Step up Aika! You can do it!

So let’s see.

Nakazawa = Takahashi.
Nacchi = Winky (ew).
Ishiguro – Niigaki.
Iida = Shige.
Fukuda = Mitsui.

Really. I think we need three more.

I’m really going to miss JJ, Linlin and Kamei.
This really sucks.
It’s exciting on one hand, but…



6 thoughts on “In Which we’ll have 5 Again…”

  1. Very nice post. Thanks. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs about this and yours is the first that didn’t really bash any of the current members. I’ve loved the group since before Maki joined and have nothing bad to say about any girl that has ever graced the stage as a Momusu and am getting sick and tired of people who probably haven’t been fans more than a couple of years saying terrible things about the remaining girls, especially the 5th and 6th gens.
    Thanks for focusing mainly on the positive.

    1. I’m glad you feel the same way – besides I LOVE the 5th gen and the 6th I have really warmed up to in the last few years. I am not a fan of Reina, but I know that Momusu would not be the same without her. I love this group and so I always try and give them the benefit of the doubt. This is probably why I called this place Itsumo Genki. Thank you for your comment.

  2. I love this post. It’s not new to compare Current!MM to Former!MM, but I think this is one of the most pertinent times to do so.

    I have a silly little theory that will probably not pan out. From the translations of Tsuntsun’s comments on the 9th gen audition website, it seems as though they’re only looking for one girl.

    Only adding one girl at this point would be ridiculous. 6 members? For Morning Musume? No way!

    So, either all of the translations are wrong (quite possible) or something else is in the works. My guess is that Tsunku might be thinking of adding some Eggs this time around. He must know that certain fans have always pined over Kikkawa Yuu’s lost MM opportunity. Linlin opened the way.

    I just hope he doesn’t add Mano, in a Miki styled surprise.

    I might need to blog about this… XD

    1. The “only one girl” is a mistranslation. It’s “any girl who meets even just one of these criteria can apply” or something to that effect.

      Personally, I’m hoping for three or four.

  3. Great post, I had never really thought about the comparisons between the two 5nin groups. Also I just thought i should say Fukuda’s first name is Asuka!

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