When I read this article at Klay’s Blog, I confess it was kind of a relief to have someone finally say it. Of course H!P is restrictive, or was in her case. Of course she has more freedom now, in a she-still-has-to-fit-the-agency’s-agenda-and-sell kinda way.
Is there really a need to go all nuts about it? I don’t think she is ungrateful at all. I don’t think she honestly looks back and thinks, “Oh, if only I’d become famous some other way!” I think she loved a lot of her times in H!P (before all the exhaustion and family issues) and I think she cherishes Morning Musume because it brought so much to her: fame, experience and friends she will have forever. I don’t think she meant anything by that statement at all.
Here is my theory…
I would be (and I think I WAS) the first person to defend her time in H!P. Because of Tsunku giving her a spot and the agency promoting her more than perhaps any other Musume, she is now famous and she got a very exhausting amount of training before she switched to Avex. I believe I wrote something to that effect in my first Goto post, back when she had first returned to music and the rest of the blog world was going on about how she’d make real music now. I read post after post of people being so relieved that she got out of that place. Now her career could begin. I thought it was a ridiculous way to think about things.
If not for all the craziness in H!P, she would probably not be around. Even if she had joined another agency, she would not be the same performer and perhaps not even have the same level of fame. Experiences make you who you are. I think that is especially true in the entertainment world. There is no other place like H!P.
That being said, Tsunku is a very controlling man. I am not saying he is not talented, I am not saying he doesn’t know what he is doing (when the crack bucket is empty, anyway), but he
must likes to write every single song for every single girl. That is a LOT of songs and a lot of choices for one man to make. One could argue that this is the reason H!P has such a distinctive sound (to my ears). I love the music he writes and will continue to, but that is not the point. Is it really so strange that one girl felt like a sort of marionette, that it wasn’t really her voice people loved, it was the voice of that weirdo in the back ground who kept going “Ugh!” and “AWWWW yeeaaaaah!”?
Goto probably felt like that after awhile. She seems like a very driven sort of girl, with her own ideas and a hell of a lot of confidence. When she realized singing was what she wanted to do, it seems natural that she would begin to want more freedom to sing how and what she wanted to sing. I don’t think that is an attack against Tsunku; it is just something she wanted. Now that she has experience and is in this new agency, she can write her own stuff for the first time in years.
She could have said it delicately. She could have alluded vaguely to it, or simply said, “it’s nice that I can write and sing my own music now”. But she didn’t. Goto Maki said, “…I’m able to express myself in the way I like, unlike when I was in Morning Musume, I had to do everything according to what producer Tsunku wanted, there was totally no freedom, even though every member had different ways of singing, in the end it all became the same way of singing, even after my graduation, I felt that I couldn’t express my character and personality with those songs, and because of that, after I switched companies, I have been able to sing more naturally and freely.”
Before we start calling her a cold ingrate, let’s remember something really important: her mother passed away, rather mysteriously and abruptly just a year ago.
A year is not a long time when you’ve lost a loved one. Ask anyone who has lost a parent – grief is not a short process and everyone deals with it differently. Goto probably threw herself into her work very soon afterwards, but the shock is no doubt with her. According to this article she went to Avex specifically FOR HER MOTHER, to make her happy!
I am not saying this is an excuse for her to say anything she wants and be irresponsible, but I do think we should cut her some slack. Her brother is still in jail and her father died when she was little. That and she is in a cut-throat, unforgiving field. It’s where she wants to be and what she’s been doing for years, but it’s not easy and she may do or say things that we won’t like or understand.
And honestly, I really don’t think it’s a big deal. Goto could have said a lot worse. The implication is there if you want to look for it, but I don’t think it was intended at all. I guess it sounds like I’m calling her crazy or something. I don’t think she is unstable or anything like that. I do think that in times of stress when one is grieving, one doesn’t think about the words coming out of one’s mouth. Some times you just want to express yourself and not carefully construct every little sentence. Then again, I guess she does have a responsibility to maintain her image.
Still, I’d rather see her as a human than an idol. I’ve always liked her better that way.