H!P, Love, Morning Musume, Musings, pic spam, Random

A Rant a Short Review and Queen Shige


Also: Isilie sucks at titles.

This is the first time in a long while I’ve been almost exclusively excited for all the changes in Momusu.

I will really try not to repeat things people have already said, although that may be impossible. After all, since I only blog when I have something to say, or squee about, I tend to collect my thoughts just in time for something else to happen.

But really, even before this performance of the new double-a side single, One.Two.Three. came out and everyone started losing their minds about it, I was  already so overjoyed and excited with the Momusu that Niigaki left behind. And now Shige is leader. There are so many reasons why I am relieved that it is Shige and not Winky (and no, it’s not just because I want Winky to gtfo already).

Let’s talk about this new song first.

Totally Unnecessary Rant(s). Sorry about this.  o(_ _)o

I’ve read a ton of excitement, especially about the awesome costumes, and a lot of the comments were along the lines of, “oh my! Momusu has made me care about them again!” Then there are a few who have said that the song style doesn’t appeal to them at all and are dreading the age of ‘Robo-Musume’. Tsunku getting excited about a certain style seems to mean that we’ll see quite a lot of it. Someone pointed out (I’d quote properly if I remembered whom) that the Ai-era (or Platinum Era) synthesizer style was recycled over and over until we got the new members. Apparently consistency of any kind always equals stagnation. And then the people who like it talk about how it’s what people are listening to now, so hooray that Tsunku has finally got the message…And some are saying it’s a travesty and an ear-bleeding nightmare.

I’m trying not to be one of those self-righteous fans who gets irrationally upset at people hating on her group every five minutes but as someone who loves the group regardless of how supreme-wtf-ish it gets, I do get a little pissed off at all the negativity. Thing is, I recognize that you can love something and still complain about things you aren’t satisfied with. I will never say anything like, “haterz gonna hate” because that phrase needs to die. It’s so dismissive and lazy and I hate seeing it when someone has thoughtfully and honestly expressed an opinion.

For me, there was never a moment that I stopped loving this group. They always, always win me over. I know that loving them all the time makes me someone who has no ear for “quality” or who lets her “emotions” cloud the fact that something isn’t all that good. I pretty much accept that about myself, but I just never had this attitude that I’d been somehow ‘betrayed’ by the lack of…whatever it might have been. I don’t even understand that.

And this is random, but don’t get me started on people calling Zukki “fat” and talking about Riho like she’s some horrible kid because she’s been given opportunity.

Idol groups always have “aces”. I don’t like it either, but marketing is marketing. At least it isn’t another Koharu situation.

Zukki is no more “fat” than you, reader, are a shoe-eating monkey. It’s called curves. They are not the enemy! She is so down-to-earth, endearing and hilarious all I ever notice is her anime-character super grin. You know the one I mean.

This smile after she passionately declared that she wanted to become just like Nakazawa Yuuko (because she’s so cool).

I’ll have that over a pretty-but-boring twig any day. Tell me you can see that face and NOT instantly laugh and feel better.
I won’t believe you.

Finally we have that mix of talent, potential and personality that everyone kept insisting just wasn’t there in the Platinum era. Don’t act like Momusu members have always been exclusively skinny. Curves do not equal fat-ass. And she is barely sixteen! Shut. Up.

That being said…let me get to my actual opinion on the song and stop ranting.

Wait.

…waaaait a minute. One more. Winky is trying to start a band?!?
Oh for f-

When I’m done laughing, I’ll be relieved at this sign that MAYBE she’ll freakin’ leave soon. Her fans will love it. Myself? Well, I really don’t even know where this came from. Frankly, I don’t see her as a rock-band leader, but maybe she’ll surprise me. I’ve heard her sound pretty amazing when she isn’t channeling a squirrel. And I do honestly believe she loves singing.

Is this her way of looking after herself after Momusu? Cause, hey, fine by me. The faster she wants out, the faster we can hear people who AREN’T WINKY in a single (I mean really, eight new members and a couple syllables is the best you can do??). Or maybe she just wants to start fresh (cause eight new members isn’t fresh enough). More on that later.

One.Two.Three Robo Musume!

The outfits involve corsets.

Nuff said.

The member colours work really well. I love Harunan’s brown because it’s so out of nowhere, but it suits her. It’s better than having eight shades of pink or a bright yellow (which wouldn’t work on her).

The hair styling is fierce, minus Winky’s stupid bow, but I’m trying my best to avoid looking at her anyway.

I think Zukki might be the only one who doesn’t really suit this costume, mainly because she just doesn’t seem that comfortable in it. Mizuki, Haruka, Daishi and Eri-pon though? Yowzaa (yeah, I really just wrote that)!!

As for the song? Big shock: I was just as overjoyed and excited as a lot of bloggers when I first heard it.

I had no idea what sort of song to expect after Pyoko-Baby-Chicks. The impressive amount of hate that song gets still baffles me. It’s really not that bad. It’s those costumes that you’re probably upset about. In some odd way, I find it really soothing. The vocals are pretty soft before you get to the chorus and then that instrumental makes me smile because I think, “I’m an adult and I’m really diggin’ this Chocobo song“…but I digress.

I love it when Momusu gets to be cool. It pulls the young ones out of that genki-cute comfort zone. You can really tell who is going to push forward, lead or not, (Daishi, Haruka, Eri-pon, Mizuki) and who is just bless-her-heart lost (Zukki, Harunan, Masaki). Why is Harunan still so lifeless? Zukki is trying but I don’t think she knows how to handle songs like this yet.

I’m glad the first time I encountered the song, I got to see the dance. I love choreography and not seeing it all really bothers me (hence my love of dance-shot pvs).

It was pretty much set in stone that I would adore this song.

There are three things Isilie is a sucker for in a pop-song:
catchy, repetitive elements
-fierce hair-flippy dance routines
-dramatic vocalizations near the end that give it an epic feeling

Why do people keep insisting that Riho’s moments at the end are “shrieking”? Ai’s vocals at the end of Fantasy ga Hajimaru were “wailing”? I loved them. LOVE them. I hate when the auto-tune chops and mangles it. That effect is something you can’t afford to get too excited about, because too much of it will be an ear-bleeding nightmare. I can barely tell who is ever singing what. Even so, I find this song catchy, exciting, and dramatic and I cannot wait for the full pv.

The dance-shot is a lot more plain than I expected. I was hoping for something along the lines of Berryz ‘Heroine ni Narou ka’, with a lot of shadow (maybe I was influenced too much by that performance). I could not take my eyes off Mizuki and Daishi. They are gorgeous. I didn’t even notice Winky, which made me so very happy. People keep saying she’s phoning this one in LARGE and you know what? I can see why.

More on that in…

Queen Shige and Momusu’s Future

Momusu has become a different place once again. Like I said before, it’s full of talent, potential and personality. Whether Tsunku uses all that or just gets stuck in the Platinum-Era formula of two main singers and Shige going “ah” for every single, I guess we’ll find out. If this new single is any indication, line distribution is going to continue to be a sore point for most fans.

Again, I get it. Marketing. It’s super irritating.

Thing is, I still notice the new members. In fact,  it’s almost all I notice. Winky and Shige are practically non-existent. And Winky is a main vocalist! I don’t think it’s simply because she’s bored with the song, I think maybe she realizes what is happening. She can’t really compete with people who are in it for the long haul. There is just something different about these new kids. The last few generations have been so small and all over the place in terms of talent and enthusiasm. For the first time in years we have kids who love H!P (as per their emphatic screeching on a recent show) and who want this badly. For example, Riho has never hidden her ambition to be the new ace and it’s paid off handsomely. Those who aren’t in front are still pushing forward like Mizuki and our little Eri-pon. No one, myself included, can get over how mature and down-right I’m-actually-uncomfortable-writing-this sultry Haruka looks.

Maybe a better adjective is fierce (and I do apologize for using that word so many times in this post). It’s not the same I’m-enjoying-this-to-death fierce of a performer like Niigaki, but rather an I’m-going-to-dance-the-frak-out-of-this-and-you’d-better-pay-attention fierce. One that we haven’t seen in awhile. There is even a hint of desperation there (it could just be that she’s an infant and I could probably put her in my pocket she’s so tiny).

Winky knows she’s leaving soon. Maybe it kinda got her down-? Shige is a little different. Even if she is a little sad that as leader she doesn’t get to sing any more than usual, she seems to know and accept how things are in a way that Winky probably can’t.

This is why I’m glad Shige is leader.

Pros

  • She isn’t threatened by adorable juniors. In fact, she loves them. They can be her little dolls she can dress up and cuddle with. She’s been promoting them since day one, saying how cute they are and talking about them on her blog. She knows that these are the girls that will carry on the name. The fans need to know them and adore them as much as she seems to.
  • Even if she doesn’t really adore them, she is smart and knows that she must behave as though she does. Not only does this create a better atmosphere for them to learn and grow, but they will be able to trust her and not try and stumble through everything on their own when they don’t have to. It looks great to the fans too. What a sweet, reliable leader…
  • Again, she is smart. She’s been promoting the hell out of herself for years now. She can easily slide into a variety show career after graduation, even if it means forever defending her cuteness. Besides she didn’t just wake up and decide to play this ‘I’m the cutest’ character, she’s always been that character. The reason she’ll be ok isn’t just that she has that, it’s that she knows exactly how to play up her strengths (cute, sexy, funny, cruel – she can do anything she wishes to). She isn’t good with dancing OR singing, but damn she can charm you into thinking she is.

And Cons

  • I don’t see this lasting too long. We’re already getting the eleventh generation here. Why don’t you just get a giant cane and yank our last two senpai off the stage? It’d be a bit more subtle…
  • The last time Shige was responsible for teaching someone it stressed her out so much that she began to yank out her eyebrows. Of course, that was years ago and the member in question was KOHARU, but you never know. Most of these new girls are very young. Members that join at 13 or 14 have often said that the members became family because they spent more time with them. Half the group now is barely in their teens and very green. Shige has always struck me as someone who can give good advice but is fragile. Some people just find it hard to handle when someone relies on them. And how much can she rely on Winky?

There are a few reasons that I’m glad this leader thing didn’t fall to Winky. I don’t like her as a performer, but there are things about her character that I appreciate, like the way she doesn’t seem to be able to lie about things that bother her. She doesn’t cover herself very well. I read something once about how tours were painful for her because they worked so long and hard on everything and it only lasted a couple months; After it was over, all that work amounted to just another mountain of work for the next tour. She said that cycle got a bit depressing. Another thing was, she said herself that the leader needs to put the group first and she doesn’t think she can do that yet. It sounds odd, but I thought it was pretty mature to admit that.

Something about her reminds me of Fujimoto. She’s nowhere near as formidable as Miki was (is), but I think she’d probably be in a similar position: she cares and all, but other people’s issues just aren’t as important to her as her own. She probably isn’t the kind of girl who can easily take someone aside and ask what is wrong, but someone who gets irritated when the new members mess up and needs to get some air rather than stay and help them out. Doesn’t mean she’s a bad person, she just isn’t that person. Some people want the position, not the responsibility.

I guess I’m yet again over-thinking what is probably only a ceremonial position designed for fans to obsess about.

Well, mission accomplished.

*sigh*

Point is, Queen Shige’s time is now. Let’s see what kind of Momusu she creates.
I bet pink and bunnies will be involved.

Loving Robo-Musume anyway. I can’t get the song out of my head.

~Isilie

5 thoughts on “A Rant a Short Review and Queen Shige”

  1. Isilie, you’ve said everything that I’ve been thinking lately but much better than I could ever word it. As much as I’ve grown to love Shige (her blog made me love her) I really wanna see what the newbies are capable of. We’ve gotten a taste of their talents already (opening dance number at the new years concert, covers of classic songs) but I find myself wanting to know more about them.

    And thank you for your comments about Zukki because I couldn’t agree with you more. She’s not even fourteen and people are obsessing about her weight. There’s already enough of that in Japan’s culture already that they really don’t need to North American stigma of how great it is to be thin. I’d rather see a curvy girl with spunk than a lifeless shell of a human being on a stage performing her heart out.

  2. I literally agreed with every single thing you said.
    Kanon’s chubbiness is adorable? Check.
    The song is actually good? Check.
    Pyoko Pyoko isn’t even that bad? Check.
    Sayumi will be a good role model for the girls? Check.

    Awesomely written and well thought out post :3

  3. I love Pyoko Pyoko Its such a mood lifter!
    I hope Reina goes before Sayumi. Honestly.
    I think sayumi is waaaay better for the younger girls.
    The only reason I don’t get all uppity about Riho being pushed is that she is so shy. So she stands out in PVs and that but in talk segments you don’t really notice her. Best thing EVER. Also her shyness in tv programs counteracts the smug look people accuse her of having in photos. So she still falls in the category of like, rather than say Fujimoto

    I never ever thought that Zukki was overweight until I heard a couple of people mention it on blogs in the last few days.
    My only thought was that she was a bit stocky and built for sports rather than dance but then I didn’t even know she was a poor dancer til recently, that show 9th gen appeared on before Hello Pro time made it look like Ikuta was worse

    I’m so happy that in One Two Three Mizuki and Eripon get to stand out.

    One Two Three is BEST MM SONG EVER.

  4. I completely agree with you about Haruka in One Two Three. I was actually taken aback the first time I watched the MV. I have a feeling she’s going to blossom into something very impressive…

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