Yeah, I said ramblings because I really don’t think she thought any of it through, in any way, at all.
If you want to read a transcript of Koharu’s comments regarding Momusu and so on, it’s here. PLEASE read that before you comment about any of it. It’s fairly long, but worth a look, especially if you like her and this news and “controversy” is upsetting you.
People need to stop talking about how “shocked” they are that people are taking this seriously.
Of course they are. It’s Koharu. People care what she says and it’s hard for them when what she says sounds bad. Bad as in: “Momusu was just there for me to get to modelling, the other girls feel this way, I want female fans because I’m sick of trying to appeal to male fans, I never noticed how hard Shige worked to take care of me” and so on. At least that is one reading of what she said.
Is it that bad?
Read the translation first.
I’ll ask again: is it that bad? I think it depends on what you’re looking for: if you don’t like her, you’re looking for rudeness and insults. If you love her, you’re dismissing everything as “not that bad” or “just how she is”. I’ve never been a fan, but I don’t feel a strong emotional response to her either way even when she tries to sing (although, I will never like her singing. Don’t try to argue with me on that, ok?). Let me weigh in here.
This whole thing made me have some deeper thoughts, but I’ll get to that in another post (love writing so much…but it’s hard). First of all, I just wanted to go through exactly why I had a problem with it. Yeaaaah, I didn’t like what she said.
Calm yourself, I’ll explain.
I’m not crying and I’m not enraged, exactly. At least not about her comments alone.
I’d describe it as a sort of irritated sense of the inevitable. Like I knew she’d say something like that eventually, even though Momusu gave her every opportunity in the world, including three photobooks that would serve as her introduction to her apparent career of choice. There have been a lot of claims about Koharu just being that sort of person, who doesn’t care where she is and will say whatever she wants. This is her charm. I think it’s easy for a Western audience to feel that way. We tend to value outspokenness far more because it feels honest and gives the impression that the person is confident enough not to cater to others. Plus humiliating other people is funny.
I agree, to a point. And here it is:
MINI-RANT: I’d like to point out that too often people disregard courtesy and politeness as false and dishonest. It’s as though anyone who acts polite is really just a jerk who is too afraid to BE a jerk. That’s stupid. Everyone has jerky thoughts – we don’t have to state them outright simply because we thought them. The attitude to being courteous, or to censoring oneself, is often, “why should I?” That is also stupid. Why should you care about the people around you? Hmmm. I wonder… It seems ludicrous to me to demand that people treat you with respect and then turn around and say you won’t do the same because “that’s just how I am”. That is not an excuse to be a jerk, alright? Choosing not to state your opinion because you’re in a certain situation is not lying. Some times it’s just being considerate so that another person doesn’t feel like a bag of crap.
I have to wonder if Koharu’s attitude didn’t hurt Shige’s feelings a bit. Like, “I did all of that for you and you weren’t even listening? And now you’re talking smack about my group and telling people I feel that way too!??” It bothers me that that wouldn’t bother Koharu. I don’t find that sort of attitude charming. I don’t care who it is. END RANT.
We’re so distrustful of happy-endings and platitudes, aren’t we?
Is it really so impossible that Shige is satisfied being in the group right now? Yes, it’s one of those idol lines that sounds too-good-to-be-true, but it’s not as unbelievable as something like, “We’ve never known love because the fans are our loves!” Is it really so impossible that past members and current members do simply love the group, or grew to love it? Do people hate Momusu that much? No one could POSSIBLY have wanted to be in it-?
Or I am hopelessly naive-?
It IS possible to plan for the future while still enjoying what you’re doing. And nobody said it was easy, but does it have to follow that every single member of Momusu hates it?
The fact that Koharu didn’t audition for the group because she liked it is probably true for a lot of the girls, I’ll grant you. Some are probably just ambitious, some might have needed money, some might have wanted to audition for something else instead, but ended up there. During a totalizer segment on Utaban in 2006 (if I remember correctly) quite a few of the girls answered “no” when asked if they would still join the group if they could do it all over again. We didn’t find out which girls felt that way and there was lots of speculation, but I don’t think fans were particularly hurt by this. Plus, none of them talked about their male fans being tiresome. Ishikawa Rika made some comments, but she did it backstage and as far as I know, no one was supposed to hear that.
Saying something like that out loud, on a radio program, in front of someone who is still in the group is a little different. Koharu actually said it outloud and that makes it a million times more real that just implying it or talking around it. It might be true, but saying it like that really has the potential to hurt people. It’s also pretty rude.
Really, understand that Japanese culture is all about manners. Why do you think people bow to the frakkin’ phone!? It is important. We might find it ridiculous, but respecting your seniors, respecting social hierarchy is crucial in Japanese society. This was pointed out by Rob on a thread below the translation I’ve linked to. He’s actually pretty angry, much more than I ever have been about this, but I think he makes a valid point:
He writes, “I think Koharu’s manager must have had to apologize a shit ton after the show and you know what, I bet Koharu didn’t and probably for the life of her can’t figure out why anyone would get angry about her actions. If you still don’t get it, what Japanese people are upset about is that Koharu has literally used everyone for her own ends, all of the up front staff, managers, tsunku too. Now just doing that is fine but you always respect the people you “used” people like Sayumi for eg. You don’t say “was it really that hard??” and act all shocked, you apologize for your youthful behavior, thank Sayumi and you move on. You can keep your own private thoughts to yourself. I know it’s different to how things get done in the west but this is Japan.”
While bloggers seem to understand that Koharu is just being herself and find her honesty refreshing, a lot of them still recognize that her comments put others in awkward positions and maybe even hurt some people. I wish that she cared about that. Maybe she does, but we’ll never know.
The wota need to be addressed a bit here, or the “male fans”. A majority of the fanbase is old men who creep people out (I’m assuming). Why does it follow that they are all old men, or all perverts? I’m not saying no one is in it for suspect reasons, but I’m not assuming all are either. Why does it follow that there is NOTHING but those old men in the fanbase? Whoever your fans are, you don’t get to turn around and tell the people who literally invested in you that they were just a stepping stone to “better” fans.
Moment of devil’s advocate: She didn’t say “better” fans, just different. I understand she must be tired. If she didn’t get the image she wanted for Momusu and had to spend years projecting her Nutjob image for (in her eyes) a bunch of creeps who wanted her to act silly – then yeah, she must have been dying to be honest about this. But pick a more delicate way and leave Shige out of it. You should be mature enough to realize where you are, what position you’re placing your senpai in and why people might take offense.
I have to ask: WHY ARE YOU IN DREAM MOMUSU!? If even YOU don’t think you should be singing, then why are you? Is there someone forcing you to do this??
The last time I wrote something “mean” about Koharu, I got flamed. Every other comment is someone calling me something rude because I said she can’t sing. People are fiercely protective of her and I can respect that. I don’t hate her and I’m not going to dwell on this, but since it’s a recent story, I thought I’d comment. Writing things through always gets me to think it through also. So yeah, what she said irritated me, but my feelings towards her are still indifference.
Read it for yourself, or listen to it. Make up your own mind, especially if you’re a fan.
I asked myself if Yossy had said something like this, how would I react? Well, it would probably really upset me. Would I stop being a fan? Probably not. I’d probably rationalize it to myself somehow. So I get it. I really do. I think that the only generations in Momusu history who wanted to join the group because they liked the group are probably the second and fifth generations (a theory I won’t explain yet). As for the fourth and the sixth on? Not so sure. There are so many reasons someone would want to join.
Maybe for Shige it was initially just about
stalking Takahashi Ai for kissy-times fame. Maybe she grew to love the group – weirdo fans and all.
Forgive me, but I don’t think that’s impossible.