This Isn’t Really About Mano…

vlcsnap-2013-02-14-05h52m25s85…Despite the picture here and the fact that she inspired this post.  This is really more an excuse to talk about that lovely H!P trend of the pre-graduation power-up that always seems to happen when o+e of our girls is about to leave.

Yossy’s graduation is when I first started to notice this. I got into Momusu and Yossy about a year before she graduated. Yossy was one of those members who went through several transformations during her tenure – when she woke up one morning and decided she was made of win, it was impossible not to take notice.

It also happened with Takahashi recently.
It happened with Kamei before her.
And there was Mame…there’s really too many examples.

I’m thinking this might be the case with Mano. As she graduates in a matter of days…


The only thing that ever interested me about Mano was the conviction that Goto Maki and Shige had somehow spliced their genes together to create her. She has half of Goto’s talent and attractiveness, and half of Shige’s cuteness and charm. And look at those cheeks. And the nose and the eyes. The shape of the smile-?

This is probably just a result of Tsunku (or whomever) choosing the same looks over and over again, but still…

(When did she turn 21!? She’s frakin’ ageless!!)

The thing with Mano was always that her voice was just a little too light. She was a little too…little. So I just had very little interest. Some of her more upbeat singles like Genkimono de Ikou were kinda fun, but I had that same problem. I enjoyed her enough to not skip her performances anymore when I watched concerts, but not enough to investigate her pvs or anything.

Then I watched Hello! Project Tanjou 15th Anniversary Live Summer 2012 ~Kitakore Natsu no Fan Matsuri!~ and we didn’t skip her performance of Song for the Date.

And I really liked it.

The song, her presence on stage, all of it. She really seemed comfortable and her voice was stronger than I’d ever heard it. This may just be because she’s more comfortable with songs like that and it’s obvious that after years doing this, she’s going to be better and stronger. Maybe it’s just because she’s leaving and once they’re ready to go, they seem more interesting.0

Still…it made me appreciate that pre-graduation glow that so many girls in H!P seem to get before they leave. Particularly, of course, in Momusu.

The glorious days of Yossy with her power-hair. The Takahashi grad that was so much fun and yet so emotional. Mame suddenly becoming a powerhouse to the extent that she converted Eri-pon forever. Kamei waking up on the day of the Resonant Blue pv filming and deciding that she was the best dancer Momusu was going to have for years. I love watching the girls grow, but this sort of pre-graduation awesome is so much fun.

img20130209155353891Winky is the next to leave (YAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!) and so I’m expecting tons of love and kind reminiscing from her blogging fans. I expect her to get a lavish graduation concert, with so many accessories that the giant-bow-shaped stage ends up looking like some sort of shiny monster with floating heads and limbs. I also expect her to become so beloved that Momusu will suddenly be doomed.

This will give her a power-up.

Psychology and marketing go hand in hand. These graduations seem to make people forget their criticisms (I won’t though – not for Winky.) for a moment and have a wistful appreciation for the girl. Then there is management who is likely going to push her as much as possible – because this is your last chance to see this girl being an idol!!! (it probably isn’t) – not to mention cash in large on items that “she made herself” or the tempting but vague promise that she had “lots of input”.

There’s some more power for ya.

Then there is the girl herself. She might put on her rose-coloured glasses and feel like her group is more dear to her than ever and she’ll do everything in her power to leave it better than when she joined. Or maybe it’s the opposite and she’s relieved she’s finally going to be able to leave the idol life and try something new. She can create a new career for herself now that the idol career has come to close (if such a career ever does). This feeling creates a certain recklessness. Maybe she’ll be louder or bolder than she was before. Maybe she’ll dance a little sharper, or sing a bit better. Maybe she’ll even do something a bit nuts and change her appearance.

I mean, what are they going to do, fire her?

“I was in Morning Musume for 10 years, but I was always told, “Go forward more.” I was told things like, “When I look at Takahashi, I always think, ‘If only she would come forward more,’ ” (laughs). I was told that, but at the time, I didn’t really understand what it meant. I thought, “Huh? But I’m working hard, though. What does ‘go forward’ mean?” But towards the end when my graduation was set, it was so much fun. I got to do whatever I wanted, like suddenly dyeing my hair blonde and stuff (laughs). And then, maybe it was during the Hello cons close to my graduation? That staff member came to watch the concert and told me, ‘This is what I mean, Takahashi.’ “From Blog Project

I wonder how this is going to manifest with Winky.

Don’t you worry. I’ve got something planned for that one.

*evil cackle*


Anyway, pointless as this post was, it amazes me how many ways idols can get under your skin.


2 thoughts on “This Isn’t Really About Mano…

  1. You don’t realise something or someone is important until they are gone…it seems to be the case with fans and their idols. Was never a fan of Mano but I’m sure she will be missed when she graduates and I hope she goes on to greater things just like Reina will do with her band and many other past H!P acts who are still doing well in the entertainment business.

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