In Which Platinum Gen Changed Everything: Part Three

PART THREE: Paving the way for Colourful Era

I still think the Platinum Era members of Momusu had it tough and it’s only now that people are realizing how amazing that group became. During promotions for their 20th anniversary, Shige said that if people were going to praise the members of that time, she wishes they would have done it back then. As Takahashi pointed out, “No one called it ‘Platinum’ at that time!” One of the most frustrating things they heard back then was, “What is Morning Musume up to nowadays?”

There were many factors contributing to their lack of popularity in Japan, but one of the major ones I cited was the appearance of AKB48. They were younger, newer, they were more accessible (at the time) and they had the variety emphasis Momusu no longer had. Momusu had to figure out what it wanted to be in the bridge period between the Golden Era and whatever they were to become. I think people generally agree that their Golden Era ended when Yossy graduated, but the usual transition was interrupted by Fujimoto Miki unexpectedly resigning to be with the man she eventually married (“Shoujiiiiii!”). Until Tsunku could find our ninth generation, Momusu had to recreate itself without their senpai to help.

One of the main things I kept seeing in blogs was ranting about ‘stagnation’ and it still bothers me. For a period of such immense changes, people didn’t seem to see anything but the lack of auditions and reliance on the same types of songs for each new release. I’m going to try and explain why I feel they didn’t stagnate; in fact, I think their development raised the bar for future generations and paved the way for the Colourful Era.

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In Which BOSS Leaving Isn’t Even the Half of it.

I am shocked.

I’m disappointed.

Mostly, I’m just shocked.

I had no idea. NONE. Like everyone else (at least everyone I’ve read), I assumed that Iikubo or maybe Fuku-hime would be next in line to graduate. See, we were all thinking about ages, huh? We didn’t think about one of the girls actually wanting to leave, because she honestly loves acting more than idol-ing.

It happens, people. Even to those who pwn our idol socks right off.

I was all ready to start posting about Kudo’s graduation, but then the bizarre revival of the shuffles happened and now I don’t even know where to start…So I split things up and I’ll just focus on one at a time.

Let’s pretend for a moment BOSS graduating is still all there is to it…

And while I’m at it, sneak in a small pv review.

Continue reading “In Which BOSS Leaving Isn’t Even the Half of it.”

In Which it’s Been 20 Years of Momusu.

I don’t think I can express to you what Momusu means to me. I haven’t been a fan since the beginning, of course. I don’t live in Japan, can barely speak/understand the language (workin’ on it!) and can only understand idol culture on a surface level. What I can do is come out of my long hiatus, full of writer’s block and lack of motivation, to tell you about what being a fan of Momusu for the last ten years has meant to me.

(Unless otherwise stated, all caps/gifs are from random google-searches/tumblrs – not mine!)

Continue reading “In Which it’s Been 20 Years of Momusu.”

In Which Platinum Gen Changed Everything

PART ONE: The Ace Question

resonant

There is no other period of Morning Musume history that gets more criticism, insults, and terrible reviews than the Platinum Generation. At least there isn’t to my knowledge and I’ve been in this fandom for a decade now (wow, who else feels old?). It’s strange to me, who became a fan in late 2006, that this era is now becoming a bit as mythical as the Golden Age. Obviously it’s nowhere near as admired and lusted after, but people now seem to acknowledge how spoiled we were back in the age of JunLin, Takahashi Ai and, depending on your level of crack-consumption, Miracle-Ace Koharu. Since the kyuukies, the polish of the group with only three newbies has gone down. The vocals aren’t as strong, for example and mileages vary on performance level.

In one of her many awesome posts, Magi-kat made the point that there is a whole generation of new Momusu fans who are used to the conditions of one or two members getting all the solo lines, the relentlessly pushed ‘Ace’ member carrying all the pressure, and members staying in the group for decades. That was simply never the norm until Platinum Era.

So what was the Platinum Generation/Era? Why did people hate it so much if it created a generation of fans? Why is the question of the Ace so important for people now?

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The H!P Kidz are Movin’ On

C ute, cuteHagiwara Mai, Nakajima Saki, Okai Chisato, Suzuki Airi, Yajima Maimi-648353As you’ve no doubt read/heard/are aware, C-ute, the last of the original H!P kids have come to that ever looming question: What do we do when we’re all 20 years old? Well, apparently the agency gave them two options: leave H!P but continue to make music, or disband altogether. Out of loyalty to H!P, or perhaps just a natural desire to try new things now, the girls decided to disband in June 2017, after their giant Super Arena show.

And once again, I called it. I remember writing at some point, I think last year, that C-ute would only last until Brat turned 20, then they’d probably go the way of Berryz. I don’t feel triumphant about knowing this though. Being right in this situation just plain sucks.

(Just a note: I won’t be commenting on what they plan to do after they disband or about their graduated members. I simply don’t know enough to comment. )

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Momusu’s Vision in a Corner of Tokyo…on SATURDAY NIGHT!

tkb6PSEI want you to know I really tried.

I started capping for this pretty early, when the first pv hit. Then came The Vision and then FINALLY our Zukki center (sorta). As always, time got away from me and I wasn’t able to even gather my thoughts before the three pvs were out and the single had already been released. And then time zoomed along even faster and now Zukki has already graduated.

*sigh* I’m so old now.

I think this is a particularly interesting triple-a, because unlike the last three times, it feels like the three singles come from three different times in Momusu history. Allow me to explain…

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In Which Isilie Reviews 2015: Triple-A-Sides all around!

tumblr_nv56opi5r31u3sw5uo1_1280I know I didn’t post much this year…again. And I apologize for that. Real life took up a lot of time and a game series called Dynasty Warriors (full disclosure). Plus the excessive amount of triple-a-sides for every group, every release, overwhelmed me a little. There’s still a forth-coming post about Imasugu Tobikumo Yuuki…

Anyway, usually at the end of the year I post about everything that I liked , or interesting things I saw during the year around H!P. It’s an Itsumo Genki tradition and even if no one reads this anymore, I still feel I have to write one or the year can’t really end.

I’ve gotten more and more sick of my own format though. Especially since I don’t post as often anymore, it doesn’t make sense to really call it a review of the year. I can’t think of much of anything that I covered, except, of course, for Momusu. So, let’s keep the title, for old times sake.

Here is what I loved and didn’t love in 2015.

(Just a heads up: I have nothing to say about C-ute or Country Girls, for various reasons, none of which mean that I hate them. I didn’t invest much time in C-ute and Country Musume has yet to bleep my radar. Plus, Momo still frightens me.)

Continue reading “In Which Isilie Reviews 2015: Triple-A-Sides all around!”

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…

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In Which Isilie Reviews 2012 ~~

http://idolgallery.boingo.jp/Well, the world is still around and that means Isilie must write a post to sum up another year of H!P.

I used this picture since I think it kinda sums up how Momusu has been moving. They’re moving forward so rapidly lately, with new members all over the place, new song styles, new colours for certain members and graduations, oh MY, the graduations.

I wanted to do something a little different this year than just simply a bunch of “this is what I liked”s. If you’ve been reading this you probably already know that I’ve not really covered Berryz, C-ute, or anyone else on this blog this year. Working full-time made it much harder to cover things as well as I would have liked. I will give you a short summary of what I loved this year from Momusu and then I thought I’d talk about some things that I never got around to posting about.

Thanks everybody, for stopping by (even if, like about 60% of visitors, you’re just trolling for ‘jailbait’.)! I even had the pleasure and shock of realizing I have adorable people who love this blog and read it regularly. That honestly has made my year. It was so humbling and made me so happy! Thank you!!

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In Which a small Dream (sorta) Comes True

“Morning Musume daisuki.”

Pretty much since 2008, I’ve been saying that Mame (Gaki-san, but for the sake of nostalgia I will be calling her Mame in this post) should have had a solo release. I really wanted her to go solo, even for just one song. Not just in concert, but proper. Like Takahashi did. Like all these other ones (some of whom CAN BARELY SING).

Like…come ON!!!

Well, now I’ve not only got the gorgeous version of Egao ni Namida she did for her last Momusu release, but I’ve got a whole album of solos from the lovely Mame to look forward to. I already have her Hello!Cover album and I must say, of all the cover albums, hers is the one I love the most. Not one but TWO Nacchi songs on there!!! She does her audition song too (Love Namida Iro)!!! *squee*

Mame can rock the house but she’s also capable of being soothing, soft and feminine. I absolutely adore her voice. It’s nice when songs you didn’t really pay attention to become beautiful in the hands of another singer. It’s interesting. I understand she wants to act now, but at least I kinda, sorta got my wish before it was too late.

Solo Niigaki album ftw!!!

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