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.

Continue reading “In Which Platinum Gen Changed Everything: Part Three”

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

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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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In Which Isilie Reviews 2016: New Hope

krwbhicI won’t promise you that I’ll post more next year, because I do that almost every year and fail. I will say that my fandom is not over, even if I don’t post much, and if I have something to talk about, I will talk about it. I think the unceremonious (for me) loss of Idolminded put a huge dent in my motivation. Pretty feeble, I know. I didn’t realize how much I relied on it and took it for granted.

For those unaware, Idolminded (originally International Wota) was a site that gathered different articles/posts from the idol blogosphere for people to easily access. Sometimes they’d just describe the articles, but sometimes they’d comment on them, or feature them specifically, especially if multiple authors had weighed in on a certain subject.

I received so much encouragement, in regards to my writing, and so much information, in regards to the fandom. Because of this site, people started to read mine and I’ve always been humbled and grateful for that. In October 2015 they stopped posting. I hello_project-673768haven’t been able to discover why, but I’m guessing it’s just that real life became more important and that is absolutely understandable.

I just want to thank anyone and everyone involved in that site, if they are reading this, for all the confidence you’ve given me over the years and all your hard work. You have no idea how much you’ve helped this community. And I hope we’ll all keep writing and finding each other as long as this fandom continues. m (_ _) m

I really should try out some forums, huh?

Anyway, I didn’t post much this year, of course, but that’s not to say I didn’t notice anything that happened. Like I said, I felt a distinct lack of motivation. I think I’ve stopped thinking of posting as fun and started to feel obligated. I don’t like that. I don’t see why it can’t be both. H!P is still a great love of mine, after all.

Despite what so many say, I don’t think H!P ever really stagnates, it just doesn’t always change as fast as people want, or in the way that people expect. In fact I think sometimes the problem is the opposite: that H!P stays the same for a while and people have no attention span don’t like that.

Before we look forward, let’s look back a bit, shall we?

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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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The Lost Posts: 2014 Password is Catchy!

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[POST DATE: So here is another one that I wrote way back in 2014…and never finished. I can’t remember where I was going with it, but since it’s long enough that deleting it would be a waste, I’m going to give you what I had already. Then, just like the previous ‘Lost Post’ we’ll wrap up with a pic spam. I apologize that this is now a year or so late.]

Momusu is back in commercials, ladies and gents. And the result is catchy, catchy stuff. I don’t actually mind the fact that this song was written so that they could sell cell phones (or cell phone plans…whatever). In fact, I’d actually love a compilation of all their commercial jingles. There was this song they did for an iced tea commercial back in 2001 that I really loved…

I’m getting off-topic. Since that sort of compilation is impossible, I can at least be content with this catchy piece of work. The single, along with the other A-side (that’s a different post) has already achieved another number one for our girls AND a new record for the group: 5 consecutive number ones on Oricon weekly single ranking. That has never happened in the history of the group before. First week sales?

119,000 copies.

XD

Continue reading “The Lost Posts: 2014 Password is Catchy!”

In Which Ace will be Missed.

NbpJP1RfPNL_oSvYW5qGlFX7k7cOur beloved class president, Sayashi Riho/Ace/Riho-Riho is going to graduate from Morning Musume.
In just two months, on December 31st.
My brother chuckled when he read this and said, “Hm, just like Goto.”

He didn’t seem surprised at all. I, of course, was flabbergasted. I mean, the ace graduate? After only 5 years?

Then I realized, as most already have, that a 5 year stint isn’t that unusual. In fact, before Platinum Era, it was pretty much the norm for a momusu member. I just didn’t think it would be her, of all people. I think I was expecting someone like Iikubo, not because she’s necessarily done, but because of her age (unfair, but a thing).

Nobody else seems that surprised. I’ve even seen that word again, the one that haunted the Platinum era to the point that it lost all meaning: stagnating. Nothing the group does is good enough for people any more and so everything that does happen is all so very predictable. *sigh*

Riho has said that she wants to pursue other adventures, among them studying dancing abroad. She’s apparently been worrying about this for a while, which might explain her being absent (due to poor health – perhaps stress leave of some sort?) and otherwise oddly distant lately.

So, what does this mean for Momusu?

Continue reading “In Which Ace will be Missed.”

Momusu goes Chicky-boom (also: I’m back!! XD)

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I’m sorry, but does anybody else hear that? Tikibun sounds like ‘chicky-boom’ to me, every single time. Makes the record-scratching motion that makes up most of the choreography much funnier. Is that really the onomatopoeia you want to use there? Well, I guess if Berryz is retiring going on hiatus (post on that is coming), someone has to keep up the good ol’ ‘H!P MC’ tradition. And honestly, I can’t think of a word that could possibly represent the sound a record makes when scratched.

Gonna give you this one, Tsunku. Congratulations on being in remission. We’re all relieved and happy for you. ^_^

I wonder what that MC/DJ record thing has to do with the meaning of the song itself-
You know what, let’s just move on.

It’s probably Michishige’s last pv with Momusu, minus her solo which I’m certain will get the pinkest pv since…ever. I think it’s out now and I’ve not seen it yet, but I’m right, aren’t I? I feel so rusty at this, but let’s have a go anyway.

Chicky-BOOM!

(PS: All gifs from here. Thank you!)

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Ayu-Ri, Ikemen, and dancing, oh my!

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What isn’t to love about Momusu’s Kimi wa Kawari wa Iyashinaide pv? Let’s not complain about how we’ve seen green-screen before because we should be used to that by now. I haven’t seen a pv with an actual story or concept since maybe The Manpower (Ogawa taking a big bite of pumpkin is awesome. Who wouldn’t choose pumpkin over celery?). We’ve seen everything in this pv before. The choreography is a mix of the jumps and flails and lurches we’ve already seen and the song is robo-musume to the core with that one dipping note that’s in every song (“SOooooOH!).

I’ve still enjoyed them all. This one didn’t even register as more-of-the-same because it’s so awesome. One could argue that I’m just used to it now, but that would be grumpy of you and we’re having a GENKI 2014 dammit!

I said I didn’t have time to pic-spam anymore (and I really don’t), but I still found myself capping away because I love this song and pv so much. I really hope this triple-a-side thing works out well for them.

I’d get the single for this song alone.

Continue reading “Ayu-Ri, Ikemen, and dancing, oh my!”