In Which Itsumo Genki is 11 Years Old


That’s right. It’s now been ELEVEN years, here at Itsumo Genki, the least prolific O.G of the blogging world ever.

In honour of my own work, I took some time to read through ALL of my eleven years old posts (well, more like ten, but today, technically it’s been ELEVEN years). It was sometimes hilarious, some times traumatizing, and definitely more embarrassing than I could have ever anticipated.


It was also a lot of fun. I hope those of you who have stumbled in here for the first time, or the millionth time, enjoy at least a few of these.

For the sake of the anniversaries I’ve neglected over the years, here are some recommendations from my eleven years of blogging about H!P.

(This is gonna be long and more about the blog than H!P – you’ve been warned.)

Continue reading “In Which Itsumo Genki is 11 Years Old”

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 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.”

Don’t Underestimate the Zuk!

zukkifromzukkilovetumblrI’m just going to put this out there: I love Zukki. It’s true that I feel strongly about her now because I had the opportunity to go to New York and see her perform and shake her hand. We had a moment and I still squee thinking about that. The thing is I had a lot of affection for her before any of that. This had nothing to do with my own weight, or with some feeling of pity for her and everything to do with the fact that from the start Zukki hasn’t been anything like any other member.

(fabulous gif from OtsukaKannon on tumblr)

Zukki has always been a hard character to pin down. She has been genki, but also oddly bashful, vulnerable and yet fearless (especially on variety). She began as a strange and funny character, doing impressions of bugs and such. Then it was like something changed and, yes, she gained some weight.

For a while it was hard to get her to talk, let alone be onscreen during appearances. She doesn’t get many singing lines and her dancing, despite improving, is hard to see when she’s always in the background. When she did get to talk she did some funny faces (that the agency asked her to do) and not much else, despite her variety talent. She did generally seem delighted with the other girls, like she was happy they were getting attention and didn’t want to get in the way of that.

She used to be a bit smaller, but she’s never been skinny the way that Iikubo or Ayumin are skinny and yet I’ve never heard her speak of dieting the way Konno or Ogawa used to. In Japan all they ever have to say to her is, “why so fat?” and yet when she came to New York, before she could even introduce herself, we all cheered so loud for her that we drowned out her mic.

Japan was absurdly shocked about this and the only explanation that they could come up with was, “she’s American-sized”. Zukki herself said this line also, because almost every post-NY interviewer asked her, “Why do they love you overseas?” like they couldn’t figure it out. It feels like a company line.


I’m going to have to talk about this, aren’t I?

I am so gonna get flamed…

Continue reading “Don’t Underestimate the Zuk!”

Isilie in New York: Part One – Da Line and Da Show


WE MADE IT!! The trip was exhausting beyond belief. I didn’t get any proper sleep from Friday until Monday afternoon. I dozed on the bus, but didn’t fall asleep at all (minus one measly hour on the way hour on the way home). We didn’t eat much except bagels here and there either. We got into New York around 11AM and got into line as soon as we found it. And there we waited. For almost four hours. Possibly more.

We weren’t VIPs, you see.
But it didn’t matter, really. Despite the bus, despite hunger, despite the cold, despite everything – we got in. We saw the concert. We shook their hands.

This might get sappy. Sorry, not sorry.
This is all from memories, so if I leave out details or get them wrong, it’s not intentional.

On to the show!

Continue reading “Isilie in New York: Part One – Da Line and Da Show”