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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Brand New Ace Formation

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We’re back everybody (and once again, I’m absurdly behind in my reviews)! After a brief and glorious respite from the heavy formation choreography and the blatant pushing of an Ace member – it’s all made a comeback in Brand New Morning, Momusu’s declaration of war on 2017.

Ok, well it’s actually not a war declaration. It’s an uplifting song about moving forward in confusing times and using all your power for good and so forth; it’s the usual morning fare with perhaps a whiff of politics (although to say this song is about Trump seems stupid to me). But this is a BRAND NEW morning (get it?) and we have two fabulous new members to shake things up.

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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 Sexy-Cats have Spoken.

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So let’s do the last-minute-a-couple-days-till-the-year-ends reviews! This triple-a side is another one of those record-making, number-one-at-least-for-a-day singles. I am not very surprised. Minus Sou ja Nai, which for me is the weakest, it’s an incredibly strong single.

Sexy Cat Story was the first pv to be released and with such a ridiculous name I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean, I expected kitty-ears of course, but not much else. I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, the pv actually has some direction this time! I’ve been waiting to see that since 2015’s Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru.

I just thank my lucky stars that Winky isn’t here anymore.
*shudder*

Continue reading “The Sexy-Cats have Spoken.”

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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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

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The Lost Posts: 2015 Like a Waterfowl…yes.

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[JAN 29, 2016: So here we are in 2016 and I never finished this post. I capped the hell out of this pv and I had basically the entire entry done, but I just never got around to finishing. It would be a waste to scrap it, so I decided to finish it now. I started it before Tsunku’s revelation about his vocal chords and before we knew he’d stopped producing, so bear that in mind while reading. I apologize for being so late.]

This is the last of our triple-a side pvs. This is also the only song that wasn’t penned by Tsunku. It’s becoming a thing for each group to have three singles in one and while it’s unusual for anyone else to write for Momusu, it seems like something we can expect now.

This would be the song that doesn’t sound precisely like a Momusu song. Maybe that’s why it isn’t really my favourite of the three.

Continue reading “The Lost Posts: 2015 Like a Waterfowl…yes.”

Oh! My WISH!

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Don’t hide your faces Momusu. We know you’ve taken a risk again.
And we LOVED it!
At least people are probably saying it’s a risk…

We have the beginning of another triple-a side with three stunning pvs, but I saw this one first and in the traditional Isilie way, I capped it the way I capped One.Two.Three way back when the ‘colourful’ era began. For the sake of honesty, my favourite of the three songs is Sukatto my Heart, but this one, for obvious reasons, is the first of the posts.

Let me just echo basically everyone by saying, FINALLY!!!

Continue reading “Oh! My WISH!”