Morning Musume Tenth Gen Audition Finalists Named; A S/mileage Sub Member Is Already Leaving

Morning Musume 10th Generation Final Ten – Pure Idol Heart
Morning Musume 10th generation audition footage released! – Happy! Go! Lucky!
Morning Musume: 10th Gen Finalists Revealed! – Okay! Musume Time
Morning Musume’s 10th Generation Finalists Revealed – Hello! SayuNii
Morning Musume’s 10th Gen Finalists!!! – Idols and Hollywood

“The Smileage official site has just announced that… – Idols and Hollywood
Kosuga Fuyuka To Leave S/mileage, Diagnosed With “Severe Anemia” – Hello! SayuNii
S/mileage Sails Another Ship – Kosuga Fuyuka to Lave S/mileage! – Okay! Musume Time

So now we know the ten finalists and some of these girls will go on to join a group that was legendary and much revered before a certain fifth gen Bastion of Blandness ruined it for everybody. But maybe one or two of these girls will be the one to re-invigorate the group, to breathe new life that will make Japan stand up and take notice and stop asking where Nacchi and Gocchin had gone and who are all these strange little girls scurrying around in their place.

The big disappointment right now is that Karin wasn’t part of the ten – only one Egg did make it through, actually. However, Ado of Hello! SayuNii points out that just because she isn’t in this training camp doesn’t mean she hasn’t done such camps already and will still get to join, as that was what happened with ninth gen’s Mizuki. Jess of Happy! Go! Lucky! is more pessimistic, pointing out that “Tsunku rarely goes for the obvious”. Idols and Hollywood has a great theory that Karin and the S/mileage finalists who didn’t get in are being prepped for a whole new unit. It could make for a welcome surprise if Karin does re-appear in Momusu or in a new unit, but I ain’t holding my breath.

All five of the tenth audition posts are worth a read – each of them gives their own assessment of each girl, and it’s fun to see what becomes a focus and what doesn’t. Chiima of Okay! Musume Time goes the extra distance by trying to give each of these girls a mnemonic-friendly nickname, which is very much appreciated. Murakami Sara seems to be getting a lot of love from the wotasphere due to her singing ability and looks. Personally, she’s the only one that caught my eye, so I guess I’m rooting for her sorta. Ayumi is getting love as well, and Gaki of PIH thinks her time as a Dorothy Little Happy back dancer will help.

One has to wonder about the dynamic each girl could bring to the group if they joined, though there’s no real way to figure it out at this stage. Riho is apparently trying to position herself as the new Queen Shit Of Fuck Mountain, and Winky won’t let go of her stranglehold on front girl status. Whether or not any of these auditionees will be able to grab the spotlight as readily as Riho did remains to be seen, though maybe the karate girl can kick some ass or the Student Council girl can arrange for some teamsters to break legs or something. At least we should all be thankful that these girls won’t fall under Takahashi Ai’s influence, so they’re already better off than the recent generations before them.

(Speaking of which, I’ve heard rumors that Takitty used to make the new members pleasure her by providing the direct feed for coprophagic meals… Oh wait, that’s not a rumor, that’s a fanfic I started and threw away for being too disgusting. And derivative of Gravity’s Rainbow. But hey, we can all MAKE it a rumor in honor of Takitty’s much-desired and too-long-awaited graduation! So pass that tidbit along the playground, folks! By the time I’m through, the audience will be hoisting rakes and torches instead of glowsticks at Takitty’s final concert.)

So wait, where was I? Oh yeah. The ten finalists for tenth gen look… very young. And for me to say that is kind of weird, I know, but that does tie in with what Gaki wrote about long-term planning for Morning Musume and future units. Idols and Hollywood also wants the sixteen-year-old Ikubo Haruna to at least make the cut, since there’s a widening age gap between the older members and the newer ones.

As a former H!P fan waiting for the right reason to jump back in, I can’t say with certainty that any of these tenth gen girls will be enough to return to the fold. I had originally been enchanted with Aika when she joined, but that faded soon enough. I expressed great enthusiasm for ninth gen but again I never really got hooked with the singles that followed. And while tenth gen certainly looks promising talent-wise, I don’t feel the same spark that I did upon seeing GP Basic’s Hannah, or GP Basic’s Amet, or GP Basic’s Trinity, or… Well, you get the idea.

But you never know. And on some level, I do remain hopeful. Morning Musume continues to reconstruct itself, to build up after some necessary tearing-down. You never know what can spring up from the rubble in these situations.

And in related Hello! Project news, it’s been announced that second gen S/mileage member Kosuga Fuyuka is leaving the group because of “severe anemia”. Once she recovers, she can return as a Hello! Project Egg and resume her idol career. The suddenness of the news is a shock to everyone, and Ayuchii of Hello! SayuNii notes how bad the timing is for S/mileage to suffer another loss. Chiima makes an interesting point that “I haven’t seen an intelligent looking girl like Fuyuka since KonKon”, which I don’t quite get but would love to hear more about. And of course, there’s good luck wishes and the hopes that Fuyuka has a full recovery with a life in the Eggs waiting for her.

I guess the question now is, will they try to replace Fuyuka with another finalist? I just have to ask, since it IS bad timing and a “Sub” member won’t feel like as much of a commitment, I guess. And for that matter, is there any confirmation yet that the Momusu tenth gen who make it through won’t also be subs? The training camp makes me think it’s less likely, but you never CAN tell with H!P, so… Hopefully we’ll find out soon enough on all this.