May 26 2012
A in the past, there have been some bad, no, disastrous decisions by MM management. I’ll list a few:
1. No auditions for over 4 years. New members and auditions are the life-blood of Morning Musume. A lot of the fun of MM is watching the new girls grow and develop into amazing idols. Stagnant groups become boring to the general public, and right now, the idol loving crowd demands youth!
2. Releasing quite a few songs that are bland, forgettable, and completely out of touch with the kind of music that is popular right now. i.e. Onna ga Medatte naze ikenai?, and Seishun Collection
3. 8th gen. All of it. I’m sorry, but only choosing Aika, project girl, and rejecting Yuu and Sumire, among others, was a HUGE mistake. And while I loved JunJun and LinLin, they were Chinese, and the Japanese are a famously xenophobic people. The fact is, if you look at Mixi, sales, or any other measure of popularity, these three girls go down as some of the very least popular members in Morning Musume’s history
But now, now, they’re FINALLY getting it right. Doing what they should have been doing all along for the sake of their popularity. The return of the yearly auditions! Actually picking the RIGHT girls from the auditions instead of rejecting a girl because she’s “too talented” (hi Riho, Haruka, and Ayumi). There’s still room for the “project” girls, but they’ve gone back to balancing them with the girls who don’t need too much work. And even the “project” girls all bring something strong to the table (Haruna-looks, Zukki-personality, etc.)
Then there’s the music. Ok, Pyoko Pyoko was a bit of a hiccup, designed to say “Look! We have young people again!”, but Renai Hunter was a huge step in the right direction. Then we have this:
Oh. My. God. It’s so AWESOME!!! This may well be the “coolest” song that MM has ever done. Just look at how well they’re styled. Costumes are sexy but still cute, and the hair styles add a funky edge. Everyone looks so good! Ayumi is standing out in a major way. Haruka, good lord is she only barely 12, because she looks HAWT. I love how she basically said “yeah, I’m the youngest member in MM history, but screw the pigtails. I refuse to be cute and immature. I’m going to be badass”. Masaki is back to the hairstyle she had for the final audition, and it works so well on her! Mizuki is even more gorgeous than usual, and she’s really learning to work the natural sexy thing she has going on. And Riho! Anyone who ever doubted that she was ready to be one of the leads for the group should take a look at this (or the footage of the last concert). Everything from the facial expressions to the dancing to the singing is bursting with energy. She’s ready. And to top it all off, it seems like every girl gets at least one solo line, something sure to please fans of the less featured girls.
Does MM have a chance at recapturing the popularity they once had? I don’t want to be overly optimistic. They’ve got a lot of metaphorical “baggage”, but if they could ever have a chance to become big again, this is how they could do it.
As a side note, yeah the song is autotuned, and yeah it sounds like Kpop. But Kpop is huge in Japan right now, and MM’s never done a song in this style before. I’m sure the other A side will not be autotuned, and I’m convinced that this song will resonate really well with the Japanese audience. It’s cool. It’s catchy. It’s fierce. It’s the new and improved Morning Musume.