Thursday, June 10, 2010

Has Morning Musume Been Betrayed?




Has Morning Musume been Betrayed?

Morning Musume has another #1 single, that would be great if it was not for two things,
This single won the#1 rank with sales of 15,525. Around 1,000 lower then their last release and not even on the same planet as AKB48 or the fact that they just beat Idoling!!! Who comes in at #2 with 14,510.

I would be happy if this was not an embarrassment in terms of sales, what Morning Musume was and what Morning Musume has become.

It`s not their fault but their agencies fault and sadly none of us have a say so in the situation short of not buying the product and that is happening more often with each passing single.

Since this lineup has become “the” Morning Musume, UFA/Hello! Project has wasted every opportunity handed to them by mainstream media and fan loyalty. Every group not named Morning Musume has gained from being on the recent Music Japan special .Morning Musume for their part came dressed in a costume more suited for a festival tent and had a half hearted performance. Moreover, their appearance showed in these sales results.

This goes much deeper then half hearted performances ,costumes ,videos or even the songwriter .Lets look at how this lineup has been treated ,they were poorly prepared to take over from the OG as most of the nation can not even name who is in the group now . A point that Sayumi found out on a TV show, when random people picked former members off a picture board and she was holding the picture board, with her picture on it as well.

The management allowed this lineup to be disrespected and walked over by the hosts of Utaban, who at one point interviewed singing cats 2 minutes into an interview with Morning Musume. Other times they completely ignored the current events related to Morning Musume`s appearance, to talk about members who had not been in the group for at least 4-7 years.

If you watched Utaban regularly, then you are aware that comedy was a big part of the broadcast, however no single artist was treated with so little respect as the current lineup for Morning Musume .Again not the fault of the members, their management should have stopped this situation after the first taping break.

Members?
Many fans have regarded Tsunku as a genius when it comes to member selections , Up-Front chairman Yamazaki Naoki also carries a lot of say in who enters or leaves Morning Musume. Their recent additions to the group were Kusumi Koharu, Mitsui Aika, JunJun and LinLin. It`s a subject for individual fans to decide, if these members have made a shift in sales or popularity in favor of or against Morning Musume. There are six idols that auditioned for Morning Musume who were not selected, who are now making important or growing impacts to their groups.

They are Idoling!!! #12 Kawamura Yui, SKE48`s Momona Kitou,
Furukawa Airi and AKB48`s Umeda Ayaka ,Satou Sumire and Kashiwagi Yuki .The three AKB48 members by the way combined for 20,556 Senbatsu votes ,that is more then the total sales of Morning Musume`s current release.

Casual Fans
Hello! Project has done a poor job in reaching out to the casual fan and to female fans. It`s only been recently that Hello! Project has reached out to female fans again, by giving them limited promotional events. There are no promotions or contests that target school students, something that AKB48 has used in the past to break away from the grip of wotas.

It seems that over the years that Hello!Project has worked harder to push away from the original crossover appeal that the OG created to make the entire agency 100% wota supported .There is nothing wrong with being 100% wota supported if you are a new idol unit ,it is if you have been around for 13 yrs .

When you watch a random music variety show that mentions Morning Musume without them being on it, two things seem to happen #1 most the guests cannot even name a current member outside of one or two. #2 Most everyone can remember the costumes that Morning Musume performed in to support Love Machine.

For whatever their reasons the agency has pushed their artists to be completely dependent on wotas ,who some have a questionable attitude towards other idols, fans and cause trouble at TV events .Not all mind you as most are real cool fans , just enough to push some female and casual fans and certain TV programs away .

They have managed it seems to get most major TV programs to blacklist them, notice how Idoling!!! Can be on Music Station, yet an artist that has a sales record on the level of Pink Lady cannot.

Betrayal?
Has Morning Musume been betrayed? Morning Musume is what it is an idol group. Wotas from the time that the genre was created have played a center role for idol groups .Without them, there would be no genre to support, Agencies pushing sales to them goes with the product , so set them to the side in all of this as all idols have wotas.

It was not long ago that we were all wondering if Morning Musume`s next single will cross 70,000 to a 100,000 and the race to catch AKB48 is on. Now we are faced with a new reality, AKB48 is on a far different level then Morning Musume .AKB48 is not the enemy as many fans would like to believe . Morning Musume now finds themselves in an even larger danger of being passed by Idoling!!! As the #2 idol group. Yes, Morning Musume entered the charts at #1 again; however, they did so in a weak sales day and just beat Idoling!!! , so it`s a hollow victory, that was planed from the start by management, to justify their half hearted work.

So many things have resulted in this situation, so Morning Musume in a way has been betrayed, but not by what you may think.

Morning Musume has been betrayed by the sands of time. Morning Musume has been around 13 yrs, the spark has left them and a need for new fresh members and fresh ideas has never been more urgent then it is right now or the sands of time will run out.

Then again, maybe the sands of time have already run out and we just simply stopped looking at the hourglass.

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Footnote:
As this article will soon be a year old, is still being read today, and will be for the years to come, some historians and future fans may be wondering what single sold those figures for the week. The sales totals at the start of this article are opening day sales totals, not weekly. That note should have been made clearer.

A personal note.

This is a note to everyone involved in the making of this article.
Remember when we stood at looked at the storm clouds over the Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo Bay, wondering if this idol industry would ever change. It`s funny how a year later the members of a new  generation ,have pushed away the gathering storm clouds and the sun is now shining on the Rainbow Bridge and excitement and rebirth have replaced that same hourglass.

Rainbow Bridge

5 comments:

  1. Great article, something interesting to think about.

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  2. I really think some wotas (but I can't say for sure... I don't live there, and only know so much about Morning Musume) or just fans... have lost interest in MM and have ventured to some other fandom...

    MM has had a long history, it's been 13 years that's a great accomplishment. But I think as technology and time moves forward, so does MM.

    However that, as you said, needs the agency or the manager/producer/CEO to change their plans with this group of young girls.

    They have great potential, Jun Jun especially, if they just appeared on variety shows, or one of their own.

    I agree with what you've said in the article.. No doubt that the future for them is really uncertain... =S

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  3. Wotas tend like unknown idols, as they feel they do not have to share them. Underground idols, smaller idol groups and the unknown members of AKB have taken a number of wotas. The older and more popular a group gets, without new members bringing life into the group, the less interest they have. Very few of AKB48`s members are popular, so it`s easier to walk away from Musume for them. I even have friends who did it .They see Musume as being unable to be saved.

    S/mileage will take fans from all of H!P as they are fresh idols .Wotas will feel the need to support them more.

    Most casual fans do not even know that they were still active. Many people think the group ended in 2004. They are surprised to find out they are still active, that is how unknown they are to casual fans.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Having recently found out about Morning Musume, I agree with your article and your observations have been found to be correct. Morning Musumes biggest threat has been ... Dream Morning Musume. Everyone knows who is in Dream Morning Musume, but no one knows about current Morning Musume 14

    ReplyDelete

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