Restarting the Old Rusty Engine
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Friday, December 15, 2006

A Way Out for Yoshizawa Hitomi

Is there life after Morning Musume for Yoshizawa Hitomi?

Graduation is inevitable. Some day Yossie will have to break away from Morning Musume and start a solo career of her own, depending on UFA's plans of course. Right now, with so many kaisans and graduations happening this year, UFA is literally hugging her legs, begging her not to leave. But naturally, when it is her time to go, we have to start wondering if she can do fine by herself.

Currently, the thing that the media and the fans are concerned about Hitomi Yoshizawa is her tremendous weight loss, to a point that she looked too skinny and anorexic. Also concerned if Yossie can find a place in the entertainment biz other than celebrity sports, namely futsal. Ikimasshoi had covered this article.

I meant to write something about this long time ago, but I have nothing to counter with, except with my undying love and support for Yoshizawa Hitomi of the Golden Age 4th Gen Morning Musume. But now I do have some ideas, and it will be explained below.

In summary, Yoshizawa Hitomi or Yossie has been a favourite among fans. While she is not commended for her singing and dance, she was favoured for her outgoing personality and humorous character, and is admired especially by female fans. Within the Hello! Project, she is also most popular among the girls, which many have cited that if Yossie was a boy, "she" would be the perfect partner.

Yossie had gone through many transformation from childhood to adolescent, and from her debut in entertainement biz with Morning musume till now.

However, the sudden departure of Yaguchi Mari, the responsibility of a leader have fallen upon the shoulders of Yossie, and many have wondered if she was up to the task. I find that she took up the job rather well, cos' soon the fans forgotten about Yaguchi's scandal, and looked forward to young breed of Momusu under her leadership.

Time went by, with her active and grueling schedule of juggling between futsal and Momusu, Yossie had lost so much weight people are starting to worry for her. Tabloids had speculated all kinds of reasons for it. Health problem(anorexia), break-up with boyfriend, eating-disorder, over-worked... etc.

The news article mentioned above speculates that after our Yoshizawa Hitomi's graduation from Morning Musume, she has no where to turn to, other than futsal or any sports related work.

I think that's just a bit too narrow-minded. There are many possible ways Yossie can branch out other than sports.

Music Career
Skinny is not necessarily anorexic... in fact it's a body I know many girls would die for. "Skinny girls" or "Anorexic girls" can make it just fine in the mass media of Japan. If UFA can establish the right contacts, make the right strategies, Yossie can still perform as a recording artiste.

Take Hayami Kishimoto for example

I cannot help but notice the similarities between the two, not only the skinny arms and bony shoulders... it's the overall look. I swear, if Yossie goes Jpop, this would be a good preview on how she would probably look like.

Of course, Kishimoto is nothing like Yossie in person, but that's where Yossie can differentiate herself. I find that the one-time best friend and partner of Goto Maki can do well, if opportunities are given.

By the way, if you like Hayami Kishimoto, Japtard has two posts for your enjoyment here and here.

If Jpop is not Yossie's cup of tea, then there's always Hip Pop. And the best example would be Amuro Namie, Japan's self proclaimed Queen of Hip Pop.
Cannot picture Yoshizawa Hitomi in Hip Pop style? Here's a vid of Amuro in "Momusu Wonderful Hearts Land 2006"-like costume...

Video link here
There's also Pop Rock too. Otherwise, sticking to Jpop is just fine.

Another example would be Hitoto Yo, skinny too, but excellent voice and singing. Yossie cannot match with her of course, but if UFA is willing to invest their time and effort, she'll get somewhere close. Even, cutie-voiced Matsuura Aya is able to take a 180 degree turn to a mature-type singing and style now. So why not?

As you can see it's not impossible to be skinny, and yet be appealing to the mainstream at the same time. With the right song selection, packaging and promotion, she'll make it.

Acting Career
Yossie is not known for her acting, and had not been assigned to any major soap dramas before. Other than the time where she was casted as the lead role in a mini-drama, and another where she was casted as a receptionist. (Can't remember the titles now...) However, she is well known by all for her hilarious characters in Haromoni Skits. (Especially love that John Travolta and Ganko Itetsu ^_^) But Yoshizawa Hitomi has the looks of a jouyuu or actress. I especially loved how she looked with long hair during the Rainbow 7 time. This boyish and tomboy girl is deceivingly lady-like and beautiful.

With this kind of look, I think she can play some good J-Dramas.

If all else fails, there's always Takarazuka Revue.

I was SO mesmerized by Yossie's performance in Morning Musume's Ribbon no Kishi musical. I never knew that her vocal range can be so wide, and yet so solid when hitting the high notes.
I don't have the article clip with me now, but I remember reading that the reviewers were very impressed and praised Yossie and Miki's performance on the musical, especially their duet scene, adding that it was one of the highlights of the show. I get goosebumps everytime I recall that scene in my head. Mikitty is being Mikitty, her voice and style didn't change in Ribbon. But Yossie's different, and her portrayal of the Prime Minister character was great. (Her lower jaw still shifts to the right when she sings though ^_^)

Behold the next star of Takarazuka Revue...

We all know Takahashi Ai loves Takarazuka, theater and broadway. But she lacks the height. Limiting the type of roles that she can play, But Yossie on the other hand is different. Other than height, with her poise, confidence and singing she can be big in the theater scene. Probably it doesnn't suit her personal preference, I don't know. She probably would find the harsh world of theater too much for her to take, but we know she loves challenges and enjoys role playing, so it might work. She is the type that when put under a costume or guise, her mind warps into character. I think that Yossie can play any otokoyaku(man-role) in Takarazuka theater convincingly. Plus it is well known that Takarazuka actresses are popular and admired by the female fans, so Yossie may just fit right in.

To sum it up, Yoshizawa Hitomi can potentially have a great solo career after she graduates (Unless UFA messes it up). But for now, let's just enjoy watching her as the big mommy (or big daddy , if you will) of Morning Musume.


Rikki said...

I like this post, but I'm puzzled that the author says Yossie isn't commended for her singing and dancing. She's not the best dancer in MM, but she's not the weakest either. And as for her singing, she's nothing less than great. All the MM are, just as you would expect. They are chosen from among thousands and even Tsunku knows that the one thing that can't really be taught is natural singing ability; so he chooses great singers. Moreover, in "Ribbon ... ", Yossie proved that she is beyond great.

So, in addition to all the other possibilities that the author mentioned, I think JPop solo artist is a possibility for her too. She could have AT LEAST as good a career as any of the other H!P solo artists have had. In fact, I see no reason why she couldn't be another Ayumi Hamasaki.

I also think the author is putting too much emphasis on her skinniness and its affect on her future career; as though her current weight is going to be permanent. That's actually not very likely: she's had many looks and weights in the last 7 years. She was even a tad chubby at one point. She always tends to revert back to her natural weight. There's no reason to think that her current look isn't just one more temporary phase.

Mick a.k.a. jinryuichi said...

Thanks for comment, Rikki.^_^
But i think you misunderstood a few things.

Please read the full article, you'll see that I did not exclude the possibility of Yossie becoming a recording artiste. But there's a limit: Yossie can be solo Jpop Idol but NOT a Jpop Diva. It's difficult to assume Yossie to be the next Ayu, because she doesn't have a distinguished singing style.

To be clear, Yossie's singing has never been commended by critics. Personally, I think her voice is great, although her singing is inconsistent, especially when singing live. If her singing was a little more consistent, Tsunku would have given her more solo lines, instead of Ai-chan or Mikitty. If anyone remembers the 4th gen audition and Tsunku's comments, Yossie was chosen for her character and looks, not her singing/dancing.

Yossie had a solid performance in "Ribbon", but the perfectionist in me still noticed her mistakes, especially when she tried to sing the harmonies. But I'm captivated by her overall performance, and her singing with vibrato (which I have never seen her do before).

However, I agree with you that Yossie's weight may change later on, just as Nacchi did after her debut year. Please understand that I'm only highlighting her current weight, to prove a point that weight is never a problem to being successful.

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