Restarting the Old Rusty Engine
(For the 2nd Time too)

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Chinese Musume? Taiwan Morning Musume?

I haven't been following the Chinese entertainment scene for a long, long time. I mentioned before, ask me anything about the Japanese music scene, and I will give you a long lecture from the history of it, right up to the current chart-topping songs and artistes. As for the Chinese showbiz, be it China, Hong Kong or Taiwan. I am absolutely clueless. If we were in war times, I would have been sentenced to be shot to death........ How much should I pay for each bullet? ^_^

Recently this has come to my attention: a Taiwanese girl-group 黑澀會美眉 (pronounced "hēisèhuì měiméi", which I will refer to as HSHMM for short in this post), whom was dubbed the "Taiwanese version of Morning Musume".

From what I found out, HSHMM was born out of Taiwanese Channel V variety show 我愛黑澀會 or 我愛黒渋会 (wo ai heisehui, which I will refer to as WAHSH for short), hosted by Chen Jian Zhou or commonly known as "Blackie", and is currently the highest rating show of Taiwan Channel V. The participating girls, commonly referred to as as 美眉 (meimei), will enter an elimination contest-audition, in which the winning participants will join the HSHMM group. Other than that, on each episode of the show, the girls will participate in quizzes, games, and interviews other celebrities. This show aims to use itself as a platform to ensure a safe and quick path to enter the entertainment business. It also has publicly declared that their target is to become a Taiwanese version of Morning Musume.

Let me count the similarities...

1) Their own variety show
Does the concept of the WAHSH show that I mentioned above sound familiar? Why of course it's a copy of Morning Musume's own Hello! Morning show. Another show comes to mind, Onyanko Club's own Yuuyake Nyan Nyan. It also have the same things - games and interviews. However, I personally find HSHMM is much more similar to Onyanko Club compared to Morning Musume. Which brings me to the next similarity...

2) Multi-membership
Morning Musume peaked at total 16 members. Onyanko Club had 52 members in their prime. HSHMM is crazier - 65 members currently! (I don't know how many members AKB48 has currently)

3) Sub-Groups
Morning Musume have many shuffle groups, sub-groups and units. And not even counting the whole Hello! Project family. HSHMM have two sub-groups --> 粉紅高圧電 (fěnhóng gāoyādiàn or "Pink High Pressure Voltage") and 甜心轟炸機 (tíanxīn hōngzhàjī or "Bomber Aircraft Sweethearts")

4) Blogs and Journals
HaroMoni@ has a SNS(Social Networking System) system (invitation only, I have yet being offered one. Grr~~), where the girls write their own journals in blogs. HSHMM have their own blogs too, but the difference is, their blogs are open for public viewing and comments (which some people have exploited to advertise viagra pills and other stuff ^_^). In addition to that, you cast votes to select your favourite members in ranking. Also, they have stepped up to the blogging craze and each girls have their own video blogs. See here.

5) Promotional pictures

Promotion shot from HSHMM latest single 幸福的泡泡 (Shabondama... err.. I mean, Bubbles of Happiness)

Early photo from Morning Musume

Nuff said...

There are more similarities, methinks. I just stopped counting. If Tsunku plans to take on the Chinese market, he will need to discuss with the bosses in UFA on how to deal with this Taiwanese girl-group. Because frankly, I think it will be a hindrance. Of course, Tsunku's target is mainland China as opposed to Taiwan, but still this is something he should be wary of.

Personally, I dislike the idea of them copying Morning Musume. They should be more original than riding on the Morning Musume brand. Why, if UFA wanted to, they could have filed an international lawsuit on them for plagiarizing. But then again, HSHMM could turn around and counter that it is but a long existent girl-group concept. Plus they've got Channel V backing them up.

Some videos here for your own discernment.

MV of HSHMM single "Shake It Baby"

Live Performance

MV of the WAHSH theme... featuring Blackie.

The WAHSH show, Ella of S.H.E. is also present in this episode

Other videos related to HSHMM


Xacur said...

Wow, the similarity is cynical.
Well, they say: "the good competition is healthy" I just wonder if this is good competition. ¬¬

V said...

AKB48 currently has, you guessed it, forty-eight members. ^_^ They were in the fifties for a little while, but they recently narrowed it down.

This HSHMM, though, they sound pretty interesting...

Anonymous said...

65 members currently?!? I wonder how they choose who the lead singer would be. Plus it doesn't seem like you have a group photo of all 65 of 'em.

Anonymous said...

I watched the Shake it Baby PV you put in this blog but I didn't see 65 different people. Is this sorta like a sub unit/group?

Anna said...

I'm trying not to compare Morning Musume with any other girl groups because I don't want to become bias. xD It IS similar though. I know some Chinese/Taiwan entertainment biz stuff but don't keep track. I prefer S.H.E. over this group any day! LOL

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

@xacur... I prefer "no competition" :)

@v... thanks for the info. ^_^

@Anons... not all 65 of them are in the Shake It Baby, probably the others came in later after the single was released. Or perhaps the performers are rotated. I'm not sure. But you can definitely see all the girls in the blog page.

@anna... S.H.E. rocks! Ella is so cool... I was her avid fan... 'WAS' because I left the Chinese scene now. ^_^

Chivor said...

well actually they're more like a bunch of sec school kids who're on showbiz ... the youngest is 13 or 12 so far i think and the oldest is 23 if i'm not wrong ... their show HSHMM is on every week and in it there's nothing much actually jz some talk and some games ... and the 65 of them rotates every week, so its like a class and the ppl changes every week ... and as for music, IMHO they can't really sing and they seldom release albums (once a year i think) ... they produce all this jz for extra income coz they're actually quite popular in taiwan. (Taiwanese likes pretty girls alot. I mean ALOT.) Watches them last time but kinda stopped coz they're shows are kinda borin and its all about them ... plus left the Chinese Scene pretty much now that I'm addicted to Japanese now lol) Well that's all bout them i think ...

Annie said...

HSHMM kinda sounds more like AKB48 than Morning Musume, but you know...most asian girl groups these days are basing their stuff on Morning Musume stuff. Probably because they're so popular...and they wanna be popular too!
But I don't really they could top Morning Musume...At least not for a little while.

Chivor said...

nah they're never gonna top MM bliv me ... they're too borin.

hydralisk said...

Their songs are nowhere near as good as MM's debut songs were, and somewhat poorer than the songs MM is performing now. I doubt they'll be serious competition. But if Tsunku thinks they will be, it can only be a good thing. Might make that blonde fool try a little harder.

Anonymous said...

T_T,Nah,they're so boring,just run follow the popular Momusu & use the "face & figure" to earn money while Momusu is finding the way to become more professional.
Do you like the original or just the copy?

Carro said...

Actually, I think they are kind of cute :) It makes me want to have their songs in japanese.

Anyway, about gyaruru, I think that marippe could take nono's place, now that shes gone. Wouldn't it be quite interesting?

Anonymous said...

guess my comment didn't get approved ~_~

May said...

actually 黑涩会美眉 has 9 members.(tey are the chosen ones to debut from the 65 girls)but now it is left with 8 members as one of them left the group.

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