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...
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)
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
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"
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