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Monday, May 14, 2007

Scandals, scandals..... What the heck is going on in Hello! Project?!

Been SO busy with work and I didn't have the time to digest the news of Tsuji's marrying Sugiura. Please take this blog post as my personal way of ranting and collecting my thoughts. Apologies in advance for any offense caused.

So here we go...

There are so many scandals going on in Hello! Project. That I can't help but wonder - what has happened? Who or what started it? Here I recount some, and only some, of the many scandals that I can recall and blog about.

Yaguchi Mari
Any news press that talk about scandals within Hello! Project will surely mention Marippe on their articles. Now, she is not only remembered for her outgoing and outspoken personality, she has become the mother of all scandals in H!P. Sure, Nacchi and Kaorin had been rumoured to have boyfriends, it wasn't as shocking as Marippe's.
I've said this before and I'll say it again - I've always thought Yaguchi Mari's scandal with Oguri Shun wasn't a coincidence. At the back of my mind, I still think that it was damn well planned and orchestrated. Why? Because I've read news, rumours and other hear-says that Marippe was tired of being Morning Musume leader but nobody listens to her, or do not offer enough respect. When I watched the video of the jacket photoshoot for "Namida Tomaranai Hokago" single, I saw the other girls playfully teasing Marippe for her height. Sure they're friends and all, but come on... she's their senpai and leader. You don't see them do that to Kaorin, do you? (With the exception of Yossie, of course) Therefore, I suspected that she used this method to force her agency to remove her from Morning Musume.

Now, being a big fan of "The Gooch", I still reserve about 30% of doubt about her scandal. Maybe she did indeed found a happy relationship with Oguri. However, apparently due to work commitments, they broke up, but Oguri found another girlfriend soon after, in Tokuzawa Naoko . Marippe, on the other hand, doesn't seem too shaken by this, and found herself headlining the Friday tabloid with another relationship, this time with former Kansai Johnny's Jr. - Uotani Teruaki.

But, no matter what was the truth behind her private life and relationships, in my view, this has caused a chain reaction of scandals later on. Did the other girls used Marippe's case as an example? Did Marippe's daring actions and having the guts to make her own decisions about her own life affect others?

Kago Ai
Kago Ai was caught enjoying a puff on Virginia Slims at a restaurant, and as we all know, was suspended for underage smoking. Later on, she was reportedly feeling the regret, and worked as an intern en route to her come back. Then it happened again, and not only because that she was reported by Weekly Gendai that she was smoking again, she spent the night with Ishimoto of SOMA at an onsen.
However, I suspected that this incident may have happened much, much earlier. There were sightings of Kago going for onsen trips during the same year of her suspension, so maybe that news was recycled again due to her hot comeback news. Cos' I still cannot get over the fact that the current chief editor of Weekly Gendai was formerly working for Friday. Nevertheless, Kago had admitted to the relationship.

Matsuura Aya
Ayaya have long been associated with Keita Tachibana of Jpop super trio w-inds. Later on, good ol' Friday tabloid made it official when they spotted her loaded with bags groceries and stayed over night at his house that one night. This news didn't get too publicized, due to it being an "open secret". The storm slowly settled down and nobody got kicked out of either of their agencies. Which brings me to the next person who also didn't get kicked out.

Tsuji Nozomi
This by far is the least scandal-like. Mostly due to the positive feedback by UFA, and the much televised press conference announcing the marriage. Why, yesterday's Haromoni@ even featured the announcement in the final minutes of the show. Tsuji did the right thing of pre-informing the agency about her relationship, probably have lessen the severity of her "scandal". However, I still lament the timing of it. But who knows, maybe the agency have gotten used to these news already, OR maybe this is a start of how differently the management view their talents' personal life.

... and the most ironic of them all...

Tanaka Reina
Sorry I had to bring this up, CJ.
I dove into my picture archives and found this....

"Tanaka Reina in Love and Retires"
"And the plan is to get pregnant..."

Can't remember when and where I got this from, but most possibly it was back when Reina got Friday'd last year.
Reina was involved with a boy in high school, and eyewitnesses said that they saw the two have been going out together many times. The agency couldn't afford to lose her to a scandal at that point of time, where Morning Musume's popularity was already fading and was trying to promote her by making her center in the "Ambitious! Yashinteki de Ii Jan" single.
So the agency summoned her to the meeting room and asked her "Either you break up with him, or you quit", in which Reina promptly replied "Okay, I'll quit", much to their surprise. We don't know what happened in the end or what UFA did, eventually Reina is still around and her boyfriend was never mentioned ever again. But as a result, Reina was never featured much ever since then and became the least active member in Morning Musume... compared to Sayu, Kame, Gaki-san, and even newcomer Mittsi, who have their own radio shows.

The ironic part of that news clip is that a personnel from another agency suggested a surefire method for her freedom from UFA - get pregnant. However, this method cannot be executed smoothly because her boyfriend was still in high school. Whether Tsuji picked up this idea from Reina or not, is up to us to guess.

These are only a few that made it to the headlines. I didn't even list down the other rumoured scandals yet and...... you know what, I think I might do that on my next post.

Thanks for reading.
Peace ^_^


Xacur said...

I can see, from what you write, that a cigarrete is the difference bettwen get fired (and erased from the map in minutes), and still being in the H!P artist list. Other things didn't matter that much.
I see that aibon take the worse part

Totally! Hello Project said...

Hm, I didn't even know about the Tanaka Reina incident. I really am a big fan of Yaguchi and at certain times I think "She is my favourite member of Hello! Project." I wish she would be given some solo work, or something.

aKaoNi said...

Yeah it seems like the news for H!P is either slow or rushes in at once, I've had much to do to try and really keep up with it lately so this scandal 'summary' actually helps out. I wasn't aware of some of the scandals you've mentioned so even though they may be old news they're new too me. No offense taken from your write ups, I'm glad you are taking the time to write them.......... but I hope HOPE you never have to write about Ai-chan in a scandal. That would just ruin H!P almost alltogether for me, depending on what it were to be.

Anna said...

Wasn't there also a rumor about KAT-TUN member, Taguchi Junnosuke and Sayumi? I'm a fan of KAT-TUN and I guess Junno looks good with Sayu, but yea. xD They are both very happy and cute people by themselves.

Oh yea something that I keep on noticing during the interview about the engagment is that they said repeativly about them two were always group dating. Maybe that's why no one suspected her dating all this time. The paparazzi must have thought it was always just a friend thing.

If you compare all the past leaders of MM they were pretty much strong independment women. Yuko especially. I think Miki will do great. People will listen to her. I think that the young members in MM aren't listening half the time. A rebellious stage as I call it. XD

Aya is too precious for H!P to lose. Prolly UFA used lots of money to cover this up.

Oh yea back to the Nono thing. I think while Nono is taking a maternity leave she should also do MC work. Mari could go back singing for now. xD She has a great personality to do some MCing.

Just watched this weeks Haromoni@ and it was so touching to see Junjun and Linlin hugging watching backstage of the concert. They were cryin for Yossie. Yossie was like the first one to actually talk to them with her carefree personality. Junjun cries a lot too. XDDD

OH YEAAA! Abe Asami to replace Nono in Ganguro~ I knew one day asami would get invovled around TNX/H!P..

I'm sry for this long comment. O_O
m(_ _)m gomenai~

Ayumi said...

It's never someone outside of the spotlight!

I mean, honestly~ Aya's always been important as a soloist, Mari was a leader, Nono and Aibon were... well, Nono and Aibon (go Two Top! XD), adn Reina was being featured in the songs. Maybe it's the pressure?

Maybe that after a while, the pressure builds up and they kind of go "Hey, I want to live my life too!" and go off and do whatever manages to get them in trouble. I hope Mikitty and Ai-chan don't fall into the pressure category~ ^^;

But that's just my opinion. I'd heard of what happened to Reina, but never really got any info. Never did hear about Aya's small scandal.. thanks a bunch for this!

Annie said...

Ah, so thats why Reina hasn't been getting much activity!! I was wondering why. I knew the scandal happened, but I didn't think it was that big of a deal.

Julia said...

You're the only one I've ever seen mention that Reina thing in Friday, Jin. Go you. ^_^

Chivor said...

Well i never knew Reina had a scandal .... I had a sudden heartache reading the whole post ... T.T

@anna: Seriously??! Asami's gonna join Ganguro?!

Anna said...

@chivor- yep!

Gyaru Sone is now the leader. It was Nono before. This is all very interesting. And it seems like they already rerecorded the song.

fcpremix14 said...

Likke julia said, you're the 1st blogger I've seen mention something about that Reina article. I saw that article with a friend a few months ago. Unfortunately, we couldn't read much into it, but we assumed it was another Friday article (looks like we were sort of right).

Also, I agree with what ayumi said. Mosy of the people who have been involved in scandals are the "important" people in H!P/MoMusu. They're too valuable to lose.

With Reina's case, they had a good excuse, so the scandal didn't explode into anything bigger. About the ultimatum that they gave Reina, they must've been blown away when she said she'd quit. They must've let her keep a boyfriend just as long as she wouldn't leave...

I wonder if they've let other smaller scandals slip simply because the artist was too important to lose...

Also, Anna mentioned the rumor about Sayumi dating Junno from KAT-TUN. I read about that in another blog, but it seems that there wasn't much evidence to back it up. There was also a rumor about Chinami of Berryz dating a KAT-TUN guy -_-"

Sorry for the long comment ^_^"

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

Thanks for heads-up about Asami joining Gyaruru, Anna. (^_^)v

And no worries, go "Boomboom" ahead with the long comments. \(^0^)/

Thanks for support, Julia. (Both here and IntlWota). I wasn't sure if it was a good idea to talk about Reina.

I agree that the more popular girls in H!P gets the scandals more. Other than work pressure, sometimes I think that the tabloids are making a mountain out of a molehill.

Wait a minute.... does that mean Yossie or Mikitty is not that "popular" after all? Or does it depend on the tabloid editor himself/herself? Or are they(the girls) good at covering up their personal activities?

Good lord, I didn't know about Sayu being involved with KAT-TUN! I thought she's still single...err.. I mean, not committed to anyone. (Whew!)
I heard about Chinami-chan's case though. How true was that?

V said...

Reina's answer made me laugh. XD It's sad that she isn't promoted much anymore since that incident, but I'm happy that she stands up for herself. :3

CJ said...

WTF? Who in the hell would suggest to a then-16-year-old girl that she should get knocked up?!?

There's a huge flaw in that "bury Reina" theory considering that she was featured in that stage play prominently last year AND has had a solo song on the Fuyu Fuyu EP and an Alo! Hello PB and DVD since then.

Nani said...

This is one of the reasons I dislike Reina among the other members! She's stuck so far up her own ass that she doesn't give a toss these days.
This happened like you said, at an important time when she was promoting the single "Ambitious! Yashinteki de Ii Jan" since she was centred around it. So she used this to her advantage, she knew it wouldn't look good for UFA if a member was suddenly fired as the sales were really decreasing then. But what about the other members? ofcourse her leaving the group would cause major problem like re-recording the song making members schedules(sp?) pile up etc.
Reina outsmarted UFA big-time or rather, UFA choose the right person at the wrong time...Now this shows just how big-headed and selfish she really is she would sacrife her group and fans over a boy?! fair enough it's her life but at a time when the group needed her the most, this is one of the main reason why now she is 1)The loner of momusu; sorry to burst your bubble but nobody likes her! You can even tell! just observe Reina and the other members closely she always by herself...
2)Least active member of momusu; Don't pretend you can't see it. It's obvious she has one of the strongest vocals in the group (followed by miki & Ai) but they seemingly give Sayu,Mitsu or Koha a line or two. UFA has probaby privately told her she won't be featured as much because of this..I think UFAs plan is to slowly fade her into the background making her just there doing nothing. And i'm sure Reina wouldn't just say "I'll quit" if she wasn't promoting that single...

protek said...

Ah, thanks for this entry.. It's a treat to hear someone speak intelligently over these subjects :)

Needless to say I've done my fair share of babbling and crying over Kago

Anna said...

@jin - I think many rumors were pretty much made up, but then things started to get more series when Jin from KAT-TUN said he is going to study abroad. A lot of people thought it was punishment or him wanting to get away from the biz.

I also heard about Chinami and Jin meeting at a charty's event. (24hrTV, I think) It's been said that they met there and exchange phone numbers.

Here are two sites about it:

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

@v... yup, Reina is one tough yankee, she lives her persona. ^_^

@Cj... The news buggers were trying to make the news seem a bit more "interesting". Reina ain't that stupid to sink this low for freedom, I'm sure you'll agree. The single on Fuyu Fuyu EP, PB and stuff were already in the works many months earlier, so I don't think those count. Also I don't think they are "burying" Reina per se, but nevertheless she is still not as busy compared to the other girls...

@nani... You bring up an interesting point, that Reina is a loner. I thought that I was the only one who noticed that. Maybe that's just the way she is. Why, she even goes for Karaoke ALONE. But it could also be due to her being the youngest of the Momusu before the later gens came along. She got along better with Koharu and Mitsui though. As for her activeness,... well, that depends on the Chairman. Unless he is still pissed her, she'll get more things to do later on...

@protek... thanks! ^_^

@Anna... Regarding Akanashi Jin's return next month for KAT-TUN's next single (Yup, he'll back in Japan this Saturday!)... the story about the relationship between Chinami and Jin will return again. In fact, it came out in the newspapers (maybe some of you have seen it already) and the rumour is more than just "exhanging phone numbers"... which I am going talk about on my next post..... provided work don't stall me again.

misha said...

@nani... You bring up alot of good points, some I agree with, some I disagree with. Reina IS my favorite member, but putting that aside I think that it's really unfair how first of all, they make big deals out of things that people do all the time. Yes, they are stars, and yes, they should know better, but she IS 17.

Second, I have noticed that she is a loner, but the other members don't hate her. When she isn't by herself, alot of the times I see her laughing or hanging on someone's arm. Acting like friends. I havn't noticed however, her inactivitness. I think that there are a few holes in the fact that they're trying to fade her into the background. I think you can only be mad for so long, seriously, she loved this guy, so for them to make her choose is abit harsh. It's kinda like saying she can't have a life outside of H!P

Kano said...

Konno Asami would never have a scandal, she is a good girl and smart. She's my #1 member. After that Yaguchi Mari because it's hard not to love her personality.

kazuo desu said...

thank you very much for the post ... although i like reina since in aa! and aibon is my favourite .. i think there`ll be a solution for this ..i`m sorry if my comments absurd but when i think about em my mind goes straight to the new member ... the recent member is having cover of the OG member .. if you look at kanon suzuki really well i think shell cover kago and tsuji funnys part and riho sayashi will cover aichan... thanx before

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