I was really looking forward on how Morning Musume will turn out under the leadership of Fujimoto Miki. Seriously. I was also looking forward on Mikitty slipping past her relationship scandal. Just for once, just one time, if anyone in Momusu gets caught outright in a relationship and then get away with it, Hello! Project will be forced to change.
Back in the day, when feisty Nakazawa Yuuko, the first generation member and leader of Morning Musume was still around, the atmosphere in the group is all about rivalry, all about competition, all about pride and hardwork. She sacrificed her own image and turn into a bossy senior to put things into orderly manner in the group, forcing each member to better improve themselves for a chance at the spotlight. Sure she's a workaholic, but she was the only one in the group who has ever had a real job before joining showbiz at 24 years of age, only she understood the meaning of professionalism and dedication to their work.
Guess who else had a real job before joining showbiz... it's Fujimoto Miki. Remember back when Mikitty dropped out of the 4th generation audition for Momusu, she was summoned by UFA to come back and undertake internship and training for a year before her official solo debut. Coupled with her tough-as-nails character and a take-no-prisoner vocabulary, she would have been the one leader to rise and bring back the good ol' Golden Era of Morning Musume. I have my doubts on Mikitty's leadership qualities, but I'm sure she will adjust herself when she is being forced to the situation. She is extremely stern, especially to the much younger members like Kusumi Koharu. It is with my hope, and many others perhaps, that Mikitty would bring back the days of rivalry and sense of competitiveness amongst the Momusu members. Momusu cannot survive by friendship alone, a little bit of healthy competition and fear of elimination is good to put them in a position to buck up and give above their best effort every time. But alas, it was not meant to be.
The second revolution that I have hoped for is a change of the "no boyfriend" policy in Morning Musume.
"Idols"... It is the year 2007 already, is it still important for Japan to keep the "idol" tradition of the 80's? I was told that when Mikitty's scandal surfaced, most fans in Japan have the same thinking ->
"At current times, it is really impossible to deprive idols from romance. "
As you can see, even the Japanese fans agree. (Forget the negative crowd, they're nothing but people who like to cheer at other's misery)
If it was for the intention of not letting emotion getting in the way of Momusu girls' work, then I understand. But how can we expect a bunch of healthy teenagers to suppress their notion for a romance and at the same time asking them to sing songs of love and relationship? While the "idol" formula worked 25 years ago, that doesn't mean that the idols in that era wholly accepted the idea.
I had hoped that starting with Mikitty, the rule of 'no romance' in Morning Musume would be finally be written out, and we will truly have a idol group that is truly modern and living up to the times.
Whether it was due to the conservative thinking of the Chairman, or the Japanese fan culture of idol worshiping, I can only describe this whole event with one thing - unfortunate.
It will be continuous battle from now on, where UFA (or the Johnny's for that matter) will continue to preserve the "idol" brand and prove that the concept still lives... and the paparazzi and journalists will continue to counter and disprove it.