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

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mikitty - The Revolution that Never Happened....

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.


vilis said...

I completely agree with you here. I always think that if anyone in recent MM line-up (after the so called Golden Era) could take them back to the old atmosphere that attract people outside of H!P wotas (or atleast made them more interesting) it'd be Miki. Though Miki and Yuko are slightly difference in characters, these two ladies share the same determination and same aura that you couldn't find in any other members.

And about the relationship policy, just when I thought that Miki could get away with it unscathed BAM! they forced you to accept that ancient rule again! I know that it's part of their culture but this rule is kinda like 30 or 50 years old, right? Man, rules are rules but if one can make it, one can change it too, that's the revolution (that should happen already *sight*)

So like you said all these incidents can only be summed up in one word : Unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

About the relationship policy, I think we should look at the young idols' parents too. They also have controls over the teens. Parents in Japan can say no to idols career, can change agency. Minors in Japan by law probably cannot enter career contract without guardians (parents) consent. If UFA is associated with teen romance, then many parents will just run away from them.

Xacur said...

I'm really sorry that in the time I have been MM's fan I have never found that thing that make Miki special for others.
I really like Momusu as it is now.

steve said...

Kimura Takuya got married but it's still the same for the johnny's....(poor v6 and their 30's^^)

cierl said...

i was reading the JPHiP forum, at the translation section. it was about mikitty's interview, i found it really interesting..
here are some..

After now, with the leaders also changing, what do you think the new Morning Musume will go as?

It would be great if we all got along. Morning Musume has started to begin to continue as it was in the beginning as a “unit with rivalry.” Even though we usually get along, when it comes to work, I think it would be good if we didn’t get along in a good way. It’s not that we are on bad terms nor are we all clinging going all “Hey~<3.” If we are able to go and rise with more rivalry, wouldn’t it be good. Without restricting the companionship between members, I think it would good if we have a sense of rivalry against other artists.

Is the sense of rivalry usually necessary?

I want to have it, I wish I have it.

i was really hoping that under miki's leadership, morning musume will become a much better group..
oh well... let's hope takahashi will do a good job :)

Annie said...

Yeah, I agree completely. Morning Musume needs a push, and I thought Miki was going to be the one to give them that push to become more than just "good".
All I can hope for now is that Takahashi gets used to being a leader and rules a bit stricter..except...thats probably not going to happen.

Radicalpatriot said...

Perhaps an age limitation (say, 21) for the no-boyfriends policy. It's hard for me to believe that Yossi, for example, has had zero relationships during her lengthy career with Morning Musume until her May graduation. Plus, when members get to the 21-year mark in age, they seem better prepared to mix personal relationships with professional commitment. It also appears that many of the Morning Musume members who do end up with boyfriends seem to be attracted to show-business typees, anyway. What harm is there in having a real life, at least past age 21?

Anonymous said...

In a way, it's almost a relief that Fujimoto decided to leave. Granted, it would have been nice to see if Fujimoto could bring the "sense of rivalry" and etc. that Nakazawa help instill into MM, but I have serious doubts to whether this girl could revolutionize MM and create a second coming of the "Golden Era."

It just seemed that throughout her stay in MM, she never really enjoyed being with the rest of MM nor was comfortable. She always exuded a more sexual style that conflicted with the rather innocent "idol" image of MM and it was clear that she was unhappy with MM's happy go-lucky theme. She does have one of the better voices in MM , but she had this sense of arrogance that came out through the PVs, interviews, that she was better than the rest of MM and in some cases yes, Fujimoto was far more interesting than some of the other members whom are just cookie-cutter idols with a manufactured cuteness factor. However, the problem is that Fujimoto rarely demonstrated a sense of unity, a sense of self-sacrifice, for the team. MM was something that she in, for the time being, but not something that she was willing to push, willing to pour effort into, like Nakazawa. There's a difference between being stern and being a mentor. A mentor can be strict, a hard taskmaster, but still positively encouraging without having a caustic personality that would incite a warning from an old sage, like Yossie. Professionalism encompasses a mutual sense of respect and pride in others and a want for your teammates to be just as good as you. Criticism should exist, but it should also come with a healthy dose of encouragement.

Yes, MM's quality is declining, but could she have overcome her aggrandizing self-worth for the team? Could she have stepped up?

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