Saturday, May 26, 2012

Oh Hai 11th Generation Auditions!

Woo hoo! It's that time of year again! More auditions! Hopefully, these will be the only auditions I'll have to write about (UFA, if you do 3rd Gen. S/mileage auditions I will strangle you) That means lots of happiness, sadness, hope, and most importantly rage from all the other bloggers who are enthusiastic about the 11th Generation auditions! Even I'm excited at the prospect of seeing everyone get fantastically pissed off when their favorite auditioner doesn't get in! But... is another audition really the best thing for Momosu? On the surface, it does. Even I'm excited for another audition coming in the next few months. But I also have to think from an analytical standpoint this audition is like a wild card and can go either way. So... I think the best way to approach this is from a rational and grounded perspective. Hence I've decided to sort out the pros and cons of more members being added to Morning Musume.

Le Pros

More people! Woo hoo! I think the announcement of 11th Gen. auditions pretty much confirms UFA's plan to cram as many new members into MM before Sayu and Reina's inevitable departure! That way after 2-3 of building up certain members and letting everyone else languish in the back (think of Mitsui Aika times eight) Reina and Sayu can graduate with Momosu remaining stable with a new group of members to take the reins! So yeah! Woo hoo! But this time I've decided to be picky about what I want in the 11th Gen. For 9th, I was just getting into MM and didn't really pay attention to the auditions and for 10th I just didn't care. But this time, I've resolved to follow this closely and try my best not to develop any biases because that usually just ends in me throwing a pencil/pillow/history book across the room in frustration when they don't get in. And it will happen. So this time I have a plan! I will give what I want to see in the whole generation and not latch on to just one auditioner! For this generation, I really want it to be mostly talent because Momosu really needs some right now. With Gaki gone and the only people who are remotely decent singers being Reina and Fuku they need better vocals than Sayu the Shrieking Cat and Riho the Shrieking Spoon. And Ayumi's kinda creepy. She can't sing either. But I also want a generation that will add to the group and not just be an awkward addition to Momosu.

In other words: I want an ace. I want another Goto Maki. Do you know what that means? I want Miyamoto Karin.

That's right bitches! I KNOW I'm fabulous!

I mean, seriously. Why haven't they done something with her yet!? I don't believe the whole "saving her for later" crap because if it was true, we've been way too long! Karin's the whole package: great voice, great personality, great looks, so why isn't she in MM yet!? I really want Karin to audition for the 11th generation and if she does, I really want her to get in. I think she could be Momosu's "ace." I'm going against popular opinion, but Riho is not an ace. Neither is Ayumi. They're both fine or mediocre but they just don't do much for the group. I blame management but if they're going to push someone I want them to push Karin! After listening to her solo song and seeing her S/mileage auditions (which by the way, that pissed me off too, UFA) I can't wrap my head around the fact that something hasn't been done with her! She's cute as a button, has a great singing voice (especially for a 13-year old), and she can dance! I probably just hate the fact that for the first time, I was really pulling for an auditioner that didn't get in even though she obviously should have. And I guess I'm also a little worried the same is going to happen with the 11th Gen. auditions: someone awesome will audition and she'll get shafted. I just know it's going to happen. For 10th it was Sara.  For S/mileage it was Karin. But I'm really hoping this time, Tsunku and UFA do something right and get an ace that really is an ace and isn't forced into the position!

Le Cons

More people. Dammit. I suppose from a more critical standpoint, there are already a boatload of members in Morning Musume. Granted they're not the size of AKB48 or anything (but hey, they hold a Guinness Freaking World Record so no one is) but it's still a pretty decent crowd. So... is it really necessary? My view point is that a lot of members as is good long as you know who the hell is who. And the only two members with a lot of recognition/seniority are Sayu and Reina. The other girls still have to build up their fanbases. Well, except for Riho because UFA basically handed it to her on a silver platter delivered by unicorns. But I digress. I just don't know how having of bunch of relatively unknown girls in Momosu is going to make them sell well. I suppose they're trying to make up for the lack of older members but it's not like they can all get their own little cult of wotas overnight. These things take time unless you're Goto Maki or Abe Natsumi. If you look at the past songs and history of MM a lot of the front girls we know and love today weren't as popular as they are now. So will certain members get recognized over time? Yes, but it takes time. There are some exceptions though and it seems one of two factors is what helps idols

A. Genuine talent (ex: Abe Natsumi, Goto Maki, Takahashi Ai)
B. Personality (Yaguchi Mari, Ishikawa Rika, Kusumi Koharu, Michishige Sayumi)
C. The undying love and persistent devotion of UFA (Tanaka Reina, Sayashi "I'm So Bored at the Front" Riho)

Okay, not really that last one but note that only one of those is possessed by each of the people I mentioned. Mari, Rika, Koha, and Sayu are all hilarious and brought a bunch of quirky insanity to shake up Momosu but none of them could sing. Especially Koharu. But that girl is hilarious. And Nacchan, Maki and Ai all have great voices and stage presence but offstage... well, Maki's the one that comes closest to any personality but none of them stand out in terms of personality as much as the former girls I mentioned. And right now, Sayu stands out the most from a personality standpoint and in terms of talent everyone else kind of sucks. True, some are better than others but they all have a long way to go to improve and reach a level of talent or personality to be recognized as a staple to Momosu. And their personalities are also not quite very memorable. Like at all. But I can understand that; they're all in middle school. Do you remember how you acted when you were in middle school? Think hard. Did you act like an immature, stupid moron? I know I did! Hell, I'm in high school and I still feel stupid! But at least my stupid antics aren't broadcast and scrutinized by a legion of (mostly) middle-aged old men judging every move I make and everything I say. Naturally, most of them don't know how to act to please their demographic so most of them just come off as awkward. Except Eripon and Kanon. But UFA shafts them anyways so I've given up on them ever receiving recognition.

But anyways, if you take the 9th or 10th generations and add another group just like them to the mix of Momosu members right now what do you get? More awkward preteens/teenagers! Yay? Unless they find a mind-blowingly good ace like Maki or Nacchan, I just don't see this audition as very necessary because once Reina and Sayu do leave (and I can assure you, that won't be for awhile) I think these new members right now will be ready to keep MM going without their help. But if this 11th generation just bogs down the age gap and awkwardness even more, their addition might hurt Momosu more than help them. The best thing for the group would be a generation of trained, talented individuals who can stand out and carry the group. In other words: the H!P Eggs. Yes, I'm bringing them up again because something has to be done with them! Especially Karin. But I've already heaped praise on her so I'll try to stay on point. It would just be nice if they could pull another Fujimoto Miki and add someone who's already in H!P and not an inexperienced individual who may or may not help the group. So put those Eggs to use already!

Well, pros and cons aside I'll definitely be keeping an eye on the Momosu lineup. I smell another graduation. From what group, I'm not even sure; It might not even be Momosu. But I still think another mind-blowing graduation announcement is coming. But time will tell.


  1. I actually think Mari was a pretty good singer when she was in Morning Musume. She can't really sing now, I think, because she hadn't been singing for such a long time. But she was pretty good in the early Musume songs, Tanpopo, and songs like Do It! Now and Shabondama (though she doesn't get that many lines in them). Rika was actually quite comfortable singing within a small range and can deliver her lines alright (just don't ask her to project or handle any higher or lower notes). Koharu is a very acquired taste, the type of squeeky voice that moe anime fans enjoy. Sayu...ok Sayu couldn't sing, and if she could now we won't know since UFA prefers to robotize her.

    1. I probably should have rephrased that differently; I mean they were known more for their personalities than their singing abilities. Rika had her Charmy persona, Mari was the crazy little fireball that lead Mini Moni, Koharu was known for her Kirarin character, and Sayu's the cute little narc wotas love/hate. While some were decent singers, that wasn't the key element that made them so famous.

  2. can I just say - love this post!? I love your descriptions of Riho and Shige. Made my morning. And I think you're right. Really the only way this is going to work is if UFA pushes more than just three people or if we get ourselves another ace. I still don't think Koharu was an ace, but then...apparently I'm the only one.