Thursday, September 13, 2012
A First Look at the Potential New Musumes
Before these finalists even came out, I'd already conditioned myself not to get too close to any of the members as that always ends in disappointment! And yet I still followed when the finalists would be announced... so much for detachment. Well, it's finally here, the finalists for Morning Musume's 11th Generation aka the "Auditions Again???" Generation! What first surprised me is that there were only six finalists; with 10th Gen. there were over ten from what I can remember. I guess it's not really that shocking since the 9th Gen. finalists had that same number but I just thought there would be more finalists with the success of Momusu's last single and bigger turnout for this audition. The second thing that surprised me (but shouldn't have) is the lack of Karin. I should have seen this coming but I had HOPE then! Hope! Now my dream of Karin being the ace is crushed for the third time! I swear, what the hell is Tsunku going to do with her? If she's not going to be in any of the current group then dammit, DO something with her already! I know everyone says "Oh, he's just saving her for something else" but I'm tired of seeing her talent going to waste. Okay, I'm going to end that mini-rant before it turn into a full-blown rant. So, who did end up being the finalists anyways? Two Eggs, a Nice Girl Project chick, and three unknowns. It's a pretty good mix-up but by the time I finished hearing everyone's voices, I think I just want the Eggs and the NGP girl for the 11th Generation.
So how do I feel about these finalists? Do they match up to my expectations? Well... not really.
First up is Kishimoto Yumeno (awesome name by the way!) and other than an awesome name she really didn't stick out to me. Her singing was okay but not very distinct or memorable. I actually don't have much to say about her. Well... this is starting off as a great post! I can't even remember much about the first freaking girl in the finalist list! Let's Segway into the ones I actually want to talk about!
Makino Maria, another lovely name! It makes me think of the Maria from West Side Story! I feel the same way about Maria as I feel about Yumeno: pretty name, but nothing special in terms of vocal talent. She strikes me as one of those "project girls" Tsunku loves so much, the ones that are crafted into talented idols or fail miserably and are just shafted to the back. I guess she's probably be fine in the group but compared to the other auditioners, I'd rather someone else be picked over her. There's just nothing that really sticks out with her at the moment. Maybe if in the group, she'd be like Masaki and turn out to be surprisingly awesome but at this stage I can't tell. Next please.
Next auditioner is Ichioka Reina. My first impression was that she's very pretty. So obviously she'll get in. Yeah... I'm not really feeling this girl which kinda sucks. I feel like the odd one out saying this but I don't like this girl's voice at all. From what I've read everyone else REALLY likes her so why can't I warm up to her? It's just in that little clip of her singing it sounded like she was whining and/or screaming the lines... not really my cup of tea. Maybe I need to get my ears checked, but Reina's simply my favorite in this mix-up. She just feels like RiDOS 2.0 to me which obviously means she'll get in and be the 11th Generation's ace who becomes the main singer! Oh irony, you hang over me like a rain cloud! Nevermind, let's look at the next girl who can actually sing!
Ono Haruka. I love her and I'm 95% certain she won't get in. And even if she did, she'd probably be shoved to the back since she's not conventionally pretty. That really sucks, because I adore her voice! She was a little pitchy at parts but I love love LOVE her deep voice! It's so refreshing to hear amongst all the high-pitched squeaks in this audition! I liked her voice in the little early sneak-peak of the 11th Gen. auditions but after hearing more of her, I fear I'm growing attached to her. I can't let this happen again but agh, I love her voice! I'm so tired of all these high-pitched voices in MM and Haruka could balance it out! She's also sixteen which I think is a good age since she's not too young that her voice hasn't developed yet but she's not Sayu or Reina's age either! I like her hence she won't get in! Excuse me while I go cry under my desk.
Another voice I'm really loving is Oda Sakura, one of the two Eggs that are finalists. Obviously her Egg training paid off because she sounds awesome! Maybe she can be the token Egg! I highly doubt Tsunku would add two Eggs into the generation and of Sakura and Ayano, I think I'd want Sakura! Mainly because she has great control in her voice and I think she sounds a teensy bit better than Haruka. She might get in, but I think it's pretty 50/50 on her chances. On one hand, she's talented and has a beautiful voice but she's an Egg so she'll probably suffer the same shafting Karin's received three times now. I would be ecstatic if she got in along with Haruka! Ha, watch NEITHER one of them get in...
I recognize this girl! She's MEIMI! Except not... she's Hamura Ayano from the S/mileage auditions so she's been in the same room with Meimi. Actually, I think I like Ayano's voice just a teensy bit better than Meimi's; in fact, she reminds me of a younger version of Maeda Yuuka! How I miss Yuuka... it would be awesome if she could develop her voice into the likes of Yuuka's! I admit, I'd actually like Ayano to be in S/mileage more than Momusu; it feels like her voice would work better with the high-pitched voices of S/mileage! But she's just cute as a button!! How could I not adore her? With her adorable little pigtails, her sweet little voice, I could totally go for her being part of the 11th Generation! I think she'd fit in eventually and she has the cuteness of Meimi and the voice of Yuuka! I love her already!
So overall, these finalists are... underwhelming. Sure, there are a few I really like but there's no one I wouldn't miss if they didn't get in. I guess my conditioning to obtain apathy for this audition worked! However, if I could pick who would get in, here's how I want the 11th Generation to turn out:
1. Ono Haruka
2. Oda Sakura
3. Hamura Ayano
So yeah, everyone on the bottom line would be a perfect generation for me. And here's how I think the 11th Generation will turn out:
1. Ichioka Reina
2. Makino Maria
3. Oda Sakura
I'm secretly hoping Tsunku just decides to add all six members into the mix but that most likely won't happen. I think a generation of three suits the group nicely; maybe with thirteen members, more than two girls will actually get solos! Or who knows? Maybe even girls who can actually SING! Except not. Meh, I'm not going to give much emotion about these auditions since I've learned from S/mileage auditions and Karin and 10th Gen. auditions and Sara. Even though this audition was marketed as looking for vocals, I think that was more of false advertising. No one really strikes me as mind-blowingly amazing in terms of vocal talent and it feels like the finalists are once again that typical "I can't sing but I can improve!!" mix of girls along with pretty girls. I'm not saying that's bad or anything, I just wish that there could be at least one really good (and I say that in idol terms) vocalist who could take Reina's place after she's gone just so I don't have to hear RiDOS and Sayu squeak their way through all MM's future songs. Why do I even bother? I already know my favorite isn't going to get in and my least favorite will be the new ace. I can (begrudgingly) accept the fact that Reina #2 will most likely get in and join Reina and RiDOS in dominating the group and Haruka will be shafted out of the generation because clearly Momusu doesn't need any more deep voices! They're just so overwhelmed with them right now!
Ugh, I give up. If I get attached to anyone (and I already have with Haruka), it'll just end in disappointment. I think I'll just go stick my head in the ground and come up when this whole audition fiasco's over.