Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Frivolous Name Change and a Triple A-side

Ah, I'm finally done with finals! All my projects are done, my books are turned in, I've taken all my exams, and I can get back to what I love doing: blogging! And now it's with the comfort of having good grades for the fall semester! It's like I've emerged from a deep, tumultuous sleep only to wake up and read all this exciting idols news! So what to start with... Well, Perfume isn't doing much other than touring and performing the new songs and I'm not there and why has such misfortune befallen me and okay let's talk about something else! Like Hello! Project! Boy, I haven't talked about Hello! Project in awhile! Seriously, I've been pretty lax on my H!P reviews lately. It's not like I haven't been liking any of their recent releases... I guess I just haven't found much to talk about them. That and I do have more important things I want to review. And the fact that the only thing H!P has been releasing are double A-sides does not help. I've been over this, but reviewing double A-sides PVs is a pain and an inconvenience for me. Still, I wonder what exciting things have been happening to Morning Musume! They're an idol group that hasn't been pissing me off lately! So what are they up to? What's that, you say? Tsunku changed Morning Musume's name? Well, clearly this needs to be written about with utmost importance, because this is just going to impact the group's future so much and yeah this is the dumbest news ever.

As such, I believe that dumb news doesn't deserve my fruitful writing efforts. So I'll keep this brief. Whip out the A-chan pic!

Why is it that reaction image is appropriate for so many things I write about? Well, Tsunku, you almost managed to bring me out of my studying. Almost. Give yourself a pat on the back. And lay off the eggnog, because you must have been on it when you got the bright idea to give Morning Musume a pointless name change. You all probably know about the entire Morning Musume 14 fiasco, and it's my fault for blogging about this so late. Yeah, Tsunku, in another one of his genius moments, decided starting 2014 Morning Musume would not longer be Morning Musume! Relax, he's not changing their name to MM48 or something ludicrous like that. No, it's just Morning Musume '14. According to Tsunku logic, which rarely relies on the logic of humankind, trying to remember when Momusu released what is way too confusing for fans. So to keep up with their releases, each year the groups name will match the year. So 2014 is Morning Musume '14, 2015 is Morning Musume '15, 2048 is... well, I won't force that joke upon you since you've probably heard it several times now. You get the gist of it.

As you may have noticed, fan reactions to this have been... not very positive. That's not to say everybody hates it; there are people who are okay with this change and people who just don't give a shit. I think I'm more in the latter category. I mean, if Tsunku renamed the group to be like, I don't know, Electro Girls, then I might take issue, but all he's doing is adding two numbers to the end of their name. And it's not like I'm going to start writing the group's name as Morning Musume '14 in my future reviews. For the past two years, I've tagged all my Momusu posts as "morning musume" so there's no way that I'm going to up and do some random name change to any future Momusu posts I might write. Even this post uses the same tag I've been using. Just because Tsunku changed Momusu's name doesn't mean I'm going to abide by it. I guess you could say I'm rebellious like that. Or lazy. Probably lazy. My point is the change is in no way going to effect the current way I write Morning Musume's name.

From Blog Project is the official translation of Tsunku's statement regarding his decision to change Morning Musume's name:

"Truly, thank you very much for always supporting Morning Musume。 as well as Hello! Project.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude.

Well then、 without delay、 this is an announcement regarding Morning Musume。.

I would like to alter how Morning Musume。 is addressed as a group.
Morning Musume。、 from 1st January 2014 , will have their group name changed into 「Morning Musume。 ’14」.
It will be read as 「Morning Musume One Four」.

Being rechristened in 2014 after 17 years of being 「Morning Musume。」、
For the sake of the group continuing on for 10, 20, 30 years from now on
「The single of the song entitled ○○○○, when was that song from!?」 or 「○○-san、 which age of Morning Musume was she from?」
I think such simple questions can be easily answered by distinguishing them with the 「year」 address.

Accordingly, the plan is to address them as 「Morning Musume。’15(Morning Musume One Five)」 from 1st January 2015.

Well、we’ll try to go ahead with this and if it turns out to be confusing、 we might give it up、(lol)
At any rate、  from the beginning of the new year to the extent of supporting the girls who have become 「Morning Musume。’14」 、 by all means please treat them well!

Morning Musume。’14′s 55th single will be on sale 29th January 2014.
From now、it’s the start of a fresh sensation!

6th December 2013
Morning Musume。 Producer


I don't know why, but his reasoning behind the name change makes me feel like my intelligence is being insulted. Do people really have that hard of a time figuring out when each Morning Musume single was released? I think if I, a foreign teenage girl who knows like ten Japanese words, can keep up with Morning Musume's releases, so can the rest of their Japanese fans. And even if I can't, Wikipedia exists for a reason. I think his reasons behind the name change are really flimsy, and this entire thing just feels like a publicity stunt, the same way the ridiculously long title of AKB48's Janken single is. But I will deal with that song later. Anyways, this entire name change feels really super pointless. Because the name isn't even going to stick! In 2015, Morning Musume '14 will become Morning Musume '15 and so on. So why change the name if it's just going to keep changing? Another thing is that changing Morning Musume's name feels like a severe dissociation from their music of the past.

I know Tsunku's on this whole "Forget the old Morning Musume!" kick, but I think changing the group's name is going just a little bit too far. If you really want people to forget the old Morning Musume so much, then stop performing old Momusu's songs at concerts. In fact, don't even mention their older songs. When someone asks you about Love Machine, just say "What Love Machine? Morning Musume never released a Love Machine!" According to Tsunku, the name change might not even stick if it becomes too confusing. I personally don't think it's confusing, just frivolous and unnecessary. I am hoping though that it does end up being too confusing and the group's name goes back to Morning Musume. I'm not some raging traditionalist who believes that any changes made to Morning Musume are the work of the devil, but this entire thing is just so pointless. Even if the name change sticks, I'm not bothering to use it. I'll stick to being a nonconformist and a rebel! Ha! So yeah, pointless news is pointless and this name change is stupid. So glad we had this talk, guys!

Oh yeah, and Morning Musume is releasing a new single! Is it a double A-side? No? Thank the Lord Gaki, it's finally happened! A single that doesn't have two freaking A-sides I'll need to... what's that you say? It's... a triple A-side? ...no. This is... this is just a joke, right? Unfortunately, it's not. Morning Musume's (or Morning Musume '14's) first A-side of 2014 is a triple A-side consisting of What Is Love?, the J-melo song, Kimi no Kawari wa Iyashinai, the Olympics song, and Ego no Kimi wa Taiyou sa, the... song song. As happy as I am that What Is Love? is getting a release, I am not happy that it's going to be a giant triple A-side that's going to have three separate PVs that I'm gonna have to review and... ugh. The great thing about singles with more than one A-side is the rarity. It's like a little treat that gives me the opportunity to review more than one song by an artist I really like. But when they start getting released one after the other in one giant stream of double A-sides, the appeal starts to lose its luster.

It's a huge pain trying to review double A-side PVs, which is why I've been so lax on reviewing many of H!P's PVs lately. But enough about that. I really am happy that What Is Love? is finally getting a release; it's a really good song! I was hoping it would be featured as an A-side on a Morning Musume single! As for the other two A-sides, I have no idea about them, but I can pretty safely guess that both are going to be more electropop. I guess I don't mind that much, as long as it's good electropop. I'll just have to wait until January, but maybe we'll get to hear one of the two new A-sides this month! That would be nice, especially since I'm spending the rest of December enjoying my Christmas break! It really is nice to be done with this semester. And to think this was my last fall semester in high school. Pretty surreal when I think about it. Either way, it's good to be back! Now the holiday festivities can really begin!


  1. Honestly I'm not really bothered with triple A-side, but of course for you reviewing three PVs at one post would be a tiring job. But I really like What Is LOVE? (and because Tsunku a little of my idea on the lyrics) and I'm pretty curious to the other A-side! The photoshoot makes it look cool. Oh, I hope it's gonna be really cool!

    BUT I HATE AN IDEA FOR CHANGING THE NAME. That's not just unnecessary, but also irritating and bothering. MORNING MUSUME is a great name and it worked so well for 16 years. I can see the old fans look at the new generation of Momusu and say "Oh, this generation of Morning Musume. It looks so cool!" and the people who got known Momusu by this era went curious about the past Morning Musume. Like me, I heard 'Morning Musume' name so many times before I really know Morning Musume, when I read some manga I also found 'Morning Musume' name spoken by the characters. Really, Morning Musume is a legend. Nobody could change the name, even the producer himself. The unofficially title of "current Morning Musume" doesn't satisfy Tsunku, eh? Or maybe he thought just putting a dot after Morning Musume's name is not enough? I really want to scream to Tsunku with his own lyrics of What Is Love: "WHAT DO YOU WANT, TSUNKU? IS IT NECESSARY??" Ironic.

    I hope the idea of changing name is just a joke! Really!

    1. As a fan, the triple A-side doesn't bother me. As a reviewer though... it's really difficult to review so many PVs under one single. I might just choose my favorite PV and make a review of that one. Or just do a single review! Either way, the next single looks promising!

      Glad to see we're on the same page! I agree, Morning Musume works fine as a name. Changing their name feels like Tsunku's trying to cut them off from the past Momusu, which isn't exactly a good thing. I mean, I don't think it's wise to dwell on the past, but to cut if off entirely is even worse. And oh my god, I thought of the same lyrics from What Is Love! Quite appropriate. And no, Tsunku it is not necessary.

  2. There are a few things to consider here. The name change (bear with me) is guided towards casual listeners. Attempting to make sense of Morning Musume's history and lineup changes at first can be pretty daunting. I'm not exactly sure how the name change is supposed to help with this, but let's see how this plays out.

    The whole, "The Morning Musume you once knew is gone," thing was aimed at people who became fans around when the 6-8th generations were added. Celebration of Morning Musume's history in promotional activities tends to be limited to golden area songs and some popular songs from other periods.

    1. I guess I can see why it would be for casual listeners but... I don't know, there's still something about the reasoning that feels so flimsy to me. I mean, if I was a casual listener, would I want to go far into Momusu's history? Maybe if I wanted to find more about the group... Ugh, I don't know.

      I do like that Tsunku is trying to reinvent Morning Musume, but with stunts like this, I feel like he's going a little to far. It would be nice for Japan to stop focusing on Momusu's Golden Era though, but I don't know if the name change is going to help with that at all... Well, I guess we'll know if we see Love Machine performed on Momusu's next TV appearance!