Friday, March 21, 2014

Second Time's the Charm?

It's baaaaack!!!

Hear ye, hear ye, the 12th Generation auditions for Morning Musume '14 have returned! Of course no longer are they the Mirai Shoujo Auditions; they're the Golden Auditions! Ah yes, I can see the glitter now. Did you know that this is the last audition that I'll be young enough to audition for? I know, very sad. It's so sad that I'm playing a very small, sad violin right now. Let us all have a moment of silence for Nia getting old. Okay, moment of silence is over. I got news to comment upon that I should have commented upon several days ago. But things happen. The same rules apply from previous auditions: girls must be 10-17 years old to audition, and the auditions are looking for some generic archetype of a girl that can apply to just about every teenage girl on the planet. Oh wait, what was the profile description again? Ah, yes: "A girl who loves singing, and who strongly believes in her own future. And even though she’s not so certain about her confidence, she still wants to try." So yeah, just your basic teenage girl. Deadline for the application is May 11. The girls who make 12th Gen. won't immediately join the group but spend the rest of the year taking performance lessons and debut in 2015. Any finalists have the option to join the H!P Kenshuusei and never be heard of again. Let's see, anything else? Oh yeah, Kenshuusei can audition if they want.

Well, we all knew that Morning Musume would hold auditions again, very likely to make up for the lack of a 12th Generation from last time and the bullshit reason that went along with that. I guess it's time for an audition? I don't know, I really don't care much for Morning Musume auditions anymore. It's always the same thing. A few girls get shown on television, everyone gets super hyped, only two-four of those girl get in, and then everyone throws an uproar about the results before moving on. It gets kind of monotonous after awhile, and I've never found watching auditions to be a very pleasant experience. I don't mean to be a party pooper, but I've just never found auditions to be that exciting to watch. You see all these girls with hopes and dreams practically plastered across their faces giving everything ounce of effort they have. And all while, you internally know that only a fraction of them will be able to achieve said hopes and dreams for reasons beyond their control and... it's just kind of depressing. I mean, you just know that hundreds of girls are about to get their hopes crushed when they walk into that audition room, and it just... yeah, you get what I'm saying.

I guess auditions keep hype around Morning Musume circulating; they were a really big even in the group's older days. I think the only auditions I've really gotten into though were the 9th Generation auditions, and that's probably because they were my first auditions to watch. Not to mention that was when Morning Musume needed new members. The triple-graduation of Eri, Linlin, and Junjun had left Momusu as a five-member group. The 9th Generation brought younger, fresher faces. Then Ai graduated, and even a 10th Generation felt kind of necessary. Then 11th Generation and Sakura's lovely voice came along, and I could at least understand that. But why 12th Generations now? Nobody's usurping Riho's center position nor Sakura, Mizuki, Sayumi, Masaki, or Ayumi's front girl positions. Those new girls will probably just get pushed to the back alongside Eripon and Zukki save for maybe one girl who management decides to get a major push. It happens every time. And that's even when those girls do perform with the group. First they have to through "training." Probably because Tsunku is obsessed with creating this polished, perfect image for Morning Musume. But even then, is that necessary? I mean, part of the fun I found with auditions was the after part of seeing the girls first debut and then watching them grow from there.

With this auditioning system, we won't see that growth; we'll just get the final product. And personally, I think that's kind of boring. I mean, I love hearing nice singing and good dancing, but watching someone go from a certain skill level to a higher one makes that even more appealing. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic. There is that Cuca girl who's really popular, right? Maybe she'll audition. The one thing I do expect from this audition announcement is that Sayumi's going to graduate soon. No, probably not this year but some time next year, around mid-2015. She's had the longest tenure of any Morning Musume member, and she's been leader for quite awhile. The girl will be 25 this year; I think Mizuki and Haruna can handle leading the group just fine without her. It's not that I really want Sayu to graduate, but I wouldn't be surprised if she did. If she does, I expect she'll go out big. By then, it'll be interesting to see what Momusu will be like with no members older than the 9th Generation! I suspect it'll seem pretty surreal at first, but maybe these 12th Gen. girls can fill in the gap left by Sayu's graduation. If it happens. This is all purely speculation, and Sayu doesn't look like she's budging from the group any time soon.

Also, how is Tsunku going to hold auditions if he's getting treatment for laryngeal cancer? He's on hiatus right now so... where do auditions fit into that hiatus? Is someone else going to run the auditions and just show the recordings to Tsunku and let him pick? How is this supposed to work? I know the cancer was thankfully caught in an early stage, so hopefully the treatment will be quick but still. I mean, he is getting surgery for the cancer. Lord knows if he'll be able to use his voice after that. As of now, there aren't any definitive dates for when he'll be back off hiatus. So will UFP hire other producers and composers while he's out, or just have the H!P groups not release anything new until he's back? I know the idea seems a little blasphemous, but I could go for other songwriters producing stuff for Morning Musume, Berryz, C-ute, S/mileage, and Juice=Juice. It may be different, but different is always interesting in my opinion! Maybe not always good... but interesting! I know things are very rough for Tsunku right now so I wish him all the best in a speedy recovery that will hopefully not mess with his judgement so that he can pick girls that will fit in with Morning Musume!

Oh yeah, still not calling them Morning Musume '14. I remain unswayed. Anyways, I'll see you all at auditions where we can all collectively speculate, rage, and watch over the many girls who will try out for the second 12th Generation. Hopefully, there will be winners this time!


  1. I'm not okay(or maybe Daijobanai?) with this. The last time it happened MoMusu songs sucked. I don't want this, really, there are so good stuff they can do now!

    Oh, and I want to see what they'll do this year! Other producers working on H!P might be a great thing! Like Hyadain working with S/mileage, or somebody from Avex dealing with Berryz.

    1. Maybe with Tsunku on hiatus the songs will be different? I don't know, but the auditions are happening either way...

      Now Hyadain working with H!P, THAT'S something I'd like to see! Hell, if Tsunku wants to continue with electropop, he should just commission Nakata. Of course knowing UFP, they'll make some dumb decision that makes absolutely no sense! Ah, good ol' UFP...

  2. "Also, how is Tsunku going to hold auditions if he's getting treatment for laryngeal cancer? He's on hiatus right now so... where do auditions fit into that hiatus? Is someone else going to run the auditions and just show the recordings to Tsunku and let him pick?"

    Keep in mind that Hello! Project is managed chiefly by other Up-Front staff. Tsunku has pretty limited input into things like auditions. A big issue is that he's H!P's primary backing vocalist, so that may change things for songs yet to be recorded.

    Anyway I think speculating on the 12th generation is useless because the results are already obvious. Morisanchuu will be chosen as the 12th generation members. Watch out Riho, the new centers are coming.

    1. Of course I know that, it's just always kind of... I don't know how to explain it, but Tsunku's always there for auditions. The big issue, as you said, is more with his composition and backing vocals on tracks.

      Speculating the 12th generation may be useless, but it's still fun! And I have no idea who that person you said is. Is she a Kenshuusei? Oh well, I don't really care. The auditions will be interesting to say the least.