To Be Clear

4 05 2012
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ULTRA SMART decision

Let me be clear about this. I wasn’t expecting this announcement. If you haven’t already heard, Mitsui Aika is graduating from Morning Musume effective on the earliest possible graduation stage. This means that in two weeks Mittsi is going to be graduating alongside Gaki-san. There are a couple of things that I want to say before I lose the burn to write about it and get boggled in my own graduation activities.

First and foremost,
I am a fan of Morning Musume, the group. I may love certain members and may not love other members but I am in love with the group. Considering the root of Mittsi’s problems, her leg injury, put her out of commission for months on end. There was a time when you wouldn’t even notice that she was a part of the group. She’s in promotional materials for AI BELIEVE, but she appeared in ? one concert? the final concert. After that she finally made a big comeback announcement. As far as I know her performing has been minimal since then. She’s there! But not 100% there. The dreaded foot injury is something that should ring a bell for those of us who follow C-ute. Kanna mysteriously disappeared for some time before being dropped (not graduated) from the group. When I had heard about Mittsi’s injury, I was hoping this wouldn’t be the case. But Mittsi appeared for promotional materials, songs, etc. She just couldn’t perform on stage!

But there was hope and she was recovering. I personally felt that she was going to break the precedent set forth by Kanna and really be the first true recovered Morning Musume girl. In light of this announcement, alas it was not to be. Months of being out of the public eye, rehabilitation and probably more importantly months of missed or incomplete rehearsal and practice… that’s all devastating to the career for any one. If Mittsi could’ve come out of this and remained relevant to the public eye, she should get a purple medal (get it? her color is purple).

For the group, I would imagine this was difficult for some of the newer girls when they might have had to re-learn formations for one member out. They might have had that planned out already so perhaps not as bad. But still, it lowers the group’s morale. There was actually a time, where Mittsi was so out of commission, we had a magazine image featuring the 11 girls of Morning Musume. Mittsi is of course #12…

I recall when fans first saw this, SOME didn’t notice that Mittsi wasn’t in it. In fact, I myself missed the fact that there were 11 girls and not 12 girls. There’s going to be an entire generation of fans that will be confused at first because they don’t see Mittsi there and see her elsewhere around the same time frame. There’s also going to be an entire generation of fans that will be massively confused at her appearance in promotional materials but her lack of appearance in other things. Granted, there will be fans who do proper research and many of us who are currently invested as fans know. But for the future fan that has yet to know, this will be a landmark of misplaced confusion. See Renai Hunter for a severe case.

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She doesn't even get to DO THAT

I would say the most controversial thing about Mittsi’s graduation, is that she is being pushed into Gaki-san’s graduation concert. Today is May 4th and the upcoming graduation concert is May 18th. That’s two weeks. Certainly, two weeks is a very awkward time frame for re-organizing plans for the concerts as well as production schedule for graduation goods. However, really the most controversial thing would be that she is graduating at the end of the ULTRA SMART concert tour. The end of the ULTRA SMART concert tour has the special distinction of being called, ULTRA SMART Niigaki Risa Graduation Special.

Now yes, I am a big fan of Gaki-san. I would be lying if I said this doesn’t disturb me. On one hand, this is Gaki-san’s night. Takahashi led the charge on her concert and had everything personalized to her tastes. You can definitely see it. Gaki-san’s tour? Well, I can’t say that I feel that the tour was really made for her, so Gaki-san already lost out on that. Now the addition of Mittsi to the graduation agenda, kind of dampens this further. I’m glad that Mittsi gets a proper send-off. In fact, I’m glad that I’ll get to see two graduations! But I do feel salty about Gaki-san sharing her concert. It kind of reminds me of when JunJun and LinLin graduated with Kamei. I felt that was a bad match. In the end it turned out all right (to me at least). Perhaps it’ll turn out fine for Mittsi and Gaki-san. THEY BETTER HAVE MITSUI GRADUATE FIRST, THEN GAKI-SAN. Sorry… just thinking out loud.

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Now depending on the area you’re from and the fan environment that you’re around, there’s going to be a mixed bag of reactions and comments. The fandom that I am around seems to be rather two sided. One side is an absolute bashfest of Mittsi and the other side are the defenders. To be honest, it doesn’t make me rage but it makes me … disappointed? I guess that would be the word. It makes me disappointed that Mittsi gets made fun of so much etc. The defenders, I seem to notice mainly because of the bashfest. Mittsi fans seem to be on the defense every now and then. It’s a product of the bashing that Mittsi gets, that we end up having such a schism in fandom. Not that I’m calling anyone out for being a fan of Mittsi or anything, I’d rather be calling out bashers. I just feel like I see this kind of divide here with Mittsi more than any other girl. I suppose the second girl to get this treatment would be Gaki-san, but it’s nowhere near as severe.

*sigh* So tl;dr, I’m disappointed that Mittsi gets the treatment she does. I personally don’t dislike her to the point that I would bash her. I’m not the kind of person to bash the girls for a group that I love and respect. But at the same time, I don’t jive with those kind of comments etc. It isn’t funny and it’s mostly uncalled for. My view on Mittsi is that she hasn’t had the time to shine on me. To be fair, with kyuukies coming in and the whirlwind of graduations etc, it’s hard. Initially, Mittsi was in my bottom ranking guaranteed. She’s now second to last. But during her time with Morning Musume, she’s proved herself to me. If anything, this entire process of health recovery (she isn’t the first girl to think of her health first) on top of her duties as a member of Morning Musume has been endearing.

Mitsui Aika, congratulations on your graduation. May you live a healthy life! Word on the streets are that she’s not graduating from Hello! Project so she may still yet be in the limelight! I know that you’ve truly enjoyed your time in Morning Musume and many adoring fans have enjoyed your presence as well! I respect your initial wishes to keep up with the group and I respect even more the fact that you’ve thought all of this through. Like I said, it’s been endearing. I’ll always remember you for being a trooper.

I’ll try my best to forget how you stole my dear Gaki-san’s night.

~Siggy, who is now so hype to see two graduations in one~





Ganbarimasu

23 04 2011

Long time no see all, no surprise school has been keeping me more than busy. And with the way I blog, that would take way too much time out of my routine schedule, so no insightful posts. Tonight is an exception, assuming that I can finish the draft before I get sleepy or have to do something.

While sitting on the bus traveling back to the shore, I was being contemplative.  Have no idea why, but it tends to happen when I look outside windows in the dark while moving. Auto vehicles do that.

So what pray tell have I been contemplating about? I’ve been thinking about the word “がんばる”. For non-Japanese readers that word is “ganbaru”.

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An Unprecedented Development

8 08 2010

Today is unprecedented. That’s how I feel about today. I woke up around 5:30am because it was really hot. I had started getting summer sickness just the other day and was intentionally trying to heat myself to oblivion so I my body could take care of the rest. Well indeed it woke me up from a good sleep. After going to the bathroom and getting rehydrated I decided to check the tweets that had accumulated since around 12:30am. The cyan light of the trackball stopped as I unlocked the screen to my N1. I activated Twidroyd and was surprised to see …

I was surprised to see that the most recent tweet wasn’t the last one I made. I was under the assumption that Twidroyd would start me at the last tweet I had seen so I could progress throughout the day and not have conversation/news lag. Rather the first thing I read was:

“@SQKIsiggy I’m waiting for announcement of 9th gen audition or eggs being added in momusu.”

That was square in the middle of the screen (I tend to look at the center first). At first I had no idea what that was supposed to mean. Mind you I’m barely awake and still adjusting to artificial lighting. The reply on Twitter had nothing to do with the previous thing I was talking about with my friend, which was commission on ticket sales. So then I scroll down to get back to my previous tweet to start the catch up. Here’s a sample of what comes up along the way in no particular order. Also note, I’m assuming that these are all in reaction to the development, if they weren’t I apologize for misquoting you.

“so are we taking bets on when c-ute will be disbanded? =)”
”Well at least we still have Aika”
”LOL.”
”Can anyone remember when good stuff happened with Morning Musume?”
”OH SHIT GRADUATIONS”
“Yo Pandas and Eri, I’m sad and I’mma let you graduate, but let me just say that KagoTsuji had the best graduation of ALL TIME”

and the one that presumably set everything off, courtesy of Hello! Online.

“Tsunku announced @ today’s H!P con & on his blog that Kamei, Jun and Lin are graduating. There will be a 9th gen audition.”

I would like to note that the next time Morning Musume goes to some expo in some foreign country, we best brace ourselves. America = Koharu, France and Shanghai = Kamei, JunJun and LinLin. Do I smell a conspiracy? Also, notice the date of the announcement, 8/8. The Chinese like to use 88 to say bye. Coincidence?

*Please remember that all non-facts here are my opinions and should be treated as opinions.*

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HelloStoreUSA Flickr Contest

30 05 2010

So not too long ago, HelloStoreUSA (henceforth known as H!S, I’ve seen HSU, but I like H!S more) made their own official group pool for pictures on Flickr. They were to select their favorite picture for official goods in an arrangement (room, etc) and also fan with official goods. I was pretty excited about it and made plans to take pictures. It took a little more than an hour and a half to get two acceptable pictures XD

The very first and worst pictureThe end result which was my second to last attempt

All the pictures seen are the original un-edited, un-cropped pictures. Read on for the grueling process this was.

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2009 Year in Review

31 12 2009

As it is the end of year, I take this time to reflect on all that I can remember about this year. There’s no way I can remember the sheer amount of things that happen over the course of like 350+ days unless it sticks out. And this will be an overview of what stuck out for me. The review is separated into early winter, spring, summer and fall/winter seasons. Long post, but that’s only because I have a lot to say about some things and I like writing a lot. By the by, those links sprinkled here and there are links to the relevant post I made over this year.

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Pucchi Best 10: The Year of Many Groups

18 12 2009

As the year draws close we remember all of the things that happened this year and look forward to what next year brings us. While, this is not my retrospective year end post, it will make up a portion of my look back as the Pucchi Best 10 album features one of the most shocking developments of the year.  The CORE groups / one soloist of Hello! Project 2009. I miss my Elder Club T___T...

Surprisingly, Hello! Project is really reduced to nearly this few girls.

That’s right, it was a big deal when it was announced… what just before summer? I’m talking about the revival of the sub-groups. Read more for my retrospective (you can call it a review too) for the album.

Warning… this is actually legitimately a long post, what with my required background check and all. Though if you are familiar with the sub-groups you may opt to skim/skip through it. I just felt like taking that stroll down memory lane ^___^. Also, do read the alternate text for images, as they contain some extra commentary.

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Kusumi Koharu Sotsugyou Shimasu

5 12 2009

When I hear that (the title), I understand what it means. Because I know what  sotsugyou, (卒業) means. Literally, I was introduced to this Japanese word long before I even knew of Hello! Project. But ever since Hello! Project the word means so much more. It’s a phenomenon that every Hello! Project fan has to contend with. Yes, I’m talking about the almighty banhammer that UFA wields, graduation!I'ma graduate!

For those who don’t know what this particular “graduation” is you can read below for a brief explanation, otherwise I assume anyone reading this already knows what this is about and can simply read more for the full article.

Graduation: By definition is a process in which one receives acknowledgement and his/her/their status is changed. Students graduate from high school when they have finished their required coursework. In Hello! Project, the groups have a graduation method in which a member leaves the group, having run their course, to do other things, to go back to living a normal life. These graduations to the fans mean a lot, very much like a school graduation means a lot to the parents of their respective child(ren).

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