To Be Clear

4 05 2012
image

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.

image

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.

image

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~





Inspiring

12 12 2010

Less than one week left before what I feel will be the biggest graduation concert ever for Morning Musume. Maybe the members are not as popular as Nacchi or as instrumental as Iida , but there are 3 graduating! For anyone else who’s having a hard time as the time is ticking by here’s some inspiration.

image

The image is from earlier snapshots of Rival Survival. And even though you can’t see everyone’s face clearly the colors delineate everyone. Whenever I look at the photo I feel truly inspired. Just like at Koharu’s graduation, they have a huddle onstage. And to have it onstage really shows the girls and their earnest hard work. I can’t wait to cry streams watching this concert…

Savor the last couple of days as Morning Musume will be undergoing one of the biggest transformations it has gone through since the inclusion of the 2nd generation. For better or for worse? Who knows, we’ll just have to weather it out and hope for the best. Now go and listen to that awesome B-side, Inspiration.

GANBATTEIKIMA~SSHOI!

~Siggy, who has his Rival Survival gear ready for the 15th~





Never Forget

13 08 2010

“Retcon”, it’s a word in my list of favorite words to use for no real reason. Though, when I say no real reason, I am usually (there are rare instances) using the word correctly. Actually I have a lot of words that I love using when there are simpler words that could’ve done the trick. But I digress.

Retroactive Continuity. The word, “retcon” is a portmanteau of retroactive continuity which simply means to alter established facts on purpose. Usually it is to clean up existing continuity or to correct for happenings that would cause a review of previous established continuity. Retconning as far as I know only applies to fictional works. I suppose for non-fiction works retconning would just be erasing or altering history. But retconning sounds SO much cooler than erasing history. Maybe we can make a new word … erastory, altestory? Nah, that doesn’t have a good ring to it.

So if you’ve gotten this far I will now proceed to the meat of the day. What I want to talk about today is: retconning in Hello! Project. You see the other day when the horses started neighing, thunder was striking all over the place, goldfishes around the world were swimming in figure eights, and pandas started walking into bars and shooting patrons and abruptly leaving before they paid their bills… So the other day, I was looking at this picture. And that’s when I decided I wanted to talk about retconning in Hello! Project.

モーニング娘。9期メンバーオーディション

Read the rest of this entry »





2009 Year End Hello! Project Rankings

27 12 2009

As a mark for me I’d like to remember this year as this year is one of the more important years in Hello! Project history. As far as I can remember I may have lightly sprinkled a ranking before, but I have never really solidified my rankings. And I would like to see year by year, through major developments and small subtle influences, how my rankings differ. Since becoming a fan of Hello! Project, many things have changed, many people have come and gone, and my likes and dislikes have varied.

Hello! Project after Elder Club had graduated in February

As for the year 2009, the collective group known as “Wonderful Hearts” was made the real core of Hello! Project with the mass graduation of Elder Club. As we see above, the core consists of Morning Musume (9), Berryz Koubou (7),    C-ute (7) and Mano Erina. That’s a grand total of 24 girls. Quite amazing to think that the core of Hello! Project is actually now 21 girls...

This year Berryz Koubou is the only group that hasn’t seen any change in members. C-ute was silently dropped to 6 girls soon after FOREVER LOVE. Kanna was later officially announced as resigned. Erika graduated in October. Finally, Koharu graduated earlier this month dropping Morning Musume down to 8 girls. This makes for a grand total of 21 girls in Hello! Project (excluding Eggs).

So here we are read more for my rankings for Hello! Project as of December 2009.

Read the rest of this entry »





Wonderful Hearts Summer 2008

7 11 2008

Last week I had the pleasure of watching the Wonderful Hearts Summer 2008 Concert. And boy, it was a joy to watch. I could write about everything but that would be such a long boring post. So I will simply write highlights and my most important thoughts regarding the concert in general. And of course I include pictures for fear that it would be too boring of a post otherwise (which come on… we all know it would be).

Read the rest of this entry »