AKB48 adds 4th team

During Himawari H1 revival stage AKB48 announced the formation of a 4th team. The 4th team will be called Team 4 and will consist of 10 research students who were recently promoted. The team will consist of the following members:

Shimada Haruka

Shimazaki Haruka
Oba Mina
Takeuchi Miyu
Nakamura Mariko
Yamauchi Suzuran
Nagao Mariya
Mori Anna
Ichikawa Miori
Nakamata Shiori

Since a lot of research students have been added without a team, most fans have been speculating that there was going to be members graduationg. But that’s obviously not the case. I’m a little shocked to see AKB48 adding another team. Mostly because with the addition of this team, that bring AKB48 up to 58 members. Which kind of throws off their name now. I also wonder if this means the other groups will add Team 4. They would have to follow what SKE48 did with their Team E, and name then Team 4II, Team 4III, etc. And I also wonder if they will add a Team 8. If they do and each Team has a full Team, that will bring AKB48 up to 80 members. Which would be insanly huge and a little ridiculous.

I’m a little thrown off by all of this. I understand wanting to include Research Students to the mix because they have a lot of talent, but I’m not sure they had to add another Team to do so. They could have just put them in a completely new group, or have them release another single. I also don’t know if this is the best idea for AKB48. If they did add full Team 4 and Team 8 and were at 80 members and had the other 48 groups follow suit, I think a lot of fans would get tired of the whole franchise. It would absolutely be too much of a good thing. Because if every 48 group beacame that huge, there would be 320 official 48 group members plus Research Students. Which would make the 48 group franchise burn out quicker than intended.

But this is all speculation. And just because AKB48 adds a Team 4 doesn’t mean another group will and it doesn’t mean they will add a Team 8. This is obviously just a “what if” situation. But in responce to that, could you imagine if it really did happen? 320 members is astronomical. I sure hope management knows what they are doing with this Team 4.

S/mileage’s surprising 2nd generation auditions

In an absolutely shocking turn of events H!P’s youngest group, S/mileage announced they will be holding auditions for their 2nd generation. The audition is looking for girls between the ages of 13-18. The auditions will begin on June 4th and continue throughout the month. June 4th is just 9 days before the deadline of the Morning Musume 10th generation auditions. Since both auditions are in such close proximity to each other, girls are allowed to audition for both groups. However, if they pass both auditions they can only choose one group to join. You can click here for the website.

I absolutely could not believe that S/mileage was going to add new members. I was not expecting that at all, I thought they would continue with this line up throughout their career. Much like Berryz Koubou and C-ute. Apparently at one point Tsunku said he wasn‘t finished with S/mileage, but I never heard him say that before, so this announcement was quite a shock to me. This will also mark the 2nd stabel group in H!P history to have revolving members like Morning Musume. So far only sub-groups (like Tanopopo, Mini Moni, and Pucchi Moni) as well as short lived groups (like Coconuts Musume and Country Musume) have had more than one generation. When S/mileage was formed I thought about what their future would be like. I thought they were no doubt going to have the same inevitable fate as Berryz and C-ute. To me new H!P acts are always bitter sweet. Yes, it’s awesome that we get great new music and more variety, but you know that they will eventually have to leave. (Debuting ManoEri at 18 and Kikka at 19, it’s almost like why even bother. :/) But having S/mileage have new member auditions gives hope that they could last as long as Morning Musume. Now, there is no guarantee that S/mileage will even have a 3rd generation. But coming from a business and investment point of view, it’s the smart thing to do.

There’s of course a lot of fans who are against this, or feel that S/mileage is perfect the way they are. And in a sense I can’t blame them. I don’t think anyone really saw this announcmente coming. But it seems that I always have an unpopular opinion when it comes to change, because I absolutely encourage change and I am absolutely excited for this audition. Of course, I love S/mileage the way they are. They are one of my favorite groups and I think the members fit perfectly together. They each have similar sounding voices that compliments each other’s perfectly and harmonize perfectly. But since I’m such a big fan of S/mileage I realize that this is the perfect move for them. This means the group could have longevity. And what would you rather do? Enjoy the currently line up for an undisclosed amount of time, which is most likely anywhere from 6-8 years before Ayaka starts to get too old, or enjoy them for 14 years like Momusu but just with a different line up. I think it’s pretty obvious which one is better.

Japan seems to be really interested in S/mileage. They have quite the growing following, and they won best new artist at the 52nd Japan Record Awards. It seems Tsunku and H!P wants their interest and popularity to continue to rise. And holding auditions is a great way to do that. Look at all the extra promoting and interest that has been in Morning Musume lately because of the audition and new members. I also really wonder how many members they will add. It says new member audition, but I’m actually hoping for 2 new members. I also don’t get why they are asking for such old girls to join. Momusu is asking for 10 the youngest and 17 the oldest, while S/mileage is asking for 13 the youngest and 18 the oldest. It makes no sense to me. I guess they are just trying to keep all S/mileage members the same age. Do you know who would have made a great S/mileage member? Saho Akari. Oh wait, she was just added to that dance group that doesn’t have a future. :/

This audition also really makes me wonder about what their future holds. S/mileage’s theme is youth and short skirts. They are adding new members to enchance the youth aspect. So, it seems to me that S/mileage is always going to go after that youth theme. Their singles don’t seem to be maturing and adding another young member won’t help them mature either. It seems like they will forever be a youthful and playful group. Which I’m ok with, and it would actually be a welcomed change. But it seems like because of that S/mileage members might graduate before the age Morning Musume graduate, to keep up with the theme. That would also be bitter sweet.

Here’s the audition announcement video.

Morning Musume 10th gen auditions announced!

Probably the absolutely most exciting news to have been released when I was away was the Morning Musume 10th generation auditions. The auditions announced by Tsunku during Morning Musume’s spring concert tour. The criteria is the same as the 9th gen auditions. Girls ages 10-17. The application deadline is June 13th and the girls will be added after Ai-chan’s graduation this fall. You can click here for the audition website.

I cannot contain my absolute joy and excitement for this announcement. A lot of fan are whining complaining that it’s too soon to have auditions, that the 9th gen just joined. But I don’t think it’s too soon at all. I think I’m like one of the only fans who wants yearly auditions and Momusu to have 15 members again. Which will never happen because Tsunku doesn’t want them to be more than 10. But a girl can dream, right?

This is obviously an incredibly smart move to have them audition for new members so soon. Not only because Ai-chan, the real ace of Morning Musume, is leaving, but because the rest of the 5th and 6th gen are getting old and are going to have to leave soon too.

Here’s how I see Morning Musume’s future. December Ai-chan graduates. Then at that concert the 10th gen are announced. I was thinking there’s no way they would take off any focus from Ai-chan because it’s her graduation concert, her last hurrah. So, the 10th gen might be announced a concert to two before Ai-chan’s graduation. Or they might juts wait until the start of the H!P winter concert like they did with the 9th gen. Then Risa and Sayumi receive their leader and sub-leader positions.
Early winter January or February Risa announces her graduation. Let’s be realistic it has to happen, and it has to happen soon. Risa has been a member as long as Ai-chan and has to leave soon. They release one single or album with Risa as a leader.
Then in May at the end of the spring concert tour she graduates. Sayumi and Reina take over their leader and sub-leader positions.
Early summer probably June the 11th gen auditions are announced. Shortly after Sayumi, Reina, or both graduate. Mostly likely early winter There might even be another gen thrown in there. And then the line up will be 8-11 or 12. Or the one remaining 6th gen with gens 8-11 or 12.

Please note that this is just my speculation for what I think Morning Musume’s future in a year and half times will look like, and I have absolutely no way of knowing if all of this will really happen. However, it will most likely happen somewhere along these lines. Because it’s just obvious that the 5th and 6th gen have to leave within a year or 2. The 6th gen might actually be able to squeeze another 3 year. Which I personally think it pushing it a bit, but Reina and Sayumi are only 21 and Ai-chan is 24. I do realize that Risa is only 22 but she’s been a member for 10 years, it’s too long.

Anyway, going back to the auditions themselves, I’m really excited for them. I really love all the fresh blood that’s going to be in Morning Musume. I can’t wait to see the auditions and pick which girls I want to join. I can’t wait to see if my favorite gets added. I can’t wait to see what the new members are going to be like. I can’t wait to hear them sing. I just can’t wait fot all of it!

YY becomes Yan Yan

Johnnys Net has officially announced that this April  that Hey! Say! JUMP members Yaotome Hikaru’s and Yabu Kota’s show YY JUMPing will be replaced with a new show called Yan Yan JUMP. Yan Yan JUMP is said to be a show featuring Hey! Say! JUMP and Johnny’s Junior.

Now, even thought the commercial says it’s going to feature Hey! Say! JUMP and Johnny’s Junior doesn’t mean it’s going to feature all of them. Obviously they can’t feature all of Johnny’s Junior, there are just too many of them. I suppose they could shuffle the Juniors every week, but I doubt they would do that because that would be a lot of extra work and effort. And besides, School Kakumei and YY JUMPing pretty much use the same Juniors ever week. But what’s really important is if they are going to have all 10 HSJ members or not. A couple of weeks back Yabu mentioned that he wanted to have a show with all 10 Hey! Say! JUMP members. So, was his comment actually giving fans a hint of what to expect? I actually kind of doubt it, but I really want it to be true. I’m tired of only about 7 members of HSJ being on TV shows, while the other 3 do nothing. And I’m even more tired of those TV shows not being just one TV show. Even if the members get shuffled every week, I would love for their to be a show that is for all 10 of Hey! Say! JUMP.

However, watching the commercial makes me doubt that’s actually going to happen.

The commerical shows Hikaru, Daiki, and two ABC-Z members. One of which is Hashimoto Ryosuke, who is completely the reason my beloved Arihara Kanna had to leave C-ute to “finish her studies.”
Which makes me think that Yan Yan JUMP is going to be exactly like YY JUMPing. But instead of Hikaru and Yabu, it’s Hikaru and Daiki. Which is completely unfair, if that turns out to be what Yan Yan JUMP is like. If we were going for fair Yan Yan JUMP should consist of Yabu, Ryutaro, Keito, and Inoo. Hikaru, Chinen, and Ryosuke have School Kakumei and come April Takaki, Yuto, and Daiki will have Shounen Club. Technically Shounen Club is supposed to be Hey! Say! JUMP as hosts, but it’s totally only going to be those 3.  And some could argue that Shounen Club doesn’t count as they are only MCing and it’s not a variety show. But, whatever.

Come April JUMP fans are either going to be really happy or really dissapointed.

Embedding is disabled, so click here to watch the commercial.

NMB48 auditions and their effect on Morning Musume

Akimoto Yasushi has been holding auditions for AKB48’s lastest sister unit NMB48. I’m sure most idol fans out there have known about this for a while. And rightly so, because AKB48 first announced the new group at one of their concerts in July. But I am literally just hearing about this today.
As I’ve said several times before I don’t follow AKB48, SKE48, and SDN48 as closely as I’d like to. Mostly because I’m super new to the fandom and there is a lot of girls, music, history, and general information to sift through. So much at times it feels like my head is going to explode. Right now I still can’t remember all the girls names. From memory I still only know about half the AKB48 girls’ names, no SKE48 girls (besides Matsui Jurina and Matsui Rena), and no SDN48 girls. Every time I start to really remember the girls something happens in H!P and JE that I focus all my attention on. It’s a vicious cycle. But I’m ok with my AKB48 fandom for now. You can’t imagine how hard it is to try and focus on every single Japanese idol group out there. But this is getting completely off subject now.

Since the auditions have been going on for a while now they are already on their secondary auditions. They narrowed 430 girls down to 106. And on September 20th they will be holding the third audition. Now I haven’t watched any of the NMB48 audition videos. Mostly because I can’t be bothered to search for streaming videos that could take hours to find. I’ll only do that for Morning Musume’s 9th generation auditions. But what I did watch is a video of the top 106 girls. Here’s the video.

I gotta say a vast majority of the girls are pretty unattractive. Don’t get me wrong there are a few cute girls. There are girls who reminded me of Kitagawa Keiko, Kusumi Koharu, and Ogawa Makoto. But most of them resemble horses. And I know that might sound harsh, but we’re talking about idols here. Who are based on looks over talent, being added to an agency that lip sinks nearly every performance. Do you think wotas watching this are thinking “hmm she’s ugly, but she might actually be a good singer,” or “WTF? Keep this horse face out of my group,”?

Now because I overanalyze everything and am extremely H!P biased, my immediate reactions to these auditions are, “how is this going to effect Morning Musume’s 9th gen auditions?”

I know Morning Musume, NMB48 seemingly unrelated. Except, not really. You have to factor in that these are the same girls that will most likely be auditioning for Morning Musume. The rejects of this audition will most likely audition for Morning Musume as well because the auditions are in close proximity of each other.
If a girl really wants to be an idol she’ll pretty much settle for any group. Let’s not forget AKB48 and SKE48 members have auditioned for Morning Musume before their respected groups. AKB48’s Satou Sumire, Kashiwagi Yuki, and Umeda Ayaka as well as SKE48’s Furukawa Airi and Momona Kitou.
I know some of you might not realize, or don’t want to admit, but these auditions will have a big effect on Morning Musume’s auditions. Wether the effect is a positive or a negative is up in the air.

There are two possible effects this could have on the Morning Musume auditions. Let’s start with the positive. This could definitely boost the turn out for Morning Musume’s auditions. I’m sure a lot of the heartbroken girls whose dreams have been crushed will most likely try their luck with the 9th gen Momusu auditions. Like I said before, an idol group is an idol group. If they really wanted to be an idol they wouldn’t care what group they were in.

And now for the negative possibility. And the one I personally find more plausible. Some girls might brush off the rejection and wait for another AKB48 or sister unit audition, rather than audition for Morning Musume. AKB48 and it’s sister units are extremely popular, a lot more popular than Morning Musume. They are pretty much the top idol groups in Japan right now. 7,256 girls auditioned for NMB48. I’m going to say that Morning Musume will be lucky if they get half of that.
I’d figure a lot of girls would want to be in an extremely popular group over a not so popular group. And would probably hold out for that. It seems like AKB48 takes new members frequently. AKB48 is on their 10th generation of Research Students. That’s pretty mind blowing. Considering Morning Musume is only on 8th gen currently, and H!P doesn’t take that many Eggs.

I don’t know, I try to look at Morning Musume’s future in an optimistic way. But honestly anymore it seems kinda dim.