Repositioning Tsuji

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

I saw an interesting clip from a show called Ichiyou no Omoi. I may be reading too much into it, but it seems to be repositioning Tsuji to remind people she isn’t just “the other half of W”.

It’s a two-and-a-half minute segment that’s apparently a regular on this show. There’s a whole opening sequence where this mailbox begins to glow when a woman drops a letter into it. According to my wife, who translated as I watched the clip, it’s all about people writing letters to express their true feelings.

Here is Tsuji, not looking sexy in particular but what the heck, she’s had a tough month.

She talks about how Yossi is inspirational as the leader of Gatas and talked to Tsuji to convince her to stay on the team. From what I gather (and as always, please correct me if I’m wrong), she doesn’t mean a recent decision to leave but rather the point where Gatas went from a mild diversion to a serious commitment.

So in a setting that reminds me of a lobby of a cheap Waikiki hotel – all those rocks, all that vegetation, we just need waterfalls and wicker – Tsuji writes her letter to Yossi, expressing her admiration and gratitude.

Poor Tsuji. Right now, I’m not even wondering about Kago. Fair or not, I think the way her actions shafted Tsuji in particular – as well as H!P and their fans – makes me care more about how Tsuji’s doing, how she’s going to get past this scandal she had no control over.

Unfortunately, the taint of the Bakajo test looms in my thoughts as I watched Tsuji write. Is she looking so intense because she’s expressing deep emotions, or because she’s having trouble with her kanji?

Here’s a clip they show of Gatas. Yossi looks like she’s holding on tight to her girlfriend, and there’s Rika obscured by the camera guy. It’s interesting how forceful and confident Yossi looks in the clips chosen for this segment.

Call me crazy but I see a couple subtexts here.

First, there’s the reminder that Tsuji is part of the fourth gen, three of whom play for Gatas. In that light, in that context, we can be reminded she’s more than half of Tsujikago – she’s an athlete, she’s a part of the greatest Momusu gen of all time… Though of course, she wouldn’t have made it into Momusu if it wasn’t for her chemistry with Kago. But we won’t think about that right now, will we?

Second, there’s just a hint of new romance in all this. The letter is a billet doux to her Gatas captain, and the shots with Yossi not only give a sense of cameraderie but also… comfort? Bonding? This is of course colored by the situation with Kago, where the romantic subtext was always played around with in a silly, pre-teen way. Here, there’s something more… I don’t know… special friendship with a special mentor kind of thing. The Edwardian ideal for male bonding, but female. And Japanese. And futsal-y.

Of course, there’s no mention of Tsuji’s first – and greatest – love. A person can watch this and assume that Tsuji went from being in Morning Musume to playing in Gatas, all under the hopeful tutelage of senpai Yossi.

Here’s the actual letter. It’s so touching and so… obvious, I guess. And it’s not that I dislike such manipulation – this is Jpop, after all, and manipulation of image is taken for granted. As a matter of fact, I admire this attempt to separate Tsuji from Kago, it’s a sophisticated bit of damage control to save one idol from her association with another idol.

I’m interested in seeing if she’s going to continue along this image redevelopment in coming weeks. This brings up some questions, as always. Will Tsuji just be a goalie and not a singer? Will she be allowed a solo record? (Doubtful.) Or will she take a special place of honor in this year’s shuffles as a result of what’s happened? (Assuming Kago is still suspended at that time – and there’s nothing indicating if/when the suspension ends, which is mildly disturbing.)

And if/when Kago and Tsuji are reunited, will their dynamic change? Will each be more cautious around each other, will the chemistry be upended?

I’ll be keeping a close eye on future Tsuji appearances. This is turning interesting again…

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7 Responses to “Repositioning Tsuji”
  1. Tsuji_Eriku says:

    I guess I gotta keep an eye on Mrs. Tsuji when she’s around Yossie hehe. God she’s looking so thin!!!!!

  2. jordi says:

    Well Yossi admits at times that she was never that close to Rika despite being paired up with her so many times. I think the general thing was Yossi & Kago (aka the Haromoni confession where Kago peeked into Yossi changing)

  3. Chuck says:

    Out of curiosity, when has Yossi said that? (I don’t really doubt it. I’m just curious to see.)

  4. KagoFeet says:

    Tsuji is always full of surprises. I think that through these awkward times she will pull through and show everyone that she’s not just the other half of W. You’ll never know, she might just come out with a bang. Let us hope that it will be good.

  5. jordi says:

    I’m not completely sure when but it’s from possibly her Hello!Yossui column or maybe some sort of personal interview like the Tsunku ones.

  6. mone says:

    man~~ this is sad.. i just starting to like Morning Musume while finding their details.. and this..*POP* up.. its quite sad..
    i wanna know more..??

  7. Julia says:

    I’m just becoming a fan too, I just became somewhat obsessed with W a few weeks ago. W more than anyone else in H!P. The one group going through this. Why couldn’t I just have gotten into Berryz or something? But noooo, I had to go for the group with their single and album postponed. I blame Sabishii Nettaigyo for being so catchy…but anyway, I just hope Kago and Tsuji are reunited in H!P soon.