Makoto Love

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

Now how did this happen…?

I finally got a chance to look at scans of the notorious Morning Musume scroll photobook – called Ni Osowaru Hutsuu Kawaii Menkyokaiden and, yes, it’s supposed to be one big rolled up sheet of paper. So I’m looking at this and who catches my eye? Not Sayumi, not Mikitty, not Reina…

Well, you know the answer.

This photo was the one that immediately grabbed me. Reina and Makoto together, and whose ass draws my attention? Whose boots? Whose pale legs? Most importantly – whose ass?

As cute as Reina is in this shot, it’s a bit too cutesy, a bit too typical kawaii. She looks a bit childish and doesn’t compare as well to Makoto, who looks like a little more grown-up but still quite youthful. Perhaps most important, the curve of Makoto’s posterior is impossible to resist – in contrast, we have no real sense of Reina’s butt in that skirt. We can imagine, sure, but that’s beside the point…

Part of it is definitely the shirt Makoto’s wearing – a little butch, a little retro, way cute on the right kind of girl. Makoto seems to be going for a tomboy / yankee / slacker vibe with this outfit, basic day at the park but with kicky turquoise boots and an excess of accessories. It’s a look that suits her well, that feels down-to-earth but also lively. Vibrant, which is what Makoto should strive for.

This shot of Makoto isn’t as good as the others… it doesn’t have the genki energy which she needs to elevate her shots. Still, it’s not half-bad. Holding up fruit is a bit Manpower, though, isn’t it?

The photobook, by the way, is so-so at best. Part of it may be that I’m only looking at scans: I think actually having the scroll, the tactile thrill of the long sheet of paper, the sense of revelation and ritual, is a part of its enjoyment. So for that, I’m going to have to buy the book.

But the photos themselves aren’t all that great – an emphasis on cuteness, which isn’t a surprise given the title, but nothing that stands out in terms of settings or themes. A set of rotating headshots for each girl. It’s actually pretty cool in a strange, Bionic Idol blueprint kinda way.

This shot is just a lot of fun. The hair and the expression has a strange Jenna Elfman-esque kind of vibe for me, which may or may not be a good thing.

Something else that’s surprising is how the blonde hair is finally looking good on her. I thought it was absolutely horrid in “Chokkan 2” but now it looks more… natural? Not as shiney and blinding? I’m not sure. Maybe it just took some adjusting on my part, perhaps the way early Musume fans had to adjust to Mari’s blonde dye job and now we take it for granted. Certainly, it lightens her features in a flattering way.

So does this change my personal pecking order? Not the top of it, by any means – Sayumi and Mikitty are still my favorite for the moment. However, I’ll be keeping more of an eye out for Makoto. And one of the great thrills of Jpop idols – and Hello! Project in particular – are the surprising turns in the development of careers and personalities. That I didn’t expect Makoto is part of what makes this so delicious.

That said, I’d already been paying more attention to Makoto with the Utaban thing and that photo on Johnny’s site that has her jumping and rocking out. She seems to be honing her idol persona more, playing up her genki side to good effect. And if there’s a main fault I’ve found in the fifth gen, it’s a lack of attention to that aspect of being an idol – of having a distinct, likeable persona that makes the idol easily recognizable and fun to watch in any situation.

Makoto’s at least making an effort – and has what I suspect may be a fabulous ass. That’s gotta count for something.


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9 Responses to “Makoto Love”
  1. Johnny says:

    I don’t know if I’l be able to like her as much as Mikitty or Sayumi, but Makoto does have that certain “spunk” the other girls just don’t seem to resonate.

    That’s her idol persona and I like it.

    If Sayumi’s “Little Miss Princess”, then Makoto’s “Rocker Chick Spunky Girl”.

    (See the photo in my blog to see what I mean.)

    I’m liking that picture more and more, by the way.

  2. CJ Marsicano says:

    While you’re looking at Makoto’s booty, I’m going to take Reina, bend her over the nearest counter, and…. >:)

  3. acetonic says:

    Makochan! You need to do something about those roots!

  4. Menno says:

    This is a shocker, I expected an entry about the greatness of Miyabi.

    But isn’t it great that you can still explore new undiscovered terrains in Morning Musume.

  5. Slackius says:

    She already changed her hair color a while ago. No longer is she the platinum blonde that you see in the pics here; she’s gone to the brown that almost all the other girls have.

  6. Shay says:

    I thought the blonde hair thing in Japan was out of style now, but I won’t complain. 😉

  7. kagofeet says:

    Whatever happened to just plain jet black hair?

  8. Sami says:

    I love Makoto, and from the beginning (of my fandom, anyway), she’s been my second favorite member right after Yossi. She’s kind of like a mini Yossi in training, I guess; looking beyond Yossi, she’s the only member anywhere near as entertaining and quirky and tomboyish, to me at least. (And I find that these traits make girls most interesting, the kinds of girls I’d want to hang out with.) At any rate, I’m glad to see someone else is taking notice of her for once, even if it is in part because of her rear end.

  9. jordi says:

    Ogawa’s been one of the few that has developed a personality outside of the regular idol staple. I’ve somewhat had a soft spot for her just because of that. I also feel the same for Niigaki who I thought was boring as hell at first. Now I love her because damn she looks good in the clothes she wears.