The H!P Kids Are Alright 2: Henkka

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I shall snatch away this opportunity to post the very first reply for this new feature of Mr. Mescallado’s. If this does not earn me a spot in the history books, I’m not sure what will.

You know, this is a difficult subject that I’m not even exactly sure what to think about myself. Before I could write this, I first had to sit down and think what I really do think about the subject in the first place!

First off, I’m sorry to say but I’m not able to offer such an extreme stance on it as Ray, in that Morning Musume should be brought down and be “replaced” by Berryz and the Cuties. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Berryz and the Cuties, and C-ute, to me, even has the added bonus in that they are first and only group I’ve been able to follow closely ever since their debut (well, major debut that is) so they definitely hold a special place in my heart. I just do not consider Morning Musume a “lost cause” at all.

To be honest, Morning Musume holds an even more special place in my heart, and I’m sure they do for the majority of fans. They just have so much history, so many interesting memories… I just wouldn’t bear to have them become another… oh, I don’t know, Melon Kinenbi. But enough babbling about. What I would personally like to see is Morning Musume remaining the flagship unit, but Berryz and C-ute rising up alongside them to be as important. I know, such a cop-out right? But in any case, that’s what I would like to see happen… but let’s face it, it’s probably not going to. I think they will always promote Morning Musume a bit more earnestly than everyone else, that’s just something I don’t see ever changing. Well, not in the near future anyway.

Still, here’s something many people often forget: the H!P Kids have all been there longer than everyone in the current Momusu line-up, save for Takitty and Risa. They have been with us since mid-2002 already and have been working hard ever since. I believe Berryz and C-ute deserve to be the flagship units just as much as Morning Musume does, more so now than ever before.

I’d like to talk about the stability Ray mentioned. I agree with Ray here (to an extent), Morning Musume and the audition/graduation business should stop… but I don’t want it to, not quite yet. And why is that? Because let’s face it, the current Morning Musume line-up is, I’m sorry to say, weak. Very weak. Singing-wise, they’re alright. They’re not the best possible line-up in that sense, but they’re pretty decent and they can all still grow as singers tremendously. But personality-wise? Ugh, they’re ALL more or less extremely boring. I’m not a Morning Musume hater or one to always hope for the Golden Age return (quite the opposite really), but really, just thinking back on the line-up of LOVE Machine… there really was not a weak link in there, everyone served a purpose in the group. Now THAT was real entertainment! Hell, even looking back and watching the Ai no Tane PV, I can’t help but feel just this strong sense of pure personality and warmness oozing from it. These days? Hah, the only thing you have to do is watch a recent episode of Utaban or something, and you just find yourself sighing in disappointment and thinking “man, it’s just not the same anymore.”

So what am I proposing here, exactly? It should stop, indeed… but not before bringing in one more generation of members. Just one more BIG batch of people, 4 or maybe even 5 new girls. But not just any group of new people. What needs to happen is another 4th generation, which was basically just a bunch of STRONG personalities, even though some of them were very good singers too. What Morning Musume really needs is just a huge injection of personality to the group. Bring in people like the cynical Miki, the bitchy Yuko, the comedian Yossie (though Junjun is a good start), the weirdness of Kaori… you get my point.

As a metalhead, I have always felt a strong distaste for marketing the PEOPLE in music instead of… the music. However, I’m not an idiot; I do realize this is j-pop and idol business we’re talking about here, they can not possibly market these girls in the same manner as Opeth, Cannibal Corpse, or hell, Prostitute Disfiguration. No, as much as I would like it to be true, simply making good music can not make them reach the same popularity as some of the huge Johnny’s Entertainment groups. The music has to be great, true, and it’d be nice if they were good singers also, but the main thing is they have to be interesting as idols. Whether they’re really the people they appear to be or if they’re just portraying a role, that doesn’t really matter.

Now, you can ask yourself the question, “are the current Morning Musume interesting as people?” Well, I think not. And this is a problem if they want crazy sales like some of the Johnnys. I do not think the current boring Momusu could seriously top the charts (not for very long at least) unless Tsunku really just came up with the catchiest, best song ever.

Berryz and C-ute, on the other hand? Are they interesting as idols? I do not know them very well yet as they have never been too prominently featured in any TV shows (hopefully their upcoming show Berikyuu will fix this!) or anything like that, I only know what I have seen from little things like the making of PV’s and that kind of stuff. I know there are some very interesting girls in their ranks, mainly Chinami comes to mind. But I personally think it’s comparable to the Ai no Tane PV I mentioned. Sure, that 5nin Musume line-up was full of shy and mostly quiet girls and they seemed all ordinary at the time, but like I said, there is a strange sense of familiarity and personality shining from that PV nonetheless, you know?

I get the same feeling from Berryz and C-ute now. Maybe it is just me, but I definitely get that very same kind of vibe from the Kids. Something special. Kind of like they are ready to take over the world if they were given the proper chance to do just that. Or at least Oricon, which is basically the same thing!

But hey, that’s just me! What do you guys think, Celestia and Broomhead?


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2 Responses to “The H!P Kids Are Alright 2: Henkka”
  1. Radicalipton says:

    Very balanced perspective here. Yes, I favor keeping Morning Musume as the flag ship, but, yes, it is a weak lineup. Aika is the fresh face, but the Pandas are simply not strong enough; they need more exposure. In retrospect, JunJun might have been too old already to be viable Morning Musume material.

    But the silver lining is that Risa is stepping up, even as her years in Morning Musume are winding down. Aichan is holding her own, if she just gets rid of the cornrow haircut. Reina still sparkles. Eri has never let up, but is brushing with a smoldering boyfriend scandal. Still, you have a strong quartet upon which to build.

    But no lede singer. Not a one. Morning Musume went from two strong ledes, Miki and Yossie, to zero and that is a gaping hole.

    And, finally, which lifts this post from merely good to great, is the colmments on personality. It’s just not there with the current Morning Musume. Yossie was always laughing at something. Miki always ribbed everybody else and never took herself that seriously.

    P.S.: Yes, it’s the MUSIC, not the people. Always.

  2. Cat says:

    I’m not a Momusu hater either, but I have to agree… I was watching the Utaban episodes where the 6th gen were introduced, and Tanaka had great potential there, now all she does is winking spastically all the time, Kamei is very entertaining in her own right, but it took her so long to get out of her shell that now nobody really cares about it, Aika is sweet but she needs to be more self-confident and step it up a bit, it’s a shame that she’s being choked in Koharu’s shadow, especially when you consider how much of a better singer Aika is when compared to Koha. The pandas? I don’t mean to be mean, but as long as they aren’t fluent in japanese, they are going to be lagging a bit. Junjun has already shown lots of personality potential (I don’t really get it most of the time, but everyone loves her…) so she might be a good option of a spark. Everyone has already dissed Aichan, but I find her to be the most solid and reliable member along with Risa, who has a fun personality too, but she’s never given the spotlight, so that can’t be good. To wrap this HUGE pointless comment up, Sayu is great, they should promote her more. She’s constantly kept the same idol persona through the years and her sassy-bitchy ┬┤comments are a laugh, and a breath of fresh air.
    And last, Koharu… she is on crack, I swear. And people seem to like that, and I will agree with them that it’s entertaining for a while, but a whole TV show (like an old Tokuban…) with her acting like that probably wouldn’t work.

    I don’t think that Berryz or C-ute are all that interesting on a personal level, but at least they have the novelty factor, which makes them look cute and appealing. When a MM does a funny face, winks, blows a kiss or whatever, it just seems stale. 10 years are a heavy load, but this girls are talented, and I do think that they deserve the flagship position. And a new generation of more than 3 girls. Screw those 1 person generations, I’m sick of that crap, I want to see different characters, and how each of them interacts with the group and stuff… Just one girl is lame.



  1. International Wota » Blog Archive » American Wota: Henkka and Celestia answer the call