Monday, 12 August 2013

Morning Musume is amazing! / モーニング娘。最高!

Everyone who knows me knows that I've been fangirling Morning Musume since I first discovered them in early 2006, when I was 15. One of the special traits of MoMusu that spoke to me was that they changed members regularly. Old members would graduate and new members would win auditions and gain their place. This created a steady flow of new faces bringing something new to the group, meaning the group would never be boring. The concept of releasing lots of singles before the actual album was also new to me, since Western groups mostly release an album and then singles to promote said album. This was the other way around completely and I loved that it was new and fresh - to me. There was also no knowing of how the next single would sound as singles changed genre and beat with every new release. The videos were just as intriguing as the music since each video would sport a new dance, a new member in centre, and new costumes. I loved it. I still do. Morning Musume started in 1997 and then new members would arrive in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007, while old ones graduated. But between 2007 and 2011 no new members were added and during this time hardly anyone graduated making the permanent group to Takahashi Ai, Niigaki Risa, Kamei Eri, Michishige Sayumi, Tanaka Reina, Kusumi Koharu, Mitsui Aika, Junjun and Linlin. In 2010 an audition for new members was announced and I was so excited to see new members arrive. Since 2011 9th, 10th and 11th generations have been added and writing this all from the previously known group but Michishige have graduated. But I was right to be excited. The new additions have rejuvenated MoMusu and I love their new sound. I have an almost constant medley of their three latest singles in my head.

So let me share the rejuvenated MoMusu with you.

Maji desu ka ska!

First single: 9th gen - Fukumura Mizuki, Ikuta Erina, Sayashi Riho, Suzuki Kanon
I loved this single. Mostly because it reminded me somewhat of "Koko ni Iruzee!", an old single from 2002, and because it was a nice change from the previously sort of sad, slow and adult songs MoMusu would sing. It was young, new, fresh, and happy. 

Only You

I hated this single to begin with, but now I like it a lot. To begin with I didn't approve of the sudden changes in beat and style within the song and I thought that this song would lead the way back to the sad and slow adult songs from previous MoMusu. However as I started to understand the lyrics I began to like it more and more, being the lyricholic that I am :)

Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatteirun da yo! / Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!

Last single: 5th gen - Takahashi Ai (2001-2011)
I was so busy loving "Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai" that I somewhat forgot about "Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa wo Honki de Negatteirun da yo!", but the second song is more appealing than the first. And I didn't like that they made one long video for both songs rather than two separate videos. But I can live with that. The only thing that strikes me really hard is just how beautiful Michishige is in the first video. 

Pyocopyoco Ultra

First single: 10th gen - Iikubo Haruna, Ishida Ayumi, Sato Masaki, Kudo Haruka
Hated it from the first view. It's ridiculous. And bad. So so bad. It didn't even grow on me when they used the song as opening for their new TV-drama "Suugaku Joshi Gakuen" and I had to hear it for all 12 episodes. 

Renai Hunter

Last single: 5th gen - Niigaki Risa (2001-2012), 8th gen - Mitsui Aika (2007 - 2012)
Up until recently this was my favourite new song of Morning Musume and I've listened to it so many times that I've memorised the lyrics xD This was the first time dubstep entered a MoMusu single and I wasn't at all sure at first. But now I love it!

One Two Three / The Matenrou Show
I thought "One Two Three" was too much of everything when I first heard it, and still being stuck on "Renai Hunter" I didn't listen to it anymore. "The Matenrou Show" I completely forgot existed until it showed up on their album "12, Smart". But "One Two Three" has grown on me and "The Matenrou Show" isn't bad either.

Wakuteka Take a Chance

Still can't stand this single. The only thing that makes it worth listening to are the somewhat catchy "check it out" and the only thing worth watching is Reina wearing cat ears :3

Help Me!!

First single: 11th gen - Oda Sakura
Sakura-chaaaaaan! Honestly I love this song, the dance, the outfits, the lyrics... Everything is perfect, and Sakura's singing is the major hightlight of the song. She immediately became one of my favourite members, and this song immediately became one of my favourite songs. "Help Me!!" also gained MoMusu a well-deserved #1 in the Oricon top weekly for the first time since 2009, and it sold gold for the first time since 2004. And also: Reina looks amazing!

Brainstorming / Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai
Last single: 6th gen - Tanaka Reina (2003-2013)
"Brainstorming" came along and stole the position of best new song from "Renai Hunter". Can't get enough of it. The beat and the lyrics just make me want to dance, jump and skip around a room. Once again: Sakura-chaaaaaan! "Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai" is almost as catchy as "Brainstorming" and I love it almost as much. This single also ranked #1 in the Oricon top weekly, giving MoMusu two consecutive #1, which hasn't happened since 2001. It also sold gold. Two consecutive gold singles hasn't happened since 2004.

Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke / Ai no Gundan
This single will release on the 28th but as good as these songs are I expect it to be another #1. "Wagamama Ki no Mama Ai no Joke" is extremely catchy with its "aisaretai aisaretai" and the trumpet (?) sounds of Ai no Gundan is so goddamn catchy that I can't get either out of my head. 

I'm actually expecting to see MoMusu at Kohaku Uta Gassen this year, which is the New Year show in Japan where all successful musical acts of the year participate. MoMusu have been there 10 times before. And, if I'm not mistaken, it was 10 years in a row. But seeing as they don't seem to come close to selling a million any time soon they will probably never move past their two most known songs: Love Machine and Renai Revolution 21

You need more proof that MoMusu is amazing? How about this quote from Wikipedia:
Morning Musume, sometimes referred to as MoMusu, is one of the most successful Japanese pop idol groups , holding the second highest overall single sales (of a female group) on the Oricon charts as of February 2012, with the Oricon record of most top ten singles with an amount of 50, and they have sold over 18 million copies in Japan alone.
If you bothered to listen to all the songs then you'll notice that some things have changed since "my" first new single: 

And if you wonder about my favourite members they are in generational order (with a link to latest solo song):
  1. Nakazawa Yuko 
  2. Yaguchi Mari
  3. Tsuji Nozomi
  4. Konno Asami
  5. Tanaka Reina
  6. Mitsui Aika
  7. Ikuta Erina
  8. Kudo Haruka
  9. Oda Sakura
I'm not expecting to convert anyone here. But due to the medley in my head I just had to share some MoMusu goodness to the world :3

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