What is the future of Morning Musume?

"What is the future for Morning Musume?"

A question that a lot of people are asking, and have been for quite some time. And now, without their weekly midday TV show, after it, along with Berikyuu, was replaced with the new show Yorosen last week, the question is more relevent than ever. These are some of my opinions and predictions on the matter...

Yorosen could either rekindle that dying flame that some would call Morning Musume as it is exponentially more interesting than the Haromoni@ that so many people have complained about. Now, however, a lot of people are revealing the hypocrisy in their opinions after claiming that nothing could be worse than HM@, they say that they would rather HM@ or no show at all over the current Yorosen. I couldn't disagree with them more. HM@ drove me to boredom and I stopped watching it regularly a long time ago. Yorosen though, I have watched semi-religiously since it started, however (the same goes for Berikyuu, though). And I believe that the show is interesting enough to recieve a major lift in TV ratings over HM@ was. (For reference, in the last season HM@ was averaging around 1% and Berikyuu around 3%) The main problem is the time slot. Yorosen isn't quite necissarily too short, considering that all 5 days added together means the weekly airtime isn't much less than Haromoni@. But, unlike Haromoni@ which aired on a Sunday afternoon, Yorosen airs after midnight every weeknight. This surely means the number of possible viewers is much lower. But I'm sure they can pull through considering that Berikyuu was the same and still achieved higher ratings.

As you may be aware, Takahashi Ai is also about to star in a winter drama which will air from January 8 to March 12 on the NHK Broadcasting Network. I, and many others, see this as a great oppertunity for Ai-chan to get a little publicity. However, Cotton Cloth posted this at Musume-Central; "Presumably this is a prelude to graduation." which recieved a very skeptical response. But I agree with him. I've had my predictions for several months that Ai-chan will graduate at the end of the Morning Musume Spring 2009 concert. And after saying that I really want Ai to graduate* I got a lot of hate-comments. But this drama could very easily be the prelude to her graduation, perhaps she is trying to break from the idol image like so many other H!P artists have been doing and will try a career in acting.

*Note: I have nothing against Ai-chan, in fact, she's one of my favourite members of the current line-up. But she is very clearly exhausted, and has been in the group for 7 years now. By the Spring concert she will have been leader for 2 years. She can't keep up with the rest of the group for much longer. And I think it's in her best interests, and ours as fans, if she were to leave the group sooner rather than later. (If you disagree or have your own opinion on this then feel free to comment. But hatemail will be deleted.)

For the last few singles, sales figures have been fairly unstable as some sell over 55k and other's fail to reach 50. Despite that, every one of Morning Musume's singles have charted in the Top 5 in Oricron (barring Morning Coffee and Mikan). And with the still-fresh 8th Generation bringing new life into the group. Despite the group's decline, I think that Morning Musume still have a bright future yet. But please, Morning Musume (and the rest of Hello!Project) relies on you buying their singles. Even if you download the music from Hello!Online or some other place, I encourage you to buy some of the songs - even if it's only your favourite group/singles from time to time. The cause of the decline in H!P sales isn't anything to do with the quality, but the number of people who think "Why buy it when I can download it for free?" And yes. I have seen people talk like that.

So what are your views? Do you think that Morning Musume's future is as bleak as some would have us believe? Or is their really a silver lining to every dark cloud?


Anonymous said...

I do agree that HM@ got boring. I stopped it this past year because they kept repeating segments and made up boring ones no one really wanted to see. I do disagree with CC's comment about aichan being in a drama that would be a prelude to graduation. Being in a drama doesn't mean that she would graduate, I think it could boost MM's popularity because she is on TV.

Your last thoughts about people buying singles are very true. If you like MM and H!P artists, please buy their music, this supports the artists and thats what will make them last. If people do not buy their music, they wouldn't exist. People who say "Why buy it when I can download it for free?" needs to get their heads examined, especially people who live in asia (asia tends to have a high piracy rate). Asians and others alike need to know that piracy hurts artists and stealing music doesn't show your support for an artist, if you care about who your favourite artists are, get some money, go to a CD store and buy a single or buy it online. If you have to download, please download from LEGAL sources like iTunes (if you want DRM...) and amazon mp3 (amazon mp3 is available for US residents only, not international at this time, No DRM).

thats my 2 cents on the issue

Anonymous said...

I'm a stubborn person and I refuse to acknowledge the bit about Ai-chan graduating until it actually happens. :P

I get quite annoyed when people declare that Morning Musume are over. I don't think they are. In fact, far from it. They are just changing. They may not be what they were once before but change can be a good thing. Single sales have decreased in general, not just MoMusu's single sales.

It would be better if a lot of fans bought their CDs as most seem to download. But I can also sympathise with those who can't due to lack of funds. I guess even just buying one CD, just to support them, is what makes a person a true fan.

And yes I agree with Momo. I don't think the drama has anything to do with her graduating, but with boosting MMs popularity.

Rad said...

I've never been able to watch Haromoni@ or the other shows because I can't get Japanese TV from here, but from my vantage point, Morning Musume doesn't need a TV show. They're one of the greatest female ensembles ever assembled, and that goes for the junior groups, too (Berryz and C-ute). It would be great to get a satellite cable TV channel with nothing but Hello! Project on it! Rad

benzourry said...

that hurt. I'm asian. And everytime I know MM releasing single, I place my order on CDJapan.

..graduation of MM member often hurting, sad. I can feel the loneliness after that. It seems like we send away one of our relative or friends. Let's pray together it's not true..

xDxD that is my dream! To watch all of H!P stuff 24 7 in my tv. Even their radio segment, I was thinking, "how great if I can listen to this broadcast live..."..It's so sad haromoni@ has ended. The day I know that, it's like my world surrounded with darkness..

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