I sincerely apologize for just vanishing this past month. Life kind of got carried away, so please forgive my negligence. Anywho, let’s get on to the meat of the matter.
For quite some time, fans and nonfans alike have stated that the end of Morning Musume would be soon. Whether these feelings sprouted due to a graduation announcement or a new generation audition, people were always ready to just throw in the towel and say the group was finished. And yet surprisingly, graduations have come and gone, and new faces continue to enter the group; new single releases continue to be announced and we continue to be completely floored by the sheer sleekness of the choreography, the catchy modern twist to their songs, and the continuously improving vocal prowess of the members. And fans are still hanging around.
But we wouldn’t be a fandom if we did not have those fans that continuously bitched about every little thing. “I hate the line distribution,” “This doesn’t even sound like Morning Musume anymore,” “Bring back so-and-so!!!” and the like. And while some people offer actual arguments of substance, others are just stated out of butt-hurt whining and probably to stir shit up in the fandom. Well congrats, you fans, you get the dumbfuck of the year award.
Anyway, pardon my cattiness. I haven’t had my coffee yet. With the release of the new album (which I swear I will write up a review for some time today…), the girls have shown a new, fresh side to their musical palette that I’ve definitely embraced with arms wide-open. And it seems I’m not alone in that sentiment! Old fans seem to enjoy the new vibe, and new fans are coming in, obviously attracted by the revitalized freshness the group has brought to the table. And yet people still worry?
Now fast-forward to a few hours ago this morning when Tsunku announced the solo 11th gen member Oda Sakura. While some fans were concerned over her lonesome acceptance into the group, I have a feeling she’ll be quite alright. The bright 13 year old former Egg has finally been given the chance to be a part of something incredibly monumental, with the momentum strongly on its side. If you missed the audition footage, check it out below:
So are we still worried? The girl has some pretty damn good vocals, especially for her age. And it’s not just that guttural shouting that many often credit member Sayashi Riho with. With a bit more training and fine tuning, Oda’s voice has the potential to be something amazing…much like the other members of the current line up. While the group is taking baby steps to having a less rigid vocal line-up, we cannot deny the heavy reliance on members Tanaka Reina and Riho. I say this time and again, but Reina and Sayu’s time are coming to an end, and heavy concentration must be placed on the rest of the line up in terms of vocal training otherwise, yes, certain fans’ anxiety will be justified.
Some people are already calling her an ace of the group. Well, while I do believe she will be in due time, I hate the term “ace.” It just makes everyone else seem so painfully incompetent, when they’re obviously not. Given the proper training and self-diligence, each and every girl of the 9th, 10th, and 11th generation can grow into an ace candidate. And even if they aren’t, you don’t need to be an “ace” performer to catch the eye of the adoring public. Take a look at Sayu as a current example. People will still say her singing voice is like a nail to the chalkboard, but she has improved immensely since her audition days and the public recognizes her readily. While she is no Maki Goto on stage, she excels on variety television like a pro, like an “ace” dare I say it.
But am I worried? Not in the least. For those fans complaining about the new members, you never gave them a decent chance, or your patience isn’t good enough to give the girls an opportunity to grow. For the fans complaining about the “new” music genre of recent singles, you’re being a bit parochial with your tastes. Take this as a moment of musical metamorphosis that compliments the ever-changing, revitalized image of the group’s line up. So instead of putting all your negative energy into whining and complaining, how about you fans learn to shut your mouths and listen, look, and take it all in – I mean REALLY take it all in – before you spew out ignorant and hateful comments for the sake of getting your opinion out on the internet where no one essentially cares. Give the girls a chance, and maybe you’ll be surprised. Hell, maybe you’ll even join me on the bandwagon of no-anxiety.