Monday, October 14, 2013

Why? wHy? whY? WHY?!?!?

Why doesn't Hello!Project have more bikini-videos?
Why doesn't H!P put more fanservice to MVs?
Why does Riho/Sakura/Risako/Airi/Miyabi/Karin/Kanon F./Meimi/SOMEONE get so much lines?
Why do the worst singers get most lines to sing?
Why doesn't the best singers get any lines?
Why doesn't group x sell good?/Why the group x's sales are so low?
(Why doesn't Berryz get as much promotion as C-ute/Why doesn't Berryz sell as great as C-ute does?)
Why does H!P use so much autotune and dubstep?

Since I have too much time to do nothing, I think a lot about these kinds of questions. And I decided to answer them and explain my opinions/facts (idk decide by yourself what them are) with my awesome Engrish.
I'll try to explain all my opinions open. Warning: long post. Get ready.

1st question:


They're under the rock, I bet!
But yeah. Let's start with this fact, that Japan has DOZENS of idol-groups. And HUNDRES of idols. You can choose any group you want. But if you're idol in an idol-group, you have to work a lot to become more popular. It isn't enough to be an idol-group that sings cute idol-songs and has cute teenage girls as members. There must be something different why this idol-group is better than all the other groups.

Get it? Okay, good.
Let's play producer, and product a new idol group. Let's call it Group X. The Group X has five cute girls, couple of cute idol songs where everything is okay and they want to love you. But there is a problem. Group X has a lot rivals and the girls don't always know how many is going to watch their little concert. Are there over 100 people in the audience or less than 50?
Girls work hard but they don't have much budjet because they don't sell as much as, for example, new Hello!Project group Juice=Juice, whose first major-single sold over 40k. Is there any way to get more fans, more promotion, more spotlight and the most important - more money?

Yes, there is. Gravure-photoshoots. Throw your clothes away and look cute in underwears or bikinis.

This is a pretty stereotypical way but you see what I mean?
I mean, that if you're lucky girl and get into Hello!Project, maybe you don't have to do gravure-shoots for first when you want to became an idol. And if you're luckier than just a trainee, you can become a part of a new group and sell over 10k (maybe over 50k!) copies with your and your group's first major single.

H!P doesn't have to catch the audience's attention with girls wearing only underwears/bikinis. Tsunku has also said, that Hello!Project isn't a product, it's a production - so Hello!Project/Up-Front have to show that H!P groups are more than just cute girls with pretty faces. And H!P/UFP don't have interest to do more bikini-shoots than they have to do - like photobooks, Alo!Hellos etc.Maybe they don't have anyone grown up (over 20y old) to do bikini shoots all the time. There is only 2 girls in the H!P who've done at least 10 photobooks - Sayumi and Airi. And right now only Sayumi could do sexy things but I don't see her to do something like Gocchin's go to natura-PB (what was released under avex but anyway).

Okay then, where is the fansercive then?
I'd answer the same way: H!P/UFP doesn't have interest to do it. Also, there are young girls so maybe they don't want to create new scandal about "how kids have to kiss each other!!!11". The girls have contract with Up-Front, and because they're under-aged, I bet the contract is done with their parents. I have no idea what the contract says, but if UFP wants to keep parents happy, I bet there is something about fanservice, bikinis etc.

When girls turn 20, they're adult then and the contract is signed by themselves then. And if we/I talk about fanservice as girlxgirl-thing like AKB48's Heavy Rotation MV, H!P has done it too. But the girls who've done it have been over 20y old.

H!P and 48 has also different imagos so I wouldn't compare them together.

2nd question:


It's an opinion who can sing and who can't. But let me explain something first: every group needs an ace. Every group need a center girl who has nice look, good voice, possibly fun personality and can dance while singing.

When Japanese people see MoMusu performing, their react is also "wow they sing live" and "lol i know only Sayumi there". It's a problem. It's a problem when there is 9 other girls and people know only Sayumi, the oldest one, who will graduate in two years. That is the biggest reason why UFP pushes Riho up so much.

One•Two•Three were Reina/Riho-lead because Gaki and Aika graduated. If  people know only Sayumi and Reina there, what would you do as a producer? Of course promote the other members but how? "Let's give everyone lines as much!" - good idea but if people find new idol group and PFFFUUUUSSSHHHSHSH HERE IS ALL THE MEMBERS. There is usually that one girls who people point out and after that they'll search more information of her. (Same happened with me: I suddenly watched another 48 show where they played classic chair-play. When music ends, they had to find chair where to sit. Somehow HKT48 Anna Murashige caught my eyes and now I'm listening Suki Suki Skip like all the time o\ She is cute and fun but I love H!P right now the most.)

I'm still surprised why, for example, Airi doesn't get that much shit in the neck as Riho gets. But let me say, all main-vocals can sing. They can do the right technic even her voice doesn't sound as an angel for you. Let's take Reina here. Reina sang in an awesome way even I didn't like her voice. But I can say she can sing.

Main vocals might not be
the greatest singer ever, especially if they have joined like couple of years ago. But in fact, Riho is better singer than Kanon. I know, I know. I hate Kanon etc when I said like that but have you ever thought that we have MORE proof of Riho's singing than Kanon's. And when there is more clips of Riho singing, there is also parts where her voice brokes or doesn't sound that good.

I didn't say Kanon can't sing at all, she is not just as good as Riho. Both has a lot potential and when Kanon starts to take singing more serious than now and becomes better, I bet she can get a main-singer place at one day. It isn't "well they don't give her lines to sing!" or "only Riho gets voice-training". It's all about the girls.

Remember when Sakura told how Masaki got pissed off because Sakura got lines so early? I mean Help Me!!. Compare it to Pyoco Pyoco Ultra. I understand why Masaki didn't like it. She was the senpai for kohai, Sakura, and Masaki has worked than Sakura. So of course it sounds so unfair to give big lines to newbie.
It was same with Riho and Only You. UFP gave the center-role to Riho because when new member gets more promotion, it makes some girls think that the newbie is new rival. When there is rival, of course the girls work more to win their rival. ok one reason to promote Riho was also the fact that Ai, Gaki, Aika and Reina were graduating in the future back 2011.

But can you see my point? If you're ok with that fact that your kohai has bigger role than you, then okay. You don't have to improve yourself, but then you'll be the back dancer. 

With other groups there are almost same reasons: Juice=Juice is new group so they promote Karin a bit more. C-ute has Airi and Chisato in strong vocals because they nail them, Berryz has good singers as main-vocals as well as S/mileage has.
In fact, Akari, Yuka, Nakky, Mai, Chinami, Maasa, Rina and Kana are not as great singers as the main-singers. I don't blame them or anything, just saying. They all can sing in their own way, but they can't do strong vocals. Every group has their own strong girl, Juice=Juice has Sayuki, C-ute has Chisato, Berryz has Risako and Miyabi and S/mileage has Meimi.

Akari couldn't sing Sayuki's lines right now as well as it's hard to imagine Nakky to sing Chisato's lines. Rina and Kana has both nice voices, but they can't sing has high level what Meimi does. Rina's voice fits well into Aruiteru but she can't sing Good Bye Natsuo with same strong way what Meimi did while a go.

3rd question:

Why doesn't x sell as well as y?

There is many reasons why single don't sell well, but do you still remember what I said about aces/center girls? Every group needs an ace.

Well, I'm talking about S/mileage and Berryz. They both don't sell as well as MoMusu and C-ute (and Juice=Juice with their 1st major what we shouldn't count since 1st single is always 1st single).

One reason why don't they sell 100k copies is that they don't have clear center. Berryz has Miyabi and Risako as main singers, Momoko (also known as momochi) and Yurina as 2nd main singers and the others. S/mileage had Yuuka as center and face of the group, but now there is just Kanon and Dawa as 1ki and Akari and Meimi as good singers.
-› FOR EXAMPLE: C-ute has Airi as an ace › when girls see for first time one of C-ute musicvideos, they'll see Airi and probably think how good she is. Think about yourself, dear reader who is reading this text: wasn't the girl, who you saw first, one of those main-singers?

Problem with both group is that they had all forgot who is their rival(s). Berryz members are all good friends each other, which is good, but that means at the same time how they'll be okay with someone is getting more lines. They don't improve themselves more. It looks like they're trusting how UFP is doing everything for them.
-› FOR EXAMPLE: Maimi told, how C-ute members decided after Erika's graduate (or did she just left? anyway) that they'll work more harder to improve themselves since from the original 8nin group was only 5 left. Remember Chisa's dance videos? They were promotion. Not maybe UFP's idea, but the videos were promotion - to catch people eyes like "hey that girl can dance!".
Well. After those videos Kiss me Aishiteru released and it was first H!P MV to get 1 million views. C-ute was first Japanede group that concert were streamed live from Youtube. September 10 is now official C-ute day.

Berryz has lose only one member when the girls were kids, so of course they don't have that kind of history. Their dances are very easy, as well as most of old H!P songs. (Dances were made for fans, so they are easy to learn.)

And yes, I shouldn't compare Berryz to C-ute as well I shouldn't compare H!P to other idol-companies. But with Berryz, they don't have as much motivation as C-ute has; C-ute wanted to improve themselves, but somehow Berryz doesnt' have motivation for that. Of course Berryz are all old and I believe they'll graduate before when Captain is 24. The girls don't see they should improve themselves if they'll go marry someone and get kids (in Japan ppl usually marry eachother about 20y old). Also, Berryz has done music since 2004, almost 10 years.

Then, S/mileage. They sell well, but not like "wOW". One reason is same as Berryz: no clear ace. Of course there are pretty faces, but there is no one who could take Yuuka's place and color (pink). The cutest girls usually have pink as their color and usually girls who have pink are also popular.

Remember when Kanon had her "cinderella revolution! bang bang bang ba~ng!"-thing? That was ANNOYING, but I wish she could have continue it. Sayumi does her "Usa-chan peace!" and Momochi has "Yurushite nyan". S/mileage is group of cute girls with short skirts, so I wonder where Kanon lost her Cinderella Revolution. There is yet no one who could do that kind of phrases.

S/mileage isn't anymore that interesting group what they were back 2010. Yes, they have mini-skirts but they're right now one idol-group in a sea of idols. Unfortunately there is nothing special than singing skills anymore.

I would find a lot reasons why S/mileage and Berryz don't sell, but in fact, Hello!Project could sell A LOT better, too. In my opinion, H!P needs a new TV-show again. No Hello Satoyama Life, that doesn't have any viewers. Bijo Gaku / Haro Puro Time was great, but now they use all the clips to Hello!Pro Station (youtube-show). That's way I wish show like HelloMorning, where we could see girls' own personality or find something new funny things of them.

Yes, we miss Utaban, but show where girls could act some weird roles ("it's sad being cow", "OH MY GORILLA" etc) is much better than Utaban - since shows like Utaban takes the nro1 groups as their guests and if they took H!P members, there would be just popular girls (Sayu, Riho, Airi etc) and the time they could talk would be short.

Right now Kenshuuseis have their own tv-show HapiPure. I say it's weird that kenshuuseis got own show. It's great way to learn girls' names and good promotion for those girls, but where is H!P show? Of course tv-shows are expensive, but the money UFP has put for Hello!Satoyama could been used for better show. It's cute that girls find some carrot but imo ohhh gossshhh it's not even interesting after 10 episodes.

Well. HapiPure is pretty boring too what I can say about first episode. I skipped most of the show to see Fuuchan's and Rikako's part. Mostly because of I love Fuuchan.

I could talk a lot about this topic, but I'll just leave it here. Please post some comment(s) if you think I forgot to say something.

there is always those rich hc fans who buy over 300 copies.
But we should still remember that H!P sells better than couple of years ago. There might not be back-covers in singles, but every (limited?)copy has a handshake-event ticket now. People buy more copies to get chance to see their oshis. 48-groups sells also like this way + there is special photos inside the CDs: if you're hardcore fan, you want them all or atleast your oshi's photos. But let's not talk about what happens to CDs for example after senbatsu-elections.

4th question:


Money money money and money. That's the answer. H!P has used dubstep-ish style before Colorful Era, mostly as instrumentals like GOOD BYE Natsuo. And H!P has edit members' voices all the time. It's normal, let me say. And that "autotune" what you hear might be just two different voices: Tsunku's/someone's deep voice and the girl's higher voice. It definitely might sound like autotune.

And about money? Yes, H!P has found their style and way to milk money. In Japan is so many idol-groups with normal idol-songs and that's way it's important to find a way to catch audiences attention with different style. If I remembered right, right now there is just few idol-groups with dubstep-style. Perfurme and umm... Well, MoMusu.
So why to change style if it sells well? Listening Updated Morning Musume-album is not good for your brains, especially if you listen it like nonstop, but it's nowadays MoMusu's style. Their rival is old MM and they/UFP wants to throw the old Love Machine away ('cuz everytime MoMusu performs somewhere, there is always someone who asks something about Love Machine) and perform their newest song.

I should also mention that kpop is also very popular in Japan (especially with teenagers) and because kpop uses a lot dubstep-ish style and autotune, I bet maybe UFP decided to "copy" that style. And it works. There is a lot girls in MoMusu's concerts nowadays and they look up to other girls, too, than just Sayumi. There is many girls who like Riho, Ayumi, Masaki and Haruka. I've seen those fangirls most when camera zooms the audience.

Anyway. I hope nobody gets butthurt from this text. And please write a comment if you want to tell your opinion! (feel free to spot also my typos - English isn't language I've born with so I'm glad if I can become better~~)

1 comment:

  1. You're so clever and you give all your heart to discuss these topics, always amazes me *o* These might indeed be the answers to the popular questions about MM and music in general.
    Your English is good, but remember: "there ARE many / two or more". ^^
    Great post!