Generation 9: The Kids Strike Back

I’m pretty sure that title was meant to be a Star Wars pun. Um.

HEY! There are 9th generation auditions going on, you know! let’s talk about them, okay? OKAY!

For those of you not in the know, there are currently five finalists aged 11-13 vying to become Morning Musume’s 9th generation. We’ll learn the winner(s) on January 2nd.

Like many out there, I want to see all of these girls in MM. I like to have Morning Musume’s membership be in the double digits, and having a great big clump of new girls in the group could be adorable. I’m getting a very 5th generation feeling from these girls. They’re all very young and show glimmers of talent, and like the 5th gen, they seem to gel well and generally get along. It’d be adorable to see them stick together in the beginning, just like the 5th gen did before they gained their confidence. Further, if five girls entered Momusu, each girl could be matched with a mentor, just like in the old days! So cute!

The five girls are Ikuta Erina (Why? Why did she have to have that name?), Sayashi Riho, Mogi Minami, Suzuki Kanon and Otsuka Aina. Below I’ve reviewed them individually based on my initial reactions to what brief footage of them I’ve seen, then calibrated their chances of getting in using sophisticated measures that are much too complicated and important to explain here.

Sayashi Riho

Just like everybody and their mother, I’m rooting for this girl like she’ll explode if I don’t. She is hands down the most talented dancer, singer, and performer out of the five hopefuls. She also happens to be very pretty, which never hurts. If we were to compare her to anyone in the 5th generation, she’d be Ogawa Makoto, who was the clearly talented, fun one during the audition (only to be eclipsed by Takahashi later on). I love her for her confidence and competence.

Her clear superiority could make her a shoo-in, but it could also hurt her. The last time I can remember Tsunku choosing the initially talented girl as a winner of any audition was when he chose little Suzuki for H!P Kids. Since then he’s chosen girls who have one or two talents and many, many flaws. Eri was painfully shy, sang without emotion and could barely talk on TV shows, but was a good dancer.  Sayumi was cute, and, well, was crap at everything else. God even knows what Koharu had going for her. She liked rice and umeboshi, which seems to be a trend within H!P, so maybe Tsunku was just thinking of the caterers when he picked her. Nobody saw Mitsui as the obvious choice for 8th gen. Yuu and the other girls were each individually more talented at singing and dancing and other Idol-riffic things in general. But it was Mittsi who Tsunku chose. Personally, I’m tired of mediocre girls being chosen. I’d love to see a girl who has clear talent being chosen right off the bat. It worked out well for Airi, didn’t it? In the end, we just don’t know how Tsunku will see Riho. Hopefully he’ll realize that she could be an unstoppable, wallet-draining, wota-seducing force.

But I doubt it.

Chance of getting in: 6/10

Chances of joining AKB48 if she loses: 10/10

Mogi Minami

The one that everyone seems to hate. If we continue the 5th gen comparison, Mogi would be Konno. Clearly far behind the others in terms of talent and basic life-skills. But in the end, everyone wanted to root for Konkon and see her persevere, and that’s the feeling I get for Mogi. She has the potential to become the most awesome little-sister character ever, because all you want to do is pat her head and comfort her and make her stop crying. I bet she and Takahashi will get along. and during graduations, they will probably fall apart from dehydration.

As far as her luck with getting in the group… again, Tsunku’s insane and will probably turn her into the next Koharu. Mogi is young and \clearly tends toward the negative. Tsunku might like her simply because he likes the malleable, impressionable types. Rather a lot like Koharu, actually.

Chance of getting in: 7/10

Suzuki Kanon

I. this girl. What. I mean, she. It’s like there’s this thing and I don’t even know what. And how is it that this happens there to eleven. Electric chocolate pudding?! SURREPTITIOUSLY!!! Wuh… ?????

Um. Let’s try that again. Something about Kanon is really, really disturbing to me, but at the same time, I find myself drawn to her, and it’s confusing me. I can tell that she’s a weirdo with a funny, quirky personality, which has me rooting for her. But her dancing is almost… grotesque. When she’s practicing alone in the beginning of the second clip, it’s just kind of gross to watch her dance. And yet, she has that weird deep voice, and she looks so ridiculously chipper when she’s recording Aitai Lonely Christmas that I can’t not laugh.  She is this mixture of repulsive and alluring that entices me to no end. I know that if she ends up in Morning Musume I’m going to end up adoring her, just like Forehead Girl Sekine Azusa and Linlin. But right now… uh… buh… hu wuh rah?! Whrr? HUBHUBHUBHUB!

Because Tsunku appears to like messing with my brain, this girl is probably going to be his favorite. I really want him to pick her to be in the group, if only to give me another chance to figure her out.

(Oh, in terms of 5th generation similarities, this one is another Konno. She acts weird, she looks weird, but she also happens to have the biggest boobs of the five… JUST LIKE KONNO. I am so brilliant).

Chance of getting in: FLUBFLUBGAPPLESNAPEelevensixtyfour/10

Otsuka Aina

Is it bad that I think of this girl as the “other” one? She doesn’t stand out at all. There’s nothing bad about her. She’s not unattractive, nor is she very pretty. She’s not bad at dancing, nor is she wonderful. She isn’t mind-boggling like Kanon or weepy like Mogi. She’s a pretty good singer, but not so great that it really makes her shine. In terms of 5th generation, she’d be Niigaki Risa. She was the youngest one and most people weren’t really sure why she was there. A fair amount of people hated her, but others pointed out that she had a solid voice and wasn’t bad at dancing. Risa eventually blossomed into the wonderful girl that we now treasure, so who knows what will happen with Aina?

I assume that Tsunku will see something in Aina that I don’t (like a personality…) and at least consider her.

Chance of getting in: 6/10

Ikuta Erina

The eldest of the group, coming in at a whopping 13 years old! Ikuta (I will never, ever be able to call her Erina) is the worst singer of the group, but I can’t help but like her a bit. She’s somehow ethereal, a little bit removed from the reality of the situation. Her dancing hovers between long-limbs-flying-everywhere awkward and cool and elegant. In terms of the 5th generation, she reminds me of Takahashi Ai. True, Takitty was much better at singing and dancing that Ikuta is, but they both carry themselves with a similar elegance and mystery.

I can’t get into Tsunku’s mind about this girl. I want to say that he’ll choose her because she’s a little bit different than most of the existing Momusu members, but I’m also feeling like he’ll not choose her because she’s too delicate.If only the T-man were more open to my repeated attempts at reading his mind. This would be so much easier…

Chance of getting in: 4/10

The choice of who will make up Morning Musume’s 9th generation will drastically alter the future of the group. This is a great opportunity for Tsunku: he has a chance to make some real changes within Morning Musume. I sincerely hope that for once, just once, he stays out of his drug-induced lunacy long enough to make a lucid decision.

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