Growing up with Idols

August 31, 2011
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In my last post I mentioned grabbing an old notebook at random from beside my bookcase in which to write. I keep all sorts of old things in that space- calendars (which I hate), wrapping paper from birthday presents, school things which I can’t bring myself to throw away, and all of my notebooks from freshman year up until graduation. After arriving at Ben and Jerry’s and ordering my sorbet, (but before setting out to write my Sumer Refreshment post), I opened the notebook and leafed through it.On discovering that I had picked up  my all-purpose notebook from Freshman and Sophomore year, I was immediately drawn in by the nostalgia. What interested me most were the page dividers. On each one I had doodled, scribbled, and generally left record of all of the dull and confusing math and science classes I’d ever been in.
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Y’know who else gets bored? Eri. Eri gets bored. But not Koha!
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Most of those doodlings had to do with Hello! Project. In my freshman year I had been a fan of H!P for two years. My scribbles were mostly about my most and least favorite members each group. On one page I explained that I hated Michishige Sayumi, that I couldn’t stand Sugaya Risako, and that Airi’s line-hogging annoyed me to no end.

On the next page, I wrote down ideas for various sub-groups, mostly in jest. One was Maxi-Moni, consisting of Yurina, Maasa, Koharu, Maimi and Erika. Another, somewhat less well-intended group was untitled but consisted of Matsuura Aya, Okada Yui, Saitou Hitomi and Goto Maki.

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Gee, wonder what this group oughta be called…
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On another page I had set up a challenge for myself: To remember all of Morning Musume’s singles in order. I didn’t do too poor of a job, and from Ai no Tane to Resonant Blue the only song I ended up missing was Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari (incidentally my least favorite Morning Musume song). Still other pages had little caricatures of my favorite members, charts drawing up proposed revivals of the old sub-groups (long before Tsunku had the idea!), and lists of those girls whom I considered the most talented singers.After leafing through all of the pages and eating half of my sorbet, I sat back. I looked around the shop and noticed that I was the only person eating alone. But most of the other people sitting around me looked sweaty and bored, while I felt pleasantly distracted. When I realized that, I sat forward in my seat and wrote these lines:”I have been a Hello! Project fan for five years now. For all of those years, Idols have been my main hobby. Whether I’m bored at school, alone at a restaurant, trying to fall asleep after a long day, or flying to a foreign country, Idols and their music have been my constant and sometimes best companion.”

I’d be lying if I said I had no regrets regarding the four years I spent in high school. But all in all, I had a lot of fun with friends, clubs, and school trips. Throughout those years, Idols were my soundtrack, my distraction, and my hobby. All of the songs on my ipod are more to me than just background music, and the videos I’ve favorite’s on Youtube aren’t just  entertainment. When I listen to Genki+ I am taken back to the plane ride to Greece during my junior year. Whenever that song comes up on my iPod I remember how excited I was, but also how close-minded. I was ready to judge and look down on all of my party-obsessed classmates. I also remember how much I opened up on that trip, how I was able to get along with the very kids I’d set myself up to despise. Whenever I feel myself starting to prejudge someone, I think of Genki+ and I remember to give them a chance.

Similarly, whenever I watch an episode of Ayaka’s Surprise English Lessons, I remember the time in my sophomore year when, lonely and shy, I set myself in the corner of the library and watched Ayaka teach Yaguchi how to say “I want to be naked on a deserted island.” To my surprise, a few kids came over to watch, and those kids soon became my friends.

Just a few days ago I packed up all of my things and moved to New York for college. I’ve been here a few days, and the uncertainties and feelings of timidity and the desire to prejudge are already upon me. I have to find a job, find all of my teachers’ offices to arrange interviews, and for the first time in my life do all of the little things that make up life without parents. Amidst all of the future uncertainties, one thing is solid. I know, without a sliver of doubt, that Idols will continue to be there for me. Even if all of my most beloved groups disband tomorrow, there will always rise up another group of smiling young women with questionable musical talent. I’m not going to go into why I think the Idol phenomenon in Japan will never die (at least not in this post)- this post is simply meant as a reflection on my past and future, and all of the ways in which Idols have and will affect me.

I guess what I’m really trying to say in this post is a huge thank you. To Idols, to their producers, to their fans, to their questionably sane costume designers, their choreographers, and to everyone I have met as a result of this unusual hobby. True, more often than not I have found things to complain about. I will continue to rail against the evils of the Manobeast, and Tsunku will probably never be fully on my good side. I’ll probably never be able to look at S/mileage and not think of Wada’s xenophobia, and AKB48 will continue to confound me. But even that is all part of what’s so wonderful and fun. So thank you, Berryz Koubou, Morning Musume, C-ute, H!P Eggs, AKB48, Onyanko Club, and all the rest. I’ve had a lot of fun these past five years thanks to you. I look forward to every fluffy-skirted and squeaky voiced moment that you will provide me with in the future.

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Thank you!
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This is why being a fan is so fun

January 2, 2011

Waking up at 4:30 am to hear the news about the Ninth Gen. So. Much. Fun. Being a fan of H!P is one of the more formative things in my life, and it’s the intense moments like this that keep me hooked.

As a whole, I’m highly anticipating this generation. each girl brings a huge wallop of personality to a Morning Musume that many complain is too stale and complacent. I have the feeling that these girls will make the most of even the slightest chances tossed their way, snatching every moment of the spotlight that they can. That should make for an entertaining (and thus profitable) Morning Musume!

Suzuki Kanon

My feelings for Kanon mirror those that I have for Sekine Azusa and Lin. My initial confusion and disgust with this girl has transformed into a burning curiosity. I simply must watch her. I’m desperate to see how she grows and changes. Her goofy acting bit is already on its way to becoming legendary amongst the fans (a movement has sprung up to nicknamed her “Moshimoshi” or just “Moshi,” after her cell-phone skit. I like it). Kanon is, without a doubt, my initial favorite among the 9th generation.

Sayashi Riho

To not put Riho in MM would’ve been idiotic. Takahashi will have to graduate at some point, and there needs to be someone with enough swagger to fill some of her roles. Riho has that swagger. My Gaki, does she. I really want Riho to become the new Bitch of Morning Musume- a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners bitch, just like Miki back in the day. It would be so interesting and fun to see some real conflict happening again.

Ikuta Eri(na)

I’m both surprised and not surprised about this one. I knew that Aina wouldn’t get in, simply because nothing stood out about her. Kanon and Riho were, in my mind, shoo-ins. But then came Mogi and Ikuta. I knew that if anyone else were to get in, it would be one of those two. But which one? Ikuta made much less of an impact than poor Mogi did, but Mogi’s impact seemed to have been mostly negative. In the end, I’ll have to wait and see about Ikuta. I want to see her performing all of the old classics as her personality begins to shine through!

Fukumura Mizuki.

Aaaah, an Egg! Finally, finally, things are happening with the Eggs. her addition to the group balances out the 3 auditionees nicely. She’s more experienced and comfortable onstage. She’s clearly an emotional girl who loves being an Idol. She cried twice during her introduction concert, and she turned on the waterworks again for this occasion. I can’t blame her. Being an Egg must seem occasionally hopeless. I’m fairly sure that Mori Saki or Aoki Erina (oh gaki, another one!) won’t be debuting any time soon, and I’m sure the other girls know that their chances are slim. To see some movement amongst the Eggs (with Mizuki and now Yuu) must be so uplifting. As a fan, it’s certainly promising.

I will make a separate post about Kikkawa soon… because OMGYAYKIKKA!


A bit of follow-up…

August 9, 2010

So to recap: Most of the WotaWorld is in tears, my fandom has been shaken to the core, Tsunku needs his testicles mangled by a cat…

And now we move on to the next biggest concern: What’s next?

I have a silly little theory that will probably not pan out. From the translations of Tsuntsun’s comments on the 9th gen audition website, it seems as though they’re only looking for one girl to add to the group.

Only adding one girl at this point would be ridiculous. 6 members? For Morning Musume? No way! This is the group that had to split in half in its hey-day, because there were just too many freakin’ members!

So, either all of the translations are wrong (quite possible, it’s tough to translate that quickly) or something else is in the works.

My guess is that Tsunku might be thinking of adding some Eggs to Morning Musume this time around. He must know that certain fans have always pined over Kikkawa Yuu’s lost MM opportunity, and the addition of Linlin opened the way for other Eggs to find their way into the Flagship of H!P.

So let’s look at a couple of likely Eggs, shall we?

Kikkawa Yuu

Everyone’s favorite MM-reject aside from Kashiwagi Yuki, and probably the most popular Egg. This girl has beauty, brains (no, I have no proof for that one, she just seems smart), talent, personality, and a fanbase. In short, she’s perfect. If Tsunku were putting Eggs into MM, there would only be one major obstacle in her way: Tsunku hates being wrong.  He seems like the type who would look at Yuu and say, “Well, I mean, yeah, she’d be a great addition to the group, but no is no, and I already said no to her once. So there. Nyah!”

I personally would love to see Yuu in Momusu.  She reminds me a bit of Iida Kaori’s more natural side. She’s so elegant and sweet.  She’d be a great counterpoint to Aika’s scrappyness and Reina’s annoyingness.

Kitahara Sayaka

Arguably the other most popular Egg due to her time in Milky Way*, Sayaka ought to be put into MM if only for the sake of her killer abs. She also happens to have a unique, cool personality. Now, I know Tsunku hates girls who show personality right off the bat, tending to go for little lumps of malleable clay, but I have always loved cool personalities (blame Yossy). I want a cool girl in MM!

Sekine Azusa

My personal favorite Egg, Forehead-girl! Think of the brow-themed merchandising possibilities! Think of the hats she could sell! Instead of mufflers in the winter, balaclavas! Instead of wristbands, headbands! Tsuntsun would be a fool to pass her up!

Okay. Joking aside, this girl reminds me of Linlin, so I want her in MM so badly that I can taste it. She’s so energetic and such a talented performer. She loses herself in the moment, just like Lin, and I just want to watch her grow and grow as a performer! Sekitty is an Egg that I don’t want to lose to obscurity.

Don’t pass this up, Tsunku! (Psst, if he feels like adding more than one Egg… look how great these two are together!)

Sengoku Minami

A lot of people say that Minami is freaking hot. I don’t think so. To me she seems completely average in terms of looks and talent. It’s because of that, however, that I think she might become a part of the 9th generation.

I can’t say it enough: Tsunku loves average girls. He loves that idea that they can grow and blossom from being average to being something great. What he doesn’t realize is that sometimes average girls are really just average. No growth potential. Maybe this applies to Minami, maybe it doesn’t. I’m not saying that Minami has no potential, I’m just saying that I don’t see it as much as a lot of other people do. So yeah, if Tsunku picks any Egg for MM, it might just be her, and if it is, I’ll be sad.

Hirano Tomomi

This would just be hilarious, and entirely like Tsunku. I have no idea why Tomomi is an Egg- I always feel like the point behind the Eggs is to find children so young that they have no choice but to be malleable and easy to shape into Super Idols. I’ve never heard Tomomi sing or seen her perform. In fact, the only video I can find of her is her introduction as an Egg, during which everyone in the audience freaked out when she announced how old she is. She is the least likely to become a part of MM’s 9th gen, but then, Tsunku likes surprising us.

Well, these are my main bets. Of course, there is one more person who might just end up in Morning Musume… Well, not really a person at all. More of a vicious killer and devourer of Idols. In fact, now that it’s come down to it, I can’t believe I didn’t realize it before: This freakish three-part graduation is all part of her plan. Her plan to infiltrate and devour Morning Musume!

That’s right…

MANO ERINAAAAAAAAA!

But Rebecca (you say)! She is an established soloist with a long career of boring and uninteresting singing under her belt!  She has released seven singles and an album! She is talented desu desu desu!

Well, reader, those arguments would be valid if not for the existence of a certain 6th generation member, that reluctant ex-soloist who had five singles and an album to her name (and legions of obsessive wota) when she was tossed into Morning Musume… that wonderful girl with the deep voice and raspy vibrato, Fujimoto Miki!

If Tsunku really wanted to drive home all of the hurt I feel after this awful graduation decision, he will put ManoEri into Morning Musume as a sort of homicidal Miki part 2. Fujimoto set a dangerous precedent. I’m sure she didn’t know that her addition to the group would pave the path for allowing in this Idol-eater, but it has, and we must now all brace ourselves for what is to come…

Ah well. That’s H!P.

* Am I the only one who thought that Anataboshi was a complete trainwreck? The entire blogsphere seemed to love it, but to me the song seemed rushed, with a bad backing track, and a messy, distracting PV.


New Mini Moni, Old Mini Moni… oi!

June 2, 2009

Hi, everybody!

Well, let’s see! I haven’t blogged since Yossy’s birthday, I do believe. Why? Well, I have been mostly enjoying reading the blogs of others- you’re all amazing (yes, you). But something so momentous, so incredible, so unbelievable has happened that I have to come out of my semi-retirement to blog about it:

Tsunku may have actually had a good idea.

I’m sure that you’ve guessed that I’m talking about the revival of MiniMoni. I think that this move is risky but brilliant on the part of the T-man, and if he plays this right (IE composes it of all of the members I want ;3 ), it could be very successful. And if not, wellllll, it’ll at least be fun for the wota!

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(I mean, seriously, look at this man. Ridiculous).

Now, there have been countless times in which Tsunku has appeared to be on drugs when coming up with a new idea involving H!P. Sometimes he seemed to have been on something very good- I’m thinking that this was the case when he came up with The Peace, decided to include children who could barely speak in his project and train them to be superidols bent on draining our wallets, not telling Niigaki Risa to take herself and her bean-shaped head the hell out of his auditions and including Tsuji into the fourth generation at the last minute. But more often the inventions of the insane man behind H!P’s inventions have been, well, insane.

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(I mean, seriously, look at this group. Ridiculous).

Take Coconuts Musume. CocoMusu were essentially a bunch of awkward, semi-talented Hawaiians who spoke little to no Japanese and looked gigantic next to the petite and supernaturally pretty MM members. They didn’t sell well, and the line-up bounced around enough to make even the best Wota’s eyes spin. And Tsunku was originally very excited about them. They’re not the only ones, though. Most of H!P has had to deal with Tsunku’s crackosity at one time or another: He treated Melon Kinenbi so badly that they quickly became a running joke amongst fans, and even Berryz fell prey to his lunacy (“HEEEEY! Heeey, man, let’s, like, dress ’em up in MONKEY suits! And have ’em sings songs! About MONKEYS!” “Dude, you’re, like, brilliant.”). So, I’ve learned to take most of what Tsunku says and look at it through a filter- a loving, incredulous but indulgent filter. “Oh, that’s just Tsunku being on ecstasy again, it’ll all turn out fine in a few days, no worries.”

(“TSUNKUUUUUU! I WILL DEVOUR YOUR LIVER!”)

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With all that, what makes me think that this revival of a classic group would ever be a good idea, when H!P is stagnant in its popularity and the economy looks like a Johnny’s member without make-up (According to Newsweek, Japan’s economy this year has taken the largest yearlong plunge in decades)?

For one, at least in the beginning, this group should get great publicity. It’s a revival of a group whose old fans are at the right age to look back nostalgically at- “Ah, Mini Moni were so great. I loved listening to their music after school!” In the idol industry, which is all about image, publicity is everything. When people see you, they’re more likely to buy.

Secondly, H!P is moving towards a more mature image. Yes, C-ute’s newest cover single sounds like it was sung by Airi and the Chipmunks, but the other groups are shifting towards a more mature style, Morning Musume especially. At the same time, there’s some holding back. Morning Musume has done dance-y and a little sad in their latest singles, and Dakishimete Dakishimete dabbled in sexiness, but nothing really sultry has come from H!P in a long, long time, whether it be in the form of a song or a group. In fact, the only sultry prodcut of H!P that comes to mind is the original  Tanpopo line-up, and that was back when Morning Musume members were allowed to be real, sexual beings. I feel that with a new Mini Moni to keep up H!P’s playful, childish side, Tsunku may feel more comfortable experimenting with the sultrier side of things. Put those awesome Korean H!P hopefuls to use!

So which H!P members do I think would make this new group a success? Well, that depends.

First, how many members does Tsunku want? Technically there was a time when MiniMoni had five members. I’d like to assume, though, that Tsunku will stick with four.

Will the group have the same theme? Well, we all seem to be assuming that this’ll be a bright, childish group, and that seems about right. If it’s not, then my post is mostly rendered moot. And I hate being made moot.

Second, will he stick with the 150 cm height rule? That seems unlikely, as very few non-Egg members of H!P match that rule. However, since this will be a children’s group (we hope), the members might still stay on the short side.

Third, what groups will the members be from? In my idealized world in which the only drugs Tsunku takes are the ones that he uses to help out in bed with his trophy wife, he’ll choose one girl from each group (BK, C-ute, the Eggs and MM).

The criteria are thus that  there’ll be one member from each group, that the height doesn’t matter but should be shortish, and that the group will be childlike and happy.

So taking that into consideration, here it is:

AOI♥USAGI’S PERFECT NEW MINIMONI FORMATION:

Of course Kanon is already in the group, but I would’ve chosen her anyways: She’s the perfect new Kago. She’s sweet, adorable as hell and has a good voice.

Please let Chisato into the group! She’s little, she’s spunky, and she’s simultaneously able to pull off Tsuji-like levels of mischevousness and Mikitty-like levels of singing ability. She needs to be C-ute’s representative in this group!

Momoko is insane and has a unique, powerful voice. Her personality takes second place to none and she can hold her own on variety shows. She’d be the Mari-figure that this group needs. Plus, she’s tiny! Yay!

Linlove

Yay Linlin! Lin gets to be the crazy foreigner (IE Mika) of this group. She’s a fabulous singer, just like Mika, tiny, full of personality, and can teach us another language! Just please don’t make her wear the Chinese flag on her head in the form of an ugly bandanna, please.

So there you go Tsunku, get off your pills and read my blog. Or stay on your pills and read my blog, for all I care. Just read it!

Disclaimer: Of course, this is the T-man that we’re talking about. It’s completely likely that this group will end up containing Kumai Yurina, Junjun, Umeda Erika, and a half-dozen eggs chosen at random. C’est la vie!


I knew that this would happen…

December 10, 2008

Way back when, I wrote up a little post and gave a few quick thoughts on some of the Eggie-poos that had caught my eye. I had quite a lot of fun tearing apart a certain egg with a rather prominant brow.

sekitty

An hour or so after writing the post, I knew that it was going to happen: I was going to fall in love with that little Eggie-poo. And guess what? I did.

Just like with Mutou Mika, what started off as a sort of horrified fascination turned into a sort of horrified acceptence and then a horrified adoration. The recent Egg concert only proved to me how much win she happens to be full of. She probably hides all her awesomesauce in her forehead.

I’ve been pretty shaky about which Eggs I do and don’t like, so here’s a quick rundown of my favorite Humpty-dumptys.

konnachi

Furukawa Konatsu… why?

Konacchi is one of those girls that I can actually justify liking: she reminds me of Yossy, more specifically, her comedic side reminds me of Yossy’s. During the first Eggie-poo concert, the girls played a game of some sort in which Creepy!Makoto asked them which category they fit under for certain things, and they’d seperate onstage into whichever they thought best suited them. Everytime he asked Konatsu to explain her answer, she was a complete riot. One of the questions was something like “Do you like to drink milk, tea, water or juice?” Konatsu charmingly explained that she liked milk, so as to become taller. Just the way she did that made me burst out laughing.

Plus, she can dance~♥

sahori1

I didn’t really bother with Akari until one day when I woke up and realized that she is kind of gorgeous. I see her as a very gentle person, and I like her voice. And her eyes are HUGE. Inhumanly so. We might have another ManoEri on our hands… and… uh…I really like her when paired with Konacchi.

anri1

This girl’s confidence bowls me over. I don’t love her as much as the others, though. But I always watch out for her during concerts.

you-yuu2

What can I say about you, Yuu (I should be shot for that pun)? I used to like Kitahara Sayaka a lot more than I did Yuu… you… Yuu.  But then Sayaka did that horrible thing to her face and her voice and her HAIR. And you, Yuu, stayed sweet and gentle and lovely. You were also  amazing during Romantic Ukare Mode.

So good for yuu.


♠♦♥♣

September 21, 2008

So! Thanks to Mars (The blogger of Stardust. Wait a minute. Wow. That sounds like the name of a nerdy emo band. The Bloggers of Stardust. Black ink runs from their slashed wrists as they type out their angst into a coded swirling dark torrent of despair. Yeah, that sounds about right!), I have learned of the formation of possibly the greatest new unit in H!P. Why, you ask, does Usa-chan love this unit so much? She’ll tell you, and in the third person to boot!

1. Usa-chan’s favorite-ish Eggy-poo is currently Saho Akari, who also happens to be portraying the uber cool Amulet Spade character transformation.

2. Usa-chan loves Fukuda Kanon

3. Usa-chan just so happens to adore the character designs for Amu’s character transformations in Shugo Chara.

3.14159. Usa-chan doesn’t usually talk in the third person like this…

3.5. She finds it mildly thrilling.

4. She’ll stop now.

I can’t tell you how happy this new unit has made me.

It’s very interesting that Maeda Yuuka was chosen to be the Amulet Heart transformation, Amu’s main character transformation in the anime/manga. Could that denote an advanced position within the group? I don’t know if I’d like that, as any over-saturated girl in H!P generally annoys me (hey thar Reina). But the fact that my two darlings within the group are portraying my two favorite Character Transformations (Saho Akari as the ever cool MIki, and Fukuda Kanon as the lovely Su) makes me squee like the fangirl that I… well, am. As long as they both get even one tiny little line, the entire rest of the song can be all Maeda, and I’ll be okay. I’m not so stoked about Wada Ayaka, because she’s always reminded me of a brownie. Both the food (which is a dry little chocolate-ish square that grandmothers force into you), and the creatures (which are helpful little sprites that, inexplicably, refuse gifts, especially clothing. Maybe they’re Jehovah’s Witness.)

This good news came at the perfect time for me. Rather than go into detail, I’ll simply say that my life is not going greatly at the moment (a teenager’s position is powerless, or so I’ve been told). Despite all this personal suckishness, just the smallest, most pixelated image of a bunch of cute underage girls dressed up in what looks like cheap cosplay brings all sorts of good feelings back (no, not those kinds of feelings, you perverts). For a half hour, I can sit here and be distracted from any personal crap as I plan out how best to jump a plane to Japan, hide in some bushes, kidnap Saho-chan, put her in my pocket, and bring her back to America with me.

Basically? Idols are the only thing that never fail to make me happy. People come and go, but there will ALWAYS be another poorly produced, talentless pop group out there for me to adore. I give the T-man a lot of grief, but really, I’m very grateful to him.

Thanks, Tsunku. I appreciate it.*

*But you’re seriously still creepy.


“That sucks!”

June 23, 2008

Every job has its occupational hazards. My tennis instructor used to dream about being beaten by tennis rackets. Teachers probably DREAD being stuck teaching summer school. But what does this have to do with H!P, you wonder? Girls within H!P are all happy and eternally joyous, right? Wrong. There have to be some things that suck about being within H!P, and, dammit, I’m going to figure them out and type them up for your perusal! And before you ask, yes, this post was inspired by this clip.

(By the way, while some of these are serious, most aren’t.)

10.) Tsunku.

No matter how you look at it, this guy is creepy. And, my friends, this scary dude is the one making most of the decisions in your immediate future. How can a man who can’t even responsibly pick a hair color that matches his eyebrows decide the future of your entire group? (Answer: he can’t) And then he decides to go put out versions of your singles that utterly ruin the songs for the fans…

9.) Scandals.

They just never work out in your favor. Unless you’re Yajima Maimi, because MeguKami’s graduation did her a world of good.

8.) Fan-made “curses.”

There are quite a lot of these, and while they might not exactly have a direct effect on you if you’re a H!P member, it must get pretty annoying how a fan’ll make a curse out of ANYTHING these days. And I mean anything. For example, we have the rather famous and seemingly legit Love Machine curse, as well as the more far-fetched Sexy Otona-jan, Aruiteru and W curses.

Most of these, with the Love Machine curse being the obvious exception, are complete and utter tomfoolery (Yes, I said tomfoolery) despite how entertaining they are. In fact, to show just how easy it is to make up a curse if you’re a H!P fan, I’ve made one up for you now:

The 4-member Group Curse (Catchy, no?): All groups with four members will be doomed to poor sales, and a very slow/short run of market activity. Let’s examine this more closely, shall we (and seriously, how gorgeous does Kaori look in that picture)?

The four-members groups who have been/are in H!P are: Melon Kinenbi, SI*NA, Tanpopo gens. 2 and 3, T&C Bomber, Athena and Robikerottsu and DEF. DIVA. Melon Kinenbi, T&C Bomber and Athena and Robikerororororoooo all had fairly low sales, especially Athena and Robyblahblah. DEF. DIVA only put out one real single, and SI*NA hasn’t put out anything and is unlikely to in the near future. The third gen of Tanpopo sold poorly and only released one single. EDIT: Thanks to Nozofan, I realize that I’d forgotten Mini Moni. Well, they were doing just fine when Yagu was their leader, but the moment that Takahashi moved in, the sales plummetted. The only exception is thus the 2nd gen of Tanpopo, which did quite well. But I’m going to ignore that, because this is MY curse and I get to say what’s legit or not. Moving on!

7. Exhausting schedules.

This is one of those serious things that must suck about being in H!P. Thanks to the lovely Ishiguro Aya, we know that the girls often get as little as 3 hours of sleep a night. I’m dead if I get any less than 6 hours, so just the idea of getting 3 hours of sleep and then running straight to the next photoshoot/interview/performance is just… terrifying. Someone, I think it was Yoshimi, pointed out the dark circles under the eyes of some of the girls (Ai, Koharu) on the ONSA covers, and she was right. The girls really do look overly tired there. This work-life is partially what pushed Goto out of H!P, as well. Nakazawa Yuko had to graduate from Momusu because she couldn’t physically keep up with the younger girls’ activities. If UFA isn’t careful, they’re going to start losing girls left and right to sheer exhaustion.

6. Eggs.

You never know when one is going to crack.

5. Anyone from Johnny’s.

(Look, one of the three members of Johnny’s that I can recognize! The other two being Golf and Mike.)

Because on the inside you know that at the end of the day, no matter how much sparlkejuice you put in your hair, how many fake gems and human babies plastic flowers you stick to your nails, or how many peace signs you flash, they will still always be girlier than you.

4. Random black dudes who are hired to lip-synch in your PVs.

‘Nuff said.

3. Your group-mates.

Let me expand here. While it’s true that most girls in H!P seem to get along splendidly, there have been those who, on occasion, don’t get along at all (Rika and Miki being prime examples). And when you don’t like someone, being stuck with them day after day, forced to put on a smiling front for the fans, is near torture. Even the best of friends start getting on one another’s nerves if they spend too much time together.

2. The futility.

(Notice that Risako is almost twice the size of Shimizu Saki. That’s just sad.)

In H!P, you’re basically stuck in the same place among fans from the moment you debut. True, there are exceptions (kamei, Gaki), but generally it’s a futile task to try and become more popular within your group if you’re already one of the ones pushed to the back. Is this fair? No, of course not. It leads me to wonder, what would H!P lose if it did start promoting girls more equally? Would it kill the sales if Risako got one less line and ShimiSaki one more? I doubt it.

Which brings us to, finally, the number one worst thing about being a member of H!P:

1. That time of the month…

I’m completely serious here. Most of the members of H!P are 14 or older, and they are all girls, so eventually it’s going to be that time. For you bachelors out there who don’t already know, girls on their period are scary. And if you can imagine dancing around for hours on end, singing your lungs out, and smiling non-stop while all the while your stomach is cramping like crazy and all you want to do is stay in bed with a hot water bottle and bite the head off of anyone who comes near you, you’ll see that this is truly the most awful aspect of being in H!P.