Saturday, 31 October 2015

Our Music History ~Ongaku to Watashitachi~ Morning Musume。’14 Special - Part 1 of 3 (2014/10/08)

This special show happened during MBS' 'Music Week', held in October 2014. In it, four members of Morning Musume。´14 talked about their music history. 

In the second part, they talk about Morning Musume。 history from the joining of the 9ki. In the third part, they take random lyrics from their latest single and talk about something related to those lyrics.

We start with introductions from the girls.

10th gen member and subleader Iikubo Haruna would be turning twenty in a month's time, and is the oldest among the four of them. She'll also be chairing this 2-hour special. She hopes that she'll become more mature, having arrived at the two-decade milestone.

On the other hand, 9th gen subleader Fukumura Mizuki would be celebrating her 18th birthday on that month. Turning eighteen would also widen her scope of work, as it would allow her to participate in late-night programmes.

9th gen Sayashi Riho is 16, while Morning Musume。has just turned 17. In other words, Riho was born after Morning Musume。's formation - to be exact, the day after Morning Musume。's 'Summer Night Town' was released.

Lastly, 10th gen Ishida Ayumi is 17, but since she was born in January, she's in the same academic year as Fukumura Mizuki. However, she doesn't act her age - she likes messing around, so she says that she's the mental equivalent of a three-year old. However, she's almost 18 too, and even Tsunku♂ has told her recently, 'Ishida, you've turned eighteen, so do things properly', so she'd like to do her best to act grown-up.

Also, September also marked the 17th anniversary of Morning Musume。 At this point, they've been running high, with 5 consecutive first place singles.

♫ Morning Musume。’14 - Love machine (Updated) ♫
A comment concerning music
Fukumura Mizuki: 'Music is something that can unite everyone'
Part 1: Influential songs

For this first part of the show, the topic of discussion is 'A song that influenced my life'. They'll be going through it in the usual order, but before each member talks about their chosen song, Tsunku♂'s latest comments on the girls would be read out.

For those not in the know, Tsunku♂ usually writes liner notes on his blog upon the release of a new song. Also included with the liner notes are comments on the girls. This time, they'd be looking at his comments from the release of Tiki Bun / Shabadabadoo/ Mikaeri Bijin.

Tsunku♂'s comment:
'I think she supports Michishige silently. And because of that,  she's levelled up, and it feels like she's got this drive to press forward.
In both dancing and singing, I think that she's grown to be a person who adds flavour to each of the new songs.'
Mizuki: It made me nervous to listen to it again.
Haruna really likes Mizuki's stylish dancing - it's intense, dynamic, suggestive - which comes as quite the contrast when compared to her calm looks. Riho touches on Tsunku♂'s mention of supporting Michishige silently: early on, Fuku-chan would focus on talking about her love of Hello! Project. But now, she contributes comments and properly wraps up MC segments. Mizuki herself has nothing to add, as this discussion is making her feel self-concious.

Well then, back to the topic of the song that influenced her life. Mizuki liked Mini Moni, finding the lyrics and the dances to their songs easy to remember. She would remember their songs in their entirety, and sing them with her mother.

The one she'd like to single out in particular would be Mini Moni's 'Rock 'n' Roll Kenchoushozaichi ~Oboechaina Series~'. It was an up-tempo song that she found easy to remember. As a plus, it also helped her in school, since it referenced all the prefectural capitals. It came as a surprise to her that the song was even included in school textbooks.

Iikubo agrees that the up-tempo beat makes it easier to remember. While it is up-tempo, Riho thinks that it isn't too fast, so parents and children can memorise it together. And in the middle of tests, you can play the song in your head.

Miyagi resident Ishida comments that the song even mentions local delicacies from some of the places, like sasakama from Miyagi, so you get to learn about local delicacies as well.

Tsunku♂'s comment:
While feminine and growing in courage, she's a type that we've never seen in the Morning Musume。 of the past,
And I think that you can't find her type in the world of entertainment either.
The type that builds herself up silently.  What sort of twenty year old will she become?
Now we're still halfway through the journey. There's still more to come!
Riho: So I guess it's okay for me to stay in Morning Musume。 until I'm twenty.
So, four more years? She has spent time thinking about how long she'd be part of Morning Musume, noting that Michishige's tenure of over 10 years is hardly the norm. Iikubo highlights Tsunku♂'s comment about Riho being feminine, which the other agree with. Mizuki adds that Riho's facial expressions are sexy, to which Riho admits that initially, she was lacking when it came to facial expressions, so she actually made efforts to improve on that.

Personally, Tsunku♂'s reference to her as 'a type that they've never had before' made Riho really happy. The other members are rich in personality, so there was a time when she was worried about fading into the background. But these words from Tsunku♂ give her confidence.

Ayumi comments that despite being older than Riho, Riho seems more mature than her. Sayashi reveals that she was brought to a fortune teller soon after birth, and the fortune teller claimed that her mental age was 42 years old.

Mizuki adds that she enjoys seeing the occasional glimpse of childish Riho as well.
Ayumi: Like Sayashi-san will say 'MoNing Musume' instead of 'MoRNing Musume'. That feels really childish! (laughs)
Riho: That's a habit, Moning... Morning Musume.
Iikubo also takes the opportunity to praise Riho's cool dancing, how supple she is. Riho thanks everyone for the praise.

Back to the topic - Riho had thought about a lot of artistes to pick, but the song that influenced the life of Sayashi Riho would be Morning Musume's 'Go Girl~Koi no Victory~'.

This is the song that started it all for Riho. She had always enjoyed listening to Morning Musume。´s songs, but this song in particular made her want to be a Musume. This song, packed with cuteness and coolness, plus the dancing and singing skill required, hit the spot for Riho. She listened to it in the middle class of kindergarten, where she had to dance to it. That was what led her to learning about the greatness of Morning Musume。 and the joy of dancing. While people often say that she's good at dancing, it's thanks to Morning Musume。For Riho, everything started from Morning Musume。

Iikubo remarks that this was also one of the first songs that 10th gen performed. They practised it a lot, but still made mistakes at the real thing, and really got a scolding after that from the managers. So they've got bitter memories about it. The 9ki themselves had watched that performance though, and had been impressed with the 10ki's unity.

Tsunku♂'s comment:
In her growth period! Her ability to talk as an entertainer have grown with extreme force.
She doesn't cut corners when it comes to singing and dancing, and if she looks forward and does her best, her features change even more
I think that beyond this, she'll seize a firm position in the world of entertainment!
This is her chance!
Sayashi comments that it's recently become popular amongst the members to praise Iikubo, telling her she's cute or that she's in good condition. Iikubo herself is unused to receiving praise, despite being a brown-noser herself. Iikubo makes a lot of eye contact with the other members at concerts, and Ayumin remembers making eye-contact with a panicked-looking Iikubo when they had first joined, which Ayumin found pretty amusing.

The others continue to heap Iikubo with praise, before we get to the song that influenced her life.
It's Mr. Children's 'Tabidachi no Uta', which had been the theme song to a movie. When Iikubo watched them perform the song on a music programme on the telly, they were really singing with everything that they had, and she could also see the lyrics, and for the first time in her life, she cried while listening to music on the TV. Before, she had just listened to music casually, but seeing them put their all into singing it, and the really sad lyrics, the tears flowed. It surprised herself as well. Since then, she's heard to all sorts of music, and some other songs have also moved her to tears, like Morning Musume。's 'Ame no Furanai Hoshi dewa Aisenai Darou?'

At nights when Iikubo's feeling lonely, she wants to listen to this song. The lyrics warm her up, reminding her that even if she's by herself, she isn't alone. Sayashi doesn't usually listen to the genre, but Iikubo's praise for it has got her interested.

Tsunku♂'s comment:
With this and that, she's 17. The peak of womanhood.
Her small stature means that she blends in with the younger members, but she's actually already one of the grown-ups.
I think that from the second half of this year, next year, Ishida will show us where she's matured .
I can't wait. Ah, when it comes to dancing too, aim higher and higher, okay!
Ayumi notes that among the fans, they think of her as a 'slip-up' character. The unexpected mention of her mature actions makes her feel self-conscious. Now she worries about not living up to Tsunku♂-san's expectations. Sayashi points out how commentators on her blog praise her ability at choosing words, and the others agree that her blog posts are really easy to read.

Fuku-chan agrees with the point Tsunku♂ made on her blending in with the other members - Ayumin's face is quite mature, so when you catch a glimpse of it when she's dancing, she looks grown up, you wouldn't think that she's just 17. Instead, her cool expression makes you think that she's probably over 20. Iikubo adds that it doesn't just happen at concerts, she sees it happening at rehearsals as well. They're both 10ki members, and Iikubo doesn't feel the two-year difference in ages, she feels like they're the same age. So she feels like Ayumi doesn't have to mind about her height.
Ayumi: This really feels like I'm getting life counselling.
The song that influenced Ayumin's life is Miwa's 'Kataomoi'. This song is relatively recent, but Ayumin's a big Miwa fan, and heard the song for the first time when she went to an event. It's a real mellow and calm song, with heart-rending lyrics, so she'd like everyone to listen to it as well.

All the girls really like Miwa's voice. Her direct way of singing, her straightforward lyrics, they go straight to the heart. Miwa herself was the lyricist, and the emotions in the song get deeply conveyed, telling the story of a girl who lacks confidence. Ayumi went to the event with Ikuta, who recommended the song to Fuku-chan, which led to Fuku-chan instantly getting hooked.

Iikubo remembers appearing together with Miwa at a music programme. She was able to watch Miwa singing at the rehearsal. While Miwa's fairly tiny, she really had energy, and her beautiful voice had an impact. Ishida notes that Miwa's smaller than her, but her presence, her aura, made her seem even larger than that. Ishida admires her.

The girls have talked about the songs that influenced their lives, but there's also a recorded message - from outgoing leader Michishige Sayumi. The song that had an influence on her is Morning Musume。 'Aruiteru'. For her, this song was the first time she'd experienced an Oricon first, and she also likes the lyrics. She was 17 when it came out. Back then, she was in the dumps as, within Morning Musume。, she was no good at singing nor dancing. She didn't have any solo parts either, and whenever they would line up, she'd always be at the end. She was really negative, wondering if anyone was even looking at her. The she read the lyrics to Aruiteru, where the lyrics go 'You aren't alone - everyone's around', which cheered her up. When she performs it at concerts, she feel that it connects her with the fans - 'That's right, I'm not alone, all the fans are here'. It's a song that makes her feel really reassured, and she'd be glad if those who listen to it feel the same way as well.

That's it for the first part. Moving on, you can read the second part. Or if you're feeling adventurous, straight on to the third part?

Utakata Saturday Night / The Vision / Tokyo to Iu Katasumi / Morning Musume.'16

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