November 11, 1989 — Fukuoka
2003/01/19 ~ 2013/05/21
Tanaka: “Oh, you’re that girl from last time!” It gave me so much courage when Tsunku♂ said those words to me.
— It’s a well-known story: you first took part in the 5th generation auditions while misrepresenting your age.
Tanaka: I completely ignored the age limit and applied, thinking only about how I wanted to be in Morning Musume. If only I’d gotten into the group at that time, I could’ve stood on-stage with Goto Maki. That’s the one thing I never got to accomplish as a member of Morning Musume.
— So you were aiming for this path because of your admiration for Goto Maki. From what I understand, however, you were quite the “bad girl” back in your hometown.
Tanaka: I didn’t even know what that was supposed to mean. Although I did attend my junior high entrance ceremony with my hair dyed blond… But still, my hometown was very peaceful. My teachers were helpful and my parents raised me very well. I was rather well-respected, you know.
May 7, 1999 — Hokkaido
Sato: Even on the very day I was accepted into the group, they were angry with me. My mom and dad had never gotten angry with me as they raised me, and yet, when I was at the training camp or when I was accepted as a member… the staff were constantly angry with me. I didn’t even understand why — I just thought, “I guess adults all just hate me.“
The Airheaded Girl from Hokkaido
— When you first applied for the auditions, you weren’t even particularly a fan of Morning Musume, were you?
Sato: I didn’t know much about them. There was a leaflet about the audition at my ballet school, so I looked them up and watched “Maji desu ka Ska!” Sayashi Riho’s dancing was incredible, Tanaka Reina’s singing was so pretty, and my parents suggested I give it a shot and see what this world is all about. So I just applied without much thought behind it.
— What with everyone else around you being so serious about it, I would imagine you felt a little out-of-place…
Sato: The auditions lasted for around half a year, and I was just thinking about how long it was taking. They got unbelievably angry with me at the training camp. My mom had sent me off there, telling me to go and have fun. And so even though I was only trying to have some fun, they wouldn’t let me at all.
2018 is nearly behind us, and thus it’s time to look back and see what the year had to offer. (While you’re at it, feel free to check out the best of 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017!)
Please note that this list is not in order of best to worst. It’s simply a list of what I thought were 15 of the best 2ch threads posted on Wota in Translation this year, in the order they were published.
Did I miss anything? What were your favorites from 2018?
May 28, 1998 — Hiroshima
2011/01/02 ~ 2015/12/31
Sayashi: Back when I was still a kindergartener and I had no vision for my future whatsoever, I got to dance at the center of the stage at our arts festival to “Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~.” I had a lot of people complimenting me and I had so much fun doing it. It made me feel like I was glowing. That was the moment I decided: “I want to be in Morning Musume!“
— That Morning Musume song is what started it all for you.
Sayashi: I told my parents that I wanted to start dancing, and I’m from a very music-loving family so they immediately agreed and I enrolled in an “actors school” in Hiroshima.
— From the very beginning you were dancing in the center at your arts festival, and you were very active at your actors school as well. It does sound like you had a natural talent for dancing to begin with…
Sayashi: Not at all. But I did get to often be in the center at my actors school as well, so that was a big source of confidence for my young self. I’m someone who’s always quick to get bored of things, but dancing was different — I just couldn’t stop. I became convinced that dancing was my most treasured thing in life.
1: おちんくん 2018/10/08(月) 15:41:20.88 0.net
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Sayashi Riho pretty much made the current H!P.
6: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/10/08(月) 16:56:41.06 0.net
I only learned who Sayashi was and became a fan in 2018. Sayashi is the only idol I like, so I don’t quite even get the whole “oshi-hen” thing of idol culture.
13: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/10/08(月) 17:26:05.46 0.net
I, too, discovered and became a fan of Sayashi in the fall of 2017. Up until then, the only H!P artist I’d properly listened to was Matsuura Aya. Sayashi’s appeal to me is how she just puts her everything into her performances — both in her singing as well as her dancing.
In the current Morning Musume, the person who feels the closest to that for me is Ishida Ayumi-chan, so I think I’ll remain a dedicated fan of hers until her graduation… because I don’t think Sayashi is ever going to make her return to the stage.
8: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/10/08(月) 17:12:09.18 0.net
The king of idols. The ultimate form of the modern idol.
5: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/12/16(日) 14:38:23.29 0.net
I had an image of her being popular because she was like this moe anime character.
67: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/12/16(日) 15:35:30.65 0.net
68: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/12/16(日) 15:37:19.13 0.net
6: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/12/16(日) 14:38:56.18 0.net
It feels like she was actually surprisingly athletic. Though now that I think about it, everyone in the 5th gen was athetlic. But Konno was smart, too.
14: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/12/16(日) 14:44:02.89 0.net
At the time, everyone in the group was all about pushing their way to the front 24/7. Konno was the only gentle, quiet type, so she got all the fans who were longing for that type of girl. In the beginning she used to be written off as just another member who was no good at singing or dancing or anything else, and yet it turned out that she was actually smart and fit… She was like the honor student of the group.
1: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/12/20(木) 23:42:27.92 0.net
Best! Morning Musume 20th Anniversary
Hello! Project 20th Anniversary!! Hello! Project 2019 WINTER ~YOU & I~
Hello! Project 20th Anniversary!! Hello! Project 2019 WINTER ~NEW AGE~
4: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/12/20(木) 23:43:51.42 0.net
2: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/12/20(木) 23:42:52.22 0.net
Until when are you going to celebrate it?! (laughs)
3: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/12/20(木) 23:43:23.03 0.net
If you’re just rounding it up or down, you can call it the 20th anniversary until their 24th year!
And then the next year you can start calling it the 30th anniversary!
1: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/12/01(土) 21:16:56.42 0.net
It’s not like they were bad singers either, so why was the office so stubborn about not giving them lines?
5: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/12/01(土) 21:35:55.19 0.net
They sure were cute.
6: 名無しさん募集中。。。 2018/12/01(土) 22:37:06.78 0.net
I wish I could see a Junjun vs. Koharu MC again.
9: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/12/01(土) 23:05:20.68 0.net
Junjun eating dog food and saying it had no taste was cute.
14: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/12/01(土) 23:21:09.07 0.net
The group had terrible speaking skills around the time, but it feels like those two made it a little bit better.