47 comments on “Hello! Project girl wota special!

  1. thank you for translating this! :)

    I’m a girl and i became a fan around the start of platinum era, since most of the girls at that time were older than me i looked up to them as role models. Now i’m still a fan because i love morning musume even more :) , it’s kind of weird liking a bunch of teenage girls dancing around at my age (22), but they are all so cute! I want to see them grow up and become beautiful young women!

  2. I started as a fan because of the music (Became a fan during “Shabondama”) I became a huge fan of the girls after that because they are just so funny and real and you really find yourself rooting for them. I’ve been a fan since 2003, I’m 31 years old, have my own house and a steady boyfriend. Our basement is filled with goods. My favorite past girl is Junjun, my favorite current girl is Haruna Iikubo. Now that they are all so young (Kudo is almost 20 years younger than me!) I get emotionally invested in watching them grow up and improve. Age is really meaningless to me, I love Morning Musume, therefore I love the girls who are in Morning Musume. Whoever they are.

    I really like Berryz, C-ute, and S/mileage too and I’m very much looking forward to Juice=Juice’s debut.
    I don’t see myself NOT being a fan. Hello!Pro is really, really amazing.

  3. Female fan here:

    I’ve been a fan of MoMusu since about 2004. I was a freshman in highschool back then, so I was around the same age as many of the girls. I thought the music was super catchy, the girls were cute, and I was also drawn to their personalities. They seemed more like “real girls” than a lot of American celebrities.

    I’ve continued to follow H!P, but I’m not as into them as I once was. I’m more into AKB48 now…and I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I’m 24 now. Most of the “front girls” of AKB48 are around my age or only slightly younger, while most of MoMusu is much younger than me, which is kind of a turn off. Still, I think they’re cute and I look at them now mostly like sweet younger siblings or something along those lines.

  4. I’m 24 and while I started enjoying the music with Nanchatte Renai, it was my friend introducing me to the brand new (at the time) 9th gen that caused my leap into wotadom.

  5. Thanks for translating this! It’s really interesting~

    I’m a girl fan….I don’t know if I qualify as a wota, though, since I’m 13. I became a fan of Berryz Kobo, C-ute, and Buono when I was reaaally young – it was around 2008 I think. I knew the huge Morning Musume hits like “Love Machine” and “Renai Revolution 21” but I didn’t pay much attention till MM until 9th gen. I paid A LOT of attention to them when 10th gen. was added; I love that generation so much <3 I also became a big fan of Reina & Sayumi, too. I still like the H!P Kids more than MM, though. Other than the cool music, with the H!P girls I get the feeling of 'Wow, I want to be like them when I'm older. They're so funny, and dance good, and wear cool clothes~'

  6. Haaa, to make it short: I’ve been actively following MM since Renai Revolution 21. That’s been a few years now and I have stuck to them and branched out my wotadom to the H!P kids/eggs when they came out, without any trouble. It’s been a wild ride with up and downs in the groups and songs that ranged from very awesome to barely mediocre. But it’s times like this that the fandom actually grows. I’ve been watching TV shows and skits after I started learning Japanese, which helped me a lot in my studies too. Back then, there were hardly any translations available for anything (i.e. shows, pvs, news articles, forum threads etc.). Blogs or Tweets weren’t even available. Most of the stuff only recently increased in greater numbers. Being a fan now is easier as it was back when I started it. It was hard back then to hear anything about the latest singles or PVs. Mostly I saw them weeks or months after they were released, but that never deterred me. I enjoy seeing them audition and the awkward emotions they have when they are chosen (mostly shock and speechlessness) and then the growth these girls go through. That’s what I enjoy most. Seeing them succeed in something they might have not been aces in at the beginning.
    That succeeding is what I love about H!P and what kept me a devoted fan ever since 2000.

  7. I always find male wota reactions to female wota interesting.

    I got into H!P though Buono!/Shugo Chara! in 2009. One day I decided to branch out from C-ute and Buono!, so I downloaded a bunch of MM songs. I remember listening to Mr. Moonlight the first time, thinking “This… is an all-girl group, right?”
    I was stuck with using a computer with Windows 98 at the time, so music was pretty much all I had for a year or so. I learned all the songs and groups, using colour-coded lyrics to learn who sang what and to pick favourites. (I originally couldn’t tell Reina and Aichan apart, either by looks or voice. lol) I used YouTube to look up concert videos whenever I had the chance, and the performances amazed me. I thought I would never learn all the OG members. It’s been 5 years and I think I still can’t identify them all. lol

    I can’t think of when I started to learn about the members’ personalities, but I thought Platinum Era Morning Musume was a group of big sisters that I could admire. 9th gen was my first time seeing the entire audition process, so the new members are more like little sisters. Since Sayu and Reina are the only girls left in the group who are older than me, I look forward to seeing how the new members will grow. I’m really rooting for Harunan since we’re the same age, but I also think the other girls in her generation are crazy and she has to put up with a lot, haha.
    The H!P Kids are around the same age group as me as well, so I used to relate to them more than 2009 MM. I loved the original S/mileage for the same reason, but I don’t feel as attached to 2nd gen as I do for 9th/10th gen’s members for some reason. :/ Juice=Juice seems more exciting than S/mileage already. I like the direction they’re going in.

    • I’d also like to add that since I only listened to the music while I was getting into H!P, I was genuinely shocked when I watched concerts and ventured to Hello! Online to see that most fans were guys. It didn’t make sense at the time to 14-year-old me. It makes a lot of sense NOW though… Actually, I still don’t get the lolicons, but everyone was a bit older during the stable Platinum Era. lol

  8. Thank you very much for fulfilling my request! ^^ I enjoyed seeing the wotas’ opinions. I even realized some reasons I had for being a fan I hadn’t noticed before.

    At 20 years old I can say I care about most of the girls (specially 10th gen) like little sisters. It’s endearing watching them struggle, grow and succeed. With the Platinum Era (I became a fan at the beginning of 2007) I looked up to the members as role models, since they were older (excepting Aika), cool, pretty, stylish and danced and singed well. I still look up to Sayu, but what catches my interest now for the most part is the younger girls growth and Morning Musume’s ongoing and evolving story. I can relate to Yanagihara Kanako’s saying that it’s almost like I’m raising them myself. In the future I want to have a daughter as fun and crazy as Maa-chan, too. lol
    And of course the songs are an important factor too, since most of the lyrics are about girls and their feelings etc. The fact that I can relate to them is what keeps me as fan in the long run, after my favorite members have graduated, and opens the possibility of coming to like the new members.

  9. Ah, I was waiting for a post like this. Thanks for the translation.

    I got into H!P around ’08 because of Buono! . I am now 19 years old and I prefer Berikyuu over MM because they are the same age as me. I loved their songs, their dances they did. And eventually their character as I learned the language more and more.

    When I first watched a concert, I was so shocked that there were more men in that concert than girls. I found it so weird. I mean, isn’t an all girls group meant for girl audience? I guess I wasn’t used to Japanese culture.
    I still don’t get why men like it, and why they find it weird we girls like it. It still has to grow for me ^^;

    • >> I still don’t get why men like it, and why they find it weird we girls like it.

      I think most of us consider most of the music rather crappy, but the girls incredibly beautiful. In other words, the only reason men like them it’s because the girls are first-class fapping material (and sometimes you may hear one or two half-decent song while you’re fapping watching a concert DVD).

      I’m really surprised with all these answers here… I always thought that the only girls who liked female idols were lesbian or bisexual.

      • Speak for yourself. Don’t lump all male fans together. As a male fan, their songs are fun to hear and always give me energy, Something that most music these days lack. And if i want to fap, I stick with porn. These girls don’t sexually aroused me one bit. I find them cute but that’s it.

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  11. Thank you for translating!
    I am glad there’s really an increase female fanbase in H!P fandom.

    I became an H!P thanks to Buono! in 2009. I was 14 and I was looking up to them ! I wanted to be like them. I wanted their outfits and I thought their dances were awesome and their songs really catchy. I thought they were different from the other celebrities.
    Buono! is still my favorite group but I lost interest in Berikyuu. I am more excited about S/mileage and Juice=Juice.
    I first heard of Momusu because of Koharu Kusumi in 2009 too (Kirarin Revolution) but I became a fan after One Two Three. After I saw Kuduu during their first performance of the song, I was really interested in her, then I decided to follow the group. I love their new style.

  12. I’m 18 and I’ve been a fan of H!P since 2006. I loved Buono! from Shugo Chara and I started to love Airi because I could relate to her! and she’s really cool too! I initially like Momosu because of Koharu during her Kirarin Revolution days. But when she left, I gravitated towards Sayumi. She’s so cute and funny~ It’s just this feeling of “I would love to hangout/be friends with a girl like that.”

    However, I’ve only started to root for Momosu as a whole when 9th gen joined in. Before, I didn’t particularly care about their concerts or what their sales were. But now I feel like I want to support them! Of course, I still have my biases (Sayashi, Mizuki, Sato, Kuduu) among the younger members… idk if it’s maternal instinct or whatever they’ve been saying… But to me, it’s more because they all have interesting personalities. What kind of person is Sayashi? Or does Mizuki ever lose her temper? Sato’s so cute but I wonder how she will be when Reina and Sayumi leaves. There’s still so many mysteries to them that I want to continue watching. It’s also partly because I love their new style and how much harder the choreography to their dances have become. It’s just too fun watching them and it always manages to bring me joy every single time! :D

  13. Thanks for the translation!

    Well, I’ve been a fan since around 2003 when I happened to see videos for Do it! Now and Ai no Bakayarou. I was immediately drawn to Gocchin but of course she was solo at that time. Around then 6th gen had just joined and I fell for Reina and I’ve been Reina oshi for 10 years now.

    I actually think Tsunku is right about the 9th and 10th gen being the reason for a lot of new female fans. Obviously they were already increasing, but I think there’s several factors that made them bring girls in. One is the auditions, which got girls who are naturally interested in things like idols to take a look and maybe even try out. Those girls probably also followed the audition results, and the girls picked for 9th and 10th gen are all quite unique and charming. In particular, Sayashi caught on extremely well with female fans for both being so tiny and cute and also so talented. I don’t think it necessarily has to do with her being center, but that she’s a prodigy who’s also not intimidating for new people to get to know. And that brings me to my third point, which is that it’s natural for new people to join when management is trying to give them a starting point. It’s much easier for a new fan to get to know a girl who joined last year than to try and familiarize themselves with 7-10 years of a girl’s career. From the point of view of most girls not having been idol fans before, I think there’s a tendency to appreciate and gravitate towards a girl of the same “generation” as them, at least at first.

  14. Thanks again for the hard work ^_^

    I like how helpful the wota are to people who ask questions about attending the concerts and joining the FC.

    I like the girls in MM as performers and I can’t resist Tsunku’s incredibly sexy music.

  15. Female fan here! I’ve been a fan since around April 2008 back when I was 14. At first I just listened to them because I was really into J-pop at the time and I was surfing youtube. I went from Utada to W and just kinda got hooked. I started looking up all these W songs loving each one more than the last. Then I found Minimoni and was instantly in love with Mika because she’s inspirational. I finally got to the mothership, Morning Musume. Started listening to them and haven’t stopped yet.

    It was only while reading this and listening to my ipod that I realised why I liked H!P so much. You see, I have lots if Hamasaki songs on my ipod and they’re nice but I get sick of them quickly and end up skipping the track but when I get to H!P songs there’s no way I’ll skip the track. I’ll just listen and listen and sometimes put it on repeat. While I get bored easily with other artists H!P just gives me a reason to keep relistening. So that’s why I’m still a fan after 5 years. Even after my Oshi, Mitsii graduated.

  16. What I find interesting is that they claim that foreign fans only go off of cute faces and talent, but when women like them it must mean that they’re lesbians?

    I’ve been in Japan since August of 2010, so I was able to go to one of the Rival Survival concerts (Jun/Lin/Kame were my top three, so once they graduated, I lost the motivation to go anymore) and I think I know exactly why there isn’t much female presence in the H!P fandom. Tickets go to fanclub members first, so even though one of the guys mentioned buying tickets at the convenience store, they’re almost always sold out by the conbini release date. Most people have to buy their tickets from resale shops, usually for $50+ higher than the original price, for a crappy seat. I ended up waaay in the back when I went, but I was surrounded by girls. They all seemed self-conscious, because they didn’t know the wota-gei or they were just new to idol concerts, but they still seemed incredibly happy just to be there. It’s intimidating! The male wota make it seem like such a formal affair, it can be sort of daunting. Even the AKB daily concerts feel like a boy’s-club, so girls are too shy to leap into it. Most of my Japanese friends (college-aged) grew up listening to Morning Musume, so I think there’s a major nostalgia factor. When I put in their songs at karaoke, they sing along. So there are tons of female fans! They just don’t put themselves out there as much.

    As for me, I got into H!P in the 10th grade of high school, after coming out of my weeaboo phase (so I was in need of a new obsession), but I’d first discovered Morning Musume when I was in seventh or eighth grade, so around 2005/2006. I watched clips of Hello! Morning karaoke games and thought “these girls are super funny”. I really got into them when I started going through their discography, and eventually branched out to other groups. Now, as you’re waiting for things to be released, the crappy stuff really stands out, but I think when you have years upon years of singles and albums to catch up on, it’s easier to go through, grab hold of the good stuff, and ignore the bad. Melon Kinenbi had legitimately good music! So I think it’s fair to say that people got into H!P for the music alone. I liked the music, I thought the girls were cute (attractiveness is not something limited to a certain sexuality; good-looking people are good-looking people and they can be enjoyed by straight and gay people equally! I enjoy photobooks because they’re filled with gorgeous photos of pretty people, not because they turn me on or whatever) but mostly I was drawn in by their personalities. I’d stay up until late watching Utaban reruns, laughing until I cried. That’s what endeared me to those girls.

  17. Thank you for the translation :)

    I am a french girl and I became a fan of H!P in 2006, thanks to W. I was 13 back then. I just liked how their PVs were coloful, their music energetic, their dances entertaining and their clothes super cute. It took me one full year to listen to Berryz Kôbô, then °C-ute and finally Morning Musume. Back then it was all about learning the dances and singing the songs while imaginating I am a member too, on stage with them, wearing my super frilly pink outfit.

    Their music isn’t the best, but it gives me energy and makes me happy. Well this is for the bubbly songs. I’d listen to them and dance like crazy just to have some fun. The more serious songs with cool dances, I like to learn those dances and try to be as perfect as MoMusu when doing it. I wouldn’t listen to the music just to ‘listen to it’, it’s always to dance or have fun.

    Then, the girls. I have been a Maasa oshi since 2007, and it’s still the case now, in 2013, and I don’t see this changing any time soon (this is for those who might think girls get bored of their new ‘hobby’ easily). But I can’t tell why… I don’t look up to the girl, don’t relate to her, don’t have lesbian thoughts toward her… It’s rather like ‘I want to be her friend !’… When I see her I am happy, I enjoy watching her performances, reading what she says and listen to her talking… Like this.
    There are also girls that I don’t like personnality-wise, but I take some ideas from them, in terms of fashion or hairstyles.

    Sadly, recently in Morning Musume, there isn’t a girl that I like more than the others… Well, I never really had a favorite in the group (I know, for a group this old who saw so many girls in its ranks it’s quite a shame.)… The new generations are cute and fun, but there is no one I am attached to… If I look at my favorites from other idols group, I’d say that they are always nice girls, not too girly but not to boyish too, they care for their nice appearance but don’t have all those mannerism that super girly japanese girls have. They are quite the ‘cool’ type over the cute one, and seem to have the right amount of confidence with themselves (I won’t like someone who’s all like ‘Guuu… I’m not good… why I am even in this group… I bad at everything… And I’m not cute… Buhuu I don’t like myself…’)… Someone that have all this qualities isn’t in MoMusu for the moment IMO, so I have some hopes for the 12gen audition… The closer would be Riho (in fact, she fills all the qualities) and I had a week of ‘I like this girl…’ but somehow I couldn’t keep up with it… Maybe with some more time…
    But right now, I have a little girl crush on Tomoko, she seems like my perfect Idol so I have fun learning more about her.

  18. Maybe the words that says women get bored easily is true.
    But for the more-than-10-years of H!P fan like me, I really don’t know why.
    At first maybe to look for someone I can make my idol.
    After my Oshi (Iida-san, and Aika) graduated, I look to the new member like my niece or even daughter. (I’m 22 now)
    Now, I have no Oshi. Just want to look them grow up. Just want to know how far they can reach with their own strenght.

  19. This is a bit messy but…

    My H!P background: I first heard of Momusu back in 2003-2004, back when I would get J-music from music rotation sites. One of the sites had “Koi no Dance Site” up for grabs. After that I watched the PV, which was ‘okay’ and that was it for a while. It wasn’t until 2007 that I checked them out a little bit more; watching a couple PVs and learning their dances for fun. I came back again in 2009 and got some concert videos and started collecting their music and PVs. But I still wasn’t much of a fan yet. I always knew they were part of a company but I never really explored Hello! Project before watching H!P summer/winter concerts. So yeah, I gabbled up what I could from the company though I wasn’t (and still ain’t) a big fan of the soloists. Because of the stalemate of the Platinum era Momusu was at the bottom of my favorite groups listing, only above Milky Way because I wasn’t a Koharu fan and didn’t learn to appreciate the group until after their disbandment. I didn’t become a true Momusu fan until the trio-graduation and the announcement of 9th Gen.

    So, sorry to burst Wota bubbles but Platnium era did NOTHING for me as a Momusu fan. I find the music generic and stale, and the group had gotten boring from the 3 years of no graduations. That line-up held no excitement for me.

    I guess it could be said that I came with the 9th Gen though I was around longer than that. I wasn’t around to see any gens join before and I saw it as my chance to watch these girls grow up and evolve. And ‘evolve’ some did! The new gens give off very different feels than any past Momusu gens. Way back when, it was hard to watch audition videos that shown the new member(s) meeting the group, the current members never wanted anything to do with the new girl(s). But girls this day and age are much more open, the girls of the new gens are younger and closer than the OGs were. I think the 5kis and 6kis did very well with making these girls feel welcomed even though they weren’t when they joined 8-9 years before.

    Why H!P and why female idols? – H!P… Because they were my first idol company and I’m a pretty loyal listener. I never got into the AKBmillion; I felt they cattered to males and were too sex driven for me. (Plus their music just sounded like a bunch of girls singing karaoke, which is probably why their songs are karaoke favorites.) Why females? Probably because it’s easier to admire someone than to lust after them, though I have just gotten into Johnny’s youthful half, but H!P is still my #1.

    Do you look up to them, or is it more of a thing of being able to relate to them? – Both, I guess. I really just admire them, they work so hard and it shows.

    Are there those aforementioned feelings of maternal instinct? – …Possibly. I don’t see them as my own kids but I do love the idea of being able to watch these girls grow up.

    Or is it simply because of Tsunku’s irresistibly sexy music? – LOL, no. I don’t think there’s many songs I would really call sexy but the music is definitely taking an interestingly good turn.

  20. Well…I’m a female H!P Wota since 2005?..So quiet a while.

    I used to loooove Gaki-san as she was just a year older and i could relate to her.
    And i always loved the underdogs.
    Those girls who had talent but were overshadowed by Kusumi, Takahashi and Reina.

    When Gaki started to be more prominent i kind of went to Eri but never left my Gaki Fandom.

    Right now i’m really into Ikuta but i’m appreciating Sayu a lot more than before.

  21. I became a fan in the spring ’08. A large number of foreigners that joined the fandom that year joined it because of Shugo Chara!. I started watching Shugo Chara! only after my cousin played Kokoro no Tamago for me on her iPod. I was at her home for spring break… I remember that year was a really tough one for me. In January my grandma, who helped take care of me when I was young, die. In March, my mom had a stroke. All at the same time, I was a sixth grader who had only lived there since the end of 5th grade’s spring break. It was a rather wealthy community, so I even got bullied for not having expensive clothes. It wasn’t a friendly place for an awkward girl that liked anime.
    When my cousin showed me that song, and I then I went on to watch the show, I felt myself gain confidence for the first time. It wasn’t the romance, no, any girls anime will have that, it was the message that I could be who I wanted to, regardless of what others say. Naturally, I ended up listening to Buono! constantly. One day I looked in up on youtube, found the dance shot, and really, my world changed.
    The girls that start off so plain and turn out idols… The thought that all of these girls have had times they’ve doubted themselves, yet look what they’ve become. It’s a “If they can trust themselves, so can I!” type thing. I both relate to them and aspire to be like them.

    tl;dr I went though a tough year, and I really needed the positive energy that our lovely idols radiate. Now I’m in love with Morning Musume and a hard-core Aika fan until the end of time.

  22. Thanks for translating this! I laughed so much while reading… it’s awesome to see how they try and figure out why girls like H!P :D

    I became a fan around the release of Nanchatte Renai. Back then, I was 17/18 years old, so most of Morning Musume’s members were a bit older than me. I think I really looked up to them, I felt like I could learn a lot from them, and since I love dancing and their music was good too, I guess I became a fan.

    When all the graduations happened, I was kinda sad, but I loved Risa and Reina so I sticked to MM because of them. When 9th and 10th gen joined, my feelings were kinda twisted, especially after Risa graduated, who I have been looking up to the most. I felt like the MM I once looked up to consists of a bunch of little girls now.

    Especially because of Reina I still followed them though, and as their music became more electric and dance-able, I got completely hooked again. I love Riho’s and Ayumi’s dancing, I love how good all of the girls have been recently. And I also love how I can watch the girls grow and develop, so maybe there’s maternal feelings behind it, too? I don’t know. All I know is that I’ll definitely stick to the MM we have today. They are amazing! :)

    • This is so funny. You’ve got the exact same Morning Musume route as me.
      (But I’m a guy, that’s the only difference I think.)

      I also started out at Nanchatte Renai, Gaki is my oshi and loving Tsunku everyday for going the electric style.

      (Could you search for me on Hello! Online? My name is Mxrxn)

  23. It’s interesting how alike all fandoms are. I’ve been into gaming much longer and all these statements of mistrust about new types of fans and that they’re just fad followers seem so familiar.

    • Hardcore fans of anything are like this… I can see my boyfriend saying some of these things too, as a gamer, about newer gamers (360/PS3 gen gamers). It’s amusing sometimes.

  24. Hm… why do I like H!P… well…

    I became a fan at the end of 2011, probably a little while after Ai-chan graduated. I had just turned 20 in September. I’ve always preferred female singers over male singers and since I’ve been a fan of K-pop girl groups since 2010, naturally I gravitated towards female groups in J-pop when the huge ‘idol boom’ happened because of AKB.

    Momusu happened to really surprise me and impress me… even though I had known about them for years (I had been a fan of J-pop since 2004 but never really cared to look up idol groups)… It was instant love! They’re cute, cool and funny and the music is good. Even though nowadays when people complain about their music… I still like it. I like it as much as their older music.

  25. Fan since 8th gen joined myself. I love that a girl with little to no experience can join Momusu, demand the best of herself, grow, and succeed. I love that they sing and dance live. Momusu is like a sorority I wish I could have been a part of.

    I’m seeing a lot of Mittsi fans like myself in these comments. I didn’t make an effort to make friends with J-wota or post to 2ch because most of them were actively jackhats about her.

    I hope a 2ch wota sees and translates this. I’d love to see this conversation continue.

  26. I’m 20, and I found Momusu and H!P in 2007, when I was 14.
    The first video I saw from them was Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari. I don’t know what it was, the cute clothes, girls, or the music (or everything combined) but right at that moment I felt I had found something amazing.

    Pretty fast I found my favorite member, Reina, who is still very much an inspiration (and even aspiration) in my life. The girls seem perfect, but after a while you realize that they are just normal girls living an extraordinary life. I have adopted lots of characteristics, gestures, and attitudes from the members without even noticing. My style has developed, both clothes- and hair-wise.

    Now that everyone except the 6th gen are younger, I enjoy watching the new members grow and change, and turn into true Momusu girls, beautiful, stylish, and talented.

  27. I’m 19 and I’ve been a H!P fan since 2007. My first H!P video was actually W’s robo kiss, I saw it on YouTube and fell in love with the cute and catchy music added on to the adorable girls signing and dancing to it, I thought the clothes were cute and the girls were even cuter. I didn’t become a full on wota till I started watching C-ute videos, Airi put some strange spell on me orz. Each year I found myself getting deeper into H!P, learning each girls name and their ways. After a while I found myself going to a Berryz concert half way across my country. I didn’t speak a lick of Japanese but still became addicted to watching idols be idols. I live in America and its really difficult for me to explain to my friends why I love H!P, they just don’t really understand the charm of the girls and music. I tend to be only sexually attracted(i’m bi) only to the girls my age like Berrykuu, and the younger one I think of as little sister I can’t wait to grow up and be beautiful idols. My favorite Kenshuusei as of late is Rikako. I tried out the AKB stuff but its just not like H!P, its too repetitive. H!P music is more spontaneous and fun then other J-pop groups. Yeahh so to sum up why I became a wota-
    ~Admiration, wanting to be an idol like her
    ~Sexual attraction, I sometimes even have dreams of being married to my oshi lol
    ~Music, Terada you musical genius!
    ~Amazing live performances
    ~Idols personality and ability, which H!P has a good amount of both in every girl.

    It would be awesome if you would translate this and post it on 2ch, I would love to hear what they think of our answers :D

  28. I’m a female fan of both H!P (since about “Aruiteru”, I think) and AKB48 (since “River”). With H!P, it was the cuteness, catchy music, and their weirdness. The first video I saw was “Koi no Dance Site”, and while I thought it was too strange at first, I eventually became charmed by their eccentricities and spontaneity. With AKB48, well, I like other girls, and AKB48 has a lot of hot girls doing amusing things and wearing bikinis, so….yeah :D H!P has had some hot girls too (especially Mikitty, Aichan, and recently, some of Berryz as well) but most are a lot younger than me, so I see them more like cute little sisters, or like interesting characters in a TV show. To be honest, I’m surprised that most female idol fans I meet are straight, since the attractive girls is such a big draw to me, but I don’t mind.

  29. Wow! Thank you all for taking the time to write about your fandom. As a male it’s really interesting hearing the female point of views on this subject. As I expected, there was indeed a myriad of reasons for everyone becoming fans. One thing I found interesting is how I think I saw someone on Twitter saying “eww at those wota thinking women feel a ‘maternal instinct’ for being fans of younger girls” and yet there were quite a few people here who did say they might have an element of motherly feelings in their fandom, too. Personally I thought of it as really sweet — I didn’t realize that the idea might be offensive or disgusting to someone.

    And on another personal note: it’s awesome to hear that women, too, have avid fans of Tsunku’s irresistibly sexy music. The Beethoven of Osaka. :)

    In any case, I was pretty overwhelmed by the amount of feedback this post got and I’m afraid I don’t have the time to reply to everyone personally — but then I’m sure you’d much rather have me continue working on the next translation anyway. :)

  30. I´m 24 years old and fan since 16, I remember it was minimoni who hooked me, they were cute and silly and kyuun, soo I see all MM gold era videos on youtube thinking that those videos were actual, but then realised that it was the past and the present was the platinum era soo I just stop follow them because non of the catch me all were boring to me ( specially takahashi ai) and then I hooked again with 9th gen :D and i´m sakuravuuu fan (that´s my nickname for her) and the funny it´s I just look her like my child xD like I wish my daughter will be like cutie sakuravuu

  31. Thanks Henkka for these translations! They are really interesting to read, as well as are the other comments in here.

    I encountered H!P (in YouTube) for the first time in the late 2007 when Mikan was Musume’s newest single, I really liked it but didn’t check their other songs out yet, next I went to some related song which was Koharu’s Balalaika and after that v-u-den’s Ajisai Ai Ai Monogatari and after that I saw Robokiss. I really liked them all but didn’t know that all of them were connected. After around half a year or so I randomly started to check out some random MM video’s and I pretty much liked them all, and from some video I pumped into Ayaka’s Surprise English Lessons, which was one of the funniest things I had seen even though I really didn’t know any persons from the video. So I started checking out more of their subbed videos and after them the unsubbed ones and so on. And I don’t regret any seconds that I have put out from my life to H!P. I wish I would have found about it sooner to be exact. So that’s my brief history about the subject. Now I’m a collector of H!P, TNX and Tsunku. I try my best to get as much as possible and get as much as possible of them via official stores so at least the persons behind all of this mystically magnetic entertainment would get as much money as they deserve, which is hopefully a lot. I’m a 26 years old guy from Finland.

    And why I personally like H!P? Well if I don’t count the many hundreds, maybe even around thousand, amazing, great, interesting songs, “sexy” songs like certain someone in here would say, I would have to put it out with a short sentence: I really like watching nice people doing nice things.

    That is something that you cannot see in any media in any country nowadays, at least I can’t think of any country like that. Most celebrities are full of themselves in every country. Most people seem to admire celebrities, or other people, who enjoy putting other people down “for fun”. Most of you may get what kind of things I’m talking about, very popular and highly respected shows like The Apprentice where the main goal is to be a businessman without conscience so you could succeed and others would fail so that you could get money and power. And people like some unnaimed judges from shows like American Idol (and it’s versions in each country) who are trying their best to crush the dreams of the many contestants by telling them “the truth”. If someone isn’t that great in singing why do make a number out of it and tell it the rudest possible way they can think of? For fun? What fun? And of course some cook in some certain show. Generally I feel that these kind of people don’t make the world and mankind any way better, unlike persons involved in H!P.
    Of course this is only my own point of view about nowadays mass media, you don’t have to agree with me since I’m not perfect. I don’t think that anyone in H!P is perfect, which is a good thing since little bit of imperfections makes them humans and not robots. Robots might be interesting but I think that humans are still more interesting, especially kind ones that want to make our world a little bit more tolerable place to live.

  32. For me, it’s like I’m living my dream through them. I think it’s like the appeal of magical girl anime….just normal girls becoming idols. There’s something appealing about getting to dress up in pretty clothes you normally wouldn’t wear, and then sing and dance with a group of friends. I became a Musume fan right when the 9th gen joined, so it was very exciting. Seeing the auditions was actually why I became a fan. I became fond of all the members and it’s fun to watch them grow and to cheer them on from the sidelines. I really want them to be successful. Whenever they release a single, I always buy at least one copy, and I would buy more if I actually had money.

    Also, I’ve wanted to say this for awhile….a lot of people complain about the sparkles in Musume MVs, but I actually really like them. The girls are so pretty, and when you add the sparkles, it’s (to note again) like seeing normal girls become beautiful and magical idols. I don’t know, maybe I’m just weird~ ^_^

    Anyway, I am a casual fan of some other idol groups, but Momusu was my first idol group and they are definitely my favorite (I drive my boyfriend crazy because I talk about them so much lol). Maybe some girls are just chasing after fads and will leave after a couple of years, but for me, Morning Musume will always hold a special place in my heart.

  33. I became a fan around the time of the 5th gen auditions, having discovered Mini Moni and then MoMusu. I was 15 at the time and, as a female, had a lot of older girls to look up to at the time in the group and H!P in general. I think the biggest hurdle back then for foreign fans was the lack of availability. There was no YouTube or the massive amount of social media which fans have today. I was often months behind on releases, but I still acquired stuff through eBay and enjoyed their fun and crazy music so much!

    When subbing groups started popping up, my love for MM grew even more as I was able to become familiar with each girl’s personality on a new level. I had started learning Japanese because of MM, but my own skills were limited at the time. My faves were Aibon and Yaguchi, maybe because I loved Mini Moni at first? But I have mostly enjoyed each girl in the group for their own various reasons. There’s only been two members I never cared for.

    Seeing the style changes over the years has definitely been interesting, and it’s always been heartwarming to see new foreign fans joining on forums. As a 27 year old woman now, and a Sayu wota, I find myself looking on these much younger girls like I do my own nieces. They are adorable and crazy, and I find myself rooting for them as they struggle to improve in their own ways.

    I’ve never been able to get hooked on other non-H!P idol groups, for some reason. I may like a song or two, but I suspect I am actually a Terada fan deep in my soul LOL. There’s something about the family atmosphere I am drawn to. The fans are also a breed all their own, and each fan has an interesting tale to tell.

    At the end of the day, my fandom is 12 years and going strong :) If I ever get the chance to go to Japan, I will no doubt fearlessly jump in with the male wota and wotagei with all my might. I’m 5’11” so I’m larger than most Japanese men, so I’ve nothing to fear. This size discrepancy might also contribute to fellow female fans, in general, being intimidated in joining in.

  34. I am a female fan and I can say 100% I am a fan because I look up to these girls, they inspire me, even if they are younger. I have been a fan of jpop for a long time and got into musume casually around 07ish and really got into them in 09 when they came to LA. My eyes immediately glued to Aichan and never left. I loved her dorkiness, down to earth personality while being so beautiful and talented, and an amazing leader, never faultering. Plus, she was the same age as me so I felt like we were on the same plane, and everything she did inspired me to be a better person.

    I had the pleasure to meet Aichan briefly after seeing her in The Wedding Singer. I don’t speak much Japanese but told her I came from America to see her and I could see the shock and appreciation on her face at this. One thing about that girl is she wears her heart on her sleeve and I think that makes her the most lovable.

    The one who keeps me around now is Haruna. She is just as dorky and loveable and I can’t wait to see where she takes the group in the future! ^_^

  35. I’m a female, 16 years old and love H!P. I became a fan when… I don’t know, but I know H!P from knowing and liking Buono! first, thanks to a comment in NYC (a boy group) MV in YouTube that says “If they’re Buono! Yuma would be Miyabi, Chinen would be Airi and Yamada would be Momoko” I became curious because I’ve never heard that name before. I’ve already heard the name of Morning Musume and AKB48 before, but in Momusu I’ve just heard the name. I haven’t see or listen to them. I’ve heard and saw AKB but I was not interested and I’m still not interested to them now.

    Then when I saw Buono! I thought they’re so cute but it’s only that. I never listened to them until my sister sang Kokoro no Tamago (she’s not a H!P fan) and told me that is Shugo! Chara song sung by Buono!. I thought of that group again and became more curious. Of course I know Shu!Cha, it’s the one of manga that I ever read. I tried to listened to the music and watched the MV, and I like them! Then I became crazy over Buono! and I found out C-ute and Berryz Koubou and started to like them too. And I was surprised to find they’re under Hello!Project with Morning Musume, I’ve already heard the name but never saw them. Then I began to “research” Momusu. It’s a quite hard because of the loong history, but I read Musume Monogatari which has been released in my country (and in my native language) so I read them and became understand.

    I also liked S/mileage and Mano Erina because of H!P channels in YouTube I subscribed like their videos so I watched them. I also knew another H!P group and disbanded group when I “research” and some of them I found in Musume Monogatari manga.

    I still don’t understand why people judging the female fans became H!P fan when idol is booming, because I never get interested to other female idols, I just like H!P. I don’t care whether it’s booming or not. And I promise I won’t let go after the boom disappear :)

    The reason why they ask “Why you all hiding before it’s booming” maybe I know why. The first time I became H!P fan I was so afraid becoming their fan because I thought their fans were only male wotas and I thought I’m weird. But when I found another female fan I became glad and felt like “I’m not alone in this world” and I can open myself as “H!P fan” and not liking them by hiding anymore. I can get along well with another fans, male or female (and I can get along with people in my real life too).

  36. I’m a girl and I’ve been a fan of HP since 2008 (I was 11 at that time) Around that time my friend got me into watching Shugo Chara and yeah since then I’ve been listening to Buono which got me into liking C-ute, Berryz, MM, etc..

    Why H!P? Well I think it’s because I admire them and they look REAL. I prefer their voices over any other girl idol groups. And maybe it’s cause I’ve been a fan for so long now that I’m a bit biased and close minded when it comes to listening to other girl groups. Also H!P songs are the best. Each group presents a different genre or style each release. (and because it’s very easy to get materials ex. songs, videos… I find it hard to search for AKB/JE MVs)

  37. I firstly became a Buono! Fan because of shugo chara, when I was much younger. For some unknown reason, I refused to listen to Morning Musume for about two years, until I heard Wagamama Kinomama Ai no Joke and fell in love with it.

    It also shocked me when I realised that all the people I’d been talking to on Hello!Online were not girls my age as I had thought, but actually middle-aged guys.

    I look up to all the girls in Hello Project (only a few are actually younger than me) as role models.

  38. I’m a girl who just turned 20 and got hooked on idols when I was round 14, which is around the time my parents divorced. Their music – which would usually either be relatably sad, incredibly happy and/or very powerful – is probably what helped me get through it all.. they boost my confidence while making me smile. The fact that the girls are so adorable and very interesting to watch come and go is what has kept me hooked.

    The whole thing simply makes me so very happy.
    Oda is my favourite, this has nothing to do with anything, i just thought I’d throw that out there.

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