36 comments on “Tanaka Reina: “The Platinum Era lineup was the strongest. It would’ve been something amazing had the group back then attained the same level of popularity as today.”

  1. For me, the Platinum Era will be forever the best lineup.
    Ai-chan, Gaki-san, Kame, Sayu, Reina, Aika, Jun & Lin (without Koharu) is the best lineup
    They are just amazing!

  2. See, I have to disagree with her. While certainly, the Platinum lineup probably had the most good singers at once Momusu had ever had, with Aichan, Gaki, Lin and Reina being strong, and Eri not being too shabby; and dance-wise it was pretty strong too, they didn’t really have enough standout points to actually achieve success. The problem for the Platinum era was that they were tarnished with the brush of being idols, thus diverting some of the possible mainstream attention had they instead been packaged as an avex-esque dance/vocal group. Plus they had to deal with the high expectations of the previous incarnations of Momusu, who would always be more popular. Then they had to deal with the fact that they couldn’t make the wota masses happy, because they were hindered by a rather large inconvenience of boringness called Aichan, who has about as much personality as Hayden Christensen in Star Wars. Also, Gaki suffered a long, more pronounced version of what Norks is currently going through: the unfortunate arrival of maturity. Had she remained a complete spanner no doubt she would have been more fun, but she didn’t.

    Had they allowed Sayu, Jun and Lin to get more screentime on variety shows, and had Haromoni and Yorosen not been utterly pathetic works of uselessness, I could see Platinum era possibly being hailed as one of the better ones. Unfortunately, in addition to Aichan and Gaki being dull during it, Reina losing her yankee-ness, Eri remaining timid and Aika being Aika, it just couldn’t have ever happened.

    Not to mention I find Platinum era songs to be among the least interesting things Tsunku’s ever written, with some few exceptions.

    • That was a pretty lucid analysis.

      Although these discussions are fun and interesting, to debate and promote one’s favourite member, ultimately, no single girl was at fault. The management during that era was on one hand, too conservative, on the other, too flaccid. And that, in the end, affected the members, as there was very little spark, which lead to a very perceptible staleness.

      Had Up-Front done something to reinvigorate MoMusu, somewhere around the time Fujimoto left, the Platinum Era would have had a chance, but the way things happened, by 2010, they needed a bit of a defibrillation. That came in the form of the 9th generation.

    • I agree with everything you said!

      In my opinion, the two biggest flaws of the Platinum Era were the general boringness of the members (with some few exceptions) and UFP’s lousy promotion tactics (they had the brilliant idea to put two Chinese girls in the group and then do NOTHING with them, even when they were clearly showing they had potential and willingness to try; they made Yorosen and Haromoni; among other great decisions). Had these two factors been less relevant, I think they wouldn’t have declined so much in popularity.

      • The problem with the “Chinese Experiment” is that it wasn’t really that popular to begin with and UFA – in all its “wisdom” – decided to cut their losses by minimally promoting them, assuming that the wotas will be more “forgiving” of their business decision. In hindsight, they were wrong of course but it’s just one of many other bad decisions they made.

        The sharp decline in sales probably scared them and they stopped getting invited to shows. I don’t think they would have graduated Elder Club if they didn’t at least have a plan in place, but the fan exodus and sales decline might have forced them to do what they did.

        I think it’s pretty unfair that some wotas are calling the Platinum Era the “Eclipse” Era because it had a lot of things going against it. But in the Idol Industry, nothing is ever really fair.

  3. The only thing that the Platinum Eras didn’t have was the Loli factor, and that sells a lot, you can see it now. The younger the girl is the most the wota likes her.
    In every other aspect the Platinum Era is superior.
    Maybe in some years the current line-up will be great and hopefully better than the 9nin stable Momusu, but for now you can’t objectively say that the current line-up is better than that.
    If you think they are selling more because they sing better, dance better or the music is better, you really need a reality check.

    • It’s not about superiority, it’s how effective the group is. That’s how they will be judged at the end of the day. Sure, the Platinum Lineup could be superior (they are better singers no doubt, but I’m not sold on them being better dancers), but their inability to retain the fanbase and sell records will always be there to haunt them.

      Yes, it would have been great had the Platinum Lineup got the same level of popularity and momentum that the current lineup has. But they didn’t, that was the point. You don’t need reality checks to see that.

    • “the Loli factor, and that sells a lot, you can see it now. The younger the girl is the most the wota likes her.”

      Uh huh, sure… Care then to explain how a bunch of 20 year olds in AKB48 are the most popular members then and not the younger girls? Among them being Shinoda Mariko who just turned 27 a couple of months ago?

      Or should we talk about the popularity of golden era Morning Musume, when one of the most popular members Nakazawa Yuko was 24 when Momusu began and 27 when she graduated – possibly even more popular and a big hit to Momusu’s popularity when she left?

      But I guess, whatever story in your mind you think is right… Yeah, ok… They’re only popular now because they have a bunch of ‘lolis’.

      • Eh I think Mariko, Kojipa, Takamina, Yuko, Tomochin and the rest of the 1st and 2nd gens are the most popular because they are pioneers of the group. I don’t think that’s a logical assessment.

        Have you been following AKS for a long time?

        • I think what he was trying to say is that it’s not all about the loli factor. But having no lolis during the Platinum Era doesn’t really explain why they didn’t sell. I’d point more to the general lack of interest in the group and UFA’s lack of interest in promoting them. Maybe UFA was betting on the other groups to hit it big, or maybe they’re just waiting for the group to die out. None of us can really be sure.

      • And using Yuko isn’t logical either since, yeah she was ONE of the most popular members but the MOST popular was 16-year-old Nacchi and 13-year-old Maki after that. I don’t agree totally with what that poster said, though they never said the SOLE reason for murre the MM popularity is their young members, your examples are just as flawed. That, mixed with your condescending sarcastic tone takes away any and all credibility

  4. 686 made me laugh. Reina might not have been a favorite of mine, but I going to miss her a lot.

    • They didn’t promote them at all. What with the three stage shows, two movies, TV appearances…. working with Takurazuka…

      It just simply was the fact that people didn’t latch on to the girls. They liked -some- of the songs and not even those all that much.

  5. The thing with Platinum Era is that many fans were leaving with the graduation of many of the golden era members. Add the fact that AKB48 was entering the scene and taking away lots of fans. So they were in the wrong place and wrong time. Hence the drop in popularity. But regarding skills and talent, they could very well be the greatest. Let’s put it this way, had it been any other girls, MM could’ve fallen into oblivion in that situation. Yet, they still maintained their presence, So I would agree with Reina on this one.

  6. For real ~ after the p9 era end , starting as Eri Jun Lin left , MM for me was not that attractive anymore ~ The big changes in their song’s style.. and too many young girls and their voices in songs… they are cute for sure, but they don’t have the aura from the p9 girls ~ The p9 girls are more like ” We have the skill, and we don’t need to keep mentioning that WE are skillful ”

    The popularity thing wasall about timing. During the p9 era, with the rise of AKB + the old management style of UF + two Chinese members, these factors made fan leave ~

    And nowadays, AKB starts to stop growing ~ The attention starts to fall back to other idols group… UF seems to be more aggressive now.. therefore people start putting attention on the current MM.

    if the 9 10 11 members were back there instead the p9 in 2007 to 2010.. i doubt if they can do better than the p9

    • What you said is useless could have been popoular, shoulda could would arguments are nonsense if it didn’t happen not saying that I hate the members I loved Takahashi, Junjun Linkin Sayumi etc. but to belittle the younger generations is idiotic if you really want to blame someone for the platinum era blame the management l.

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  8. I agree with 182. If only Eri didn’t have her skin problem… Gaki/Eri leadership would have been nice to see. I can even imagine her voice in Pyoko Pyoko.

    It’s weird to think how much a member or two can change things in the group. Things would seem way different now if Aika was still in the group just from the age gap being bridged. I can’t imagine Risa in any of the singles after her graduation though.

    Speaking of members changing things, I’m eager to know what kind of girls Tsunku is looking at for 12th gen.

  9. I have to say I just fall in love with MM because 4th gen with Kago-Tsuji but when all my favorites leave I just stop follow then when Platinum era begins for me was just mehh, of cuorse they were the best singer and performers line up, but they was sooo boorriiiingg, I like almost all their songs but, for me was irrelevant what they do or if they selling or if was their birthday, like who cares… but when 9th gen come, I just star follow them again, they were happy and silly and funny, they lo what they do and always try soo hard even their sing hability was soooo BAAAD, and now I´m sakuravuuu fan I love all of them, even riho who I just tolerate

  10. This interview confirms a thing: Reina,from an artistic and professional point of view,seems to be much more evoluted than the majority of her colleagues…
    Their live concerts of that era are a proof of what she’s saying: that line-up had the talent,the stage attitude and the maturity to become a top act worldwide,well beyond the idol-world.
    Someone in the business office didn’t had the eye,or the will,to pursue that. They choose to follow another path,and that’s ok in the end.
    But the potential they had,musically and artistically speaking,with Reina,Ai-chan,Risa,Eri,Sayu,Lin…

    p.s. first time i reply here,thank you Henkka for this blog.

  11. Thanks Henkka ^^

    221 and 442 shows what I think happened to the group Morning Musume as a group of girls (meaning minus all the production support and packaging). When leaders suddenly withdrew after they were given leadership, and 7th and 8th gen lest earlier than 6th gen, there was an imbalance and vacuum in the group.

    Mentoring, I think, formal or informal, is very important in a group like Morning Musume. You don’t just pass down a name but a tradition, a trademark. What is their trademark? Not the music, that is Tsunku’s. Not the skills, personalities, appearances. They will be different because it’s a group of changing girls. It’s the performance level. And you can only “teach it forward” by performing together. The lines of transmission from golden era to reborn era are so thin that’s why I think it’s unfair to compare the era’s.

    So I’m not just blaming the leaders who suddenly left. Of course, the gap of time in auditioning and graduating members have something to do with it and that has myriads of other factors in effect too.

    If they do a special show (It’s extra publicity too) where the OGs really mentor MM and show them videos of past performances, I think it would show in the performance of the current girls. I think no other era of Morning Musume has been as aware of keeping the tradition as now.

  12. Does anyone know in which program and episode Sayumi said “don’t you dare suddenly withdraw, dammit!“ to Mari? I would like to watch it.

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  14. Good to see I’m not the only one who misses the Turtle… bring her back dammit…

  15. I think they were strong because they were together for so long that they were able to spot each others strengths and weaknesses and used their strengths to tackle their weaknesses. I think it was their management that let them down more than anything.

  16. It was definitely the strongest lineup IMHO… sadly, they were at a convergence of several negative factors, including the arrival of several new groups like AKB48 and just changing preferences from the public. I don’t think it’s fair to blame them for the drop in MM’s sales since that dip had been taking place for several years before they came into their own and it wasn’t totally due to just a few members being ‘boring’.

    Also, another key failure was the relative weakness of the 7th and 8th generations. In an ideal world, a combination of Koharu/Aika/Jun/Lin would be taking leadership from 6th generation right now (or even earlier) but instead we’ll have a handoff from the 6th gen straight to the 9th. Luckily, it seems the new girls are ready to take the challenge on so MM is in good hands moving forward. However, this was a huge failure by Tsunku/UF for not working more on MM’s ‘bench’, seems they thought Ai, Risa, and 6th gen were going to stay around forever.

    Last point, Eri leaving was also a huge blow. She was a great performer who really improved over the years and I think would have taught the new girls a lot about what being an idol means. KameShige should be leading MM together right now and retiring together in glory in 2014. Why did Eri have to leave!?! :(

  17. Platinum era is the BEST of MoMusu. Everyone was stable vocal-wise and dancing-wise. Also, they were NOT boring. If only their MouTube segments and other variety shows were more publicized, they would have been more popular. Their personalities were really interesting! Sadly, not enough people know about it.

  18. I feel agree about when Ai-chan and Eri were in the group. They were so strong for many reasons ,there still have a good vocal singers, I was fellen in love with their voice (especially Ai-chan,Mikitty,and Reina), their style of the song was fit to the almost every member. I started to follow MM when Aruiteru was about to released, back then Yosshi was the leader and Mikitty was the sub leader. At that time I think that this group has a good vocal and harmony, so I fellow every singles until renai rider was about to released. I stopped to keep up even my oshimen is Reina, But I prefer only to see her through the blog and her solo performance.
    MM’s popularity isn’t popular as the platinum era for many reasons, nowadays there are so many girl group which their popular is still in charge, such as 48groups, nogizaka46,etc. In my opinion, I don’t really like the young gens. They may catch the attention from male fan but the girl fan would prefer other group to be their idol. “they will reborn” some comment from the top said but because you really think that some of other girl group start to stop growing, maybe you’re right, but their first date of lastest single is still around 1million, and their next gen member already gain popularity from the fan, for me the girls in the age around 16-19 years old, their aura are very shine more than the young one

  19. Completely agree with Reina here! O_O What a surprise!(I never saw that happening lol)

  20. The only things the Platinum era lacked in comparison to what we have now are 7 edition singles with 50+ release events each. I’m still a fan of the current group but they most certainly did not gain 50 thousand new fans just like that out of thin air – what they gained is the power of a competent marketing machine behind them.

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