27 comments on “Let’s discuss the positive things about Up-Front for a change!

  1. On a personal level, they’re responsive to questions via social media.
    In general, I’m amazed at how seemingly well-balanced all the girls are. It’s so different from American pop stars. Idols work so hard and have great attitudes. Very little ego aside from wanting to be the best. Some of that must be thanks to UpFront and other staffs for fostering the culture.

      • Justin, my man, don’t take it the wrong way but, you’re so positive I almost want to puke.

    • Some of that you just have to attribute to Japanese culture. The five members of °C-ute have been together literally every day for 13 years and STILL get along like the best friends they are. Take any five American girls and see if that’s possible. It’s all a matter of humble subverting individual will for the group effort. No one does that like Japan.

  2. UF is really cheap when it comes to budgeting. But their cheapness come in handy for me. They make me able to control my fanboying budget and get more time and money for my real daily life. For example, I can skip one or two goodies when it looks shitty as hell or just buy the regular version of single if its MVs don’t appeal me.

  3. I’m impressed how they cut Sakura’s “let it go” on the DVD of MM ’14’s concert in New York.

    • Now I’m worried that they’ll cut “Flashdance… What a Feeling” from the C-ute Yokohama Arena DVD/Blu-ray. :/

  4. On the topic of Tsunku being such a positive figure in the company, it really is amazing how… safe? it feels with him around. Like, from the way he talks to the girls, treats them, writes their lyrics, comments on their growth, and overall seems to see each of them individually as people rather than products – all of it is so encouraging.

    One moment that always stuck with me for whatever reason was a DVD from a few years ago featuring Tsunku speaking to all the H!P members. Reina and Sayu, IIRC, were talking about when they first joined and teasing Tsunku about how they naturally wondered if he was a pervert at first. I remember just how good-natured the atmosphere seemed between them, and how those are the kind of things you could never say so casually if there was literally any hint of sketchy behaviour in the company. The way he treated Reina and Sayu (and quite a few of the other girls, I’m sure) towards the ends of their stay in H!P had this air of him really respecting them as professionals and as equals. I can’t help but think that all the efforts he puts into being good to them makes the girls want to work twice as hard, contributing in part to just how high quality H!P idols are.

  5. There really is a sense of security and continuity with Up Front. They’re not perfect, for sure, but those are the things I like about them.

  6. Speaking of Matsuura, sometimes I wonder if they let her go in 2009 (around the time when her singing career was effectively over) instead of making her a retiree pensioner housewife under Up-front she is now like the most of other former HP girls, things might have turned out differently.

    As she is the only singer who can match non-idol professional singers (technically speaking, as evident in her maniac live releases) originated from HP -not counting enka singers-, not having any steady income could have prompted her to challenge further in what were supposed to her peak singing years instead of wasting away like she is right now.

    She could’ve easily failed like GoMaki and/or live off her boyband husband’s income and retire like she has now, sure, but the high risk/high reward move could’ve worked out as she has the singing talent like no other HP girls, past or present. At worst, she couldn’t have done any worse than what she has done, sale-wise, as her post 2007 singles/album numbers are downright dreadful. She could’ve sold almost as much by selling them at indie clubs.

      • You know “endometriosis” is not some sort of terminal cancer, right? Don’t try to attribute her unofficial retirement solely to her rare condition. While it’s a serious disease affecting Infertility, it’s not a career killer. It’d affect her from prolong live tours, but definitely wouldn’t stop her or anyone from continuing a career. It’s more like she got tired of show business + starting family in Japan as a woman often means a retirement. Getting a steady payment from the company doesn’t hurt, either. Plus that was diagnosed in 2011 and her career was already dying way before then.

        • She knew she had endometriosis since 2007, she just announced it in 2011.And the number of tours/concerts kept decreasing since then till 2009 when she said she’ll take a break from touring.She just seems happier doing her one time lives and as you said she’s probably fed up with the entertainement industry.She debuted so young and for a few years was at the top of the industry,I don’t blame her for not having any motivation to return.She probably has enough money saved from that time too,the monthy income from UF is just a bonus XD
          But if she still wants a career there’s still a market for her,like last year some journalist wrote about how great she was,and almost instantly her albums climbed the charts(she probably achieved the highest digital place from all HP then) so the interest towards her is still there.Unlike other OG members she’s not inclined to the ‘mama talento’ route,or exposing anything about her private life for that matter,and it will probably work in her favour if she ever decides to return,since with that her favorability ranking to the general public is higher.It all depends if she wants to or not

          • Agreed on most of you wrote except that I think Matsuura may benefit from getting out of Up-Front and starting from somewhere else -if and when she decide to come back. Even with the renewed interest you mentioned, it didn’t translate to sales at all (those temporary spike in sales were negligible in the big picture). Post 2008 Matsuura could barely sell 3-5000 copies at most and that hasn’t change. That sale numbers are actually similar to up-front artists like N.Takui and A.Natsumi make (around 2500 copies), so there is no reason to believe Matsuura can sell any more than that under Up-Front.

            I just think there is too much idol legacy baggage under Up-Front for Matsuura or any ex-HP girls to succeed or appeal to outside of a few old-timer HP wotas. Or to be taken seriously. She will be most likely crash and burn like G.Maki if she gets out, but I think at least in her (Maki) case, it’s partly due to bad marketing and generic shitty dance songs she was given under Avex. And Matsuura actually had some decent songs since 2007, so it only reinforce my thought that Up-Front is not the best place for post-idol Matsuura. She has supposedly a good reputation among professional writers in the industry and can sing, so her chances are better than the rest.

        • Not once did I say that it was the entire or sole reason for her doing anything, though it did seem to be a possible factor you completely left out.

  7. Pingback: Recommended Jpop♀ Reading: June 29, 2015 | Idolminded

    • i don’t get the downvotes, i agree. matsuda seiko was extremely talented for an idol and yamaguchi momoe was pretty much an artist by the time she made it big. i assumed the comment was in jest, though.

  8. So many people worshipping Tsunku while loathing UFA at the same time. You have to admire the ultimate efficiency of the scapegoating tactics.

  9. I am thankful for Up-Front for creating UPUPGIRLS(仮)previously known as UP-FRONT GIRLS(仮).

  10. Hey! Don’t knock LINDBERG, #277! They sold millions back in the 90s and have had some great songs.

    But all jokes aside – I’m glad I’m an H!P fan. I’ve stuck it out since 2002, strayed a few times after some disappointments but I’m back for good. As much as I love wearing my rose colored glasses and putting Golden Era songs on repeat, groups like Kobushi, CG and ANGERME remind me of what sets H!P apart from most idols.

  11. I’ve always remembered famous quote by Tsunku-san “Hello!Project is not a product, is a production”. They produce idols with the best quality, eventhough they’re not the cutest or most popular for example.

    And right, so far 2007 & 2010 are the worst year so far, where many events occurred, no enhancement strategy.

  12. The idols they choose are very unique looking that you don’t really see their type in other idol groups

  13. In my eyes, the secret to H!P’s success is not in the selling of the girls, which they do, but in the development of the girls. The idols aren’t JUST products to be exploited, they are young girls to be nurtured into becoming beautiful and talented women who can learn life’s experiences thru their time in the entertainment industry. The way they act, the way they dress, the way they approach their jobs are all indicative of the finest qualities of being Japanese and the success of the org is intrinsically tied to the fact that the public KNOWS this, that these girls are the finest that Japan has to offer.

    Let me cite as an example, Miki Nonaka, primarily because she’s still a newb. A typical Japanese over-achiever, ala Maachan or Risa Yamaki, she came into the organization already trained in most of the basic talents required to be an idol, plus bringing English capability and advanced piano skills. Since being in the group, we’ve only seen her blossom in charm and cuteness yet we’re JUST BEGINNING to see who and what she is. And I predict she will be yet one more idol that will make people amazed that H!P can find and nurture such a girl!

  14. One positive thing is that by indulging in their content my expectations are now so low that pretty much anything can satisfy me.

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