26 comments on “The current state of 2ch and its H!P board

  1. This year has been really slow and boring. This most recent in-between period was the worst I’ve seen.

    Can’t blame people for losing interest when things have been like this and there’s not much hope for positive change on the horizon.

  2. Idolbiz in the last few years was like one big cake full of buttercream and fondabt. At some point you just want to eat something different.

  3. The absolute height of Idoldom, in my opinion, was 2012-2013. The releases, across the board, H!P, and otherwise, from 48’s, to Stardust, to indie and smaller groups was , again imho, the APEX, creatively, of what Idols have to offer.

    Every year since has been going downhill in terms of quality, with very few exceptions. Tsunku leaving has been a major part of this, but so has the never ending glut of Idols. The market is beyond oversaturated and 2016 had been dull indeed. Maybe things need to die again. To be reborn some day in the future….IDOL IS DEAD LONG LIVE IDOL

  4. While I do enjoy some of the members that have joined since 2014 or around the time Tsunku would have left, I do agree that things have lost their sparkle in H!P a bit without Tsunku’s presence on the producer side. Recently, the music seems a bit better to me actually compared to when the new writers first stepped in.

    But it does seem like things have slowed down and H!P as a whole doesn’t seem to be doing as many interesting things even though there’s so many groups and members? There’s probably not a lot to talk about because they stick to usual release events, concerts, plays, etc, and don’t seem to be having as many appearances on variety as 2 or 3 years ago. Not a lot of outside interaction? I don’t know.

    Anyway, it sucks that all these matome sites are going down no matter what the causes are. When Henkka posts a thread translation here, it’s always quality. And it’s going to be harder to find quality threads, or threads that interesting enough to take the time to translate them, so we’ll have to appreciate it even more than usual when Henkka finds something good to share. ^^
    Thanks, Henkka!

  5. As much as I don’t like it I basically agree with the overall sentiment here about HP. It just doesn’t seem like they’re doing much these days. Country Girls is the only HP group I think is genuinely fun to watch right now. Even news of C-ute’s disbanding didn’t strike me as strongly as I would have thought.

    HP just doesn’t seem to put the same emphasis on quirky that they used to, or maybe the girls just aren’t getting the chance to show off.

  6. VR will save the industry. Have you seen how Playstation is marketing it’s headset in Japan? The market for concert and music earning has long been saturated, but the potential for new media in the coming years is massive. People will always pay money to see pretty girls sing and dance.

  7. the idol world is changing… and so are the fans and the media… younger wota don’t use websites, blogs or forums anymore… they use social media platforms that are new and interesting… and YouTube of course…

    H!P is getting less popular? not at all… the numbers don’t lie! the utakata saturday night MV got over 4 million hits… that’s huge! Anger Me and Kobushi Factory become more and more popular… all groups are very busy right now…

    Morning Musume is evolving the most… they’re changing genres and are always influenced by new stuff… I understand you guys when you say that you were bored… I miss the old days, too, where they could be seen in all kind of funny variety shows… but they are also evolving… TV isn’t as popular as it was 10-15 years ago… H!P is all over YouTube with Hello!Station, Upcoming and Girl’s Night Out… and they release the DVD Magazines because these are more successful than TV shows and I really enjoy them…

    H!P is trying to restructure the whole thing and they’re doing well compared to other groups like AKB… the AKB universe is depending on variety shows and handshake events… but these two things are dying with younger fans who don’t want that kind of stuff… the two important things are the music and the connectivity to the groups… they could easily risk the step to move from TV to YouTube or even YouTube Red but they won’t until they’ve reached a deadlock…

    so all in all I don’t share the negativity amongst the older fans although I’ve known H!P for so long… I enjoy the music, I enjoy the video content and I definitely enjoy discussions with other fans all over the world… sometimes these kind of topics drive me insane, though ^^ I’m not a guy for doom-mongering… cheers /)

    • Pretty much agree. Things are changing and we see now A LOT more of the Idols we like but not on TV shows but on DVD’s or Social media.

    • This.

      Whether or not idols are declining in popularity, the biggest change I’ve seen over the last few years is how the online landscape has changed. I’ve never believed in doom and gloom pessimism, especially when all of those opinions fly in the face of the numbers.

      It used to be that forums were almost the only way fans could communicate with each other. Fandoms of all kinds were centered around forum sites. Back then, the only way you’d find translations, event reports, video content, or original creations was by going to one of the big forums.

      These days, that is no longer the case. Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook, and other social media platforms have taken over. You no longer need to go interact with everyone on a forum when you can friend, follow, or subscribe to fans that share a perspective you like. Forums no longer monopolize the fan scheme. The fact that we’re having this discussion here instead of on a forum further underlines that fact.

      The fan landscape is far more fragmented and ephemeral than in when we all frequented the same forums. The agencies recognize and cater to this new reality. Content on TV shows like Hello! Morning hasn’t gone away. it’s been chopped up and expanded to things like weekly YouTube shows DVD Magazines. Instead of one time-slot that takes a lot of money to broadcast, they only have to pay for the production of the content and DVDs. Instead of paying a TV station to introduce the girls’ personalities to the public, they can do it themselves with more control on member blogs and twitter.

      While it feels like the online community is declining, it’s actually because it’s more dispersed into smaller cliques and social media groups. Instead of a unified fan space, what we’ve got now is more customized and on-demand. There’s actually a lot more content now, but it’s just that we only engage with a smaller portion of it.

      The online fan community isn’t declining, it’s just not as centralized and immediately visible anymore.

      • Yes, well said.

        With the number of years I spent following Hello! Project (and still do, to a limited extent), I can’t put much weight into the comments in the thread discussing how the seeming change for the worse on 2ch is because of H!P itself. Some people like what they’re doing at the moment; others don’t. But setting aside my personal feelings towards H!P, if 2ch or the matome culture truly is dying, I think it’s exactly for the reasons you listed above.

      • I don’t like discussing those things on social media, it’s much harder to track compared to traditional forums. It seems too disconnected and flooded to me. Also the issues with searching algorithms like twitter only displaying a fraction of images shown and having to rely on 3rd party sites to see beyond a handful. Even with tags it’s still a pain to pick out the interesting posts from the nonsense. Is there something for a person stuck in their old ways like me to do to adapt to this new way with current forums dying out?

    • Out of curiosity how are DVDs successful than TV shows? Casual fans and the general public won’t know about them.

      • TV shows are extremely expensive and you’ll never get the right to publish this show on your own… that’s the problem with – let’s say – the Hello!Morning show… you can find the episodes fragmented all over the internet… but H!P doesn’t have the rights to these videos… the TV station does…

        maybe less people see these DVDs… but they are cheap and easy to produce and H!P can do whatever they want to do with this footage…

        btw… Haro!Moni@ wasn’t popular at all… why? because it was broadcasted after midnight (the only profitable time slot) when Momusu lost popularity between 2007 and 2010… was is a bad concept? not at all! but the wrong media, wrong place and wrong time… now that Momusu gained a lot of popularity back we eager for a show like that on YouTube!

        so what I mean when I say “more successful” is, that it generates more money… in fact it is more profitable than the music itself…

        1. Concerts
        2. Merchandise
        3. DVD Magazines
        4. CD Sales
        5. YouTube Channel

        and this is the reason, why we won’t see official DVD material on YouTube… or a similar show as Haro!Moni@… it’s simply too expensive and the gain isn’t sufficient enough… but right now we’ve reached another crossroad… with projects like YouTube Red and the new VR technology we can have other experiences… but Red is limited to the US right now and VR is in the fledgling stage… but this is the future of our beloved Idols!

  8. Karin-chan said all her fans are her boyfriends. So, as long as i have a chance with an Idol. I’m not giving up H!P yet !

  9. H!P has lost a lot of steam lately. The MM only fans keep going Itakata this Utakata that bit 2013-2013 was the peak. Lately I hardly hear about Musume, all the wide shows are covering Teriyakizaka46 and BABYMETAL.

    I think next year will be a big shakeup for the 20th anniversary. Perfect timing.

  10. I’m sick of the ’16 fans blocking out discussion of a plateau or even a decline. Morning Musume isn’t even on the list of speculated new acts for Kouhaku this year, making it the first year since 2012 that they haven’t been on it. That’s huge. Using their summer show appearances is also useless because FNS wanted to add 100 idols, even ANGERME got on, and Music Station Ultra FES had 12 hours and placed MM in the noonish spot, most people in Japan are at work at that time. UFA has grown complacent with maintaining when they should do the pushing themselves, the media isn’t doing it for them anymore.

  11. I totally agree with Slack. The fanbase has many more options now than before and we use them as much as time will allow.

    As someone who recently had their account suspended 30 days at Hello!Online for arguing with a troll… (I lost my patience and used some “bad” words)….I have been a good “citizen” there, never caused trouble before… now one more slip-up and I am banned for life…. having other options is a very good thing!

    Pop music artists have such a short commercial life span. Things can’t help but change.

    Take °C-ute for example: I love °C-ute the way Henkka loves Tsunku. I am so glad they lasted as long as they did,, but now that they have announced their dis-bandment…………. I just feel hollow inside about idol music.

    Maybe I can get into UpUp Girls……….

    Henkka, thanks for your translations!

  12. Honestly, ever since Zukki left things have just been more boring for me. There’s a slight glimmer of hope now that Sayu is coming back to life on her blog again, but it’s only been two tiny posts so far so we’ll see how it goes.

    Still, it’s sad when the only idols I’ve been following more lately are 2D …

  13. Out of curiosity – and I’m sorry if this has been discussed here before – do sites like this exist for Japanese fans who are interested in reading about the opinions and thoughts of western/english-speaking fans? Also, how aware are they of the fact that their discussions are being saved and translated by foreigners? I’ve always wondered about these things

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