21 comments on “Nakajima Saki: “It’s such a waste when girls quit only a year or five after finally getting in to H!P.”

  1. “One or five”?
    There’s a big difference. Five is a decent amount of time for an Idol, isn’t it?
    I mean, 10 years is supposed to be extraordinary. That’s what Berryz said, I think.
    Kusumi Koharu was in Momusu only 4 years, that’s a decent amount of time. Most Idols don’t last that much.
    The problem in H!P, in my oppinion is Kenshuusei, they waste their young years there and they are never sure if they’ll debut. I find Kenshuusei very scary, I have some favorites there and some times I think it would be better if they do what Tanabe Nanami did.

    • There’s no gurantee that they’ll debut somewhere else even if they leave the Kenshuusei, just as there is no guarantee that every art student will go on to become a professional painter or every dance student will become a professional dancer. If they’re dead serious about entering the entertainment world there are more benefits to being part of the Kenshuusei program with Up-Front than there are drawbacks.

      • It all depends on what the girl’s wishes are. Honestly, the only thing Tanabe’s group has on the Kenshuusei is the possible fulfilment that she is feeling by being part of it. The group’s songs are, at best, comparable to the bad-ish H!P songs and even Kenshuusei’s concerts themselves put OnePixcel’s concerts to shame if you compare the quality and size of the venues (not to mention the bigger HelloCons in which the Kss also participate).

        The big drawback is that the Kenshuusei are obviously not a group and so the girls’ participation and recognition get spread really thin. But if the girl’s path is ambitious, her shot is infinitely bigger with the KSS than with a group the size of Tanabe’s.

  2. This is an exceptional thread. I’ll keep it close by when times get darker. Thank you for the translation!

  3. I think it’s also a matter of economics. Back in the day a solid stint as an H!P idol could get you to tarento status maybe even acting in a drama, these days that seems less likely. I also suspect the scaling down of H!P has hit the remuneration the girls receive. It must surely has reached the level that getting a proper education seems like a far more sensible idea than sticking with the idol business.

  4. I love Nakky even more now. The people in this thread stating that she’s too harsh are weird. As if her statement was offensive. Honestly only because most idols don’t stay longer than 5 years doesn’t mean it really is a long time compared to other jobs. As soon as you quit being an idol you have to live as a normal person with a regular job for the rest of your life if you didn’t become successful enough to live as an entertainer. So what’s 5 years compared to that? lol
    It’s only after your puberty is over and you slowly are considered a grown-up that you gain more freedom and can hold conversations with the other grown-ups you’ve worked with so far on an equal footing. So of course it’s a good advise for the girls to not quit early.

  5. While I agree with her general point, I think that the majority of girls today aren’t joining HP at the age she joined, so it’s difficult for them to stay 5+ years simply because they get to that age where they want to study, go into acting, have relationships, etc. And so they have to graduate, not because they are giving up because it’s hard or they don’t feel they are succeeding, but simply because they have other goals they want to accomplish in life

  6. Every idol has their strengths and weaknesses. Some are better singers, some are better dancers………. Nacky’s strength is in her brain.

  7. This was a good read, I feel like is going to help me in my personal life as well, but I have to agree with number 68, the age they have at debut is important, we all know that 25 seems to be the top age most of the time, and we start to fear a graduation when they get to 20, so girls that debut at 17 are most likely to graduate at 5 years than one that debuted at 11 for example, as for the KSS I do believe they need to improve the system, like hold some really big elections in which we vote for the KSS we wanna see debuting, so the unpopular ones understand their chances from the beginning (I feel like Hikarun may never debut), and at the same time we force the office to debut our favorites (I still think Tanabe Nanami was a wasted talent, and Icchan and Kaedii should have debuted sooner)

    • I respectfully disagree. I think that the staff has a better idea of who is ready to debut than the fans. H!P does not have an infinite amount of money and can only hire so much infrastructure. What would happen if fans decided that so many KSS were ready to debut that it overwhelmed H!P’s ability to effectively promote all of their groups? A debut into a group that is a disaster would be worse than a delayed debut into a successful group, in my opinion. And, what would happen if the fans fell in love with a girl who was in no way shape or form ready to debut and they forced her to debut and she was traumatized by how bad she was on stage in concert?

      • While I agree that H!P staff know better than the fan of who is ready to be debuted, but it depends really. Idol does not have to be good at anything (look at AKB) but if she has enough fan base, she can go on with it.

      • If they are the ones organizing the elections they would hold them when they feel they are ready to debut some KSS and they would decide on the amount as well, like the top 5 most voted girls for example, so all those money/infrastructure problems you are talking about would be inexistent, they could also hold elections without the need to debut anyone, like picking 10 KSS that would be feature in a KSS indie single for example, or center girls for a KSS single like AKB does, and if there really are girls that they think are in really bad shape they could exclude them from the voting, or make rules like girls with less than 3 months of training are not eligible for example, though I think that “ready to debut” is a very ambiguous concept, because idols are not expected to be incredible good at dancing or singing from the beginning, and by your standards then girls like Harunan, Eripon, Haachin etc would have expend years of training before ever getting to debut, heck Harunan may have never even debut, just look at Sayu or AKB as a whole, for an idol singing and dancing are things that they are expected to get better at but not their main attraction. (And I don’t see any of this “not so talented” girls traumatized, in fact seeing how bad they are and wanting to have more fans and become center girls push them to train more and more while showing their good points at the same time, and if you are talking about a group as a whole then that’s why indies singles are for)

        • Iikubo Haruna, Ikuta Erina, and Ogata Haruna were never in the KSS. The were all chosen by audition and were all excessively good looking and were all somewhat already in show business (Harunan and Eripon modeled and Haachin was an ice skater). Debuting these three was a no-brainer since even if they couldn’t develop any skills they could still move photobooks.

          I’m not sure that I have any standards for idols other than they are supposed to make people like them. I am pretty sure that there is one quality that H!P producers do value in auditions: can this girl be coached and will she improve if coached?

          I don’t think that one can run KSS the same way that one would run XYZ48. The KSS do not waitress and perform daily in a theater. The number of people who follow KSS in Japan is probably less than 1% of the number of people who follow XYZ48. There are not dedicated magazines published to a acquaint people with the KSS.

          I approve of the idea of the KSS having indi singles, and they do have them. Heck, they even put out an album. And, their singing coach(es) probably had the final say on who got solos. Should they have fan voting to decide on who gets solos on a KSS single? Maybe. But do enough people care?

          • Your first statement actually proves mine to be true, as longs as the girl can move a fanbase and sell her goods she is good to go, so what better than the fans buying and voting to know that? I think that over the years they have slowly started to promote the KSS more and more and the fans have started to care more about them since more and more girls from the KSS are debuting, is the agency job then to promote the KSS (and H!P as a whole) more and make people care

            • I don’t think it proves the statement at all. Haa-chin, Harunan, and Eri-pon had some popularity outside of the idol world. This was good evidence that their photobooks could be successful. No KSS fans were involved.

              On the other hand, since H!P is charging the KSS money to train, they should consider any avenue that would help the KSS members expand their personal brand. However, H!P does not have an infinite amount of money. They can’t just release magazines for each KSS. But, I would have no problems if Ichioka Reina’s new group was a KSS group with a revolving membership of seven other KSS members determined by annual election, so long as it was recognized that Reina was the only H!P member and the group was an indi group.

              Suppose a KSS joins KSS4u8 and performs with them for a year and then does not win the election. Does she go back to being a KSS? Does she join an established group if there is an opening? Does she retire? If the other members are “debuted H!P members” can they contractually go back to being KSS? Also, let’s say that a member of KSS4u8 is doing really great and one of the established groups has an opening that would suit her. Does her membership in KSS4u8 mean that she can’t join?

              Now if the other seven members are still KSS then all these problems go away. If they are needed by a H!P group then they can go and the KSS with the 8th highest vote total could join.

              It’s an interesting idea, but there are lots of tricky details to worry about.

  8. I agree with resop2. Take, for example, Karin. Imagine a world where she got to debut so much earlier. Maybe in MM, maybe in S/mileage. Would she mesh or mess with the dynamics we got? And what would Juice=juice look like without her?

    • There are lot of fans (specially Japanese ones) that believe that Karin not debuting in Momusu was a big mistake, I honestly believe that we cannot say that it would have been a terrible decision or the best decision ever if they had debuted Karin earlier been Momusu or any other group or even a new group back then, but I do think that delaying her debut affected her popularity at least with foreign fans, because when she debuted she was already too perfect and here people love to see girls like Maa-chan or even OdaSaku steadily getting better and prettier and developing this ace vibe around them before you know it.

    • I think that Takeuchi Akari is happy that Karin didn’t make S/Mileage … (my own fan theory that Karin is an Akari stalker).

      I think though that seriously, they were looking for strong dancers for S/Mileage gen 2 (I think that Kana got in because they needed an Osaka character).

      As for Morning Musume, I never thought that she had the look for it. I can’t explain it well, but maybe she isn’t approachable looking (too good looking) or not tall enough.

      I know it stunk for Karin to be a rounin for all those years, but when she did debut she was definitely ready.

  9. Agree with Nacky’s point but 5 years is probably a bit too long for teenagers, who are in the stage of finding themselves. People change you know. If c-ute needed to wait a year longer before launching their first indie single, most of the girls might have quit even before that.

    I think her message directs more toward KKS, but then again, most of the KKS girls have to wait far more than Nacky to get debut. H!P is not that big for more than a decade already. Imagine yourself working at the lowest staff level of this company, how long for you to work before looking for other things to do. If anything, Kaede is probably more suitable to send this message to others, after waiting 4 years in KKS and finally succeed.

    KKS members also need to improve themselves too, not in term of skills but charisma. I honestly do not question why Kaede needs to wait that long when you her on stage side by side with Yokohama. Her charisma is still lacking. Things like this can’t be trained I supposed. All the rest of KKS need to question why Yokohama took only 2 months before her debut.

  10. WorldGN18: Maybe you wish is coming true? Ichioka Reina will lead a new group of KSS. What if H!P follows your suggestions and makes Reina (3)’s new group an eight girl revolving group chosen by a yearly election from the KSS? They could be called KSS8, or All Kss Booooy!

  11. “Five years isn’t too soon at all. If anything, ten years is an abnormally long time to be an idol.”

    *Futsuu, Idol 10nen Yatteranai Desho?! playing in the distance*

    LOL, 1 year is definitely too soon, but I think five years is at least a pretty good amount of time for us fans to enjoy the presence of a favorite member… But yeah, if you look at the opportunities that open after being a member more than 5 years I guess Nacky has a point.

    Anyways, 2 or 3 years should be the minimum, but we have to respect the girls’ choices either way.

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