11 comments on “Morning Musume 20th Anniversary Official Book Interviews: Oda Sakura

  1. I’ve always loved this instrumental; especially Tsunku’s cheer/laugh that leads into the chorus.

  2. This is disappointing.

    “Had it been called a “dancing audition” or a “beautiful girl audition,” I probably would’ve given up from the get-go.”

    Okay, Oda.

    You aren’t gorgeous, Oda.

    No, you don’t have a lovely body, Oda.

    No, no one dreams about you, Oda.

    No, no one “Oda Sakuras” anymore, Oda.

    I don’t get this. Modesty is all fine and good, but really?

    • Sakura was insecure about her appearance at that time. Now she’s likely more confident but at the time she joined the group there were a decent amount of people who considered her one of the “ugly” members.

      • When obviously pretty girls say “I don’t think I am/was pretty” it usually means they’ve thought that for a long time. I still can’t understand how an obviously pretty girl could think so little of her looks that she would have not auditioned at all if looks were a requirement, or how she could have come to that conclusion in the first place, or how the public could have made that judgement.

  3. ”…but what we should be trying to learn from our seniors right now is their competency in things like Morning Musume’s etiquette, use of language, greetings, conduct…”

    Mmm, maybe it’s just me but I disagree with her. The group should be focusing more on personality instead of manners, greetings and conduct because that’s what makes the group so rigid. They don’t necessarily have to stop, drop and be like ANGERME. They don’t have to necessarily be loud and crazy either, but they have to work on their presence on television especially variety shows. If you’re focusing on how kind and polite you look, the next group is going to be invited on again instead of you.

    It was actually Akimoto Yasushi, the 46/48 groups producer, who pointed out that it was Tsunku’s music and Morning Musume’s personality that made them become popular. He even admitted last year golden era Morning Musume was the first “real” national idol group and that even people not interested in idols had a favorite member because of their personalities.

    It impresses me that Sakura admits that Morning Musume’s unrefinedness was what made them popular though.

    • Oda loves old momusu dearly, as she said herself, so it doesn’t surprise me that she knows what made them great in every era. I was surprised though by the manners thing as well! But after thinking about it I agree with her, 48g really relies on being candid and transparent about the goings on and many of the girls are just normal but entertaining. H!P even in the beginning was way more about the final product than the behind the scenes and I think that breeds a very professional way of looking at thier jobs as an idol. To carry your head high with confidence and manners seems only appropriate because doing so respects the legacy of morning musume-they’re not lesser or gone or beaten by any other idol group and that legacy is thier character and thier “theme” so too speak. That’s pretty badass, though they might lose a few opportunities because of it.

      I do wish that thier TV appearances were more varied, I think they’re all capable and it’s disappointing momusu didn’t do more variety while the haruna’s were in the group.

      • I disagree with H!P being more about the final product than the behind-the-scenes. There’s a throughline to Golden Age MM for each new top idol group to be more and more transparent about the process. MM started it with the reality show concept, as well as making of footage for both PVs and concerts.
        AKB took it further with talking straightforwardly about popularity (culminating in the sousenkyo), but MM talked pretty candidly about popularity on Utaban, too.
        And then Momoclo had their continual UStreams and Momoclo-chan covering every bit of their lives, while H!P has Upcoming providing more insight into how music is made than ever.

        That said, I do agree with you and Sakura about how MM valuing professionalism and manners has a point, in that they’ve joined the ranks of Kpop and Avex dance units as a group that young ladies want to join because of their polish on stage. Their promotion is in giving people a taste of the energy and intensity the audience will experience at their concerts.

    • well to be fair japan is currently going through a phase where everything a celebrity says is misconstrued and becomes fodder for outlets like LINE news, girlschannel and 5ch to take what they say out of context and twist it. so many idols have been in trouble for saying things that are funny in the context of variety but outside of it get them in big trouble. if you look at utaban videos of golden era morning musume on youtube there are comments saying idols like them don’t exist and if they did they’d be flamed on LINE news. yaguchi slapping okamura, tsujikago getting the PTA riled up by talking about poo on golden time variety, mikitty dropping -san from tsunku’s name when they appeared on variety shows together… these things might be the end of an idol group today.

      but on the other hand it’s strange she thinks conduct/manners/politeness and personality are mutually exclusive. even tsunku said he doesn’t get why tsujikago were called the little monsters because he said off camera they were always polite, well mannered and professional.

    • The thing is “manners, greeting, and conduct” is rigid in Japan, especially in the entertainment industry. A lot of the praise H!P as a whole usually gets (besides their ability at concerts now) is their manners and conduct. When Okai Chisato clips were being uploaded on YouTube, the comments that weren’t praising her personality were praising her speaking style (using desu/masu and sonkeigo/kenjogo properly) on camera.

      As Marippe noted, the times are changing, but the manners won’t for a while. That’s where H!P training really shines, tbh. As for “the times changing,” there just aren’t the same type of music variety shows like HEY!x3, Utaban, SMAPxSMAP, and Music Fighter where the hosts and activities are silly enough to get a good personality shown. Sure, there are some shows that are available, but not to the extent that there was even 10-15 years ago…

  4. I’m sure I’m not the only one who almost forgets the amazing work you do translating these posts. But this one especially, I really feel the skill of your translation. Thank you, Henkka!

  5. Everyone kind of knows that the only reason she failed the S-mileage auditions is cause they wanted her for Morning Musume. Not saying that S-mileage at the time was a bad group to be a part of or anything negative like that but Oda Sakura is a once in a generation talent so you would kind of want her to be a part of the main flagship money making group that is Morning Musume. Even at the time of her debut she was a different breed of talent, clearly showing that she is someone is capable of being front and center. She will go down as not only one of H!Ps best ever but one of the most talented idols to ever grace this Idol World

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