October 30, 1996 — Tokyo
Fukumura: I’ve always felt strongly about not wanting to lose to my generation-mates. But then on the other hand, from the very beginning it felt like I came last out of the four of us. Even at the shoot for “Maji Desu ka Ska!” the other three were in the front row while I was in the back. That was a bit of a shock. “I’m supposed to be a new member too, and this is where they put me…?” In “Only you,” I got to sing only during two parts while Sayashi Riho even received solo lines and she was right in the center.
It was a tough thing for a child to accept, but that was the reality. That was when the sense of rivalry within me was awakened as I decided that I was going to try and push my way closer to the center and receive more and more lines. That’s how it all started.
Reaching Morning Musume At Last
— I’m sure some of that strength of spirit can also be attributed to the circumstances regarding how you got into the group. You joined Morning Musume through H!P Eggs, and that was the first time in Morning Musume’s history for that to happen.
Fukumura: It happened just around a time when I’d experiences some pretty serious setbacks in the Eggs, so I took part in the audition thinking it would be my last chance. I made it as far as the third round of judging before I failed. During the auditions, I saw girls like Suzuki Kanon who just shined so much brighter than me; girls who looked like they weren’t afraid of anything. I remember thinking, “It’s girls like this who will get into Morning Musume. It’s going to be a new era.“
4: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/06/30(日) 11:26:26.57 0.net
47: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/06/30(日) 11:47:09.55 0.net
Tsunku♂: “Inducting the 9th and 10th generations one after the other was a big thing. It was important having in there the two good dancers, Sayashi and Ishida. There were members with strong personalities, too. Fukumura, Ikuta, Sato, Iikubo, Kudo, and Suzuki… Looking back, it was perfect. And to top it all off, there was 11th generation’s Oda with her singing chops. If I was the coach of the school baseball club team and these were my regular members, I’d be certain that we could’ve won against any and every opponent — even accounting for the cleanup hitter.”
“Led by that Morning Musume, after 10 years of activities it felt like Berryz Koubou and °C-ute suddenly just bloomed, too. Before then, they had been seen as something like the “youngest children” of the Hello! Project family. But now they suddenly turned into the big sisters — it was like they became the “idols’ idols,” all through their own efforts.
I feel like that state of perfection is connected even to the Hello! Project of today. And maybe because of it, in that sense, I believe my role has ended.”
70: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/06/30(日) 11:56:50.74 0.net
Are you for real, Teranya…?
17: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/06/30(日) 11:32:02.80 0.net
This is my first time seeing Tsunku♂ himself saying “his role (in H!P) has ended”…
Reading this made me sad.
September 14, 1986 — Fukui
2001/08/26 ~ 2011/09/30
Takahashi: Right around the time when people started calling it the “Idol Warring Period” and we suddenly had more rivals and less exposure, Tsunku♂ said something to us. “It’s because it’s a time like this that you need to raise the level of your performances.” It was such a relief to hear him say that. It seemed like nothing was going well for us, and yet, now it suddenly felt like I could see the road ahead. It felt like I had been shown the direction that we were supposed to take.
— The group’s Golden Era that had begun with “LOVE Machine” was showing no signs of slowing down even in 2001 when the four members of the 5th generation joined. However, there were tough times ahead.
Takahashi: It was so, so difficult. “Platinum Era” is something they started calling it only after I had graduated — we received zero acknowledgement in real time. I just barely got to experience the Golden Era, but when the 5th generation joined, things in Morning Musume began to change. We couldn’t help but always struggle with the thought that it had been our fault; that we had lacked something.
February 26, 1985 — Hokkaido
2003/01/07 ~ 2007/06/01
Fujimoto: The first dream I ever had was to become a singer. Or rather, it was the only dream I ever had. My grandmother used to take enka lessons and when we’d be singing together, the people around me would praise my singing. That’s when the feeling first arose. I decided that I would aim to one day become a singer.
— You then took part in an audition — namely, the one for Morning Musume’s 4th generation.
Fujimoto: As an elementary schooler, I was in shock when I first saw Amuro Namie. Someone like her… she was a miracle. But I lived in the countryside of Hokkaido and there were no auditions anywhere. “ASAYAN” was the biggest audition that was held even in Hokkaido, and that’s why I thought to apply.
— You ultimately failed the 4th generation auditions. Not long after, however, you made your solo debut.
Fujimoto: I made it as far as the third round. But because I had already previously failed in the Komuro-produced audition — also held on “ASAYAN” — I knew from experience how passing wasn’t that simple. I thought that I would just wait and try my best again when my next chance came.
But that’s when I suddenly received an invitation from the company to come and do lessons with them, and so I moved to Tokyo.
1: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/10/14(日) 22:18:18.67 0.net
I bet most of you don’t.
5: 音速♪ 2018/10/14(日) 22:24:02.83 0.net
On the contrary. It was dead-on my favorite era of them all.
4: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/10/14(日) 22:21:01.54 0.net
Koharu’s Golden Era.
15: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/10/14(日) 22:36:18.92 0.net
Music-wise, it was my favorite era of them all, album songs included.
Although yeah, it did also feel like they were in this bind of hopeless stagnation.
29: 3 2018/10/14(日) 22:55:31.97 0.net
Things were in all-out chaos until the end of 2007, but then with the next year’s Single Daizenshuu it felt like a new Momusu had finally started taking shape.
1: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/10/08(月) 22:42:19.49 0.net
Do you remember what sort of a time it was?
5: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/10/08(月) 22:44:40.62 0.net
They may have been past their peak, but I liked the songs.
9: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/10/08(月) 22:48:56.35 0.net
I really enjoyed this era, including the 4th and 5th albums.
10: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/10/08(月) 22:49:13.45 0.net
Even regular people still know about this era.
13: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/10/08(月) 22:50:33.41 0.net
It kind of felt like how Kobushi did in the beginning.
169: 名無し募集中。。。 2018/10/09(火) 00:30:43.01 0.net
Ah, what with all the cheering songs.
2: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/03/19(火) 23:06:58.36 0.net
It was totally dodongadon.
4: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/03/19(火) 23:09:22.54 0.net
All the lolicon Tsuji-Kago wota delighted.
10: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/03/19(火) 23:14:31.14 0.net
This is what made Ayaya known to the general public.
11: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/03/19(火) 23:14:56.43 0.net
It was the top trio of that era of H!P.
23: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/03/19(火) 23:25:04.13 0.net
I consider myself an elite otaku for having bought this CD when I was in 6th grade.
17: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/03/19(火) 23:19:43.76 0.net
This was when it was like Tsunku was high. It’s not possible to come up with stuff like this as a middle-aged man unless you’re fucked up on something.
1: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/05/03(金) 00:05:57.76 0.net
When the current members are singing it on TV or in concert, they all try to sound so cutesy that it’s like they’re singing it in 100% idol mode. Because of that, I just assumed that’s the kind of song it is. But listening to the original, the vocals are actually amazingly cool.
3: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/05/03(金) 00:08:40.16 0.net
It’s true that they no longer have that “we’re the best!” aura to them when they’re singing it.
5: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/05/03(金) 00:10:47.99 0.net
If anything, it’s now ANGERME with the whole “we’re the best!” aura.
4: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/05/03(金) 00:10:15.89 0.net
Nowadays when you see them doing like “LOVE Machine” or “Renai Revolution,” they’re all-smiles, doing winks and stuff. They’ve become something different.
7: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/05/03(金) 00:13:02.32 0.net
Nakazawa was cool.
9: 名無し募集中。。。 2019/05/03(金) 00:14:44.29 0.net
Iida, Yasuda, Abe, Yaguchi, Nakazawa… The way they all sang was so seductive. The current group can’t recreate that feeling of it being something different.