40 comments on “Morning Musume aims for 2014 Kouhaku through “reimportation”

  1. I like this one. 251 is right though. Morning Musume isn’t known generally by anyone who isn’t a fan of jpop or Japan. A Western Momosu, though? God, I hope not.

  2. 97:名無し募集中。。。:2013/11/29(金) 21:30:00.89 ID:0
    It’s going to be difficult because like in Japan, the whole “idol wotaku” thing overseas is very much an acquired taste. A hobby for nerds.

    *cries into Ishikawa Rika photobooks*

    Seriously, though, this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot; if JPop can make it in the US and English speaking world. It’s a tough question, especially since even KPop attempts to become mainstream have died down. The language barrier is a rough one for a lot of people, and there’s no hugely popular girl group for them to work with.

    I would LOVE for idol groups to become bigger in the US, but it’s a bit of a longshot.

  3. For non-English speaking groups, the US market is an especially tough nut to crack. While certain areas are relatively international, most of the country is culturally and linguistically insulated. There are of course the rare exceptions, but they’re always fads on the level of the Macarena and Gangnam Style.

    Sometimes we think of Japan as racist, culturally self-absorbed, and xenophobic, but here in ‘Murrica we can be just as bad if not worse. Remember SNSD’s win at the Youtube Video Awards? No matter what, any group that doesn’t speak English will always be a niche market in the US.

    I imagine it’s completely different in Europe, where encountering other languages and cultures is common enough that it’s not that big a deal to like things from different countries. Even so, popular songs that make it to the US are mostly internet-driven memes and almost always in English.

    I think it’s more likely that the “success overseas” angle will be related to their tie-in with the Olympics more than anything else. Any performance appearances would have to be VERY well-chosen for them to make any sense.

    On a different note, >>177 has it kind of backwards. While there’s lots of existing fans that would go to any event, showing up at things like Anime Expo in LA and Japan Expo in France made tons of new fans.

      • @Slack, you definitely get it wrong. Although I shouldn’t generalize (f.e. Western Europe, especially France seems to be more opened) Europeans are VERY capricious in terms of music. I live in Central/Eastern part and most people here are listening to local oldies or American oldies. ‘Course there are young people who listen to modern music, but it’s mostly American or British. Still it’s, rare to know someone from f.e. Poland who is listening to Russian music (maybe with exception for Tatu).

        I even dare to say that it would be more possible for them to make it in America than Europe. Most of Americans seem to be OK with songs with lyrics like “ouhhuh, baby, baby, love uohhh”, while most of Europeans sees it as tasteless and shallow.

        I had a chance to meet people from my country who knew Morning Musume, but they are two and far between. They are J-fans. Ans still, most of otakus here (though weaboos is better term for them) who listen to ANY J-music are middle-school-aged girls who listen to v-kei. And Kpop. When it comes to Jpop, it’s usually about Hamasaki or Amuro, but hardly ever Morning Musume.

        • The point I was trying to make is that almost nothing gets popular here in the USA if it’s not in English. My impression of how it might be in Europe was based on limited experience from going on a tour of Europe about 12 years ago. After seeing most of the songs on Eurovision are in English, I reached the incorrect conclusion that it was OK for European pop to be sung in a non-local language. Really though, what I should have said was, “if it’s not in English, don’t expect any widespread international success, even in Europe”.

          I think it’s interesting how one sentence in my comment generated this kind of negative response, especially since I started it with “I imagine”. No, I don’t live in Europe, and I’m sorry that other people seemed to dislike the apparently mistaken idea that things might be better there than here.

  4. If their presence during the olympics is obvious enough next year it will blow over to the rest of the world.
    Like weird South African rap groups becoming popular after the World Cup a few years back.

  5. A real advancement would obviously be hard/dumb but going slightly in the red to do a few performances in the West and then using that for PR back in Japan would probably work well enough. If they did it in conjunction with a fanclub tour it might even be profitable.

  6. 216:名無し募集中。。。:2013/11/29(金) 22:51:40.46 ID:0
    Time to put a little more work into your English blogs, Iikubo.

    Iikubo has english blogs?

  7. While I would love to see Momusu or any H!P group do well overseas, I just can’t imagine it being possible. The language barrier is simply too high a hurdle. Now maybe if they were to hook up with a DJ and have some of their songs remixed into like a club remix, you could possible turn into a 1 hit wonder.

    Alice Deejay comes to mind with Better Off Alone. It was a huge success worldwide and it only consisted of 3 different lines. “Do you think you’re better off alone”, “Talk to me”, and “Oooooh talk to me”.

    If you can turn a Momusu song into something for the dance clubs, you can get them internationally recognized, but it’ll be short lived.

    Ayumi Hamasaki has tried the same, using western DJs to remix her songs and release out an album. Success in Japan, not so much overseas.

  8. I wonder what they plan to do. I would like to see them subbing Hello! Project Station or similar “small” things. Also 1-2 concerts would be nice but more than that seems kinda risky.

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  10. It’s not even the language that’s the main issue, it’s the immense difference culturally. In most western countries, the idea of these young girls that are practically sexualized to the degree they become an object, would not fly. They aren’t allowed any male relationships outside of their family and the photobooks they put out can be at the level of softcore pornography at times, no matter the age of the girl. They won’t ever be able to go mainstream, however they can try to increase their popularity in the niche Jpop/Japan community. But that’s as fair as it goes.
    In the end though, it’s just another publicity stunt from Tsunku and management. I’m still waiting to see if they’re gonna stick with the ” ’14 “.

    • The US is willing to make a big hit out of sexualizing minors, though with its own set of standards. Average age of Morning Musume and S/mileage is about the same as Britney Spears would’ve been in her first video, though admittedly the “oldies” like Michishige and Dawa drive up the average.

      • And there are plenty of western girl groups who started around the age of 15-16. Given they were never that popular, but it’s not like it doesn’t happen. Plus, let’s not forget all the Disney/Nick stars who start out around 14. I think the biggest difference is that in the west, the little girls all wear a ton of makeup so they look a lot older and we tend to forget how old (young) they really are.

    • It’s funny that you see it that way because I see it the exact opposite. Britney Spears and, now, Miley Cyrus are the ones who have been “sexualized” (mostly because that’s how they want to be perceived because they believe that’s what sells) and H!P idols come off as clean-cut girls-next-door types. And if they’re going to be rejected by the American public, it will be because of THAT. Evidently we here in America have tastes that belong in the gutter and seeing a pure girl like Mizuki Fukumura dance and sing in front of us isn’t exciting or controversial. Heh.

  11. Best Comment
    199:名無し募集中。。。:2013/11/29(金) 22:37:49.54 ID:0
    Lately there’s more and more of you people with no dreams or aspirations. Just die already

    Lmao, thats wut i would say too.. So many negative comments instead of just embracing the group and hoping that whatever they plan to do will be a success…

    Why must fans of different countries belittle each other when we are fans of the same group??? How has no one thought to understand that we may like the group for the same reasons… The internet is a powerful monster so we all most likely have access to the same amount of media the japanese do sp we dont only get our info from youtube, we can understand the personalities and talents of the girls even though we may not be able to watch them live on television…

    • With any type of fandom, there’s going to be some people who are inherently against any attempt to broaden appeal, because they think as the earlier existing fan they’re entitled to all the attention; or that things should continue being as they are because that’s just the way things are.

  12. Now I know the reason why Mitsui is going overseas to study english…. she’s the one they are sending to break into the english language world!!! Brilliant move Tsunku!!!

    • Well I hope she’s a faster learner than Ogawa who after a year and a half sounded like she’d only been studying a MONTH and a half.

  13. Every major city in the world has venues like Moulin Rouge and La Cinegale. I’d advise sticking with that sort of thing. I understand why you guys are saying they can’t be “mainstream” but I’ll bet there are lots of burgs where clubs like the ones I named can be sold out. Consider that list on J-MELO of countries where they were requested. It’s more than a little bit admirabe. They don’t have to pop over every once in a whle not to be seen again for long periods. Tsunku can share the girls with a select (and discerning) group outside Japan and impress the Japanese with exactly that. Thereby generating more positive buzz inside Japan.

  14. I find it interesting, the Japanese Wotas idea of what we, American/Western fans are like. Really giving us a lot of credit! lol

    But seriously, I for one, actually think that some type of success is quite possible here. The world is changing, social media and the Internet is making the world smaller and “Gangnam Style” is proof of that. Yes, there will always be haters, bigots and downright racist people, but more and more young people are open minded and seeking, hell even longing for something new and exciting.

    I really think if people got a taste of Momusu ’14 on some big show, like Letterman, or American Idol finale or something it could really start something new. A collab with a well respected artist like Skrillex isn’t a bad idea either.

    I bet it doesnt happen, but I dont think its entirely impossible either.

  15. Ask Quentin Tarentino to put them in one of his movies.

    Have the girls play themselves in an anime series. Intersperse the animation with live action vignettes. Include music and some dancing in the live action parts. The stories should rotate between detective mystery, science fiction, and horror. Sub it in english, french, german, spanish, and mandarin. Dub it? mmm…I hate the idea but maybe.

    This is a kind of depressing subject for me. I can’t understand why Ju-on had to become The Grudge. I can’t understand why Godzilla (’98) had to be in New York. Or why the next western made Godzilla is apparently, like Pacific Rim, going to be in San Francisco. Why why why should any of that be necessary?

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  17. It’s interesting to revisit this thread after their NYC success. That concert basically proved every comment, both on the 2ch side and these comments here, wrong. It IS possible for them to be successful all by themselves and by merely being themselves.

    • Within the Jpop community. The NY concert really doesn’t prove anything. It’s still a niche market as no one but fans know who they are still.

      • Gotta agree with this! Historically, the only way for a foreign musical unit to succeed in the US or Canada is if they have a significant number of English songs in their repertoire. The only exceptions are novelty songs and the Wonder Girls playing marketing games to get “Nobody” in the Top 40 list a few years back.

        I really can’t see UFP successfully training a bunch of teenage Japanese girls to get their English proficiency up to a sufficient level to pull this off.

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