1: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 10:51:47.94 0.net
There’s just something comforting to me about the office and I don’t even know why. (laughs) Like, Kobushi Factory and Tsubaki Factory are both such stupid names, but at the same time they’re so “Up-Front-like” that it just makes me smile. Admit it: you guys actually feel the same way, don’t you?
6: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 10:55:58.34 0.net
I can appreciate how firm they are in their stance of not forcing the members do anything vulgar.
9: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 10:57:38.22 0.net
It’s only natural that a talent agency would promote girls who can make them money, but the amazing thing about Up-Front is how they keep pushing girls who won’t sell — I mean, the type of girl anyone could have one look at and just instinctively know she’s never going to be popular. They must be rolling in money.
114: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:00:33.02 0.net
Yeah. No matter how much name value you have, if you stop drawing people, you’re thrown out. That’s the way every talent agency works — aside from Up-Front.
7: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 10:56:04.76 0.net
I like the mutual trust we have with them; how we both know that we’ll remain loyal fans no matter how badly they look down upon us.
12: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 10:58:46.36 0.net
Well, it’s amazing that they’ve been giving us pretty much a constant supply of cute girls since they started in that business.
10: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 10:58:09.90 0.net
The only real bad scandals were pretty much Kago and Yaguchi. Everything else has been within acceptable limits.
14: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 10:59:04.09 0.net
They’re amazingly good at not recognizing what the fans want!
18: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 10:59:57.43 0.net
Their open-mindedness for agreeing to give Mitsui money to this day.
23: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 11:02:12.99 0.net
The way they’ll fix typos on their website just a week or two after we’ve had a thread about it on here.
24: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 11:02:31.10 0.net
32: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 11:06:53.08 0.net
They’re the kind of company that will create a unit of girls who have beautiful legs just because the higher-ups are into that kind of thing.
38: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 11:08:21.49 0.net
The fact how even when I thought they’d dismissed Ogawa Makoto on the excuse that she was going to study abroad, they actually brought her back.
27: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 11:02:51.27 0.net
People are already trashing the two groups, saying they’re never going to find any real popularity and that there’s nothing special about them, but I do believe Kobushi and Tsubaki are going to be just fine. There’s just this sense of security with Hello! Project like that.
41: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 11:09:18.49 0.net
They seem to have no clear vision with Kobushi and Tsubaki. It’s like they literally went “we have too many Kenshuusei around — wanna make a group or two to dump them in?” Even the way they named the groups speaks volumes about how little they could care about it all.
49: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 11:15:11.54 0.net
Making two groups compete like that is to create a sense of rivalry between members and fans of the two groups. It’s always been Up-Front’s trademark, even before Berikyuu. It’s what they’re good at.
44: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 11:11:31.82 0.net
You can say “shitty office this” and “shitty office that” all you like, but at the end of the day it’s all thanks to Tsunku that H!P is still around today. Going forward, I’m worried about what’s going to happen to Up-Front.
51: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 11:15:43.65 0.net
Yeah. It definitely feels like the line-ups of Kobushi and Tsubaki weren’t chosen by Tsunku.
66: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 11:31:16.13 0.net
I think it’s nice how even with groups like LoVendoЯ and Up Up Girls who are completely unknown to the general public, the office nevertheless keeps them constantly busy. You never have to complain about them not having enough to do. They even have them perform in remote, rural areas where they’re sure to be making a loss, but as someone living in one of those areas, I’m thankful. Also, I want to thank them for allowing me to meet my oshi as well as all the other H!P members.
67: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 11:33:21.46 0.net
Yep. The most painful thing to an entertainer is not having any work.
90: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 11:47:05.17 0.net
The fact that the overall quality of H!P idols is remarkably high compared to other idol groups.
113: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 11:59:50.10 0.net
It’s pretty amazing how they can have such a large number of girls of that age range in one place, and yet, you never hear rumors about any bullying or any serious disputes. When they do fight, it’s always over something childish and trivial.
121: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:04:12.15 0.net
I can totally understand how someone like Ozeki might’ve been bullied at her previous agency, what with her personality and the way she can say things that could rub some people the wrong way. But in H!P, the older members just laugh it off and they’ve made her into this funny character. Seeing that, it’s just made me think about how they’re really good at forming these groups with just the right members.
115: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:01:16.09 0.net
At the end of the day, I appreciate how serious and sincere their approach towards music is. Yeah, there are some things even with music they’re just not very good at, but at least they’re always trying their best.
119: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:03:22.54 0.net
The fact how even many of the H!P members themselves love H!P.
124: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:04:46.14 0.net
I don’t want this thread to go on for too long. I have a feeling the antis are going to get angry pretty soon.
139: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:09:57.71 0.net
Everything aside from H!P is trash.
158: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:15:08.52 0.net
The fact that Up-Front has Takui and Eric.
159: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:15:30.53 O.net
I like how there is such a large number of wota who are fans of H!P music. There seem to be lots of fans like me who immediately lose interest in an idol if she stops releasing songs and performing concerts, and only does stage plays and handshake events.
164: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:17:26.38 0.net
I appreciate how with Up-Front you very rarely get any of those vibes of the rottenness of the entertainment world.
172: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:21:12.91 0.net
Thinking about it rationally, I really don’t understand why they originally picked up Takui. Yeah, it turned out all right in the end, but why would a talent agency hire a completely unknown rock singer in his thirties?
206: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:28:20.47 0.net
Takui was 25 when he joined Up-Front.
177: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:22:15.88 0.net
All the wota seem to love Takui since the beginning of this year.
176: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:22:07.11 0.net
The fact that they found those 15 children in the Hello! Kids audition, and that they’re still looking after 12 of those girls today. That’s nothing short of a miracle.
383: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 19:15:48.05 0.net
181: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:23:45.70 0.net
I think it’s amazing how the staff never put their hands on the members, and how instances of the members being caught dating are relatively few.
191: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:26:19.51 0.net
A big part of the reason why that is is because of Terada and how much pride he takes in being at the top of H!P. He shows a good example to the rest of the staff.
252: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 12:54:04.55 0.net
The sound production of their concerts is very high level.
270: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 13:16:58.50 0.net
As far as H!P goes, I think the biggest thing that’s influenced them is Tsunku♂’s attitude towards the girls. He always treats them so kindly, both at work and in private.
277: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 13:22:45.45 0.net
How they created something that was called the “Hello! Pro Countdown” and yet forced on us people like Kyoudai 5, Eric, Nakajima and LINDBERG — artists no one in the audience had any interest in.
324: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 14:34:34.57 0.net
How they haven’t allowed me to graduate from being a wota ever since LOVE Machine.
449: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/08(金) 22:08:13.13 0.net
The Eggs/Kenshuusei system. Without this, their dancing and singing skill would be like Morning Coffee level when they make their debut.
278: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 13:23:46.85 0.net
The lowest point for Up-Front was probably around 2010, right? AKB had their breakthrough, Platinum Era was in a slump, Berikyuu and Mano weren’t doing anything of interest, and S/mileage — the group everyone had high hopes for — had their yakiniku incident.
After that they managed to recover, and now they’re doing a lot better. It looks like their change in strategy back then worked out pretty well for them.
285: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 13:31:00.19 0.net
No, the lowest point for them was 2007. It was just a series of constant scandals. People were saying they were really going to disintegrate for good that time.
287: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 13:32:38.39 0.net
Ah, sorry. I wasn’t a wota back then so I didn’t know.
293: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 13:35:45.54 0.net
Could it be that the Kids and Eggs remember how it was back in 2007 and that’s why they’re so good about not causing any dating scandals? They know how scary it can be.
424: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/07(木) 03:46:27.68 0.net
I first got to know of Musume when I was seven years old, got hooked on them when everyone else around me did, and lost interest around Go Girl. I got back into them a few years ago. I researched what I’d missed and by this point I’ve checked out most of the songs that came out over that time. What really helped to make them more accessible to me when I was starting to get back into them was how they’d kept some 5th and 6th gen members in the group for all this time.
456: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/09(土) 15:37:19.89 0.net
Yeah, this. Gaki-san being there really helped them a lot.
333: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 14:46:42.03 0.net
Their outstanding quality that has even earned them many overseas fans.
337: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 14:49:29.27 0.net
Honestly, their performance level at this point even higher than that of people like Yamaguchi Momoe or Matsuda Seiko in their golden ages.
403: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 21:06:17.05 0.net
I appreciate how it feels like it’s just a bunch of music lovers doing music.
384: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/05/06(水) 19:16:34.92 0.net
The only places whose internal affairs I care about are this shitty office, the Bank of Japan, and the Ministry of Finance. The fate and purpose of the entire country lies on them.
Henkka: Well, I do have to give Up-Front credit for hanging on to who is probably my personal favorite H!P member of all time (even though I’m sure it must have been many years since she was a major source of any real income for them, but that is none of my concern.)
On a personal level, they’re responsive to questions via social media.
In general, I’m amazed at how seemingly well-balanced all the girls are. It’s so different from American pop stars. Idols work so hard and have great attitudes. Very little ego aside from wanting to be the best. Some of that must be thanks to UpFront and other staffs for fostering the culture.
Oh, and Bitter & Sweet is great. I’m glad UP Front gave them a chance.
Justin, my man, don’t take it the wrong way but, you’re so positive I almost want to puke.
Some of that you just have to attribute to Japanese culture. The five members of °C-ute have been together literally every day for 13 years and STILL get along like the best friends they are. Take any five American girls and see if that’s possible. It’s all a matter of humble subverting individual will for the group effort. No one does that like Japan.
UF is really cheap when it comes to budgeting. But their cheapness come in handy for me. They make me able to control my fanboying budget and get more time and money for my real daily life. For example, I can skip one or two goodies when it looks shitty as hell or just buy the regular version of single if its MVs don’t appeal me.
I’m impressed how they cut Sakura’s “let it go” on the DVD of MM ’14’s concert in New York.
Now I’m worried that they’ll cut “Flashdance… What a Feeling” from the C-ute Yokohama Arena DVD/Blu-ray. :/
On the topic of Tsunku being such a positive figure in the company, it really is amazing how… safe? it feels with him around. Like, from the way he talks to the girls, treats them, writes their lyrics, comments on their growth, and overall seems to see each of them individually as people rather than products – all of it is so encouraging.
One moment that always stuck with me for whatever reason was a DVD from a few years ago featuring Tsunku speaking to all the H!P members. Reina and Sayu, IIRC, were talking about when they first joined and teasing Tsunku about how they naturally wondered if he was a pervert at first. I remember just how good-natured the atmosphere seemed between them, and how those are the kind of things you could never say so casually if there was literally any hint of sketchy behaviour in the company. The way he treated Reina and Sayu (and quite a few of the other girls, I’m sure) towards the ends of their stay in H!P had this air of him really respecting them as professionals and as equals. I can’t help but think that all the efforts he puts into being good to them makes the girls want to work twice as hard, contributing in part to just how high quality H!P idols are.
That’s why we are all Tsunku wota as well.
There really is a sense of security and continuity with Up Front. They’re not perfect, for sure, but those are the things I like about them.
Speaking of Matsuura, sometimes I wonder if they let her go in 2009 (around the time when her singing career was effectively over) instead of making her a retiree pensioner housewife under Up-front she is now like the most of other former HP girls, things might have turned out differently.
As she is the only singer who can match non-idol professional singers (technically speaking, as evident in her maniac live releases) originated from HP -not counting enka singers-, not having any steady income could have prompted her to challenge further in what were supposed to her peak singing years instead of wasting away like she is right now.
She could’ve easily failed like GoMaki and/or live off her boyband husband’s income and retire like she has now, sure, but the high risk/high reward move could’ve worked out as she has the singing talent like no other HP girls, past or present. At worst, she couldn’t have done any worse than what she has done, sale-wise, as her post 2007 singles/album numbers are downright dreadful. She could’ve sold almost as much by selling them at indie clubs.
..You know she’s also dealing with a chronic illness, right?
You know “endometriosis” is not some sort of terminal cancer, right? Don’t try to attribute her unofficial retirement solely to her rare condition. While it’s a serious disease affecting Infertility, it’s not a career killer. It’d affect her from prolong live tours, but definitely wouldn’t stop her or anyone from continuing a career. It’s more like she got tired of show business + starting family in Japan as a woman often means a retirement. Getting a steady payment from the company doesn’t hurt, either. Plus that was diagnosed in 2011 and her career was already dying way before then.
She knew she had endometriosis since 2007, she just announced it in 2011.And the number of tours/concerts kept decreasing since then till 2009 when she said she’ll take a break from touring.She just seems happier doing her one time lives and as you said she’s probably fed up with the entertainement industry.She debuted so young and for a few years was at the top of the industry,I don’t blame her for not having any motivation to return.She probably has enough money saved from that time too,the monthy income from UF is just a bonus XD
But if she still wants a career there’s still a market for her,like last year some journalist wrote about how great she was,and almost instantly her albums climbed the charts(she probably achieved the highest digital place from all HP then) so the interest towards her is still there.Unlike other OG members she’s not inclined to the ‘mama talento’ route,or exposing anything about her private life for that matter,and it will probably work in her favour if she ever decides to return,since with that her favorability ranking to the general public is higher.It all depends if she wants to or not
Agreed on most of you wrote except that I think Matsuura may benefit from getting out of Up-Front and starting from somewhere else -if and when she decide to come back. Even with the renewed interest you mentioned, it didn’t translate to sales at all (those temporary spike in sales were negligible in the big picture). Post 2008 Matsuura could barely sell 3-5000 copies at most and that hasn’t change. That sale numbers are actually similar to up-front artists like N.Takui and A.Natsumi make (around 2500 copies), so there is no reason to believe Matsuura can sell any more than that under Up-Front.
I just think there is too much idol legacy baggage under Up-Front for Matsuura or any ex-HP girls to succeed or appeal to outside of a few old-timer HP wotas. Or to be taken seriously. She will be most likely crash and burn like G.Maki if she gets out, but I think at least in her (Maki) case, it’s partly due to bad marketing and generic shitty dance songs she was given under Avex. And Matsuura actually had some decent songs since 2007, so it only reinforce my thought that Up-Front is not the best place for post-idol Matsuura. She has supposedly a good reputation among professional writers in the industry and can sing, so her chances are better than the rest.
Not once did I say that it was the entire or sole reason for her doing anything, though it did seem to be a possible factor you completely left out.
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#337 is off his fucking rocker.
i don’t get the downvotes, i agree. matsuda seiko was extremely talented for an idol and yamaguchi momoe was pretty much an artist by the time she made it big. i assumed the comment was in jest, though.
So many people worshipping Tsunku while loathing UFA at the same time. You have to admire the ultimate efficiency of the scapegoating tactics.
I am thankful for Up-Front for creating UPUPGIRLS（仮）previously known as UP-FRONT GIRLS（仮）.
#9 is an interesting point, especially lately in H!P.
Hey! Don’t knock LINDBERG, #277! They sold millions back in the 90s and have had some great songs.
But all jokes aside – I’m glad I’m an H!P fan. I’ve stuck it out since 2002, strayed a few times after some disappointments but I’m back for good. As much as I love wearing my rose colored glasses and putting Golden Era songs on repeat, groups like Kobushi, CG and ANGERME remind me of what sets H!P apart from most idols.
I’ve always remembered famous quote by Tsunku-san “Hello!Project is not a product, is a production”. They produce idols with the best quality, eventhough they’re not the cutest or most popular for example.
And right, so far 2007 & 2010 are the worst year so far, where many events occurred, no enhancement strategy.
The idols they choose are very unique looking that you don’t really see their type in other idol groups
In my eyes, the secret to H!P’s success is not in the selling of the girls, which they do, but in the development of the girls. The idols aren’t JUST products to be exploited, they are young girls to be nurtured into becoming beautiful and talented women who can learn life’s experiences thru their time in the entertainment industry. The way they act, the way they dress, the way they approach their jobs are all indicative of the finest qualities of being Japanese and the success of the org is intrinsically tied to the fact that the public KNOWS this, that these girls are the finest that Japan has to offer.
Let me cite as an example, Miki Nonaka, primarily because she’s still a newb. A typical Japanese over-achiever, ala Maachan or Risa Yamaki, she came into the organization already trained in most of the basic talents required to be an idol, plus bringing English capability and advanced piano skills. Since being in the group, we’ve only seen her blossom in charm and cuteness yet we’re JUST BEGINNING to see who and what she is. And I predict she will be yet one more idol that will make people amazed that H!P can find and nurture such a girl!
One positive thing is that by indulging in their content my expectations are now so low that pretty much anything can satisfy me.