29 comments on “Without Tsunku♂, what sets Hello! Project apart from all the other idols?

    • He certainly gave the perfect analogy. Funny thing is that it doesn’t answer the question and only exemplifies the fuzzyness of the situation because this exact same question (“Why do you support a specific team if the players and management always change?”) has always been a thing among sport fans.

  1. Tsunku is an undeniably huge part of H!P, but even with him not at the helm writing 100% of the music, I think it’s safe to say that his major contribution to H!P is his philosophy, which lives on without him. I’d argue that it’s not just his musical contributions, but the Philosophy of Tsunku that separates H!P from other idols.

    That philosophy including things such as: not being afraid of choosing the “underdog” girl with potential for growth, and not just the prettiest ace-in-the-hole; writing empowering, celebratory, and sincere lyrics; avoiding treating the girls like sexual objects; amassing a group of people who care deeply about music (just read Henkka’s translations with the arrangers to see what I mean there – Tsunku was never alone in making the music, he’s always had a team of deeply thoughtful and insightful musicians working with him, many of whom are, if I’m not mistaken, still there); and having an emphasis on high-level live performance over fanservice and pandering.

    All of that, at least from what I’ve seen, lives on in the H!P of today, and I’d say Tsunku is to thank for that. In short, H!P can and will live on without Tsunku, but it wouldn’t be what it is today without Tsunku’s leadership and direction.

    • I wanted to write a huge post but then I read yours… I totally agree and there’s nothing to add! H!P needs more fans like you…

  2. I think there are still more than enough differences between H!P and others. Have you seen any idol group like country’s girls else where?

    To be honest, I used to think that H!P would sink without Tsunku. The MM’s 12th gen was the first MM audition without Tsunku, and the results were lackluster. But with the 13th gen, they seemed to figure out how to do it.

    With less of Tsunku’s composing, we also discovered new song’s writers with decent songs like those in Angerme.

    • Personally, I expect them to still not know how to do things like auditions.

      At least, not before they return to giving us finalist footage. They forget what types of things appeal to the wota.

      (Also I’m certain they only succeeded with 13th because they bombed with ANGERME’s nomination, and opted for girls actually wanting to join the group)

  3. You’d think the guy has retired or something, he still produces a lot of tracks for H!P, and they are still the bestest songs.

  4. Personally what sets h!p apart from all the other idols is the fact that the groups are so united. You can be part of one group and still get to sing and dance with members from another. The hello! Project concert tours and Hinafest are the best times of the year for me (idol wise) because we get to see them all together. And I don’t think any member is ever invisible. Their way of promoting their girls whether it be in their singles or in concert units or whatever, everyone get’s a chance to shine eventually. I love tsunku dearly, but i am a sucker for the girls too, and I like each and every one individually. They have a good mix of charismatic girls, talented girls, funny girls and beautiful girls and the occasional all-rounder. Their songs for me are still kickass and dance-worthy, and the occasional tsunku song is gold (though i dont know, he hasnt been on top of his game lately. Like if you look at tsubaki Hatsukoi Sunrise is a much better song than Just Try!…. hitorijime is absolutely beautiful though).

    I may just be rambling here, but I dunno.. for me personally H!P has not lost it’s magic.

  5. just out of curiosity, is there a reason why some wota say the office fired tsunku rather than saying he stepped down from his position? like comment 132.

  6. basically if your company never has girls wear bikinis in music videos in their history, that places you at magnetic north on a lot of peoples moral compass. (aka it allows you to compart mentalize that they aren’t being sexualized and come up with the cute narratives to justify your interest in idols)

      • any fan who seems to pretend that most companies don’t have some kind of gravure thing. isn’t it hypocritical to make some of these statements when hello project does. they aren’t even as decent as momoiro clover z’s company. right? because they never do gravure, as oppose to just sometimes like hello project. i just dont see what makes people say that. like what are you blind?

        • I’m still not sure I understand what you’re saying. In your first comment it sounded like you were saying “anyone who claims they like H!P because of just Tsunku is full of shit.”

          All I know is:

          – I don’t care about Momoiro Clover Z or any other idols or idol companies
          – I don’t care about H!P photobooks or gravure pictures or whatever
          – I don’t care about (current) H!P in general now that Tsunku is mostly gone. Because I liked his songs.

          • Fairly certain THIS is what they were saying:
            (the rest of my comment is paraphrasing)

            H!P doesn’t sexualize its members as the norm.

            This means fans who don’t wanna deal with that kinda criticism (eg, “you’re only into it because they’re always in bikinis!”), H!P is a good place.

            But that -als-o doesn’t mean the company never sexualizes its members. Tho it’s usually kept to the photobooks

            • Oh, okay. Well, if that’s all they were saying, then we’re in agreement. Thanks ismichi. You’re a good mediator.

              The thing that threw me off was the “…cute narratives to justify your interest in idols…” line. I don’t have to lie to myself and think the sexualization of idols in H!P is completely nonexistent in order to like them. I can just choose to ignore it and focus on what I DO like about H!P.

              The only problem for me in this post-Tsunku H!P is that, for me, there is nothing left to like.

  7. Well, if we accept the constant changing of members, can’t we accept the changing of producer/songwriter?

  8. 55: 名無し募集中。。。 2017/02/10(金)
    I think Tsunku songs with their addictiveness are fine, but it was getting to be a bit too much. It was almost religious — almost like Japan’s period of national isolation.

    This x100. Even the current Tsunku songs are generally meh… I can’t imagine him creating 3 songs per group every half a year? He would be drained. I’m a big Kodama Ameko fan, I think she’s doing AMAZING as a lyricist. I think Tsunku would enjoy her girlish perspective.

  9. That ramen bit at the end was awesome, it perfectly summed up the reasoning behind the question this thread asked…

    I think what still sets H!P apart is that lingering spirit and urge to uphold traditions and values that some members still have… Members like Momochi, Fukuhime, Hamachan, and some others who truly loved H!P are still dong things in the same spirit as there predecessors and are willing to pass off those nuances and traditions to newer members.. Like the ramen statement before, even though the ramen recipe may have changed the new recipe is still good and nostalgic.

    The company is still bringing in girls that would fit Tsunku’s criteria for personality and talent, the groups that are being formed are still unique and fun but focused and hardworking.. We still get to see the journey from unpolished rookies or eggs into full fledged idols so I dont think it has changed for the worse, it still sucks that Tsunku isnt here anymore but the organization still has that different feeling and vibe that makes them unique from other companies

  10. “At the very least, you all first came to like H!P when Tsunku was the producer. But now, it’s changed. The fact that you’re still here is all because of inertia. You’re all in inertia.”

    This kind of sentiment sounds very familiar to me. September 2015 me in comments section here: “I’ve been stuck wondering what it means to be Hello! Project anymore without the unifying force of Tsunku. I’m still enjoying a lot of the non-Tsunku songs, but what is it other than momentum that means I should particularly pay more attention to H!P?”

  11. Tsunku had to slow down eventually, and it probably would have happened soon regardless of his illness. I think they’ve done a pretty good job selecting music for the most part. Outside of a couple of songs, I think the non-Tsunku songs have been superior to Tsunku’s recent output, anyway.

  12. >1 Is quite right, there’s no other idol like Momochi outside H!P (or inside H!P for that matter) ;)
    but I agree with >94 the most.

    And THERE IS something that sets apart H!P from other idol groups, I might not be able to quite explain what it is BUT there is still something, it’s of course not 100&% the same but… yeah.

    And I don’t think the new songs are bad, sure there are some non-Tsunku songs I didn’t really like, but then again, there are some songs that Tsunku produced that I didn’t like either.

  13. I agree with Nanchatte and with number 94, I’m not a fan of Tsunku I’m a fan of Hello!Project (and Sayu), and I did like how Tsunku produce them and that way of doing things don’t seem to have changed, like I have always appreciated the fact that they always sing live or that they don’t over sexualize the girls, so as long as I keep liking the songs and the members and the way they portray themselves everything is fine.

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