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.
September 23, 1985 — Tokyo
1999/08/22 ~ 2002/09/23
Goto: The amount of time I spent as a member was a mere three years, but there’s no question that it was the most intense three years of my entire life.
— It really was a surprisingly short amount of time. One thing is for sure though: when that blond-haired junior high school student made her first appearance on TV, something had instantly changed all over Japan.
Goto: I’d only dyed my hair because I was on my summer vacation. That was back when that whole gyaru boom was happening and I just got swept up in it…
— But you were taking part in an idol audition. Were you not worried about the hair hurting your chances?
Goto: I liked the way I looked. And besides, while I did hope to become a singer, I also wasn’t the type of girl to hold back from doing something I wanted to do just because of that.
— You have also said that you were able to proceed in the auditions only because you didn’t go on your school’s field trip.
Goto: Going on the field trip, we would’ve had a certain dress code. I absolutely did not want that. I intended to go in full makeup, wearing a paleo skirt and everything, but the teacher said no. So I withdrew from the field trip and went to the audition instead. (laughs)
January 7, 1997 — Miyagi
Ishida: In the beginning, I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to live up to Tsunku♂’s expectations because he had commented on me: “she can sing and dance well — she seems like someone who is going to inherit the soul of Morning Musume.“
I had been learning dance since I was little, but I just felt so inadequate and there was a period of time when I couldn’t help but wonder just why he had chosen to put me in Morning Musume.
The Soul of Morning Musume
— So you felt burdened by the pressure of not knowing what exactly this “soul of Morning Musume” that you had inherited from your seniors was.
Ishida: Ever since I was little, I’d loved performing for people. So I took up dancing, and just when I’d started thinking I might as well aim to perform on big stages, I found an advertisement for the Morning Musume auditions. I’d grown up on Morning Musume’s songs, hearing songs like “LOVE Machine” in my everyday life, so I knew they were an amazing group. But I didn’t particularly admire them or anything.