The following are the opinions of myself and regular roundtable contributor Data and do not necessarily reflect those of the rest of the Selective Hearing Staff or the site’s affiliates.
While browsing a site called Criticize Everything Harupuro I stumbled upon the following picture:
Of course I had to tweet this out on my personal account. It rings true after all. One person took issue with this and it lead to a discussion about one’s expectations of the new Morning Musume.
My queries were in regards to performance level and how it equates to the most overused word in Hello! Project fandom, “Amazing”.
My theory is that one would use proficiency in performing to quantify level of amazement. If you take the text in the picture above literally, then the level of amazement should be low or non-existent right?
After all, “amazing” should denote something exemplary or easily identifiable. It does fall in the realm of opinion that H!P fans who overuse the word may not be technically in the wrong but make themselves look more like sheep when they cannot elaborate on this said awesome they speak of.
The counter argument was that it is not proficiency or skill in performing, but the idol’s potential and how it relates to your personal level of enjoyment that quantifies level of amazement. How well the idols perform is inconsequential and the fact that they have tried their hardest to please the fans is what counts.
To me, fans who are of that mindset consider Morning Musume the Special Olympics of idol groups. They’re just glad their idols showed up with smiles on their faces and no one seriously injured themselves.
Does that sound awful? Yes, but I’m not the one who came up with the counter argument (that person will remain unnamed to protect their identity) Look, I simply believe you cannot be “amazing” by throwing out sub-par performances no matter how hard you try.
If one is looking at the argument objectively it is a fair point as well since one should always see improvement over time. It is one of the charms of idol groups to see members grow as they get more comfortable in their idol skin. But it can also be argued that H!P fans tend to forget how the flagship group has been mismanaged over the years to get them into the position they are in now.
The girls don’t write their crappy music, crappy dances, and crappy scripted idol personalities after all.
The best way to relate this to something more tangible is to think of sports. I tend to think of hockey (because that is my sport of choice when not watching idols) and some of the franchises that have had rosters full of rookies with little or no veteran presence.
The freshest one that comes to my mind is my favorite team the Edmonton Oilers. A team with 3 first round draft picks, plenty of up and coming young talent in their system and a few old veterans in the mix. In this shortened lockout season they were projected to compete for the 8th and final playoff spot in the west based on their potential.
They had their flashes of brilliance during the regular season but in the end the team was exposed for its shoddy defense and lack of consistent offensive output. And in the end they did as they always have done, sucked and quickly fell out of playoff contention by seasons end. The silver lining in all of this is that they did not place dead last and were in a more respectable position in the standings.
Definitely not an amazing season by any stretch of the imagination and more like disappointing and underwhelming I think.
What does this have to do with Morning Musume you might ask? Well I see them in the same type of situation. A completely rebuilt team with 3 members of who have real long-term Hello! Project experience and then a bunch of rookies who would equate to 1 first rounder, 1 second rounder and the rest a bunch of second stringers or lower draft picks.
From watching their recent concerts and H!P group appearances I feel their performance level has indeed dipped. They’re as raw as you can get but full of potential right?
That potential that can only be realized with intense practice, a producer willing to get out of his comfort zone, and a staff with a vision. Something jaded and disenfranchised fans feel UFP/H!P has lacked for a significant amount of time.
Morning Musume are not completely awful by any means (that trophy belongs to new S/Mileage in my world) but they’re not worthy of the high praise of amazing or whatever synonym you see fit to describe your shock and awe just yet.
Use the excuse of “they’re all noobs, give them time” all you want, but if you can’t agree with the fact stated in the picture at the beginning of this article you are letting your blind faith lead you.
Now this is the point where the discussion turned to less friendly territory so let me get one thing clear. Even though I may think Morning Musume (or as I like to call them, Michishige Sayumi’s babysitters club) may not be so great at this point in time it doesn’t mean that you have to take it as if I’m fucking Moses dropping some 10 commandments shit on you.
You as a sentient being are free to make up your own mind about things and if you think I’m ruining your good time or what you find amusing then that’s okay. I am also free to interpreting your lack of open-mindedness and the launch of the good old “H-Bomb” as a sign that you were never paying attention in the first place.
Fair is fair, 50/50, give and take and all that correct?
What I am asking those of you who think that Morning Musume are doing “amazing” things is to step back, take the wota blinders off, put down your UFP Kool-Aid and really think about how you are using the word in context with what you are seeing/hearing.
Does whatever you are watching or listening to really deserve that high praise if others around you are shrugging their shoulders and going “meh”?