The following is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect those of the other Selective Hearing staff and/or the sites partners or affiliates.
As we all know Tsunku will be away taking care of his health (as he should) and one of the lingering questions coming out of his announcement is, “What will happen to Hello! Project without him?”
This one question points what could be considered one of the major problems with H!P right now. The most relevant person in the entire roster of young female idols is a 45-year-old man. Isn’t there something just a little wrong with that?
Tsunku is going to be out of commission for possibly a considerable amount of time and this opens a small window of opportunity for UP-FRONT to perhaps show that they can stand on their own without their long time songwriter/producer.
Now here’s a crazy idea that I’m sure many H!P fans will vehemently disagree with. How about hiring some outside songwriters and producers to freshen things up a little? Oh I know that is blasphemy and maybe H!P should just cease all activity until Tsunku recovers from cancer treatment. He’s the only one who really knows all the groups and what is best for them right?
Can that really be considered a sure thing? The label “Produced by Tsunku” to me is a half-truth like “Produced by Dr. Dre”, “Produced by will.i.am”, Produced by “Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs”, etc. You know there are other people in the studio with these guys doing most of the heavy lifting until the star producer comes in and puts the finishing touches on a track. (for better or worse)
And really, is the internal brain trust doing themselves any favors by showing any lack of musical variety for any of the groups in the H!P fold? (except for Juice=Juice)
I believe there are some talented people outside of the UP-FRONT fold who can equal or even best what Tsunku has done with H!P’s groups in the current era. Tell me you wouldn’t kill to have Yasutaka Nakata produce an Electro Musume track? He seems to know a bit more about the genre than the paint by numbers productions that have passed for the current Morning Musume songs. The man can certainly compose a great pop song, just ask Perfume or Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.
How about Kenichi Maeyamada (a.k.a. Hyadain), who is most known for his work with Momoiro Clover Z. I could see him working with Berryz Koubou, C-ute or even S/mileage.
Any of these groups could use his magic touch to add a bit of excitement to their current crop of hit and miss songs. S/mileage in particular could use a good swift kick in the pants to get them back their former potential greatness we saw before their second generation auditions accidentally blew things up.
These are obviously just suggestions. Lord knows what UFP is going to do now that their main man is on the shelf for a while. I would hope they’re not desperate enough to drag the man out of his doctor’s appointments or from recovery to work on a song.
Looking ahead, when Tsunku recovers and returns what are the odds his voice is going to be even half of what it was? Sure he could probably still write lyrics but is he even going to be able to communicate what he wants the girls to do vocally if he is physically unable to demonstrate?
I believe this is an interesting time for UP-FRONT and if they even consider what I am suggesting it would be the ultimate early Festivus miracle. I don’t think this has to be a temporary stopgap while Tsunku is away either, but a move for the future as well. The man can’t work forever after all.
Of course I know realistically this entire idea may be a pipe dream and whatever they decide to do will likely be more disappointing and full of fail based on UP-FRONT’s track record. I would like to hold on to that small sliver of hope that UFP thinks outside of the box in this case.
Perhaps cautious optimism is the best way to describe my feeling towards a post-Tsunku world in Hello! Project. We’ll see when the next batch of singles is released I guess.