I recently finished watching the latest of the AKB48 documentaries No Flower Without Rain. Much like its predecessors it was full of behind the scenes footage, interviews with the members and semi-manufactured drama. In other words, it’s a decent watch for idol fans interested in those kinds of things.
When the documentary ended I was left wondering why UP-FRONT have not done something like this with all the change going on in Hello! Project? After all, there were plenty of opportunities during the mass exodus of the Elder Club and the subsequent passing of the torch to the next generation.
It would have been nice to hear the thoughts of the entire Hello! Project on a turning point in their history. I’m sure the making of DVD’s associated with the final concerts during that time were nice, but those are filtered by management to keep a certain image of constant happiness.
Nothing ever really goes wrong right? No one ever leaves because they’re disgruntled, want to focus on studies, becomes a model or suddenly get a
boyfriend bunion right?
No. That never happens at all.
Unfortunately Hello! Project doesn’t necessarily show as much transparency as some fans would like them to given their rich history.
But that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. A recent television special on the 15-year anniversary of Morning Musume was fairly enlightening even if it was still sort of towing the company line. If you go back even further to episodes of Utaban, then there was a bit of revealing information that was mainly used for comedy fodder.
I guess that is better than getting nothing at all?
Those who demand somewhat unfiltered behind the scenes content will probably not get much beyond that. It is pretty much status quo for shiny happy time when it comes to any backstage footage and the majority of Hello! Project fans don’t mind living within the illusion that H!P is an eternally blissful wonderland. And perhaps that’s how UP-FRONT likes it? Their fans don’t ask for these kinds of things so why bother right?
The way I see it there are two scenarios in which UP-FRONT will release the flood gates, or at least allow a trickle of water to spittle out.
1) The old guard of Morning Musume/graduated members of Hello! Project start leaving the public eye & refuse to be milked for the nostalgia factor.
2) The popularity of Hello! Project starts to dip significantly and something like an unfiltered documentary is needed to hype the organization up to the general public and remaining fans.
UP-FRONT will most likely not be doing much other than their brand of fan service for the time being. Boring? Yes. Uninspired? Yes. But that’s the way things are. To be honest, I feel UFP would be unable to take an unbiased look at Hello! Project so the result may end up being the same old, same old if they ever did attempt to film their own documentary.
Instead maybe one day a third party will be allowed to show an impartial view of the inner workings of Hello! Project without having to jump through too many hoops. Wouldn’t that be nice?