Generation TEN

The big news circulating the H!P water cooler lately has been the confirmation of 10th generation auditions for Morning Musume.   Many fans of the “golden age” are excited about the possible reinstating of yearly auditions, while others say it’s far too soon for more members, especially since the four new 9th generation members have only one single under their belt and haven’t completely dug in their heels.

I find myself torn because I agree with both sides.  It does seem extremely soon because it feels like 9th gen barely arrived, but at the same time with Takahashi Ai graduating, I can see how it may be appropriate to broaden the group and pick up a few more promising members.  It’s like the shock you feel when you splash yourself with ice-cold water after a slothful sleep; you snap out of your daze, focus, and get going.  So what if it’s too soon?  They should do whatever they feel is necessary to get ready for the future.  Tsunku has said this was the year for big changes in Morning Musume, and this announcement is a confident way to follow through with that statement.

Personally, I’m really happy about more auditions and seeing more new faces.  It does give me a slight feeling of “too little, too late”, since I felt that the fact that they didn’t hold auditions more frequently in the past 5 years put Morning Musume into the state that it is now (undeniable feeling of stale-ness and large age gaps among members which could cause problems in the future), but this audition now offers a way to begin filling the cracks, provided they go about it the right way.


About Dae Lee

-Dae, aka Mizu -Writer, broadcaster, and podcaster on New School Kaidan

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  1. I don’t really know how to feel about this. I guess I just hope they add 3-4 new members from this and not just 1 to replace Ai or whatever.

    If I’m being honest, I’d much rather H!P put more focus on improving what they have already before they go out recruiting new talent.

    • 4 new members is exactly the extra boost this group needs to reinvigorate their energetic roots. I think focusing on the current line up now is a great idea, but why not plan ahead and bring in new members now rather than later? By bringing in new members now and training them at the same level as 9th gen, we won’t have to wait for another several months to a year for these girls to come out of their shell.

      • I guess, it just doesn’t really feel like the 9th Gen has been around long enough to be all that established and now they’re going to bring in even more new faces. I suppose I’m just concerned it might be too many new members all at once, I’m having trouble keeping up with 9th Gen as it is.

        Hopefully I’m wrong though, god knows H!P needs to do something (focusing on promoting what they already have would be my choice) to get out of the funk they’ve been in lately.

        • I always think three would be a good number of members to bring in from auditions. Maybe it’s because I love the Reina/Sayumi/Eri trio from 6th gen, but in my opinion, three new faces is less taxing than four to remember. That and I just have a tendency to want groups to be an odd number of members. When 10th gen members are announced and ready to be in their first single, I’m betting that we’ll be pretty well acclimated with 9th gen at that time.

          2000-2003 had 4 new members come in every year. I wasn’t following MM at that time, but I wonder how fans reacted to it; whether lots of fans were worried, or happy about the onslaught of new additions.

        • You’re right, I’ve also read some concerns that 9th gen may lose a lot of attention and perhaps a lot of presence in future singles because of the addition of 10th gen. I’m just hoping that bringing on more members will only spark a new drive for 9th gen to work even harder than before. I remember that by the time 3rd and 4th gen came along, older members like yaguchi mari were inspired to focus more on what each individual was capable of. Yaguchi Mari’s best talent was her personality. She chose to be more outspoken and take the initiative to stand out more because she didn’t want to feel inferior as a senpai. Perhaps 9th gen will attain the same form of self reflection. Through their drive to succeed, they might discover something about themselves that will aid in gaining new fans and making their current fans love them even more.

          For me personally, adding new members early on is a really exciting risk. These are the crazy antics of Tsunku that I admire. You never know what he’s going to do with the line-up. While his recent risks prior to 9th gen haven’t been rewarded with overwhelming success, I do believe things will work out this time around.

  2. What they need most urgently is a first-rate vocalist, preferably two.

    I love 9th gen, but none of them are great singers.

    Another goofy/funny member (like Sayu or Kanon) would also be nice.

    • Yes, please. A few more members who are vocally talented is a must. I recently watched the video with momusu singing live on J-Melo. Unfortunately, the entire 9th gen had no real presence, vocal wise. Once Takahashi graduates, her vocal performances are going to be a huge void that needs to be filled. But to be fair, Tanaka Reina seems like she’ll do a fine job carrying some of Takahashi’s lines. Her recent solo performances in the song Ai no Hono and her live performances on Uta no Rakuen demonstrates how much she has improved.

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