Who would have guessed? I went into the Morning Musume 9th generation auditions with barrels of skepticism. I tried to remain as clear-headed and unenthusiastic as possible because of all the things that happened(and didn’t happen) in the past 3-4 years of Morning Musume’s history that contributed to their current rut of monogamy. If ‘Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game’ was their track record as of late, what kind of person would I be to have high expectations and hope at this point?
Well looking at the new members as Morning Musume, it started to chip away at my doubts. All the members were charming in their own ways, especially Suzuki Kanon, who has the most charisma and personality so far. Sayashi Riho was quickly established as the best dancer and the most level-headed, with Fukumura Mizuki having a good voice and being the bridge for the age gap between the older existing members and the young audition winners. Ikuta Erina, while I’ve rooted for her during the audition, seems to be without a clear role in the group. She seems the most timid and nervous out of the bunch, but I’m sure she’ll find her place as time goes on. Overall, I couldn’t be happier with these new members.
Anyways, I wanted to bring up this video showing the new members working on their upcoming single. It’s interesting how candid the footage was about showing the recording and singing process, showing every cringe-worthy mistake they make, but it’s still fascinating to see some of the studio work the girls go through. Near the end, they have a 20-second or so clip of the single playing, and I can’t begin to tell you how good it sounded to me. “Is this really Morning Musume? The group that released ‘Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game’, ‘Seishun Collection’, and ‘Kimagure Princess’?”
To me, it was a night and day difference. There’s a youthfulness and vibrancy in this song that was unheard of in the past few years from Morning Musume, not only in the voices, but in the music too. Gone are the bitter sounding melodies and serious tones—this is idol music I know and love. The clouds literally parted and revealed a beautiful blue sky when I heard it. Am I getting too excited about a short excerpt of a song? Maybe, but this is the first time I’ve actually been excited from anything Morning Musume so I’m going to revel in it.