An anonymous stupid ass wota once said that Morning Musume went down the hole in popularity because the lineup became stagnant sometime around 2007. That is a hilarious LIE. If anything, the group’s decline—not just in sales but also in pop-culture relevance—began much earlier than that. As early as 2003 you would see manga or TV show punchlines along the lines of “I can’t remember who’s in Morning Musume anymore because all the members changed.” In other words, the general public’s problem was not the lineup always being the same, but the lineup changing too much. It was a dynamic, unusual way to run a idol group—but it also confused the hell out of people. (It also led to condescending, English-speaking J-entertainment writers making unfortunate comparisons to Menudo.)
IN REALITY, if I were to list the causes of Momusu’s current trajectory in the Japanese pop culture landscape, it would go something like this:
1) the natural showbiz cycle
2) everyone’s original favorites left
3) Tsunku ran out of great song hooks and the producers ran out of good arrangements
4) Poor marketing management
HAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!11 about that last one, btw.
It is almost too daunting to answer the question, “What does The Great Ai Takahashi Graduation of 2011 mean to Morning Musume?” You have to go back to basic principles and answer things like, “What is Morning Musume about? Who are they? WHAT are they?” READ MOAR >>