Morning Musume’s 8th Generation may go down in history as the “Cursed Generation.” These were the girls who had to preside over the group’s bleakest era, a time of creative bankruptcy when bubbly, energetic charm gave way to boringly “mature” songs and unnecessary glitter and synth-strings and 3 1/2 years straight of minor-keyed singles. THREE AND A HALF YEARS. I counted. If you wanted to find anything more musically monotonous than that, you’d have to go to that organ piece that’s supposed to last 600 years and the last time they changed a note was in 2009 or something.
The curse began with the selection of Aika Mitsui, who was nobody’s (okay, hardly anybody’s) favorite in the Happy 8 Auditions, who had to deal with mean-spirited jokes about her weird face and weird voice, who could only watch as sales continued to decline and a bunch of nobodies called AKB48 began their long climb up, who had to watch as other former 8th Gen auditionees would go on to be gravure queens (Yuki Kashiwagi) and multi-genre soloists (Yuu Kikkawa) and adorable potato-faced hamsters (Sumire Sat0rrrr). She would never live up to the single-member generation that came before her; Koharu became an anime icon and a morning show co-host and left the group as an aspiring fashion model, while Aika is leaving the group limping on her bad foot.