Thursday, June 5, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday: Guilty Pleasure

Question of the Week: What are your non-book guilty pleasures? Like TV shows, food, websites, hobbies, etc.

Ah...hah... about that... I have a lot, but by far the worst right now is hands down the Japanese Idol girl group, Morning Musume '14.

From Left to Right: Kanon Suzuki, Masaki Sato, Haruka Kudou, Ayumi Ishida, Riho Sayashi, Sayumi Michishige, Erina Ikuta, Sakura Oda, Mizuki Fukumura, Haruna Iikubo

Previously just known as Morning Musume (their name changes with the year now, so January 2015 they will be Morning Musume '15), this is the oldest girl idol group still active in Japan that I know of. They have been around for almost 17 years now. Of course what makes them so special is the the fact that the line-up is always changing. Most of the girls in the group now were born AFTER the creation of the group (youngest member, Haruka, is 14).

One of the single covers for One, Two, Three.
Haruka (in orange) was 12 here.
Their biggest hit was in 2000 with the iconic song, Love Machine. EVERY Japanese person knows this song EVERYONE. It's also considered an oldie now. Several other songs from that time period (known as their Golden Era) charted well and sold incredible amounts. However in the late 00's their popularity plummeted due to some of the girls having to graduate from the group early (due to scandals) and then there was a time period where no new girls joined, and despite the high performance quality they stagnated.

In 2011 two generations of girls were added (ended up being around 8 girls) and then in 2012 the single One, Two Three exploded and did better than their last 10 or so singles. The new girls and the leadership of Sayumi Michishige plus a ton of advertisements brought them back into the spotlight.

Then with the addition with one more new girl Morning Musume started charting at number 1 for the first time in years... and they haven't stopped, breaking all other streaks they'd previously done. They are slowly gaining popularity again among people who don't follow music as well, though it's a slow process. Since I've been a fan since about 2008 this is amazing for me, because they've NEVER been as popular as they have been now since I've been a fan.

What I like about them: I do like their music a lot, but I'm also a fan of the girls. They join up at young ages (the youngest ever at 11, though sometimes they join at a later age such as 17) and they are not neccesarily good singers, dancer or anything, there's just that certain spark the producer saw, then you get to watch them grow, and improve and get better. When the new girls first joined they were not very good and many fans predicted the end of MM, but they grew rapidly and have become one of the most solid line-ups yet.

I've been to a couple of concert, shaken their hands and gotten to take a photo with them and they have pretty much stolen my heart.

I'll embed my favourite of their latest singles just in case anyone is curious.


Alison Can Read said...

Hopping through. That's so cool! I will have to check that group out.

BecAlora Walker said...

I think it's amazing that you're this passionate about this group. One of my friends is obsessed with K Pop an J Pop and he made me listen to ALL THE THINGS....which made me learn to love it.

This was a really cool post :)

Check me out if you feel like it :)

Rebecca @ Vicariously!

BecAlora Walker said...

Also new follower via GFC and bloglovin!

Jillian Lopez said...

Wow you must've really liked the girl group and their songs!
New GFC follower by the way :) Hope you stop by and pay a visit!


Diane Subsits Lynch said...

Nice guilty pleasures! I'm an existing follower.
Diane @ Diane's Book Blog

karina Romano said...

I love Japanese music and I'll have to check this group out. New follower via bloglovin.

~Karina @  Watcha Reading

Brittersweet said...

Happy FF! Love it!! New bloglovin follower
❤ Brittany @
Please Feed the Bookworm

ashley poteet said...

Just hopping through! New follower! You can find my FF at

Krystianna said...

I've never heard of this group, but I'm definitely going to go listen to all of their songs on YouTube now. I'm surprised that I had never heard of them before. I really enjoyed this post, thank you so much for sharing! I'm an old GFC follower.
Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

Books That Hook said...

I'm just stopping by. Existing follower :)

Sam said...

Yay for everyone checking them out! I'm always glad to spread the MM love~

@Krystianna: Just as a warning they have over 50 singles under their name lol All the new songs come out with english subtitles which is nice. Some really amusing old stuff is the Ayaka Surprise English Lessons (this was post Love Machine but pre their lull) which many are subtitled and on youtube.

Thanks to everyone whose hopped through so far <3

Jennifer Morgan said...

Hopping through.....I've never heard of them, but they sound fun! Will have a look.Your blog is really cute :) New follower.
Jen @

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