The Not-So-Little Merman

Like the Little Mermaid, he gave up his voice to be able to stand on his feet again, all for the sake of something intangibly precious: his life.

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!

How have you all been? My weeks was rather quiet. Following 9/9 was C-ute Day on the 10th and Juice=Juice’s major debut anniversary on the 11th. Over the weekend, we also celebrated my brother’s birthday 10 days early.

All of those times were sweet, but I’m afraid I have some bad news (though in he words of Amy Can Flyy, “everybody knows that”).


It was reported last week that Tsunku had officially “graduated” from his role as Hello! Project producer, around the time of Morning Musume ’14’s New York concert. This news, while sad, came to little surprise as observant fans noted the increasing lack of the words “Produced by Tsunku” on releases. Plus at this point, we’re all pretty accustomed to what is now the “Hello! Project” sound so the potential shock has been heavily cushioned.

Still, official word had recently come in so we can call it confirmed.

My take?

For me, this came to me hours after the special 9th Generation post was published and I had just finished a post about graduations set for that following week (today). Regardless, as someone who had been exposed to Tsunku’s work for a long time, this was quite saddening.

On another note, those of you who had been clamoring for Tsunku to relinquish control of H!P to other composers and writers (even if Tsunku didn’t write every song that came out of H!P in the olden days) now have your wish.

As Tsunku’s saga continues, H!P will still grow. Like I said, at this point, we’ve all gotten used to the new status quo so the potential punch this announcement could have was rendered nonexistent.

I can understand either way. Communication is key in music production and current situations might require some concentration. It’ll be hard to see a Hello! Project without Tsunku, just like a Tangerine Dream without Edgar Froese.

…Why am I thinking about Satoru Iwata again, besides the fact that what happened to him very nearly happened to Tsunku? Does this mean we’ll have to prepare to play “Egao ni Namida” (aka “Smiles and Tears”) in a sea of ;_;7? (Of course. Tsunku is every bit as human as Iwata and all of the people he impacted.)

One inch of love is one inch of shadow, but love is the shadow that ripens the wine. In the name of happiness (for ourselves and our own), we do endure pain. However, self-care is important and Tsunku earned his “graduation” from his role. The shadows he bore for the sake of his love are what make the sparkling grape juice sweeter. So many people look to him and they can take care of things. Tsunku has a family (and had one before he became a husband and father) and he should take time to rest. (I’m really trying to avoid the word “retire,” especially since he’s only stepping down as “producer.” (On that note, it might explain certain aspects of the sound.)

All Tsunku is doing is allowing himself to see H!P from our eyes so the idols can continue to re-energize us in light of the darkness.

Hello! Project’s music (in addition to my own creative efforts) helped maintain my sanity and hope in a hopeless world. Many a time this year, I questioned my calling and even my responses to the frequent stories of injustice. Fortunately, my family and friends (and this handy article from the Washington Post) talked me out of it. I’m aware of the dark side of the idol scene, yes, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a beacon of positivity. Such good vibrations wouldn’t be possible if not for Tsunku so… congrats. You deserved it. Let the next generation (hehe) take H!P to the next level!

As thenumber244 amazingly said in their comment on a previous post:

God knows, H!P is in the middle of the biggest personnel change since the Elder Club graduations!

…and as I said in the post where the theme of this post came from:

This is a new test in the Hello! Project fandom and the entire J-pop world. As Evolution said, “adapt or perish.” Tsunku’s adapting and so shall we.

I’m now reminded of my post about change.

Further Reading:

On a far less morbid note, this week’s discussion is about idol fandom gateways.

Until next time!
— Magi-Kat

One Response to The Not-So-Little Merman

  1. […] than intended. (It was calm, but then I decided to emphasize certain things.) The next post was my response to Tsunku’s far-belated graduation announcement, using a motif in a previous post about […]


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