Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
This post is going to be a tad special as the circumstances leading to it is entirely by the power of the fans.
In January 2018, I announced the Momusu M3 Grand Prix, a dual tournament of members and singles dedicated to Morning Musume’s (and Hello! Project’s) 20th anniversary. (Given the festivities have been extended into 2019, it turns out my belated festivities are right on the dot.)
After months and months polls on Google Forms, Polldaddy/Crowdsignal, and (for the most part) Twitter, both tournaments had champions crowned by the year’s end.
For the Members Tournament, which concluded in late November, the champion was then-soon-to-be Hello! Project leader Fukumura Mizuki.
Actually, let’s be appropriate for the theme here…
For the Singles Tournament, which concluded a few weeks later in December, the winning single was 2012’s Help me!!.
Now, while it wasn’t the plan initially (the initial prize was on-blog “bragging rights”), I had planned on doing a special Morning Twilight on it (and pardon the small tangent)….
My output in 2018 was a tad weird, resulting in the worst analytics stats for the blog with some months potentially being the new lowest traffic month. (December ultimately finished with 53 views, behind October’s 55, September’s 56, and July’s 65.) Yeah, forgot to mention that in the year-end stat review (though let’s face it, it was probably for the best).
Personally, I partially attribute it to (aside from the aforementioned weird output on my end) external changes on the various platforms:
- Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr implementing annual algorithmic changes that impacted potential reach. (Heaven help you if you’re not uber-active on these platforms!)
- Speaking of Tumblr, further tweaks on the site had repercussions on the blog (particularly the “afterparty” outpost, which will still be open, but with activities decreased). Posts with links having problems appearing on search results, a “glitch” that screwed over even posts with internal links, the then-recent (and in some unfortunate cases, still ongoing!) false flaggings (which cemented my decision to progressively move my blogs’ content to WordPress. I’ve already moved one with some success) and resultant death spiral of the community all impacted the blog. (I’m convinced the shenanigans with the links is (one reason) why the H!P Fan Awards vote wasn’t promoted very well on Tumblr compared to Twitter.)
- The announced shutdown of Google+, rendering (super-belated and already Sisyphean) efforts to build there useless. (At least the blog can begin to recover starting in March.)
…However, in addition to the aforementioned monkey wrenches, a more serious one appeared almost immediately after the Grand Prix concluded: Friesgate. As much as I had wanted to, I couldn’t review Help me!! and any other Hello! Project content until the business with Morning Musume Germany was settled.
As we all know, it has… and we have ourselves to thank. The efforts of the overseas fandom to bring the issue to the attention of UFP, TuneCore, and other authorities, spurred on by our Japanese counterparts who further helped these efforts…. Sure, the guy threatened to sue, but it’s the same with all fraudsters and thieves.
“I was doing you a favor! Why are you picking on me!?”
Sorry if I sound very cynical, but it’s the same song and dance I hear from art thieves whenever they’re on the loose via the grapevine. (I did mention that this really got to me not only as a devoted fan of J-idols, but as a content creator whose contacts on social media tend to be other artists and creatives, right?)
Anyway, to commemorate both the crowning of champions in the Momusu M3 Grand Prix, but also this victorious moment, I’ll be reviewing this. To quote the Singles Champion:
I’ll grip onto glorySource: Project Hello
When I’m in a pinch
Without further ado, let’s dig into Morning Musume #52.
Oh yeah, circumstances (a long drought in posts in 2019, along with the fact the Tumblr post announcing the end of the aforementioned tournament repeatedly getting flagged (never mind another post involving the 9th Gen getting flagged, thanks to a certain blog reblogging it) also made this the “spotlight” post for the 2019 Ice Fairy Festival. (I had completely forgotten about that.)Read the rest of this entry »