Friday, November 22, 2013

Why I Hate Tsunku

I know I am not the only person to complain about this, but every time a Hello! Project idol graduates (i.e., leaves) a group and her former group releases a new album, this idol is always absent from the photos used in the CD booklet and her name is also missing from the credits, despite that she sings on some (or all) of the songs.  It’s like Tsunku wants the fans to forget she was a part of the group.  This is one of many reasons why I won’t buy H!P CDs.

Let’s talk about S/mileage.  When S/mileage got signed to a major label all the girls got haircuts, although Maeda Yuuka only cut a bit from her hair.  Fukada Kanon and Ogawa Saki in particular looked awful with their super short haircuts.  However, it was the decision of the girls to do this. Flash forward to when they grew their hair out a bit and Tsunku wrote the forgettable and bland song “Short Cut”.  All four members were forced this time to cut their hair short for this single. Recently S/mileage member Tamura Meimi cut her super long hair short, and she has really bad teeth to boot.  This makes her look even worse than she did before.  I know Hello! Project fans will jump up and down saying, “They still look cute!”, but seriously, there are fans who will strongly disagree.

Ogawa Saki was the first member of S/mileage to quit the group, although it was later revealed that she desired to do this much earlier than she eventually did.  Tsunku actually forced her to remain with S/mileage until the time when she could be replaced - by five girls!  After the five new members joined Tsunku announced that they were not full S/mileage members until they passed a second audition!  Then poor Kosuga Fuyuka became sick and needed to take time off to heal. Instead of returning to S/mileage after recovering, Fuyuka got shafted and was shunted into the Hello! Pro Egg (now Kenshuusei) program!  Many H!P fans do not even pay attention to the Eggs, thinking they are nothing but the background dancers.  The Eggs are constantly reminded that they are mere “trainees” too.  This means that Fuyuka can now be a trainee background dancer for the group she was almost a full member of!  How nice!  

In 2012 Tsunku co-authored a book with Maeyamada Kenichi titled “Idol Chronicle Special 2002 - 2012”. Although ostensibly written to provide a guide to the 300 most popular and important idol singles released during this decade, it was actually a promotional puff piece that allowed the two authors to promote their own music.  Many idols and their singles were ignored in favor of way too many singles written and produced by the authors.  One single that got unjustly ignored by the authors is “Yume ni Mukatte” / “Hello! IVY” by Sakura Gakuin, which is not only the best idol single this writer has heard, but also the most deluxe in terms of overall packaging (including a 28 page booklet filled with song lyrics, several photos of the group and information on all ten members, plus a randomly inserted trading card for one of the members) for a three song / six track (including instrumentals) CD single.  Sakura Gakuin’s third single, “Tabidachi no Hi ni” (also three songs and six tracks), was also overlooked, along with many other worthy candidates.  Idols from two indie groups that later joined Hello! Pro Kenshuusei had their original group’s singles ignored.  If Tsunku knew about PEACEFUL and SCK Girls prior to Inaba Manaka and Sasaki Rikako joining the Kenshuusei, he does not acknowledge it by having PEACEFUL’s single “START!!” or SCK Girls’ single “Arigotou Kotoba” / “ReGenerasion” included in his book.  There are even English language spelling mistakes included in the text, despite the correct English printed on the CD covers that the authors apparently ignored.  The best thing about this book is the 16 track CD included with it containing many very good indie idol songs (and, unfortunately, one song by a Tsunku group).

All of these things and more are why I hate Tsunku!