February 13, 2008

A Hypothetical Question About a Forgotten Winner

Posted in Heike Michiyo, Hello!Project, Morning Musume at 5:02 pm by aiwish472

In 1997, a man named Teruda Mitsudo (a.k.a. Tsunku) and his buddies from the band Sharam Q held an audition. This audition was a search for a new female vocalist. In the final round of the audition, which was shown on Japanese television program ASAYAN, there were six people. Only one won.

Who would have known that the five losers would be more popular than the winner, Heike Michiyo?

What would happen if Michiyo turned out to be a bigger hit than the other five (now known as Morning Musume)? How many singles would she sell? What would her music style evolve to? Would she release photobooks? Would she have mostly 30-40 year old male wotas for fans, or mainly 15-25 year old women? Would she even be an idol? How many generations would Morning Musume get, and what would Hello!Project be, if it existed? All that, and more…

To begin, let’s address her music style. It is not at all like Hello!Project. Some of her music has more of a rock influence. The song “Daikirai,” which can be found on Pucchi Best 1, comes to mind. You can really tell during the pre-chorus and chorus. Michiyo’s voice sounds wonderful and powerful here, as always.

Download Daikirai

Of course, Michiyo released pop-ish songs as well. “Kekkyoku Bye Bye Bye,” her 9th single, is an example.

Download Kekkyoku Bye Bye Bye (Full Single)

How many of her singles would Heike sell? Well, I think that if she had turned out to be more popular than Morning Musume, today she could sell about 75,000 – 80,000 copies per single with the right promotion. During her “Golden Age,” she would probably have similar numbers to Morning Musume (anywhere from 600,000 to 1 million copies).

Outside of singles and albums, Michiyo could do four tours a year, like the Hello!Project artists do. Keep in mind, they’re being managed by the same people: Up-Front Agency and Tsunku.

As for photobooks, I don’t think she would release a ton, like Maki or Rika or Aya or Natsumi. I’d assume she’d have three by the end of this year, as she would be less of an idol, and more of just a musician. They probably wouldn’t be bikini photobooks either (or would have only a few bikini shots), but they would still be mature. I could see it similar to Honda Ruru’s “Cosmos” PB, which you can download here.

Why that style, you ask? I think it would go more with her overall style and the fact that she wouldn’t be an idol. Well, she would be an idol, but not 100% idol. Idols are more of an “everything,” acting, dancing, singing, modeling, being a fashion leader, the whole deal. I couldn’t see Michiyo doing all of that, just singing (and maybe a little acting). Another part of being an idol is having a really catchy personality, like Reina’s “Yankii” personality, Hitomi’s tomboy personality, and Kemeko’s Obasan personality. I don’t think Michiyo would create a personality for herself; she didn’t have one while she was still working.

What would Morning Musume be today?

Morning Musume wouldn’t be in a very happy situation, I hate to say. Assuming Tsunku was giving more promotion to Heike, he wouldn’t try as hard to promote them as he did in real life. They would sell their 50,000 copies of Ai no Tane, have a #1 single after that, and then be nearly forgotten. Due to lack of success, they would only get 3 generations. Each generation would bring two more people, and Magical Gocchin wouldn’t audition. The group would disband in 2004, their last album only selling 1,500 copies.

…How depressing. XD

On the flip side, Morning Musume could have done great as well! They could have been a huge success, just like they really did turn out to be. They could build up slowly, and on their seventh single (with Gocchin!) sell a million copies. There certainly could be eight generations of Musume idols today.

And Hello!Project as a whole? I don’t think Hello!Project as we know it would be established. Yes, Michiyo and Momusu would do things similar to H!P, but only because the same guy was managing them. There would be no Hello!Project kids, no Aya, no shuffle units. (Maybe shuffle units. But more unlikely than likely.)

So which situation would be more beneficial to us fans in the long run? If you’re a H!P kids fan, you probably like things the way they are. If you like Michiyo, then success to her all the way. As for me, I would be happy with either. BUT, I would perfer things the way they are now. I like Morning Musume more than any other artist out there, and I like the way things have happened. Plus, I still get to enjoy what music Heike Michiyo put out, regardless of how much (or how little) it was.

(I am still continuing the “List Fun!” series! I have a bunch of drafts that range from only a little to almost half done…another will be published soon. ^_^)


  1. Herein lies the strength and staying power of Morning Musume: The group does not relay on a single star, or a small group of singers. It is a concept, a brilliant concept, and different girls carry this banner over time. But the excellence is always there. The Hello Project Winter 2008 Awards Show on Jan. 26-27 at Yokohama Arena was the most stunning pop music event ever. It is the end result of what has to be the most revolutionary idea ever in pop music, not only in Japan, but anywhere. Not only Morning Musume, but the surging junior units, Berryz Koko, C-ute; the incredible spinoffs like Bouno! It’s all nothing short of absolutely spectacular. Tsunku’s acts put everything else in the world to shame. He has done it; this is the best music companyh on earth — sound, motion, color, attitude, just greatness in the voices and on the legs of the super-awesome Morning Musume and Hello Project. May it reign forever on earth and in heaven beyond.


  2. yossha said,

    @ Amasugita Kajitsu post: I…I don’t think I quite got where you were going with this. So if Heike had been promoted more, Momusu wouldn’t be what it is today? What’s the point of even bringing this topic up?

    @ Radicalpatriot:

    hy·per·bo·le [hahy-pur-buh-lee]
    –noun Rhetoric.
    1. obvious and intentional exaggeration.
    2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

  3. aiwish472 said,

    @Yossha: The post is just a hypothetical question, as noted in the title. It’s just a thought about what would happen if the the winner, Michiyo, was promoted better and more successful than Morning Musume. Obviously, that didn’t happen, and that’s part of the reason why I wrote it. (Because hypothetical questions are fun. XD ) It’s also because I’ve been liking Michiyo’s music a lot recently.
    I made it clear that MoMusu could or could not be what they are today (with success and promotion of Michiyo at the same time), it just depends on their own promotion and popularity.
    I hope that answered your question. =)

  4. yossha said,

    @ Aiwish: Well, yes… I understand it’s a hypothetical question. I’m also curious as to why you’re so sure Heike could have made it big back in the day with the right promotion. What if she turned out to be not-so-popular despite good promotion and music? Would Tsunku have redirected his attentions to Momusu?

    Oh, and, I thank you for the “Daikirai” download. XD

  5. aiwish472 said,

    You are welcome for the download. 😀
    When I say “right promotion,” I mean more than advertising – I mean that Tsunku would have written the right music for Heike to be successful. As a producer for her, he must have at least some idea of what people are loving at the time.
    People may not have liked her, too, as you pointed out. That’s okay though, because Tsunku very well may have redirected his attention to MoMusu if Heike wasn’t a success. That’s kind of what happened, it seems.
    I’m not 100% sure about whether Heike would have made it or not – the post was just my assumptions for what her career would have been like if she did. 😉

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