June 13, 2008

{feeling sorry.}

Posted in °C-ute, Hello!Project, Hello!Project Kids, Morning Musume at 2:47 pm by aiwish472

They’re so cute and pretty. They release fun, happy music. How could anyone not like idols anymore, I wondered. Morning Musume had plenty of fans in their earlier days. What went wrong?

I could always go on and rant about how the vocal quality has become sub-par, or how the overall quality of the music was better 2003 and earlier. But there’s something else I want to talk about. Something that really bothers me about the idol industry.

Now, you know what to do when we hear the secret word! Scream! That’s right! And today’s secret word is…

Wota.

(Aaaah!)

It’s the wotas that are preventing the idols from being successful. Those wotas who will buy anything with their favorite Hello!Project member’s face on it, no matter how worthless it might be. Those wotas, who Up-Front-Agency caters to.

I feel like I overuse the term “wota.” I’ll call anyone who likes Hello!Project or other idol groups a wota, including myself. But after watching some videos, and really thinking about what’s in the videos, I’ve found that to be a big mistake. (Some 50-year-old guy who nearly has a heart attack from breathing a “bag of Berryz air?” I don’t think a lot of us even come close to that.) I couldn’t call casual fans “wotas” in Japan, and I shouldn’t do it outside of Japan either. There’s a reason why wotas have such as negative reputation.

The wotas want THAT.

I came across that picture on Hello!Online today. It’s a perfect example of how greedy UFA and other idol management is. They don’t care about the members. They just want what sells to wotas. Looking at it from a business point of view, that sounds just fine. But looking at it from a moral point of view, it’s disgusting. Mai Hagiwara is 12 years old. She shouldn’t have her picture in a dirty old man’s magazine with her skirt flying up. Her skirt wouldn’t be hirari’d if she hadn’t been trained to dance like that. It’s the sexual exploitation of a minor, and it’s too sickening for words. If I’m not mistaken, it would even be illegal here.

Granted, not all wotas are pedophiles. I’m sure a lot are normal As for them, they’re not really normal either, but I don’t think they appreciate pictures showing up like the one above.

What about the members? How do I think Saki and Mai feel about that magazine article?

The problem is, I don’t think they know what they’re doing. They’ve been in this business for a while, so it’s normal to them. As for the older members, who probably have a better idea of what’s going on, they can’t stand up and say that it’s wrong. Otherwise, they won’t sell. Remember the Rika clip that caused a small uproar? They’re idols. They have to be perfect for those people again. Those dirty…wotas.

I can’t decide whether it’s the management’s fault for allowing this to happen, or the wotas’ fault for supporting it.

If you asked me what I wanted to be 6 months ago, I would have given you two answers. It would go a bit like this. “Realistically, I want to go into medicine. But in my dreams, I want to join Morning Musume.”

Now that I’ve realized what that means, and who I’d have to deal with, I am embarrassed. I would never, ever want to be an idol. Being forced to do things against one’s will, all those restrictions. Not being able to date, which is just a normal part of growing up, and who knows what else. It’s not normal.

It must really suck.

I feel sorry for the idols.

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7 Comments »

  1. Magi-Kat said,

    I’ve seen it all before and I agree with everything you say.

    I mean, I was listening to a Morning Musume song from about 2001 and was like “WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO MOMUSU?!” (pardon the caps). I can’t help but feel that the wota, those excessively obsessive little creeps, had a part in this and it may be responsible for the cute/sexy crank-up. That may be why I had the “crazy” thought that the Kids aren’t exactly being marketed to their age group (if you know what I mean).

  2. Yoshimi said,

    Psst, just so you know: The correct pronunciation of “wota” is “oh-tah”. So it would be “an wota”, not “a wota” (unless you’re mispronouncing it). The singular is also the plural, so “wotas” doesn’t fly.

    I agree with you, the creepiness of employing under-15 girls and having them cater to an audience composed mostly of older men (and I don’t mean just the stereotypical middleaged ones; I’m talking about men who are still teenagers [think 18] and get a kick out of the shit that goes on like Mai’s skirt flying up in that manner) drives me away from Hello! Project and idol fandom the most. The fact that I just don’t get into an ultra-squeaky cute public persona and nauseating singing voice plays a huge role in it as well, but I have a hunch that if those cute girls weren’t cute for the aforementioned reason, they would grate on my nerves a whole deal less.

    I once saw a YouTube video of the original Momusu lineup performing “Ai no Tane” on television. The people at the front of the crowd? Were schoolgirls. I have a feeling that I’ve said this again and again, but it still rattles me slightly to this day. I sat there scratching my head, like, “Wow, girls used to be into Morning Musume?”. And then I realized that I liked the group better back then (“Ai no Tane” years) than I do now.

    So I’m no different than those schoolgirls.

  3. Rift said,

    Sex sells. But still, I can’t help but feel a little disturbed and sorry for the younger girls who’re exploited this way. UFA isn’t the only one to blame though. It’s the whole idol culture in Japan that’s at fault. Anyone still remember all that ruckus a few years back about some 12-year-old girl idol with the huge bosom? (totally forgot her name, though)

  4. Gag Halfrunt said,

    The video with the “Berryz air” is up on YouTube. After breathing in the holy air, the wota perform their wotagei and are in the middle of their routine when they find themselves face to face with Berryz themselves.

  5. jim said,

    I might do a post just on terminology, but the “w” sound in “wo” is optional. You can say it or not.

    Anyway, somebody has brought this up in terms of catering to wota and I agree that this has lost them popularity with the larger audience they had before. At least MM/Berryz/C-ute is far too into only hitting that audience that buys a ton of shit, not the people who just buy a single or an album cause they like it. I think Gatas and some other groups are doing good stuff. I wouldn’t count them out yet.

    And you did post that actual pic after saying it was wrong. They almost do the same thing, or imply it, “This is pretty wrong, but…” Some American mag ran a pic of whatsername who just turned 18, total upskirt with no panties. And they basically say, “if we ran this a week ago, we’d be in jail!” And if there wasn’t that law, they would have ran it whenever. That’s just guys. And some girls like that attention even at that age. And the no dating rule makes sure it stays only at attention. (um) That vid is funny. They are kinda scary but harmless at the same time.

  6. Cat said,

    I have mixed opinions on this topic, admittedly. A standard H!P wota will get a kick out of those inappropiate pictures, and inappropiate PBs and whatever, but still, (and I know I’ll probably offend some with this comment, but I don’t care) Hagiwara Mai isn’t exactly a happy fluffy white bunny prancing in a prairie. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’ve watched several clips of Hagiwara stating how “sexy” she is, and making a sexy voice and shaking her little 9 year old butt. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Hagiwara should be marketed as a piece of meat because she chose that image for herself (especially not when she did it at 9 years old), but there is something wrong from the start about the way that these girls themselves view the idol business.
    I mean, we might think that it’s disgusting, but maybe they do want to be adored, loved, worshipped and (why not?) desired, regardless of who is the person who does this. There’s a psychological reason why this would happen, but I’m not feeling geeky enough to write it here now 😛
    Like it or hate it, where would your beloved H!P be right now without the wota crowd? I’d say it’d be a goner, and I think I’m right about it. I don’t like the way C-ute’s image has been handled, even from the beginning with Massara’s pelvic thrust and all, so I don’t follow C-ute, that’s the way I cope with it, I’m more into the older groups anyway, so I can largely ignore the horrors of pseudo pedophillic wota worship of 12 year old’s butts, which doesn’t make it any less wrong, but at least doesn’t have to do with me directly.


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