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The Weight of an Idol, Part 2 October 28, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Junjun, Morning Musume.
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I’ve finally been able to scrounge up a bit of free time, and although there are a few other things I’ve been wanting to write about (can you say Click you Link me preview?), I really want to finish up this topic as it has been on my mind a bit over the last couple of days.

As you can probably tell from the picture over on the right I’m going to be talking about Junjun this time. While I really do like Junjun, I admit that I don’t follow her quite as closely as some of the other girls in the group, and thus the observations I’m making here might seem a little dated or even obvious to some of you. I apologize in advance if that is the case.

The first time that I can personally remember seeing Junjun make a reference to her weight was in a post on her personal blog from the 26th of July. You can see the original here, and a English translated version by Hello! SG Fans here. In her post she relays how her manager lightly scolded her for ordering a medium pizza. I admit at the time I really didn’t think anything of it. She seems to be including the information about the mail from her manager as a humorous anecdote, especially with the little cutesy animated caricatures that she included with the post. Really, the impact of what she mentions here only really hit me after I read her replies for the Pocket Morning Weekly Q&A for the weeks of 9/05 and 10/03.

To summarize those two events, the question on 9/05 was “Is there anything you would like to ask the other members, but you can’t, and it bothers you?” and Junjun answered, “Why is everyone so slim?”, and the question on 10/03 was “‘No dinner for you today!’ What did you do to deserve this?’ and Junjun answered “Because I got fat again ><.” Ouch. It was actually her response to the question on 10/03 that prompted me to write this series of posts in the first place. I realize that I’m probably losing a bit of the original meaning from the translation process, but wow, she is using some pretty harsh words to describe herself there.

What really bothers me about all this, is just how wrong she is. Junjun is not fat. From what I have seen of her in her time in Morning Musume, she has never been fat. The fact of the matter is that Junjun is just physically larger than the other Morning Musume girls, and as such she really can’t hold herself accountable to be as thin as the other girls are. It simply wouldn’t be healthy for her. For this, though, I have to give her credit. While I have concern over the mental stress that she is under to be thinner, I really am not concerned about her physical health like I am for Risa. While she may wish to be as thin as the other members, thank god that she hasn’t pushed herself physically to do so, or at least to the point where it can become externally visible like Risa has in the past.

Another slight grievance I have is with the girls’ management. From the blog post I referenced above it’s pretty obvious that one of the major influences on making Junjun believe that she is overweight is her management. While I understand their desire to keep the girls fit, as an idol’s physique is one of her greatest assets, the pressure they must be putting on this girl must be completely out of line if they are making her believe that she is overweight. Even if it is just standard practice in the idol industry doesn’t mean that I have to like it.

Oh, and Junjun’s little J.J. chibi character for Muten Musume? Absolutely brilliant. 🙄

Look at her gorge herself with food. That's got to be great for her self-esteem.

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Uso!!! Niigaki Risa turns 22! October 20, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Morning Musume, Niigaki Risa.
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Ahh, as I imagine you could have gathered from the title, today marks the 22nd birthday of our beloved sub-leader Niigaki Risa! I often feel that I rather neglect her here on my blog, even though she is my favorite Morning Musume member and all, so I couldn’t let her birthday pass by without making some sort of fuss over it.

This year has been pretty eventful for her to say the least. We’ve seen her open and constantly update her own blog, which has been a great way for us fans to get to know her even better. She’s even had the opportunity to star in her own motion picture. We also can’t forget that everyday that goes by adds one more to her record status as the longest serving member of Morning Musume.

So, to celebrate this grand day I wanted to share with you guys the video that forever cemented the true epicness of Gaki-san to me. I present her and Kamei Eri’s promotion for Alo Hello! 2 Niigaki Risa DVD from the now defunct Dohhh Up!, kindly subbed by OnDiet:

Oh yeah, make no mistake, that is a full-on inebriated Gaki-san. She’s waaaay past being merely “tipsy,” there. To be honest, I’m rather surprised their manager’s even allowed that video to be released to the public, but dang am I glad they did!

The chemistry between Risa and Eri is really fantastic here, and it’s absolutely hilarious how everything just falls apart after Risa utters, that little “HUN.” I really can’t imagine a better pair for a drunk Risa than Eri. I swear she was just egging her on half the time. 😀

Really though, my favorite part of the entire video has to be when Risa has fallen on the floor due to a combination of drink and laughter, and still has the tenacity to call out Eri for her un-idol-like story. That woman is tsukkomi through and through!

That's right Risa, you tell her!

So, here’s to a happy 22nd birthday to Niigaki Risa! May this year for her be filled with happiness, good fortune, and just a bit of sake! 😀

BOOKOFF’n: 20101011 October 15, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Morning Musume.
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As you might have taken from the title of my last post, there will be a second part. I’m working on the second part, and expect it sometime maybe in the middle of next week. I’m rather unhappy at how I came across in the last one, so I’m working a bit harder to make this next post sound a bit truer to what I’m actually trying to convey.

So, this little post is just documenting a stop I made at the Costa Mesa BOOFOFF on Monday when I happened to be down in the area.

Hey, I finally remembered to take a picture of the location!

The little Marukai subscript up there under the name is because this BOOKOFF is located in a shopping center dominated by a Marukai Supermarket. If I remember correctly they try and make you get a membership card to buy anything there, so if you happen to be in the area and are feeling the urge for some Gogo no Kocha or similar, I would suggest heading over to the Mitsuwa Marketplace on Paularino and Bristol instead. It’s only a couple minute drive and they also have a pretty nice food court there as well, so it’s well worth the extra effort.

Sooo, getting back to what I picked up. I found a copy of Morning Musume’s Aruiteru and hitomi’s huma-rhythm.

I was actually racking my brain about huma-rhythm while I was there. For some reason I had an inkling in my mind that I already had a copy, but I decided to purchase it anyway since it was pretty cheap, and in literally like brand new condition. I’m pretty glad I did, because it turned out I didn’t already have a copy. I think I was just confusing it’s cover with that of Samurai Drive, since in both she has feathers in her hair. Yes, a handful of feathers and a full-on Native-American headdress are two very different things, but I’m just trying to reason out what the heck I was thinking at the time. The copy of Aruiteru was a little beat up, and was actually a rental at some point, as there is a sticker still attached to the disc saying as much. Surprisingly though, the OBI was still included inside of the packaging, and for a dollar, you can’t go wrong.

Not a huge haul, but I happened to be in the area at the time, so it’s not too bad at all.

****************************************************************************

Switching topics a bit, and while I know this happened two weeks ago now, but my humble little blog was featured on International Wota! I was actually inspired to start my own blog after reading through some of the blogs that they had featured so it really is quite an honor to see my blog mentioned there as well! 🙂

The Weight of an Idol, Part 1 October 9, 2010

Posted by Nights4Saturn in Hello! Project, Jpop, Morning Musume, Niigaki Risa.
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A couple of days ago I was perusing through H!O’s picture board and I stumbled across this here picture from Aichan’s blog…

…and I thought to myself, “Darn, Risa, you’re looking pretty fine there.”

Then something struck me.

No, not how exceptionally fine she looked, but rather how she has lost quite a bit of weight. You can even start to see her rib cage poking out a bit there.

Those of you who went to Anime Expo (or who have seen the pictures taken there) no doubt remember how, and it pains me to say it, awful Risa looked during the event. She looked as if she were malnourished.

Risa at AX

Now, I certainly understand that there must be a significant amount of pressure on these girls to keep a very thin profile, but I have a seriously hard time imagining that anyone would think she looked “at her best” during that event. There exists a pretty well defined line between thin and sick, and Risa was unfortunately on the wrong side of it back in the Summer of 2009.

Also Risa at AX

So, she looked awful over a year ago, and now she looks great? Sounds fine until you realize that she didn’t just put on a little weight to get to her current physique, but rather lost some.

Being a bit cyclic in one’s weight really isn’t much to worry about, as it happens to all of us, but what concerns me about Risa isn’t only how drastic these changes are, but the speed at which they’ve happened.

For a comparison take a look at the two photos down below. The one on the left is a promotional for Seishun Collection, most likely taken sometime during April of this year. The one on the right was taken from a post on her blog from yesterday (the eighth of October), a difference of roughly five months.

Truthfully, her current state isn’t what is drawing my concern. My concern is directed more at a fear that she’ll continue to lose weight and return to the state that she was in during Anime Expo. People never want to see their idols in ill health, and to me that’s exactly how she looked like during the event.

I guess an even greater concern would be the actual reasons behind her weight loss, gain, and subsequent loss. I won’t even begin to speculate about this as there is really no way that we could ever know, and after Eri’s revelation, the crazy theories flying around in my head are really of no comfort. I will say though, that I hope, and rather suspect, that it was all a result of a mismanaged diet.

One thing that I do want to make abundantly clear is that I am NOT saying that she looked (or was) fat when she had a bit more weight on her, nor that she was any less attractive. If anything she was probably at a more healthy weight then than she is now. I just wanted to express my concern for her over my observation that she seems to have a quite volatile body mass.