So I was sitting at home at my laptop one time when a certain person from the US decided to try and get me into something called Morning Musume. She’d already tried to get me into one other area of Japanese culture a little while area when she’d sent me a link to an episdoe of the live-action version of Sailor Moon. Very pretty girls but following any tv programme when there are no subtitles and you don’t speak the language is a bit of a chore and anyway there are plenty of English speaking pretty girls too so I passed on that particular area of fandom (for now at least). But anyway at a time when I was feeling pretty low suddenly I was enticed with some pretty Japanese girls singing and dancing to catchy music. A totally different proposition completely. Now I’ve never been into Japanese music before but I do like the French singer Alizee and I don’t speak French (I just let the funky music do the…oh sorry wrong band) so the notion of liking music when you don’t know what’s being sung wasn’t altogether alien to me.
The first pv I remember being given a link to was the excellent Renai Revolution 21 (still my fav H!P song). I remember thinking how I liked the tune, the cute dancing in the outside bits and the tight black clothes in the futuristic bits and then it was on to the next pv. I watched several that evening and during one of them there came my first “who’s she” moment. I’d just been given a link to the pv for the then quite recent Kanashimi Twilight and was rather taken with the cute baby-faced one in the pink shirt (who was using her backside in such a nice way during one dance scene with someone who I later found out was Fujimoto Miki). There began both my love affair with Morning Musume and my first H!P crush. The next day when I woke up Renai Revolution 21 was stuck in my head, as was the vision of a cute Japanese girl in a school uniform from that other pv for the song with the surprising guitar sound (surprising for a typical girl-band to have I thought. But then MM aren’t typical, as I was to learn). So it was back to the laptop and by the end of that day, just over 24 hours since I had first heard of Morning Musume I was hooked. As well as Renai Revolution 21 and Kanashimi Twilight I had also got into Roman and Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari and I was eager to hear more. I was also eager to see more of the person I would come to nickname ‘Sigh Yummy’.
Of course from there I ended up finding a whole world opening up to me. First there’s the music of MM, in turns sublime and ridiculous (but more often sublime. Especially if you refuse to recognise Chokkan 2 as actually existing. So that’s what the skip button is for on cd remotes!) Then there’s the tv programmes. From Utaban appearances to Hello! Morning with plenty of other tv appearances to take in as well. Better still there are the subtitles to tv appearances thanks to various fan groups. From there I discovered more about the personalities of the different members. From seeing tv shows I came to really adore both the very kawaii Konno Asami and the lively, pretty and petite Yaguchi Mari. Current members Takahashi Ai and Reina Tanaka and ex-leader Iida Kaori also became very big MM members in my eyes. Despite that I still have a big soft spot for Sayumi. As well as being very pretty she is also very funny. Okay so not always intentionally…well maybe not even intentionally more than half the time but even so you have to love her. From her unwavering belief in her cuteness to her unwavering belief that the USA-Chan Peace sign is a good thing. From her total inability to cope with cooking as per her Dokyu episodes (and pity poor Kamei Eri trying to eat that that Bento box) to her total inability to stand up shut her eyes and move her arms a bit as per that physical inspection Hello! Morning episode. From her mortification at the clip of her dropping her microphone during a live performance of Shabondama on a tv show (a clip that when shown on Hello! Morning had her virtually in tears, and this was years later) to her confident and sexy performance in the Kanashimi Twilight pv. From entering Morning Musume to her present day standing in the group (standing at the back in the Resonant Blue pv and getting about two words but never mind that) Sayumi has been constantly entertaining. I think Rika Ishikawa taught her well. They both seem similar types and they certainly gelled together well in EcoMoni (Help! should definately have been an actual physical single you could buy).
Yeah Michishige was part of the reason I became a Morning Musume fan and I’ll always be grateful for that. I still think she’s beautiful too. I have her Soso photobook (don’t worry I’m not doing the obvious pun again) and as you’d expect from a H!P related pb it’s breathtaking. So as we approach Sigh Yummy’s 19th birthday (13th July for the interested) I’d like to celebrate her birthday, her beauty and her backside baka with these pics. Happy birthday Sigh Yummy (even if it is a little early)…