So Bananagirl. I don’t know how much the Japanese have taken to her but she has so much potential to be entertaining. In fact from her tv appearances so far for some reason she reminds me of Johnson, with her occasional moody looks and funny hurt facial expressions when challenged. Also like Johnson I think she is very attractive looking too. Plus she’s not afraid to step forward and have a go as has been seen several times on haromoni@. Junjun has spirit, fight, determination, pride and also a touch of vulnerability as seen from her tears in the Haromoni@ episode where she lost a memory challenge to Mitsui. Anybody who has been watching the excellent HPS subtitled early Utaban appearances of the 1st and 2nd generation Morning Musume might see the same strengths and/or traits in Kaori. Not afraid to push herself forward but often in the firing line because of it. Yet through that becoming very entertaining and loveable. I think if the current Musume were making regular appearances on Utaban in the same way the early Musume were then Junjun could really become a star personality.
Also don’t forget that Junjun could not even speak Japanese until relatively recently. It’s not easy learning a foreign language but doing it pretty much in the public eye must bring with it extra pressures. But again this shows her determination to make it. Having come close to stardom in China she has taken the opportunity to grab it in Japan instead. To be a singer you need a lot of guts and willpower. All of MM has that. To cope with the tough schedule of tv shows, musicals, tours, new songs, new dances and so on they must have that. Especially as in life things don’t always go to plan and it’s at times like that when a person needs to find the strength within to carry on and persevere. But to deal with all that while adjusting to a foreign country and language just adds that extra bit of difficulty. However both the Chinese girls have adjusted well (although Linlin did have the slight advantage of already being involved with H!P prior to becoming a member of MM). To me it feels like Junjun now belongs in Morning Musume. She’s made a space there her own. It shows her strength of character that this is the case.
I really hope she gets more of an opportunity to shine though. Watching the live hits dvd recently I was struck by just how much emphasis is on Lovely and to a lesser extent (but still a very large extent) the other 5th, 6th and (lone) 7th generationers. The newest 3 members had less opportunities to show their stuff. Although Mitsui did have one or two close up moments at least. Whereas to me it feels like Junjun belongs I’m still waiting to get the same vibe from within H!P itself. Perhaps it’s there and I just haven’t seen it enough yet. Maybe I didn’t spend enough time on Mikan. Also Resonant Blue being very much the Lovely, Reina and Kusumi show maybe gives a skewered view of matters as well. Either way I have no doubt that the tall beautiful Chinese girl is a star in the making. I really hope the forthcoming MM single gives her a better foundation to leave her mark on and that the cement gets a chance to dry.
Oh and just when are we getting a Junjun photobook? Well in the absence of such a thing of beauty and with thanks to the Hello! Online picboard and the Musume Central forum here’s a selection of pics anyway.