H!P Tweet Beat 7/5/2021

H!P Twitter is about to explode in about an hour, so let’s see if I can clear some tabs before the New Unit bomb drops. AKB vs MM’21 on The Music Day show was the big story for the last days of the week, so let’s get to it.

Social media posts like those being translated above are common whenever Morning Musume performs outside of the harowota bubble, and as a fan, I always love to see them. Seeing reactions go from “Wait, MoMusu is still around? My parents used to like them, lol!” to “Harowota: tell me everything about the girl with the short hair!” and “I never knew they had so many cute girls!” is fun for those in the bubble, but it also exposes a larger problem within Up-Front: their reliance on current fans to provide information to the general public when one of their groups gets noticed by the masses. To wit

It’s unthinkable to me that in 2021, Up-Front does not have a social media team at the ready any time an H!P group gets major exposure like this, armed with photos, clips and information about every group member to answer the sort of “who is X girl?” questions as they appear in real time. Instead, they outsource the job to their fans, who are willing and motivated to tackle the job, but the reach of most fans only goes so far, and the agency should really shoulder the load of such promotion of their product. H!P fans are as creative as they are loyal, though, and @shokotterio did more effective PR for Morning Musume in one minute and 40 seconds than anything U-F could muster.

I mean, what can you say? It’s perfect. Short, concise, informative and fun, this video is cleverly edited to combine footage of MM’s Music Day performance that curious non-fans will recognize with footage from the “LOVEpedia” video they’ve likely never seen, overlaid with a bit of information on each girl that it focuses on. Using “LOVEpedia” as the music bed is a perfect choice to inform the uninitiated, “hey, MM isn’t just ‘Love Machine’ and ‘RR21’ anymore!” It’s a lot of information in very little time, and it’s executed really well. I’m not joking when I say that Up-Front should offer this person a position in social media outreach, because they get it. They know how to make an impact in the social media sphere, which seems to be a talent U-F could benefit from

Well now, this is interesting. Seiko at the top is as surprising as mosquitoes in Michigan, but Morning Musume placing ahead of AKB48? That is surprising. For all of the gaudy sales numbers of the 48’s and 46’s, the idol group with the greatest impact overall is still MM. This has to be a bitter pill for everyone involved with the AKB empire, especially as it has settled into a position similar to that of MM during the transitional period between the Golden Era and the Platinum Era, where they were invited to appear on variety shows, not to perform their current songs, but rather their old hits. The age of the idol is in the past, and both groups currently sustain themselves on the support of smaller, passionate fan bases, while the larger public recognize them mostly for past hits. That MM is held in higher regard with the public despite having been displaced from the top of the pack by AKB48 is interesting. Former AKB48 member Minami Minegishi has thoughts on this.

That’s some candor I was not expecting to see. I hope Minami doesn’t get too much blow-back for these comments, because everything she said is correct. Watching an AKB48 performance today is like entering a time machine back to 2010. Or 2012. Or 2014, etc. They are doing the same thing, in the same way, with the same sound, and in some cases, the same girls. Say what you will about MM’s sales paling in comparison to AKBs, but they’ve at least changed with the times, and even nudged the art from forward at times. Plus, we all know where AKB’s ridiculous sales numbers come from. Those boxes of free AKB singles in the wild weren’t put there by Aki-P.

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