Is Michishige Sayumi already a successful leader?

It’s only been almost 5 months since the leadership of Morning Musume has been passed down to Michishige Sayumi, and it seems like she’s already  becoming a successful leader. Since her leadership, Morning Musume’s sales went way up. With One Two Three selling around 110k, Wakuteka Take a Chance selling roughly 74k in only four days (as of right now), and Morning Musume’s 13th studio album “13 Colorful Character” selling around 17k.

The sales don’t really look that impressive but if you look and compare them to other singles and albums it’s quite shocking. A Morning Musume single hasn’t sold over 100k since their 21st single “Ai Araba IT’S ALL RIGHT” back in 2004! And their albums haven’t sold over 16k since “10 MY ME” in 2010 (which isn’t too bad).

Was it because it was their 50th single that made them sell so well? Was it the really good promotion? Or was it just really catchy to listen to? Whatever the reason is, Morning Musume is starting to become a bit more popular than they were for a couple years. Yes, Morning Musume is a very successful group in Japan but with all the other J-pop girl groups, Morning Musume was becoming a bit ignored in the music industry. Plus with all the K-pop groups, it was becoming Morning who?

This day and age, people in Japan aren’t really known to Morning Musume as they were before (back when Iida Kaori, Abe Natsumi, Yaguchi Mari, Yasuda Kei, Goto Maki, Ishikawa Rika, Yoshizawa Hitomi, and Kago Ai were around). A couple months ago I asked my Japanese friend if she liked Morning Musume, and she said she use to. She said when she was younger she use to like them, but as she grew older she lost interest in them. She also said that there’s too many new girls and she doesn’t know their names (then again, she’s an odd Japanese person. As I know of she doesn’t like any idol groups, she doesn’t like any manga or anime, she once even told me she wished she looked Canadian and not Japanese).

Back in early 2000’s Morning Musume was very well known and very popular. Many people in Japan knew about them, and knew of at least one member in the group. But in this day and age, AKB48 has taken over. Everyone knows or at least heard about them in Japan. Even I know about them, and I’m not even a huge fan of them. I know some of their members, their scandals, their singles, their record breaks, etc. AKB48 is such a huge group (in members and popularity) that it’s hard not to hear about them, they’re everywhere!

Lately though, Morning Musume has been promoted like crazy by UFP. They have been appearing on tv shows more and more lately. They have huge million dollar worth signs located in the popular places in Japan. They’re finally becoming some what popular again. Well, ever since Michishige Sayumi became leader.

Even though there was many other leaders before Sayu became the leader. Their popularity and sales were beginning to slip after when Yoshizawa Hitomi became leader and when Kusumi Koharu just joined. It wasn’t until when Takahashi Ai became leader where their popularity and sales really began to slip. It was when Ai became leader when they had Morning Musume’s least successful single “Mikan”, and when Ai was leader they never sold more than 70k.

Which is odd, Takahashi Ai was a very talented and loved member in Morning Musume. Her skills were truly amazing, why didn’t the group do well under her leadership? Was it because the line up stayed the same from summer of 2007 until fall of 2009? Was it because people were turned off by the idea of having Chinese members in Morning Musume? There’s a ton of unanswered questions as to why Morning Musume weren’t as popular as they were before Ai’s leadership. But when Ai decided she would graduate it seemed like everyone cared once again (it was odd).

When Niigaki Risa became leader after Takahashi Ai, Sayumi didn’t even become sub-leader during Risa’s leadership. Risa’s leadership wasn’t has long as Ai’s but she did last a couple months before graduating and leaving Sayumi with the leader title. But even in Risa’s time their sales and popularity were some what the same. Yes, there were new members in the group (9th Generation and 10th Generation) but Risa’s first single as leader sold less than Mikan and become the least selling single in Morning Musume. The next single however, did raise a bit but it was only raised slightly over their average sales.

When Risa graduated, Sayumi’s first single as leader sold more than 100k in it’s first week! Which was truly amazing since Morning Musume was selling a bit poorly before. It was a miracle for many people and for Morning Musume. The first album released under Sayumi’s leadership also sold quite well, it may have only sold roughly around 17k but it sold more than any other album since early 2010. And now with Wakuteka Take a Chance selling more than 74k in only four days, Morning Musume has another chance to sell over 100k again.

Sayumi is very reliable and already well known on tv shows. Did Morning Musume just need to be under her leadership to sell well again? Why did UFP suddenly want to promote Morning Musume under Sayumi’s leadership and not Ai’s or Risa’s? The answer very well could be that it was Morning Musume’s 50th single and they wanted it to sell very well, but why does it also apply to their 51st single? Morning Musume’s 40th single sold very well but their 41st single just went right back to their average sales. Can it be that Morning Musume just needed a lucky rabbit?

I think so! I’m truly happy and grateful for Sayumi leadership and I’m very proud of Morning Musume for selling so well lately! I hoping that this pattern keeps up for Morning Musume, I hope they can continue to sell and promote very well. I’m very excited to see how their 53rd single sells with their new member Oda Sakura.

5 responses

  1. I found your blog just now, this was a nice read. 🙂 I personally think that Momusu has become more now popular thanks to the changes in the lineup. Not that the previous lineups were bad (I loved the Aichan era) but people tend to get bored… Anyway I’m super happy for Sayumin. ♥

  2. Sayumi is my favorite member, she’s so adorable plus she’s got that unique but cute attitude, not to mention her really lovely face, who wouldn’t to buy her singles? But the fact remains that it won’t be long till she leaves MoMusu, unless she decides or they decide to let her stay there for a couple more years and be the oldest member to ever graduate. I just hope all their upcoming singles and albums do good. 😀

    Nice blog! 🙂

  3. Sayumin is right up there with Yuu-chan, Kaorin, and Yossie as far as leaders go. She’s tough on the girls but kind and encouraging as well. She’s reliable in any pinch even if she migth not do what you need her to super well. Lastly she has the time to care unlike Ai-chan and Gaki-san who had to focus more on themselves b/c they were key performers. But the sales haven’t gone up b/c of her leadership. They’ve gone up b/c Momusu is finally playing the bonus/gimmicks game that other idols do and holding handshake events and mini lives like crazy. Gaki-san was a brilliant subleader who was actually more the leader than Ai-chan when they were reigning. She became incredibly close to 6th gen especially Sayumin (just look at how many times she addressed Sayumin during her graduation speech). I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of Sayumin’s approach as leader is the result of what she picked up on from other leaders especially Kaorin and Gaki-san whom she worked so closely with.

  4. I don’t think the leaders have anything to do with the sales of the group itself. There are lots of factors that come into play with popularity, and it’s not like the leaders have full creative control over the group itself.

    But I do agree Sayu was a great leader! She put the group’s name out there with all of her variety appearances and such.

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