The website Wota in Translation has released a lengthily translation of Tsunku’s interview for Morning Musume’s 20th anniversary book.
Throughout the interview he goes in great detail about the groups history, even veering into the most “dramatic” time of the groups history. In 2004-2006 she group has plagued by multiple scandals and the graduations of many prominent members.
Tsunku’s described the time-frame “chaotic”, and would constantly hear that the group was done for. But concerts kept going on and fans would keep attending, which made it kind of difficult to gauge how popular or unpopular the group truly was. Then AKB48 came around and in his own words:
“AKB48 would get ahead and leave us in the dust. (laughs)”
One comment that has been gaining the attention of Hello!Project fans were his thoughts on the newer members of Morning Musume 18‘. What lead to that question being asked in the first place was Tsunku’s decision to step down as head producer of the group and how he originally picked girls who were auditioning.
Tsunku revealed that there has never been a definite “standard”, it was different for every single generation. Comparing it to a baseball draft, he said you have to look at the team and figure out what it’s in need of.
When deciding on whether or not a girl has promise or not he’s always left it up to intuition. Seeing how well their singing and dancing ability is does play it’s own part, but the interview portion is just as important. He called out members like Sayumi Michishige who just had a special “air about them”.
Since stepping down as the groups head producer Tsunku now views the group in a more “detached” way. He doesn’t know the personalities of the newer members, and as a result is unable to write lyrics that truly fit their personalities.
As a response to that he shared that he hopes the members strive to be more individual and unique, especially in terms of their hairstyles and fashion.
That decision might be from the office however, Tsunku shared that he willingly chose to step down as head producer. It was widely believed that he chose to step down because of his health issues.
“The office had their image of what Hello! Project should be, and I as the producer had my image of what Hello! Project was. As a result, I felt that I was left with no other option but to step down. It was a mere coincidence that I was also sick at the time.”
Check out Wota in Translation’s website for the full interview.