Momo (@ Momo's H!P Blog) sent me a recent article from Japan Times which I found to be an interesting read and look into the current state of Momusu, their attempted venture into the Chinese market, as well as some cute little tidbits on a few fellow members where the descriptions…'messy' and 'funniest' are matched to particular members…..lol I'm guessing most can figure out whom 'messy' is referring to before laying eyes on the article.
Aichan, Gakisan, and Linlin provide a short candid interview (translated here) and along with the inclusion of a brief history of the group and its incarnations a few other fascinating topics are touched upon. And with a managerial voice present for the conversation it adds a bit of extra insight into the goings on and direction in which the group has taken in recent times. Most notable for me was the talk about Momusu's push into China in their attempt to grow their fan base and possibly rejuvinate sales as of late where it is noted how 'pirating' has really hurt their profitability there and while this is something that one may have guessed as the outcome, it's just really disheartening to hear confirmation of this. And in a time when UFA/H!P is making a strong push into the Western markets and beyond with Momusu's set appearance at the Anime Expo in L.A. ( a most presigious event which will without doubt add to the group's visibility outside of Japan…although I think most know of their existence already in the states!! =) ), Buono!'s appearance in Stockholm!, and I'd gleefully add Berryz Koubou in Hawaii (..although this is an event exclusive to FC members so this one's not really included..(;´□｀)! )…..it's a really important time period for everyone in the states to hopefully show their support and I'm more alluding to sales in particular which has been the noted previous 'failure' in China just recently as noted by management in the above linked interview piece.
And while pirating isn't exclusive to any one region by any stretches of the imagination, I just really hope that the U.S. and in light of UFA's obvious realization that 'we're out here too as fans!' does well to show their support so as not to discourage further growth of UFA/H!P outside of Japan as they push for a move westward into our music markets…something that I'm guessing most of us have dreamed of numerous times since becoming devoted fans. Potential improved sales will not only show UFA/H!P that we are indeed 'out here too!' but it'll also in the process give them good reason and potential to further explore the possibilities of engaging us as true fans……..think IFC (International Fan Club! ………(゜∀゜)………。). And it's important to consider that Up Front Agency/International is like any other business, dependent on support as in sales, and in order to ensure that they'll be around further for fans to enjoy it's this type of support that will benefit both our favorite idols and ourselves the fans……hopefully lending itself to continuing the process of bringing them a bit closer to a neighborhood near you~. ^ ^