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Kobushi Factory (こぶしファクトリー)


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#2861 JPope

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 09:13 PM

We clearly know that is a "cover-up".

 

We Do?

 

Anyway, I wrote about Kobushi Factory at my blog: http://jpopeonjpop.c...11/kobushi-rip/



#2862 JPope

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 09:31 PM

Also, Kobushi's worst selling single ever, "Shalala," was released not even a week after the CG shake-up. It sold 20K+ fewer than "Samba!", and was followed by the loss of three members under suspicious circumstances over the next six months. Kobushi was not merely on a downward trend, they were on a broken-elevator trend, at it really is amazing that they survived the chopping block considering what happened to CG just days before their world got turned upside down.

 

Obviously, I have no idea about the personal issues related to both groups or how they might have affected management's decision to put one in idol-hospice while letting the other soldier on, but from the outside looking in, it sure looks like Kobushi got several Get Out Of Jail Free cards.



#2863 Fallacia

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 09:42 PM

^^That's a solid timeline in the blog. The only thing I'd particularly object to is the framing of Kobushi Sono Ichi having sold poorly or being an indicator of decline since it sold (~13k) comparable to, or better than, other non-MM albums that were releasing the recent years prior to it, but that's only a small critique of a bigger picture that's much more accurate in your blog than a lot of retellings I've seen told of Kobushi's past few years.

 

Regarding sales though, if anyone ever wonders where I'm getting my own numbers when I throw these things around in my posts, here's a sheet maintained by sukibeam:

https://docs.google....E9E/edit#gid=10


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#2864 Greyface

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 02:37 AM

TL/DR - I don’t think sales are a good predictor of management behavior. I don’t think midnight should feel any injustice in the difference between KF and CG because KF and CG were different groups, even if their sales numbers were comparable.

So I understand the story you’re working from is CG got pushed into part-time all and only because numbers were low. (Personally I doubt it.)

I think the comparisons are missing a very important thing. The remaining 5 in KF were on the receiving end of a lot of involuntary member changes, and literally went away into the woods to get their act together. And came back imo a much better group.

If you are convinced that management looked at sales in KF and CG and thought “well this is garbage these two are dead.” You should add this to the story (that, again, you are telling yourself) Management snarled at KF and said, “looks like you girls are done”, and they responded that no, they can make it work.
IMO they DID make it work in a way that they were not making it work before their trouble.

What does this story have to do with CG? Of course nothing. Looking at KFs history says literally nothing about CGs history. It does not expose the surprises or putative injustices in CGs history. No two groups are the same and it is absolutely ridiculous to compare sales numbers and think that’ll predict management behavior, because management is not that stupid.
H!P is literally in the business of raising idols.

How members respond to hard times MUST be included in your thinking about how management responds to those members in those hard times.
What I've learned about Japanese so far, is that you must first pay attention to these 2 things: Rule #1 and Context. After that, just pray they remember their high-school English class.

#2865 JPope

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 08:55 AM

^Ultimately, I agree with all of this, although I can see how a fan invested in one but not the other might feel salty about it.

 

^^I'd say 13K for the first KF album was disappointing compared to other non-Morning Musume groups. The only albums released within a year before or after KF's debut were J=J's First Squeeze, which sold 18K, and C-ute's ℃maj9, which sold 16.5K. Considering the buzz surrounding KF at the time, I would have expected 15K+ at a minimum. I might have over-stated my case a bit in my blog post, but not by much IMO. 



#2866 Fallacia

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 07:38 PM

Both C-ute and J=J released their singles before sizable dips in the Japanese economy while Kobushi's released right at the end of that same mini-recession. Having the still-comparable results that they did should have been unexpected since H!P's sales often track very closely with the economy for over a decade now. The general trend of single and album sales compared to the economic climate without the hype probably should have only had them selling similar to Angerme's previous Best Of album around ~9k under normal circumstances if it hadn't been their first album, maybe closer to 10.5k since Kobushi no Hana was so well-received and released right around the time of the recovery. I agree with Greyface that sales aren't the end-all, but they can still be a decent predictor for other merch sales and attendance to a lesser extent since it still is going to be mostly a matter of how much disposable income people have and how willing they are to spend it. By all indication, Kobushi were still basically on-par with Angerme and Juice=Juice after having been active for nearly 3 years, and aside from the panic in mid-March-April, it looked like things were recovering for the economy as well.

 

That's why it was such a shock that the single in June sold so low, with the only other major factor at the time being that it was competing (at least in the fans' wallets) with Angerme's single (which sold 46k) releasing the next week. The difference in promotion for Angerme's single wasn't so far ahead of Kobushi's that there should have been that much of a difference in sales if the hype had been sustained from the album release up until June, but I guess having so much of the focus of Kobushi's promotion being on JK Ninja Girls just cut even further into the single sales. I've not looked into any data on how well JK Ninja Girls did to see if that was where a lot of the money went to cannibalize sales even more, but at least at that point the attendance was still good and it hadn't seemed like there had been much fan drop-off to explain it.

 

That's why I keep coming back to the idea that if they had released a single in January 2017 when there was 0 H!P competition and while there was still decent hype, they might have sold well enough that they could have been able to gain back even more momentum than they did after the scandals instead of just jumping back to the 30k range. Keeping in mind that I'm someone who is musical-obsessed, I recognize that not everyone cares for them, so it's a possibility that many of the DD fans just tuned out and started focusing on other groups' music while Kobushi were promoting for JK Ninja Girls.

 

Most of my points here are fairly pedantic though, or otherwise just end up being speculative, so I hope nobody is really taking it as seriously as I'm sure it sounds pretty dry. I like numbers and I like data analysis, but for as much as I have my own ideas about what it all means, it shouldn't be interpreted as me saying someone is incorrect so much as just an explanation of why I agree or disagree with certain aspects of the 2017 timeline.


"As people go, I assure you I'm not very judgmental. That requires effort and I am a moderately lazy person." -Richard Rossetti, Chapter 16, Waking


#2867 JPope

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 06:36 AM

It's entirely possible that "Shalala" sold poorly simply because a lot of fans thought it was a fairly weak single.



#2868 Pyo-Kiyo

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 12:09 PM

Sigh~
Could you please stop dwelling in the past?
Thanks.
----------------------------------------------------------

I assume this hadn't been added here yet, so I'm going to share it here..
 
Blog translations of Kobushi Factory members:
Ayaka - https://twitter.com/...942283604168704
Minami - https://twitter.com/...924646723620865
Ayano - https://twitter.com/...915057298984960
Sakurako - https://twitter.com/...950609557712896
Rei - https://twitter.com/...957344364228608
 
H!P members' blog reactions:
Y. Riko - https://twitter.com/...305634809184257 and https://twitter.com/...305649799618562
K. Tomoko - https://twitter.com/...465785751035905
F. Mizuki - https://twitter.com/...503031263027203
T. Sayuki - https://twitter.com/...836478313504768
M. Maria -  https://twitter.com/...872465320046592
T. Akari - https://twitter.com/...951989646843909
K. Kaede - https://twitter.com/...045606440824837
O. Sakura - https://twitter.com/...672671825846273
(Ayano's reply to Sakura - https://twitter.com/...808394537271296)

Reactions from others:
Mano Erina - https://twitter.com/...904500416172033
Kikkawa Yuu - https://twitter.com/...904892843642880
Suzuki Airi - https://twitter.com/...926874595348480

Natsuyaki Miyabi - https://twitter.com/...044778481438720

Kudo Haruka - https://twitter.com/...183960478638080

 

Hoshibe Sho - https://twitter.com/...905788470218752
Kodama Ameko - https://twitter.com/...907062330609666

Sawayaka Goro - https://twitter.com/...927482622631937
Tower Records CEO Minewaki Ikuo - https://twitter.com/...008271158800385


<3 Kobushi "MAGNOLIA" Factory  :respect:


#2869 KABTX

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 02:48 PM

Thank you for putting that whole list together. I should probably not read them while I'm at work.  :sob:



#2870 Pyo-Kiyo

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 09:33 PM

You're welcome. My personal favourite to reach is the one by Sakura and Ayano's answer to it..
I knew they were friends, but failed to realise how strong their friendship actually it.

 

And Maria's while being full of grief and gratitude is really touching... (even though she does not mention Ayaka & Rei whom she was not part of KSS with...)


<3 Kobushi "MAGNOLIA" Factory  :respect:


#2871 IchVermisseDenSommer

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 01:20 AM

@Piyo-Kiyo: I'm about to further dwell in the past so you might just skip what I'm writing here

 

_____________

 

A thing none of you guys have mentioned here so far is that the groups had different management teams. While Kobushi look wise seems to have a lot of established people in their team that switched from Berryz over to them I am not sure CG even had an established management team. The whole creation of CG seemed more like a not well thought through project with all that Satoda Mai nonsense. It was the time when big changes must have happened through Tsunku's condition. And while there are lots of different opinions on how strong Tsunku's influence still was within the company even before that looking at h!p at a whole during that time I think it's fair to say that they tried out lots of new things back then and didn't really have their act together.
So instead of just looking at the sales of each group I think it's fair to assume that the people working in the background for each group might have played a part. I think they weren't really confident in CG's management to handle the losses the group went through but also didn't have the people to spare that would have been necessary to support them. On the contrary I think they actually believed that adding the members taught under Momochi to other groups  everyone involved could benefit and on top of that they believed CG members had earned a position in more established groups. I really think they wanted to make this a positive thing for the CG girls.
Kobushi on the other hand shows how they let them pull through with the management team they had and they gave them a lot of creative freedom teaching Inoue beatboxing and such. They also fulfilled their request to not add new members. So rather than making this about their sales which really weren't worse than something inbetween PE MM and S/m I think this was about the members sitting down with their team and making it clear that they wanted to pull through as long as possible but probably only until one of them decided to leave depending on their success and how their life continued from Kobushimageddon onward. And I guess we reached a point where at least one of them decided they had had enough.
I assume this might sound gullible to the conspiracy fans out there but h!p is giving all of its members a lot of freedom in their career choices and seeing how they had no issue at all with Inoue staying within h!p all I can think of is that it was surely the wish of the other Kobushi members to leave


Morning Musume______ANGERME________Juice=Juice_________Kobushi Factory____Tsubaki Factory____ BEYOOOOONDS

1. Sato Masaki         1. Kasahara Momona  1. Kanazawa Tomoko   1. Nomura Minami   1. Tanimoto Ami        1. Kobayashi Honoka

2. Fukumura Mizuki  2. Sasaki Rikako         2. Uemura Akari             2. Hirose Ayaka       2. Asakura Kiki          2.Okamura Minami

3. Oda Sakura          3. Wada Ayaka            3.  Dambara Ruru           3. Inoue Rei             3. Niinuma Kisora     3. Takase Kurumi


#2872 Danes83

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 04:32 AM

I'm sure every group have their hardest, struggling period. Even MM already have it. But the point is how to make a comeback. JJ, Anju too.

The problem is Kobushi never gonna make it, or to be correct they not yet gained momentum. Business wise, management give up with Kobushi's future and perhaps will looking for another investment.
momusu1_zps50b105cb.png

#2873 Kinjiru

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 02:27 PM

Just to add to any sales discussion...it's not necessarily an indication of popularity. This is not something non-local people see, but the vast majority of the time when singles sell well it's quite simply because they have a lot of release events for it. An example would be Angerme's latest single, which had a loooooooooooot (I own that single maybe over a hundred times). Because of them we go to see them every day and buy multiple copies of the single to the point they sell out. On top of those are the kobetsu events which also sell tons, and the more they do them the higher the sales. Notice how even though groups sell quite a bit, they can't do a hall tour. A more accurate representation of a group's widespread popularity would be if they are able to fill out multiple venues, since only a single person can sit in one seat, unlike CDs which are bought in the dozens and even hundreds by the same people. Morning does very few release events, because Up Front is satisfied with the number of CDs sold. If they'd do as much as the smaller groups they would sell an insane amount.



#2874 Doraleous

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 03:18 PM

^And did Kobushi sell out their concerts? The times you went to their concerts, was the venue filled out/near filled out or could you notice a significant number of seats empty?


Kenshuusei is where it's at, debut these stars in the making already.

#2875 Greyface

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 03:47 PM

^

Kobushi almost exclusively played Live Houses (a few hundred people).  I couldn't tell you about sold-out status except the one show I went to was at least mostly full, but it was also in Yokohama, which is commuter range for the 30-40 million Greater Metro Tokyo Area residents and employees. 

Live house shows further from the big city?  I dunno, I didn't go.

Big venues? Well... Kobushi touched Nakano Sunplaza (2K people) the way Morning Musume touches Budokan. (7K-15K? depending on how far back the stage is set from "half-way" and how much center-stage there is vs. arena seating, whether they allow "from behind" seats) also, when Musume does important shows, they fill Budokan, and a dozen movie theaters


What I've learned about Japanese so far, is that you must first pay attention to these 2 things: Rule #1 and Context. After that, just pray they remember their high-school English class.

#2876 Doraleous

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 02:38 AM

^I c, thanks bro, always nice to hear the impressions of people on location.


Kenshuusei is where it's at, debut these stars in the making already.

#2877 JPope

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 08:11 AM

"The whole creation of CG seemed more like a not well thought through project with all that Satoda Mai nonsense."

 

I absolutely agree with this. I blogged about a tweet that popped up in my timeline stating that "One•Two•Three" saved H!P, and one of the things I mention is how Country Girls felt to me like an opportunity created entirely out of the overall increased financial health of H!P in the wake of OTT. Like UF wanted to strike while the iron was hot but didn't have a concept for a new group, so they resurrected Country Musume as CG.



#2878 Danes83

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:04 PM

Frankly, the management made a correct decision about the fate of Country Girls. For an instance, their las, best album was sold poorly, even for international fans. The hype was all about Beyooooonds in the late of 2019, also the MM'20 new single. I feel bad for Country Girls, especially Yamaki Risa & Ozeki Mai.

And i hope management will fail this time, Kobushi last single hope will be a boom to haropro, will eclipse almost all groups. Hope this will happened. Or management will make a correct decision again...
momusu1_zps50b105cb.png

#2879 Kinjiru

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 02:14 PM

Er...they did zero to sell that CG album. Events, where? If there is no reason to buy it other than for the sake of having it and there is no active group to promote it then yes, it will sell abysmal.



#2880 midnightbottle

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 03:33 PM

^Yup. Agree!!

 

^^CG was made a semi-active group for 2 years odd. The public interest was going to die down on them eventually. With no promotional campaign behind the last album, using the last album/disband gimmick alone is not enough to attract general public to purchase it and only hardcore fans will buy the last album as a commemorative item. So I don't think it's a fair statement to say the decision to disband CG was correct. They have already made the wrong move in the first place.






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