Every now and then I get asked, why Sayumi Michishige is my favourite member in Morning Musume.
When I met fellow Momusu fans in real life, I asked one of them if she can guess my favourite (I wasn’t wearing anything H!P related at the moment). She said: “Aichan. You have the face of an Aichan fan!” It was a good guess, because Ai Takahashi is my second favourite, but my number one is and always has been Sayumi. For some reason, that keeps surprising and puzzling people. Why Sayu? I once tried to answer this question on Twitter. It took me about ten tweets, and I still felt like I hadn’t said enough. There are just so many reasons to love her.
So, here you are… Why I love Sayumin!
Her sense of humour and wit. She’s not the only one in Momusu who makes me laugh (especially Linlin and Junjun are pretty good at that too), but I really enjoy her variety show personality and the punny jokes she makes. Her “ichiban kawaii” gag is something that has been annoying people since forever, but that was actually the thing that made me a Sayu fan in the first place. In a world full of pretty but insecure girls (and guys too) complaining how ugly or fat they look, I found it extremely refreshing and funny that someone had the confidence to do the complete opposite. Of course, her idol personality is just an exaggeration of reality, but it’s obvious she does have confidence in her looks, and that’s something I find admirable and mature. As for her sharp tongue, it’s just for the show… I have never taken it too seriously, and neither do her “opponents” (or so I believe). She is very smart and I believe she knows what she’s doing.
Her singing voice. Yes, you read me right! I love her singing voice and I always have. It’s incredibly cute and one of a kind, and I love the fact that I can always recognise it in every song (that is not the case with the other Momusu girls). Every time I hear her voice in a song it makes me smile, because I remember the person behind the voice. There are some very good singers in Momusu, but none of the others stand out to me like Sayu does. Mind you, I don’t think you have to agree on this to be a Sayu fan. It’s just a matter of taste. I do realise she’s not a talented singer, but she is a talented idol who takes her career seriously, and her concert performances are a joy to watch, because you can tell that she tries her best while having a good time. She herself knows and admits her vocals aren’t strong, and I guess that is a good thing, but it also makes me a little sad when she bashes herself for it. You’re a great idol singer, Sayumin, no matter what!
Her personality. Especially what we can see in her blog. Of course, there is Sayu elsewhere as well, and her radio show Konya mo Usachan Peace is definitely another great way to get to know her better, but I was extremely happy for her when she got her blog, because that meant an easier way for her to show bits of her real self. There is so much more to Sayu than her idol character. She is not just a cute face with a sharp tongue! In her blog, we can see the Sayu we all know. Yes, she does talk cute things about herself, but she also constantly blogs about her cute and amazing and talented co-workers. The way she writes to her fans is very caring and loving, and she looks at the smallest things with such an adorable enthusiasm! She teases her readers with funny questions and makes them smile. All of this makes her blog a joy to read, no matter what she blogs about! But there is a more serious side to her blog. She often posts pics of herself without make up, and some of her posts are free of “make up” as well. She has her worries and insecurities just like you and me. Mean comments and negative criticism hurt her. She cries when she fails at singing and she feels like she has let everyone down. But she doesn’t give up! It may sound contradicting, but I see her as a person with an admirable strength of character and confidence, and at the same time, I often feel like giving her a big hug and saying, “Don’t worry, it’s alright!”. What I admire the most in her is that instead of trying to change herself in effort to please everyone, she keeps doing what she knows is best for her career, and she wants to improve and change herself in that direction. This has definitely been a challenge for her, because her idol personality is one that divides opinions very much. She has lots and lots of fans who love her as she is, and those are the people that she has in mind at work every day. I admire her ability to concentrate on the people who love her and ignore the negativity. That is something I can’t do. In her place, I would have given up ages ago.
Or, to quote myself, “I love love love Sayu’s blog!!! [lovey-dovey smiley]” [Sayu’s H!O thread 15/2/2010]. It’s sad though, that nobody (as far as I know) is currently translating every entry into English anymore.
Things about her that I can relate to. My personality may be different from Sayu’s, but I can relate to her in some ways that personally mean a lot to me. I already mentioned singing (Sayu is an opera star compared to me), but another thing that always stood out to me is her lack of sports skills. I’m very clumsy and I suck at most sports, especially the ones that require strength. I’ve always felt a bit insecure because of this, but looking at Sayu, I feel that it’s okay to be like this. (Even if I don’t look half as cute failing as she does!) There are other things as well but not worth mentioning as I can find some similarities with almost anyone.
Her love of idols. Sayu understands us! She is one of us! Whether your biggest idol is Aichan or Risako, Yukorin (Ogura) or Beckii Cruel… Sayu loves her as much as you do. She loves everyone in Momusu and I might even go as far as say she’s an H!P wota. A huge fan of her own group? Of herself? Well, why not. Sayu and me, we are both in our twenties (I just had to say that while I still can! I’m turning 30 next year! XD), and since most idol fans seem to be either guys or teenage girls, I feel a connection to her this way. I feel happy not having to think that my favourite idol might find me creepy. Now that I’ve said this I’m sure somebody is going to prove me wrong, but I have a hard time imagining Sayu would think like that about any of her fans.
Her looks. She was cute when she first joined. She is cute today. Her face is so beautiful! Her body is so soft! Her hair is still black! Okay, I suck at this. Let’s just all stare at these pics together for a while, and you get what I mean. A minute of silence to appreciate the beauty. No moving! But you may do an usachan peace pose if you want to.
Aichan! This is a Sayu praise post! Did you really think I wouldn’t notice? No no, don’t go back to Morningtime‘s blog just yet, you make an adorable bunny. ^^ I think Sayu would also want me to post a cute pic of herself and her dear friend Eri, so here you go. Eri isn’t one of my favourites but I do like her and I’m sad to see her go. And seeing Sayu seeing Eri go will break my heart…
Then… I just love her. I mean, I don’t love her. But I do love her. She is the one that I always notice first in every Momusu pic and video I watch. I have been following her more closely than the rest of the members, so I have grown to like her the most. Still I don’t think that’s enough to explain as to why I find everything she does so cute. I can watch her DVDs and PB making ofs for an eternity and not get bored. I can’t put it into words, really. But chances are, if you are still reading this post (wow, thank you for the attention!), you are an idol fan too and you know what I’m talking about.
Having said all this, I don’t claim to be the biggest Sayu fan there is, and I may very well be mistaken on some things. This post is just something that came from my heart, based on my own modest observations during my three-year-old fandom. If nothing else, you can consider it a silly love letter to Sayumi.
(Post title edited because of username change.)