On Christmas, I was telling my daughter’s boyfriend about my experience in November with Morning Musume at Anime NYC and he kept making assumptions about why their management did things. For instance, he kept saying, “It’s for the money.” And he even tried to compare MM with the way the Disney Channel monetizes its stars. And I kept telling him no, that he was looking at it through the prism of American media management and business practices, but that’s not how it is in Japan. I wish I’d taken notes on the conversation because I’ve forgotten the specific things he was talking about.
But it got me to wondering if Up-Front even has a systematic way of doing things, e.g. handling crises and scandals, marketing its stars, planning out their futures, promoting its products, strategizing their overseas outreach, etc. Everything I’ve seen leads me to think it’s all done on an ad hoc, case-by-case basis, e.g. shuffling the Country Girls into different groups. Some things luck out and work really well. Some things don’t. I don’t see a real system there. Or if there is one, I can’t recognize it. Am I missing something? Or am I framing the question wrong?
I'm not talking about Tsunku because I believe he has always had his own unique, intuitive system and it worked quite well for a long time. At least that part of the operation that he controlled. He's an artist himself, but he also knew how to manage. That's a rare combo. He's some kind of a genius. My question is about the suits in the corporate offices.