I wasn’t a fan of Morning Musume back in 2004-2005, so I can only imagine the disenchantment and confusion that may have affected the fanbase at the time when it was declared that the 7th generation audition would produce no winners at all (and would later be re-rolled to give the world Koharu of all people). Fast-forward to 2013, however, and the situation has been flipped a bit: the sudden cancellation of the 12th generation audition seemed to prompt less disillusionment and instead many sighs of relief, owing to the fact that many people just aren’t ready to see 今のモーニング娘 (today’s Morning Musume) get disrupted by new members while they’re still on the rise.
You can definitely count me in as one of those who, after getting over the initial shock, was satisfied by this development, as I love the group as it is now. Not only that, the reaffirmed stability of this lineup also means I can go through with yet another crazy thought exercise: the members of Morning Musume re-imagined as the classes from Team Fortress 2!
Time to meet the Musumes…
The Scout: Erina Ikuta
Loud, easily excited, and kind of annoying, and also possessing some impressive agility that other team members don’t quite have, Eripon fits in quite well as the team’s trash-talking fish-wielding speedster. Though I’m not quite sure the Hakata dialect matches up with the Boston accent…or does it?
The Soldier: Ayumi Ishida
A battle-hungry performer who left the homeland in search of more fulfilling action, Ayumi is a Soldier without a doubt. Well, this is honestly more of a default pick based on how everyone else got assigned, but she also happens to be one of the easier members to follow with her dance skills, just as the Soldier is one of the easier classes to understand and use. Now if she can only work on her rocket jumping…
The Pyro: Masaki Sato
Incomprehensible speech patterns and mysterious thought processes are the hallmarks of both Maa-chan and TF2’s Pyro. Her tendency to wander from the group also matches up with some of the charge-forward spy-checking map-exploring strategies employed by many a Pyro player. Plus there’s that one Pocket Morning question in which her solution to getting stranded on an island is to burn something…
The Demoman: Haruka Kudo
Duu has always seemed to have a bit of violent, destructive tendencies to me, based on some TV appearances that involved her attempting to kick the shit out of a competing celebrity. Plus her boyish haircut and vibes equate well with the genderqueer implications of the Demoman’s skirted body armor (yes, I know it’s supposed to invoke the idea of a kilt, but come on, work with me here). There’s also that fun-to-hear husky voice that both characters possess.
The Heavy: Riho Sayashi
I’m sure some of the more spiteful/snarky/ignorant-minded people out there had a certain someone else in mind for the role of the Heavy, but when it comes down to it Riho is a much more appropriate fit. As the current “ace” of Momusu, she, like the Heavy, serves as the face of the respective franchise; likewise, just as the Heavy is a great character to choose for beginning TF2 players, Riho serves as a great starting point for new and casual fans to follow with her performance skills and the marketing push surrounding her.
The Engineer: Mizuki Fukumura
Fuku-chan’s history of artistic drawing skill, as well as a rich upbringing that implies possession of many fancy toys, certainly makes her the Engineer of the group, a class that assists the team by crafting dispensers, teleporters, and sentry guns. Both Mizuki and the Engie are also known for carrying their important assets around, if you know what I mean.
The Medic: Kanon Suzuki
Zukki’s known for her charming smile, which some say has innate healing properties. Mizuki has spoken highly on radio shows of Kanon’s comforting presence, and Sakura’s suggested remedy for cheering up sad fans on a Pocket Morning question was to brandish a photo of that famously adorable grin. This girl is most certainly the group’s Medic; even her relative lack of popularity amongst casuals parallels how the class attracts veteran/team-minded players who know what to look for.
The Sniper: Haruna Iikubo
Tall-ish, lanky, and associated with the color yellow. Clearly an obvious choice.
The Spy: Sakura Oda
The original comparison that started all this. Sakura has developed a reputation for being able to imitate the voice (and sometimes looks) of past and present Momusu members. The Spy is a class capable of imitating the appearances and mannerisms of other classes. Now we just need to see how her crabwalking skills are.
But wait! Aren’t we missing someone? What about Sayumi? Did we forget that she’s still in the group? Well, as the leader and decade-long veteran of the group, it’s only right that she gets assigned the role of the Announcer/Administrator, keeping everyone in line for mission objectives and providing guidance for the young ones. And of course, Tsunku is a good fit for the role of Saxton Hale, providing the necessary tools for the performers to succeed. (or perhaps he’s Gabe Newell?)
So there you have it. While I’m sure some of you might disagree with some of the chosen class assignments, I’m also sure we can all agree that the Musume Fortress squad is certainly just as crazy, deranged, and fun to watch as their video game counterparts, and we should be thankful that they get to stay this way for at least just a little longer.