It’s about time for me to continue this series on the LOVELY Michishige Sayumi’s photobooks. As things stand right now, of all the Morning Musume girls, Sayu is the most Morning Musume-est. This might trouble the people who really think that Morning Musume is a singing group first and foremost. I’m one of those people who believe that if you are turning to idol music for examples of musical artistry, then you are (mostly) misinformed about idols. But then again, this little rant is neither here nor there. I want to celebrate the beauty that is Sayumin- the Sayunator destroyer of all that is un-kawaii.
Let’s look at the next two photobooks: “LOVE LETTER” and “20- July 13”. Sayumi really hits her groove in these two books. Her unaltered black locks frame a magical face that straddles the line between “cute” and “gorgeous”.
[2008.09.25] LOVE LETTER
This cover is gorgeous. Look in her eyes for a while. Look at her lips. Melt.
I love these close-ups. Sayu’s teeth peek through her lips and the soft texture of the white shawl frame her pretty face.
These next two bikini photos show off Sayu’s body and her playful side. She wears them low …
The puzzling look on her face. The luminescence of the wrap.
It’s difficult to not fantasize a little with these next couple of photos. That micro bikini top and low rise jeans?! The ridiculous crochet shorts and white tank top in a motel room? This is dangerous.
They made this photo just for me. Baseball, pretty girl, backlit teasing skirt photo … check, check, CHECK.
More fantasy. Sayu’s messy hair suggests a few things. Wait, is she eating waffles and a salad? Why are eating brunch? … OH …
[2009.07.11] 20sai 7gatsu 13nichi (20歳7月13日)
Sayumi’s 2009 was meant to celebrate her passage into adulthood- like most photobooks from 20 year old idols. Or, if you prefer, this photobook celebrated Sayu’s transition from jailbait to pervert, from hunted to hunter, from prey to predator (you get it). I don’t actually remember the photobook marketed in those terms, but in light of her Sayu’s current status as the adult among the children this designation seems appropriate.
And what a fine young adult Sayu makes!
Sayu can wear lederhosen and the lederhosen would become the sexiest lederhosen you ever saw. Perhaps thankfully, there’s no German leisurewear in 20sai 7gatsu 13nichi. Sayu does her rightful duty and tries to exude an adult allure in most of these photos. This photo has the magical combination of Sayu’s gorgeous skin with a teasing sheer dress. Her face makes her look almost predatory.
There’s the expected travel metaphor. Here, Sayu is dragging her luggage across the tarmac. I really don’t think her actual travel luggage would consist of a single carry on suitcase. The inclusion of this photo took a bit of bravery since Sayu does not occupy the majority of the frame. It gives us perspective. The photo gives us focus.
And the focus is Sayumi’s bikini body.
Back to the black dress. Doesn’t Sayu seem to materialize into the doorframe?
She has a naughty look on her face. Can you concentrate on her face for a moment?
Another adult look from Sayumi.
She’s still 20 in these photos. Here, Sayu acts a bit childish at “home”.
There are the traditional kimono pictures included in the photobook. For some reason I chose to include the close-up of Sayu’s cherubic face. CUTE!!
She looks contemplatively at her future.
She takes a ride on the washing machine (how adult!)
She hoses around! I love this strapless floral piece, BTW..
And in case you forgot, BAM! Bikini! Check out the forced perspective!
This is my kind of photograph. The one-point perspective gives the viewer a sense of direction. The focus on Sayu’s face makes the rest of the frame appear dreamlike, as though we are glimpsing Sayu’s dreamworld and her sleeping face in the same photo. To me the photograph conveys Sayu’s immutable character amid the perpetual motion around her. She is the Parmenides to the (idol) world’s Heraclitus.
And this … this is just for you.