Is Miki Fujimoto Becoming Reiwa’s Fairy Godmother? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Is Miki Fujimoto Becoming Reiwa’s Fairy Godmother?

Staff saw it! Weekly "The other side of TV" Inside story of Television

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Among the graduates of “Hello! Project,” which has produced numerous idols like “Morning Musume” and “Angerme,” Miki Fujimoto (39) is currently seen as the most successful.

Last November, during a family drive, Miki’s left hand sparkled with a wedding ring. Her character as a happily married couple adored by Shoji has been well-received, leading to a high level of likability.

“Despite raising three children, I manage just two regular shows. However, my YouTube channel ‘Hello! MikiTi / Miki Fujimoto,’ launched in ’19, has garnered attention with its advice sessions. With approximately 780,000 subscribers, it has enhanced my visibility in the media.  (TV magazine editor)

Hosting “After My Husband Falls Asleep” on TV Asahi, the show’s timeslot expanded just six months after its debut, and its on-demand streaming boasts unusually high playback numbers for a late-night program. 

“Miki Fujimoto debuted as a solo idol following Ai Takahashi (37) in ’02. She joined ‘Morning Musume’ in ’03, where her comedic knack for teasing members earned praise from some TV personalities.” (shared an idol writer)

In 2007, she rose to become the 5th leader of Morning Musume, but left the group the same year after a scandalous report by FRIDAY revealing her relationship with Shoji Tomoharu (48) from Shinagawa Shoji. Following marriage and three childbirths, she briefly disappeared from the media. Now, her resurgence is attributed by a production company director to ‘all conditions being met.

“Through three childbirths and child-rearing, she gained more experience as a ‘mom talent.’ Entering her late 30s, her candid talk style has polished further. Another significant factor is being ‘Shoji’s wife.’ Thanks to his moderate success and capability, she avoids backlash from female viewers.”

The broadcast writer analyzes that her husband’s signature gag also “has proven successful.

“During the period when she focused on child-rearing, Shoji kept shouting ‘MikiTi~!’ This prevented any negative image of her as a ‘disappeared’ or ‘forgotten’ celebrity. Their strategy of generally not appearing together on TV also worked well, ensuring they aren’t overexposed as a celebrity couple. Meanwhile, on YouTube, they upload videos that showcase their relationship, which has boosted their likability. Their balance in handling this is quite delicate, isn’t it?” 

Comments from a real housewife’s perspective are being well-received, influenced by her upbringing in an unexpected household environment.

“She has revealed that she grew up in a single-parent household and under modest economic conditions. Even after becoming a breakout idol, she has retained a commoner’s sense of money. This grounding allows her to engage in bold discussions without provoking viewer backlash. Now 39 years old, as she enters her 40s, her words are likely to gain even more credibility. She could potentially establish herself in a position akin to a trusted commentator.” (key network producer)

Many mom celebrities post Instagram-worthy photos on social media, but Fujimoto remains natural and true to herself, which is also why she garners support.

“Despite her cool and beautiful looks, she collaborates with brands like Aeon, known for their everyday appeal. She doesn’t overly edit or embellish her photos before posting. This down-to-earth quality is what resonates with her audience.” (advertising agency representative)

With a former idol potentially becoming a “fairy godmother,” could she soon dominate the television industry?

From the June 21 , 2024 issue of FRIDAY

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