Iroppoi Twilight Game

For those who like H!P ^_^, plus a learning experience!

Half Year Roundup! 2017 Edition!

So it’s the beginnings of July and right before the Summer tour begins, so I wanna go back and recap the year so far!

Morning Musume ’17

This year has been hectic for every group it seems.  Kicking this post off is out main group and the began on a low note with Maachan being sat out due to a back injury, but we also had the debut for Kaede Kaga & Reina Yokoyama with the single “BRAND NEW MORNING / Jealousy Jealousy”.  After that, Masaki rejoined the ranks and another surprise came in the form of Country Girls’ Chisaki Morito joining the group (made a post about that bombshell).

C-ute

As the group that was going to disband in 2017, the made a final rush with one last single in “To Tomorrow / Final Squall / The Curtain Rises” before releasing a final best album “°COMPLETE SINGLE COLLECTION” and in June the group bid farewell.

ANGERME

Just like Momusu, ANGERME begun the year with the announcement that Maho Aikawa would be on hiatus due to anxiety issues and had to move on with just the 8 members.  They did release a single, “Ai Sae Areba Nanni mo Iranai / Namida Iro no Ketsui / Majokko Megu-chan”.  Though that quickly changed due to the whole Country Girls change AND Kenshuusei debut which ended up with CG’s Musubu Funaki & KSS member Ayano Kawamura joining the group.

Juice=Juice

As the group that had the least members (after C-ute graduated), Juice=Juice released a single in “Jidanda Dance / Feel! Kanjiru yo” and two digital single for “Goal ~Ashita wa Acchi da yo~” & “Jouro” before they got pulled in the H!P shift by adding CG’s Nanami Yanagawa & KSS member Ruru Danbara.

Country Girls

After the announcement of Momochi graduating from the group, Country Girls began their 2017 with the release of their single “Good Boy Bad Girl / Peanut Butter Jelly Love” as her final single with the group.  Momoko would go on to release a 15th anniversary album “Tsugunaga Momoko Idol 15 Shuunen Kinen Album ♡Arigatou Otomomochi♡” which was released right before she graduated, but that’s not all…Due to Momochi graduating, Risa & Mai decided to focus on school but somehow still be a part of H!P and because of that the remainder of the group (Chisaki, Musubu, and Nanami) were sent to other groups and Country Girls will only be active when the two get holidays and breaks (plus releases in digital form).  So unfortunately, the group is going to be on hiatus after the Summer tour.

Kobushi Factory

Kobushi were continuing to promote their first album as the year began so it took a while before the group actually released their first single (well it’s the 2nd release because the actual first was an OST for their “JK Ninja Girls” stageplay).  The single which was tied to the movie version of JK Ninja Girls was released in June, “Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa / Eejanaika Ninjanaika”, but before release we would get news that it would be Rio Fujii’s last single with the group as she would graduate at the end of the Summer tour…HOWEVER…she was fired before the tour started so Kobushi only has 7 members now….

Tsubaki Factory

Tsubaki was the first group to release a single this year which was also the debut for Mao, Mizuho, and Saori with “Hatsukoi Sunrise / Just Try! / Uruwashi no Camellia”.  After that they went a bit quiet and now are the first group to announce a new single for the 2nd half of the year titled “Shuukatsu Sensation / Waratte / Hana Moyou”.

Hello! Pro Kenshuusei / Kenshuusei Hokkaido

The trainees were quite busy this year.  Added about 8 new members to the collective before their Shindan Test.  Before that though the Hokkaido girls managed to release a single for “Real☆Little☆Girl / Kanojo ni Naritai!!!”

At the test, they announce that Kawamura, Ichioka, and Danbara would debut and Takase & Kiyono were going to start a new branch in the Kenshuusei that focused on acting.

From there, we get their two unreleased songs finally on digital stores, “Hello! Massara no Jibun” & “Isshakudama de Buttobase!” and the announcement of where the 3 girls would debut to (Danbara to Juice=Juice, Kawamura to ANGERME, and Ichioka is going to be a leader to a new unit!

===FUTURE===

Well, there’s still a couple songs that need to be released and it feels like right now it’s through UPCOMING! which means a couple more weeks of random, but awesome releases.

Besides Tsubaki’s upcoming single, nothing else, but it feels about the right time for Momusu to announce a single.

Maybe we’ll get some insight to Reina’s new group?

 

 

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…Or Fujii just ends up being fired…

fujii

Really?  What a total surprise (albeit late for me to respond to).  What I’m talking about is about the recent news that UFP has dropped Fujii and released her from her contract a couple months before she was going to graduate.

Not much is known on what the reason is for the firing, but it’s slightly pointing towards something that was agitating the company to the point where they discussed things with her parents and came to the conclusion that she had to be let go (a thing that hasn’t happened since Aibon’s scandals).

I mean, personally if she wasn’t into it anymore, I couldn’t blame her for not trying anymore and the need to just get out, but when you have a date for graduation, wouldn’t you think you’d want that last glory moment before returning to reality?  I don’t know the specifics, but Riorio did what she had to do and for that I’m respectful, just wish she went out with a different kind of bang…

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Oh H!P, shuffling your members!

So, today we got a special episode of Hello! Station today and we FINALLY got the news of what H!P is planning to do with the Kenshuusei chosen to debut (sans Takase & Kiyono), on top of the more recent happenings with Country Girls going into semi-hiatus and Morito, Funaki, and Yanagawa kind of placed in limbo.  So let’s see what happened!

Danbara & Yanagawa join Juice=Juice

danbarayanagawa

So the first announcement was made about Juice=Juice and we know that of the current Hello! Project, the group has had the longest running without losing/gaining members.  Though that was blown apart with today’s news.  Personally speaking, I feel like Danbara could’ve been utilized in a group that needed more vocal prowess (Momusu comes to mind). I will say she looks like she’ll fit in just fine and while Yanamin is kind of the same loopy mind that Yukanyan has, I think she’ll fit in perfectly…but vocally it’s up in the air considering most of Juice=Juice is powerhouse singers (maybe not so much Aarii & Yukanyan) but even with Danbara joining it might be a little struggle.

Morito joins Morning Musume ’17

morito

Next was the decision made about Chiichan and she was chosen to be the lone 14th Gen member.  Considering Chiichan was the popular one in Country Girls having her start at rock bottom might be a bit of a struggle.  The announcement was also a bit odd since Fukuchan was kind of low energy as was most of the group when they got the reveal.  I’m curious to see where she’ll be in line distribution, but it’ll be interesting.

Ichioka to become leader of a new unit!

ichioka

Probably the news that surprised and intrigued me the most, Reina was the only KSS that wanted to form a new unit apparently and she’s got her wish.  Granted, she’s the only known member so there might be Kenshuusei joining (or a short audition) to fill the ranks out.  I hope we don’t have to wait too long because I’m excited for a new group after the Factories.

Funaki & Kawamura join ANGERME

FunakiMusubu2015kawamura

Last, but not least we had the two remaining members and it’s a doozy that both of these girls join my favorite group at the moment.  Having a vocal powerhouse like Funakki is just a decision made in heaven and she can join in singing and standing out rather easily.  As for Kawamuu, she’s a little bit of a wild card but her Shindan Test performance was pretty good so I approve of this a lot!!!

 

 

Honestly, I’m not upset by the decisions and am quite curious about how these girls will fit in.  On top of finding out more about Icchan’s group…that I’m really excited about!!

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The Country Curse continues! x.x;

countrdou

We all know that Momoko is graduating at the end of June, but we weren’t totally sure with the continuation of Country Girls beyond the fact that there will be a disc on Momoko’s graduation album with unreleased CG songs…sadly (or not?) we got some news about what the group will do after Tsugunaga graduated and boy it’s a doozy…

  • It seems that Risa & Mai will focus on school for the time being and will be on somewhat of a hiatus and will only really be active when there’s breaks and holidays.
  • That said, the remaining 3, Chisaki, Nanami, and Musubu will be put into other existing H!P groups.
  • At the end of the announcement it was said that future Country Girls releases will probably be digital releases.

Personally, this seems a little bit strange especially for the timing it brings coming 2 months before the H!P Summer Tour kicks off.  I mean it’s great that Yamakki and Ozeko want to focus, but I feel like that’s somewhat dragging the group, enough it seems that the other three members are going to be tossed around into other H!P groups knowing that Danbara, Ichioka, Kawamura, Takase, and Kiyono are set to debut as well…It seems this is all in UF’s plan, but it seems a lot of the members are really feeling for it…we’ll see how it goes, but it does seem like a bit of a trainwreck at the moment…

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Farewell Buono!

buono16

As we’re getting closer to seeing both C-ute and Momoko graduating, we also have to see that Buono! the epic trio of former Berryz Kobo member Miyabi Natsuyaki and Airi Suzuki & Momoko Tsugunaga closing a chapter for themselves as Buono! members

The group began as a unit to promote Shugo Chara!, an anime that had many many H!P sub-units involved as well as Koharu at the helm of it all.  Buono! at that time was quite into doing rockin’ music to stick out amongst the other units (Guardians 4, SCE!, KiraPika).  After the anime ended, the group was the only one to really strive on continuing their releases and after a couple more singles and mini-albums, they kind of went away and was worried even moreso when Miyabi graduated from H!P.

They came back last year to a surprise of many with a new DVD single to promote a performance at Budokan….

Though they went quiet again for a bit until Monday when they had their final performance at Yokohama Arena…a great 10 years running, coming to a close.

I feel like with Buono! closing it’s doors, the feeling of dread of the upcoming graduations of Airi, Chisa, Nakky, Maimai, Maimi, and Momochi is starting to ooze into my mind and I’m a bit bummed as they represented a LOT of my time with H!P (alongside Berryz).  So it really feels like an end of an era…it’ll be interesting to watch H!P continue after these losses in the ranks.

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Rio Fujii to graduate at the end of the H!P Summer tour.

fujii

Announced back on Friday, Fujii announced that she’ll graduate from Kobushi Factory & Hello! Project at the end of the H!P Summer Tour to focus on becoming a nurse or a teacher.

Wow, it didn’t take very long before we would lose our first Factory member and I was actually caught off guard by this announcement just coming so soon after Kudo’s announcement too.

I’ve been following Rio’s tenure since her audition for the 2nd Gen S/mileage addition and she was a wildfire back then and it was great watching her change and make it into the Kenshuusei before finally making her stamp in the idol world in 2015 when she was announced to be a sub-leader for Kobushi Factory.  So I didn’t really see this coming, but it does make sense at her age as this is a good time to decide what to do for the future so congrats to her for making a decision…

Though with the recent KSS news, makes me wonder if they’ll be a replacement for Fujii if the 3 girls choose to go into separate groups.

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H!P, you have some things to explain!!!

So I just did the post for the Test Recital and boy it was a strong test filled with great performances and presence on top of hearing from Kobushi & Tsubaki as well.  Though as it seemed like it was coming to an end with the award ceremony and last performances…the audience was surprised by an appearance from Nishiguchi (UFP Representive and he dropped 2 big bombs and one that was well kind of big, but it’s a title…so let’s talk it!

Kurumi Takase & Momohime Kiyono to start a branch

takasekiyono

The first announcement was that Takase & Kiyono were chosen to be a part of a KSS Project that focuses on Stageplays (which is strange considering Engeki exists already, unless they wanted to have an H!P-branded branch.  Still, it is with two of the stronger vocalists here.  Not much info was give beyond the company will have to sit with their parents to get something going.

Hikaru Inoue as leader of KSS

inoueh

Yup, the 2nd announcement was that now Hikarun was the de facto leader of the Kenshuusei.  Which we haven’t officially had since Arisa Noto, so this is pretty interesting this is becoming a thing again!

Ichioka, Danbara, and Kawamura to debut

ichiokadanbarakawamura

The last announcement made is that Ichioka, Danbara, and Kawamura would debut, but the decision between a new unit or spreading to existing units hasn’t been decided yet which is a bit strange to announce straight up (yeah, these announcement were just literally out of the blue and from Nishiguchi’s mouth).  Granted, since there’s no news beyond what I said, we’ll just have to wait to see what the girls’ parents with think.

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2017’s Kenshuusei Shindan Test!

Well here we are at our 5th annual Test Recital for the Kenshuusei and for the first time, the Hokkaido branch as well!  Add that there’s a LOT of new members who are going through this the first time, so shall we get started?

Kanami Ishiguri

Song of Choice: Only you

Being the first girl up, Ishiguri from the Hokkaido branch kicked the test off by covering this rather difficult Momusu song.  Just from the song itself, its difficulty comes from its frantic speed and major lean on triplets all over the tune.  Kanami herself sounded OK at first especially tackling the chorus, she was shaky in holding her notes, but when she tapped into it, she sounded nice!  Towards the end, she did start to sound a bit more rough, but I’d say it’s a good start for her!

Mei Yamazaki

Song of Choice: Chu! Natsu Par~ty

Next up is another from the Hokkaido girls, Mei Yamazaki and she decided to tackle 3nin Matsuri’s super cute song.  I do think her voice suited this song quite nicely and she had a nice spin to it.  My only issue was that the microphone got away from her a couple times leaving her voice to sound too quiet in some sections.  Though, she was valiant in this track and managed to sound decent throughout~

Rika Shimakura

Song of Choice: Be Alive

One of the newest KSS members to join (right around the last KSS concert), I was really wondering how those new members would stand out and holy crap, Rika sounds soooo good doing this Momusu album song.  Be Alive is a bit more mellow than what I was expecting but Rika’s lower voice is suiting and while it’s a smidge flat sometimes, she rather impressed me for first impressions!  I might have to keep an eye out for her!

Marina Hibi

Song of Choice: Glass no Pumps

Another from the newest batch, Hibi tackled Gocchin’s sexy track and Glass no Pumps seems to be a little more of a struggle for Hibi.  It does sound like nerves hit her a bit, but I feel like with some work, she could become a force as her tone is powerful and towards the end she gave a surprising amount of punch so, she’s a wild card after her first performance.

Ayano Kawamura

Song of Choice: Mugen Climax

I guess to impress Maimi (who was one of the judges), Kawamura decide to perform Mugen Climax and that kind of threw me because that’s just a difficult song altogether (especially the high energy and powerful vocals needed to tackle it).  While I felt like her focus might have been on the dance, hence the shaky vocals at times, but while her voice is a bit higher than I expected, she also has character in her voice and I was impressed by how clear she was and the emotion behind it!

Yume Kudo

Song of Choice: Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin

Back to another Hokkaido girl, Yume chose a rather recent Kobushi Factory song and right from the getgo, she sounded like she was one of the Kobushi girls.  I’m surprised she was able to pull off the growls as much as she could, but the song itself is difficult mostly because the lines slide from the 8 girls in succession and Yume is just one girl.  There were times where she lost her timing lines because she was focusing on some of the more expressive lines, but she sounds rather good attempting a song like this.

Ryou Kitagawa

Song of Choice: Dance de Bakoon!

One of the most recognizable members from the Hokkaido branch, Kitagawa chose a C-ute song and I was surprised at how mature her voice sounds as well!  Though I do say for a song that asks for energy and brash vocals, Kitagawa’s voice doesn’t quite work in this setting and she did struggle on the higher notes, but like many other girls in the test, she has a LOT of potential!

Riai Matsunaga

Song of Choice: SONGS

Another newbie, I was shocked to see Matsunaga decide to tackle this Momusu album track, albeit ANOTHER super difficult track due to how frantic it can get and how busy it is.  Riai though does try and her voice is quite deep too, but unlike Shimakura, her voice does break here and there and doesn’t really come out as powerful until the pre-chorus.  I think with a little bit more of training she’ll become a great singer too!

Saya Eguchi

Song of Choice: What is LOVE?

Considering that this Momusu is sung mostly in group lines, I was curious to see how Saya would able to handle a song like this.  At first, she was surprisingly on point, but then after a while, her voice would struggle with some of the higher notes (which is odd since her voice is high lol).  I think of the new girls, this one is going to need some training to be able to widen her range in vocals.  Though she could go the lower route as well…so we’ll see next year what comes of the training (if she stays).

Rena Doi

Song of Choice: Ima Sugu Tobikomu Yuuki

Another girl that’s tackling a more recent song, Rena sounded quite confident in this track and she should be because she sounded quite nice if not slightly wary.  She also tried to add vibrato to things which surprised me coming from a newbie in the KSS.  There are times where she sounds great, but other times missing notes (or sounding flat).  I think she’s got potential because the chorus was where she shined the most!

Yuhane Yamazaki

Song of Choice: Magic of Love (J=J 2015 Ver.)

I wonder why she chose this specific version of Magic of Love to perform (the original Taiyou to Ciscomoon version is leagues better).  Still, props for Yuhane for going towards a more older song to sing.  Seems like the wota were looking forward to this because they were saying she had an amazing voice.  They weren’t wrong as she had such control and feistiness that really caught on with me and she reminded me of someone in H!P currently.  For a girl that just came into the KSS program about a year ago, she’s already blown right passed MANY of the girls in the program, I’ll definitely be keeping watch on her progress that’s for sure!!!

Hikaru Inoue

Song of Choice: My alright sky

Following up after the rather surprising performance from Yamazaki, we have Hikarun who decided to tackle a Buono! song (specifically, the Airi Suzuki solo from “partenza”).  It has been a while since I’ve listened to that so I had to return and take a quick listen to it before hearing Hikaru’s take.  Did she do the opening dialogue?  She sounds GOOD in English!  After that, the ooo was a bit shaky, but she quickly shook it off and then she just sung like a pro!  She just keeps getting better and better, even though Yuhane did better, she didn’t let that get in the way.

Kirara Yonemura

Song of Choice: Tokaikko Junjou

I was happy to see we were finally getting veterens of the test after Hikarun went.  Kirara initially kind of scared me with last year’s performance of “The Matenrou Show” because she showed potential with a somewhat hard song, but I thought Tokaikko Junjou might’ve been harder, but somehow she got a lot better and her voice has gotten a bit deeper since last year too!  Impressive performance and she has room to grow still!

Shiori Nishida

Song of Choice: Take off is now!

I thought we would escape having duplicate performances, but nah, though it is over only one song this year and it’s this Momusu song.  Another track I had to go back and relisten to, Take off is now! is a song between Reina Tanaka, Risa Niigaki, and Ai Takahashi so I was curious to see how Nishida (and later on Noguchi) would carry themselves.  She sounded pretty good for the most part and was comfortable with her performance, though I can’t say if there was much to remember it by between 30 other girls, so it was decent for me, but she also has room for improvements.

Ichigo Yamada

Song of Choice: MY BOY

Back to a girl from the newest batch of KSS, another song where I felt it was a make or break kind of song because MY BOY asks for a LOT of the girl(s) performing.  While Ichigo tried her best, she just didn’t strike me very much in the long run.  There were spots where she was nervous and that affected her singing…and her breath control was everywhere…it was just maybe a bit much for her.

Kokoro Maeda

Song of Choice: Suki Sugite Baka Mitai

I was wondering what she’d follow up with considering she was decent enough last year.  She did choose another dance-y track, but a good one since it is DEF.DIVA and all.  Kokoro though sounds a lot better than she did last year which is great.  She still has room to grow too, but her confidence and tone of her voice is starting to come together in a great way!

Sakiko Kodama

Song of Choice: Rottara Rottara

I wonder what was up with Sakiko’s opening dialogue, it was so random xD.  Anyway, her take on Buono!’s Rottara Rottara was pretty rough and considering she was just as much last year when she did “Yumemiru Fifteen” was disheartening to say the least.  At least she remembered her lines, so in a way she has gotten slightly better, but vocally…she’s still not quite there yet for me.

Hikari Sato

Song of Choice: One Two Three

Really, tackling One Two Three are we?  Even though I feel like it’s another song that’s kind of difficult due to the back and forth between Reina & Riho, I felt like Hikari tried her best with what she got.  What I can say is that maybe this isn’t a song that’s really good for determining if a girl is good or not because it suffers from one-note repetition so it doesn’t feel like a melodic song for singers to showcase their vocals…maybe it’s better for dancers.  Hikari herself didn’t do too bad and she kept up with the song so that’s always good to see…otherwise…just hard to place…

Mizuki Kanatsu

Song of Choice: Arekore Shitai!

What a surprise that Mizuki chose a song that isn’t from the Golden Era of Morning Musume and instead chose a Juice=Juice track to tackle.  Wow, she’s actually improved this year, but her voice is a little squeaky and adopted a rather cutesy style to it which luckily worked in her favor for a song like this.  Though I can’t help but wonder if she’s still struggling underneath it all…

Momohime Kiyono

Song of Choice: Mr. Moonlight ~Ai no Big Band~

After impressing many last year with her rendition of “Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi”, Momo returns to cover an older Momusu track that had Yossie, Nacchi, and Gocchin as leads but now it’s one girl :D.  She actually handled it quite well, but that was to be expected, she sounded great with Gaki’s intro and tackling the more boyish verses also sounded awesome.  Really though, she’s just a really good performer and I’m fully expecting her to be utilized real soon!

Minori Kawano

Song of Choice: Oh my wish!

Seems like this Momusu single is popular for the KSS right?  I was a bit perplexed with the performance because she was hot or cold throughout the song from sounding really nice to stressing her voice in random places and messing up holding notes.  Her voice has potential, but she might be the weak link in the Hokkaido girls after this test, so she’ll be the one that needs training to really do well next year!

Kurumi Takase

Song of Choice: BABY! Koi ni KNOCK OUT!

Ooooh, seeing Takase tackling this amazing Petitmoni song just had me excited right from the start!  I mean she has a lot of power in her voice and yet she somewhat keep certain parts kind of cute which is a nice twist and such, but I felt like she was a little bit loose in parts, kind of like shouting, but yet she still commanded the crowd in a way that wasn’t offensive.  Still can’t say she was vocally better than Inoue, Horie, Kiyono, Danbara, or even newcomer Yamazaki though.

Kizuki Horie

Song of Choice: Wasurete Ageru

Probably the most recent track, I was happy to see Kizuki tackle this ANGERME track as it was one of the more interesting songs the group released last year.  Kizuki though blasted through it without any slips and just sounded amazing (even better than the original!!!).  I have to say, ever since she joined the KSS, she was non-stop impressive…Good lord they’re missing out…one of the bests of the night!

Kotomi Ono

Song of Choice: Akai Nikkichou

Last year, if it wasn’t for Yokogawa’s misfortune, then I’d say Kotomi was the worst last year.  Since Yumei is now gone, I was expecting to hear if the KSS program worked on some things in a years time.  I’d say giving her Akai Nikkichou was a risky choice, but with her limited range and power, it does sound like she’s gotten a LOT better, but she’s still got a long ways to go.  Not sure if there’s a way to work around her nasally sound, but it’s a much more stronger performance than the year before.

Rin Hashisako

Song of Choice: Massara Blue Jeans

Hearing that she was donning glasses akin to Maimai in the PV of this song, I wonder what was going to happen.  I have to say while I can say Kotomi did much better, Rin probably has my least favorite performance.  Despite being so yoooung, Rin tried her hardest to keep up with the song, but her voice was all over the place and her breath control was also kind of a wreck. For someone who has been in the program, nearly a year, I feel like time will tell if she’s gonna be awesome.  It’ll be interesting to see where she’ll be in a couple of years.

Minami Okamura

Song of Choice: Tropica~l Koishite~ru

I was happy to see that someone remembered Matsuura this year like Saori Onoda and Yumei Yokogawa did last year.  Minami’s take of the song is a bit rough, but I was more surprised by her vocals being so cute and high-pitched.  She does seem to have this idea of shouting the lyrics which can easily be fixed through some training.  She’s got potential if she learns to tone it down a little.

Natsume Nakayama

Song of Choice: Aisuru Hito no Namae wo Nikki ni

This was another song I actually had to go back and listen to because I had totally forgot how it went xD.  Probably the most random choice this year at the Test, Nakayama must have had a good reason to perform this one.  Even the audience was a bit surprised too apparently.  As a relaxing country ballad, Nakayama had a bit of a hard time since its obvious that she doesn’t have a good voice right now as she’s kind of lacking support or…something to really make her voice sound rounded out.  I guess you can say it was a bit hollow-sounding.

Kurumi Noguchi

Song of Choice: Take off is now!

So here we are with the other performance of Take off is now! but with Noguchi at the reins.  After being slightly impressed with her “Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe” last year, she’s sounding more or less the same I feel, but she does have a bit more sass and skill here.  Comparing this and Nishida’s performance is equal in different ways, but there’s no denying both are heading in the right direction.

Haruka Ota

Song of Choice: Chokotto LOVE

Ahhh, the ever popular Petitmoni debut makes its way as a track performed by the last Hokkaido member of the night.  I guess she has a cute intro, but I feel like the rest of the song was just her singing offkey.  I do think she gradually gets better as the song goes on which I suppose is nice, but I feel like she was just weak throughout the whole ordeal.  Not the best for sure…

Reina Ichioka

Song of Choice: Hitorijime Shitakatta Dake na no ni

Wow, Reina doing a C-ute album track.  Being the eldest of the current KSS, I was expecting something different, but she somehow ended up working this track well and she sounded stronger than she’s ever had years previous.  Something about her lower/huskier voice intrigued me and she stayed on point through the entire track!  Definitely her best performance in these Shindan Tests!

Ruru Danbara

Song of Choice: Give me Love

Ending the test recital, we have last, but not least, Danbara who performed an album track from Momusu.  She definitely didn’t back down for this bombastic performance.  While I do think she’s still shouty throughout, it’s hard not to notice her skills and everything.  Just a powerful way to end things off and I was impressed.

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HERE’S THE RESULTS (Though they said that the new KSS and Hokkaido girls were omitted from winning this year)

BEST DANCING: Kokoro Maeda & Kizuki Horie (A bit surprised by both actually because if just going by the audio, they both managed to sound really good with what they had, especially Kizuki who sounded perfect in her performance!

BEST SINGING: Yuhane Yamazaki & Hikaru Inoue (With the other strong singers this year, it was actually difficult to see who would be top vocalist, but finally Hikarun won an award for her singing talent.  Yuhane, for being a newcomer definitely shocked people and it’s good that she won.

BEST CHARACTER: Rin Hashisako (is this a pity win?  Is it for the glasses she wore?…I don’t know anymore…

BEST PERFORMACE: 2nd Place: Ayano Kawamura (nice! Mugen Climax was really good and even if her voice isn’t quite fitting for the song, she sounded mad professional

1st Place: Ruru Danbara (she’s definitely a popular member so it’s no surprise to me).

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Here’s my Worst to Best list!

  1. Hashisako
  2. Nakayama
  3. Yamada
  4. Ota
  5. Hibi
  6. Kawano
  7. Eguchi
  8. Ishiguri
  9. Kodama
  10. Sato
  11. Kanatsu
  12. Ono
  13. Okamura
  14. Kitagawa
  15. Kudo
  16. Maeda
  17. Doi
  18. Matsunaga
  19. Nishida
  20. Yamazaki M.
  21. Noguchi
  22. Takase
  23. Yonemura
  24. Shimakura
  25. Kiyono
  26. Danbara
  27. Kawamura
  28. Ichioka
  29. Inoue
  30. Yamazaki Y.
  31. Horie
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Haruka Kudo to graduate Morning Musume/H!P in the Fall

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Today at Morning Musume 17’s concert, in a shocking announcement, Kudo announced that she’ll be leaving the group and company at the end of the fall tour to persue an acting career.

I have to say I’m pretty bummed since she comes after Zukki’s graduation last year and they both were oshis in the group for me!!  Despite that, I do think she’ll do well after since she’s still quite young (17) and her stageplay appearances have really stood out…Though it begs the question…who’s going to take over the lines in Oh my wish! since both leads are gone?!?

Anyway, I want to enjoy my time left with her and hopefully another single (OR AND ALBUM!) will release before she graduates.

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Most original name for a group? Funny joke UFP!

So on today’s Hello! Station we got an announcement of a new SATOYAMA unit!

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L to R: Moe Kamikokuryo, Ayumi Ishida, Saki Nakajima, Tomoko Kanazawa

Meet our new SATOYAMA unit, Kamiishinaka Kana

What surprised me was just having Kamiko be the one to announce this as if she was the leader of this unit.  Granted, this announcement is slightly weakened by the fact the other 3 have been in previous SATO units (Ayumi in Harvest, Nakky in DIY, HI-FIN, and Kanatomo in ODATOMO.  It also didn’t help that the name of the unit is a bit lazy and kind of mundane (though it makes the acronym KINK seem very interesting!).

Anyway, they will release an event single, “Furusato no Yume” during the SATOYAMA e Ikou! event / Hinafest date).  This unit won’t last too long with Nakky graduating in June, but it’ll be nice to see what the song willbring.

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