At Debut Top L to R: Chinami Tokunaga, Maiha Ishimura, Megumi Murakami, Miyabi Natsuyaki, Erika Umeda, Saki Shimizu, Maimi Yajima, and Momoko Tsugunaga
Bottom L to R: Mai Hagiwara, Risako Sugaya, Chisato Okai, Airi Suzuki, Saki Nakijima, Yurina Kumai, and Maasa Sudo
H!P Kids were 15 VERY young girls who won an audition back in 2002 and well they were kind of the first group that were kind of in-training so to speak. The were seen here and there in various PVs like Gocchin “Te wo Nigitte Arukitai”, a couple of Mikitty’s PVs and their biggest appearance in Momusu’s “Ganbacchae!”. Now some of them had split into small groups as well like 4KIDS, ZYX, and Aa! which got them promoted a little bit more at the time. Then word started to spread that there would be a group for all of them (even though the idea would be scrapped and instead would be led into Momoko, Miyabi, Risako, Yurina, Naasa, Maiha, Saki, and Chinami coming together to form Berryz Koubou in 2004 (which I will do a profile in the future no worries). The other 7 girls would continue to be simply called the H!P Kids until a year later in 2005 when they formed °C-ute (with Kanna Arihara who was an H!P Egg and never was considered a H!P Kid. Time goes on and well three of the original 15 members had left the group: Megumi who went back to a normal life, Maiha the same way, and Erika to go into fashion. Beyond that, the girls are still together today!
Current L to R: Chinami Tokunaga, Saki Shimizu, Mai Hagiwara, Momoko Tsugunaga, Maimi Yajima, Miyabi Natsuyaki, Airi Suzuki, Risako Sugaya, Saki Nakajima, Yurina Kumai, Chisato Okai, Maasa Sudo
It would be quite a while before we see the 12 of them come together again since they were VERY busy with their own groups and sub-groups but in 2011 we see them coming together once more for their 1st release together, “Amazuppai Haru ni Sakura Saku” and another “Chou HAPPY SONG” in 2012. It was a great dream to come true seeing everyone together again. Plus, it doesn’t seem like either Berryz nor °C-ute is slowing down yet (even though they are at the point where the girls are getting a little bit too old. Who knows….
Style of Music: Sad it took them about 7-8 years before they would release a single as the full group so there’s not much to their style besides being happy idol music. Plus there’s really only two tracks credited to both groups simultaneously so I can’t say too much here. Amazuppai Haru ni Sakura Saku is upbeat but your plain idol track while Chou HAPPY SONG is well a strange mashup of a Berryz & °C-ute song….so what can I say?
- Amazuppai Haru ni Sakura Saku
- Chou HAPPY SONG
This is Chou HAPPY SONG which of course was released earlier this year and boy did this have longevity and popularity. I liked that this was pretty big and I’m pretty sure both groups were as well. Also, this song and PV showed how close the girls are (then again for how long they’ve been singing in H!P together (and seperately) it’s an awesome sight!
Favorite Song (one or the other basically XD)
- Chou HAPPY SONG
Other Things to Mention
I’ve said this above already, but Kanna Arihara is NOT a part of this since she was originally a H!P Egg that got promoted when °C-ute was created.
They aren’t called H!P Kids anymore because of obvious reasons and since they go by the signature group as well. No surprise there.
Overall: When I think of H!P’s legacy and timeline, I think with the addition of these 15 young girls marks a turning point. You know going from all these already matured vocals (like T&C Bomber, and all the Musume groups) they needed youth and something they can work with and manipulate and these 15 girls really marked what was going to happen. Though I have to say it negatively that after this point the talents kind of start to lessen (I know I’ll get flak….but it just feels like the awesome talent from the beginning up to now has been GOOOOLD, and then everything after the Kids joined seemed to go down a bit. Still I really like these girls (though it would’ve been great if Megumi, Maiha, and Erika had stayed…)