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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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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Half Year Roundup!

So it’s the beginning of June basically so it’s time to do a well…halftime report for what’s been going on with all the groups!

Morning Musume ’16

So the year began basically from the onslaught of change from the group releasing “Tsumetai Kaze to Kataomoi / ENDLESS SKY / One and Only two days before the year began and Riho Sayashi graduating on the final hours of 2015.  Though it didn’t quite end there with Kanon Suzuki announcing her graduation in February. From that we would get her final single “Utakata Saturday Night! / The Vision / Tokyo to Iu Katasumi” (and a vinyl of their previous single) to celebrate her time with the group before she bids adieu at the end of May.

C-ute

Like Momusu, the group was riding off the wave from their 9th album released at the tail end of 2015 before returning in April for the first single of the year with “Naze Hito wa Arasoun Darou? / Summer Wind / Jinsei wa STEP!”which turned out to be really nice before Chisato at the end of May announced a small hiatus due to her having voice nodules (which she’s going to have surgery to deal with).

ANGERME

With the looming announcement in 2015 from Meimi announcing her graduation, we had little time to have a sendoff for her and to introduce everyone to the group’s new member Moe Kamikokuryo.  It took a while but we did get the single announcement and release date for April with the single “Tsugitsugi Zokuzoku / Itoshima Distance / Koi Nara Tokku ni Hajimatteru”.  With Meimi graduating a day before Zukki, it’s going to be a draining day for wota!

Juice=Juice

The group this year so far has been a little more active but its been set back for some odd things.  First, Tomoko announced a short break to deal with her endometriosis, but powered on their LOOOONG tour and their drama, Budokan.  The group themselves released a single (currently the only double A-side of the year so far) with “Next is you! / Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai” and then slid a digital single out with “Otona no Jijou”.  3 songs? Not bad.

Country Girls

A lot of people were excited to see what CG was going to release with two new members in the group (Funaki and Yanagawa) and they released their single “Boogie Woogie LOVE / Koi wa Magnet / Ranrarun ~Anata ni Muchuu” to good expectations and then an OST mini-album for their stageplay “Kizetsu Suru Hodo Aishiteru!”.  Though all that culminated to an announcement that Manakan was going on hiatus for the summer as she had a return of her asthma.

Kobushi Factory

Kobushi I would say had a regular year so far.  The only big thing that happened was that the group released their 2nd major single “Sakura Night Fever / Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsu Moushin / Osu! Kobushi Tamashii” to a surprisingly favorable crowd!

Tsubaki Factory

On the other hand, I feel like Tsubaki had a LOT of presence so far this year.  Starting the year off with their 2nd indies single “Kedakaku Sakihokore!” an expansion OST of their “Thank you Very Berry” stageplay AND their first mini-album in May (“Tsubaki Factory SOUND + VISION Vol. 1”), and some appearances with Country Girls’ stageplay, I feel like the push is pretty suregoing here.

Kenshuusei

Well the 6 months for the KSS has been lighter than normal.  We did get 5 new members in Kotomi Ono, Kurumi Noguchi, Kirara Yonemura, Sakiko Kodama, and Momohime Kiyono.  Also Miu Takemura had finished her training.  Beyond that, they had their test and there were 4 winners: Akiyama, Inoue, Kasahara, and Kiyono.

 

====FUTURE===

Momusu does have a song with no release yet in “Watashi no Nanni mo Wakacchanai” since it’s first appearance last year, it’s probably going through multiple edits (especially since now Riho and Zukki aren’t in the group).  Also we’re due for the announcement of the 13th Gen sometime soon, though after Zukki’s last performance, it was announced that no one and that it will be held again at a later date.

Country Girls have 4 songs unreleased: “Kiss Yori Saki ni Dekiru Koto”, “Mousou Rehearsal”, “VIVA!! Barairo no Jinsei”, and “Rhythm ga Yonde Iru zo!” while the first two was explained because Musubu and Nanami joined and they had to pull it back, the other two were just recently performed but no announcement of a single?

Juice=Juice recently performed a new track titled “Jouro” but that’s about it that’s really known.

Kobushi is the first group to announce their 2nd single of the year. The first two tracks are titled as “Bacchikoi Seishun!” and “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro” with the 3rd single being told is a cover of an old anime them for this year’s Idol Matsuri.  Most think it’s “Suki Suki Song”, but it’s not confirmed.  HOWEVER, they also performed a song before the single’s announcement titled “TEKI” but nothing else is known beyond that well other than Tsuno Maisa was involved.

Tsubaki Factory performed a new song in the Moritaka classic “Watashi ga Obasan ni Nattemo” and that’s not surprising as they’ve covered “17sai”.  Not much else is known.

The Kenshuusei’s only news is that there’s a new song about to be performed in a couple days!  Which turns out to be named “Hello! Massara no Jibun”

Momusu, C-ute, and ANGERME are releasing vinyls of their released singles…all receiving a remix.

Rumors are floating that Buono! might release new music to hype up for their performance at Budokan, but that’s just about it.  Though Miyabi’s audition finished up and there were two winners: Yuuka Nihei and Hikaru Kobayashi…despite not having  group name, they’ll be interesting to see as they are both set to debut at the Buono! concert.

 

BASICALLY! TOO MANY UNRELEASED SONGS

 

 

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2016’s Kenshuusei Shindan Test!

Looks like it’s that time of the year again where the Kenshuusei have a pretty big test and hope to win.  Unlike last year’s mega amount of changes, this year it feels quite different as only four members left (which 2 were Yanagawa & Funaki and the other 2 I’ll talk about at the bottom) and we gained 5 new members.

Also like last year, Tsubaki managed to perform a new song, another Chisato Moritaka song, this time “Watashi ga Obasan ni Nattemo”.  Though beyond that, let’s see what the trainees brought to the table, shall we?

Mao Akiyama

Song of Choice: Karada Dake ga Otona ni Nattan ja nai

Wow, kicking the test off is the song that’s the most recent of the bunch from Juice=Juice.  Honestly, I really like how Akiyama tries out these harder songs (and more recent tunes) for sure.  After struggling with her “The Power” last year, I was surprised at how much better she got with this song.  She does sound like she’s yelling a lot of it, but she’s quite confident in it so, I ended enjoying it a little more than expected.

Kurumi Takase

Song of Choice: Moonlight night ~Tsukiyo no Ban da yo~

Being one of the sheer favorites last year, I was surprised she chose the album opener from Momusu’s 10th album to tackle.  It seems she was trying to mimic the various members through the track, especially the Sayumi/Linlin line in the original.  For as fascinating as it was, I didn’t think Kurumi did as well as she did with “Senobi” as she somehow faded towards the end…but she’s still in the higher tier vocally within the group.

Kotomi Ono

Song of Choice: Akai Freesia

Being the first of the newcomers, Kotomi sure picked a well-known track for newbies in Melon’s Akai Freesia.  I will say, her voice is kind of a hard listen (almost slightly akin to Yumei’s).  I also could tell she was quite nervous and slightly monotone and couldn’t keep up with the melody very well.  A lot of training will have to happen as she has potential, but it’s really difficult to see where that point is currently

Hikaru Inoue

Song of Choice: Sayonara Usotsuki na Watashi

Seems that Hikarun really likes Berryz (she’s done Otona na no yo! and now another sing in the same year essentially.  Also after showing how much she’s gotten through last years “Nakimushi Shounen”, I was very excited to see how she tackled this track.  There’s really nothing to say, she impressed me once again with a more difficult track here.  I mean she’s getting vibrato which is a plus! The only thing she messed up on is holding out loud notes, but beyond that…still one of the best performances!

Sakiko Kodama

Song of Choice: Yumemiru Fifteen

Wow, I’m surprised Sakiko got the crowd going and she’s new like WHOA!  It’s funny how her voice suited the song almost snuggly with her voice.  She’s still sort of green as she forgets lyrics here and there and her voice loses energy through various areas (those high notes she’s able to hit unlike when Minami Nomura did this song a couple years back).  I’m interested on where she goes in the program for sure!

Kurumi Noguchi

Song of Choice: Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe

From the new KSS, I was surprised Noguchi would chose to do a slightly more mature song tackling this song from Momusu ’14.  For me, she definitely sounded nervous which effected a lot of the first half of the performance, but once the song hit the louder areas, she was more comfortable.  She has a lot of potential, but needs to learn a little more control in loud parts, but she’s pleasant to hear.

Kaede Kaga

Song of Choice: KoiING

On the flipside, one of the eldest of the KSS currently, Kaedii decided to switch things up and tackled a ballad (where in the past she had more energetic songs).  I have to say, her voice sounded different here than whenever she sings loud songs which might excite fans of hers.  For me, her voice sounded too different, but she managed to sing it with passion and is more impressive than I thought.

Kokoro Maeda

Song of Choice: SHOCK!

After last year doing “Suki na Senpai”, I was hoping for more from her and she’s gradually rising in the ranks so I was excited to hear this.  She’s getting better that’s for sure and her take on SHOCK! is something I wasn’t expecting.  She still has some kinks in performing, but her singing loud is bringing more yays than quiet parts (plus she needs to keep close to the mic there >.>).  Also being nervous from how well Kaga did was so awwwws.  She’s improved so much!

Momona Kasahara

Song of Choice: Itoshiku Kurushii Kono Yoru ni

I think this gal really likes Eri Kamei because it’s a second year in a row where she did a song connected to her (last year was “Haru Beautiful Everyday”.  Unlike last year though, Momona sounds a lot more confident and doesn’t sound flat and lifeless which is great for her!  Definitely an improvement was made here for the better!

Saori Onoda

Song of Choice: Watarasebashi

Saori once again choosing to do an Ayaya song?  Unlike her powerful performance of “GOOD BYE Natsuo” last year, she decided to go for a ballad here!  I was always impressed by the things she’s done so far and it shows because she sounds delightful and has a nice voice for the track but wait…she has a recorder solo?!?  How surprising, yet cute of her to pull off…one of my favorites!

Kirara Yonemura

Song of Choice: The Matenrou Show

One of the youngest additions out of the 5 newbies, Kirara as cute as she is decided to tackle a song that’s a bit slightly mature for her, but with the disco vibes going on.  I actually thought she was decent and managed to keep up with the song and notes quite well.  The problem is while she did great in those aspects, the power in her voice is still noticeably weaker so the song sounded thin.  More training can easily fix this I hope, but as a first timer, she was surprisingly good.

Ruru Danbara

Song of Choice: Hatsukoi Cider

I mean it’s Ruru, where can you go wrong with this gal?  Tackling one of the more fun Buono! songs, Hatsukoi Cider was an easy choice for her to tackle.  I do think she’s being a little bit shouty, but it’s a lot more tamed than the last couple of years she’s had songs that asked for power.  Not much else to really say though, Ruru is still one of the best vocalists in the KSS.

Kizuki Horie

Song of Choice: Kiss me Aishiteru

Horie just knows the songs I love and now kicked it with a C-ute song and she delivers again a powerful and lovely performance of this energetic song.  I feel like she was trying to mimic some members, but I liked her versatility.  I have to say, there really was nothing wrong with this performance, just straight up one of the vocally best of the evening for sure!

Rion Nakano

Song of Choice: Yattaruchan

So last year, Rion did “Yuugure Koi no Jikan” and all I could think of was how nervous she was singing and now this year with Yattaruchan, her confidence is leaps and bounds and she was just having fun with the tune.  However, not all was golden because her trying to tackle this song is difficult (especially having problems during Meimi’s big solo line).  Though the cute side of things was done well…maybe I would’ve focused on a song with note movement…but this was an improvement for her.

Yumei Yokogawa

Song of Choice: Momoiro Kataomoi

I already knew going into this that it as going to be the hardest song to listen to, but I hate to say, but, Yumei has slightly improved from last years mess.  Her voice is still struggling to find its place and it’s distracting, but she’s managed to have bits of good moments, despite taking baby steps…it feels like the training is SLOWLY starting to work its way through I feel like…I just hope it moves faster…

Momoko Shimano

Song of Choice: Crazy Kanzen na Otona

Moving from “Suki-chan” last year to this sexy song from our NGP girl, Shimano was trying to impress with a song I love.  I feel like she was trying to sing quieter than the track so hearing her was a little struggle.  I do feel like she sung a smidge better, but I feel her diving into notes to be a little maddening.  It’s not bad, but still needs work.

Nagisa Hashimoto

Song of Choice: Daite yo! PLEASE GO ON

Last time this was performed in a Shindan Test, it was the first one where Rie Kaneko.  When it comes to Nagisa’s performance, I was surprised she was doing worse than she did in her “FOREVER LOVE” of last year.  She actually was off-tempo and her voice was breaking here and there (though it sounded like she was heavily dancing so it might excuse some things).  Not bad, but not as great as last year.

Mizuho Ono

Song of Choice: Romantic Ukare Mode

In last years test, I felt like of the newbies then, I felt Mizuho was the best of the 7 introduced and was curious to where she stood this year since others had started to blossom.  Covering a Mikitty song, I was excited to see how it’d turn out and my first thought was that Mizuho sounded a little like Chisato here and there :0  She handled the song well and she’s gaining power in her voice which is a plus too.  Great performance!

Mizuki Kanatsu

Song of Choice: Inspiration!

I definitely remember Kanatsu singing in last years test with the strange decision of tackling “Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai”.  It seems she did it again choosing a B-side from “Renai Revolution 21”.  Her voice comes off light and airy so unfortunately it doesn’t suit the funk-based track very much.  I feel like she’s grown a little bit, but she needs to learn to be consistent in volume (or handling the mic), but I love the little vibratos she puts in…cute to say the least!

Reina Ichioka

Song of Choice: Glass no Pumps

Then we have the other elder of the Kenshuusei and Reina having Glass no Pumps is interesting to say the least.  While I do admit she’s improving every year, this year with Glass no Pumps, she did sound like she was struggling with breathing control and trying to come off sexy but ending up getting off kilter.  Not her best performance…

Momohime Kiyono

Song of Choice: Tsumetai to Kaze Kataomoi

Ending the test, we have our last of the new batch of KSS and Momohime was given this song, Riho’s farewell A-side.  When I first her speak, I was like oh god this could be the worst performance.  HOWEVER, once she started singing, it was like a slap in the face.  She managed to sound amazing (except for the falsetto note at the end of the chorus).  While it might not be the best performance, it’s the most unexpected of the bunch

==================================================================

HERE’S THE RESULTS

BEST DANCING: Akiyama (Since we probably won’t get visuals until H!S next week, I’ll just take their word for it, but the first performance winning this is shocking!)

BEST SINGING: Takase (I mean, she was top billing as it is, but seeing her win over others like Onoda, Horie, and Kaga…quite alarming to say the least, but still Congratulations!

JURY AWARD: Inoue (last year, Inoue won a special award from Captain and she was part of the jury this year.  I mean it should count for something…I’m not sure of the specifications of how/why she got the award, but yay for Hikarun!!

BEST PERFORMANCE: Kiyono & Kasahara (Runner-up: Takase) – Now I hate to be that blunt, but I definitely couldn’t see how Kasahara won this at all as she was more run-of-the-mill more than anything compared to most other performances…at least with Momohime, it was down right impressive doing that song.  Though kudos for Takase managing 3rd in all this.

============================================================

So here’s my personal best performance to worst!

1. Horie
2. Onoda
3. Inoue
4. Kaga
5. Takase
6. Danbara
7. Akiyama
8. Ono M.
9. Kiyono
10. Noguchi
11. Maeda
12. Kasahara
13. Ichioka
14. Kodama
15. Yonemura
16. Hashimoto
17. Shimano
18. Kanatsu
19. Nakano
20. Ono K.
21. Yokogawa

okamototakemura

I guess it should be mentioned, since I haven’t written news about it, but both Okamoto and Takemura had finished their training (although I feel like Honoka didn’t even DO any training as she went AWOL for most of 2015 before she left and Takemura was the last of her Generation (herself, Kana Saito and ANGERME member, Maho Aikawa).  Miu never stuck out to me, so it wasn’t too big a loss for me…but either way…letting you all know!

 

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Did they have a good graduation? PART 1: The First Generation

So I’m stating a new, short series about Morning Musume’s ladies and whether they had decent graduation singles or not as it’s been documented quite a bit that certain members had better songs to leave over other members and such, so I though I would judge that by the obvious facts and by their music (though I’ll be going from the A-side (or A-sides), its PV (or PVs), and B-side (B-sides).  The first post will be about the first 5 members of Momusu so let’s dive in and check them out!!!

Asuka Fukuda – Memory Seishun no Hikari

fukuda

Yup, Asuka will always be known as the first member to graduate from the group and it feels like she’s the only one who really didn’t care for it all and just had negative emotions coming out of it when she returned to the public eye…as such, she did have an important factor being the first to least

memoryseishun

A-side: When it comes to the A-side, we were going through a shift of group power with Natsumi becoming the leading voice of the group.  So when Memory Seishun no Hikari came out, it didn’t really feel like it focused very much on Asuka.  It was also a switch to a stronger urban R&B setting so it wasn’t something Momusu was used to at the time.  However, looking at the color-coded lyrics, Asuka did have the most solo lines which is absurd seeing that it’s only 3 lines in length as the rest of the song was a whole lot of melodies, and Nacchi/Kaorin solos.

PV: I think the PV did it worse because there was a LOT of Natsumi shots in the song and on a lesser amount, Kaori here (and the 3 bros dancing xd).  Though on Asuka’s lines she’s there for it, but if I didn’t know she was leaving, I would call it usual business.  Not even the ending really hints at this happening either.

B-sides: 

Happy Night: Now the first B-side was Happy Night and it doesn’t seem to feature anything prominent for Asuka, instead focusing more on the other members (Sayaka & Kei pretty much).  Hell, she’s only there for choruses and some of the pre-chorus…oh well

Never Forget: However, Tsunku did manage to surprise us when we got a 2nd B-side (a first for Momusu) and even more awesome, it was a solo track for Asuka!  I mean it’s such a good sendoff and Asuka really gave it her all for this so it made up for the lack of importance in the rest of the single.

OVERALL: I would say the one that started the trend for graduation singles in Momusu, Memory Seishun no Hikari was a good single despite most of it wasn’t surrounding her except Never Forget which was surprising yet awesome to see.  I’d say she’s on the top of the list, so let’s see how the other 4 fared

Aya Ishiguro – LOVE Machine

ishiguro

Here we are at Ayappe as she would be the 2nd member to leave the group, oddly enough at a time where Morning Musume was being risky after choosing one new member to join the group (Maki Goto).  While I never really understood why’d she’d leave after LOVE Machine became the huge thing it had become…I wonder what it left us to remember her by…

lovemachine

A-side: For such a song that left its mark in J-pop history, when I first heard it, I knew it was where Maki started but never knew was also a graduation single for Aya and sadly wouldn’t have known that until I looked into the single’s history.  Poor Ayappe got sidelined for this song as she has ONE solo line in the track.  Her ~akarui~ line though somehow sticks out in my mind.  Really though, the single was really more focused on Maki’s first appearance more than Ayappe’s final single.

PV: The PV is almost the same exact way, although we see everyone in a lot of shots including Aya herself, Gocchin was the focus for most of it which while disappointing is somewhat understandable.  Could have fooled me though that Aya was leaving.

B-side: 21seiki – I hate to say though, its B-side, 21seiki did nothing for Aya in anyway as the song is sung entirely in unison.  The song itself is kind of slow-paced as well so I’m just kind of like…this could’ve EASILY been a Aya solo to be honest.

OVERALL: Compared to Asuka, Aya got shafted for her final single and that’s partially possibly due to Maki’s introduction to the group.  Still for being one of the most recognized songs in Japan, many people tend to forget that Aya left through this single and honestly there’s no hint of it here so she’s definitely below Asuka in how H!P handled it.

Yuko Nakazawa – Renai Revolution 21

nakazawa

Next up is the de-facto first leader of the group Yuko who graduated 4th (after Sayaka) due to her well coming to the fact that new blood was joining the group and she wouldn’t be able to keep up with the youthful energy in the dances and such…so let’s see what this song has!

renairevolution

A-side: With the 4th Generation becoming more comfortable in the group, it feels like they were starting to get pushed as members alongside Maki who was still at this point a major figure in the group.  With Yuko in the song she got two solo lines which is one more over Aya ironically lol.  Still, not a lot of importance here

PV: The PV did show a lot of Yuko in comparison to past PVs (except maybe “Koi no Dance Site”) but I think everyone got the same amount of view time though (except Maki obviously).  So really, not much of a focus or notification that Yuko was leaving the group.

B-side: Inspiration! – I do think that Yuko might’ve been better represented, but with Inspiration! just about everyone else gets a solo line, though it’s still better than nothing.

OVERALL: I would say Yuko would be on the lower half of things as her final single didn’t really show that she was leaving, nor I don’t think she needed it because of the fact she had an ongoing solo career as well in Hello! Project so I mean, she wasn’t going too far away…

Natsumi Abe – Ai Araba IT’S ALL RIGHT

abe

Ah, the eternal youth member, I feel like Nacchi could’ve gone farther if not for the solo career she got before she graduated.  Nacchi left during a really busy time for Momusu (who had just added another generation for their biggest iteration of the group’s history).  Really though it as impressive but was Natsumi given any special moments in the single?

aiaraba

A-side: I think I’m seeing a similar pattern here after Yuko with the fact that there wasn’t a whole lot of spotlight for Nacchi.  I mean yeah she had a pretty lengthy solo in the first prechorus, but considering that Natsumi has always been a leading voice in the group, this isn’t a new subject of matter.

PV: With everyone wearin the same outfits for the most part, I feel like there was no true focus on anyone more or less Nacchi.  Though she was up front in the dance quite a lot which might be the smile light shining for her graduation.  Plus the older members surrounding her during her solo is also quite nice for her as little as it may be.

B-side: Dekiru Onna – Unfortunately it doesn’t bode very well for the B-side here as the only solo lines were given to Mikitty, Charmy, Ai-chan, and Aibon.  The only times you hear Nacchi is her lines alongside Kaori and Mari which is only a seldom couple times unfortunately.

OVERALL: When it comes to Nacchi’s final single, I think she did less than Yuko did when she graduated honestly.  Likewise, I assume because of the solo career Natsumi had she wasn’t given anything special because well she’d still be in Hello! Project for the time being.

Kaori Iida – The MANPOWER!!!

iida

Then we come to the last of the original 5 to graduate, I knew that it was going to be a huge deal because it was the last of the original members that started the group up.  Really was surprised though her final A-side would be tied to a baseball team, but hey keeping it original I suppose.

themanpower

A-side: Talking about the song, Kaori had only two solo lines and one is kind of in front of other girls singing which is eh expected.  I hate to say though, she really didn’t pop out anywhere else in the song.

PV: I have to mention though that the main PV chosen sucked SO MUCH because it was just the dance-shot meaning there was no focus on anyone in particular especially none for Kaori unless she went to the front line of the dance.  However, things played out a little better in the Another Edition version of the PV.  While she still doesn’t take center stage, she is seen with Yaguchi a lot (as they were the eldest members by generation).  Not as prominent especially for being the last of her generation but whatever lol.

B-side: Love & Peace! HERO ga Yattakita. – Ouch, after listening to this song, I was surprised that everyone BUT Kaori got a solo line in this track…I mean, I wasn’t sure why but that’s a bit cold-shouldered.  Eh…

OVERALL: You’d think as being the final 1st Gen member, you’d get something special for your final single, but Kaori kind of fell to the wayside and like didn’t even exist in its B-side, but like Natsumi and Yuko, she also had a solo career so the loss or lack of importance in the single wasn’t too rocky or bad for that matter.

  • Asuka Fukuda
  • Yuko Nakazawa
  • Natsumi Abe
  • Kaori Iida
  • Aya Ishiguro

That’s pretty much the standings so far and I’m quite surprised that the member that left first got the best treatment of a graduation single than ones who stayed the longest (though on the flipside of that coin 3/5 didn’t really need much spotlight as they had other opportunities to shine).

Next time, we’ll dive into the 2nd and 3rd Gen and hopefully it’ll shake up the standings a little bit more!

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Half of the year has gone by, SHORT BASIC LOOK!

So since it’s June and meaning nearly half the year has gone by already (wow that’s fast…I wanna get my feelings out for all the happenings since then!

Morning Musume ’15

Honestly, as the flagship group, I was hoping they’d continue to strengthen (even after gaining four members and argubly losing Sayu).  Their first single with the new 12th Generation, “Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru / Yuugure wa Ameagari / Ima Koko Kara“, was for the most part kind of disappointing.  With all the hubbub about the whole Zukki/Karin situation, the Precure tie-in and the lack of 12th Gen in particular, this single was a bit of a mess.  Though I personally would keep Shuhei as a director for future PVs…he’s got a lot of potential in his works.  As for the group, there’s been talks of another J-MELO tune is in the works and hopefully Zukki will be in the PVs this time around!

Berryz Koubou

Well, it just seems like Berryz just ultimately called it a day after “Kanjuku Berryz Koubou The Final Selection Box” and just went into silence almost immediately.  Though it’s nice to see that Momoko, Yurina, Chinami, Saki, Maasa, and Miyabi kept their heads above water and we still see them regularly (Momoko in Country Girls, Yurina’s blog, Chinami and Saki as H!P advisors, Maasa in stageplays, and Miyabi in H!P’s new YouTube show, GREEN ROOM.  Nothing too much has come from Risako though, but I’m sure she’ll pop up somewhere.

°C-ute

I suppose that the announcement of their 10th anniversary single, “The Middle Management ~Josei Chuukan Kanrishoku~ / GamushaLIFE / Tsugi no Kado wo Magare” was going to happen whether we liked it or not.  Beyond that, they’ve kind of kept hush about things, but I think it’s a safe bet we’ll be continuing to see them during the Summer tour.

ANGERME

After the announcement of the re-branding of the group and adding the 3rd Gen, ANGERME is going through their awkward transitioning, but managed to release a strong single in “Taikibansei / Otome no Gyakushuu“. Though I’m surprised at the lack of focus on Rikako and Maho (the former simply because she was a very popular KSS member).  After the promotions ended, we got an announcement of Kanon to graduate near the end of the year, I’m sure that means we’ll have her for a couple more singles.

Juice=Juice

Wow, they’ve had a pretty filled year so far!  I mean they released their “Koisuru Hello Kitty” DVD and it came with a MUCH bigger tracklist than the mini-album that came out in 2014.  Then they released “Wonderful World / Ça va? Ça va?” before announcing an album set to release in July…talk about a long time coming >.>

Country Girls

Disregarding the fact they ditched their indies debut, Country Girls debuted quite strongly with “Itooshikutte Gomen ne / Koi Dorobo” by giving us a break from the EDM tracks and showing off their cuter side.  I actually don’t mind Momoko much in the group as she’s not exactly the main member (seems like Shimomura, Morito, and Ozeki are the current aces).  It’s a refreshing group for sure and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Kobushi Factory

After a surprising announcement at the beginning of the year, Kobushi Factory had an interesting debut by having half their single being a legit debut and the other tied into their stageplay.  “Nen ni wa Nen / Survivor” was a really cool debut for the group and ever since its release the group has performed it better and better (though I wish they’d perform Survivor more honestly).

Tsubaki Factory

An even bigger surprise was the announcement for Tsubaki Factory.  They don’t have any releases yet and the only song they’ve performed is a cover of Chisato Moritaka’s “17sai“.  Otherwise, not much has happened besides getting member colors (as did Kobushi).

Hello! Pro Kenshuusei

So it seems with the loss from the additions to Momusu ’15, ANGERME, Country Girls, Kobushi Factory, and Tsubaki Factory there really wasn’t a whole lot left and it didn’t help that Kana Mikame and Kana Saito both left the company, but at least we bounced back with 8 new members.  Besides having their first album officially released, nothing major really has happened otherwise from what I said above.

===FUTURE===

It sounds like there’s already future releases happening.

MM’15 is releasing a single (supposedly) on August 19th. The only thing that I think is going to be on it is possibly that J-MELO song they’re working on…beyond that, I hope there’s some 12th Gen love here as there really wasn’t (musically) on the last single.

ANGERME will release their next single. “Nana Korobi Ya Oki / Gashinshoutan / Mahou Tsukai Sally” on 7/22 and interesting enough the first track lacks vocals from Fukuda, Katsuta, and Sasaki, the second track have a little more even line distribution and the final track (a cover of a classic shoujo anime theme) features the 3rd gen profusely.  With the announcement of Kanon’s graduation looming I’m doubting this is the final single to include her.

Juice=Juice will be releasing their first studio album, “First Squeeze!” on 7/15 and it includes two discs on most editions while one of them will have a 3rd cover disc.  Sounds like it’ll include the singles they’ve released since debut (whether if they’ll stick on their indies tracks or not is up in the air).  The 2nd disc sounds like it’ll be new songs as there have been performances of new songs like Erabareshi Watashitachi, Tick-Tock Watashi no Shun, Tsuzuiteiku STORY, and their Taiyou to Ciscomoon cover of Magic of Love.  I’m rather excited since it’s a big release (bigger than most H!P albums).

Country Girls is planning their next single, “Wakatte Iru no ni Gomen ne / Tamerai Summer Time” for 8/5. I’m rather excited to see what’ll be up their sleeves for their 2nd single.

We still haven’t had Tsubaki Factory’s first single and it’s starting to point towards having “17sai” being a part of their debut (since H!P is loving this double/triple A-side business recently).

There’s also current auditions from Hokkaido, whether or not it’s for a new group is to be seen.  Also Chinami and Miyabi are looking for members to create a group as well…so could we be getting a MAJOR influx of groups?

I’m just excited for this 2nd wave of H!P.

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2015’s Kenshuusei Test Recital Test!

Welcome to the 3rd annual Kenshuusei Recitals! A lot has changed from last year (basically everyone but 6 members: Kaga, Ichioka, Inoue, Danbara, Yokogawa, and Funaki had either become members of groups or left the program).  Talk about a huge wave of differences but we have a GIANT list of new girls to actually listen to this time around.  So let’s get to it shall we?

oh BTW, Kobushi and Tsubaki Factory performed (the latter covered a Chisato Moritaka song, “17sai”.

Hikaru Inoue

Song of Choice: Nakamushi Shounen (2010 mix version)

As the first girl to perform, I wasn’t expecting Hikarun to sound as amazing as she did (honestly, this is so similar to Karen Tanaka (though we’ve seen Hikaru actually train to become better and it’s paid off in spades).  I was surprised she did choose the updated version of Nakamushi Shounen, but it really worked out as her voice suited the rockin’ atmosphere and she just gave it her all…Probably my favorite performance of the recital!

Honoka Okamoto

Song of Choice: Be Genki <Naseba Naru!>

One of the new members (and the youngest of them), Honoka chose a pretty interesting Berryz song to perform.  Sadly, I think for her being just 11 years old, her performance definitely wasn’t the greatest, luckily she’s got a lot of time to learn and become a better singer overall.  Though I will say, her tone, timing, and note-hitting was rather all over the place.  Really, maybe someone should’ve said this song might’ve been a bit too difficult…>.>

Momona Kasahara

Song of Choice: Haru Beautiful Everyday

Covering the Eri/Aika duet from “SEXY 8 BEAT”, this was another song choice I wasn’t expecting from a new Kenshuusei here but there it is.  To me, Momona’s voice was a bit flat throughout the track and her holding notes made it somewhat worse in the long run.  Better than Honoka, but her voice was quite strained through her performance.

Ruru Danbara

Song of Choice: GOOD BYE Natsuo

Ahhh, the strong singer and winner of last year’s test, Danbara came back in a fury by performing one of my favorite Aya Matsuura tracks.  Honestly, despite having some shouty parts and some parts where he voice cuts because of what I think is from dancing, Ruru pulled off the song very well and the chorus was powerful (especially at those certain parts where it’s high and powerful).  She’s definitely still a powerhouse and an impressive singer.

Kizuki Horie

Song of Choice: Shabondama

I know she was already in a PV this year, “Tsugi no Kado wo Magare”, I was curious to what these ex-NGP girls were capable of and we’ve seen it so far from Rei Inoue and Ayaka Hirose so I was definitely expecting some firepower.  Though with a song like Shabondama, it made me so curious!  I have to say, Kizuki pulled it off with flying colors (maybe the grunting was a bit much) but she was on point through most of the song (the ad-libs are prolly the weakest parts, actually).

Saori Onoda

Song of Choice: GOOD BYE Natsuo

A girl I was quite curious about (I was also with Ami Tanimoto and Kiki Asakura but both became Tsubaki Factory members).  Also choosing to perform GOOD BYE Natsuo, I was worried she wouldn’t quite stack up against Danbara who for all purposes is a fantastic singer.  So I was happy to hear that Onoda kept up as well.  In some ways she was better than Ruru, but other times not so much.  Saori’s voice a little deeper too so it worked in her favor in the verses, though the chorus was a weakpoint.

Nanami Yanagawa

Song of Choice: Romance no Tochuu

Another brand new KSS member, Yanagawa chose a more recent entry, Juice=Juice’s major debut tune.  Since I have no idea what to expect out of this gal, I was wondering if it was good or not.  To me, she’s a bit loose on her vocals but there are times where I find myself hearing Karin in her voice (though there are times where she sounds younger too).  There’s a lot of potential here and with some work she could pull the Karin voice (plus, I did chuckle when she tried to do Sayuki’s dive notes before the chorus).  Not too bad, but potential is there!

Momoko Shimano

Song of Choice: Suki-chan

I’ve had my share of curious of worries for Shimano and performing Suki-chan wasn’t exactly helping.  Shimano’s performance was OK, I was surprised more at the fact that her voice is more on the cuter side of things, but sadly it didn’t feel like she felt confident enough for this song (which is probably why I also felt that it was slightly one of the weaker performances too).  Maybe a song of a lower range would fit her better.

Nagisa Hashimoto

Song of Choice: FOREVER LOVE

Hey! Someone that performed a C-ute song here.  As the eldest KSS, I had high hopes for her also because she was an NGP KSS.  Honestly, her performance is alright if not slightly messy and not tight like I was expecting.  I mean she also has a lot of potential because she hits some clearly epic spots, but that’s surrounded by quite a lot of missed notes too.  People have said it’s a bit disheartening because of her age and this could be the final axe (but I hope not, she seems so mature and reminds me of Maimi).

Yumei Yokogawa

Song of Choice: Motto Zutto Issho ni Itakatta

As one of the worst performances last year, I was hoping that Yumei would get better and after her mehness of “Bagel ni Ham & Cheese”, I was surprised she chose a more raw song from Berryz.  Unfortunately, while she has improved slightly, she is still one of the worst of the KSS.  Her voice this time was so nasal and she really couldn’t stay on most notes (though the fact she tried to use vibrato is risky even for her).  Yeah…sadly once again a pretty poor performance (she’s still a stunner though).

Kaede Kaga

Song of Choice: Love take it all

Kaedy comes next with her performance of Love take it all and I thought that was a shockingly advanced choice for her but hey I have to say for being one of the most popular KSS.  Her take on Love take it all is pretty strong though I feel like she’s shouting a lot through the song, but she has an unwavering power about that really shows her skills.  Honestly, this was a pretty great offering (a lot better than last year’s “FIRST KISS” performance).

Rion Nakano

Song of Choice: Yuugure Koi no Jikan

Another new member, Rion’s choice to do the kind of cutesy album song from S/mileage was interesting.  Though I have to say, Rion’s performance was a bit all over the place.  I also heard a LOT of nervousness in her voice as it was wavering all over as well.  Though she did slightly get better in the chorus (plus the high note quips are cute too).  I think once she gets over those hurdles and strengthen her voice better, Nakano could have a very adorable voice on her (such a baby voice!).

Kurumi Takase

Song of Choice: Senobi

I still think being the lone addition of her generation, Kurumi chose a STRONG Juice=Juice song to perform and she aced it almost perfectly.  She’s got a strong voice and her vibrato sounds really nice to listen to as well.  There were some shaky spots, but Senobi was a great choice for her and shown off her potential (plus it helps with being in an indies idol group prior as well).

Miu Takemura

Song of Choice: Dream Last Train

Interesting choice of picking a SATOYAMA song to perform (more or less Triplet’s song).  Considering the song’s melody used more of a lower tone, Takemura tried to match it as well and she didn’t do half-bad (the lower notes were a challenge and she lost rhythm in a few spots) and it kind of lost fire the longer it went.  I think with some more training, she could fix these problems up easily.  Not the best, but definitely not the worst.

Reina Ichioka

Song of Choice: Nakimushi Shounen (2010 mix version)

So Reina chose the same song Hikarun opened this test up with?  Interesting!  I can’t help it, but Hikarun performed better than Ichioka sadly though she’s gotten better as a singer as well (reminds me of someone with a stronger lower tone).  I think she could learn a little more, but she’s sounding passable now.

Mao Akiyama

Song of Choice: The Power

Then comes a string of brand new KSS members starting with Mao.  Interesting song choice of C-ute’s, The Power, as it’s another risky and advanced choice of song.  I actually thought Mao did well with what she got and really kept up with the song (of course, her voice does need work as it lacks a full sound right now, but she was hitting the notes…it’s just stamina that needs work).

Mizuki Kanatsu

Song of Choice: Kimi Sae Ireba Nani mo Iranai

Ok, I definitely know that this Momusu song is a bit more difficult (to be honest, shouldn’t have been a choice) but here we are with Kanatsu trying here.  Like I said, it’s a bit too much for her to handle, but she tried her hardest here and at some points she got notes right, but her voice escaped from the mic and I think she was more focused on the dancing (which could be the reason she sounded winded and far from the microphone).  OK performance, but maybe an easier to handle song next time.

Mizuho Ono

Song of Choice: Daisuki 100 Manten

I definitely remember Kisora Niinuma performing this last year, so interesting to see it come up again for Mizuho.  There’s really not much for me to say here.  Ono’s performance was pretty nice and she has a nice clear tone her voice and with some work here and there, she could be a strong performer.  Of the new batch of KSS, I think I will follow Mizuho’s journey as she’s the best of the newbies.

Musubu Funaki

Song of Choice: 21-ji Made no Cinderella

I think the girl that I was most looking forward to hearing is definitely Funakki and she delivers a great performance with this Berryz classic.  She has a lot of personality in her voice and already sounds like a sheer ace with how nice her voice sounds and the emotions she puts behind.  Definitely a voice I want to hear in Hello! Project prime!!!!  Shame that it was so short!

Kokoro Maeda

Song of Choice: Suki na Senpai

Ending out the test, we get Kokoro (btw cute name) performing Suki na Senpai (a song that’s synonymous with girls debuting in H!P).  It’s not bad, but it’s nothing totally special and Kokoro’s voice needs some work as she’s missing notes or ends up being flat.  Not the most memorable performance

====================================================================================

So the results are in as well so let’s see

BEST SINGING: Funaki (Runner-up: Danbara) – Surprised actually to see Funakki win this award!  She did sound the best and definitely suited the position but beating Ruru?!? Wow, stroke the ego XD.

BEST DANCING: Ichioka & Hashimoto – While we wait for visuals of the performance, I was pleasantly surprised by these two (might explain the not-so-amazing vocal performances) but this is great for Reina especially.

CHARACTER AWARD: Horie – Not sure what this means, but it’s perhaps the idea that Kizuki owned Shabondama like she did that might’ve caught the judges attention.  Still very awesome!

SHIMIZU AWARD: Inoue – I am even more confused with what is with this award (Captain wasn’t even a judge though Chinami was >.>).  Still, this must mean something hinting and I’m happy that Hikarun won this (not sure why, but hopefully we get an explanation).

BEST PERFORMANCE AWARD: Kaga – YESSSSS, it seems like Kaga is getting a break here and the fact she won big a HUGE margin says a lot for Kaedii.  Would love to see what she wins from doing so (I don’t think they announced what the prize is yet, maybe a solo for Nana Tamago?  Maybe a first slot position for another new unit???  CONGRATS KAGA!!!!!!

==============================================================================

My personal thoughts on vocally who did the best are: (top to bottom)

  1. Funaki
  2. Inoue
  3. Horie
  4. Takase
  5. Kaga
  6. Danbara
  7. Onoda
  8. Yanagawa
  9. Hashimoto
  10. Ono
  11. Ichioka
  12. Akiyama
  13. Maeda
  14. Takemura
  15. Kanatsu
  16. Kasahara
  17. Nakano
  18. Shimano
  19. Okamoto
  20. Yokogawa

kanasaito

Also announced a couple days prior, Kana Saito had left the program…unfortunately I had no real opinion about her as there was very little of her to be heard…so I’m not too broken up about it.  I will say it makes me wonder how her generation even happened (herself, Miu Takemura, and Maho Aikawa)…they aren’t all that great (though Aiai is in ANGERME so who knows).

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Kenshuusei Test once again!!!

Yup, the KSS had another test in the last day or two.  Like last year all the girls were singing short versions of songs they chose to fit them and here we are again.  So I will tell ya how I felt about each of them starting chronologically with Tanapyon.

Nanami Tanabe

So the eldest KSS won last year and this year she performed C-ute’s “Bagel ni Ham & Cheese”!  Sucks she chose a song that I’m not too fond of in the first place, but it just seems like Tanapyon is vocally getting better and she sounds really pleasant singing the tune up until the pre-chorus where she kind of strained a bit going to the chorus.  Otherwise, she did quite well!

Kurumi Yoshihashi

Kurumin, performed rather towards the later end with a great Momusu song, “Naichau Kamo”.  As this is one of the more difficult songs in the setlist and she pulled it off, if not sounded like she was bouncing around.  It does seem like she sung better in the chorus, but she was kind of pushing her vocals to the limit, so she wasn’t too high on the marks for me.

Ayano Hamaura

This year, Hamachan once again pulled a rather random Berryz Koubou song to perform, this time being “Yakimochi wo Kudasai!”.  Given that Ayano has such squeaky clean cute vocals, it was no surprise she’d be going down that road again.  I will say she sounded not quite as pitchy as she did last year though she kind of misses notes here and there.  Ugh, her voice screams S/mileage still!!!

Natsumi Taguchi

After having such a meh 2013, Taguchi came back and performed Ayaya’s “100kai no KISS” for the test recital.  Being as one of the more slow songs on the setlist, I was curious how this would turn out.  She actually did well, if not had some pitch issues, but she actually did the song well enough for me to enjoy.  Not bad, one of the better ones of the night.

Rena Ogawa

Wow, didn’t expect Renako to sing Momusu Sakuragumi’s “Sakura Mankai” for her test.  For being another slow track that kind of demands control, Rena actually had it down quite well, despite sounding off-pitch for some of the notes.  Though I think she did well for the song she got so overall I was OK with this.

Mizuki Murota

I was having high expectations coming into Murotan’s solo of Momusu’s “Memory Seishun no Hikari” and I was floored with it surprisingly enough.  I know she’s a very strong contender in the KSS and she performed superbly…although she was shouting and straining…but damn she has such high priority.  Also it does seem like she forgot a line…but otherwise, she was pretty good (made 2nd place at the end of it all, so you know there’s good support!).

Riko Yamagishi

Once again, Rikoriko chose a C-ute song to perform and at least it’s not the terribly bland Kono Machi but the more explosive “Aitai Aitai Aitai na”.  Damn, the song was one of the more interesting choices for me to follow and I was curious to see how Riko grew since last year.  For as difficult this track is, Riko sounds a lot better and the emotions are there, some tone issues here and there, but she actually did well!

Minami Nomura

Minamina chose ManoEri’s, “My Days for You” to perform for this year and while she did good last year with the S/mileage song but one huge mistake on the high note, so it was nice she chose an easier song to tackle.  However, this song never really connected to me so I find the performance bland.  Minami’s voice was really quiet in her performance which isn’t good.  She didn’t do bad here, but she could work on projecting her voice better!

Reina Ichioka

Lord going from Samui ne. to the hard to sing Ai-chan solo, “Jishin Motte Yume wo Motte Tobitatsu Kara”, Reina had guts to do this song.  Wow, she has improved a LOT since the last test and it’s great to hear that.  She doesn’t have as much emotion as Ai did of course, but she’s definitely improved moreso than before so it kind of outweighs all of that.  Good job here!

Kaede Kaga

Another one of the KSS that I had high expectations for, she chose Gomattou’s “SHALL WE LOVE?” to perform.  At the start she sounded really good and cool.  Once the verses begun, she sounded shaky, but she was putting a lot of emotion and I liked.  Though she was getting shouty which is bad so she needs some volume control.  Oh…and a cough that threw her off too…I think she was strong but not as good as her Maji Bomber!! performance last year.

Yumeno Kishimoto

Last year, Kishimon didn’t really leave much of an impression with her performance of Waratte YOU!!, so when this year came around, she chose a song that made sense but a little random as well with “REAL LOVE” a solo song from Risako.  Like Reina, she actually improved a lot as well!  I’m actually enjoying her voice even though she does need to emote a little better.  Otherwise, not bad.

Maria Makino

I wonder why Maria chose another Golden Era song to perform..this time it’s “Happy Summer Wedding”.  It’s another song that really isn’t suited for solos but Maria tried her best with this song and she actually sounded decent in the verses, but the chorus…she didn’t seem like she was singing it really…eh…kind of like last year, just there for me.

Sakurako Wada

Last year’s winner from the judges, Sakurako tried to duplicate with a performance of Miki Fujimoto’s “Boogie Train ’03”.  She sounded so cute doing the intro section and the high note was done almost perfectly.  She kept the energy up and performed great.  One of the better performances.

Rikako Sasaki

As the last member who performed last year, Rikako was a nice surprise and had good vocals!  This year, she chose Ayaya’s “Kiseki no Kaori Dance.” and I was hoping for another great performance!  I think she did OK with it, but it’s another difficult song to tackle and Rikako didn’t have as much emotion in her performance and she sounded like she was moving around a lot so her voice was affected a lot.  Ehhh…it’s OK…

Karen Tanaka

So we finally get to girls we haven’t heard too much quite yet and I was excited to hear all of these new members!  Tanakare was the last performance of the night and we got another Ayaya performance this time with the song, “dearest.”.  With the amount of talk of her being bad, this came at a surprise because I think of all the performances, this one impressed me the most!  Karen is definitely not the worst voice of the bunch in their generation.  Maybe she’s more of a balladeer…but damn she shocked me the most~  Congrats Karen!!!

Manaka Inaba

Of course Manakan would chooe a cutesy song to suit her voice and that’s S/mileage “Suki-chan” and honestly like Hamachan, she is so perfect for S/mileage because she sounds like her voice was perfect for the group back then.  That being said, her voice was on point and she had a lot of energy to go along so it worked just fine, another great performance!

Kana Mikame

Donning an eyepatch for her performance, Mikame chose to do a song more recent (funny it’s not the most recent track though).  She chose to do “Samidare Bijo ga Samidareru”.  She did OK at best.  Some of the verses she sung under the melody (which is odd because she could hit those notes) and most of the time she was flat on notes and she was quiet…she did sound strong, but I wonder if low notes are more of her stronger suits.  She’s gonna need some improvements.

Rio Fujii

I wonder why Rio chose “Tabidachi no Haru ga Kita” because it really didn’t seem to suit her (although makes sense since she auditioned to be in S/mileage in the first place).  Rio doing thi song showed me that maybe she wasn’t as good as I thought.  I thought her voice was deeper than what she sung.  Doesn’t help the song was average to me too…just wasn’t a memorable performance overall.

Hikaru Inoue

I was shocked that she chose to do the most recent Berryz single, “Otona na no yo!”…and even then this is a very tough song to pull off and with the known fact she wasn’t the best at vocals it worried me.  It’s cool that she was bold enough to tackle it though and she actually tried it and for the most part she did quite nicely.  She seems to be another member I would assume could do better in the middle and low ranges. Seems like the training is paying off little by little…Can’t wait to see how good she’ll be in a year!

Risa Yamaki

We finally get to hear this new generation doing something more than a couple words in a performance!  Yamaki chose an interesting song from Momusu, “Onna to Otoko no Lullaby Game”.  For the eldest of this new batch, Risa chose a good song and she tackled it nicely…not as good as the Platinum Era mind you, but as a newbie, it was impressive!  Another lady whose voice is for the more deeper tones IMO.

Yumei Yokogawa

Unlike the last test, we get repeated song performances.  Yumei chose to cover C-ute’s “Bagel ni Ham & Cheese” like Tanapyon did and it was obvious it wasn’t going to be as good.  To the extent, it was probably the vocally worst.  Yumei was shouting and going off-pitch numerous times…Damn for as cute as she is, her voice does need a lot work in the future…

Kisora Niinuma

Kisora was a member whose voice I wasn’t too excited by having a cutesy, Momoko-ish voice.  She chose to cover a Momusu grouping song, “Daisuki 100 Manten”.  In this performance, her voice is still high, but she actually smoothed out the nuances so we got a nice clean voice.  She sounded good overall, nothing bad to complain here.

Hirona Oura

Suprised Hirona would opt to perform Maki Goto’s “Suppin to Namida.” this year.  She did have some slips in the vocals and she sounded a bit too quiet during her perfoamnce so I wasn’t too interested since nothing helped to make the song memorable.  Though when she did get louder she sounded a lot stronger…but could do with more work.

Ruru Danbara

As one of the more members I was looking to hear in this test, she chose to do the same song Murotan did with “Memory Seishun no Hikari”.  Like Murotan, she was also shouting the lyrics, but she whipped the song just right and honestly the comment that she surpassed Asuka is shocking to me and that’s a HUGE compliment.  Damn she did so well here….

Really, chose “Nanchatte Renai” as your song to perform Akanechin?  Wow, I’m kind of liking the bold decisions some of these girls have been making.  Her voice is so very light so it was hard to hear sometimes, she was flat at points and going through that rapping section was a bit surprising to that she hit just right.  She needs to emote and sing louder and maybe hit the notes better, but she did a decent job.

Musubu Funaki

Finally, we got Funakki who impressed me a LOT in the ROCK Erotic performance earlier in the year and she chose a song that I recently just reviewed, High-King’s “DESTINY LOVE” and she didn’t disappoint at all, she aced the song quite nicely and she didn’t do anything too wrong for the most.  I loved when she went to the low notes…damn someone so tiny hitting that is just impressive as hell!

OVERALL RESULTS

Well there was 4 areas to win, Dance, Character, Judges, and Fans award

  • Dance: Rikako Sasaki and Kurumi Yoshihashi
  • Character: Rena Ogawa, Yumeno Kishimoto, and Mizuki Murota
  • Judges: Natsumi Taguchi and Ayano Hamaura
  • Fans: Ruru Danbara

Now, I’m surprised with the first two, but since we dont have much visual evidence, I’ll take it.  Judges choose Taguchi and Hamachan is not surprising, but at the same time kind of weird…iono weird.  But the fans….I am more than surprised that the wota chose Danbara to win with Murotan in second by 20-ish votes.  That was cool!  Also….

fuyukakosuga

Fuu-chan completed her Kenshuusei training, to me it seemed like H!P pulled the plug considering how frail she is in health.  It’s not surprising but with this being her 3rd time being absent with health issues, I guess it was appropriate to just let her go and not risk her with something that could be more distressing and permanent.

Anyways that’s the Test in a nutshell…I sense there’ll be some changes within the KSS like members joining in this Country Musume revival and the upcoming Momusu auditions (plus the 3 new KSS members add some more flavor).  Also it’s been said Tsunku is working on a new song for them, so I’m looking forward to that!

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The KSS’ progress reports and Tsunku’s comments…do I agree?

I know it’s a bit late, but hey better than nothing right?  Let’s see what Tsunku said about all the current Kenshuusei and their progress and their wants!  Also to see if I agree with Tsunku (some I won’t know because I’m not there…but still as a fan XD.   Credit to Lurkette from H!O for translating all of the videos…yeah all on youtube!

Nanami Tanabe

nanamitanabe

“When she first became an idol, she couldn’t do anything at all, singing dancing, talking, acting, or expressing.

The voice lesson was focused around her capacity to express emotion in singing, which also caused problems during rehearsal because she was trying to be sad but ended up looking down to the point where her face was covered up.

She was asked how she felt about trainees who got to debut, and she said that while she wanted to congratulate them, she was bothered as to why they got to go before she did and what they had that she didn’t. Her desire to debut is very strong.

Her rivals are the three who joined shortly after her, Kurumi, Ayano, and Natsumi, because they can all sing and dance pretty well and it would be bad for her to lose to them since they joined after her.

Tsunku’s comments on the past year: You’re going to become even better at singing, I bet. You need to practice finite muscle movements to be able to bring out the sharpness in your rhythm, in particular. The “suddenly bothered for some reason expression” that you do is wasteful. Also, you slouch over, which is very wasteful.

Her dream is to debut and perform in large venues for lots of fans.”

It’s great to see Tanapyon wants to debut so bad and she has been through so many instances where younger KSS got to do more things then she did.  Remember she was in Shugo Chara Egg! for a hot minute too so she’s definitely wanting that chance again.

As for Tsunku’s comment, how much better can she get though, she’s definitely at her prime right now.  Though a bit shady with the “suddenly bothered” expression and the slouching (which OK she does sometimes I can’t lie but hmmm can she get even better?

Kurumi Yoshihashi

kurumiyoshihashi

“There have been a lot of hard times for her, but she believes that because she experienced those hardships, it made the fun times that much more enjoyable, so she doesn’t regret anything.

She doesn’t have much self-confidence. She knows she should, but every time she looks around her and sees people more skilled than her, she gets down on herself.

She has a low voice so it’s difficult for her to sing in a high pitch. Her voice coach told her to try singing more through her nose for that, but she isn’t good at doing that well so it will be a battle for her.

She is good at dancing, however. She likes showing her ability in cool songs, and wants to put accents and emphasis on moves to help her stand out in a good way.

Her rival is Hamaura. She’s gotten good at singing and even dancing, even Kurumi can feel it, so she wants to have a friendly rivalry with her.

Tsunku’s comments: Growing your skill as a singer is your fastest route. It might be good to copy a Western style of singing or something like that. If you can make your impressions of them good, then your singing will get better just as much. Your dancing has gotten good. Your facial expressions are also good.

Her dream is to debut in H!P. She’s loved Morning Musume for a long time, and would be happy to join a new unit. She says that there will likely be difficult times ahead but they will help to make her that much happier.”

For Kurumin, yeah it’s very obvious that she’s one that sings deeper tones but seeing her struggle trying to hit higher notes is quite surprising to me.  I think she’s great though so she shouldn’t need to feel bad because she’s one of the best KSS right now!

Tsunku didn’t seem to have much negative to say and for him to say adopt a Western style of singing might bring something cool to the table.  Still, I’m quite good with Tsunku here!

Ayano Hamaura

ayanohamaura

“She says that even though she likes performing, dancing, and singing, she’s bad at them, so she tries her best to be energetic and give that to the fans instead of skill. She’s now able to get comfortable with the routines, though, which she couldn’t do before.

She wants to become the KSS ace.

When the other KSS got to debut, she was mortified and cried about it. When she heard their song about a month later, she wondered if she would ever be able to do that, and she figured that it’s because they were chosen as the members that they were able to pull off a song like that. She would be happier to join the next unit instead.

Her rival is Yoshihashi. They’re in the same generation, and she wants to study how good she is in every regard, especially in her bright smile and ability to be strong and stable.

Tsunku’s comments: I want to hear how far you can extend the notes, I want to grow your strength there. If you discipline your rhythm you can also discipline your ear. You’ve put some expressiveness into your dancing. If you develop a gag or make your self-introduction a classic somehow, your personality will be brought out.

Her dream is to get skilled enough in singing and dancing by learning from her seniors to join the next unit, and her dream for that unit is to become even more famous than Morning Musume.”

It’s weird that Hamachan says she’s kind of poor at the things she does, yet wants to be the KSS ace which kind of demands that kind of talent all-around.  At least she’s getting the hang of it and while her voice isn’t full…it has cute written all of it.

With what Tsunku said, it seems that after the vid, he’s kind of chosen her to be the kind of mini-him and be there for certain announcements, so it’s kind of nice that she does have a gag now plus her opening line in “Oheso no Kuni Kara Konnichiwa” also seems to push her more…I wonder if Tsunku is planning something with her.

Natsumi Taguchi

natsumitaguchi

“She’s really excited Funaki joined because she’s shorter than her. When she and Hamaura joined, they were about the same size, but Hama-chan has gotten much bigger and she has not so she was worried she would always be the smallest.

Her generation mates are good at dancing and they both got support from fans pretty quickly, so she hopes she can rise up to their level.

She takes a while to learn the dances, but when she has to do them alongside singing and expressing she gets really nervous and starts forgetting her dance moves. Because she’s small, she draws attention to herself, so if she messes up then people might think that that’s how the entire program is and might toss them aside. She thinks she needs to improve herself as part of the quality of the program.

Her rival is Ogawa. She reminds her of herself, since they have the same weaknesses and get told the same things, but after getting criticized Rena will pick herself up and has an attitude like she will work harder the next time. They’re friends, but Taguchi still doesn’t want to lose to her.

Tsunku’s comments: I want a little more strength in your dancing, so you need to work on your muscles. Your sense of rhythm often still comes across as unstable, so I want you to work hard so as to improve your self-confidence.

Her dream is to debut from KSS and have a lot of people see her singing and dancing. She’ll work hard to be able to stand on a large stage when she debuts.”

Taguchi definitely had the least amount of presence this year as she was quite absent in PVs and everything.  To see that she looks at the program as a whole and her presence equates to how people will think is pretty mature and adult in a way, but that also kind of says she kind of thinks she could be the big problem, so it’s a bit of a conundrum.

Tsunku seemed to think nearly the same when it comes to her performance level.  There wasn’t a lot of positive comments here, but hopefully Natsumi will work on these things!

Rena Ogawa

renaogawa

“Her problems with singing are that she has a very quiet voice, she has trouble staying on pitch, and vibrato and things like that, but she is good at keeping rhythm.

She joined the KSS because she loves singing and idols, and she wants to be able to give energy to people like idols do.

Her rival is Tanabe. She’s good at so many things and it motivates her to get to her level.

Tsunku’s comments: Your singing is unstable, I want to work on that. When you’re singing a song, you need to more and more project an image of the protagonist in the lyrics, you have to sing while understanding what sort of a person that is.

Her dream is to debut soon, and even though she knows it will be difficult and she doesn’t know if she’ll be able to do it, she’ll continue working even harder so that one day she can get somewhere like Kouhaku.”

Is it weird that it seems there wasn’t a lot talked about Renako.  It’s true though, in the video her voice is surprisingly quiet and she does have some issues on sounding good but at least she keeps rhythm which is also important.

Tsunku also seemed right on the money with Rena.  Though I’m curious to what he meant by “project an image of a protagonist”…I’m guessing he’s meaning to be able to emote better…yeah that would help.

Fuyuka Kosuga

fuyukakosuga

“She’s able to more enjoy singing and dancing now that she has greater skill with them. Her main issue is her decisiveness and coming across as though she’s doing things half-heartedly.

Everyone has gotten so good at dancing that she has to do everything she’s been doing to an even greater extent.

At first she was embarrassed to sing Pittari Shitai Xmas but then she had fun with it and it got easier.

Her teacher criticizes her during rehearsal for appearing half-hearted and not performing her “Santa-san” line well, which causes her to cry since she’s continued to have trouble with it, at which point the teacher says that her emotions are fragile and that there’s no reason for her to be crying in response to the critique. She wants to get stronger in general.

Her rivals are everyone. She has friends within the program but every single person there has something great about them and that makes her want to work harder so as to keep up with them.

Tsunku’s comments: Your dancing has gotten good. I think you’ve grown to a great extent. In the beginning you were the type to not be able to do anything so I was worried, but now you’ve probably come to a position in the top half of the group. However, you can aim even higher. Get your rhythm under control!

Her dream is to be chosen for a group in a year from now, and thinks it would be nice to combine her strength with everyone in the group and become the most energetic and powerful group anywhere, and she’ll keep working on her singing and dancing to be chosen for such a group.”

Fuu-chan does seem like she’s kind on the lower end of the scale when it comes to performing as a KSS.  Though with her trying twice as hard, it does show on occasion and she looked good in the Oheso PV so that seems to be working.

Though I don’t know if I’d agree with Tsunku saying top half (then again that’s like what 15?, I suppose so but who knows).  Though with Fuu off on sick leave AGAIN…it really makes me wonder if Tsunku is going to continue or not with her.

Mizuki Murota

mizukimurota

“Her weakest point in singing is rhythm, which is what the voice lesson was about.

Her rival in dancing is Inaba, because she’s so good that she actually learns from her, and her rival in singing is Danbara, because even though she just joined, her voice is so beautiful that it brings her to tears.

Tsunku’s comments on her this past year: Your dancing and singing have gotten more than reasonably good, so I want you to focus on your expressions in singing. It’s necessary to completely immerse yourself in the world of the lyrics. Also, your impressions are good, but that might be their limit. You’re growing more and more, so do your best! Your dancing is sharp, it’s good.

She cried in response to the progress she still has to make in singing.

Her dream is to debut soon like JJ and have people remember her name and face, and appear on Kouhaku as a famous idol.”

Kind of a lame video in comparison to others, but Murotan is interesting because her rivals are in the newer batch.

From Tsunku, his comments did lead to Murotan crying, but honestly, she’s so ready to join a group or rise among the crowd. This is one of those times where I think he was just searching for something for her to work on…because she just seems SO READY otherwise.

Riko Yamagishi

rikoyamagishi

“She says that everything has gotten easier since she joined the program. She’s progressed in singing and dancing and has gotten people below her. She thinks she’s probably competent when it comes to rhythm but not so much with pitch. Still, she finds the lessons fun and is glad she joined the program when she did.

When it comes to dancing, she isn’t one to move her upper body much. She thinks she’s pretty good at it, but there’s definitely still more she can work on, like making her big movements more visible.

Her rival is Nomura. They joined at the same time but Nomura has gotten more reliable, so she wants to become a presence that stands above the rest in something.

Tsunku’s comments: You’re still developing in dancing, so I want you to apply yourself more to getting down the fundamentals. If you do that both your singing and dancing will grow. You need to apply more and more delicate muscles in your rhythm. You have a character, which is good.

Her dream is to join the unit that follows JJ. She wants to join a group like MM or Cute with cool dances. She’ll be in high school in a year so she’d like to debut by then, but if not she’d still like to improve her singing.”

It’s great when a member recognizes her weakness and tries to do something about it like Rikoriko does.  In the video about her, it does show that Riko has trouble with her upper body movement.

Tsunku nailed it with this one at least.  I feel like he knows what needs to change for her to become better so hopefully she takes it to heart and becomes better!

Minami Nomura

minaminomura

“She’s worse at dancing than at singing, but it’s fun to her now that she can actually remember the moves. She wants to work hard at being sharp and doing more than just what she’s supposed to.

She’s bad at expressions. The mood is different for every song and it’s difficult for her to focus on everything and be able to change her expression while still singing well.

She wants to be center for a song (Number 0 refers to the placement at the center of the stage). She doesn’t know if she’ll ever be able to, but she’ll work hard.

Her rival is Yamagishi Riko. It’s precisely because they’re generation-mates that she doesn’t want to lose to her. They both started from the same point, with no experience in anything, so she wants to keep pace with her.

Tsunku’s comments: I want to make your singing develop more. If you can extend your singing and dancing abilities than you’ll see some results. For dancing, you’re pretty sharp. It looks like it will grow even more! With facial expressions, you have strength in your smile.

Her dream is to join a unit like JJ and be able to cry together with the other members. She wants to perform at Budokan and large venues like that and become a big idol group.”

Maybe it’s just me, but this one didn’t seem to make me think too much differently about Minamina.  I do like that she and Riko are rivals to each other because they joined at the same time.

Tsunku is also right with his comments, just needs to work on things and hopefully she’ll do better.

Reina Ichioka

reinaichioka

She’s often told that she’s very my-pace, always doing things slowly and as she wants to, which isn’t wrong, but she does hate to lose.

She goes too fast with the rhythm. Even so, it looks like she doesn’t care, so it’s something she has to work on every single time.

She listens to the songs she’s given all the time at home, but since she doesn’t catch onto the rhythm, once she starts trying to sing and dance to it she misses some steps. She doesn’t feel she’s improved much in dancing, so she wants to be able to dance even bigger.

Being able to do live performances in Nama Tamago every few months has made her realize how much stronger and able she’s gotten, and that makes her really glad she joined.

Her special skill is being able to put just one tooth out, which is why she does that backstage.

Her primary rivals are her generation-mates, but also Sasaki and Murota. She sees how they’ve all improved and how far they’re going and it makes her want to go even further, as well.

Tsunku’s comments: Let’s go further with your dancing. But you do have some sensuality in your expressions. Don’t give up halfway through, let’s follow through decisively until the end. You’re developing rapidly in that regard, so work on your dancing first, and then your singing.

She still has a lot of things to work on and needs to learn how to be able to do them, so she hopes to debut in a year or so. She wants to become an adult and become a woman in her ways of thinking about things, since she’s still very much a child right now.”

Reina has slightly come a good way since she joined.  Her kind of own way does make her stand out but also hurts her in learning in the ways of H!P.  The rhythm problems is of course ok right now as she’s only been in the KSS for a little over a year.

With Tsunku’s words, he’s also seeing something nice in her dancing, but his saying of don’t give up halfway is kind of nailing it on the coffin on Reina’s more laidbackness.

Yumeno Kishimoto

yumenokishimoto

She can’t always attend the lessons because she lives in Osaka, but since so many people have joined after her she has to keep working hard.

She can get the atmosphere and mood of a song down easily, but not the rhythm, but since the mood is useless without the rhythm she has to keep trying. The same goes for dancing, since she goes too fast and breaks formation. She’s also prone to shrinking her body down and getting hunched over, as well as holding the mic weird.

Her rivals are Makino Maria and Wada Sakurako. They spend a lot of time together, they’ve known each other for a good while, and they’re friends, but lately she feels like Maria has been getting better than her at the performances so she feels more of a rivalry between them.

Tsunku’s comments: Put forth a lot of effort into making your singing better. Work on your impressions. I want you to memorize anything and everything about the way Western singers work.

She cries because she feels like her generation-mates are getting better and getting more work as a result and she wonders why she hasn’t improved as much as they have.

Her dream is to become a perfect performer like Suzuki Airi, and she’ll keep going to improve herself so that she can debut.”

Yumeno’s video really showed off a lot of what she talked about, mostly the varios negatives she has.  She has a lot of things to work on it seems and she’s taking it as well as she is able to.

Though Tsunku shooting down the only thing Kishimon thought she was doing well in was a bit of a punch in the stomach.  Though another Western singer comment…I wonder….>.>

Maria Makino

mariamakino

She used to be nervous for lessons every day. She feels like she’s only improved in singing and rhythm by a little bit, but she wants to keep getting better and keeps listening to the music to find ways to improve.

At first she couldn’t dance at all because she had no experience in it, but lately she’s been getting even 16-beat songs down easier and has been having fun doing it.

She doesn’t find the lessons strict. The teachers are there to help her learn these practices and minute details, so she’s very grateful for their presence. They’re there to help her and watch her grow, and she likes that.

Her rival is Kishimoto Yumeno. They’ve always been together between the MM auditions and the KSS, and Yumeno has a great smile and is so funny, which Maria thinks she’s lacking, and very good at dancing, but Maria won’t lose to her in terms of energy and eagerness.

Tsunku’s comments: Please get a better sense of the rhythm and details in dancing. You have a look that you give too often where you seem so serious, so it would be good for you to have something individualistic about your self-introduction, or a gag, or a catch-phrase so as to overcome that wall.

She is going to always work hard as a KSS. She might not be able to debut this year, but her dream is to be able to join Morning Musume.”

I love that Makino is so grateful to be in the program and enjoys the sessions she has with her mentors.  It’s that kind of attitude that’ll help her get places in H!P (hopefully).  It is a bit interesting that she said she’s only gotten better by a little bit lol.

With Tsunku, of course they usual (just get better overall) comments but added the serious face, so u need something that’ll make you more comfortable…it’s a little odd.

Sakurako Wada

sakurakowada

She finds the program hard, but there are so many fun things about it, like doing shows or back-up dancing or handshakes.

She thinks of voice training as studying for a test. If she applies herself and really studies and works hard, she’ll see results. She says that once she has decided to do something, she has to learn how to do it.

She had danced a little before doing the program, so it wasn’t that hard to start, but she starts to mess up when she thinks too hard and gets nervous. She’s the type to easily succumb to her nervousness, she’s often been told.

Her rival is Sasaki Rikako. Rikako got to participate in things like the C-ute tour, which she also wants to be able to do. Rikako’s dancing is energetic and is a very reliable person in the program, so she wants to work hard to keep up with her.

She doesn’t want to lose to anyone in terms of her smile. She’s also not shy around people, so she thinks she’s better at meeting people for the first time, like at handshake events, and getting them excited and feeling good.

Tsunku’s comments: I want to train you more in dancing. If you don’t train in rhythm you won’t be able to sing, right? Let’s see you apply yourself to those detailed aspects! Your smile is good. You have elegance, and that’s good.

Her dream is to be approved as a member of a group within the next year. Then, after three years, she wants to have a concert with that group on a huge stage.”

With impressing the judges in last year’s test, Sakurako seems to really have found her place and is having fun with being a part of H!P.  Of course her current problem is her nervousness which to me is alright to have at a young age, but it’ll go away with more performances.

Tsunku caught on and addresses her nervous dancing which is great since Sakurako will definitely focus on it.  Adding rhythm makes sense too…though she has elegance…isn’t that a bit of an oxymoron to say?…unless Tsunku is just saying she’s pretty lol.

Kaede Kaga

kaedekaga

She spends her time thinking of how she can stand out not just in the KSS, but in H!P as a whole.

She’s not great at projecting her voice cleanly.

She goes too quickly in dancing and when she notices it, she stiffens up. Then other people notice that she’s stiffening up and point that out rather than the rhythm.

She’s training to join MM. Until the day she graduates from KSS, that’s what she’ll be working for.

Her rival is Murota Mizuki. She’s the most well-rounded overall at everything in the KSS, among the top at singing and dancing, so Kaedi thinks of her as a rival to try and get up to her level.

Tsunku’s comments: You’ve grown in both singing and dancing. Next will be your character. You can decide where you stand if you can make yourself improve more and more in your singing, dancing, and the fact that you’re not super beautiful, as well as creating a character that other people get attached to. It should be a character that stands alone as “Kaedi Kaga!”

Her dream is to join MM. She doesn’t think she can at her current level, but she wants to be able to pass the next audition by the time it comes around.”

For as someone that’s quickly impressing me from the KSS, it’s surprising to learn she has problems cleanly projecting her voice and does have some dance issues, but she’s such a great member now and her rivalry choice to Murotan is sooo good, also her devotion to joining Momusu is just hard to pass up!

Though Tsunku’s comments did make me frown XD.  I mean the whole “not super beautiful” comment was a bit out there, but then again Japan is weird with how they determine beauty.  Otherwise he didn’t have much to say except build a character.  Weird

Rikako Sasaki

rikakosasaki

She’s always dreamed of being an idol or being on TV, and she thinks it’s important for idols to have actual skill. H!P idols can all sing and dance well to any given song and have a lot of ability, she thought they were all so cool and that’s when she decided she wanted to join H!P. She does everything with seriousness.

She’s bad at singing. She has a small range and can’t get any high notes out, so she wants to be able to do that and above all be able to say she has confidence in her singing.

She does have confidence in dancing. However, she’s quick to start sweating and all of her make-up comes off, so she wants to work on her metabolism to fix that (she has trouble with the word ‘metabolism,’ ‘shinchintaisha’).

Her grades are “below the middle of the middle.”

Her rival is Murota Mizuki. Murota is good at singing and dancing and is very energetic and emotional during MCs, and she thinks that’s amazing so she wants to be like her and someday exceed that.

Tsunku’s comments: Your dancing has gotten better. Because of that, I want your singing to get better, too. Within that, the details in feeling the rhythm, like we always say, and the feeling of conscientiously putting your heart into it. That feeling might be the part you’re lacking the most. Your expressions are big, like “look at me!” and that’s a good thing.

Her dream is to become the top idol in the universe. She wants her name to be spoken whenever someone mentions “Hello!Project” or “idol.” She wants to gain a lot of experiences.”

Whoa, Sasaki wants to be the top idol in the universe?  She has BIG dreams for someone as young as she is.  As a KSS her singing levels I thought were good, but she doesn’t a large range which is something surprising.  The sweating thing was a bit strange to hear, but I guess she has a point that it does get in the way.

Tsunku wants Rikako to have more feeling when performing as well as her singing, but as much of a force she is in the KSS as it is, it won’t seem as difficult for her to do.

Karen Tanaka

karentanaka

She wants to be cool. She’s not all cutesy or perky, but, as she says, “a realistic 15 years old.”

Singing is tough for her. Getting the rhythm, hitting the notes, there are a lot of things she can’t do. Even when she practices at home, there are still parts she messes up on. She tries to get the rhythm better by listening to music on the train and patting out the beat.

Her body is stiff. Her mother’s is, too, and so that makes her particularly bad at dancing. She’s bad at it, but that’s a dream she wants to make come true, and it’s still fun working so hard with her generation-mates.

For things like Nama Tamago and other live performances, the thing she looks forward to the most is seeing the faces of the fans that are having so much fun watching her perform.

Her rivals are her generation-mates. They joined at the same time, so it was immediately apparent who she didn’t want to lose to. It’s made her heart stronger in wanting to keep up with all of them.

Tsunku’s comments: I think that if you can establish a character, you can achieve a singular position even in Hello!Project. It’d be good if you had a nickname that both the fans and the other members could really get into. Let’s try thinking of one.

She says that she might not be a KSS a year from now, so it would be the best if she could debut, but even if she doesn’t, she’d still like to be able to increase her abilities and strength many times over while she’s here. Her dream and her goal is to someday go to Kouhaku.”

By the things she said during her video, she seems like she’s the worst of the bunch.  It’s a little surprisng to hear, but it’s good she notices her faults like that and still manage to say she’s having fun training and being a part of it (though her comment on maybe not being a KSS in a year’s time is a bit sad, I hope she does gain a lot of progress).

Strange that Tsunku didn’t even mention singing or dancing and went straight to working with her character and trying to find a nickname for her….weird…also he said with a character, you could have a singular position within H!P…is he saying he’d give her a chance to be a soloist?!?….that’s shocking!

Manaka Inaba

manakainaba

She’s from Hokkaido, so going to the lessons and things has been a lot harder on her than the others, and so she puts all of her strength into every single one. She’s already seen a lot of improvement in herself and it’s been very fun.

At voice training they teach her how to project her voice and change the accent and things like that, but even if she practices at home she won’t be able to get those little details, so she wants them to continue teaching her things like that.

She’s trying very hard at singing while dancing, which she finds very difficult. Sometimes she has a tendency to do her movements in the choreography too big and she’ll trip or be at risk of breaking her leg, so she’s learned to get a better feel for her body to protect it while toning down the dance. However, she has a long history doing dance and never really had any seniors in that regard, so she definitely doesn’t want to lose in that.

Her rival is Fujii Rio. As generation-mates they have a sense of wanting to work hard together, but her dancing is very powerful and they have been challenging each other to do better.

Tsunku’s comments: Your dancing is amazingly good. Your legs are improving beautifully. For expressions you have a nice smile. Because you’re from Hokkaido I don’t think you’ll be able to attend everything, so I hope that you’ll watch videos in your normal life and regularly copy the dances and singing so as not to fall behind.

Next year she will be a 2nd year high school student so she wonders if this next year will be her last chance, so her dream is to debut within the year. She wants to become a singular presence that brings smiles and energy to lots of people.”

It’s surprising how filled out Manakan’s profile was, but she’s gotten a lot of hype being in an idol group before.  It does suck that since she’s from Hokkaido, she has to travel quite far for her practices.  Seems like she’s been learning and having fun doing it too.

Tsunku didn’t have any bad to really say about Inaba interestingly enough and praises her for her dancing, though his hopes sound like she’ll continue to improve and practice from home as to not lose to her fellow mates.  Not bad, not bad…seems like she’s ready to debut!

Kana Mikame

kanamikame

She finds it fun to be able to grow and develop in her performance skills at the lessons, even if they are tough and strict. 

She’s bad at finding the rhythm. When she first joined she couldn’t hear it at all, but even now she’s bad at hearing a 16-beat so she wonders if she will be able to soon. 

She finds it weird to do all the steps for dancing while moving her arms around and she’s bad at it, so she tries putting her earphones in while watching the videos at home to try and learn how to do it. 

Singing and dancing are the most important things for this job but she’s bad at them, so she wants to be the best at MC and talking, the funniest and most ridiculous to make everyone in the audience laugh. 

30 second MC:
What is your most feminine aspect: My sneeze
Who is the most airheaded in KSS: Yamagishi Riko
If you could have your way, where would you like to go play: California

What sport would you like to participate in at the Winter Olympics: Bobsled
What is the drink you end up having too much of: Cola
Out of H!P, what are your favorite lyrics: “Kisu wo ageyou” “I’ll give you a kiss”
A pet you’d like to own: European tortoise/Greek tortoise
Makoto asks why that tortoise, and she said it’s because it’s small, only like 40 cm (not that small).
He asks why California, just because it’s California? She says no, because the name is cool. 

Her rival is Fujii Rio. At first she didn’t think so because she’s so bad at dancing and Rio is so good, but they’re also generation-mates and she thinks she’s a good person to aim to be like as a result.
Tsunku’s comments: When you overdo the dance movements I can see you falling out of step, so I want you to work on getting smaller, more stable movements down so as not to do that.

Her dream is to become great at singing and dancing, even though she’s the worst right now she’ll build up her abilities. She would like to be an idol but if she can’t she’d also like to be an actress or the funniest talent on TV.” 

Mikame was initially the least interesting member before her video, but seeing how she admits she’s bad at mostly everyhing and setting her sights with MC-ing (the only gal who seems to wanna go for that first), she’s quite quirky!Tsunku though focuses on her dancing and trying to tighten up certain areas so that’s pretty cool, hopefully that’ll work.

Rio Fujii

riofujii

She loves H!P, which is why she took the S/mileage and MM auditions, but when she failed after becoming a finalist, she was really upset and embarrassed so she tried the KSS audition to still be a part of it.

When she joined, she found out how much H!P focuses on rhythm and she was really bad and couldn’t do it at the start. However, she’s been practicing every day at home and has finally gotten some praise from her teachers, so she’s happy.

She dances earnestly, but it doesn’t show on her face and she looks scary, so she wants to be able to put on a natural smile when she dances. Her mother even tells her she looks scary when she practices at home. The teacher keeps reiterating that that’s the main thing she needs to work on.

Her rivals are the other 19th gen members. They’ve all had the same lessons and time to improve, so she doesn’t want to fall behind. She definitely doesn’t want to lose to anyone who joins after her, either.

Tsunku’s comments: Your dancing is incredibly good, so I want to focus more on your singing. I want you to mimic people who are much much better than you. It might be good to try copying Western singers. Dancing, good. Expressions, good.

She only listens to H!P music so she thinks this is valuable advice and is also a little surprised but happy about his comment on her expressions.

Her dream is to join the H!P she’s always loved and admired, be it a debut in a new unit, in MM, or in another established group. She wants to perform at year-end TV shows and specials and wants to become popular.”

When it comes to Fujii, I remember clearly when we first saw her trying out for S/mileage’s 2nd Gen and how she stuck out with being a powerful dancer and a little arrogant.  Nowadays, it’s great she’s learning tons of things and doing pretty well, though her expressions in dancing are a bit rough lol.

Tsunku definitely knows she’s a great dancer too and now wants her to focus on her singing and once again threw in the Western voices XD.  Seems like once her voice gets going, she’ll be a powerhouse 😀

Hikaru Inoue

hikaruinoue

Tsunku’s lyrics resonated with her and so she wanted to become a part of the H!P world.

The rhythm is most difficult for her. She can’t get the hang of it and perform the details well, so that’s where she has to work hardest to improve. Even when she gets the song down and thinks she’s memorized it, once she starts dancing, she forgets it. During the rehearsal, she stopped singing halfway through.

H!P is very strict. The teachers get angry a lot and she has a difficult time preparing for everything, but it’s so much fun and makes her happy to perform at Nama Tamago and see people supporting her, so she wants to continue her activities in the program.

She really admires Tsugunaga Momoko. Earlier at a play, she saw her singing and she looked so cool that Hikarun started crying. Her admiration for her and desire to be like her makes her want to put forth more effort into singing and dancing and hopefully debut someday.

Her rival is Inaba Manaka. Of course because they’re generation-mates, but also because Manakan’s singing and dancing both stand out among all the KSS. She has a lot of cuteness and is idol-ish, which Hikarun doesn’t think she has much of.

Tsunku’s comments: I want to teach you more strength in dancing. I definitely want you to work on smaller muscle movements to get the rhythm down. Singing is on the next floor up. Start with the rhythm first.

She doesn’t know if she can debut soon, but in the future she’d like to debut in any way possible, be it in a new unit or MM or anything else.”

To me, it sounds like she, Mikame, and Tanaka are the worst of their generation which kind of surprises me since we don’t really see them perform as much as Inaba or Fujii.  Back to Inoue, she seems to have the roughest time out of the three above, but she’s learning, just not very fast.

Tsunku got this one as well, basically pointing out the things that she needed herself said she needed work on.  She’s got a loooong road ahead though it seems.

Ruru Danbara

rurudanbara

She’s happy to be able to become a KSS, because she wanted to join and get the chance to continue her singing and dancing lessons. She had learned different methods before so she has to learn new ways of doing things, but she’s still happy to be doing the lessons. She has to work harder in dancing than singing.

Before the show she was nervous, because she had spent most of her time in lessons just watching herself and others, but now other people are going to be watching her.

She’s also happy and reassured to see the people she had watched on YouTube and find that they’re very kind and teach her lots of things.

She had a lot of fun seeing the audience wave their glowsticks in time with their dance.

Her rivals are all of her generation-mates. They were rivals in the MM audition, and because they all joined KSS at the same time she doesn’t want to lose to any of them.

She has a positive personality. She hates losing. She works best in the things she likes.

Tsunku’s comments: You can’t call yourself a pro if you don’t have both the rhythm and a heart-felt song down. You can’t just be good, you need to feel the more subtle rhythms and include emotions, so I want you to try copying more and more of the world’s best singers to get to that point. Memorize everything about all the female singers you can.

Her dream is to debut and join MM after getting a lot of lessons and practice in KSS.”

Moving to our newest generation, I was surprised they’d make videos for them as their only performance is only dancing to “Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne”.  Though since after the video they’ve performed “ROCK Erotic” so I can sort of say things.  She was already known prior so we’ve gotten to hear her and she sounds good.  It’s nice to see she’s humble about it and enjoys learning what H!P has to offer.

I think Tsunku really wants Ruru to get emotive with her vocals and honestly that might not take to long to do, but with the amount of Tsunku wanting this to happen, I feel like Ruru might be put to use real soon.

Akane Haga

akanehaga

She’ll continue working hard even though it hurts to have so much criticism in lessons because it means she’ll get better. She’ll keep listening to what the teachers say because she’s bad at dancing.

She got nervous seeing how big the venue was and how many people would be watching. However, she wants to have the biggest performance out of all 7 in the group so that she stands out the most and gets everyone to look at her. She made some mistakes during the performance and wasn’t completely satisfied afterward. She wants to work harder at the parts she can’t do even in songs she isn’t performing.

She doesn’t really have a rival, but Funaki Musubu is the closest thing to it. Even though she’s younger, she’s better at singing and dancing so she wants to chase after her.

After a sudden tryout for the 20th gen to join other group performances, Akane did not make it. She practiced for it, but she’s sad it didn’t show. She thinks she’ll have other chances, though, so she’ll do her best to make the most of those opportunities.

She wants to become the sort of artist that everyone around the world knows, and the people who know her would want other people to know her, too.

Tsunku’s comments: The number one thing above all else that has immediate strength is “a smile.” I want you to practice putting on a smile every day for an hour in the mirror.

She wants to continue improving her singing and dancing for the next year as a KSS, then the year or two after that she wants to join MM, graduate at 24, and then become an announcer like Konno Asami.”

Akane to me isn’t one that’s standing out currently, but it seems like she’s got a lot of work to do.  Though her dream is weird like she wants to be well-known (like Rikako) and yet graduate at 24 and follow Konkon’s path (interesting to see another member mention someone that isn’t a KSS currently).

Tsunku seemed to be outside himself here by just saying “work on your smile”.  It feels so…vague almost…

Hirona Oura

hironaoura

She’s having a lot of fun being able to see all of the H!P members that she likes.

She has trouble with finding the rhythm in dancing. Every time the music starts, her mind goes blank and she can’t remember. It’s making her appreciative of how hard everyone works, though, because they’re always smiling and happy on stage but now she understands all of the preparation that goes into that behind the scenes.

After the performance, she was so happy to hear people calling her by name and making eye contact and waving glowsticks, it made the fun of it outweigh her nervousness.

Her rival is Niinuma Kisora. They have the same lack of experience and are bad at the same things, so she doesn’t want to fall behind her.

There was a tryout for 20th gen to also participate in the two all-KSS numbers of Ten Made Nobore! and Kanojo ni Naritai!!!. Haga and Hirona were told they wouldn’t be in either because they hadn’t gotten the dances down, Funaki and Kisora could only be in one, and the rest were allowed to do both. Hirona said she had practiced at home, but she must not have understood the dance correctly because she doesn’t know where she needs work. She messed up by tripping on her shoelaces, and after that she just forgot all of the dancing she had learned. She’s also upset because Kisora got to be in a position in the center even though they had the same level of dance experience.

Tsunku’s comments: Don’t covet what others have, first let’s just get you feeling the rhythm. Going straight into 16-beat is the fastest way to do it.

She wants to keep working and improving her skills to become a person that makes people smile by listening to her sing.”

Wow, to be honest, I don’t notice Hirona much either from this new bunch of KSS that joined.  Though she seems to be on the lower end of the girls alongside Kisora and Akane.  She also kind of reminds me of Taguchi surprisingly enough.

Interesting to hear Tsunku say, don’t strive for what others have…but let’s get you working on rhythm…I don’t know…maybe it was a weird way to segue into things, but whatever works.

Kisora Niinuma

kisoraniinuma

She is very bad at dancing, but she has more confidence in singing. She hasn’t actually gotten to practice it while holding a mic, so she wants to be able to do voice lessons soon. She’s bad at memorizing the moves and remembering them when the time comes, so she wants to practice more at home and get everything down.

The toughest thing about being a KSS is coming to rehearsals, and greeting and bowing to everyone and then not being able to do any of the performances and having people who have worked harder and are better than her have to stop what they’re doing and help her because she’s so far behind. Having so many chances to work with her seniors is rough, but she thinks it’s worth doing.

She wants to become someone who leaves an impression with people even when she’s performing with all of her generation-mates. They are all her rivals, because they joined at the same time but there are girls better at singing and much better at dancing, so she wants to be able to catch up to them.

She tried during the performance to be aware of her facial expressions, since she’s prone to gloomy ones, but seeing the crowd get excited during their song made her feel happy more naturally.

Tsunku’s comments: Your dancing is still half-hearted, I want to focus on the rhythm. The movements overall are very subtle, and so it’s good to be able to show those subtle movements visibly, so I want you to go on to working on those subtle gestures. When your bangs are longer you look gloomy, so it might be better to keep them cut.

Her dream is to have a major debut, so she wants to continue her activities in the KSS and work on her expressions so that her smile can reach everyone.”

With hearing Kisora’s voice recently, it reminds me of Momoko’s…cute and very pitchy, I hope she loses that squeak soon because I’m just not a fan of that.  She, like Hirona also feels negative about being passed up by their gen-mates so it does hopefully make them want to be better and hopefully surpass them.

Tsunku got it right with Kisora’s poor dancing, though first time I heard Tsunku mention how hair makes a girl look gloomy lol…so weird bro xD.

Musubu Funaki

musubufunaki

She joined the KSS because she wanted to improve her singing and dancing so that she could take the MM audition one more time and be able to pass.

MM’s level of technical skill has gotten stronger and stronger, and she’s worried that she won’t be able to keep up.

She took the MM audition because she liked them. Her friends had been talking about how much they admired them, how cool they were with their singing and formation dances, and wanted to be in the group. From there she started to get into them and decided to audition.

Her personality is shy. At home, she does whatever she feels like, but when she goes out she gets embarrassed, so she wants to be able to show people a bright and cheery side of her.

After the performance, she said that she had been so scared beforehand, but once she saw everyone’s faces as she stepped foot on stage, she felt relaxed and happy. She thought the glowsticks were pretty and wants to see that sight again.

Her rival is Haga Akane. They joined at the same time and they’re friends, but she feels like they have a rivalry for who is going to be the center.

Tsunku’s comments: Please try copying different songs and dances from what you would usually listen to so that you can dance to most any kind of music. Your singing isn’t quite there yet, so first is rhythm.

Her dream is to keep working hard and improving so that she can challenge the MM audition again and become a part of the group. If she joins, she wants to keep doing her best to improve.”

Omg, Funaki is such a cutie and how she wants to be in Momusu is almost as cute lol.  She’s shy so hopefully she’ll get over it pretty quickly.

Tsunku though seems like she wants to get her going with dancing and singing…though since this video was before the recent Nana Tamago….something happened and Funaki sounded AMAZING doing “ROCK Erotic”…seems like she’s making big strides already with the training!

Risa Yamaki

risayamaki

She wanted to join the KSS because she wanted to join H!P, but she only has eyes for MM. She doesn’t have interest in any other idols.

When she started dancing she realized how stiff her body had become. When she was younger she played volleyball a little and was very flexible, and she was shocked at how stiff she was. Starting the lessons helped a bit, though.

Every time she has a rehearsal or a lesson, she realizes how far behind her seniors she is and needs to work harder.

Before going on stage, she was the most nervous she’s ever been in her life, to the point where she almost cried. Once she saw the faces in the crowd, though, all she could do was have fun with it. It made her glad she joined.

She doesn’t have a rival yet. She just joined and has so many seniors that do well with things. She wants to find someone who will inspire her to do better.

Tsunku’s comments: I want to teach you more dancing strength. I want you to dive right into the rhythm, especially 16-beat. I also want you to have a pattern in smiling or expressions.

Her dream is to join MM. She hopes to have one more chance to audition and be able to sing and dance with everyone.”

Yamaki seems to kind of ride in between sticking to me, but at the same time being forgetful at the moment.  I like she’s certain that she wants Momusu and nothing else.  Her training is loosening her up which is good.

Especially since Tsunku points it out as well as being more expressive.  We’ll see what happens!

Yumei Yokogawa

yumeiyokogawa

She wanted to join MM because her mom had always liked them and her sister had started singing their songs around the house so she started liking them a lot.

She took dancing lessons before so she can manage with it, but with singing she has trouble hearing the different notes and wants to get better. She’ll work hard at both.

She had stage fright, but she was happy to hear people yelling and calling her name. She wants to work hard in the future to hear the music better and enjoy it as much as everyone in the audience.

Her rival is Danbara Ruru. They have similar skill levels and dancing but she’s better at singing.

Tsunku’s comments: Your rhythm isn’t sharp so you have noticeable bad habits in dancing, so work on putting the 16-beat rhythm into your muscles as subtly as possible.

Her grandparents believe that she will be in a big group, and she wants to debut in a big group that a lot of people admire.”

It’s great that Yumei came in with dancing lessons and admits her meh voice so it’s great to see that and knowing that she has the same skill at dancing as Ruru.

Though Tsunku shot that down.  Has to work on getting rid of them bad habits…though doesn’t mention anything about voice…odd…

Overall, Tsunku’s comments are pretty well made and hopefully these girls can work on that all.  Hopefully some of the KSS do get to debut in 2014, here’s hoping!

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Just when I thought it couldn’t happen…

480px-OtsukaAina1

I was just about to fall asleep when I went on jplop and saw this heartbreaking news.  As of today, Aina Otsuka (Tsukapon) has left Juice=Juice and H!P due to contractual issues.  I really had hoped this wouldn’t have happened and it seems so strange to have it happen now to her (her parents basically pulled her out it seems).  I mean I sort of understand it, but at the same time…they had ENOUGH time to decide that beforehand so this now is a bit sour if I might say.

I’m more upset because I loved Aina and to see my Oshi in J=J leave is really sad.  Even though the group will continue as a 5-nin, I just can’t be feel like…a big piece was lost (even though Karin, Sayubee, and Kanatomo will definitely be the vocal power now.

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