Another week, another Hello! Station. If I seem to be writing these later and later each week, it’s because of my real life getting in the way of my wota life. Hopefully my schedule will clear up as we reach summertime!
The next host for Hello! Station is the newly minted subleader for Morning Musume- Iikubo Haruna. You know her, the one who looks a bit like a mantis, the one with large hands, the one who loves “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure”, the one who can look stunningly beautiful in print. On the subject of Harunan, nobody could have possibly predicted co-subleaders (with Fukumura Mizuki and her universal boobies). There hasn’t been a Morning Musume subleader in quite a while- I believe the last subleader was Niigaki Risa. I fully expected that Mizuki would become a subleader if the spot opened up, but Harunan took me by surprise. If her hosting gig for Haro Suta this week is any indication, she does make a great choice with her maturity and calming presence even if she is far down in the seniority list. Mind you, I’m still hoping for a PonPon led Morning Musume- I would lose my mind!
The big topic on the table is Tanaka Reina’s graduation. No matter your personal opinion on Reina, her graduation leaves a big hole in the center of the group. No one has yet to prove they can nail down Reina’s lines consistently. I personally believe that her lines will be dispersed somewhat democratically and we will see the most balanced Morning Musume we have ever seen. Let’s see if it happens that way, eh?
Reina graduation speech leads things off. As a non Japanese speaker, I have no idea. But, someone might want to watch this for the feels.
Reina’s solo graduation song is performed next. Did you expect “Rock no Teigi”? NO!! You get “Kirakira Fuyu no Shiny G”. Now is a good time to talk about the Reina graduation outfit. Reina wears her member color with leopard print- not surprising. Also not surprising is the cat ears and gigantic bow on her rump. Tall leather boots and long socks and studded belts almost complete her look. To answer the question: Reinga graduated wil the glitter in her hair!
The performance that we were really waiting for was “Shabondama”. This song is pretty special for Reina fans, being her debut song. And actually, this song is a great barometer for how the future Musume will sound. The girls spread out the lines among themselves more or less uniformly. Did you catch Mizuki’s lines? I didn’t think she had that kind of power in her! Of course, Sakura sounded great- this song is kinda tailored for her singing style. Other than Riho’s now obvious voice change (puberty is a bitch), I think she sounded pretty good- her new deeper voice is gonna be nice. You know what? They sounded great. This was a great performance!
A video premiere! Berryz Kobo’s “Golden Chinatown” gets a welcome on the show. I probably will write a full review about this PV, so I’ll just say that gold isn’t my favorite color.
Tsunku surprises S/mileage with one of his creepy “voice only” appearances. The frequency with which he is making these announcements is interesting. He seems to pop up in every appearance the Hello! Project girls make these days. My rational brain says that Tsunku appearances are the only ones that make it to air so his presence is artificially amplified. Blah blah- rationality has nothing to do with the internet. Oh, and I have no idea what he is saying. I think it’s safe to assume that S/mileage are NOT performing a solo live at Budokan.
S/mileage perform Yattarachan- the other side of their double-A side. Wow, is this song upbeat. The beat is unrelenting, and Tsunku dips into his synthesizer sound palette once again. Take-chan’s vocals are heavily featured in this song. Overall the song seems like a fun romp.