In news dear to my heart, Country Girls added two new members to their ranks. Joining the kawaii assault are Hello! Project Kenshuusei members Funaki Musubi and Yanagawa Nanami. The timing of the announcement coincided with the girls’ First Anniversary event in Shinjuku. One year since the group’s formation and they’re already adding new members, eh?
I don’t think anyone can blame them. The loss of original Country Girls member Shimamura Uta opened a huge hole in the plans for the resurrection of Country Musume. If the member that emerges as the visual center of the group vanishes, a reformulation of plans is definitely warranted. Rather than look at this as a vote of “no confidence” in the current members, think of it as a vote of confidence for the Country Girls as a group. Someone up there believes the Country Girls can rise to prominence with the correct mixture of girls. Let’s just patch a few holes in this ship and see how far we can sail, right?
Here’s video of the announcement:
So, who are these new girls?
Damn. This girl is SHORT. If the Country Girls were going to get new recruits, then I guess they need to be Momoko sized. The Osaka girls are always the fun ones, hopefully Funakki isn’t the exception. Funakki participated in the first Morning Musume 12th generation audition in 2013 (a.k.a. the one where no one won), and eventually found herself in the Projects as a Kenshuusei. She is member of the incredibly successful 20th generation Kenshuusei- Yamaki Risa (Country Girls), Yokogawa Yumei, Niinuma Kisora (Tsubaki Factory), Oura Hirona, Danbara Ruru and Haga Akane (Morning Musume). You saw that right: Musubu and Risa are Kenshuusei generation mates. I don’t really think it’s a coincidence.
Fun Fact- Funakki is the youngest member of Country Girls!
Yanagawa Nanami (梁川奈々美)
Nickname: (she’s super new)
Birthday: January 6, 2002 (age 13)
Blood Type: A
Height: 143 cm
Oh man. They just get smaller and smaller! Nanami hasn’t been in the Hello! Project system for very long, so there is less data on the girl. Her data sheet indicates Nanami enjoys reading and plays the saxophone. Nanami, alongside Ono Mizuho, Nakano Rion, Maeda Kokoro, Akiyama Mao, Kanatsu Mizuki, Kasahara Momona and Okamoto Honoka, is a member of the newest Kenshuusei batch: the 24th generation. Needless to say, Nanami is the first girl of the bunch to debut. In other words: I don’t have much to say about this girl because she still has the new-hire shine to her. Welcome to the Projects.
The other more dreadful thought in my head is Tsugunaga Momoko. The lone Berry holds the “Playing Manager” role for the group, but for how much longer? I’m sure she can continue for a little while more, but there needs to be an end-game for her and the rest of the Country Girls. The number of new girls suspiciously matches the number of replacements needed for the original configuration of Country Girls: one girl to replace Uta, one girl to replace Momoko. This is complete speculation on my part, but Country Girls look to be preparing itself for life after Momochi.
Anyways, what do you think of the new girls? Do you have a favorite? Is your personal ranking of the Country Girls affected, or is Ozeki Mai still your number one?
Let me know in the comments!