Tsugunaga Momoko – the Last Photobook previews


You should be aware by now that Tsugunaga Momoko, the longtime Hello! Project presence, Berryz Koubou member, and Country Girls playing manager, graduates from H!P and the public eye on June 30, 2017. Post-graduation plans for the idol include a career in education (just think about Momochi with kindergartners …). But, before she makes her way to the Idol Hall of Fame, she graces us with one last photobook: “Momochi”.

And, here are the previews (presumably from FLASH March 7, 2017 and UTB April 2017, both linked below)






— —- —-
Concerning Tsugunaga Momoko [English] [Japanese]

~theNumber244~
TypeC

Tsugunaga Momoko Last Photobook
“Momochi”
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

TypeA

UTB (Up to Boy) April 2017
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

TypeB

FLASH March 7, 2017
Amazon.jp | CDJapan | YesAsia

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Hello! Project Power Rankings December 2016



Hello everybody, TheNumber244 here to bring you up to date with the new month of Hello! Project Power Rankings.

It’s been an eventful month in the projects. November spawned two single releases, an album release, a graduation announcement, a first-time Nippon Budokan concert, and a new generation announcement! And, if that isn’t enough news, Michishige Sayumi revealed (after some numberplay and wordplay) her comeback to the entertainment industry on November 26, a full two years after her graduation. The only thing for certain now is that the pink one will return next year. Details will be announced, so look out for Yummy Sayumi!

And now,
Rankings come on!

Read More…

Hello! Project Power Rankings March 2016


Hello everybody, TheNumber244 reprinting my article from New School Kaidan here with the intention of bringing you up to date with the new month of Hello! Project rankings. With only one proper release on the schedule for March, it’s pretty clear who is perched atop the rankings for the month. Still unseen on the rankings is Tsubaki Factory, who released an indie mini-album in March titled “Tsubaki Factory SOUND + VISION Vol.1” during the Satoyama/Satoumi/HinFes event mid month. Having not heard the release myself, I can’t tell you much about it other than it contains their previous singles, “Seishun Manmannaka!” and “Kedakaku Sakihokore!”, and covers of “17sai” by Moritaka Chisato and “Cabbage Hakusho ~Haru Hen~” by Peaberry.

Speaking of the HinaFes, the events of March centered around “Hello! Project Hina Fest 2016” on March 19 and 20 at Pacifico Yokohama. Coinciding with the Satoyama/Satoumi event at the same venue, HinaFes has become a sort of “Spring Road Show” for the Projects as the groups showcase their upcoming Spring singles. Solo and small group performances with participants decided completely by lottery add a specialness to the performances as the member combinations can be completely unpredictable yet surprisingly sensical. Spread among the four performance dates this year we got solo performances from Juice=Juice’s Takagi Sayuki, Morning Musume ’16’s Fukumura Mizuki, Kobushi Factory’s Ogawa Rena, and Angerme’s Wada Ayaka. The small group performances brought us “trugranful” with Miyamoto Karin, Tamura Meimi, and Nakanishi Kana; “AAAa” with Uemura Akari, Suzuki Airi, Haga Akane, and Hamaura Ayano; “Tsubomi Factory” with Taguchi Natsumi, Nomura Minami, Niinuma Kisora, Inoue Rei, and Kamikokuryo Moe; and “6 Pack” with Katsuta Rina, Ogata Haruna, Yajima Maimi, Kishimoto Yumeno, Ishida Ayumi, and Kudo Haruka.The success of the event warranted another HinaFes in 2017, so I’ll see you next March when I describe the next set of lottery-chosen performances.

And with HinaFes 2016 out of the way,
Rankings come on!
–Read More–

Changing the Guard


Michishige Sayumi – November 2014
Berryz Kobo- March 2015
Shimamura Uta- June 2015
Fukuda Kanon- November 2015
Sayashi Riho- December 2015
Tamura Meimi- May 2016
Suzuki Kanon- May 2016

Look at that list. This 1.5 year span from November 2014 to May 2016 sees the loss of 13 girls from Hello! Project. Some real prominent names occupy this list as well. Girls who anchor their respective group in some form suddenly drop from the scene in droves. The last time I remember such a large exodus from the projects was the Elder Club mass graduation in 2009.

I don’t think this particular batch of departures signifies anything as sweeping as the Elder Club graduation. Some key positions opened up, and it’s interesting to see who will fill the void. Let’s go down the line?


Michishige Sayumi
Sayumi makes some strong argument for the most productive Morning Musume Continue reading

Berryz Kobo, Final Live

This is a story told through tweets. I set my alarm for 12:30 AM and spent an emotional 4 hours watching one of my dear Hello! Project groups ride into the sunset (or something like that).

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A collection of live tweets from my viewing of the the Berryz Kobo Final Live.

Oh, hey! Thank you, friends, for the link. You know who you are :))

Berryz Ikube, they’ve kept this up for a while now

and then …

Continue reading

2014 Single of the Year!

Do you know what gives me a hard time? End-of-the year lists. For someone like me, who likes and tries to find value in the littlest of things, every decision involves a heart wrenching choice. Regardless, my idol friends on Twitter (you know who you are) provided me with enough motivation to attempt an end of the year list of idol releases. I agreed to this undertaking for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this undertaking provides me the motivation to look and listen at a wide cross-section of idol music. Lots of idol groups have been popping up of late, and without this project I feel like I was missing many groups that I would love.

Continue reading

Hello! Project Power Rankings Septeber 2014 [plug]

It’s new month and  new set of rankings.  You can see my work over at New School Kaidan.  To preface the rankings, you may not know about my Berryz Kobo fandom (since I post very little about the group), but there was a time when they were my favorite Hello! Project act (no joke!).  I felt really bad last month when Berryz Kobo announced their indefinite hiatus / disbandment at the end of the month just after my deadline for the August H!P Power Ranking.  Anyway, there really was no news in the last 30+ days that compares to the end of such an important H!P group.  I don’t know if I’ll miss the group too much.  They have been getting a bit stale for a while now.  Of course, I hope the group goes out with a celebration rather than a whimper.

TLDR: read my September H!P Power Ranking at New School Kaidan!

Now, watch Morning Musume ’14 at Mezamashi live on 8/13/2014

Outsourced! Hello! Project Power Rankings- April 2014

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(Shameless plug time)  Very exciting news in the world of thenumber244!  One of my favorite websites for idol news, reviews, and entertainment is New School Kaidan.  Recently, I contributed an article to the site: Hello! Project Power Rankings for April 2014.  In a nutshell, I reviewed the activity of each Hello! Project group and assigned each group a numerical ranking.  Although I make an attempt to make these rankings data driven, they are (by nature) highly subjective.  Hopefully, I’ll get to contribute more in the future!

If  you don’t already check out NSK or listen to the their weekly podcasts, I recommend heading over there now.  It’s a great source of idol entertainment for us idol fans.  While you’re there, be sure to check out my contributions: H!P Power Rankings Apr 2014, and Idols You Should Meet: Ikuta Erina.

Happy Valentine’s Day 2014

I’m usually very bitter on this day. I refuse to celebrate love just because “the man” tells me that I should spend more money. I refuse to celebrate love because Hallmark needed to right their account books between Christmas and Easter.
However, I will celebrate a lovely set of pictures from Hello! Project. Here are the girls of MoBeKiSuJu. Fun facts: (a) look at Sayumi’s Valentine Card and see for yourself! (b) Mizuki’s vertical stripes are at their limit, (c) Miyabi’s horizontal stripes are barely affected, (d)as a group C-ute are also really good at drawing, (e) Airi drew Suu san again, (f) Kanyon looks AMAZING, and (g) Uemu looks like the cutest bully I’ve ever seen.
Morning Musume ’14
Continue reading

BerryKyuu in WEEKLY SPA! MAGAZINE

Hey, don’t blame me. I don’t know why Maasa and Yurina were left out of this photo shoot. To tell the truth I don’t particularly like the way the Berryz girls are styled in this photo spread. I don’t think I can ever get used to Risako’s hair, and is cosplaying as someone’s grandma. Miya looks plain, Momoko looks like Momoko (again), and Chinami is totally out of place. Captain looks pretty good, but she is shoved WAY into the corner of the shot.


Look at C-ute’s faces. Does it seem like they all just woke up? At least they look like they like each other in the two shots.


Man, did I complain on this post. Get me more coffee. NOW.