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!
Earlier this month, Juice=Juice’s Uemura Akari and Morning Musume 15’s Ogata Haruna got together for a pictorial guide to happiness. If this feature provides any indication, Aarii and Haachin lead the group of new young faces of Hello! Project. We had an idea that Aarii would receive the push for her looks, but Haachin has not been seen without her generation mates in a magazine feature until now. Haachin seems to possess the kind of facial control that allows her to set the mood for a variety of photographs. What’s more, Haruna provides the classic looks that will keep her relevant for years. Let’s hope I’m right!
Girls at play. (Advantage: draw)
Morning Musume ’15 rounds out their April 15, 2015 triple A-side release with the Tsunku composition “Yuugure wa Ameagari”. Like the bittersweet “Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe“, the grandmaster of Hello! Project fills this song with equal parts sorrow and hope, rain and sun, death and rebirth.
Morning Musume ’15 “Seishun Kozou ga Naiteiru” [PV]
A tough as nails supporter cheers you on toward your goals. It’s a fight, it’s a battle, and the rewards are unspoken and perhaps uncertain. The new Morning Musume ’15 PV certainly gives an impression of a pugilistic bombardment. It’s an uphill battle to get to … an adolescent boy’s crush? Oh, no. Certainly, you can read whatever rewards you like at the end of your struggle, regardless of what the lyrics tell you.