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!
C-ute comes back to us with a triple A side single on April 20. “Naze Hito wa Arasoundarou? / Summer Wind / Jinsei wa STEP!” Puts Yajima Maimi, Nakajima Saki, Suzuki Airi, Okai Chisato, and Hagiwara Mai in a decidedly more adult direction than previous efforts. This isn’t the intense rocking sound or the aggressive dance beats of their past discography. “Naze Hito wa Arasoundarou?” is a soulful harmonized number that draws influences from the great soul groups of the past. In the spirit of those great 1960’s soul, the song is a song of love and peace which comes across immediately with the English translated title “Why Do People Fight?”.
You know how I feel about Suzuki Airi
C-ute start off the new year with a song that sounds like an early “song of the year” contender. “Tsugi no Kado wo Magare” burns along with a sense of purpose rarely heard in idol songs. The song seems to be convinced of its own importance like it has a mind and personality of its own. I’m not sure I’ve ever heaped on as many glowing, colorful descriptors in praise of a song before (well, maybe for Mano Erina’s “My Days for You“) , but I feel very strongly that “Tsugi no Kado wo Magare” just might be the best song Hello! Project releases in 2015.
Let the Suzuki Airi pic spam begin!
I might as well write a bit about pedigrees for the 27th major release from the most senior Hello! Project group. “Tsugi no Kado…” is not written by Tsunku. I don’t want anyone to think I wish ill upon the man, because I wish him a full and speedy recovery, and I really want him to return to his post at Hello! Project in full. But, things being what they are, I’m glad at least one other talented songwriter/composer is available to assist in the considerable writing duties of the Projects. Nakajima Takui proves again that he is man who knows his way around a song arrangement or two. Nakajima already gifted us with Angerme’s “Taiki Bansei” this year.
I’m always astounded at how great these girls grew up looking. Here we get a high fashion look combined with some risque shots. Enjoy!
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