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

And the winner is … Kamikokuryou Moe

In the audition that nobody wanted, the winner is a girl from outside the Projects named Kamikokuryou Moe. That sound very harsh, but I think it rings true. At least, it rang true last week. Now that we’ve seen and heard her, Moe is very welcome to the clan of gremlins known as S/mileage Angerme. Vital details follow:

Name: Kamikokuryou Moe (上國料萌衣)
Birthday: October 24, 1999
Age: 16 … barely
Hometown: Kumamoto
Bloodtype: O
Height: 150 cm (Mini Moni sized)

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Sasaki Rikako “Rikako” [Photobook]


You know, I’ve been a fan of Sasaki Rikako since a bit before her days as a Hello! Project trainee. Her story as a refugee of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and floods is staggering. The story becomes more insane when you find out Rikako became an idol (in the local group SCK Girls) because her parents wanted singing and dancing to cheer her up from the lose of her family’s house and fishery.

Well, none of her rise to fame wouldn’t be possible if she wasn’t so darn cute.

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Haro!Sute #113 and The Girls Live #65 [tweetstory]

Just a quick warning, I’m pretty sure some of the tweets at the end of this are not from either of the two shows listed. Too bad.
Hello! Station 113

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Hello! Project in Weekly Playboy

The new faces of Hello! Project feature in a new set of magazine photos from Weekly Playboy Magazine. Here’s a printed indication about the way the wind blows. So, PAY ATTENTION! These are the girls you are going to see again and again. Learn their names!
In Morning Musume, we have Kudo Haruka, Sayashi Riho, and Makino Maria.

Juice=Juice sends the #Karinfection herself with Miyamoro Karin pairing nicely with Uemura Akari

The new Kobushi Factory sends the colonol! That’s right, Hamaura Ayano.

Country Girls send in Shimamura Uta, the last viral infection from H!P. But, really they could have sent any of those cuties, right?

Finally, and I can’t believe she would be last in anything, Angerme’s Sasaki Rikako brings the pain.

Some extras:
Duu, RihoRiho, and Maria

UTACHAN KAWAII (did you know she was 1/8 Italian?!)

Haro!Sute #112 and The Girls Live #64 [tweetstory]

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Angerme- “Taiki Bansei/Otome no Gyakushuu” [PV]

Just when we thought the new name would kill the group dead, Angerme punches us in the face with their new release “Taiki Bansei/Otome no Gyakushuu”. By now, we all know that S/mileage 3rd generation Murota Mizuki, Aikawa Maho, and Sasaki Rikako provided the girls with extra momentum. Now we see the “Rikako factor” in action.



The energy of the song is undeniable. I also theorize many listeners were hoping for something different from the group, and “Taiki Bansei” definitely sounds different. Although he might have received the songwriting and composition assignment due to unfortunate circumstances, Nakajima Takui (Mano Erina’s “My Days for You“, Dia Lady’s “Lady Mermaid” and LoVendoR’s “Ikujinashi“) again shows us his talents are considerable. The instrumental arrangement for “Taiki Bansei” eschews the now standard electronic sounds of Hello! Project in favor of real instruments played by real musicians. This time, Takui gives Angerme a funk-inflected song complete with an octive hopping bass line, conga percussion, and talk box lead guitars. You can see the tracking of “Taiki Bansei” in a series of Music+ videos starting here.

This opening shot really says a lot, doesn’t it?

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