Hello! Project Happenings!
The past few months have been very busy, and quite positive for Hello! Project. My interest is definitely back, but for how long we shall soon see. As for the moment, as long as Kanon Suzuki is getting some sort of exposure, in any form whatsoever, I will be somewhat interested.
First up, the Dream Morning Musume concert was released on DVD, and boy is it good. I mean these girls have lost no flair, no performance stamina and they are mostly at the top of their game here. I love that they performed great lesser heard songs such as Happy Night and Mirai no Tobira. Mari and Kaori are sounding kind of strained (don't even get me started on Koharu...but she's always sounded like that) but they make up for it with their energy and even, for H!P fans that have been around for a while like me, the nostalgia quality. Highlights include: Makoto Ogawa getting loads of lines (FINALLY, we had to wait for her to be out of MM for 5 years? How annoying!), Yuko Nakazawa being spectacularly sexy and Natsumi Abe in 'Roman ~ My Dear Boy' - with loads of Yossi too. A Nacchi/Yossi duet would be a dream come true! Even more so than just this group existing.
Next, Ai Takahashi's graduation from Morning Musume, I have mixed feelings on this. While Ai was a very important part of the group for a very long time, I really do think it was her time to go. I am saddened that I never got to see her live, but if she pursues her dream of musical theatre, then maybe I still will one day. I am excited to see which direction she takes, hopefully after a well earned break! I'd love to see MM take a new direction now, with even more energetic and upbeat tunes, and with more age appropriate lyrics. As most of the group is under-16 now, I do not wish to see a lot of 2007-2010 Musume tunes in the repotoir, that said, they could easy perform some of the older songs, although the problem there is that Dream Morning Musume may be doing them instead. How confusing!
The 10th generation members were also introduced on Ai's 2nd last day as a Morning Musume member. We have Haruna Iikubo(16), Ayumi Ishida (14), Masaki Sato (12) and Haruka Kudo (11), Haruka surpasses Ai Kago as being the youngest Morning Musume member ever. She's got talent and experience though so I doubt she'll be the weakest, they all have something unique to add to the group. I'm interested in seeing the interaction between 9th and 10th generation members. Having a 12 member strong Morning Musume is hopefully going to distribute the lines more evenly. I don't want to see any more Sayumi lead A-sides please.
We also get to find out who the definite S/mileage members are in less than 5 days. I hope all of them get added. I really like them all, but my favourite is Rina Katsuta. So I definitely hope she gets added! I really liked 'Tachiagirl' - and the new members being announced got a lot of new people into S/mileage, including me, as their helium-sound may go down an octave with some new voices.
The Mobekimasu single 'Busu ni Naranai Tetsugaku' PV preview has been released, and it's the usual suspects, but I hope we see the non front-girl members a bit too, or it will end up being terribly boring. The PV looks pretty and sparkly, but why does the choreography remind me of Berryz's 'Ai no Dangan'? It's quite similar, and one cover of the CD is really, really badly photoshopped. They really shouldn't be pulling this kind of crap when they have the most competitors they have ever had since their start in 1997. The game has been raised and they will have to raise with it.
This has been a really up-and-down year for Hello! Project, but it definitely looks like they are going to end on a high note, I really hope that there are no more graduations announced for a while! Good luck Hello! Project!