New Hello! Project Unit – C-Ute

Filed in Cult of Pop 1.0

There’s talk on the MM-BBS and and Idolizing St. Anna about a new Hello! Project unit called C-Ute. This isn’t the best-kept of secrets, as Matsuura Aya mentioned them on her radio show last month; more recently, somebody put up photos of C-Ute merchandise on the Hello! Project website before realizing his mistake and taking them down again. By the look of things, they’ll be touring with Natsumi Abe.

Anyway, C-Ute is apparently composed of the remaining members of Hello! Project Kids who weren’t made a part of Berryz Koubo. This include Suzuki Airi, the phenomenal voice on both versions of Aa!, and Murakami Megumi, of Aa! version 2 and in this year’s shuffle group Sexy Otonajan (along with Berryz Koubo’s Natsuyaki Miyabi, who was in Aa! version 1, and Morning Musume’s Fujimoto Miki).

If it wasn’t for Airi, I wouldn’t be interested. That said, I didn’t care about Berryz Koubo at all last year and now I find them creeping into my playlists more and more. I have to wonder if this is simply renaming H!P Kids or if there’ll actually be singles and PVs. Given the success of Berryz, trying to replicate the formula only makes sense.

And why pair the group with Nacche? For some reason, the notion of H!P Kids working as Nacche’s back-up dancers makes me think of the midgets dancing around Stonehenge in This is Spinal Tap. Country Musume and Ayaka would be a better fit for Nacche, and they’ve worked together on a previous single of Nacche’s. Part of me has to wonder if Nacche’s still being rehabilitated for last year’s scandal, as working with kids is often interpreted as a sign of virtue.

Why not pair C-Ute with W, who toured with Berryz last year and would most likely be closer in spirit and sound to one another? Or just putting them on the Berryz tour, now that Berryz has a very clear, very popular identity of their own?

As always, there’s a level of opacity in figuring out Hello! Project’s decisions. Hopefully the official announcement for C-Ute’s debut will be made soon, as well as news of their releases and tours.