The Berryz 2006 Calendar: January / February

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

In a couple of days it’ll be time to move on to the next sheet on the Berryz 2006 calendar.  I can’t wait, actually, since it’s Momoko and Risako. And having spent the past couple weeks staring at the above picture, I have to say… Shimizu Saki is hot.

It’s taken me a while to warm up to her. It wasn’t like the intense hate for Momoko that turned to ambivalence and then poetry-inspiring worship. She was just below the radar, so to speak: the captain, the oldest one, the shortest one. No reason, then, to pay particular attention to her. But she always seemed a likeable enough idol, if not very distinctive, I liked her politeness at photo shoots…

And then watching her dance at Kouhaku got my attention. I’m not sure why, it just did. All that bending and twisting and balloon-tugging must’ve done something to me. And she definitely looked cute in that blue dress. Not Momoko cute, but close.
Anyway, I’ve been looking at her on my wall since Valentine’s Day and I love the outfit she’s wearing. The red sweater is very flattering on her, classy and comfortable looking at the same time. I like the shorts and the deathly pale legs, though legs that white usually creep me out. And her smile, which sometimes seems a bit forced, seems more natural and luminescent here. For a change – perhaps because her height doesn’t factor into it – I think she actually looks a little older than her age, instead of considerably younger.
As for Miyabi… Well, I’ll give her points for wearing such a distinctively funky outfit. The khaki pants and that hippie-ish top, the bead necklace and a knit red cape? For some reason it makes her easier to like, it adds a new dimension to her just a little. If Saki’s helped by having a more polished and mature appearance here, the opposite is true for Miyabi: the thrift store chic makes her seem more relatable. I’m not sure why I have the impression of her being more of a fashion plate, but I did get that impression – perhaps because of her golden child role among the H!P Kids, or the serious look during her performances. Showing a grungier side would work in her favor.
Miyabi’s still at the bottom of my Berryz pecking order, though, and Saki second to bottom. But the difference between bottom and top of that hierarchy is lessening more and more over time, which for some reason I find oddly disturbing. I think if I ever got to a point where I love all the Berryz equally and without reservation – as opposed to just loving Momoko, Maasa, Chinami, and Risako almost equally and without reservation – I’ll feel like any critical assessment of their idol virtues and flaws will be lost.

But that concern can wait a little longer, I guess.

The topiary in the back is pretty interesting, by the way. I usually don’t notice it when I stare at the calendar, but when I do it’s like being tapped lightly on the cheek: surprise and mild annoyance and curiosity for a few seconds. “Where the heck are they?” I ask. Is it a garden or a coffee shop of some sort? A resort perhaps? And is that a topiary llama in the center or a baby giraffe? And what’s up with that stuffed animal dog in the top right corner?

Anyway: Momoko and Risako in a couple days!

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2 Responses to “The Berryz 2006 Calendar: January / February”
  1. acetonic says:

    Saki is my fave Berry, and one of the only ones who’s name I know, but I can’t say she, or any of them are “hot.” I am always drawn to the runt of the litter.

  2. gaijin101 says:

    Yurina, Saki, and Risako all the way! Very cute.