The H!P Kids Are Alright 10: Henkka

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I think neither Berryz Koubou or C-ute will ever rise from the shadow of Morning Musume. Not very easily anyway. Unfortunate for fans of these groups, I know, but I believe this to be the truth.

Ray suggested two things that could perhaps make it possible: having an enormous hit, or moving from H!P to either TNX or NGP. Personally I don’t see the latter working. I think both of these groups, especially Berryz, are already very much branded as Hello! Project and nothing could change this in the minds of the public. It’s just a negative aspect (to mostly everyone but the wota) that is very hard to get rid of, no matter what they do. And the chance of scoring a huge hit? Like Ray, I’m very doubtful of that ever happening. As Ray already mentioned, the Japanese just aren’t going for that whole girl pop sound like they used to. However, who is to say it won’t become fashionable again in a couple of years? There’s no easy way to tell.

I hate to just reject Ray’s ideas like this and not offer my own ideas in exchange, but what can I say? I can only come up with one thing that would help really: a complete difference in the style of their music. And I mean a TOTAL, 100% change in direction. Even the rather unexpected move from something like Meguru Koi no Kisetsu to Tokaikko Junjou is not what I mean; that’s not even nearly enough of a change. Don’t ask me what exactly it is they’d have to do, I can’t really say I know what Japanese teenagers like these days as far as music goes. Maybe some R&B/urban-sounding stuff? I have no clue. All I know is that unless the overly-cutesy, girly pop becomes popular again, a BIG change would be in order.

As to Ray’s question… how do I see the end of Berryz Koubou and C-ute? This is interesting to think about. To properly answer though, I think it would be necessary to see just how Tsunku would deal with any core members leaving from these groups. Sure, one girl has left from each group already, but in Berryz’ case it was probably the least popular girl of them all, and while Megumi was definitely one of the core members of C-ute, they hadn’t even had their major debut yet so it wasn’t crucial.

Would Tsunku just decide to call it a day for Berryz if both Risako and Miyabi left? Would C-ute call it quits if Airi and Maimi went ahead and graduated? Even if it wasn’t one of the main girls quitting, it just wouldn’t work if either group was down to four or five girls or so. Either new girls would be brought in or the groups would just come to an end. And I hate to say it, but I think this year we will again see a graduation or two among the Kids. This was thankfully avoided last year, but I can feel it happening this year.

But alright, I will try to answer. Don’t take the next part too seriously, this is just for fun. Harmless and mindless speculation and guesses without any deeper meaning or anything. 🙂 You want to know what I think will happen to these girls? You got it!

(By the way, this is all only if Tsunku decides to not add any new girls to these groups, it’d be a totally different set of conclusions for everyone if he chose otherwise.)

  • Risako: Will graduate from Hello! Project in late 2008 or early 2009. Don’t ask me why! She’ll go back to a totally normal life.
  • Airi, Momo & Miyabi: Will leave their respective groups to be with Buono! full-time. When their time’s up, Miyabi will graduate, Airi will have a solo career and Momo will do pretty much nothing.
  • Chinami and Chisato: Will leave their respective groups to form a crazy W-like duo. I know, they have zero marketing appeal and it makes no sense. They’ll have minimal releases and they won’t be very popular, not even among H!P wota. Too bad. They’ll later graduate simultaneously, but much later. Chinami will end up selling her story about her youth gone to waste, telling about things like how her childhood was just pure hellish work, revealing who all the mean sluts were and all that jazz.

That leaves us with 7 girls. When they are down to that, Tsunku will disband both C-ute and Berryz to form a new group reuniting these remaining girls in a new all-Kids unit. Maimi, Yurina and perhaps Saki (Nakajima) will be the new leads. They will do quite well and will be around for several albums, but they’ll be crippled when both Maimai and Maimi graduate from Hello! Project. They will go on a hiatus during which Nakki starts a solo career. When they miraculously make a comeback, they will just be a foursome as Nakki has quietly decided to just leave the group to concentrate on her solo career for good. They’ll continue on with 4 members for a few singles until Erika has a boyfriend scandal and suddenly resigns from Hello! Project also, which is when they finally call it quits. Yurina will be the third and last one of the Kids to attempt a solo career and will do better than Nakki but not better than Airi. Shimizu will graduate not long after, bitter that no one ever gave her the respect she rightfully deserved as the Captain of the mighty Berryz. And Maasa? She might stick around the longest of them all, not really doing anything important though.

(*cough* Later, Risako will resurface as an AV star. Fingers crossed! *cough*)

So there you have it! I have to say, this is not at all what I actually hope to happen (well, except for some things – Airi solo career would be sweet, but much later!) This is a rather grim future I’ve painted for the Kids, heh. I’m sure it will be much better for everyone involved.

I’m very much looking forward to reading how Ray, Broomhead and Celestia think it will play out for these girls.


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3 Responses to “The H!P Kids Are Alright 10: Henkka”
  1. Radicalipton says:

    To me, every song produced by C-ute and Berryz is a bonus from here on out. Berryz has a track record that is astonishing — from 2004 until the present, a solid four years, this group remains a top-calibre team and the latest sales figures for “Khan” show this.

    C-ute goes even further — surpassing Berryz, in my view, and having been around only since 2005. Recall that January 2007 brought C-ute’s first real single, and look what has happened in the ensuing 14 months! Awards, hits, packed concert tours (3 in 2007).

    These two groups will hit their apex at the Battle Concert in April. After that, the future looks murky. The years 2007-08 will go down as two of the most sensational years ever for pop music because of C-ute and Berryz. I, for one, want to enjoy every minute of this ride.

    If they folded tomorrow, C-ute and Berryz have already made their mark on pop-music history. They don’t have to “replace” Morning Musume. In fact, I hope Tsunku forms a graduation system by which Eggs can slip into any gaps created when the current junior lineups start shifting. Keep the magic going, just like it has for 10 years with Morning Musume. Any of the current Eggs will make great subs in a C-ute or Berryz uniform.

    As for “cutesy” pop music becoming less and less popular in Japan, that might be so. But …if that is true, then why are concerts continuing to sell out? Photobooks? Merchandise? Cards? Where are these fans coming from?

    And why does idol music have a steadily increasing following around the world? In the US, we’re just catching up with history. Our European bloggers are as enthusiastic as ever, and growing in numbers. Fans from such diverse lands as Morocco, Latvia, Finland, Malaysia and New Zealand have come on board.

    It’s a great time to be alive and all I care about is that next DVD.

  2. Kawaiirrhea says:

    I had a weird dream this morning, Henkka. I was continuing my PV countdown, but for some reason it was now no longer restricted to PVs but was instead apparently a ranking of members of the union of H!P PVs and the homes of H!P bloggers. It made perfect sense in dream logic to compare homes and PVs…

    To assess the relative merits of these, I was driving over to your place to check it out. You apparently lived in some hard-to-get-to rural place, and the house was pretty much a tiny broken-down shack. You weren’t there, but I saw a horse and a bunch of chickens.

    And that’s all I remember.


  3. Henkka says:

    That was quite interesting, haha. I can’t explain the meaning of it for you though, I’m just happy I was in it somehow! Or, my tiny broken down shack of a home anyways… Thanks for sharing. 🙂


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