While thinking of what to post about today I have noticed that I haven't talked here about the idol I've been following in Hello!Project. Maybe just a little, but here it goes: a thread that could easily become a Berry°C-u and I'm talking about the supposed adversity between them and their fans. And I said "could become", keep in mind I'm thinking of only one person.
In the beginning there were four kids. Actually, there was 4kids and Minimoni movie. Maasa Sudou, Risako Sugaya, Airi Suzuki and Mai Hagiwara. The Tsunku's oh-so-holly hand pointed at them and said: now go and disguise yourselves as freakingly irritating but kawaii kids! In truth, they held the big secret, Tsunku's retirement. Yes, somehow he knew that Morning Musume couldn't keep on after 5th generation and that Gocchin would go get touched somewhere else and that Ayaya's smile wouldn't get wotas to even know her fifth album was being released. He knew 2007 would be doom. Tsunku had a back up plan!
At least, I think so, I wouldn't say it was due to 4Kids success that he decided to continue to use the kids more than just for back dancers. In 2003, a year after the results were announced, the first group was formed, ZYX. Lead by Mari Yaguchi they had two singles that didn't sell that well for the time but considering that they were a low budget group, it did well in presenting us what would be the future of the HaroPuro. Except for one thing. Actually two. The leading talents were only shown by the time ZYX released its last single, when we got to know First Kiss.
Aa! was a trio that had everything to be irritating. Reina Tanaka had just got into Hello!Project and didn't have that yankee look yet, just some noob. Teamed up with a ten year-old and an eight. But look this way, should Takitty leave now Morning Musume, Reina would get the main lines (or so I hope it's not the Miracle Girl.......). As for the other two... They are already shining. Miyabi Natsuyaki and Airi Suzuki. The later got more lines in the single and after that she was known as Ace.
Yes, Airi has it all for her. I'm glad the next year she didn't get into Berryz, known as the true winners from H!P Kids, the group sold a lot and had a true hit, Special Generation. What was supposed to be a shuffle group to fit the girl's school schedule, became a united group with good voices like Miyabi herself and good faces like Sugayo, who also happens to steal all the lines along with the cute, but for me scary element, Momoko. I don't know about music but Yurina and those three are really good vocals that even Morning Musume lack nowadays.
But it seems that Tsunku saw it coming and saved the best for the last. Market gained, he could start preparing the rest, as they were known. I, myself, never understood although I didn't try hard to, why Airi who got so much recognition (I just liked Aa! because of that eight year old cute girl!) was a leftover. In 2004 too, we heard that really good b-side of Reina, Airi and Megukami in the All Stars single. By the way Megumi Murakami was one of the revelations from ZYX and her voice was one of the best among the Kids. Why would so nice voices be the ones out of Berryz?
Then, in 2005 °C-ute was announced. I do remember Tsunku saying it would be just so they weren't called Kids anymore. But, again, he grouped MeguKami with Miki Fujimoto and Natsuyaki (yes! from Aa!) in the best song from the shuffles, at least in my opinion. In 2006 °C-ute would finally release a single, with already a second generation member, Kanna Arihara, of their own after singing so much their first song, Wakkyannai Z, they put out Massara Blue Jeans. The lead voices would be MeguKami, Airi, Maimi Yajima, the leader, and Erika Umeda. All of the singles were released for the summer and were some really nice songs, being Ookina Ai de Motenashite even an anime theme. Their first album came out with a couple of covers and the singles.
I'm afraid to say that the group even had a scandal of their own. When their real debut was sure, Megumi Murakami was seen walking the town with a guy. Yes, that was it. She resigned just like Mari Yaguchi did and now we have the current line-up without the main voice. Not that Megu led all of the songs but just the major part.
I'd say i started not liking °C-ute by the time they debuted. Sakura Chirari sold more than 20k in its first week and somehow took the members to all of the biggest music shows, as if they were getting Berryz's place. Yes, that's when Berryz's singles stopped selling as much and the songs stopped being as funny. But I think that what upset me more was Airi's status from the magical trio (like
Berryz's Momoko, Yurina and Risako) to the Airi Suzuki presenting °C-ute.
I'd say Airi is one of the most dedicated among the Kids and somehow she draws the attention to her. Maybe for being so young (she's 13 now) or for being somewhat serious, the effect she has on you is close to what happened when GoMaki joined Momusu. It's just that she lacks voice. I was really disappointed on her solo song Tsuugaku Vector... And because of that Airi will never be a solo singer. So, after noticing that, I got rid of my thing against °C-ute and was happy for her to have found her place.
The amazing thing about Hello!project is that the members have a beginning and you can follow them until the end, which is when they debut in the Elders Club (kidding). Skip that Minimoni single and tune in First Kiss. Watch the PV and then watch Hello!Project Winter Concert in 2006 where Aa! was reunited. They are changing, they improving and the magic behind H!P is that it feels like you were the one who chose them to lead their groups, the main ones nowadays (Morning Musume, °C-ute and Berryz Koubou). I'm sorry to all of the AKB fans,
but it will be a long road for them to surpass that because the idols are just there, ready. There wasn't a time when they only seemed like irritating noobs.
Airi's next step is Buono!, some best selling trio that consists of Aa! plus Momoko. Like some Gomattou from the Kids. It sounded like a group led by Natsuyaki (she IS the leader) but I'm proud to say that Airi reigns even there. But that's probably another story that I'll only think about after their first album, Café Buono.