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4,385 Days to Become the Queens of J-POP: Looking Back the Achievements of ℃-ute on ℃-ute Day (September 10)!

「アイドルが憧れるアイドル」になるまでの4385日:9月10日は℃-uteの日!
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4,385 Days to Become the Queens of J-POP: Looking Back the Achievements of ℃-ute on ℃-ute Day (September 10)!

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If this article is correctly released, it will be posted at 9:00 pm on Sunday, September 10, 2017 (JST). September 10th is the day known as “℃-ute no Hi” (℃-ute Day), and the group has held special events on this day for many years. Sadly, the group disbanded on June 12, 2017 and closed the curtain on their 12-year history. Although, there is no event planned for 2017, let us look back what ℃-ute was.

It is not easy to sum up their history from the very beginning. Therefore, I will pick up some of the important moments based on the statements related to them.

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“I was glad to see Tsunku♂” – Mai Hagiwara (2002)

This is what Hagiwara said when she was 6 years old during the Hello! Project Kids Audition. 15 girls passed this audition and they went on to form Berryz Kobo and ℃-ute. ℃-ute is Currently known as the idol who the other idols admire but the group did not have a problem-free life as idols. They have suffered a lot before finally breaking through to fame and stardom.

Berryz Kobo was formed with Saki Shimizu, Momoko Tsugunaga, Chinami Tokunaga, Maasa Sudo, Miyabi Natsuyaki, Maiha Ishimura, Yurina Kumai, and Risako Sugaya in 2004. The other 7 members were called “Hi-Beri Kids” (Kids who were not selected for Berryz Kobo). As Berryz Kobo kept heat on its activities, Maimi Yajima, Saki Nakajima, Airi Suzuki, Chisato Okai, Mai Hagiwara, Megumi Murakami, and Erika Umeda worked steadily as Hello! Project Kids.

One and half years after the formation of Berryz Kobo, the “Hi-Beri Kids” finally saw the light of the day: ℃-ute was formed on June 11, 2005. Tsunku♂ gave a name to the group and explained that he used ℃ instead of C to express the temperature of their passion. On June of the next year, Kanna Arihara joined the group and ℃-ute came to be 8 members. Favored in such songs like “Massara Blue Jeans” and “Wakkyanai(Z)”, the group steadily grew up as idols.

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“Why did Tsunku♂ do this kind of thing to us?” – Airi Suzuki (Top Yell September 2012)

℃-ute hit a tipping point first in 2009. Popular members, Kannna Arihara and Erika Umeda, graduated from the group. Murakami had already withdrew from the group on October 31, 2006 and ℃-ute continued on a 5 members until their last concert. In the midst of the commotion, the group released “SHOCK!” their first single with the new formation. The member colors were changed and they tried to restart with the 5 members but this brought about the mess again. Airi Suzuki sang all the parts of the song with the other members just devoting themselves to dancing behind her.

As a result, both the members and their fans raised complaints against this extravagant formation. There seemed that some fans even built up grudges against Suzuki. Looking back at that moment in time, amidst all the turmoil, Suzuki expressed her feelings as shown in the comment above. It was a critical situation when the members had been thinking about graduation but, this actually ended up strengthening their solidity as a group. The single “Dance de Bakoon!” released in August of 2010 served as a locomotive, pulling ℃-ute forward with tremendous momentum.


“Queen of J-POP~Tadoritsuita Onnasenshitachi~” – Title from their first Budoukan Concert

One of the release events for “Crazy Kanzen na Otona” was held at Ikebukuro Sunshine City on August 3, 2013. They began to perform the song but were interrupted by the sound of Tsunku♂’s voice coming from the speakers. It always has special significance when the voice of Tsunku♂ is heard during a Hello! Project event. He told the members and audience that the group will hold a concert at Nippon Budoukan on September 10th, something that the members had been dreaming of.

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10 years had passed since they joined Hello! Project and ℃-ute could finally stand on the stage of Nippon Budoukan, the holy place of idols. Recently, ANGERME and Juice=Juice also reached that legendary stage but ℃-ute was the first Hello! Project group to there since Morning Musume.. Tickets were sold out immediately and the agency decided to hold another concert there the day before the Budoukan concert.

Singing “One’s LIFE” and “Bokura no Kagayaki” a cappella, ℃-ute showed their overwhelming singing and dancing skills with a shining performance before the more than 10,000 people gathered there. It was fitting for them to be called the queens of J-POP, reaching Nippon Budoukan in 10th year of their careers as idols.


“The Best Performance in Hello! Project” – Tsunku♂

℃-ute steadily grew up as idols after the concert at Budokan. They succeeded at “ROCK IN JAPAN FESTIVAL” and held concerts all over the world, which attracted attention from even those who are not idol fans. The group became the symbolic figure of Hello! Project in the process. Tsunku♂ even praised them as having the best performance in all of Hello! Project.

Sayumi Michishige graduated from Hello! Project at the end of 2014 and Maimi Yajima assumed the leadership position of Hello! Project. This meant that ℃-ute finally became the top group of Hello! Project in reality as well as in name. The girls once called as “Hi-Beri Kids” then became the objects of adoration of all girls who wanted to be idols.

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Even though I understand that idols will someday vanish in front of my eyes, I still become distressed when it happens. ℃-ute, the idols that the other idols admire decided to disband at their concert at Saitama Super Arena which was their long-awaited goal and close its history of twelve years. Their graciousness even seems beautiful even though it is bittersweet.


“℃-ute thinks of team ℃-ute for 4,385 days ” – ℃-ute Last Concert in Saitama Super Arena

℃-ute Last Concert in Saitama Super Arena was held on June 11, 2017. The members performed with all of the emotions of delight, anger, sorrow and pleasure of the past 15 years. Suzuki also stated in her blog posted on the day following the concert but ℃-ute was invincible on their final day. Seeing the best performance in Hello! Project and in even all idol groups, the question of why they had to disband the group lingered in my mind.

With tears in their eyes, the members and their fans enjoyed their last concert. Time flew by and ℃-ute rushed into “Final Squall”. The lyrics, “A cute flower, even if scattered away The branch that grew so strong, Will surely have beautiful flowers blooming again” brought me to tears. They closed the concert by singing “Tadoritsuita Onnnaseinshitachi” a cappella and their history of 4,385 days came to an end.
℃-ute Last Concert in Saitama Super Arene Live Report (English Only)

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After graduation, Yajima and Nakajima became actresses, Suzuki pursued activities as a solo singer, Okai became a “talent” (media personality), and Hagiwara withdrew from the industry completely. The leadership of Hello! Project was transferred to Ayaka Wada (ANGERME). The members on this ℃-ute day must be working hard for their new dreams. This article picks up just a part of their history. It will not be finished if we were to attempt introducing every story like the relationship between Ai Takahashi and ℃-ute, and the collision between Suzuki and Okai. ℃-ute made many stories and that is one of the many reasons why they are so beloved.

These stories have already been known by Team ℃-ute (fans) but this article would be worth existing if people in the future could get to know how great ℃-ute was from this statement. I hope all the members of ℃-ute including the former members will one day receive their happiness and perhaps someday there will appear an idol group that surpasses ℃-ute as well.


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Hello! Project Official site:http://www.helloproject.com

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Author
ykmk
ykmk

Growing up in Akihabara culture, ykmk became an otaku covering idol, anime, and pop music.

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