℃-ute Sing Their Hearts Out with Fans for the Final Time at Saitama Super Arena!
On June 11 2017, ℃-ute marked the 12th anniversary of their formation. The very next day, June 12, they stood on stage together for the very last time, delivering a performance that is sure to go down in history.
Saitama Super Arena saw 20,000 fans descending on their colossal venue, decked out in ℃-ute’s bright member colors and ready to cheer on the veteran group at their last live. They draped Team ℃-ute towels around their necks and brandished their penlights, illuminating the entire arena in red, blue, pink, green and yellow.
Every Hello! Project group came out in full force, performing as opening acts in a prelude to ℃-ute. Morning Musume, ANGERME, Juice=Juice, Kobushi Factory and Tsubaki Factory rallied the audience with each of their own songs, warming up the arena for their seniors.
A video opened the concert, its cinematic style introducing the members to an electrifying beat that immediately took over the dark arena. As they showed up on screen one by one, the crowd transforming into a sea of each of the members’ colors. Moments later, the legendary idols emerged to the roars of the audience, elevated on LED-lit structures. A tall burst of fireworks marked their grand entrance, and likewise they burst onto stage with their first song “The Curtain Rises”. Dazzling in dark, glittery dresses, they began a streak of powerful tunes, from “Kiss Me Aishiteru” to “The Middle Management ~Josei Chuukan Kanrishoku~” to their early hit “Tokaikko Junjou”, where the important monologue was spoken by both Maimi Yajima and Mai Hagiwara. The concert had taken off with an explosive start, and the members kept the sparks in the atmosphere as they greeted their fans in the first MC.
After a costume change, ℃-ute reappeared fresh and feminine in flowery purple dresses. They seamlessly shifted the mood with the bubbly “Wakkyanai Z”, a tribute to their beginnings as a young idol group. From there they began a series of cute songs, smiling as hard they were dancing as they sang “Momoiro Sparkling”, “Ookina Ai de Motenashite” and “Kokoro no Sakebi wo Uta ni Shitemita”. During this time they circled around the arena on individual platforms, getting up close with the fans who enthusiastically waved back at them.
After another MC, they changed into sweet pink dresses and took the audience down memory lane as they performed their first major debut single “Sakura Chirari”. Sakura petals floated down on screen behind them for a beautiful combination of sight and sound much to the delight of the audience. It followed with a hearty rendition of “Campus Life ~Umaretekite Yokatta~”. The atmosphere gradually turned into a tender, reflective ambience—everyone quietly raised their penlights as they sang “Kimi wa Jitensha Watashi wa Densha de Kitaku” and “Summer Wind”.
℃-ute returned to the stage wearing dresses in their own member colors, and each of them led a song that they had selected for the evening. Mai Hagiwara started with “EVERYDAY YEAH! Kataomoi”; she said she treasured the first time she got the main vocals on a song. Saki Nakajima took the baton with “Shiritsu Kyogaku”, showing her cute side as she also took the lead in a song she loved. Chisato Okai then let her powerful vocals rip as she belted out “Bokura no Kagayaki”. Her voice reverberated around the arena and energized the crowd. The medley continued on to Airi Suzuki; she chose “SHOCK!”. Once a controversial song, she sang every line with pride to the supportive fans. Finally, Maimi Yajima concluded the streak with a significant song of her choice— “Massara Blue Jeans”. The video on screen played footage of their indie debut with this song at Saitama Super Arena, when they were an opening act for Morning Musume. In the present, they charged down the stage like they did 11 years ago, and threw themselves into the song, firing up the audience with familiar exhilaration. Everyone danced along as they broke into chorus, shouting out “love me!” in succession with the members.
The members took a break to talk about the songs they had just sung, reminiscing about their early years when they were still starting out. Every song held a special meaning for them and was a part of their journey to where they stood in the present. With that, they declared they were going to show the audience the mature ℃-ute.
Or so they thought. Just as they slid into position, a different, suspiciously jaunty tune began to play and the girls looked at each other in surprise. Suddenly, three surprise guests walked on stage. Yuko Nakazawa, Sayumi Michishige and Ayaka Wada — two former Hello! Project leaders and the newest successor to Maimi. They gave ℃-ute a giant flower bouquet each, congratulating them with warm messages. The members shed tears as the 1st generation leader Yuko fondly remembered the days when the girls were so small. Sayumi greeted them for the first time in a long while, praising them for exceeding the boundaries of being an ‘idol’ and forging their own genre. Finally, Ayaka thanked them for being the seniors she had always looked up to. She struggled to speak without crying, and many people in the audience were moved to tears.
When the guests made their leave, the girls took a moment to recompose themselves. They joked about how hard it was to stay cool for their next song now that they had become so emotional. But being the professionals they are, they effortlessly regained their poise and revved the arena back up with “Jinsei wa STEP!”. The audience stayed on a high throughout the next several songs including “Mugen Climax” and “Namida no Iro”, as laser lights sliced through the arena and accentuated the girls’ vigorous dancing. They raced through the setlist together with all of their fans, and eventually had everyone air-jamming and jumping to the catchy “Dance de Bakoon”.
The last song before the encore was “Final Squall”, from ℃-ute’s last single. The atmosphere electric with feverish emotion as the girls sang their goodbyes to the fans, holding each other close and getting a snapshot taken live on stage. In true ℃-ute fashion it was adorably haphazard and lit up with their biggest smiles — and leader Maimi, out of her excitement, had accidentally pushed youngest member Mai out of the picture. With that the members left the stage waving, and the crowd began to call for encore.
In the midst of the dark, thousands of penlights illuminated the arena in a rainbow of colors. Fans steadily kept up the chant, calling ℃-ute’s name until they returned to the stage. When they finally did, the audience was instantly spellbound. The spotlight shone on them as they emerged in breathtaking white gowns, gazing out at their fans. They performed an emotional rendition of “Singing ~Ano Goro no You ni~”, their eyes shining with tears and voices full of soul. ℃-ute then gave their speeches, individually reflecting on their long journey and conveying their gratitude to all their supporters. It was a poignant climax that touched the hearts of everyone in the arena.
But it wasn’t like ℃-ute to leave on a sad note. They stepped out of their long gowns, and took the stage by storm again with their encore performance of “SHINES”, swinging their towels with all their might and excitement along with the fans. This was followed up by “To Tomorrow”, a song full of hope and anticipation, and all the current members of Hello! Project, came back on stage to send their beloved seniors off. Lining up on both sides of the stage with ℃-ute in the centre, they danced together with them for the last time. The blue sky behind them slid apart to reveal a white stairway, which ℃-ute slowly ascended, symbolizing the paths toward their new futures. They turned around, glancing at the audience before vanishing into the darkness.
This was the cue for the fans to drum up their encore again for the very last time, stronger than ever before as they rallied together for the group. After several minutes, ℃-ute plunged back into the concert with “JUMP”, their iconic crowd-pleaser. During the last chorus, the girls raised their microphones out to the fans and got them to sing the lines for them, united with all of Team ℃-ute.
The audience went silent as the members of ℃-ute took a deep breath and launched into an a cappella rendition of “Tadori Tsuita Onna Senshi”, their voices clear and evocative as they sang their final song. Just as the song title said, they were female warriors who had finally arrived at the peak of their hard work. It was a rousing farewell for the legendary group—they shared their last moment with the crowd, and finally stepped down.
The arena remained abuzz with ℃-ute’s aura even after they had left the stage. A countdown timer ticked down, until the clock struck 9:10pm—”kyuu-to” (℃-ute)—bringing to an end the career of a legendary idol group that would be frozen in time forever.
01 The Curtain Rises
02 Kiss me Aishiteru
03 The Middle Management～Josei Chuukan Kanrishoku～
04 Tokaikko Junjou
05 Wakkyanai Z
06 Momorio Sparkling
07 Ookina Ai de Motenashite
08 Kokoro no Sakebi wo Uta ni Shitemita
09 Sakura Chirari
10 Campus Life ～Umarete Kite Yokatta～
11 Kimi wa Jitensha Watashi wa Densha de Kitaku
12 Summer Wind
13 EVERYDAY YEAH! Kataomoi
14 Shiritsu Kyougaku
15 Bokura no Kagayaki
17 Massara Blue Jeans
18 Jinsei wa STEP!
19 Mugen Climax
20 Crazy Kanzen na Otona
21 FOREVER LOVE
22 Namida no Iro
23 Adam to Eve no Dilemma
24 Kanashiki Heaven
25 Arashi wo Okosunda Exciting Fight!
26 Jounetsu Ecstasy
27 Cho WONDERFUL!
28 Dance de Bakoon!
29 Sekai Ichi HAPPY na Onna no Ko
30 Iron Heart
31 Final Squall
E1 Singing～Ano Koro ni You ni～
E3 To Tomorrow
℃-ute Official site: http://www.helloproject.com/c-ute/
℃-ute Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cute_upfront
℃-ute Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Cute.Official
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