Reflect Back The Happenings Of Hello Project For 2015! What About Next Year?
With the changing days that come and goes, there are always times when we have to say “good bye”. 2015 was certainly a year with a lot of goodbyes, but at the same time, we saw a steady progress that corresponded to the changes. Let me reflect on the activities of Hello! Project in 2015, by looking at the groups that stood out, had members graduating, and is expected to make a rapid progress next year.
Groups That Stood Out This Year
Kobushi Factory Formed, Made Their Major Debut (January)
In January of 2015, Hello! Project announced the formation of Kobushi Factory. They made their major debut in the fall with the triple A-side single “Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan/Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san no Uta/ Nen ni wa Nen”. I was surprised to see their energetic stage at TIF (Tokyo Idol Festival) that made me forget that their average age is only 15 years old!
Country Girls Major Debut (March)
Consisting Momoko Tsugunaga from Berryz Koubou, Country Girls has made their major debut with the double A-side single “Itooshikutte Gomen ne/ Koi Dorobo”. It was particularly significant that the news was delivered in Hokkaido since Country Musume. was formed with the image of “country girls from Hokkaido”. The MV for their songs so far tend to be fluffy and adorable with a retro-sounding music, and I wonder if they will challenge a cool song next year.
℃-ute 10th anniversary, first concert at Yokohama Arena (June)
This year was definitely one of the great years for ℃-ute, as they celebrated their 10th anniversary and succeeded in performing at Yokohama Arena for their final day of the tour “The Future Departure”. The single “Gamusha Life” released this year was a song that reflected their 10-year history, and also carries an atmosphere that they would continue to stay the same 10 years later.
Groups With Members Graduating/Withdrawing
There were too many graduation/withdrawal announcements in the later 2015.
Country Girls: Uta Shimamura (June)
One of the saddest news of the year was the withdrawal of Uta Shimamura from Country Girls. After her graduation, many fans mentioned the word “Uta-loss”, which implied the sorrow of the loss of Uta.
Angerme: Kanon Fukuda (November) , Meimi Tamura (Scheduled next spring)
Why do members graduate one after another? Kanon Fukuda graduated ANGERME to take her next step as a song writer, and Meimi Tamura announced her graduation in Spring 2016 to be a musical actor. Although the graduation of these two members were shocking for the fans, both seem to be a rather happy graduation in the hope to be successful in their next career.
Morning Musume ‘15: Riho Sayashi (December)
This was the most shocking news for me this year. Being the leading member in Morning Musume since joining the group in 2011, Riho Sayashi showed her great dancing and singing skills at the concerts. I know many of you may have thought “What would happen to Morning Musume ’15 if Riho leaves the group?”. Though it was a sudden announcement, she did comment that she would like to “come back” after her study abroad, so we can only wait for her to return with more skills and experience.
Other Outstanding News of 2015
Tsunku♂’s graduation (September)
In April, Tsunku♂ announced that he lost his voice after removing his vocal cords due to laryngeal cancer. It was certainly touching when I heard him say that he chose to “throw away his precious voice for the chance to continuing to live”, since I cannot imagine how painful it would be to lose one of the most precious things in your life. In September, he also announced his graduation as the producer of Hello! Project. It is sad to think that we can’t listen to so many songs composed by Tsunku♂ anymore, but I wish the best for his recovery and new path.
Maki Goto’s First Baby (Announced in October)
Ex-Morning Musume member, Maki Goto, announced in October that she was expecting her first baby in the end of 2015. The maternity photos of Maki are just beautiful, and I’m sure that many fans were happy to see her unchanged appearance since her days in Morning Musume.
Berryz Koubou’s last concert before hiatus (March)
Berryz Koubou held their last concert at Nippon Budoukan on March 3rd, the same day as the date of their debut 11 years ago. It is unbelievable that their long history as an idol has come to an end. I wonder what the members are doing now…
Groups to Keep an Eye On Next Year
Following, Kobushi Factory, the formation of Tsubaki Factory was announced in April during Hello Pro Station. The name “tsubaki” originates from the flower (camellia Japonica), and has the flower language of “pride”, “modest kindess”, and “supreme loveliness”. Though they don’t have a single with a MV yet, we can look forward to their further success next year!
Although they have shown great energy in their activities this year, such as their performance in Taiwan and Hong Kong and their appearance on the TV drama “Budoukan”, next year would be a greater one if they have more lives to be held. Their singing ability is definitely improving each year, and fans would love to go to their lives to listen to their powerful and cute voice!
2015 was a year full of good and bad news for Hello! Project. While I was impressed by the numerous accomplishments made, the sad announcements also reminded me that every day is never the same and that we have to support our idols as much as we can when they are still active.
ANGERME Official Website: http://www.helloproject.com/angerme/
Country Girls Official Website: http://www.helloproject.com/countrygirls/
Juice = Juice Official Website: http://www.helloproject.com/juicejuice/
Morning Musume ’15 Official Website: http://www.helloproject.com/morningmusume/
℃-ute Official Website: http://www.helloproject.com/c-ute/
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