Originally published May 26, 2016. Updated August 15, 2017 with some tweaks on January 10, 2018.
Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
While I’m holding the Zukki and Meimei Tribute, I thought of doing an additional post for those who want a little bit more. What with a certain recital behind us, what better topic than the trainees formerly known as the Hello! Project Eggs?!
First held in 2013, the Haru no Koukai Jitsuryoku Shindan Test or Spring Public Ability Diagnosis Test is an annual concert event where the H!P Kenshuusei put their abilities on display in front of a panel of judges and a captive audience. Afterwards, the Kenshuusei who have displayed the best abilities are awarded by the Judges (via the “Judge’s Special Award”) and the public (via the “Public Vote”).
For its first four years, more fresh blood is introduced at these events, though they don’t perform (at least in the 2013 iteration). These include:
- Former Country Girls member Inaba Manaka, former Kobushi Factory member Fujii Rio, and current H!P KSS leader Inoue Hikaru in the 2013 event.
- Former ANGERME (3rd Generation) member Aikawa Maho in the 2014 event.
- Country Girls/Juice=Juice member Yanagawa Nanami, Tsubaki Factory member Akiyama Mao, and ANGERME 5th Generation member Kasahara Momona in the 2015 event.
So without further ado…
Let’s Meet the Honorees!
- 2013 Public vote winner.
- She joined the program formally in October 2010 after winning a Shugo Chara! Egg audition.
- After spending about 4-5 years as an Egg, Nanami officially left H!P in 2014. In 2015, she became a member of OnePixcel where she remains to this day.
- 2013 Judge’s special award winner.
- After failing the Morning Musume 11th Gen auditions and joining the Kenshuusei in December 2012, Sakurako eventually became a member of Kobushi Factory in 2015.
- 2014 Public Vote Winner with 244 fan votes.
- 2015 Judge’s Special Award – Singing runner-up.
- 2017 Public Vote Winner with 548 fan votes.
- She was one of finalists from Morning Musume’s first 12th Gen auditions who later joined the program in September 2013. In the 2017 event, her debut was announced with her joining Juice=Juice the following month.
- 2014 Public Vote Runner Up (with 223 fan votes) and Judge’s Special Award – Best Character Winner (shared with Ogawa Rena & Kishimoto Yumeno).
- After failing the S/mileage 2nd Gen and the Morning Musume 10th Gen auditions, she became a Kenshuusei in March 2012. She later entered (and failed) the 11th Gen audition.
- In 2014, Mizuki became a 3rd generation member of
Hamaura Ayano & Taguchi Natsumi
- 2014 Judge’s Special Award – Singing Winners.
- Hamaura and Taguchi became Kenshuusei in June 2011. Hamaura auditioned for Morning Musume’s 10th and 11th generations, but failed. Taguchi auditioned for Morning Musume’s 11th generation, but failed.
- In 2015, both became members of Kobushi Factory, which became a fully promoted group later that year.
- On December 7, 2017, Taguchi Natsumi “graduated” from Kobushi Factory.
- 2014 Judge’s Special Award – Singing Runner Up.
- She was one of finalists from Morning Musume’s first 12th Gen auditions who later joined the program in September 2013.
- She left the program in September 2014.
Yoshihashi Kurumi & Sasaki Rikako
- 2014 Judge’s Special Award – Dance Performance Winners.
- Yoshihashi Kurumi became a Kenshuusei in June 2011 alongside Hamaura and Taguchi. Sasaki Rikako became a Kenshuusei in March 2013.
- Both auditioned for Morning Musume’s 11th Generation, but failed.
- Yoshihashi left the program in November 2014, one month after Sasaki joined
- 2014 Judge’s Special Award – Dance Performance Runner Up.
- 2015 Public Vote Winner (with 509 fan votes).
- After failing the Morning Musume 11th Gen audition, she joined the Kenshuusei in late 2012.
- In December 2016, Kaga joined Morning Musume ’16 as a 13th Generation member.
- 2014 Judge’s Special Award – Best Character Winner (shared with Murota Mizuki & Kishimoto Yumeno).
- She became a Kenshuusei in June 2011, after failing the 9th Generation audition.
- Ironically, she was introduced alongside the finalists from the same audition who didn’t join the group.
- She auditioned for Morning Musume’s 10th and 11th Generations, but failed.
- In 2015, Ogawa became a member of Kobushi Factory, which became a fully promoted group later that year.
- On September 6, 2017, after being on hiatus since July, Ogawa Rena graduated from Kobushi Factory.
- 2014 Judge’s Special Award – Best Character Winner (shared with Ogawa Rena & Murota Mizuki).
- She became a Kenshuusei in 2012 after failing the 11th Generation audition.
- In 2015, Kishimoto became a member of Tsubaki Factory, which became a fully promoted group in 2017.
- 2015 Judge’s Special Award – Singing Winner.
- She became a Kenshuusei in December 2013 after failing the 12th Gen audition.
- In 2015, Funaki Musubu became a member of Country Girls.
- In 2017, she became a concurrent member of ANGERME as part of its 6th Generation (alongside Kawamura Ayano).
Ichioka Reina & Hashimoto Nagisa
- 2015 Judge’s Special Award – Dance Performance Winners.
- Ichioka Reina became a Kenshuusei in December 2012 after failing the 11th Gen audition. In the 2017 event, her debut was announced with her being revealed to be the leader of a (as of this writing, unknown) new group the following month. While she still performs alongside the Kenshuusei, Ichioka is considered a fully debuted member of Hello! Project.
- Hashimoto Nagisa auditioned for S/mileage’s 2nd Generation, but ultimately failed. She later became a NICE GIRL Project! Kenshuusei in 2012 and remained until late 2014. Thereafter, she became a Hello! Pro Kenshuusei and remained in the program until July 2016.
- 2015 Judge’s Special Award – Best Character Winner.
- 2017 Judge’s Dance Award Co-Winner (with Maeda Kokoro).
- A former NICE GIRL Project! Kenshuusei, she became a Hello! Pro Kenshuusei in November 2014 and remains in the program to this day.
- 2015 Judge’s Special Award – “Shimizu” Winner.
- 2016 Judge’s Special Award Winner.
- 2017 Judge’s Singing Award Co-Winner (with Yamazaki Yuhane).
- She became a Kenshuusei in May 2013 during the test event of that year and remains in the program to this day. In the 2017 event, she was named as the leader of the Hello! Pro Kenshuusei.
Kasahara Momona & Kiyono Momohime
- 2016 Public Vote Winners (each with 228 votes).
- Kasahara became a Kenshuusei in May 2015 during that year’s test event while Kiyono became a Kenshuusei in February 2016.
- In July 2016, Kasahara Momona was promoted to ANGERME as its sole 5th Generation member.
- In the 2017 event, it was announced that Kiyono was going to be part of “a theatre-focused section.” While she still performs alongside the Kenshuusei, Kiyono is considered a fully debuted member of Hello! Project.
- 2016 Public Vote Runner-up (with 225 votes) and Judge’s Singing Award Winner.
- Takase became a Kenshuusei in March 2015.
- In the 2017 event, it was announced that Takase was going to be part of “a theatre-focused section.” While she still performs alongside the Kenshuusei, Takase is considered a fully debuted member of Hello! Project.
- 2016 Judge’s Dance Award Winner.
- Akiyama became a Kenshuusei in May 2015 during that year’s test event. She has remained in the program until August 2016 when she was added to Tsubaki Factory.
- 2017 Public Vote Runner-up with 247 votes.
- Kawamura joined the Kenshuusei on August 17, 2016, being properly introduced during opening day of the September recital.
- In the 2017 event, her debut was announced with her joining ANGERME as a 6th Gen member (alongside Funaki) the following month.
- 2017 Public Vote 3rd Place Winner (with 211 votes) and Judge’s Singing Award Co-Winner (with Inoue Hikaru).
- Yamazaki joined the Kenshuusei on August 17, 2016, being properly introduced during opening day of the September recital. She remains in the program to this day.
- 2017 Judge’s Dance Award Co-Winner (with Horie Kizuki).
- Maeda joined the Keshuusei in April 2015, officially being introduced during the 2015 Test event. She remains in the program to this day.
- 2017 Judge’s Character Award Winner.
- Hashisako joined the Kenshuusei on August 17, 2016, being properly introduced during opening day of the September recital. She remains in the program to this day.
So therefore, out of all of this:
- 4 honorees (16%) left the program (Tanabe Nanami, Oura Hirona, Yoshihashi Kurumi, Hashimoto Nagisa)
- 13 honorees (52%) properly debuted within H!P
- 4 (30.77%) joined Kobushi Factory (Wada Sakurako, Hamaura Ayano, Taguchi Natsumi, Ogawa Rena)
- 4 (30.77%) joined ANGERME (Murota Mizuki, Sasaki Rikako, Kasahara Momona, Kawamura Ayano)
- 1 (7.69%) joined Country Girls first (Funaki Musubu)
- 2 (15.38%) joined Tsubaki Factory (Kishimoto Yumeno, Akiyama Mao)
- 1 (7.69%) joined Morning Musume (Kaga Kaede)
- 1 (7.69%) joined Juice=Juice (Danbara Ruru)
- 1 (4%) is scheduled to debut in a new group (Ichioka Reina)
- 2 (8%) joined a theatre-oriented section (Kiyono Momohime, Takase Kurumi)
- 5 honorees (20%) remain in the program to this day (Horie Kizuki, Inoue Hikaru, Yamazaki Yuhane, Maeda Kokoro, Hashisako Rin).
Wow… given the fact that there’s a slightly higher percentage of winners debuting than leaving, I’m liking those odds. It almost makes you feel optimistic for the Kenshuusei (especially the Class of 2017. The Class of 2016 have mostly either debuted or are about to debut).
Some additional trivia:
- Inoue Hikaru won the Judge’s Special Awards
twothree years in a row. (Give this girl a debut spot, darnit!)
- Danbara Ruru and Kaga Kaede were awarded two years in a row, but in different places (winner in one year, runner-up in another) and different categories.
- Murota Mizuki, Takase Kurumi, and Yamazaki Yuhane won multiple awards within the same year. One of these was in the Public Vote, be it as a winner or a runner-up (as is the case with Takase).
- Sasaki Rikako, Murota Mizuki, Funaki Musubu, Kasahara Momona, and Kawamura Ayano were promoted within their awarded year. Danbara Ruru technically also fits into this category, despite spending more years in the program.
- Conversely, Oura Hirona and Yoshihashi Kurumi left the program within their awarded year.
- Yamazaki Yuhane and Hashisako Rin are the most junior honoree still active in the program as of this writing, having joined the program in August 2016.
- Ichioka Reina is the most senior honoree still active in the program as of this writing, having joined in late 2012. After she properly debuts, Inoue Hikaru will take this position, having joined in May 2013.
- The current record for highest Public Votes is held by Danbara Ruru with 548 votes, which was previously held by Kaga Kaede with 509 votes in 2015. Coincidentally, they both debuted within a 12-month period of each other.
- The record for lowest Public Votes for a winner are jointly held Kasahara Momona & Kiyono Momohime with 228 fan votes in 2016.
- The greatest gap in the amount of votes in the Public Vote is in 2017 with a 301 vote difference between Danbara Ruru and Kawamura Ayano. The lowest is in 2016 with a 3 vote difference between the Two Momos and Kurumi. (For anyone curious, in 2014, there was a 21 vote difference between Danbara Ruru and Murota Mizuki. …I’m beginning to see a pattern here.)
Regardless of what happens, I sincerely hope for the best. Stats can only do but so much. With this data, I hope any of the aforementioned
10 5 get a spot.
Since I first wrote and published this in May 2016, here are some comparative thoughts with an August 2017 perspective:
I’m primarily hoping for Danbara Ruru and Inoue Hikaru, if only because of their age and seniority.
In a really weird way, I was kinda right to root for Danbara as she would debut a year later as part of Juice=Juice. As for Inoue Hikaru… she has a start.
Kaga Kaede also gets a “ganbare” from me, though I will admit I get her confused with a now-former Kenshuusei a lot…
Little did I know that a few months later, Kaga would be beamed into the Mothership as one-half of the 13th Gen. I’m uber-happy for her… though it’s bittersweet with all of the reports of… well, let’s just say that she’s the new Zukki with how everyone (especially in the Japanese fandom) comments on her looks….
Given the 13th Generation auditions happening, I wouldn’t be surprised if one managed to debut through this route.
(I’d rather not imagine what would happen if they ended up in the 14.29%.)
That’s out 3 of 21, which rose to 4 (19.05%) out of 21 in July for obvious reasons. This number has remained constant since so despite the bump in the percentage to 16%, this is mainly due to the increase in the general winners count that came about from 2017’s event.
Either way, I wish them all the best! As previously mentioned, stats can only do so much. As is often said my sports-loving family, “that is why you play the game.” (Seriously, those pregame shows do nothing gossip and debate stats. Even the cruddiest teams on paper can come from behind for an upset and anything can happen. You can’t rely on stats for everything! …Shut up!)
Until next time
P.S. The lineup for the Powerpuff Musume ’16 project has been finalized! See the post on the M3 Tumblr for details.
Also, if you live in the Southern Hemisphere (particularly in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Australia, South Africa, Colombia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Paraguay, or Bolivia) and particularly if you have an interest in visual arts, graphic design, drawing, and/or illustration, then you might want to check out this post from the M3 Facebook page!