Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
Summer’s ending, students are back in class, and it’s time to reflect a bit on what’s going on.
Hello! Project News
This was originally going to be a Ping Pong Pinpoint, but… not much has happened in H!P as of late to warrant one. I mean, three major pieces of news to come out of Q3 and all of them happened in August.
What happened? Well, I’ll tell you!
In early August, it was announced that H!P (in the spirit of the anniversary) would release a collab single under Hello Pro All Stars on September 26, 2018. We had already gotten a taste of the magic in “YEAH YEAH YEAH,” which is a more… reflective piece than what many expected for an anniversary release (or even a song with a title like that).
However, such euphoria is short-lived. Much like summer love and youth, idol days are fleeting and in the midst of the festivities, the loneliness of time can creep in and sap away that energy.
That toll of the clock came on August 17 when the news that had been the stuff of jokes, what-if/who’s next speculation, April Fools pranks became reality: Iikubo Haruna announced her graduation from the Mothership Connection and Hello! Project (meaning that all members of the fame Triple A trio will graduates by the year’s end). Her reasons are quite valid: a desire to start solo activities and “challenge herself.” Given her well-known interests in fashion and pop culture, I’m sure Harunan will be fiiiiiiiine.
Sure, her announcement was a shock (what isn’t?), but the cushion to the blow is the fact her horizons will be expanded after this. I mean, look at fellow Triple A-er Kudo Haruka. (I’ve decided to dedicate that art show to the three of them.)
Exactly one week after Harunan’s graduation was announced, some news dropped regarding the Kenshuusei: Horie Kizuki and Kanatsu Mizuki had “finished their training.”
Horie became a Kenshuusei in November 2014 while Kanatsu became one in April 2015.
Horie was already on the high-end (having joined at 16, an age most would depart from) and she had turned 20 by her departure. (Indeed, Horie was getting close to being among the oldest Kenshuusei the program’s ever had. Only Hirano Tomomi (the program’s oldest member ever), Korenaga Miki (who was among the Gatas), and Noto Arisa (who graduated to become an “Up-Front Egg” with the aim of becoming a tarento, which she pretty much did) left the program as twentysomethings.
Either way, I wish Horie the best in her endeavors, be they entertainment-related or not.
I’m a bit more optimistic about Kanatsu Mizuki though. She joined the program at 12 and left at 15 so she still has enough time to become an idol if she so wished. We’ll see…
Either way, I wish all of them the best in the year ahead… including the Project itself. Between the graduations, the eroding public trust, and the mishandling of certain things (I hope the extremely protracted “debut” of the new groups is worth all of this. Not even Nintendo keeps hype this artificially inflated this long! I get there’s an overall shrinking pool of potential J-idols, but this is all the more reason to not screw around!), the Project… could use a healing potion.
These next few posts are going to be fun. You see…
- The obligatory
Cirno DayIce Fairy Appreciation Day post, the ETA on that being September 9 (as per the usual).
- A special review of Morning Musume‘s Pepper Keibu to tie into M3’s 10th Anniversary — and the final post to do so. The current ETA on that post is September 10.
- The Q3 winner of the Anniversary Review Vote was C-ute‘s Edo no Temari Uta II (so we’ll have some C-uteness to balance out the sheer Berryz domination during August). The current ETA on that post is September 13 so we’ll see how things go from there.
After this, I will take my obligatory hiatus and return as early as October 18, 2018.
In the meantime, you can vote for the final Anniversary Review Vote. Voting ends on November 29, 2018 at 15:00 UTC / 11am Eastern Time. Calculate your local time here.
You can also take part in the Momusu M3 Grand Prix. Details can be found at this shiny page dedicate to the event! It’s beginning to wind down and some rather interesting match-ups are forming.
Well, there’s nothing much to report here so… thank you for your support and look forward to what’s on the horizon.
Take care! 💐