This is really gonna test my memory now.
So last year while I was being a lazy git, Tsunku announced a new unit.
Yay new blood. Just what the doctor ordered.
Didn't really care at that point that who was going to be in the group but just excited that a new group was being formed.
Got even more excited to hear that Miyamoto Karin, Otsuka Aina and Takagi Sayuki were going to be in it.
Karin has got to be the most talked about KSS after Meada Yuuka and Sayubee was this bubbly ball of energy on stage. They were among my favourites in the KSS programme. Aina, I remember from the 9th gen auditions. I wasn't in the group who wanted her in (I wanted either Mogi or all of them in) but I was glad that she got her chance to debut. A chance to show what she had learned from her time with the KSS.
As for the other three, Miyazaki Yuka, was a bit strange to me. She has a good voice but I hadn't seen her dancing skills to fully judge her. Uemura Akari and Kanazawa Tomoko were complete mysteries to me. They were newbies, especially Kanatomo.
When I heard their name and the reason behind it, I immediately thought about what I read about Berryz Koubou and how Miyabi had given each girl her own fruit (Saki - Strawberry, Momoko - Peach, Chinami - Orange, Maasa - Watermelon, Miyabi - Cherry, Yurina - Pink Grapefruit, Risako - Chinese Pear). Made me think that they were going to replace them soon. Not a good feeling.
When their first indie single was announced and performed, I actually liked what I heard. It was mature and very different from what the rest of H!P was doing. It established Karin and Aina as the front girls with Sayubee and Kanatomo as the middle and Yuka and Akari as backups.
I was quite impressed with them until I heard Aina's vocals. Live, she was fine, but recorded, she hurt my ears. I couldn't take her vocals. While Kanatomo was like chocolate to my ears. Where the hell did Tsunku find this girl?
Second indie single and I felt that this group was strong. I was waiting for Tsunku to trun around and say that he was adding/subtracting members but it didn't happen. This song confirmed how strong in terms of talent this group is. Even though Yuka is the worst dancer in the group while Akari is the most nervous singer, it didn't take away from my enjoyment of their performances.
Ten Made Nobure! Not a fan of this song....for the group. But for the KSS's, its perfect. This didn't fit in with their image and to this day, they don't really perform it with out the KSS.
soon after the release of the KSS song, they get the news of their major debut.
Seriously?!? You made C-ute, Mano Erina and S/mileage wait 4 singles and you give these girls only 2 (not including Ten Made Nobure) singles? Although it didn't seem fair, they were ready.
Then Tsunku also announces a big FUCK YOU to Sayubee's leadership and gives it to her Kohai, Yuka, just cos Yuka is older, then another massive FUCK YOU to being sub-leader to her and gives it again to her kohai, Kanatomo. I felt bad for the girl as up until that point, she was acting as leader and everyone in the group was looking up to her for guidance. You could see her face drop for a second when that announcement was made.
Then Aina's parents pulled the plug on her career with H!P. Personally, I think she either wasn't doing good at school, her parents thought UFP was AKS or they wanted Aina to be more featured in the group then Karin. Although Tsunku has said that the group will carry on as a 5nin, I was, and still am, afraid that Tsunku will add more girls to this group and do a S/milage on us.
Now for their major debut. A triple A-side. First H!P group to do this. Shame the other two songs were just edits of their first two Indies but boy am I glad they did that. Didn't think I could listen to Aina's voice anymore. As sad as I am to see her go, my ears are happy about not having to hear her in single versions. (Sorry Aina fans, I like the girl just not her vocals)
These girls are going from strength to strength. Their sales a excellent for a rookie group. Over 40,000 for their debut!?! Ranking at #3 on the Oricon weekly chart for their debut!?! (I know Passport did the same and got a #1 on their major Debut so this is nothing but I'm not a Passport fan (can't seem to get into them))
I would say that my favourite member is Takagi Sayuki followed by Kanazawa Tomoko. Miyanoto Karin was never my favourite favourite KSS, but I do rate her quite high. Its just I've fallen in love with Kanatomo's vocals and can't seem to drag myself away from them.
Akari is my least favourite member just cos I like Yuka's vocals better. It was really hard to rank these girls as they all have something unique about them. I like all of them, which is really weird for me. The only other group like that is Dream5.
So to clarify,
1. Takagi Sayuki
2. Kanazawa Tomoko
3. Miyamoto Karin
4. Miyazaki Yuka
5. Uemura Akari
I'm looking forward to seeing that this group does in the future.