So, you remember when I did my Hopes, Predictions, and Fears list I posted in the beginning of last year? Well, it’s time to go back to it and see what did and didn’t happen! Let’s start, shall we?
+C-ute continues to decline: FAILED! According to what I gathered throughout the Internet, C-ute achieved quite a few highs in 2011. They were the first Japanese group to stream a concert live over YouTube. They also were the first H!P group to create their own Facebook. C-ute was able to sustain the second highest selling singles of the 3 main H!P kids groups. Only releasing 3 singles in 2011, they sold significantly lower than 2010. Their highest selling single of 2011 was Momoiro Sparkling with 23,900+ copies sold. The highest ranking single was Kiss Me Aishiteru at #4 on the Oricon Charts. I think Kiss Me Aishiteru was their strongest single of the year–it had a great PV, dance, and the song was also catchy. So, to conclude, C-ute definitely did not decline and I’m not gonna try to drag them down or anything. What’s the point of that, anyway?
+Morning Musume can find a way to gain more fans: SUCCESS! Even though I didn’t care much about what Morning Musume did after EriJunLin left, Tsunku actually did the smart thing after that: add more members. It’s always been normal for Morning Musume to have a crazy rotation of members; for more or less 2 years, the line-up was the same, thus the fans were the same. If MoMusu were going to have any hope of new fans, adding more members is the way to go. Different girls = different fans. Although I’m not used to this new Morning Musume and I don’t know if I ever will be, it was a smart decision.
+Berryz stop all their Inazuma Eleven promotion: SUCCESS? I haven’t seen any singles that have “ENDING THEME TO INAZUMA ELEVEN” plastered on them. And I haven’t seen them go real nuts with any Inazuma Eleven promotion either. However, Magical Future! was a pretty good song.
+S/mileage continue to do well in sales & promotion: SUCCESS! S/mileage sold a whopping 5 singles in 2011 and did the best among the 3 H!P kid groups. Their highest selling single was Please Miniskirt Post Woman! with 34,000+ sales. The highest ranking single was Uchouten LOVE at #4. S/mileage did well in promotion because of the big craziness with new members and two of the original members leaving so suddenly. It’s no wonder why the graduation singles did the best.
+Buono!’s comeback is big: FAILED! Although people were hoping for something big, most were let down. I didn’t think Zassou no Uta was that bad, but people did. The ranking and sales unfortunately showed its lack of fan love. The two singles of 2011 ranked and sold poorly, both with less than 15,000 sales each. I guess people just weren’t as mesmerized as I was.
+Tsunku continues to rotate centers on Berryz’ singles: FAILED? Although the first single of the year, Heroine ni Narou ka!, did have a Yurina-center, the next two went back to the group’s original lead girl: Risako. Maybe the next two will have another lead girl? As for now, we can’t really tell.
+No one graduates during the year 2011: FAILED! This hope was ruined 9 days into the year and 2 days after I posted my hopes, predictions, and fears list. Ai Takahashi was announced to graduate from H!P on January 9th, 2011. This shocked most people since she had the longest tenure in Morning Musume, has been leader for years, and the 9th generation members were just recently announced before this. Then, Saki Ogawa’s graduation was announced–she left just three or four days later. Next, Yuuka Maeda left H!P at the very end of the year. 2011 took three very important and loved members.
+Frances & Aiko stops, pl0x!: FAILED! Nah, these kids are still working in showbiz, as far as I know. Their last release was last year in January and that’s all I’ve really heard about. Ugh, these girls need to go back to elementary school–for their own sake.
+Ice Creamusume possibly comes back?: FAILED! It was confirmed a long time ago that Ice Creamusume was wiped off of Hello! Project’s roster. Nobody has the slightest clue why. All of their blogs were deleted suddenly and they seemed to just fall off the face of the Earth. The only thing we have left of them is a possible Facebook of Shen Shen under the name of Vivian something. Quite honestly, it’s disappointing.
+A little somethin’, somethin’ happens: SUCCESS! Ai Takahashi is gone. ‘Nuff said.
*C-ute keeps on with the whole “mature” shit: SUCCESS? C-ute started the year with Kiss Me Aishiteru but that seemed to be the only “mature” single of the year. Momoiro Sparkling and Sekaiichi HAPPY were upbeat, childish singles without much appeal, IMO. But most likely, they’ll continue this trend, since that “grown-up” C-ute is pretty successful.
*At least one more group is formed: FAILED! Absolutely no new groups were formed in 2011, unless you count Mobekimasu–which is just a collab of all the groups.
*Tsunku does some more stupid ass shit (similar to Muten Musume): FAILED! Thankfully, this prediction was not true. Tsunku didn’t make some stupid group, or announce some retarded promotion. However, the whole S/mileage audition thing was pretty fucked up.
*Some sort of scandal: FAILED! Yay! Nobody got themselves in any scandalous trouble. Save us the heartbreak, girls.
*Some weird ass promotion: FAILED! See “Tsunku is stupi–” Oops, my bad. “Tsunku does some more stupid ass shit.”
*Ongaku Gatas either disbands officially, or releases another single: FAILED! I didn’t hear any news about the Gatas in 2011, so I’m assuming they’re taking somewhat of a hiatus. Maybe 2012 will bring something?
*Kikkawa becomes the next best soloist: FAILED? Yuu isn’t necessarily huge, but she isn’t unknown. I think it’s just her management that needs some work. Keep it up, Yuu.
*Jang Da Yun does something!?!?: SUCCESS! Da Yun actually auditioned for S/mileage and has been dancing backup. One thing that might be holding her back is her Japanese–but then again Linlin and Jun Jun learned it. I also wish she’d work on her confidence and stage presence a bit more. It’s possible that being in the front just isn’t where she should be.
–A Berryz member graduates: FAILED! Thank the almighty lord that this did not happen. In fact, Berryz had a pretty good year in single quality, IMO. They’ve also even announced that they will be coming to New Jersey. And you know what, I don’t think I will be that devastated not to see a Berryz member anymore. All of them are growing up–Saki is now a woman! If they want to move on, I will allow them and still support them 100%.
–Tsunku adds more members to Berryz or C-ute: FAILED! No members lost, no members gained.
–The age gaps in Morning Musume messes up the group’s image: SUCCESS! Age gaps are pretty weird. You have singles like Only You and Kono Chikyuu where the girls aren’t dressed “fully.” And then you have Pyoko Pyoko Ultra where the girls are dressed as Big Bird. I, personally, don’t want to see a barely pubescent 12 year old girl in a mini skirt and crop top, nor do I want to see a 23 year old woman dressed as a bird. Quite frankly, Morning Musume has lost its spark for me.
–Someone from 9 Gen pisses me off: SUCCESS! Riho is so irritating. Sure, it’s not her fault that she was thrust into the spotlight, but seriously. It’s either you love or hate the person that takes all the spotlight. Riho does nothing for me nor Morning Musume.
–Berryz can’t bounce back: SUCCESS? 2011 wasn’t as bad as 2010, but it wasn’t great. They didn’t do terrible, IMO, but people always go by the sale-count. I just want them to do great again.
–S/mileage’s music turns stale & generic: SUCCESS! I didn’t like the pig song, I didn’t like Uchouten LOVE, Tachiagaaru was shit, and Postwoman is alright. I actually only liked Shortcut throughout the year. S/mileage’s overload of members and generic music isn’t doing it for me..
–Buono! fades away: FAILED! 2011 wasn’t their greatest year, but judging by the reception of their upcoming single, people aren’t forgetting about them. Come on, don’t stop working, Buono!
And that’s 2011 in the eyes of Kio. Obviously, mostly everything was failed. Don’t expect a 2012 list because it’s pretty late in the month already and I haven’t thought enough about it. Let’s just hope 2012 is a good Hello! Project year!