Remember when Hello! Blog used to do those annual Hello! Project rankings? Well, the blog admin there, Paul, hasn’t done one of those in 2 years. So last year, I took it upon myself to make one in the summer, before Ai Takahashi had left but without including her in the ranking.
I’m not sure why I didn’t post it to my blog and elaborate on it. Lazy me.
Of course, a few members up there have left and quite a few others have joined Hello! Project since summer 2011. So what did the lazy me decide to do? Make a new ranking and tell you guys alllll about it, of course! I’m not sure why I like doing these during the summer, but meh. We haven’t had any graduation announcements besides Mano’s, and that’s not until February 2013.
01. Risako Sugaya
Everyone who has followed my blog for any sort of time knows I love Risako to death. She is the girl that not only got me into Berryz Koubou but Hello! Project as a whole. Risako, to me, is a reserved girl with suppressed feelings that she might only show to those closest to her. She does nothing wrong, and I really can’t stand when people drag her down for just doing her job. It seems like she already has a low self-esteem as it is. Regardless, without Risako, I probably wouldn’t be as big of a J-pop fan I am today.
02. Saki Shimizu
Captain has obtained the number 2 spot! Seeing her in person, in talk shows, and in concerts has made her earn this spot. She is truly the best little boss. She works her ass off in anything she does–especially dancing. She may not be the best singer around, but she sure does whatever she can to give it her all. When it comes to being captain, she does it right. Saki seems like one of those girls that any member could go to for any sort of advice–like a big sister. I commend Saki-tan for all her hard work. That’s why she’s here, in the number 2 spot.
03. Reina Tanaka
One.Two.Three was a turning point for me. Not only was it a turning point for Morning Musume’s style, but it changed the way I looked at Reina. I was almost getting tired of her. Her style never changed and she didn’t even look like she was trying anymore. Despite being in the front, I felt like she was either growing tired of it, or just didn’t care. Reina was extremely close to being knocked completely out of my top ten. But then I watched Suugaku Joshi Gakuen and she cut her hair. You’re probably thinking, “What the hell? How does a show and a haircut sway someone different?” Hear me out. I watched all of Suugaku Joshi Gakuen with my best friend, and my best friend is quite hard to impress. I honestly thought she was going to be like, “What the hell is this? This is awful.” But she didn’t; she really liked it, and she especially liked Reina. And so did I. It opened my eyes to see that she was talented in different areas. Not to mention, she is a really good actor. Then, she cuts her hair. To some people, especially guys, that doesn’t seem like a big event. But to us girls, our hair makes us who we are. With Reina changing her hairstyle from collarbone-length, twin tails since 2004 to a mature, updated bob proves that she is growing up and won’t be that Morning Musume idol forever. This is why she doesn’t get knocked back too far from her usual number 2 spot.
04. Momoko Tsugunaga
I’ll always love Momo no matter what. I couldn’t care less about what anyone else has to say about it. And it’s not the character that she plays, it’s the actual person. Momo seems like a genuinely happy, giggly girl that would turn a normal conversation into a hilarious giggle-fest that you won’t want to leave. Last month, I saw Berryz’ live Ameba stream and Momoko was laughing at everything and whispering in Miyabi’s ear, making her crack up on cue. She wasn’t dying to get on camera, looking as if she were bored that she isn’t in front of a camera. When they did give her a little segment, she tried to pull the girls up and get them involved, as well. There’s nothing self-centered or shallow about Momoko. She’s doing her fucking job. And I love her for not letting any asshole get in her way.
05. Miyabi Natsuyaki
I’m pretty surprised by the jump Miyabi made since last year(6 whole spots!). Truly, Miyabi has won me over. I never thought I’d like her as much as I do, but I can’t resist! She’s such a girl-next-door. Sweet, laughs at anything, goofy, never tries to hard, and smiles constantly. She has a great voice and wonderful personality to match. Plus, she’s a fashionista like moi! We’d get along perfectly~!
06. Maasa Sudou
Oh, the cool cat that is Maasa. I love her great sense of humor, ability to make anyone laugh, and sassy style. Even my mother noticed how into the dances she was back at AnimeNEXT. I haven’t seen much of her spunk lately(she’s been kinda quiet), so that’s basically the reason why Miyabi overpowers Maasa this year.
07. Saki Nakajima
Nakky has dropped a bit since last year since I haven’t quite been into C-ute’s singles as of late, and she hasn’t been standing out to me like she used to. Not sure if it’s just the promotion, but that’s the way that I feel. Either way, I still think Saki is the most gorgeous out of C-ute and can definitely work the camera. If she were to ever leave H!P, I hope she becomes a model(let’s face it, she doesn’t really have the voice to continue singing).
08. Kanon Suzuki
Zukkini! Kanon has really made her mark on me. She’s adorable, sweet, and a breath of fresh air. I really have never seen a member as smiley as her. She continues to work on her dancing and singing, and I’ve noticed quite the improvement since she joined nearly two years ago. I hope Zukki continues her hard work and not let anyone bring her down. She’s too much of a strong character in Morning Musume to allow antis and UFA’s terrible promotion methods to keep her from doing what she loves.
09. Ayaka Wada
Same spot for Ayaka this year. She’s timid and sensitive-looking, but I think she has a wild side deep down. I bet she gets really hyper and people get annoyed with her. Teehee~ She obviously doesn’t seem like the perfect leader–she probably doesn’t have a fierce bone in her body–but she can’t possibly be bad. Ayaka appears like the type of girl that would reach out to anyone who is feeling down or upset. She’s genuine, and that’s what I love about her.
10. Haruna Iikubo
I was hesitant to put Haruna this high, but I didn’t have the heart to put her any lower. Obviously, Haruna isn’t the most talented of the 10th generation. Her dancing is pretty weak and her vocals could use some work. However, I see this spark in her. She still seems a little timid, like she’s not ready to show her full self yet, or can’t. She reminds me a lot of younger Eri Kamei. A gorgeous face not ready to shine yet and still working on it. And look how Eri Kamei ended up–being one of the most popular and recognizable faces of Morning Musume. I think Haruna can do that. I know she can.
And so, that is my top 10! No, I really did not plan to have most of Berryz in there. But listen, Berryz Koubou is my favorite H!P group, I can do whatever the fuck I please! Those were the most important members. Now, for the not as equally loved members(haha, just kidding!).
11. Chinami Tokunaga
Chinami’s performance at AnimeNEXT is the reason she’s jumped a few spots. Her energetic and lively attitude is already loved by so many, I’ve decided to join in. She said hi to every single person that waved at her, she hugged a 5 year old, and took every chance she had to crack a joke. She’s so much fun.
12. Akari Takeuchi
I wasn’t really feeling any of the new S/mileage members, and wasn’t really up to knowing who they were. But then I saw the first concert with the new members and I was pleasantly surprised. Akari was absolutely darling. She has such a fun and a happy aura. It’s truly endearing.
13. Chisato Okai
Chisato has taken the biggest nosedive of any other member. She’s lost her spark to me. I still think she’s talented and all, but I’m just not fawning over her like I used to. I’m kind of questioning whether or not I was that much of a fan of her in the first place.
14. Yurina Kumai
Yurina’s sweet and all, but she doesn’t strike me as anything special. I like her, don’t get me wrong, but she’s kind of just there most of the time.
15. Sayumi Michishige
I’m really starting to like Sayu-hime. And that’s something I never would’ve found myself saying 5 years ago. Her voice is still awful and she’s still a hit-and-miss dancer, but there’s something different now. She actually is gaining my interest. She’s a beautiful ray of sunshine. I want her to stay leader until Morning Musume dies.
16. Aika Mitsui
Yeah, she’s still in UFA / Hello! Project. I don’t hate her, but I don’t love her. She’s kinda just there. I don’t dislike her enough to put her below the members of S/mileage, however.
17. Rina Katsuta; 18. Kanon Fukuda; 19. Kana Nakanishi; 20. Meimi Tamura
All of these can kind of be meshed together. I don’t really bother with them enough to place them seriously. Rina is first because even though she isn’t the best-looking girl, she has the best voice out of all of them.
21. Mai Hagiwara
The same as last year. However, she isn’t with the remaining of C-ute. I’m starting to notice her a bit more. She’s become more than just the back-up of C-ute(even though she is). She’s growing up.
22. Haruka Kudou; 23. Mizuki Fukumura; 24. Masaki Satou; 25. Ayumi Ishida; 26. Erina Ikuta
Another group of girls that I really don’t know enough about. Haruka seems a lot more mentally mature and more interesting than the rest, so I put her first. Erina is really… Meh. She creeps me out.
27. Maimi Yajima
The uninteresting leader of C-ute. She doesn’t strike me as anything except… nothing. She’s kind of boring, actually. I’m not really fond of her voice, and her dancing is par. But she doesn’t have much of a personality, in my eyes. However, she’s a pretty good actress.
28. Erina Mano
A bit of a jump for Mano. Her new style has given her this. Also, that change in hairstyle has also done this. She’s becoming more mature and acting more her age–something I’ve been dying for since the start.
29. Airi Suzuki
There’s just nothing I like about her.
30. Riho Sayashi
Riho just seems completely uninterested in the work she does. I feel like everything is given to her on a silver platter. There’s never a genuine smile on her face, despite the new Colorful Character pictures. I’m just so sick of seeing her face.
Thanks for reading! This shit takes me forever since I get distracted so easily. u__u;; Till the next post! ~Kioku