Hello! Pro Station Episode #97 Contents
MC: Tsugunaga Momoko & Yamaki Risa
◆ S/mileage/ANGERME Announcement
◆ Hello! Pro Kenshuusei
◆ 4 Kanji Phrase
◆ Berryz Selection
◆ Q & A Corner
First off, this episode features Momoko as MC along with Country Girls member, Yamaki Risa. They've been paraded around a bit, but this is the first real time a lot of people outside of Japan (or those that don't follow their blogs, etc. closely) get to see members of the newest Hello! Project group. Let me take a moment here to say that I still don't understand what Momoko's role in the group will be. Frankly, she confuses me. She's their "Play Manager" and is set apart from them, but she will also be performing with them? I know this hearkens somewhat to the days when Rika Ishikawa and Konno Asami/Miki Fujimoto joined Country Musume as guests, but this seems just a little too different, just a little more permanent. I guess time will tell how this odd role plays out regarding the group. The two discuss their likes and dislikes, Momoko chastises Risa just a little bit, but that's her way I guess. Mikan anyone?
Moving on, we get the announcement of S/mileage's name change to "ANGERME". I did a whole post about this so I'll keep this brief. I still don't know what to think about the romanization of the name being too similar to "anger me" but I don't think it's necessary a bad name all things considered. The concept is a little off considering the group's former sound, but with everything up in the air at the moment, it's possible their sound might be changing too. This is probably more so due to the fact that Takui Nakajima (not Tsunku) will be composing their next single. I also wonder what this means for their back catalog of S/mileage songs. Will they still be performing them regularly? Will the most recent singles end up in a release-limbo since they are not collected on any albums? I guess we'll find out in 2015. Lot of Tamura Meimei fun in this clip by the way and we also get to see more of the new members whose names I can still barely remember...
We get a Hello! Pro Kenshuusei live which is not too bad, but I never really care much for Kenshuusei performances. They remind me of the Under Girls performing in AKB48. Nothing wrong with that group, but it's weird to see traces of 48-inspired idol tactics within Hello! Project. The song is spot-on though and the performances are strong. Like it or not, there are future members of Morning Musume, and ANGERME, mixed in amongst these girls...
We get yet another 4-kanji phrase from Tomoko Kanazawa and Sasaki Rikako. Is this anyone's favorite segment? If it is, please tell me why... I'll admit that whenever this segment comes on, I tune out. It's almost like a commercial break. Like I know that I have two minutes to go do something more worthwhile...
The episode wraps up with a Berryz Selection and a Q & A Corner with Momoko and Risa. A little bit of an uneventful episode with practically no new music or live footage (they could have milked the Sayumi graduation concert or even the recent S/mileage one where the name announcement was made) but it's still a nice way to pass the time! Check it out!