Hello! Pro Station Episode #99 Contents
MC: Yajima Maimi, Fujii Rio and Hirose Ayaka
◆ New Hello! Project Unit Message
◆ New Hello! Project Unit - "Onna no Sono"
◆ Country Girls Message
◆ Country Girls - "Itoshikutte Gomenne"
◆ Juice=Juice Message
◆ Juice=Juice - "Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne"
◆ ANGERME Message
◆ ANGERME - "Taiki Bansei"
◆ Juice=Juice - "J=J School For Girls"
◆ Morning Musume '15 New Year Resolutions
◆ Morning Musume '15 - "Tiki Bun"
◆ C-ute New Year's Resolutions
◆ C-ute - "I miss you"
◆ Berryz Koubou Message
◆ Berryz Koubou - "Love Together!"
◆ Maimi Yajima Announces New Unit
This is a big episode as we get to see and hear the new Hello! Project units/members in action! The episode starts with member introductions of the as-yet-unnamed group performing the new song "Onna no Sono". This song is a nice upbeat track that is somewhat reminiscent of the early S/mileage songs. I can't wait to hear more from this group as they have a great sound and I'm sure they'll evolve into a cornerstone of Hello! Project. Especially with the upcoming departure of Berryz Koubou.
Next up we get a message from Country Girls. This whole segment confused me as there is Momoko introducing them and acting like a member, but when they perform she's no where to be seen. I am seriously confused as to what her role really is in the group and whether she is actually needed if she isn't going o be performing with them. That being said the song "Itoshikutte Gomenne" is a good song and rather catchy, but I don't think it's going to fly off the shelves. It does have an classic feel to it reminiscent of Country Musume's "Shining Itoshiki Anata" and while it doesn't have the same exciting feel of the new unit's song, it does have me wondering what Country Girls' sound will eventually be.
Moving on to Juice=Juice, we get a performance of "Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne". This is somewhat standard so there isn't too much to say except that they're spot on in their performance as they should be since this is a staple song for them. Watch for Karin's solo in the final chorus and perhaps you'll laugh as much as I did with her over-the-top delivery.
Next we get ANGERME (Still trying to get used to calling them that) with a message and performing their new song "Taiki Bansei". This is the best new song of the bunch. I was worried when I found out the song wasn't going to be a Tsunku composition, but that was unfounded as the song is amazing. It has a lively feel and dance and the new girls do an amazing job continuing the S/mileage legacy. I hope this is an indicator that good music will continue to come from them.
Next up is Moring Musume '15. We get some New Year resolutions from the girls. Ikuta wants a show, Kudo wants to be cute and Nonaka wants a world tour. Their performance of "Tiki Bun" isn't too exciting except that it contains the 12th Gen members. It's a good performance, but I was hoping for a better track that showcased their post-Sayumi strengths. Not necessarily a new song, but a better choice of song to display the new line-up.
Next we get C-ute's New Year resolutions. Maimi notes that it's the group's 10th Anniversary this year and hopes for a Yokohama Arena concert to mark this event. I second this, but I don't know how likely it is. Their performance of "I miss you" is as good as any other. Once again nothing ground-breaking here, but I really like this song so I'll allow a bit of rehashing in their case. That's not fair of course as I'll never tire of this song so it'll always seem fresh to me. Nice editing throughout some of the harmony segments adds a nice flair too.
We get a message from Berryz Koubou and a performance of "Love Together!" to close out the series of performances. I love this song too and I am glad that they gave Berryz such a good song to graduate with. The lyrics are completely fitting and are the right hint of nostalgia that will stand the test of time rather than becoming stale. I hope we get to see lots of Berryz Koubou before their graduation.
The show closes with Maimi announcing to the then-Kenshuusei that they are to be part of a new Hello! Project unit (the very same one we saw at the top of the episode. Tears flow and we get to see a small number of the Kenshuusei move forward in their Idol careers.
That concludes the episode, but there was a lot to see here. From great performances to new songs, this was an episode that was filled to the brim. I should not here that this episode was hosted by Yajima Maimi (C-ute), Fujii Rio and Hirose Ayaka (Both New Hello! Project Unit) who do a good job with this extra long episode. Watch and enjoy!
◆ Rin Rigoni