Posted 01 July 2017 - 11:52 PM
Posted 02 July 2017 - 12:04 AM
You pointed out something I was already feeling very strongly--Tsunku absolutely knew what he was doing. This is not to say he had full say in everything that happened, but he had a great portion to do with multiple aspects of H!P. I think his talents in producing are what made the H!P Kids able to do all that they were.
Not only did he select great girls, he selected many who stayed. Not that you can forsee that 100% of the time, but I think he had a keen eye for it. An eye to see who would spend the beginning of their life as an idol, and would stick with it.
Add on top the songs he composed for them (many of which are now staples within the fandom/company), the atmosphere he created for the groups and its members, and the general respect and love he had for what they did.... It was a recipe for success when he was involved. Berryz was obviously already fading by the time they disbanded, but even they mentioned they wanted to end their activities as a Tsunku group. (He was beginning to step away by that point.) That in itself says a lot to me. Same with how Sayumi and C-ute mentioned how Tsunku watched over the and chose them.
This kind of turned into a warped, positive rant on Tsunku; but I really do believe he was a major factor in the girls getting this far. He may not have brought them all crazy fame and riches, but he brought them success nonetheless.
Posted 03 July 2017 - 12:22 AM
I remember when I first became a Hello! Project fan in 2004, of course I was firstly into Morning Musume, but by 2007 I had switched completely to Berryz being my number one group. They were just so fun and hyper and their songs were consistently good. I loved C-ute too but at the time I was a real BK stan.
In 2012 I got to see a H!P live (It was Waku Waku I think, it was the day Mano Erina announced her graduation), and from that point was my turning point to C-ute. I was blown away by their performance skills and was excited by every single release, as a result my number 1 group became C-ute even, I think, before Berryz announced their hiatus (even though if you ask me now I'll still say Berryz was probably my favourite overall, I think C-ute had more consistently good releases).
When I got to see C-ute in their individual concerts I was so, so impressed, they were amazing, I got to go to the single release of Arashi wo Okosunda ~ Exciting Fight and see them up close with a handshake event. They were truly, truly sparkling and their beauty honestly was breathtaking. I agree with the statement that the H!P kids were the true 'aces' of the entire company. These kids worked so, so hard to get where they got to. I'm honestly going to miss them so much.
I really think now will be such a huge test for Hello! Project, there hasn't been this much of a shake up since the graduation of the Elder Club. Who is going to really, truly step up in BK and C-ute's absence? This has left a huge void. As an old fan I feel like H!P is a bit empty of an unchanging group, but I am going to keep a good eye over Kobushi and Tsubaki and really, truly hope they don't have any huge member changes in a while.
Posted 03 July 2017 - 08:14 AM
I probably followed them less than you did. But when I first saw those snotty squeaky kids back in 2003 I never expected I would still be seeing them this many years later.
I'd be interested in the views of some of you who followed them more closely than I did.
I think this early exposure was also the reason why I never really got into them all this time. Back then I was still stubbornly and naively holding up to an ideal that I wanted my J-pop idols to be something I could show my uninitiated acquaintances (the word 'normie' has not been discovered yet) without facing ridicule in the best case scenario. Admitting to watch a bunch of little girls prancing around and pretending to sing (when I listen to early Berryz and Cute songs all I can hear is Tsunku's backing vocals lol) was grounds for a worse case scenario.
Special Generation was damn catchy, but Jiriri Kiteru was the first song I could actually listen to and enjoy without something or other bothering me. I guess the members have grown up enough that I stopped feeling like a creep watching them and matured enough as performers and singers that I could actually listen to the song without wincing.
But after Jiriri and Scarlet the truly catchy and enjoyable songs have become so few and far between that again I could not get hooked up on the group even if I tried (and I actually tried more than a couple of times).
C-ute were pretty much Berryz v2 in terms of how I felt about them, except that after Massara Blue Jeans they had even less songs I cared about as they were coming out.
Looking back, I can see how many nuances I've been missing out on and what solid performers they have become with an impressive body of works. But as sideline groups they were not getting the same slack from me as Morning Musume which has always remained my central and primary interest - if the song did not totally wow me on the first listen, I was very unlikely to come back to it any time soon.
On the other hand, as years went by, I did start to consider both groups as sort of staples and foundations of Hellopro. Perhaps even more stable and reliable than Morning Musume. If they both had disbanded before MM's revival (Renai Hunter), I feel I might have been thrown off to the point of bailing out of the Hellopro train altogether. I do actually feel a little uneasy now realising that they are no longer around.
I'm sorry, Kids, for not appreciating you more throughout the years!
And sorry if my incoherent rambling did not make any sense.
Posted 03 July 2017 - 07:32 PM
I was wary of Berryz and C-ute at first because of the age factor, but then someone here recommended I see the Berryz 2006 Summer concert tour and I purchased that in December 2006 and then I bought my first Berryz single, "Very Beauty," in March 2007 (ten years ago!). I bought my first C-ute single in May 2008 and my first C-ute concert DVD in June 2008. I bought the Berryz/C-ute joint concert in July 2008 and never looked back. Been a fan of both ever since. There was a period there in 2008-2011 or so where I was buying most of their singles and being excited about them and even getting multiple copies of the PV so I could also have the Dance Shot version. That tapered off partly because the new releases were less exciting but also because Up-Front launched YouTube channels with the PVs.