Dec 07 2007
I seem to have ruffled some feathers recently (hehehe). For this entry, though, I’d like to focus on some of the other, and perhaps less controversial, Hello Pro Eggs. The Eggs who are not in THE Possible, or Ongaku Gatas, or one of the main Hello Project groups. The undebuted Eggs who are currently eagerly waiting to be plucked from idol limbo and given their shot at stardom. I can’t claim to be an expert on these Eggs (who can really?), but I do have a few things to go off of: their audition footage, the newcomer’s concert footage and interviews, the set-lists from the Egg concerts, and the recent “Delivery Station” shows. I’m not going to bother to post links to clips of all this stuff. Videos can be found easily enough on youtube or your video site of choice.
The Hello Pro Eggs have undoubtedly been getting more attention this year. The Possible has graduated, there’s the Ongaku Gatas Eggs, and they’re getting their own small concerts now. There could be a few reasons for this. Maybe with Cute and Berryz becoming more popular, h!p is just in need of a new flock of background dancers and figures that as long as they’re being put onstage they might as well be given something of their own to do. Maybe the older girls were getting impatient and beginning to quit (kind of true. 3 quit this year so far), so they are being given their own concerts to pacify them. Maybe, with the h!p kids getting a bit older, the younger Eggs are now in charge providing the ‘cute little girl’ factor. Maybe all of that is true, but I can’t help but think that there are some bigger plans in the works for at least some of the Eggs.
If that was the case, what are their options? There’s always creating another all Egg, The Possible-type group, or maybe a group for an anime. There seem to be enough talented Eggs floating around to pull it off, and realistically, I think that’s the most likely next step. However, that’s not as interesting to me as the other option: adding Eggs to the established groups. Which groups though? There are the Kids groups, and I’m sure some of the Eggs would fit in well there, but the Kids groups haven’t had many changes in the line-ups so far. Sure, Kanna was added to Cute (and some of the other Eggs probably secretly hate her for it), but that was before Cute even started producing singles, so there wasn’t as big an impact as there would be if they add a new girl now. At this point, Berryz and Cute seem pretty stable, so I don’t see them adding any Eggs unless they lose a member or two and need to fill their spots. There is one major group in Hello Project that is known for having a constantly rotating lineup though…
So, what about adding Hello Pro Eggs to Morning Musume as part, or even the entirety, of the 9th generation. Could it happen? Would it be a good idea? We’re due for 9th generation auditions, and I would be surprised if they didn’t happen in 2008. I’m not sure if adding Eggs into the mix is likely, but I think it’s definitely possible, and probably a good idea. I’m thinking that one or two girls from the Eggs and one from open auditions would be a good way to go. It’s important for Morning Musume to maintain open auditions so little girls watching can feel that they could maybe be a part of it someday, and so we the fans can root for Little Miss Nobody to become a popular idol. However, the Eggs bring some things to the table that Little Miss Nobody can’t: many have a (relatively small) pre-existing fan base, they have experience, and the company knows what to expect from them. The Eggs have been around enough that the company has a pretty good idea of their skill level, how hard they work, how much they appeal to the fans, and their rate of improvement, which would allow them to make a more solid choice when selecting a potential new Morning Musume.
Let’s just suppose that Hello Pro Eggs were a part of Morning Musume’s 9th generation. Again, it’s not very likely to happen, but just suppose for a minute that it did. The important issue now becomes which limbo Egg(s) to pick. In my opinion, below are some of the more likely candidates. I’ve ranked them on a scale of 1-5 according to likelihood for them to be chosen for MM if they did add Eggs (5 being the most likely). I guess you can assume that if a girl’s not on this list I would rank her likelihood at 0.
This girl may be the most popular of the undebuted Eggs. She’s got great stage presence (she dances her little butt off out there), surprisingly strong vocals for someone so tiny, and she’s as cute as a button. Naturally, Kanon gets a lot of attention, and she stole the show in her “Delivery Station” group. Going against her is the fact that she’s only barely old enough (though she’ll turn 13 soon), and she looks even younger than she is, so she would really stand out. Then again, Aibon and Tsuji sure were popular little 12 year olds, and Kanon might have the spunk to pull it off. Liklihood: 4
Mano Erina (16)
I know she’s busy with Ongaku Gatas stuff right now, but she has gained too much popularity with the fans to be left off this list. She has the looks and the appeal, and while her vocals aren’t the best, they’re good enough. Could her inclusion in the Ongaku Gatas just be a ploy to test her out and prepare us for her addition to Morning Musume? Meh. Probably not. If Ongaku Gatas is a permanent thing, she’s found her place. If it’s not though, there is real potential for bigger things in Manoeri’s future. Liklihood: 2
Furukawa Konatsu (15)
Age is right, she’s pretty cute, she’s gotten more attention than your average Egg, and her voice isn’t bad, but I don’t feel like she stands out enough as evidenced by the fact that I don’t have anything more to say about her. Liklihood: 3
Kitahara Sayaka (14)
She’s about the right age for MM entry, and she’s rather pretty and mature-looking for only just turning 14. She would fit right in with the MM crowd looks-wise, and her vocals and dancing were pretty impressive in the Newcomer’s concert performance of Oosaka Koi no Uta. Overall, a very strong candidate. Likelihood: 5
Ogawa Saki (11)
Is too young, this I know, but it’s hard to ignore all of her lead parts in the newcomer’s concert and her inclusion in the “Delivery” shows. She has an adorable and unique look about her, she seems to have a really nice personality, and her voice is good, but she’s just too young for Morning Musume (I think the cut-off is 12). I would bet that h!p will put Ogawa Saki in a real group, but not until she matures a bit. Liklihood:1
Mori Saki (14)
Another one in the right age range who gets some attention and has a decent voice, though not one that stands out among the eggs. She’s cute (amazing hair!) and has a pleasing and entertaining personality, so I’m giving her good odds. I think she would do well in Morning Musume. Likelihood: 4
Kikkawa Yu (15)
Again, about the right age. She made it to the final round of auditions before, and if they considered putting her in MM once, they might consider it again. She has a pre-existing fanbase rooting for her to be added to the group, and you know she wants it. She also has some of the strongest vocals in the Eggs. She’s cute, but somehow I don’t know if it’s the right kind of cute for Morning Musume. Maybe she just needs a different haircut? I think that the main thing standing in her way right now is that adding her to Morning Musume would mean the company admitting that they made a mistake in not picking her in the first place. On the other hand, her story of perseverance and not giving up would resonate well with the fans, so I’m still thinking she has good odds. Likelihood: 5
Maeda Yuuka (12, 13 this month)
Her vocal performance in Oosaka Koi no Uta was good, especially for her age, and though she hasn’t gotten that much attention yet, and is a little on the young side, just look at how freaking cute she is!!!! Maybe I just really really want her to be added to the group because I want to see more pictures of this girl. Liklihood: 2
This time the sort of unrelated note is at the end instead of the beginning! I really want to see Chisato and Asuna Okai perform something together, even if it’s just on Uta Doki. How cute would that be!?