Happy New Year 2021!

What a year! I hope all of you are well and healthy and if not that the situation will change quickly.

While being a horrible year in general, 2020 turned out to be a good one for this blog. To be fair, Hello! Project gave me a bunch of things to write about, so thanks for that.

We lost some great ones here. ANGERME continued their bloodletting and lost not only Funaki Musubu, but also Murota Mizuki. Murota was a total surprise, and her graduation actually pushed Funaki’s to a later date. It is likely that she had planned to move on with other plans, but Corona put a hard end to that. Therefore I’m also glad that Funaki could stay with the group for a longer time: If she had plans on starting a new education or even wanted to do so abroad then Corona would have slowed her down considerably.

The next big punch in the gut after Murota’s graduation was Kobushi Factory disbanding. The group had suffered quite a bit after Kobushigeddon some years ago and despite leveling up their performance skills to an amazing level they never recovered. Three of them left Up Front completely, with Nomura Mizuki having graduated H!P and only Inoue Rei stayed – and joined Juice=Juice.

It is interesting to see how they are doing at the moment. Wada Sakurako went back to a normal life outside the entertainment business. Nomura Minami seems to be in Corona limbo, just like Murota Mizuki. She did mention plans about studying abroad at some point, but as you know…

The other members are doing really well for themselves, however. Hirose Ayaka started doing solo work and even had her first solo live in December which was streamed at an online channel. Just a few days ago Hamaura Ayano signed with Warner Music to become their first official actress. And Inoue Rei, the last woman standing in H!P, joined Juice=Juice and performs with them as if she had never done anything else.

The last big loss was Miyamoto Karin. Miyamoto herself is a legend, being basically the reason why Juice=Juice was created. If you followed H!P in the early 2010s, especially the (back then still called) Hello Pro Eggs, you just knew her. She was considered the saviour of Hello! Project. People were crazy about her.

She just continued to become even better and finally started a solo career. I’m looking forward to any plans she has for the future.

Two surprising losses were Oota Haruka and Ogata Risa. Oota finally left ANGERME after months of hiatus. She is, however, still a member of Hello! Project somehow and might rejoin activities in a group one day. Ogata, on the other hand, left Tsubaki Factory and Hello! Project after airing out her dirty laundry on social media and joined Murota and Nomura in Up Front limbo.

On a happier note we also got new faces. The three new members of ANGERME – Kawana Rin, Tamenaga Shion and Matsumoto Wakana – seem to be great additions to the group. I am really looking forward to them.

Currently the thing I’m looking forward to the most however is Beyooooonds‘ new single! It was plain out a crime to not let them release anything for more than a year. While Now Now Ningen, the main A-side, hasn’t really caught me yet, I’m really excited for the rest of the single.

With this I can look forward to 2021 with a lot of curiosity and, after all, happiness.

See ya around, stay healthy everyone.

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