Posts Tagged ‘c-ute


Most H!P fans will know by now that Arihara Kanna, the only non-H!P-Kids member of °C-ute, is currently on a pretty big hiatus for… bunions.

Now, before this incident, I had only a very slight idea what bunions were or how they were treated, but now I’ve researched. (This is a pretty informative site.) Now… I question whether Kanna will really come back.

°C-ute is releasing another single soon… one without Kanna. They’ll tour… without Kanna. There will likely be no new Kanna merchandise, no Kanna looking lovely in the PV, or being spastic in the making-of… And, really? Maybe she’s better off this way.

Both Berryz and °C-ute started as 8-nin groups. I argue that Berryz got better after losing Maiha, but °C-ute got worse. They are the leftovers from when Berryz were culled from the H!P Kids, and though the original intention was for the girls to rotate in and out? Berryz were good enough like they were that Tsunku left them alone, and went about making the rest of the girls into °C-ute… but not without deciding that they’d be better off 8-strong. Kanna fit the bill, it seems, and her Egg cracked so she could become one of the big girls. We all know I love Kanna best of all the °C-ute girls, but maybe I just see what Tsunku saw… a girl who is grateful for anything she gets… an idol who shows the full spectrum of her personality from surly to sad to happy to Airi-loving…

But, this is not supposed to be a Kanna-love post, so let’s get back on topic.

Fact: in the idol business, you will be on your feet a lot.
Fact: in the idol business, you may be required to wear shoes that are not the best for your feet.
Fact: in the idol business, if you’re not there, you’re forgotten.

Yet, after bunion surgery, Kanna will need to be careful of how much time she spends on her feet, let along doing things like dancing and exercising. She’ll have shoe restrictions for the rest of her life. She’ll have lovely scars on her feet. She’s already the least popular member of the group, and not being there for a single *and* a tour? That’s practically a death sentence to her popularity.

So, Kanna will likely come back… but I expect the group to have closed off to her a bit in her absence, and while she may get some more fans from this, I’m sure that a lot of the ones who were only haphazardly fans of hers will move on to the girls who *are* there. I don’t expect her coming back to work well at all. In fact, I expect her to graduate from the group eventually (as in… relatively soon thereafter).

What I expect her to do after that, I don’t know. I’d like to see her as a soloist. She’s got the looks, and I think she’s a lot more charming than Matsuura Aya or Manoeri… and maybe if she’s not surrounded by other girls that she’s more than willing to let shine instead of her, some kind of competitive streak will form in her that will allow her to get out there and make a name for herself. I have faith that she can, though I know the soloist thing isn’t her choice to make.

I want the best for everyone involved here, and Kanna does not deserve to be the least loved of °C-ute. She deserves to be better-loved than Manoeri… especially since Kanna is cuter, and can actually sing. (This goes for Ayaya as well. Fake cute is not that cute!)

And to prove, in a way, that Kanna has the potential to grow to become a great soloist?

Here’s Kanna on Hello Pro Hour singing “I WISH”:

And here it is again a few years later at a solo FC event:

Note the marked difference? More confidence, more cute expressions (that are sometimes sexy), and her voice had improved drastically. Now? Go back and listen to “4 Akogare My Star” and notice how Kanna starts off several of the songs. That’s her in the title track as well as “SHINES”, and the only worthwhile lines in “Aishiteru Aishiteru” are her’s to command. Left to wallow in the Maimi/Airi show with only the occasional glimmer of her own limelight, I don’t see Kanna flourishing as an idol, despite the fact that she’s gotten prettier. Given time and space and H!P backing her as more than a glorified back-up singer/dancer… I can see Kanna doing wonderful things.

Yes, this jumped from “Hey, Kanna has bunions!” to “Kanna should be a soloist!”.



I realized that I’ve never posted my personal rankings on here before… though you guys probably know my favorites from comments here and there, and least favorites from the hate I have been known to babble on about, but want to know how it all actually falls? Well, here we go. (Psst… I put my specially made ranking pictures after the explanations in order to save some surprises!)

1. Junjun – I really don’t know why I love her so much. She is not all that beautiful, really, but there’s something about her. From “Onna ni Sachi Are”, I knew she was my preferred panda, and each clip I’ve seen of her, and every note I can hear her sing, just brings her up another notch. She has this grating irritating throat voice she uses sometimes (like during certain points of Alo-Hello 3), and I’ve grown to love that too. She’s quirky, and not perfect, but she’s just so natural that I adore it.
2. Takahashi Ai – I’ve always been fond of people who can do just about anything, and Takitty is that in a nutshell. She is the overall package, and I think I find her more interesting for that than if she had a loud personality, as well. She’s satisfied being the talent of the group rather than the overall focus, and I’m okay with that too.
3. Kamei Eri – I like fanged girls in the first place, and I like idols with good thighs as well, and then you add in her bubbly, weird personality and awesome dancing abilities? If I liked her singing more, she’s probably top Takitty.
4. Michishige Sayumi – Imagine my surprise to see one of the most “untalented” girls rank up here, but Sayumi is intelligent, plus beautiful, and that’s sexy to me. I don’t care if she acts like a 7 year old studying physics. I LIKE that in a girl. And she is much-improved.
5. Kusumi Koharu – The other “untalented” one, right? No. Not quite. Koharu is a force to be reckoned with. She’s not a consistent singer in the slightest, and may not have a lot of vocal power, or dancing prowess, but when she really tries? It’s there. The miracle does happen.
6. Niigaki Risa – I am surprised I ranked Mame this high, actually. I don’t think she’s that pretty, or that talented, though I’ll give her genki. Still, her whole personality seems forced. Actually, I think she’s only here because of Cinderella. Risa’s man-voice is good, but once she gets into her upper register? It kills it for me.
7. Tanaka Reina – I used to love Reina. She was my end-all, be-all fantasy girl. But, then I got well-versed enough in H!P to realize that she’s such a one-trick pony. She’s got some talent there, it’s true, but it’s inconsistent. And with as long as she’s been around? She should know better.
8. Linlin – You guys all expected me to put her at the bottom, didn’t you? Well, she *is* close. But, I do sometimes think that Linlin is not that horrible… unless she’s singing. I really hate her voice. If it hadn’t been for the cooking portion of Alo-Hello 3, she’d probably be dead last.
9. Mitsui Aika – But Aika’s last instead! I don’t like her voice, I think she’s annoying, she’s too cutesy to be anything I actually want to look at… I could go on, but I just don’t care. If she wasn’t in a PV, I don’t think I’d notice at all.


1. Shimizu Saki – Okay, say what you guys will about Captain… but take the time to get to know her as an idol and you’ll probably love her, too. Yes, she does not photograph beautifully. She always has the cheesy poses and grins and all of that. But, watch her in videos. Watch making-ofs and DVD magazines and specials. She is fascinating. She blushes about being a leader, but she takes charge of it. She dances divinely with a more nuanced performance than anyone could expect from someone her age, and her singing isn’t the best, but is still serviceable and then some. She does amazing harmonies. And, oh yeah? She’s super-hot now.
2. Natsuyaki Miyabi – I’ve always been kind of fond of Miyabi, though much like Takitty, she’s up here for talent. Plus, her shyness that comes out now and again is adorable.
3. Tokunaga Chinami – To a point, I feel like I’ve hopped on the Chinami bandwagon… but I feel like I discovered her in different ways than a lot of her bandwagon fans. Because of everyone pointing her out suddenly, I took special notice of her while really getting into Berryz and watching PVs and making-ofs and specials, etc., and found that the hype was validated. Her voice isn’t great, but it is charming.
4. Sudou Maasa – Maasa is a force to be reckoned with, and I didn’t even realize how much until recently. Her vocals are kind of awesome. Her voice is similar to Saki’s, but smoother. Her lips are awesome. And, now we know she looks good in a bikini.
5. Kumai Yurina – I have no strong feelings about Yurina one way or another. She’s kind of water in the bottom of a pot to me. It’s there, it has the potential to be useful, but it’s not exciting in the slightest.
6. Sugaya Risako – Socko may be way down my list, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like her. I don’t think her fame is deserved, and most of what I have against her is her popularity versus her talent. She’s not that good, and often doesn’t even try that hard, so I wonder why she is consistently the front girl. She’s much-loved by fans, but that just seems to perpetuate a vicious cycle in which all of the other girls get shafted, except maybe Momoko and Miyabi, and they’re both in Buono! as well. Risako is getting there slowly with her talent, and I have faith in her, but her spot on this list comes mostly because of how I hate the fans who fawn over her every performance, especially the ones where she is quite horrible.
7. Tsugunaga Momoko – Momoko, I swear, is the bane of my ears’ existence. She squeaks, she shrieks, and she does so with a tone I would kill a piece of electronic equipment for making. In 5 years, she’s gotten a bit taller and filled out a tiny bit, and her voice has dropped a few notes and strengthened a bit… but she is otherwise exactly the same as she was. She’s been in the business longer than Reina, and has changed even less. Also, I don’t find her attractive. And her personality? I find it even less attractive. Yet, I wouldn’t have Berryz without her somehow.

1. Arihara Kanna – Kanna, of the currently-not-in-°C-ute-and-wasn’t-there-in-the-beginning-either is my favorite. She’s always last place in the H!P store sales rankings for some reason, despite the face that she’s beautiful. Yeah, the teeth on the right side of her mouth are shorter than the teeth on the left side, but it’s interesting looking. Kanna is also strange in that she is often photographed using un-idol-like behavior. Kanna can look downright surly! It’s hilarious! Plus, her love for Airi… her cute voice… I would love to see her do something I could stand to watch her in, since I don’t like °C-ute. You may ask then why I’m bothering to rank them. Well, I tried. Being an H!P fan, it’s hard to just avoid a group altogether… and I did try with °C-ute, a lot… so I have gotten to know the girls, though not as well as I know Berryz and Momusu. Continuing on!
2. Suzuki Airi – Airi’s voice does leave a little something to be desired… there’s a quality to it that is a little rough, but she’s still a good vocalist. She’s the domineering force in °C-ute, and the laid-back one in Buono!, and I love her for it. She is also praticularly attractive, though H!P tends to like to make her hair bigger than her head… which doesn’t work much for anyone.
3. Hagiwara Mai – Mai has the occasional bit of surly to her as well. Add in the attractiveness, and the fact that she’s a better vocalist than Risako “for her age” and add in the huge sunglasses that were her youth? Mai’s pretty cool, and really the last of the girls of °C-ute that I claim to like.
4. Umeda Erika – Erika is kind of like Yurina for me, only she’s not as attractive, and they like to give her hair like Airi’s with it being bigger than her head. I think she looks awkward and doesn’t sound all that great and is rather blah. Also, she has chipmunk teeth without the chipmunk face needed to pull it off.
5. Nakajima Saki – This Saki does not impress me much. I don’t like her look, her smile frankly makes me wet myself, though I can see that she does try hard. That gives her points, at least. She’s also a pretty decent dancer, though not nearly as good as better!Saki.
6. Okai Chisato – You all expected Chisato last, didn’t you? I give the girl enough grief, don’t I? But, Chisato has improved slightly. She is not an eyesore anymore, though I still can not stand her voice. Her tonal quality is wretched.
7. Yajima Maimi – When I originally wrote this out, I has Maimi at number 5, but as I started writing these little explanations, I realized… there is no excusing Maimi. She may be much-loved, and such a forever-front-girl, but she can’t sing, she dances awkwardly, and while her face can be attractive? It bothers me just how little she has in her bra. It’s as awkward-looking as her dancing. Her thighs may be the milk and honey of the gods, but I still think her voice sounds like she’s singing through a stoma.

Now, to rank the current H!P groups/soloists.
1. Berryz Koubou
1.5. Morning Musume
3. Buono!
4. Kusumi Koharu
5. Shugo Chara Egg!
6. °C-ute
7. Mano Erina

My notation for Berryz and Momusu? It means that I’ve come to terms with the fact that I slightly prefer Berryz at the moment. They’re making better songs, and they’re being more consistent… and I like consistency. However, Morning Musume is still way up there… only very slightly behind, and they’ve got a lot more history, so they’re still number 1, just not as much. I know that’s lame, but they’re just that far in my heart. (That’s also lame, I know.)

Did I forget anyone? I figure Elder Club is technically gone at the end of the month, so I don’t need to rank them, and these are the only girls left in H!P other than the Eggs. (Though if I included them as a group, they’d be at number 6 instead.) Mano has potential, but her voice is kind of, um, bad. In a way, it’s worse than Koharu. At least Miss Crack-tastic always puts her all into it.

I figure that everyone else does it, and I certainly have the time to do so right now, so how about a year in review? Let’s go!

I’ll go through each group and talk about what they did, what I liked, and what I didn’t.

Morning Musume – Resonant Blue and Pepper Keibu were their only two singles, but they also released the Cover You album. They were in “Cinderella”, ended Haromoni@, started Yorosen!, had more PVs for a single song than ever before (Resonant Blue) and started to perform in places other than just Japan.  Personally, I liked all of that. It would have been nice for them to get one more single in there, but the album was almost like one big single anyway.

Berryz Koubou – Released Dschinghis Khan, plus the remix, as well as Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance and Madayade, and the studio album 5(FIVE). Performed/received an award at the Asia Song Festival. Ended Berikyuu! and joined Yorosen!. Lines started to be distributed a bit better. I’m also a fan of everything Berryz Koubou did this year. I generally like their singles, and I’m glad to see them divvying up the parts a bit more evenly.

°C-ute – Released LALALA Shiawase no Uta, Namida no Iro, Edo no Temari Uta II, FOREVER LOVE, Koero! Rakuten Eagles  plus the album 3rd ~Love Escalation~. Ended Berikyuu! and joined Yorosen!. Had a controversy about how Hitler was “taught” during Yorosen!. Maimi and Airi were lead on 3 of the 5 singles, and Maimi was center on 3 of the 5 singles. Those of you who read this blog know I’m not into °C-ute that much, so don’t be surprised that I wasn’t a fan of what they did this year. I prefered LALALA Shiawase no Uta to their other singles, but still didn’t particularly like it. And while I like Airi and Maimi? You’ve got 7 girls in the group. If Momusu can usually highlight their 9 members, why can’t you do 7? 2008 and still not a fan.

Ongaku Gatas – Released Come Together as well as the studio album 1st Goodsal. Mano Erina and Mika Muto graduated. Elder Club graduation was announced, which may signal the end of this group. OG didn’t do badly this year, though it would have been nice to have more than one single. They’ve only done 1 a year so far, though. I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll continue as a group outside of the H!P name because I do enjoy them, but I’m not that hopeful. Come Together was the worst single so far, but I think only because the other 2 were so much better, not that it was bad.

Buono! – Released Renai Rider, Kiss!Kiss!Kiss!, Gachinko de Ikou, and Rottara Rottara, plus the album Cafe Buono!. Were in Pizza-La commercials. Despite my dislike for Momoko, I still liked everything Buono! did this year. Their singles are amazingly catchy, and they have a distinct sound within H!P, too. Their outfits are always interesting, too.

High-King – Formed for the Cinderella musical from members of Momusu, Berryz, °C-ute, and the Eggs. This 5-member unit only did one single, but it was well-regarded as one of the best singles with possibly the best B-side ever in all of at least 2008. The group will likely not reform except possibly in concerts.

Milky Way – Released Anataboshi and Tan Tan Taan!. Both were good singles, and I’m definitely hoping for more Kikkawa Yuu now.

Athena & Robikerrottsu – Seishun Love Lunch was their final single, as the associated anime ended. I wasn’t a fan of any member of this group, so I’ll be honest… I didn’t even give it a listen.

Melon Kinenbi – Only released Charisma . Kirei. It had a shoddy video, but is still a decent song. The group announced that they would continue as a group after the Elder Club graduation.

Shugo Chara Eggs- Released Minna no Tamago. First major release by a group consisting solely of H!P Eggs. Cute, but not a bombshell of a song.

Viyuuden – Released “Nanni mo Iwazu ni I LOVE YOU”, a cover of a Momusu song. Disbanded shortly thereafter. I like the cover of this, and the video (with the very candid-looking bits) was a nice goodbye.

HANGRY & ANGRY – A non-H!P unit, technically, but they did release their first single “Kill Me Kiss Me”, a radical departure from the typical H!P fare. First group to have a MySpace, and to release formally in the USA. Announced plans to tour in the US and Europe, also a first. I adore this group, and think that they could definitely be going places, though after the Elder Club graduation, it definitely won’t be a part of H!P.

Abe Natsumi – Released 16sai no Koi Nante with Yajima Maimi from °C-ute, and Screen. Screen especially failed to report good results. But, I still found both songs easy to listen to, if not particularly memorable.

Matsuura Aya – Released Kizuna. Ayaya looked like a grandmother in this video, and the song was unimpressive.

Fujimoto Miki – Released Oki Tegami. Done in a different style than her previous solo work (similar to enka instead of the sugary pop), I found this my favorite of her songs, easily.

Koharu Kusumi – Released Papancake as a soloist. Got a lot of flac for her overexaggerated singing style. Released the Kirari to Fuyu album which received many more compliments for her singing style. None of it compares to her early Kirari stuff, I don’t think, but I still think it’s enjoyable to listen to.

Satoda Mai – Released Mou Sugu Christmas with Goda Kyoudai, as well as Hi wa, Mata Noboru with Aladdin. The Aladdin song did rather well on the charts, but I couldn’t get into it, or the Christmas song. Sorry, Satoda.

Mano Erina – Released Mano Piano, Lucky Aura, and LaLaLa-SoSoSo as indie singles. Never looked her age at all (17). I think Manoeri is charming. She’s a decent pianist. But, I think her voice leaves something to be desired.

Ice Creamusume – Formed through the NEW STAR auditions. My favorites are Youko (always Lightbulb to me, though) and Shenshen so far, but we’ll see when they actually start performing together?

I think that’s it? There’s quite a bit to look forward to in the new year, though. There’s a new MoMusu single on the horizon, and the promise of another new material album. Berryz has their first best-of coming out which will include a new song. Buono has a new single and album scheduled for early in the year. Matsuura Aya will get another album, Maeda Yuki will get a single. Satoda will put out another single with Goda Kyoudai. Koharu will release another single. C-ute will have another album. And that’s just in the first 2 months of 2009! It looks like it will shape up to be a good year. Elder Club’s graduation doesn’t seem to be hindering any of their releases, so hopefully the girls there will be more active post-graduation. My fingers are crossed!

I hope everyone is having good times during the final days of the year, and to help? Here’s H!P’s New Year’s card.


Oh, and to top it all off? Aibon is supposed to start releasing music again next year, too!

One question that some of the members of H!P have been asked is… “What is your charm point?” Some of them know. Others, not so much. So, I’ve gone through all of Wonderful Hearts and “found” a charm point for each girl… that little reason we get so fascinated. It’s both a reason for picspam, and a hopefully interesting insight into H!P fans and why they love the girls they do. It may be a physical characteristic, a flaw, or a little piece of their personality that pops up quite often. So, here we go!

Takahashi Ai is up first, again. What’s her charm point? High kicks and getting sweaty at concerts. ^_^

Next, Niigaki Risa! Her genki-ness (and curly hair) are where I find her charm.

Tanaka Reina’s easy, isn’t she? The wonky eye! (She winks so much in pictures to hide it.)

Michishige Sayumi is the “cute” one, but the extra charm is in Usa-chan PEACE!

Kamei Eri harkens back to her “turtleness” quite often. It’s charming!

Kusumi Koharu is especially known for how much she acts like an anime character.

Mitsui Aika is so not a favorite of mine, but I kind of find her forehead charming!

Junjun? Well, the bananas for sure, but also? Her thighs and chubby cheeks!

Linlin’s charm? Her puppy-dog eyes. As I don’t like dogs at all, that’s probably where my hate comes from.

Sugaya Risako’s odd charm? Her nostrils.

Natsuyaki Miyabi’s charm is easy to see… because it’s her chin!

Tsugunaga Momoko doesn’t have the cutest face, so she makes up for it with her pinky finger!

Sudou Maasa’s charm is her pillow-lips.
Kumai Yurina is the tallest girl in H!P, isn’t she? It works for her!

Tokunaga Chinami? It’s allllllll in the legs.

Shimizu Saki? It’s all in the eyebrows and cheesy grin.

Yajima Maimi? It’s all about how she looks in short shorts.

Suzuki Airi’s charm is in both her smile, and her kappa love.

Hagiwara Mai? I personally think it’s her DJ Maimai personality.

Umeda Erika is a bit long in the teeth, but it works for her!

Nakajima Saki? It’s got to be the mouth (and the cannibalism?).

Okai Chisato? I mostly hear people talking about loving her bad hair.

Arihana Kanna has her lesbianism. (She’s going to grab you! Be careful, girls!)

And, to round it all out, Mano Erina! What else could it be? The exuberant grin.

If you feel that I haven’t properly shown the charm of your favorite idol, let it inspire a blog post about that girl’s charms. Picspam us all!

I just want you guys to know that I went through more pages of the Hello! Online picboard than I really want to remember to find all of the pics for this rather pic-heavy post. (Over 500 pages. >_< )

So, anyway… I browse said picboard occasionally and have noticed something: H!P tends to reuse costumes! That’s not to say that what Takahashi Ai wore two years ago some Egg is wearing now, but they do consistently reuse themes and ideas, and possibly even fabric? I’ve gone through and found 20 examples of this. There may be a few instances in here where the similar costumes were from the same event, but I don’t think there are any where I’m only comparing those possibilities.

Let’s start out with the ones that make the most sense:
Morning Coffee is part of the whole reason that H!P even exists, so it’s no wonder they keep coming back to the red plaid. It looks good on the girls, especially the pleated skirts. The particular tartan changes up a bit, but generally stays just red and black. I had kilts like that as a little girl. (My grandmother is from Scotland. ^_^ )

Next, there’s the tradition of the huge concert where everyone gets a similar outfit!
Those are from 2 different years, as any fan can tell, but on first glance (or so I’m basing on a few friends and my husband) they look close enough to be “really similar”. Each group gets a different color, and every outfit is a bit different, so it’s really easy for two “sets” to blend together.

But what about when H!P plays up to stereotypes?

We’ve got the girls dressed in suits:

And as princes:

And cops:

Not to mention OL:

And the girls in kimono:

And, the All-American fantasy, cheerleaders:

But on top of that, sometimes they’ll do a bunch of similar outfits in similar colors!
These two *might* be part of the same set, but they’re hideous in entirely different ways, and I’m having a hard time really looking at them to tell.

Sparkly, frilly, and red is an H!P equation for win.

Because, really, who can’t remember all of the people complaining about how much the “Onna ni Sachi Are” costumes looked like the “The Peace” costumes?

But, perhaps the best ones of these to look at are the ones that seem like they were designed to match, but weren’t (or at least weren’t to my knowledge).

Mini-kimonos? Last I checked, they weren’t too popular outside of the Sakura Mankai video, but here’s Yaguchi wearing one again. (And, yes, I know the first one is Konkon.)

When I first saw this shot of Chisato, I immediately though of Berryz Koubou’s “Gag 100kaibun Aishite Kudasai” video, even though I hadn’t watched it in quite a while.

These outfits look way too similar to not be related, don’t they? The splotches of different brights colors, the poofs in the similar areas, but they definitely have their differences.

Shall we welcome the newest member of High-King? Oh, wait. Oops! That’s just an Ayaya tour outfit. But, the resemblance is a bit scary. If it weren’t for the print on the sleeves, she’d fit right in.

Then Reina showed up as the latest member of Berryz Kamen in her new photobook!

And then we have Satoda Mai, Charmy and Yossie ready to hop into a Morning Musume concert to perform Pepper Keibu!

This actually might be the same outfit, but there are some very slight differences. The tie’s a different color, the shorts are slightly shorter for the one the Egg is wearing, and the pockets on those shorts are bigger. (I am quite the seamstress and notice these lame details.) If they are supposed to be the same outfit, why are the eggs wearing them now? (Or was this first picture mislabeled? I don’t recognize it as a member of Berryz…)

Airi’s ready to go back in time to join this photoshoot for MoMusu’s “I WISH”. Her green is a bit darker, but the similarity is a bit uncanny.

Finally, we also get the kind of costumes that the girls get to wear variations of…
It appears that Momo is happy to serve… burgers and fries?

That’s all for now, folks. Tune in soon for another picspam post with the girls “charm points”. And, no, that’s not a euphemism for breasts.

So, I’ve been away from the blogging world for a little while since I broke my ankle.  Between being in the hospital, and in pain, and on meds, I’ve been kind of useless. However, my meds aren’t quite as strong now, and the pain isn’t quite so bad, so I’m going to get back into blogging. But, it would be boring for me to go back and talk about all of the stuff that happened, and would be lame to just ease back in without talking about my absence, so I’m going to do a special post: a rundown of H!P lips. I didn’t include every member, but I included all of Momusu, Berryz and C-ute, plus a handful of “important” others, a few of whom have graduated. I’ll show them using the three most important idol lip positions: smiling, not smiling, and CHU!. I’ll let you know my favorites and I’ll name some important distinctions!

First up? Momusu!

momusuThere’s something great about lips, and Morning Musume proves it. No girls lips are really even remotely the same, and I have no shame for noticing and liking that.
* Takahashi Ai has great lips, but her upper lip tends to look darker than her lower lip if she isn’t wearing lipstick (see her “Not Smiling” pic). It was something I used to notice in every picture she took, but she wears a lot more lipstick as Leader, so I’m finding her more and more attractive lately.
* Niigaki Risa’s lips are slightly awkward by themselves. Overall, she’s a pretty girl, but her lips and smile are not her best feature.
* Tanaka Reina is the queen of the CHU! pose. In fact, I had to go through over 100 pictures of her before I could find one where she was actually smiling.
* Michishige Sayumi has a surprisingly sexy pout.
* Kamei Eri has a somewhat strange shape to her lips where they connect, and has a tendency to show her “fangs” over the edges of her lips, but it tends to be appealing anyway. What gives?
* Kusumi Koharu is the girl of 1 million smiles, so it was odd for me to discover that when she doesn’t smile, she gives a natural “Chu!”. The only way I could tell the difference was the rest of her face. She has surprisingly pretty lips.
* Mitsui Aika reminds me of a combination between a grandmother and The Joker. Her lips extend so far to the sides of her face, and her smile looks a bit like dentures. Also, the girl has not yet learned her CHU! face. Work on it, Mittsi!
* JunJun! She might be slightly chubby compared to the other girls, but those chubby cheeks offset her lips in a great way.
* Linlin is far from my favorite H!P member, and I think the reason might be her lips. They seem thin and not very expressive to me.

Best lips: Kamei Eri. They’re interesting, and a charm point!
Worst lips: I think this is a tie between Mittsi and Linlin, though Mittsui has more potential, I think.

Next, Berryz Koubou!
berryz* Sugaya Risako has teeth that seem vaguely rounded. Is she a vegetarian??? But, her lips are full. Her smile isn’t the best, but she’s got a decent pout.
* Tsugunaga Momoko has the thinnest upper lip of an idol, ever. It’s always struck me as unattractive.
* Natsuyaki Miyabi’s lips seem kind of idol-average. Not too bad, not too good.
* Tokunaga Chinami surprised me when I went looking for pics. I don’t always think that her lips look good on her face, but by themselves they are practically flawless. That CHU!
* Sudou Maasa has bee-stung lips if there ever were any. They tend to overwhelm her a bit, but don’t look too out-of-place most of the time.
* Kumai Yurina’s top lip almost disappears in the middle. But, she works it. The good teeth help a lot.
* Shimizu Saki has always rather been a favorite of mine, but her lips tend not to work with her. Her smiles often look a little cheesy, but I think she’s finally starting to learn how to work them.

Best Lips: Chinami for the win.
Worst Lips: Momo. ;_; But, damn, does she try anyway.

Next, °C-ute:
c-ute* Yajima Maimi is often said to have the best smile in H!P. I beg to differ. It’s just kind of average.
* Suzuki Airi may have a wonky tooth, but that smile is adorable. And, KAPPA CHU!
* Hagiwara Mai doesn’t smile as much as she used to, and her bottom lip kind of comes up in the middle in a strange way, but it’s still cute.
* Umeda Erika’s smile is a little too small for her face, and her teeth tend to jut out a bit, but her closed mouth is rather attractive.
* Chisato Okai’s lips are kind of meh to me. She overworks them, seriously.
* Nakajima Saki = CANNIBAL. At least, that’s what a lot of people who look at her mouth think. It is significantly too large for her face, and kind of Julia Roberts-esque (never a compliment in my book).
* Arihana Kanna has an adorable smile, and may actually be the reason I started this post up in the first place. Her teeth are a bit shorter on one side, it seems, (odd, I know) but there’s a sincerity there I adore, and I like that she doesn’t always force a smile!

Best Lips: Kanna for the win.
Worst Lips: Nakki for the fail.

And, finally, 8 current and former H!P members who I felt like looking at pictures of:
otherhp* Yaguchi Mari’s “Chu!” is probably as well-known as Hello! Project themselves. Her upper lip that makes that heart shape doesn’t look quite so good on her smile, though.
* Mano Erina has a bad tendency to give the same smile over and over and over again. And, while it’s adorable? Give me range of expression! All of her other expressions seem tensed.
* Matsuura Aya has a very prominent dip in her top lip. It’s mildly disconcerting to me, but that’s usually just in combination with her nose. Still, she wouldn’t be where she is without knowing how to work it.
* Fujimoto Miki’s lips give Maasa’s a run for their money. They’re nearly as puffy as the bags under her eyes. It looks rather good when she smiles, though.
* Goto Maki, for as charming and beautiful as she is, also has kind of average idol lips.
* Nakazawa Yuko has a very normal looking smile, but her CHU! is almost as flashy as she can be!
* Ogawa Makoto has a smile very similar to Yurina, but she’s practiced it so much more. Her CHU! is delightful.
* Kago Ai has gorgeous lips. I really can’t find anything bad to say whatsoever.

Best Lips: Kago Ai for president of Best! Lips.
Worst Lips: Mano Erina, but just for lack of practice.

Now, some overall awards!

Best Smile: Kago Ai
*****Runners-up: Kanna, Airi, Chinami, Koharu, Takahashi Ai
Best Not-a-Smile: Reina
*****Runners-up: Erika, Kanna, Makoto, Aibon
Best CHU!: Yaguchi Mari
*****Runners-up: Chinami, Reina, Kanna, Yuko, Makoto

So, BEST OVERALL LIPS: Arihana Kanna!
She may not have the best of anything, but she’s pretty close in all areas.
*****Runner-up: Kago Ai

Worst Overall Lips: Nakajima Saki.
Because, really, she’s kind of scary.
*****Runner-ups: Mitsui Aika, Linlin (I couldn’t decide before, and still can’t.)

There. A Saturday afternoon spent looking through thousands of H!P pictures isn’t a wasted one at all!

So, first non-intro post!
I could blog about how Arihana Kanna from C-ute just got caught in the vicinity of a boy from Johnny’s! Only, I don’t care. I was far more worried about the pictures of what was probably Natsuyaki Mitabi with a boy, who was also from Johnny’s, I think? Girls, there are other boys out there!
Anyway, today I want to blog about… Shimizu Saki! Oh Captain, My Captain and all of that, Saki is my favorite part of Berryz Koubou. She caught my eye in the Special Generation PV, although I remember that when I found out she was the leader, I kind of went, “But, isn’t the leader supposed to be the oldest?” >_< She’s still pretty short and all, but she’s starting to look older. (The same can not really be said for Momoko, while Risako and Miyabi look like they’ll be old hags any day now. Miyabi especially looks old in Buono!, sometimes.)
Saki is given horrible hair to work with sometimes, and her grin leaves something to be desired, but the girl is definitely coming into her own. Her body no longer looks awkward when she dances, which is the one thing I think kept her from being the “best dancer in H!P”. Now, I think she holds it. When she’s dancing on screen, I can watch nothing else. It doesn’t matter how much you shove Risako in front of me, I don’t watch her. I’m drawn to Captain.

I started writing this post after watching the Saki version of the Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance PV. First of all, why can’t Morning Musume do the seperate shots? Oh yeah, they’d need more even line distribution, wouldn’t they? I do like that there is now a trend going in H!P toward a more even distribution, but I also think that there are some girls who just need to be pruned from the groups. Still, other people like them. >_<

Regardless, back on topic, I finally got to see the Maimi performance of “Natsu Doki Lipstick” with the two Saki’s dancing. Um, Shimizu Saki is hot. But, she’s also hilarious as you can see in a bunch of clips from TV shows I don’t know the names of. I’m hoping that she’ll soon come into her own and have a bigger role in Berryz.

Hot Saki

Hot Saki

On a side note, I think I’m coming to dislike Maimi when previously I just didn’t care. >_< And C-ute’s new single? I really don’t care. I tried listening to the song and watching the PV, but no part of it does anything to make me smile or anything. The dance and the outfits look kind of stupid, and I really just don’t like Chisato at all.