The year has just begun and there have already been so many changes in Hello Project! The 12th generation has debuted in Morning Musume ’15, the 3rd Generation has debuted in ANGERME, Country Girls has revived and a new unit has been announced. There are so many new faces this year; it is almost hard to keep up!
I am keeping a watchful eye on these newcomers. I have already watched a few live performances of them from the winter tour. Below are my comments and thoughts of each of the new members:
Ogata Haruna: I really hope to see her in more variety shows. She has a compelling and funny personality. Even at her young age she is full of charisma. This will make her stand out in the group and bring more fans to Morning Musume. Based on the audition footage and “Tiki Bun” performance that I saw she seemed to be a decent dancer, but her singing still needs a bit of improvement.
Nonaka Miki: She can attract an international audience with her English skills. With Miki there is hope that Morning Musume can have more concerts in overseas countries. She is also a great singer and performer. I can easily see her being at the frontline of the group.
Makino Maria: She is another newcomer with a personality that can shine during variety shows. I did not really notice her during the live performances, so she needs to do a lot more to stand out on stage.
Haga Akane: Akane is adorable. She really reminds me of Sayumi. She seems like she can keep up with the technical dancing sequences of Morning Musume, so I have faith in her. However, just like Maria, she does not really stand out to me while on stage.
Murota Mizuki: This girl can sing! She already has the center position in “Taiki Bansei”. I am pretty sure she will retain that center position for a while, even after Ayaka’s and Kanon’s departure. I really look forward to hearing her a lot more.
Aikawa Maho: I could not take my eyes off of Maho while watching the live performances but not because she was good, but rather extremely awkward. Her dancing was really still and unnatural. Her performance was lackluster. I really hope she improves on her performance skills. I have not really heard her sing6, so I cannot quite comment on that yet.
Sasaki Rikako: This girl is a ball full of energy! I really hope that she gets the attention she deserves. She is an amazing performer and her singing has improved as well. I just love seeing her on stage. She really stands out and you can tell she loves what she does!
Yamaki Risa: In my opinion, she is the best singer of Country Girls. She had a nice deep voice that stood out from the rest of the girls during the performance of “Itoshikutte Gomen Ne” performance. She is absolutely gorgeous as well. I see her being a good leader in the future.
Inaba Manaka: This is another girl that has a ton of charisma on and off the stage. In my opinion, she is one of the top dancers in Hello Project and has a lot of energy on stage that transfers to the audience. I can see her being a favorite for many wota.
Morito Chisaki: She really grabbed my attention during their performance. She seems that she has potential to be a great performer. I will continue to look out for her.
Shimamura Uta: She is absolutely adorable but still has much to improve on not only performance-wise but discipline and image-wise as well. During the Country Girls New Years greeting I realized that she was constantly moving around and looking around. She seemed really distracted and that bothered me. She stood out to me, but in a negative way.
Ozeki Mai: I really like this girl. She is already becoming a bias of mine. She has a spunky attitude that can do well in variety shows. I wish Utaban was still running. It is a show I would have loved to see her on. I also really like her voice and charm on stage.
Fuiji Rio: I believe that she is the oldest in the new unit and she has already displayed some great leadership skills. I remember getting annoyed by her during the S/mileage 2nd generation auditions, so I am glad to see that she has improved and matured so well.
Hirose Ayaka: I know absolutely nothing about her and she did not really stand out to me during the live performance of “Onna no Sono” either. However, during this week’s Hello Project Station she spoke a lot and handled herself well. So I hope to learn more about her in the future.
Nomura Minami: Her singing has really improved. She rocked the performance! I really hope that she will be one of the frontline people in this new group. She deserved it!
Ogawa Rena: Her singing has yet to appeal to me so I am really curious to see what kind of role she will hold in this upcoming unit.
Hamaura Ayano: She has gotten so tall and mature! I can see Ayano being one of the variety personalities for this group. She is full of energy.
Taguchi Natsumi: In my opinion, she is one of the best performers of the group. It was hard to keep my eyes off of her. She did really well during the performance. I hope she gets many parts in their upcoming songs.
Wada Sakurako: Sakurako has also gotten really tall. I was really impressed with her performance as well. All the training has done well for her.
Inoue Rei: I do not know much about Rei either since she is still very new to Hello Project. She seemed to be a good dancer from what I saw during the performance. I will be keeping my eye on her.
Take a look at the videos featuring performances from the winter concert below!