It has been almost two weeks since Berryz Kobo went on their indefinite hiatus. A part of me still cannot believe that they have finally disbanded. I could not bring myself to watch the live viewing of their final concert. However, videos of the concert started popping up on Youtube and forums. There were even a few clips of their last performances on Hello Project Station. When I finally saw the clips of their last performances, especially their piano rendition of “Love Together”, I broke down in tears. It was hard to accept that one of the groups that brought me into the Hello Project fandom was no more. It was harder to see that these girls that spent the last 12 years together were finally parting ways. It was definitely a heart-wrenching scene.
I admit that it was initially Buono that introduced me to the world of Hello Project. I was a big fan of the anime Shugo Chara and while watching the series I fell in love with the song “Rottara Rottara”. Through Buono, I learned about the Hello Project world and realized that they were part of a bigger organization. Soon after I started listening to music from Berryz Kobo and I immediately fell in love with them. The first song I heard from Berryz Kobo was either ‘Special Generation’ or ‘Seishun Bus Guide’ and they were just about to release their 21st single, “Watashi no Mirai no Danna-Sama/ Ryussei Boy”.
As I listened to their past songs and watched their past music videos I found myself being drawn to Momoko and her cute image and astonishingly high-pitched and child-like voice. Even to this day I am stunned that she is two years older than me. However, as the years went by my interest in Miyabi and Saki grew and they ended up being my favourite members.
Berryz Kobo was my favourite Hello Project act for a number of years, but that changed, as I got more interested in Morning Musume. Berryz Kobo’s sales dropped making them one of the lowest selling acts in Hello Project. For a few years I found myself not being captivated by Berryz Kobo songs. I felt like Berryz Kobo was getting the shorter end of the stick where songs and attention was concerned. C-ute was taking up a new image and their sales were skyrocketing; Morning Musume was also going through many changes with the addition of the 9th and 10th Generations and S/mileage (now known as ANGERME) was just formed. It seemed as if management and Tsunku had pushed Berryz Kobo aside and gave all the better songs to the other groups. Many fans started losing interest in Berryz Kobo, but I did not give up hope.
Fortunately, Berryz was pushed back to the top again thanks to Saki’s management decisions to make Miyabi the sub-captain and to give her group some new motivation and determination. Following those decisions, Berryz had their highest selling singles of all time. Their last single “Romance wo Katatte/Towa no Uta” had over 80,000 sales. They received more sales than any of the other main Hello Project acts, excluding Morning Musume. It made me really proud of the girls.
I really loved Berryz and I will continue to love them even though they are currently on hiatus. They have worked really hard for the past twelve years and now each member deserves a new path and a life of their own. I loved this group for its unique characters, talents and personalities, but I loved them even more for their determination. It has only been two weeks and I am missing this group already. Thank you Berryz Kobo for being part of my life and making amazing music and entertainment. I wish all the members all the best in their future endeavors.