The successor of Yajima Maimi’s Hello Project Leader position was revealed during the 2016 Hello Project Countdown concert. The new leader of Hello Project is none other than ANGERME’s Wada Ayaka!
Fukumura Mizuki will be the first sub-leader of Hello Project.
There was much debate about who was going to take over the role of Hello Project leader after C-ute’s disbandment in June. Initially, I thought that Country Girls’, Tsugunaga Momoko would take on this role since she was the second oldest of Hello Project and had the longest tenure. However, Momoko announced her graduation, which is set to happen in June as well. Then the options were up in the air.
The two candidates for the position were Ayaka and Mizuki. Naturally, Mizuki was a good choice since she is the leader of the main Hello Project group, Morning Musume. She has also been a member of Hello Project for a number of years.
On the other hand, I believed that Ayaka was the better choice. She was part of the first generation of Hello Pro Eggs in 2004. This was even before C-ute officially debuted! She also had her official debut as part of S/mileage in 2010. This was before Mizuki’s official debut in 2011.
I prefer Ayaka as a leader to Mizuki, not only because she is higher up on my bias list but also because Ayaka seems to be a more open, friendly and outspoken person. I am in no way saying that Mizuki is a bad leader. She has the discipline and poise to guide Hello Project’s largest group. Ayaka also has these attributes and a warm personality that makes her approachable and trustworthy. She also has her weird and spontaneous personality that is quite laughable. Mizuki is a bit more reserved.
I believe Ayaka will bring another type of leadership style to Hello Project and it makes me excited! Mizuki will be right by her side to help guide her through the process. Congrats and good luck to both girls in their new roles!