ºC-ute is set to disband in on June 12, 2017. All five members will graduate from Hello! Project and go on their separate paths. However, we must not forget all that they have accomplished in the past fifteen years.
Much like my Berryz Series, I will be reminiscing about each member’s tenure in Hello! Project over the past fifteen years. I will also provide a brief commentary on how each member impacted my life over these past few years. First featured member is ºC-ute’s leader, Yajima Maimi!
Name: Yajima Maimi
Birth Date: February 7, 1992
Birth Place: Saitama, Japan
Position: Leader, Lead Vocalist
Yajima Maimi passed an audition and joined Hello! Project as one of the Hello! Project Kids in 2002. She had her official debut as the leader of ºC-ute in 2007. This group was comprised of the Hello! Project Kids that were not selected to join Berryz Koubou. Although Maimi was the second oldest in the group at the time, she was awarded the leader position as Uemura Erika did not feel comfortable with the position.
C-ute released their first indies single, “Massara Blue Jeans” in 2006. They officially debuted in 2007 with “Sakura Chirari”.
- Cat’s Eye 7
- Hello! Station Dance Club
Maimi is the reason why I keep spelling “Miami” (the city) as “Maimi”. I cannot recall which was the first music video I saw from ºC-ute. However, one of my earlier memories of Maimi was watching “Massara Blue Jeans”. I was enthused by her voice and slender body. She has a voice that stood out from the rest with its huskiness. Unfortunately, Maimi’s voice is no longer one of my favourites in the group.
She also has a unique beauty that stands out among the rest. She is also the tallest member of the group. As she got older, her sex appeal increased making her one of the more mature members of the group. In my opinion, she has some of the most appealing photobooks in the group.
My interest in Maimi peaked during the “Campus Life ~Umarete Kite Yokatta~” era when she cut her hair short. I could not keep my eyes off of her. That one change in hairstyle made me more interested in her. Even now, I cannot explain why this happened. She was my third favourite member at that time. I loved her look and style. The next few singles after “Campus Life ~Umarete Kite Yokatta~” suited her voice well and my interest in her was maintained. However, as my interest in Okai Chisato, Suzuki Airi and Nakajima Saki grew, my interest in Maimi decreased. Currently, she is second-to-last in my ranking.
On a more positive note, I have always admired Maimi for her acting skills. I have seen Maimi in a few stage plays, movies and dramas. I really love her character, Shibuya Mami, in “Suugaku Joshi Gakuen”. As cringe-worthy as that drama was, Maimi’s character was always a breath of fresh air and comedic relief. Who can forget her fight scene in “Black Angels”? After seeing that scene, I revered Maimi as a badass!
Maimi has proven herself to be an excellent leader. Not only has she effectively guided her group but also Hello! Project as its leader. She is respected by her kouhai and is like a big sister to many, including the Kenshuusei.
I will miss Miami’s elegance and charisma. She is a multi-talented artist that brought colour to Hello! Project. It is almost impossible to find someone to fill those shoes. It is rumoured that Maimi will continue in the acting business after the group’s disbandment. I could not think of a more suitable profession for Maimi.
Good luck, Maimi! I will always support you!