Playing Manager, Tsugunaga Momoko, will be graduating on June 30, 2017. Country Girls also lost one of its members, Inaba Manaka. This group has been shaken up but they are still resilient as ever.
With Momoko’s graduation, the leadership role will be vacant. They question left is who will be the next member to fulfil this role? Will this role be a typical leadership role or would the “playing manager” role be continued?
Personally, I think the best candidate is Yamaki Risa. It is only logical. She is the nest oldest in the group. There is a large age gap between Risa and the other members. Risa was born in 1997. The next oldest member, Morito Chisaki, was born in 2000. It would be odd if the leadership position were given to any of the other younger members. Risa is also a mature, responsible and upbeat member. I believe she has the capability to be a great leader.
Although it is not a necessity, I would like to see a new member or two be added to the group. I believe that the group will do fine as a 5-nin group but it will be interesting to see even more changes to the member lineup. Seeing that Country Musume was initially made of members from Hokkaido, I would like to see a Hello Pro Kenshuusei Hokkaido (HPKH) member join the group.
Currently, Kitagawa Ryo is my favourite HPKH member. I am not sure if she will fit in well with this group. I get more of a Morning Musume vibe from her.
Sato Hikari is a good option for Country Girls. I believe her visuals and voice suits the Country Girls.
If I had to choose a Kenshuusei from the main unit, I would choose Inoue Hikaru. I think her voice suits current Country Girls songs. Also, visually, she reminds me of Risa. She is a bit taller and has flowing hair.
There are only a few more months before Momoko graduates. I am hoping there will be a surprise announcement about a new leader or new members within the next few months.