70 comments on “Shimamura Uta has left Country Girls & Hello! Project

  1. Man I couldn’t sleep, so I stayed up and suddenly this shit pops up on Twitter, H!O, EVERYWHERE.

    >fucking greedy parents

    …is what I’m hearing the most of from fans (popular speculation)

    Sounds like Up-Front was not willing to give into Uta-chan’s former-idol mother who was (allegedly) demanding that her daughter be paid more than the other members since she was the most popular, as well as facial center.

    As much as I want to blame the inept management, I’m just not sure that it’s their fault…just like in Aina’s case. Parents are getting way too greedy lately and making their children suffer as a result…(according to Momochi’s blog post today, Uta-chan had been enjoying her activities in Country Girls, so it’s not like she was having trouble adjusting to the idol life)

    …Well, no matter the case, this is a devastating blow for both CG and Hello Project as a whole. CG still has 5 great members with a lot of potential, but it leaves quite a huge void when a talent of Uta-chan’s caliber withdraws. Hopefully the remaining members (and management) make another big push to make up for this, and don’t have to rely on CG 2nd gen auditions within a year’s time to revitalize the group…

    How the hell am I going to fall asleep after shitty news like this….?

    *spoons with Henkka against his will*

  2. Can’t really blame the family here, UFP was probably lowballing them pretty badly and they had all the leverage after the success of the debut single.

    At the end of the day, this is a business too and not everyone can come from a privileged background like a Airi or Fukuchan where they can just disregard the financial side of things.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if she re-surfaces in AKB soon.

    • Not so sure the implication here about idols from lower income backgrounds are greedy. I’ve heard they pay Daishii with one 50lb bag of rice a month while Oda’s family gets a monthly can of soy sauce and bottle of sake!

    • Not sure Mummy would feel good about AKB. You have to start from the bottom, and work your arse off hoping one day to make it to senbatsu. Until then, it’s degrading variety shows and softporn photoshoots for a very low pay.

      By comparison, Uta-chan was so lucky to be quickly promoted as the ace of a new, small unit. Like most Japanese businesses, UF was probably hyper rigid during the negotiations, but I reckon it’s Mummy who made the biggest mistake here. We’re not going to see Uta-chan any time soon.

    • Why do we have to *blame* anyone? It sounds as if the family wanted more than UF was willing to offer, and they couldn’t come to an agreement. That happens sometimes.

      Also, their statement mentioned that Uta’s contract had been cancelled “mid-way.” Why were their any contract discussions going on at all if not initiated BY the family?

      And if Mom had such a problem with H!P, why the hell would she go to AKB, where there is far more competition and a much more difficult path to the spotlight?

  3. I’m surprised that it’s Shimamura of all people. Her mother having been an idol as well, I’d have thought the potential for surprise disagreements in things like contracts would be less.

    • Obviously she was expecting her girl to be the highest-paid member in the group…maybe even in all of H!P…

      I can’t see uninformed parents trying to negotiate against their daughter making as much money as everyone else in the group…but clearly a former-idol is going to know when they have all the negotiating power, and thus the opportunity to milk extra cash out of a contract.

      As much as it hurts to see Uta-chan go, I’m glad that Up-Front stuck to their principles and refused to pay one member more than another equally-important member (it’s about teamwork in H!P)…especially when they’re still inexperienced and freshly-debuted.

      That being said, they really need to work on a system where they get these contract negotiations out of the way well before the official debut…>_>

  4. *waves* Hello, long term lurker here. Used to post in “Three Metalheads” under a different pseudonym.

    I have never been a fan of Uta. She seems to look straight through you and it’s really freaky. However I do feel bad for most of the fans as she was set to be one of the next H!P aces.

    I did get the impression she was pushed a lot. Some of these kids go into training thinking it will be a breeze and when they become an idol, reality hits hard. Not everyone can handle the pressures of being an idol, especially at the front. Look at Aina, she refused to sign the contract because she realised being an idol wasn’t all it was cracked to be and wasn’t confident enough to debut.

    I’m not a fan of Country Girls so far, I don’t like their tunes. Too pink and sugary. But we’ll see where this takes them.

  5. 297: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/06/12(金) 22:08:25.42 0.net
    This is the only kind of thing this office is prompt at doing.

    Can’t agree more lol. Injurements? “You might have noticed member x has been absent from stuff, by the way they hurt themselves.” Girls leaving? “Eh we wanted to wait a few days but apparently you guys are pretty nervous so yeah that girl is leaving” – at least that’s what they do when they already debuted, good luck being a Kenshuusei fan.
    But then “ah yeah the news is out” *changes picture* *changes everything* “Ah yes that was a real surprise.”

    Regarding Uta, I will miss her. She wasn’t my fav in CG, but she was really cute. I don’t know if her parents were too greedy or UF* was too greedy or anything, but it’s always sad to see a girl go – especially if she wanted to go on with her work.

  6. I guess stage moms are a universal thing, if it really does amount to her mother being greedy. Huh.

  7. Would this be the same outcome if she was placed in MM15 and not into a new group like CG? Her mom did force her to take the MM 12th gen audition.

  8. I don’t really know about UF’s contracts but as I am acquaintances with a certain member of H!P (hint: she’s a half), I’m not hearing anything from her about it being greedy in UF’s part. Just sayin’.

  9. Direct punch in the gut and I was just about to go to bed.

    She wasn’t my oshi or anything, but Country Girls will look so different without her. Such a waste of potential. I wonder how she’s feeling now… The other members too… It feels like this is a situation nobody actually benefits from.


  10. Uta is the sole responsible for reigniting my interest in idols at a time I was feeling kind of bored with H!P. I liked watching her just for the sheer fact of her being a cute girl doing cute things.
    This is such a devastating blow. It definitely feels worse than Yuuka’s departure as she had already been an idol for a while and left behind a decent legacy. It’s sad that this happened so soon, we’ll miss so much from her.

  11. while i still can’t get over Maro graduation , suddenly *BAM right in my face,, -_-

  12. I can’t say she/CG was around long enough to have made a huge impression on me, but it’s probably worth something that she’s the only member of CG (aside from Momoko) whose face I recognized and could name. Like with Aina, I didn’t get a chance to know these girls long enough to have some kind of meltdown.

    The “early departure” girl really is becoming a thing. I mean, someone obviously has to be the first to leave, but not even making it to major debut (or in this case, the 2nd single, since CG skipped the Indies phase) is troublesome!

  13. It really sucks to see Uta go, since she easily got into my top 10 bias list. No one but H!P and Uta’s family can really know what went on, but I don’t think H!P was the party at fault. I just don’t see how, she was placed in the center (ace, I’d say, but we only had one single with her) and given lots of attention. Plus, she seemed so happy, despite it apparently being her mother’s choice to sign her up. She went from the girl who was like “What the heck?” upon being told she was accepted, to a girl who smiled so brightly it could blind you.

    Honestly, I am leaning towards the problem being her mother. Obviously, there’s no way to be certain, but that’s my opinion. Uta seemed utterly happy, the company made her a center, so what else was the problem? Her mother (or whoever in the family) is all I can deduce it to. And, I believe it would’ve been different if Uta had really gotten into Momusu. Momusu is the flagship group, with a big history behind it. If Uta had gotten in, I could see money issues being put on the backburner simply for the name the group carries. But, Country Girls is a new group without a big name. I can see that being a problem from the beginning (perhaps even why Uta was so shocked at first lol), especially for a former idol who wants more for their daughter. Still, all speculation. I’m having fun reading other people’s speculations, so I’m just giving my two cents.

    Anyway, it’s really sad to see Uta go. If she enjoyed the idol lifestyle, hopefully she can get into another group (without any contract problems).

  14. Apparently these issues with the parents had been going on for some time, but if they had all this leverage from Uta being the center of the group, the agency should have just put her in the back for a while. Then the mom would kind of have to shut up about her kid being the most popular, and Uta being in the back would be better than her being gone. If that really is why she left. Does that make sense to anyone else?

    • Perhaps putting Uta-chan in the back would have triggered the same result. There’s just so much conjecture here its hard to tell.

    • If you are faced with demands of “more money or she leaves,” responding with “no and she’ll get put in the back now too” won’t improve your situation.

    • You don’t want to hurt the group by putting what you see as the most marketable member in the back, though, and especially at the beginning.

  15. The wota already saw this coming from a mile away, sadly. It’s weird that some foreign fans thought the idea was insane until IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

    • What eases me about this loss is the hilarity in the “holier-than-thou” foreign fans saying to stop bringing speculation to the table saying it was “baseless” and “stupid.” The H!P wota are pretty much dedicated to their idols and dig up all sorts of scandals past and present and they get a first hand look at these girls due to the fact that they’re given so much access to them. Besides, there were threads going weeks back saying that something wasn’t right with Uta. Oh well.

  16. Pingback: Recommended Jpop♀ Reading: June 13, 2015 | Idolminded

  17. I love how foreign fans immediately jump on the, “Stupid greedy mom Uta-chan didn’t want to quit!!!” when Japanese fans could have seen this coming from a mile away. Uta-chan herself probably didn’t want to become an idol in the first place, considering her mom signed her up without telling her.

    • A lot of threads joked that she was scared of the wota and didn’t like the handshake events and there was a gradual buildup of the idea of her quitting. The narrative that her mother was being greedy is also on the table because the other members were shocked. Remember, these girls have been doing events for months and working together almost every day. The way they talked about her seems like she was very happy in the group.

  18. Call me a cynic but I don’t think they’re going to recover so easily with this. Uta was pushed as not only center, but the group’s face, H!P’s new ace. Sprinkle a bit of instant idol-mania that we haven’t seen in H!P in a long time in a new group and you get an issue when that girl leaves, a big issue. Chisaki and Manaka are kind of neck-in-neck popularity wise, I wonder who they’re going to push as the group’s new center…because H!P can’t handle learning curves.

    • I don’t get the downvotes. I totally agree with you. They really shot themselves in the foot by overhyping Uta.

    • We’ll have to see with their next single. But Momochi is not going to be a permanent fixture in the group. I wonder if they’ll add someone else once she goes.

    • Once upon a time there was a girl named Megumi


      She was pushed HARD as a lead, as a center, as the face and a new ace of the H!P. I am not being condescending when I link the wikipedia entry. I’m offering it because the group moved on past that and her to where it’s easy enough to figure someone might go “Who was Meguru?”

      • Haha hell yeah. Back when C-ute first started Murakami was by far the center. She was literally the best dancer and singer in the group and everyone knew it (She still is my favorite C-ute member by the way)… So when she “Quit” everybody was like C-ute is doomed, they wont survive without her…

        Flash forward to 10 years later and most people wont even know who Murakami Megumi is, they would have assumed that Airi and Maimi have been centers from day one.. Just saying no 1 person makes an entire idol group… Life went on in Morning Musume after Fujiimoto Miki, Takahashi Ai, and Tanaka Reina graduated even though people said the group was doomed each and every time. Life went on in AKB too when Maeda Atsuko and Oshima Yuko both called it quits.. They are called Idol “Groups” for a reason, its not a solo act

  19. It wont matter one bit on the whole, the wotas will just move on to another idol just like how they move to uta-chan in the first place.

  20. Maybe they will have to recruit a MM member to fill the gap?

    Maybe: Country Girls to Sato Masaki or Country Girls to Susuki Kanon?

    • Country Musume featured MM members in the past so I guess it’s possible. Masaki would be adorable!

  21. The speculation about the parents being responsible comes from how surprised and upset the other members were to learn of her leaving along with Uta seem to be happy and enjoying herself.

    Also why would UP Front want to change her contract or get rid of her after she debuted and the second single had been announced? It wouldn’t benefit them in any way for her to leave.

    I feel sorry for Uta if she ended up leaving because of someone else’s decision.

  22. >213: “I have a feeling this is going to make them to stop picking up ordinary people off the street and having them debut right away.”


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