41 comments on “Is it just me or is Hello! Project on the verge of collapse?

  1. “Did it never occur to them that they could’ve given both Terada and Sayashi proper, spectacular send-offs?”

    How the hell were they going to give the guy a spectacular send-off when it was an emergency health-related decision? Sayashi’s situation we don’t know as clearly right now, but it doesn’t seem like she gave them a lot of prep time either.

  2. I’ll let these guys be negative Nancies. Even if it’s dying, I’m going to ride the wave to the end. In good times and in bad. All that jazz.

    Plus, I think they still have a chance. Riho is bland as a British meal. Maybe with her out of the picture, they can give the other girls the spotlight they deserve.

    • I agree with you about Riho. She is talented as heck, but she has the personality of a raw potato. Maybe she’s different in person? I’m more saddened by the fact that Meimi’s leaving since I won’t get to her that awesome voice for awhile if ever. But even if all my oshi’s leave, there will always be a new one to replace her. That’s what keeps me interested in H!P. Also, the music. Its gotten way better.

  3. Mmm, our wotas sort of have a point here. The loss of Tsunku & Sayu hasn’t been filled by anything substantial. Sayashi may have her haters, but she was the only real ace of this already downgraded MM line-up. And HP needs a strong MM, it’s as simple as that.

    Overall, HP can survive, but it may soon be reduced to yet another provincial idol franchise that used to be big.

    Things went downwards for HP a bit too fast. If you consider that 2014 was the best year they had in nearly a decade, then the 2015 disaster is almost unforgivable. Sayu herself stated her worries about HP’s future, pointing (quite accurately) at MM’s members lack of shining eccentricities.

    True, HP isn’t alone in this situation. AKB is in decline, Idoling and Momoclo never really got the ultimate “it” thing that could have put them on the top. 2015 hasn’t been a good year for the idol world in general. But HP has suffered more than the others, and more than it could take, I’m afraid.

    I firmly stood with MM during the so-called Eclipse Era, and I have to agree with Reina when she said that the Platinum Era was the strongest line-up in MM history. Can’t say I am feeling the same about the current line-up, even if I still like the girls and give them all my support.

    I will keep loving HP, but that’s a kind of love that doesn’t blind me.

  4. > “Tsuzukero, omae meccha strong…” The heck’s that?!
    Not bad.

    > – New members for Juice=Juice
    I sure hope not. Getting another group without changing lineup would be nice.

    > 373: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/10/30(金) 04:05:32.27
    > >>347
    > She’s already pretty much like the producer of Country Girls. The members, too, are developing nicely. Once she graduates from Country Girls, everything is in place for her becoming the producer of H!P as a whole.
    Although I am not looking forward to having her graduate at all… Momochi as H!P producer? That should turn out well. I wanna believe.

    > Juice=Juice is amazing, and the Factories are looking good.
    Juice=Juice just might be my favorites now that there are no more Berryz.. Kobushi Factory has pretty fun songs, but I’m not feeling Tsubaki yet.

    Teradaaaaaa! ;_;

  5. There are a lot of rights, but also a lot of wrongs in this thread.

    Was 2015 a bad year for H!P? Yes. The loss of Berryz and the sudden departure of Riho sucked the life out of a lot of fans. Uta, the big hope, leaving without further notice wasn’t any better. Maro wasn’t a wota favourite but she was something, she was funny and special and of course one of the last links to the original S/mileage. The music for J=J and MM was mostly dull, even °C-ute wasn’t that exciting this year – 2013 and 2014 were much better years for them. Tsubaki is so… non-H!P it’s not even funny.

    However, there were also good things this year. ANGERME as a whole was amazing, despite having to say goodbye to Maro. Kobushi makes me very hopeful for a nice future. Country Girls have a potential to become the happy, uplifting group in H!P and Momoko is doing a really good job.

    I don’t like the decisions UF* makes. The comments saying H!P is losing its Tsunku-ness are right, I think it’s quite a cold feeling at the moment. But if there’s a thing UF* is good at it’s saving money, which makes me believe H!P will go on for many more years, especially through this idol downfall going on at the moment.

    Let’s just hope they won’t do something stupid for 2016.

    • I feel the same way, except about the factory units. In general HP just added too many new members this year. And with the exception of Country Girls few of them seem that interesting.

      For MM’15 well, I listened to parts of Riho’s last concert and I hate to say it but MM did not sound good. I think they are paying the price for concentrating on EDM and not selecting more talented singers to be members. Riho, who I like so this isn’t a pot shot, actually seems to have gotten worse at singing and that leaves Oda as the sole talented vocalist. Which just isn’t enough to carry the group. It’s not really a surprise they didn’t get invited to Kohaku despite good sales.

      I still like HP so I hope the office starts making better decisions next year.

  6. Eh you absolute morons!! It’s one thing to acknowledge departures from H!P but to say it’s the end is just not true. Guess what? What H!P has done this year has been too much but it needed to happen. Change is inevitable and if you’ve been around long enough with H!P you’re seasoned to be able to understand and take it. To be losing sight of H!P is fine if that’s what you’re choosing to do. Do it and come back any time you wish. However, don’t put down the efforts of the company this year because they’re still producing content and clearly that means they’re not flat lining to the end.

  7. Since when do the wota hate handshakes? Is this some peculiarity of 2ch or something new that’s developed?

  8. I’ve only followed H!P for 3 years now, but I will never understand this kind of talk. To me, it’s the literal opposite of what liking idols is all about. I’m not into the negativity and speculation; I enjoy the music as well as the talent and hard work of the members. The music may have ebbs and flows (I prefer up-tempo) and the faces may change, but none of that signals the end of the H!P world. I’m bummed about Riho leaving, but there’s plenty of talent in mm looking to step up.
    Just support who you support, be cool with the groups/members you don’t – they’re teen girls, after all! – and save gossip and complaining for real issues!

  9. With the AKB x Momokuro collab, I couldn’t say they’re completely down the drain. As >>478 said, the newer fans aren’t going to be as bothered by change.

  10. What does this person mean by “The way they just kicked Tsunku out was a really bad call,” acting like forced him out of his position?

    • Okay, just to answer your question as others have asked it as well.

      While it seems generally accepted that Tsunku left H!P of his own accord because of his illness (the most obvious answer), there are, as always, some conspiracy theorists out there who think he was, indeed, basically fired because of his illness. You can read about these speculations on some (Japanese-language) “news” sites as well, if you’re so inclined:

      http://news.infoseek.co.jp/article/litera_2927/
      http://www.excite.co.jp/News/entertainment_g/20150926/Litera_1530.html
      http://news.livedoor.com/article/detail/10634608/

      I hope this explains why some people in the above thread are blaming the office for his departure.

      • I remember (thought not from where exactly–part of your book translation?) reading Tsunku mention earlier some higher-up expressing some concern about his health and wondering if he should cut back, but since he still considered himself to have a lot of ideas left it wasn’t a suggestion he took seriously until he learned he wasn’t in remission after all in October ’14. I suppose looking at it cynically enough one could see that as them trying to push him out, buuuut the guy turned out to be right.

      • Somehow always when an idol graduate for school or family or illness many think there is an scandal behind.

        These girls are very young. I think many really leave for personal reasons like school.

        I don´t understand this theorists…

        They not always fired. And Tsunku-san had a long fight with cancer. He is still with Hello! Pro and still writes songs. He still works and is much more free.

        I don´t see a problem.

        Momusu & Hello! Pro survived many graduations.
        And nearly at every graduation fans said that Hello! Pro will die and Momusu disband.

        But Momusu isn´t a member.
        Even Goto Maki, Abe Natsumi, Tanaka Reina, Takahashi Ai, Michishige Sayumi or Riho

        Momusu will find a new way and other members will shine.

        I think 2015 was a good year for H!P.
        It was much more worse 2006-2010…

  11. I were literally laughing a minute ago… are these guys for real? how can you be so negative? despite the graduations 2015 was an awesome year… Momusu got 2 #2 singles… 59th single was sold more than the tiki bun and toki wo koe singles… even more than help me and brainstorming… imho oh my wish, sukatto my heart and seishun kozou ga naiteru are awesome… I don’t care who’s responsible for the songs but all that matters is the quality…

    Cute is still doing just fine and Anger Me is getting better and better… I love the different approach they have planned for Kobushi Factory… I’m not a big fan of Tsubaki Factory but that’s ok! they are part of the family and everyone has favorites… I also don’t like J=J’s music but that doesn’t mean that I can’t have Karin as one of my favorite members…

    Tsunku is “gone”… yes… it’s sad! but H!P is still influenced by his work… he’s writing lyrics, he cares for H!P and last but not least – he’s alive! give this man a break for god’s sake… he has lost his voice but not his love for music… don’t you think that it’d hurt him to see H!P break apart? it won’t happen but just because of those people who haven’t lost their wits…

    I know this post is long and few people will read it but this is important for me… I don’t like the word “wota” and the word “fan” isn’t better because it derives from “fanatic”… but H!P has been a part of me for many years now… I’ve seen all my favorite members go… Yossie… Kame-chan… JunJun… Ai-chan… now Sayu is gone, too… but you know what? I’ve found Satou Masaki, Ikuta Erina, Oda Sakura, Nonaka Miki, Yamaki Risa, Karin Miyamoto, Sasaki Rikako and more… I love them all and I’d never abandon them… and there will be more in the future…

    to be honest I’m not sad that Riho is gone now… don’t get me wrong… I like her as much as the other members… it’s just that her decision to concentrate on dancing is comprehensible and fair… she didn’t feel well this year and her voice got worse and worse… I’ve seen her crying during the recording of ima sugu tobikomu yuuki (Green Room was it I guess…) because her voice cracked… and all this badmouthing she had to endure wasn’t funny anymore… these so called “wotas” are a shame! I hope she’ll feel better doing what she loves… maybe she becomes a dancing supervisor for H!P? I don’t know… whatever she’ll do – I’ll support it…

    finally some words to you, Henkka… I haven’t wrote much but I always enjoyed your translations… but your recent posts make me really sad… H!P has changed over the years – that’s true… but were these changes so bad? there are good songs, bad songs, interesting members, dull members… there is new media like green room, music+ and hello!station… the DVD Magazines… over the years, did you enjoy the music, the girls and the media or the simple fact that Tsunku was the mastermind? H!P isn’t just Tsunku – it’s a family… and right now it’s like the head of the family is feeling sick… but all the musume and musuko are still around… the uncles, aunts, etc… this may sound stupidly emotional but that’s how I feel…

    aaalright… that took some time XD merry christmas everybody…

    • Thanks for reading as always.

      To answer your paragraph to me: whether or not you appreciate the recent changes within H!P is, of course, just a matter of taste. Like I said in my “goodbye” post, H!P just hasn’t grabbed me this past year quite like it used to. But that’s just me — my intention certainly wasn’t to advocate others to join me in no longer following them or anything of the sort. If anything, I’m happy to know H!P will continue to have its loyal fans, long after this site has been forgotten.

      So don’t feel sad about my personal opinion. While I may not be an “active” fan any longer, I have no regrets. I have so many fond memories of my years following H!P. And rest assured: each and every time I’m having some drinks (which is often), it’s pretty much a guaranteed thing that I’ll be enjoying older H!P music for a long time to come. I’m a music lover, after all.

  12. With how Riho is leaving despite accomplishing so much just shows how shitty the management is treating their talent. With that said, some of the new girls are cute so I can’t abandon HP just yet. Hopefully they fix their shit though.

  13. Tsunku-Loss, probably can not be stopped. His condition & health are more important than anything else. Remember that even he’s left, Tsunku is still gonna be important role for whole H!P (either his stlye, lyric or musical influence).

    So i’m just wondering why so much people blame for graduation of Tsunku, Because I think that’s the best way for him. I also hope that even Tsunku not in H!P anymore, he can create some songs for H!P group (probably not all and not producing)

  14. Five plus years ago, when I became fascinated with °C-ute and the rest of H!P, the trendy thing to do was give Tsunku as much Hell as possible. Tsunku was at fault for anything the wota didn’t like. Now that he is gone, wota are like: “Woe unto us! Tsunku is no longer here!” It is so silly.

    I love the girls of °C-ute! I want to see them succeed in life! I will always follow them, no matter where they may go.

  15. 56: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/10/30(金) 03:11:21.51
    ’14 was just so much fun, the difference compared to now is really striking.

    79: 名無し募集中。。。 2015/10/30(金) 03:16:32.73
    I actually think Sayashi’s graduation is a step in the right direction. It doesn’t make sense to have a girl who’s not suited to be an idol be your group’s ace.
    > it’s not that she isn’t suited to be THE Ace, but was she suited to be idol? She wanted to be a performer, a dancer, more than anything else (and in the first place). The handshakes are… maybe not fitting for her tastes… however, I am thankful for all the years.

    ’15 was a little bland. Cool releases but it was different from all the hype during ’14, or during Sayumi? They’ll go on, H!P will, but I don’t think any of the groups will achieve that former Momusu glory they’re all chasing. They’d be just… like any other idol group, with their own respective fans viewing them as greatest of greatest, and will continue to cheer for them.

  16. They way Hello Project goes these days, I wouldnt be too surprised the groups turn those handshake events into handjob events for male fans and wotas alike in order to keep the company afloat. Imagine Mizuki or Erina jerking you off one after another… I can’t wait!

  17. How can you expect H!P as a whole to rise? When their so called “fans” are also the biggest Antis and Haters.

    As a former MM fan, I am glad they never got out of their former golden era shadows. Their shit fans deserve it.

  18. I’ve always thought that 2015 would be more of a transitional year for Hello! Project. With all of the change that occurred at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, how can a transitional period not come about? With the loss of Sayu and the addition of four new girls in Morning Musume, a period of growth is definitely expected. The turnover of Berryz Kobo and the addition of the Factory groups definitely needs time to sort itself out.

    What worries me is the nagging thought that Uta and Riho’s departures signals something wrong inside H!P. The way it was timed feels too suspect.

    That said, I think there were plenty of things that went right this year. Angerme took off much greater than expected. Country Girls showed that a phenomenon is still possible in H!P. A good stable of songwriters and producers continues to be cultivated. AND … Momoko is still Momoko.

    I kid about Momoko, but there is an important lesson there: no matter how good the music gets with the Projects, the personality of the idols will always be just important. It’s time to give these girls a forum in which their glow can really shine.

  19. Doomsayers will be doomsayers.

    No matter what happens, I have to be positive when it comes to H!P.

  20. C-ute still wishes to keep going
    15′ members are still young
    Anju just received a new member
    CG received two members
    KF did well with their single
    Tsubaki is releasing their indie single
    J=J released an amazing album + they have drama

    In what world is all that up there a dying company?

    Dunno bout u guys but I’m super excited about H!P rn

  21. Things are very much changed.

    C-ute, still enjoying them, but I feel they’ll be put on hiatus like Berryz or seperated from H!P and become an UF group.

    15′, I’m looking forward to. The 12th gen have a lot of growing, but sadly, I don’t see any kind of ace coming out of that gen currently, nor any other gen.

    Anju, well, they changed when they were no longer S/Mileage. Not sure what’s going on with the group, but not liking the direction. Feel sad about it, as I do like the 3rd gen members.

    CG, not sure how long that will survive. Great singers, great personalities, the cutesy songs I enjoy, but I can only take those type of songs for so long. Wondering what direction they’ll start moving to or if they’ll just try to stay with their cutesy songs.

    Kobushi, loving it. Their songs take a couple listens before I really enjoy them. Much like old H!P songs. I really do feel like they are great successors for Berryz.

    Tsubaki…way too early for them. Hope they keep them indie a while longer and not try to rush them out.

    Juice=Juice. Can’t get enough. Feel they have the best talent out of all the other units. All of them can sing and dance. If C-ute goes away, I just feel that Juice=Juice would be their successors. I hope they don’t try jamming new members into their group.

  22. I confess I havn’t listen to any new HP song for MONTH! Maybe because of Sayu’s graduation… She was my oshi…

  23. The end of Berryz, Sayu’s grad, and the end of Tsunku producing really changed my family’s fandom. We’ve been doing this ten years. I couldn’t make the Berryz final but my husband did — and after that there’s no longer anything that will make us drop everything and fight to attend a live.

    I’ve seen a lot of younger fans insist that Tsunku stepping back is a good thing for the groups because Tsunku songs “all sound the same.” My bewilderment aside, I don’t think they realize that without Tsunku H!P can’t compete with bigger companies with better production quality and more money.

    Not only did Tsunku write music, he was the producer. He picked girls for groups that would have interesting, awkward social dynamics. He came up with ridiculous (in a good way) costumes for concerts. He both pushed girls out of their comfort zones and found sounds that suited them. He didn’t have folks smooth out every vocal imperfection in post production. A lot of these choices are risks current H!P just won’t take. In some ways, they can’t, because they can’t blame those choices on the whims of an eccentric genius anymore.

    Good things happening? I like ANGERME’s sound. However, they’ve just lost two pillars. They will have to lean heavy on the combined eccentricities of Dawa, Kanana, and Rikako.

    I like that Kobushi is doing wacky stuff so far.

    I like the choices for new Country Girls members but I don’t like how pigeonholed the group is.

    MM’s new single gives me hope. It reminds me of some of my favorite Tsunku tracks and makes me feel like he’s finding his stride in the “new normal.”

    Big concerns? Aside from what I pointed out above, is anyone looking out for these girls and their future careers as individuals? Is a lack of attention from production staff what’s causing so many to leave? Or are they encouraging girls to leave before they blow their future prospects by lingering too long as idols?

  24. The people today praising Sayu for her devine, supernatural powers are the same people bitching, 11 years ago, about how such a bland and untalented girl as Sayumi could be added, and that it sure was a sign of the “downfall” of H!P.

    2015 was a bad year, let’s just agree, but still things do seem to be going Up-Hill.

    It’s these Tsunku-lovers who are blinded by their nostalgia-goggles who swear that H!P is done for every time something happens. JUST.GO.AWAY.ALREADY

    I’ve been a fan for 10 years and honestly, this is the first time I haven’t been afraid to show groups like C-ute and MM’15 to the people around me and them actually liking it. This is the first time I’m sure that H!P will become fresh again!

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike Tsunku, not at all, but maaan did the lose the spark after 2005-ish. His music for the last few years screamed TIRED.OF.THIS.

    Damn these nostalgia freak with their hipster outlook on life. Just get on with your lives :)

  25. I became a fan of H!P in 2009, so all this doomsaying is nothing new to me. If anything, the predictions of H!P’s “death” probably had more credence and weight five years ago than it does now.

    But even back then I considered the doomsayers to be overly pessimistic…today’s doomsayers just come across as downright spiteful in comparison.

    Hello! Project in 2016 will be fine. 2015 really wasn’t a horrible year, but it was definitely a transitional one. They’ve survived through worse.

  26. With a wild Momokuro out, NOBODY IS SAFE. They’re dominating the idol world. On another thought, with the thought of Ayacho leaving soon, ANGERME will be in Kananan’s hands. I have mixed feelings with Ayacho’s soon predicted departure. I will forever be an ANGERME wota, as long as Aikawa Maho is in it.

  27. 2013 and 2014 was a great ride and I didn’t want it to end. At first I denied it was ending but reality caught up of course. I’ll go back to checking in on H!P roughly twice, sometimes thrice a week as I did before. I still find the girls simply enchanting and captivating. And I’ll hopefully be around to see a phoenix act. A real one this time. Not the tease we got of Sayu’s tenure as leader.

  28. I seriously don’t understand the people saying ‘the loss of Tsunku’… he was the group, he was everything. This brand is nothing without him

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