48 comments on “How did you get into Hello! Project?

  1. Rhythm Heaven -> YouTube wandering -> Nice Girl Project! performing Rhythm Heaven songs -> YouTube wandering -> Minimoni

    “The cover art of ‘Last Kiss.'”

    Haha, man, that is one of my least favorite. They’re so flat and blue, I imagine they’ve crashed into the water and died before being pulled out for the photo.

    • FYI my keitai ringtone for the last decade or so has been the opening of “Last Kiss.” And NOBODY recognizes it, not even the dude who introduced me to Tampopo!

  2. Around fall 2003 a friend of mine on LiveJournal had the cover of I WISH as her background image and I just saw Aibon and thought she was the cutest ever. Then I started looking up info of Morning Musume. Considering how long this has lasted, the way I got to know them is just crazy ridiculous

  3. Random roller coaster commercial –> random episodes of “Hello Morning” –> Utaban –> watching “The Manpower!” –> watching other Morning Musume MVs –> Finding “REFRIGEETA”. I’ve been hooked ever since.

  4. Momo kicked in the ass by some comedian in that TV special sport event started the whole thing. I was just trying to watch Japanese pornstars doing other things beside that thing that they always do, you know…

    And now here I am in my room with giant ass Angerme poster hanging on the wall.

  5. In 2005 I walked into my brother’s room and he was on an obscure site called YouTube watching these funny videos in which a cute, lively young Japanese woman accosted other cute, lively young Japanese women and forced English lessons on them.

  6. Fan of jpop for almost 2 decades and I didn’t care about idols before but I watched an old Moonlight night performance in 2017 and that changed my world. After that I binged bunch of Aichan, Kamei and Reina videos for weeks. I love this hobby.

  7. I saw “Daite Hold On Me” peformed on the ’98 Kouhaku. My exact quote: this is a mockery of idol groups! I later sampled a H!P few tunes after a friend got into Tampopo and eventually converted by the time “Manatsu no Kousen” was released in 1999. I remember listening to the preview of “Love Machine” via a Real Player media file leeched on dialup. Good times.

  8. I’m #27 Riho is the only reason I got into hello project I watch her solo every time I can.

  9. >Well, obviously — this board is a community for people in their 50’s, and H!P especially targets middle and old age guys.

    Oh wow, even 2ch goes through what several forums and boards are suffering now: Younger people don’t care for them. I guess most are on twitter etc. now? I remember reading NicoNico had similar problems. And mixi, of course.

    >It’s easy to get hooked on H!P after you’ve found them — the problem is that it seems difficult for people to actually get to the point of finding them. That was true for me anyway.

    Definitely. 10 to 15 years ago they might have seen Ayaya in a commercial (I remember discovering her Pretz commercial deals around that time). I even remember an article in a German manga magazine (!) from around the time 4th gen joined.
    But nowadays you really need a friend to show them to you.

  10. I used to be a Koda Kumi fan in 2005/2006, I loved her “ero-kakkoii” style, it was really popular, so I heard there was this girl named Maki Goto who had a similar style. I remember watching a live performance of Ekizona Disco and getting completely hooked. She looked so sexy AND cute at the same time! I fell in love. Up to this day, Gocchin is my kamioshi. I didn’t understand the concept of “idol” at that time, for me she was just another Jpop singer, like Amuro or Koda Kumi. But it wasn’t long until I got into Momusu, W, and finally, Berryz. Wow, so nostalgic…

  11. Random Japanese movie -> Googled the tiny actress, its somebody named Yaguchi Mari -> Youtube’d Yaguchi Mari and got Ayaka’s English Lessons -> watched a bunch of Ayaka’s English lessons and then searched Takahashi Ai -> Utaban episodes and Hello-Morning episodes popped up made it my life mission to watch every Utaban or Hello-Morning Episode I could find -> Kamei Eri

    12 years later i’m a full fledged wota that follows all things JPop; Predominatly H!P, 48/46G, Momocolo, Babymetal, and the now disbanded Idoling!!!!

  12. Watching videos of anime convention masquerade skits –> the channel for one of my favorite skit groups posted a vocal cover of Special Generation –> Berryz MVs

    Drifted away around Rival Survival, came back because of Houston

  13. I just realized I started to like Morning Musume when Sakura Oda joined with Help Me. I didn’t like the song at first, but after watching Harunan in 720HD on Brainstorming and after watching Reina Tanaka’s graduation concert and their professionalism on stage, I started to follow MM.

  14. Lonely girl with no friends, spends all time online because I have no real friends > Dress up games circa 2008/9 > Tokyo Mew Mew > shoujo manga > Shojo Beat, like the magazine > Morning Musume at anime expo 2009 advertisement in an issue > Look up their music on ancient YouTube > the FUCK is a Chokkan 2 > Mikan is really cool actually > Doesn’t…get into them there > More shoujo manga > Shugo Chara? sure is interesting > Get all the way to Doki > Rottara Rottara is AMAZING > oh the same company as those museum girls? > I better check this out > Nanchatte Renai is the most recent single > It’s amazing > What’s a C-ute? > Dey aight > What’s a Berryz? > They’re AMAZING.

    Then I do all the obligatory research on what on earth a H!P is. And I’m obsessed by the time 5th grade is over. This doesn’t do anything to help the friends situation, but whatever, who needs friends when you can look at pictures of Kumai Yurina?

  15. 2009, Bored I go on Youtube and watch some Nirgilis videos(shameless plug) one of the recommended vids grabs my attention. It was C-ute, probably Sakura Chirari. Anyway the next thing I know I’m watching every C-ute video I can find which leads to Berryz and then MM. Still following HP though not as much, can’t name half the current members.

    • My story is very similar. This °C-ute vid kept popping up, so after about 6 months I finally watch it. WOW! Next thing I know I am searching for every °C-ute video I can find! Then MM, and so on. UF greedily destroyed so many subbed videos to protect their copy-rights. How I wish I had down-loaded them, especially the subbed Yorosen! series. Oh, well.

      Today I can name a third of MM. Way less for H!P’s other acts.

  16. This single thread is a place when long-time silent fans open their voices. Anyway, mine was when my friend randomly gave me Berryz 1st single music video

  17. look up “Japanese speak English” on Youtube -> watch “Morning Musume English Lesson” -> watch it a couple more times still not caring nor knowing what MM is -> watch it a few dozen more times and actually get curious about this MM thing -> look them up -> videos of ‘友’ performed at the Fashionable play and ‘last phrase’ karaoke video seal the deal for my obsession

  18. For me, it was a bit odd. I was looking for Full Moon o Sagasite songs and came across and AMV for aa!’s First Kiss. In trying to figure out who they were, I mistake MM’s Aibon for Airi and found Morning Musume. At the time, the topmost video on youtube when you searched them was Nanchatte Renai, as it was the most recently released song (which is funny because Reina was actually the active member at the time!)…and the rest is history because I then went down a rabbit hole of Hello!Project things! Haha

  19. As an Ayumi Hamasaki fan, I came across Yaguchi Mari’s impression of her from an episode of Hello Morning and that was when I first came to know about Morning Musume. Didn’t totally grab my interest, but I perusd some videos like Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari and LOVE Machine and liked them a lot. Devoured a lot of Ayaka’s English lessons. Then, while on YouTube, I came across some v-u-den performances, and THAT group of all of them succeeded in completely hooking me on H!P.

  20. I was watching a bunch of old dramas circa 2010/11, and watched the first season of gokusen, and thought the girl who played the school nurse (Nakazawa) was really cute. It turned out she was in some pop group, so I listened to their debut single, and it was actually quite good. Then spent loads of time watching stuff from that era. The graduation system put me off watching more recent stuff initially, as I figured if none of the original members were there, what’s the point? So basically had to go through their history in order to realise that each era was pretty good in itself. I finally caught up about the time of renai hunter.

  21. I chanced upon Second Morning in a charity shop in Cambridge, in the UK; CD, box and (green version) booklet all in mint condition. It must have been donated by a student. That was in back in 2004. I thought it was a unique and wonderful sound and played it over and over, eventually buying the other albums, the first forty or so singles, the concerts, the DVD magazines and travel DVDs… Addicted! And it all started with that one chance find on the CD shelf.

  22. In 2009 I had a ticket to a music festival (which later got canceled :/) because of Miyavi, and decided to check out who the other artists were and found Buono! – Hontou no jibun and my boy which I, to my surprise (listened mostly to rock and metal at the time) liked a lot. It probably helped that Buono had a bit of rock in their sound and that they were around my age. After Bouno I found Berryz (yuke yuke monkey dance, dakishimete > morning musume (shabondama, naichau kamo) and got really really hooked. Started out as a fan of mostly Buono and Momusu and later also became a big fan of C-ute, this new group called S/mileage and the rest of H!P.

  23. The dramatic chipmunk meme. I think that was… 2008 maybe? Or 2009. Or was it 2007? Not sure anymore. Anyway, Youtube got the full episode of that thing and I checked it out. Found out these cute girls were called Mini Moni and through that, I discovered it was a sub-group of the idol group Morning Musume. The rest is history haha. I was a teenage girl back then and I really liked the aspect that these groups were full of girls my own age. It was relatable.

  24. During my high school : Jrock Glay/Laruku, wth was idol
    My College days : MM is not bad, they’re funny. Ayaya was so talented
    My Early work (25s) : Little bored (Platinum), time to looked for other Idols (Idoling!!!)
    My 30s : Hey MM is back, nice techno song (one Two Three), time to back
    After that I’m still here.

  25. When I was in my teenage times, I always listened to mostly Momusu songz…Really can’t forget the best line-up ever too…Even Ayaya as well as she is very exceptional too and also Nacchi too….
    Also, during Platinum times when they really seems to have fool around too…
    After that, seem to have grown out of em and sold almost all my CD collection too…Finally, decided to come back to relive memories too…Superb this!!!

  26. Honestly my all-time fave songs are Ai Araba It’s Alright, Do it Now, Osaka Koi no Uta, Aruiteru, Kanashimi Twilight, Naichau Kamo and even more….To tell the truth, I grew up with all these too, starting from the 2nd one…
    Also my fave song from Ayaya is Sougen no Hito, the best modern enka ballad which is said to be the saddest song indeed….Cos this may be suit up to be played during funerals even farewells too… Can’t figure out the fave song of mine from Nacchi too as she is formerly from Momusu along with Gomaki too…

  27. Now the majority of the fave songs of mine mostly from Momusu and also Hello Project are now in my MP3 collection since I had went to college too…Still keepsaking all the posters till now…Honestly the Momusu line-up around 2003-2004 till 2010 is the best one I wont forget, also around 2000 indeed in my primary school days….And not forgetting Hello Morning shows too, theyre really hillarious…
    Singapore DID have quite a number of Hello Project fans once and also mostly Momusu fans…I was one of em, and would STILL a die-hardcore fan though its now changed too…

  28. Moved to Japan in August of 2001 and got dropped off in the middle of nowhere with a week before my job started and nothing but a TV in my small apartment. I turned on a 24 hour charity marathon and instantly fell in love with a young lady that was doing a segment where she helped a handicapped boy walk for the first time. After that, she began singing with a group and I was hooked. I went out and found them on pretty much every magazine cover, bought a few of them and some CDs, and went all in learning everything a could about the group. It was right when The Peace came out so they were on TV at least once a day either on music shows, or one of the half dozen variety shows they had. Shortly later the 5th gen auditions were on TV and that brought me into the full MM experience.

    In 2002 I visited Tokyo and attended my first HP concert with some message board friends and joined the fan club at the concert. From then on, I was probably at a concert once a month (I had become a hardcore Melon Kinen-bi fan and went to everything of theirs I could), and when I changed jobs and moved to Osaka, I was able to go to at least one show of every tour and see most of their stage plays, graduation concerts, and was even fortunate to meet several HP members long before handshake events and the like became standard and meeting a member was a rarity. I definitely got to live the wota dream during that time of my life.

    Eventually I discovered live houses and got deep into the Japanese indies scene and listened to less idol stuff, but I still would go to the HP summer and winter concerts. I still check in on them, but honestly after C-ute broke up, my HP fandom is mostly just keeping track of Masaki’s antics.

    • Awesome Al.

      “…….. but honestly after C-ute broke up, my HP fandom is mostly….” Me, too.

  29. Back in freshman year of high school around 2002-2003, when I was still on dialup, I got into BoA and Do As Infinity and such and wanted a bunch of music videos, so I bought a bootleg VCD off ebay of popular Japanese stuff at the time. It just so happened to include Aisha Loan de, Ai no Bakayarou, and Do it! Now and I was totally in love with Gocchin instantly.

    Fast forward through downloading a bunch of Surprise English lessons and learning the new 6th gen was about the same age as me, I fell for Reina because we both had wanting to be Gocchin in common and the rest is history. Was already learning Japanese but it totally expanded my enthusiasm, carried me through to my current career, meeting incredible friends, experiencing the best live shows. I’ve been a HelloPro fan for over half my life now and I honestly wouldn’t want it any other way.

  30. In early 2013 on Youtube, I came across the GakiKame miracle throw video: It was the one of Kamei trying to throw the umbrella into the basket… It was so intriguing that I had look for what that was all about and I ended up following Morning Musume and making Kamei my kami-oshi.

    • and yes, I ended up making Kamei my oshi even though she had graduated long before I saw the video… that was her power and charm

  31. In August 2005, I picked up a random J-pop tape at a Japanese video store in New York, curious to see what these acts were like, since I’d never seen or heard them before. The pictures on the tape cover appealed to me. It turned out to be the Hello! Project Winter 2004 concert, the one where Natsume Abe graduated from Morning Musume and I was hooked for life.

  32. Let’s see: started with anime -> Buono! -> MM 5th gen -> Egao YES Nude -> AX 2010. Haven’t really left since.

  33. I’m 22.I used to be a weeaboo as a kid,young teen and a lot of AMVs would use hello project songs.The manga Fullmoon wo sagashite mentioned aya matsuura and ai kago as well.

    I loved cute things and was drawn to hello project since their concepts leaned towards cute/youthful.I especially liked morning musume,Buono and c-Ute!!Im more into kpop now,but I still like hello project groups.

  34. Pretty Cure uses Gag 100kaibun as its ending, is a fan of the original Pretty Cure fairly late around 2010 > One day I finally find the Berryz MV > Berryz are cute and it’s the first time I see such lively young girls known as idols > Special Generation, Piriri to Yukou! > Proceed to fall in love > Discovers Buono! is from the same company (I actually knew some of their songs from Shugo Chara which I didn’t really like but listened to their songs anyway) > Fall in love all over again > Discovers the wiki and proceeds checking out all other groups > The rest is history, I still love H!P (as well as Pink Cres. and some other UF acts)

  35. I was downloading Japanese comedy shows from WinMX (a really old filesharing prog) around 2005, since I was really into Japanese comedy shows then. I came across the Mechaike Okajo special with Morning Musume, had a blast watching it, then searched for more of MM’s stuff and started to like them more. My fandom was kinda so-so with them for a little while, but after coming across DJ Waffles’ site around 2006 or 2007, I watched a ton more stuff and got so far deep into fandom that I haven’t been able to escape yet in 2019…

  36. 2001, at a random website showing the infamous clip of some Japanese girl constantly yelling “SEXY BEEEeEEEeeeam!~~”.

    I was 13 and being in the early ages of internet, I couldn’t even begin searching about this clip.
    It took me a month asking around on Diablo 2 (the PC game) on their Japanese chat server, until one person finally answered “I think it’s Love Machine”.

    I downloaded Love Machine and, despite that it was not “Koi no Dance Site”, I was immediately hooked on Morning Musume. I eventually found Yaguchi Mari, and bought an MM album made in China through ebay. Since then, I went to buy all M!M singles from Morning Coffee, until Egao YES nude (which I was in college and started drifting away).

  37. For a short time Youtube put foreign music on its front page and Kono Chikyuu’s long MV was there. Later on I found Renai Hunter and One Two Three, I absolutely love(d) Reina, and then found my way to Seishun Bus Guide and Suki yo Junjou Hankouki. I’ve just been loving H!P since, even though there are ups and downs.

  38. This is around 2013.

    Scandal’s Shoujo S ends up in my YouTube recommendations. I listen to it and become a fan.

    I watch a TV show with Scandal appearing. Michishige Sayumi (who one of the members is a fan of) makes an appearance. In reaction to Sayumi’s poison tongue character I think “Who is this girl???” (This was also my first introduction to Takamina who is a former AKB member I really like, but I didn’t realize who she was until a friend introduced me to AKB. She was one of the hosts.)

    From Sayu, I found Morning Musume’s “One Two Three.” I then fell in love with C-ute as well. Never looked back.

    It’s interesting to see how other people became fans.

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