Hello! Project Power Rankings Apr 2014

morningmusumegroupshot

HELLO TO YOU! I need to start by thanking Garry and the rest of New School Kaidan for giving me the opportunity to write these Hello! Project Power Rankings. I’ve been listener of the NSK podcasts since about 2011, so it feels strange to actually contribute to the site – hopefully I won’t let anyone down.

You might know me by my Twitter handle @thenumber244, or from my main website where I write mostly about Hello! Project. About me: I have black hair; my favorite soups are ramen, pho, and gazpacho; and the longest non fiction I’ve ever read was “A Short History of Nearly Everything”. I’m sure we’ll get to know each other better if I write more of these articles. Well, enough talking about me. It’s time for the April Hello! Project Power Rankings!


RankGroupLogo Comments
Morning Musume '14
(=)One-Four's month started with the release of their "Coupling Collection 2". The stylish publicity photos burned up the fan-sphere with continued sexiness from Sayumi and an epic ikeman battle between Duu and Eripon. Then, Tsunku stirred things up again with the announcement of a 12th generation audition inducing wota to speculate on the Kenshuusei and/or Cuca (again). But, the heavy damage was inflicted by the release of the PV for "Toki wo Koe, Sora wo Koe". The heartfelt lyrics (which read like Tsunku's farewell letter) and sci-fi visuals (The Manpower part 2?) surpassed most fan expectations and has led to a gif explosion. TLDR: MoMusu shows us again why they are the flagship group.
C-ute
(+2)"Kokoro no Sakebi wo Uta ni Shitemita / Love Take It All". A daily #1. A Weekly #2. Custom Reeboks. Another Airi photo book. The promotional cycle has been kind to C-ute. The single release catapulted the group up the Power Rankings with a potent mix of television appearances, magazine articles, and the previously mentioned custom Reeboks campaign. The girls seemed like they were everywhere promoting single #29; as a result, the booty-shaking single is now C-ute's highest selling single ever. Expect a celebration and great, great things from single #30 (date TBD). There is no way this milestone release will come and go quietly.
Juice=Juice

(=)Juice=Juice were burning up earlier this month with the release of "Hadaka no Hadaka no Hadaka Kiss / Arekore Shitai!". An unusual number of live events, a flashy promotional campaign (billboards! subway posters!), a bevy of comely magazine features, and an Oricon weekly #3 kept the group well and truly in the public eye. The Juicers even got Tsunku-rolled at their release event at Sunshine City! April will show us whether H!P's future can stay in the public consciousness when the machine isn't cranking out a single. Up next for the girls: a solo tour!
S/mileage
(-2)With the announcement of S/mileage's solo Budokan concert, the Smilers and the Juicers could very easily switch places in the rankings this month. S/mileage definitely has the momentum going into the end of the month. Aside from the Budokan announcement, an eye-opening PV for next month's "Mystery Night!" caught most of us off-guard. The "buffet of bare shoulders" put the fandom on notice: S/mileage are growing up and refusing to stagnate in their genki image. Tune in next month to see if the new look S/mileage single led to increased media exposure and increased sales.
Berryz Koubou

(=)For the second straight month, Berryz Kobo bring up the rear of H!P Power Rankings. The biggest Berryz happenings this month was their 10th year anniversary tour, which is quite an accomplishment. Towards the end of of the month it was revealed that Berryz would perform on this year's MTV Video Music Awards (Japan). But, without an upcoming single release these activities feel like a waste of momentum. With any luck, Berryz will use April to put the upstart Egg groups in their place. Maybe Maasa will quit looking at Miyabi's ass long enough to crack some kohai skulls!

That’s how I saw H!P in March, how about you? Did my selective amnesia omit a vital detail? Are you privy to information that threatens to turn my Power Rankings upside-down? Just want to tell me how obviously biased my rankings are? Let us know in the comments below!

Curious how the groups stacked up last month? Check out the Rankings for March 2014.

About NSK

New School Kaidan is a community-focused website for the Japanese idol industry international fan base. Between podcasts, broadcasts, events, and analytic articles, New School Kaidan aims to bring an understanding of idol culture to the masses.

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2 comments

  1. I think these power rankings are sound.

    MM’14 will always be number #1, since they’re the flagship group. Up-Front (with major help from Dentsu) is pushing them harder than the other four groups combined.

    C-ute is a solid 2nd for the reasons you describe. They also have a new monthly TV show on TBS, and Chisato’s a regular on a new late-night series for TV Tokyo. So H!P is really promoting them for a change.

    I’d rank S/Mileage 3rd because the Budokan concert is a HUGE deal for them. Plus, UFP is finally putting them back on TV, with Music Japan and Music Dragon appearances for the new single. It’s easily their most heavily promoted single in over two years. Hopefully, the single won’t flop — if it does, I wonder if the group can survive. Their fan base has shrunk dramatically since Yuuka’s departure.

    J=J is the future of H!P. All five girls are talented, and 2-3 of them have the potential to be future superstars. My only fear is that Tsunku and UFP will mess things up somehow (J=J 2nd generation anyone?).

    Berryz is at the bottom, and will probably stay there until they retire (within the next year or so?) It’s clear that UFP doesn’t know what to do with them. Why are they attending the MTV awards? Or K-POP events? Or going to countries like Myanmar? It makes no sense.

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