It’s been a good few weeks since I last made a post. I’ve temporarily moved country (back to dear old blighty) and found myself with no wifi for what seemed like an eternity (about three weeks). But I’m back now like a bad smell or Mitsui Aika (Aika dig for old time’s sake). Actually it’s interesting to see how everyone suddenly loves Aika now that she speaks English. She’s become really popular. Well it’s good there’s a bridge between the English speaking foreign fans and H!P so good luck to her. She must be really enjoying all the compliments she is getting on social media. So yeah she’s definitely a popular character now. She’s like Brian from Family Guy.
Anyway enough of that. Why am I here? Well because it’s time for the annual H!P fan vote. I have no idea who actually runs his thing but each year they ask you to choose your top ten members and ask for your favourites in lots of specific categoies too. So why not head to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1YHvf3laEpBJfJ_CHkywC4lLe8kkIH8PNJXjt57-I-Ts/viewform?c=0&w=1 and shout out for your favourite members?
Who did I pick for my top ten? Well…
1. Nakajima Saki
Big shock huh? Well I’m actually a bit of a fan of hers. I know. I know. I hide it well. Nacky is just the one I connect with on a personal level. It’s like there are idols you find really entertaining and then there’s THE idols you feel a burning urge deep down to support. The ones you feel a connection to on some deeper level. The inspiring ones. The ones who impress you for whatever reason. Ai-chan is the ultimate when it comes to that but while Ai-chan is to me the ideal personality, Nacky is the person I’d feel more akin to. If I was a young Japanese girl (LadyMorningtime? Now there’s a thought) and I wanted to look up to someone then Nacky is the idol whose personality I’d feel closest to and so whose endeavours would inspire me the most. And actually, it doesn’t matter what age or gender I am, I can still feel inspired by her. Any person of any age can remind you of what is possible if you try to do your best and have a good attitude. And idols are great for this. You can see them and think “well her personality is like this, which I understand, and she’s achieved this, this and that, so I can be positive and achieve things too”. Idols inspire. Nacky is MY idol. Oh and she’s damn cute too. ^^
2. Yajima Maimi
The idol anyone sane would want to be/hang out with. Cool, beautiful, funny, fit and the big sister now, not just of C-ute but of the whole of H!P.
3. Hamaura Ayano
The force is strong in Kobushi Factory. The potential there is hugely exciting. And for me Hamachan is the central character. Her personality is full of humour and being an idol means a lot to her. Every major announcement is met with tears of happiness. And as I wipe my eyes I see Hamachan is crying too. 😛 Some idols just grab your attention. Hamachan does this whether performing on stage or just sitting on a floor surrounded by other idols in a dance practice room. She’s got a big, funny, energetic and cute aura. Her aura is so great it’s even in her name!
4. Suzuki Airi
I always liked Airi. Of course I did. Who wouldn’t? Meeting her last year in Paris though left a big impression on me. This despite meeting her the year before too. She was great the year before but last year somehow it was like the light switch was flicked. This girl has everything. It’s a bit like how I didn’t notice how awesome Kamei Eri was until after she graduated. Sure I’d watched her DVDs and I liked her but it wasn’t until much later that I really recognised how appealing she was. Airi is a bit like that. I guess it’s because there are a lot of idols so you find your attention grabbed by a select few the most. Over the years that handful has moved on. The goddess Ai-chan, the funny and beautiful Junjun, the cute and incredibly mesmerising Maeda Yuuka, the beautiful, funny, big-hearted and poison tongued Sayumi. All no longer in H!P. And that leaves spaces. New idols come along anyway but it also gives you more time to appreciate those that have always been there. The ones you knew were great but hadn’t had time to fully appreciate. And meeting an idol in person is a game changer too. Airi is amazing. She’s always smiling, is full of humour and is super talented. She is a superb idol.
5. Ishida Ayumi
“Cute”, “funny”, “energetic”, “pretty”, “photogenic”, “always smiling”, “great dancer”, “beautiful” and “shark”. All ways to describe the petite bundle of awesomeness that is Ayumi. She has become my favourite in Momusu. You just can’t not love that kind of mix of so many wonderful attributes in a sea-creature.
6. Suzuki Kanon
A lot of my favourite idols are very funny personalities. Kanon is pretty much perfect in that way. Her mind is inventive, weird, bright and happy. So yeah, perfect. You are guaranteed to smile a lot when Kanon starts talking. I can’t imagine her not being a tv talent type at some stage. She’s made to entertain.
7. Nomura Minami
She rose quickly once Kobushi Factory debuted. Watch her performing live. It’s like at some stage someone told her to make sure she expresses with her face more and she’s taken that advice to the extreme. It’s hilarious and just so loveable. She’s got a great spirit to her and is just one of those idols that warms the heart.
8. Iikubo Haruna
I think this is the point at which lots of idols are sort of equal. There’s quite a few who missed out but only just. Honey is here because she’s always caught my eye. She is charming, pretty and once made a blog post where she was pictured holding a Shokotan cd. Now there’s taste! Also she’s a big manga fan and even though I’m not I love that she’s someone who shows what she’s into and that what she’s into is somehow in a nearby ballpark. Haruna is just very endearing.
9. Ozeki Mai
Mai will probably rise in my estimations once I make the effort to watch and listen to Country Girls more. She’s got a vibrant personality, is really eye-catching and just has that energetic and good natured spirit that is so perfect in an idol. When you see her you feel happy. It’s like there are some people who walk in a room and the people in the room immediately think “great. They’re here”. Mai appears on a tv or computer screen and immediately you feel happy and energised. She’s one who hopefully has a very bright future in H!P.
10. Takeuchi Akari
Quack quack quack quack quack. Quack quack. Quack quack quack quack quack quack quack. Uncle Donald.*
*Translation: She’s got a great competitive and happy spirit. Donald must be proud of her.
So that’s my top ten. Maimai, Miki and Rikako were bubbling under though. Whenever I stop to think about the idols I like it brings home to me the huge feelgood factor they bring. It’s very noticeable how humour and energy is so often mentioned. That’s something idols excel at. They have such positive personalities and often such bright, unique minds. They are an injection of energy and happiness like no other. A huge boost of positivity to the very soul. In a world so often full of problems, both person and shared, idols are more than just a great escape. They’re a reminder of how great life can be. Every member of Hello! Project has contributed something to that landscape. Even Mitsui (begrudging backhanded compliment for old times sake). The ten I mentioned here are my current favourites but are still just a few of the hundreds if not thousands of idols who are out there providing not just great music but life-affirming sustenance for the heart. Long live idols! Idol music is just the glorious tip of the iceberg. When you dive into the water there’s a huge amount more to discover.