Hello! Project is an umbrella term to refer to the female idols managed by Up-Front Agency and Tsunku. Major groups in the Project are Morning Musume (the flagship and longest running group), Berryz Koubou, C-ute, and S/mileage. Solo artists currently include Mano Erina, Kikkawa Yuu, and Kitahara Sayaka. There are also numerous sub-units and Hello! Pro Egg, a training program for young girls looking to become full-fledged idols under the Project. Each group has their own unique sound and members, with no two songs sounding the same.The current line up's ages range from 10 to 24, with every kind of girl you could think of. A lot of them also do things outside of singing, such as acting, hosting TV shows, etc.See the character sheet for who's who, or That Other Wiki for more information.Hello! Project provides examples of:
Authority in Name Only: The Leaders and especially Sub-Leaders of groups sometimes act as peacekeepers if there's a falling out between members of their group and on game show appearances they may pick who competes if appropriate. However they are just The Face of the Band, if that, in regards to the actual music.
Awesome but Impractical: Became an Enforced Trope a few times when Ayaka had her "Chinese cafe" gimmick for her English lessons segment on Hello Morning she wore a tight Chinese style dress which looked great but she couldn't dance properly in when asked by Takahashi Ai or Tsuji Nozomi. Her attempts to do so anyway when bullied into it by the latter are a Funny Moment.
Awesome Moment of Crowning: When the Elder Club graduated Nakazawa Yuko, the very first leader of Morning Musume, passed on Leadership of Hello!Project to Takahashi Ai
Morning Musume won the Japanese Record Award for Best New Artist.
Ishikawa Rika once broke 12 concrete tiles with a single blow from her bare hands, sure it turned out they were especially designed to break, but when Takahashi Ai tried to do the same thing on another show she failed miserably until she resorted to stamping on the stack instead.
Bad Boss: When ever a favourite member graduates suddenly or a unpopular girl is hired a certain section of the fans usually accuses Tsunku since he is the person directly responsible for Hello Project (though he still answers to the company president).
JunJun was pretty well known as being a straight talker, especially compared to Japanese norms of etiquette.
But We Used a Condom: Tsuji Nozomi announced her pregnancy in May 2007. In one of the interviews, she said "we used a condom, but it broke."
Call Back: In the original Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari and one of the Elder Club version Yaguchi Mari's part refers to the lyrics of Koi no Dance Site.
The Cast Showoff: Kimura Ayaka and Mika Todd due to the fact Ayaka spent a large part of her childhood in Hawaii and Mika is an American both of them are Fluent in English as well as Japanese and both were given many opportunities to speak English in songs and on TV shows (Ayaka even hosted a "corner" on Hello Morning specifically due to this). Whenever Mini Moni were on Utaban Mika would usually tell them whatever news she had by impersonating a news report in English before translating it into Japanese.
Takahashi Ai and Iida Kaori are both excellent dancers and were afforded many opportunities to do so outside of the usual PVs, concerts and TV performances.
Catch Phrase: "USO!" (Kusumi Koharu, Niigaki Risa), "Usa-chan peace~!"/"Yoshi! Kyou mo kawaii!" (Michishige Sayumi), "Bacchiri desu~", "W desu!" (W), "SEXY BEEEEEAAAAAM!" (Yaguchi Mari), "Mayuge BEEEEAAAAAM!" (Niigaki Risa), "HAAAAPPPYYYYY~"/"Gucha~"(Ishikawa Rika), "Yurushite nyan!" (Tsugunaga Momoko), "Matsuuuuura Aya deeeesu!" (Matsuura Aya - it's the delivery more than the actual words that are notable in this case.)
Can't Hold Her Liquor: Iida Kaori, according to a parody version of "Love Machine" she did alongside Yasuda Kei.
Characters as Device: Chinese members Junjun and Linlin who only joined to break into the Chinese market.
Before them Coconuts Musume was an attempt to do the same thing for the US.
Cool Big Sis: Most of the old-school Morning Musume members.
Cool Old Lady: Nakazawa Yuko. Okay, so she's not that old but there is a significant age difference compared to some other former members, for instance she is about 13 years older than Kago Ai.
Cover Version: Morning Musume's Chokkan 2 single was originally an album track with a slightly different name. Producer Tsunku has covered various H!P songs. A lot of cover versions also appear as b-sides and album tracks.
Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari has had about 7 covers using the same music and chorus but entirely rewritten verses in each version.
Kamei Eri released an album comprised entirely of her covering HP songs.
Also, Kusumi Koharu's "Koi kana" becomes Laura Vanamo's "Se tunne". That's not Japanese, that's Finnish!
Not to mention the FOLK SONGS and Douyou Pops series...
Singles that have been covers include:
Abe Natsumi: The Stress, Too Far Away ~Onna no Kokoro~.
Matsuura Aya: Watarasebashi, the Naked Songs album.
Melon Kinenbi: Namida no Taiyou.
Morning Musume: Morning Musume no Hyokkori Hyoutanjima, Pepper Keibu, the Cover You album.
W: Actually, most of their discography.
S/mileage: Ever since their third major single, they have released a cover of an old H!P song as a b-side.
Viyuden: Nanni mo Iwazu ni I LOVE YOU.
During Matsuura Aya's 2 Alo-Hello DVDs she does a "Aloha" acoustic version (with a ukulele accompaniment) of one of her songs. Though neither song was ever actually released as a CD.
In the drama Brementown Musicians Mika Todd and Tsuji Nozomi both sing versions of a song called "Kasa ga Nai".
Crazy Cultural Comparison: Coconuts Musume was formed and marketed as the group from Hawaii. Jun Jun and Lin Lin joined Morning Musume for much the same reason except they were aimed at the mainland Asian market.
Crosscast Role: Happened a lot during Hello Morning Theatre skits due to the fact the cast was made entirely of girls, particularly to Yossey.
Also happened in several PVs.
The Cutie: They're Idols,so all of them are either cute or beautiful but Michishige Sayumi probably fits the actual description of the trope the best.
Ishikawa Rika also performed this trope too on and off, mainly on, especially when she was younger. It may be argued that Ishikawa (as Charmy) and Michishige are actually Kawaiiko and just think they're The Cutie.
Takahashi Ai, particularly in the segments of Haro Pro News where she dressed up in cute costumes like as a cat, which caused either a Cuteness Proximity or, in for masculine costumes such as a Biker, a Ho Yay reaction in co host Nakazawa Yuko that sometime lead to her seeming to be Distracted by the Sexy, and jealousy from Supercaster Charmy Ishikawa.
Kago Ai especially as she went on to suffer a Break the Cutie that took her a few years to come back from.
Darker and Edgier: Yoshizawa Hitomi and Ishikawa Rika's latest project is a Punk Lolita styled J Rock group called Hangry & Angry which is VERY dark compared to their work in Morning Musume. However it's not actually a part of Hello Project but they are still under the Up Front Works banner.
A Day in the Limelight: Konno Asami and Michishige Sayumi were only leads for one single. This has happened with other members, too.
Distracted by My Own Sexy: According to Fujimoto Miki, among others, her best friend Matsuura Aya would quite often be distracted during conversations if she saw herself in a mirror or on a monitor. Aya admitted to it at least once.
Abe Natsumi You seem like the type of person that likes looking in mirrors.
Baseball Fight Song: C-ute's Koero! Rakuten Eagles, DEF DIVA's LET'S GO Rakuten Eagles and GAM's Daisuki Rakuten Eagles.
Four Girl Ensemble: 4KIDS, Akagumi 4, Athena & Robbikerottsu, Country Musume ni Ishikawa Rika, DEF DIVA, Elegies, Melon Kinenbi, Mini Moni, Puripuri Pink, Sheki Dol, Shugo Chara! Egg!, Taiyou & Ciscomoon and Tanpopo 2nd gen, S/mileage before the addition of the submembers.
Foreign Cuss Word On an episode of Hello! Morning, Morning Musume member Takahashi Ai said "oh sh** ", followed by "I want a kitty".
Fun with Acronyms: GAM ('G'reat 'A'ya 'M'iki), Gomattou ('Go'to Maki 'Mat'suura Aya and Fuji'moto' Miki (moto can also be read as tou.)), SI☆NA ('S'uma, 'I'washima, 'N'akayama, 'A'be) and Nochiura Natsumi ('Go'to Maki (go can be read as nochi), Matsu'ura' Aya, Abe 'Natsumi').
Explored thoroughly with Coconuts Musume, as well as its two bilingual members Mika and Ayaka teaching random English phrases to other H!P singers. If the member in question was Kago Ai, Yaguchi Mari or Tsuji Nozomi, then Hilarity Ensues
An episode of Sanma No Manma featuring Morning Musume turned into a discussion of what animals are called in Chinese.
Gamer Chick: Takahashi Ai (who has been seen with a pink - natch - Nintendo DS in at least one episode of Hello! Morning), Michishige Sayumi (whose proficiency at Tetris is listed among her special skills), Okai Chisato has made blog posts about playing video games.
Yaguchi Mari has done an advertising campaign for Nintendo's Wii and DS, and also had a regular column in Famitsu magazine.
Genki Girl: Quite a few. Ogawa Makoto's status as one is even lampshaded in the first version of Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari.
Genre-Busting: Although lyrically there is a tendency towards Ballads, Silly Love Songs or Breakup songs the styles of music have been as diverse as Big Band (Mr Moonlight - Ai No Big Band by Morning Musume), Rap (Get Up! Rapper by Salt 5) and Pop Punk (Aoi Sports Car No Otoko by Aoiro 7)
Identical Stranger: RuRu of T&C Bomber and Kago Ai of Morning Musume look very alike, though usually the former is said to look like an older version of the latter, and more recent pictures of Kago really show that claim to be quite accurate.
Okamura Takashi probably deserves a mention here too. Though obviously not a member due to being male, much of the comedy from segments he did along side H!P members comes from his acting like a Jerkass, espcially towards Yaguchi Mari but she didn't always let him get away with it.
Meddling Parents: Apparently some parents didn't want their daughters to become idols.
Meganekko: H!P Egg Arai Manami and Melon Kinenbi member Murata Megumi used to wear glasses just for show.
Fujimoto Miki wears glasses, seemingly they are reading glasses as she doesn't have them on all the time, but they appear in the PV for Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari.
In the PV for Love Machine all the members are seen wearing glasses, also an fairly overt example of Fanservice, along with most other images in the PV. In the Studio PV for Love Machine, Yasuda Kei is wearing reading glasses.
Never Got to Say Goodbye: Country Musume member Yanagihara Hiromi died in a car crash. Several members also left unexpectedly.
New Sound Album: Morning Musume tends to swing back and forth from bubble gum pop to more mature music depending on how old the members of the group are.
Several former members have made albums outside the bubblegum J Pop that Hello! Project is famous for. Kago Ai and Mika Todd both made solo Jazz albums, Ishikawa Rika and Yoshizawa Hitomi front a Darker and Edgier pop punk group called Hangry & Angry and Goto Maki's solo albums, though still pop, are much Hotter and Sexier than her work in Hello! Project groups.
No Sense of Personal Space: Nakazawa Yuko was well known for embarrassing the other members of Morning Musume by kissing them unexpectedly(especially AbeNatsumi), though it's not so much that she doesn't have a sense of personal space, it's more that she doesn't care. Michishige Sayumi also had a habit of doing this to Takahashi Ai during concerts.
Odango Hair: While they were in Mini Moni Yaguchi Mari, Kago Ai and Tsuji Nozomi all wore their hair like this. Tsuji wore hers with twintails the others had them without.
During some of Ayaka's English lesson segments she had a "Chinese Cafe" where she wore a Chinese style dress and had Odango Hair.
One Head Taller: A few members, notably Yoshizawa Hitomi and Iida Kaori, tend to stand out amongst the short statures of the rest of the group, especially compared to the likes of Yaguchi Mari. Currently, Junjun has more than 16 centimetres (roughly 6 inches) on Tanaka Reina.
Kumai Yurina of Berryz Koubou towers over the majority of Hello! Project with a height of 176cm. Or is it 178? She's freakishly tall for a teenage Japanese girl, let's just leave it at that.
Volleyball player and Olympian Obayashi Motoko who is 182cm released a single under the name "Deka Moni" (Huge Moni). While not officially under Hello Project, the single was produced by Tsunku and included a cover of Mini Moni's Jankenpyon.
Inverted by Mini Moni (Yaguchi Mari, Kago Ai, Tsuji Nozomi and Mika Todd, then Takahashi Ai replaced Yaguchi when she left) their gimmick was that they were all no more than 150cm (about 4ft 11 inches) tall when the group first came together.
Otaku: Hardcore Fanboys, called wota, collect special edition CDs and merchandising (photobooks, calendars, etc.), and try to go to as many concerts and "handshake events" as possible. At concerts they wave glowsticks or perform elaborate cheering and dancing routines called wotagei.
Tenshin Mukai is a comedian who sometimes shows up on variety shows that Yaguchi Mari is on acting as an obsessiveotaku.
Overly-Long Name: One of the subgroups is Morning Musume Tanjou 10nen Kinentai (lit. Morning Musume 10 year Celebration Group). There's also Athena & Robikerottsu and Taiyou to Ciscomoon (later changed to T&C BOMBER)
The first A-side for Ai's last single: Kono Chikyuu no Heiwa no Honki de Negatterun da yo! (I'm Really Hoping for Peace on Earth!)
S/mileage's Onaji Jikyuu de Hataraku Tomodachi no Bijin Mama.
Pretty in Mink: Iida Kaori plays it very straight in the PV for "I WISH" where she wears a fur coat, some of the costumes in the PV for Renai Revolution 21 are also fur lined. Yasuda Kei's includes a furry stetson.
Nice Hat: In addition to Renai Revolution 21 there was some attractive haberdashery on display in the videos for Koi No Dance Site and Kimagure Princess.
The Runner Up Takes It All: In 1997 Tsunku ran a competition to find a new rock vocalist that was won by Heike Michiyo, he later decided to create an all girl group made up of the five runners up and challenged them to sell 50000 copies of their first single with only five promotional events, they managed it in four and Morning Musume went on to be incredibly successful.
Sailor Fuku: Matsuura Aya wears one in the video for LOVE Namida Iro.
Season Finale: Hello! Morning. Also, most members and some units get graduation concerts.
Self Harm: Kago Ai, after being fired from Hello! Project by Up-Front Agency for being photographed smoking having already being suspended for it a year earlier, suffered from severe depression and started cutting herself. She has even admitted to having suicidal thoughts. She has since recovered, in addition to making a comeback as a musician and actress. Unfortunately as of September 2011, Kago Ai has once again attempted to slit her wrists and has been put on suicide watch.
She's Got Legs: Matsuura Aya and Fujimoto Miki a.k.a GAM. Also Iida Kaori on occasion.
Ship Sinking: Shippers for Matsuura Aya and Fujimoto Miki got sunk when Miki got married.
Shrinking Violet: Yasuda Kei used to be a frequent victim of this. After she graduated, Ogawa Makoto took her place.
Spelling Song: Mini Moni's Kazoue Uta is about counting in the bath in Japanese and English.
The same song had a Date version.
Mini Moni also had a song that listed all the Japanese Prefectures and their respective Capitals- in fact Mini Moni's songs were aimed at young children, so many had an educational message of some kind. This was more important during their stage shows.
Spell My Name with an S: Most of the Coconuts Musume members were from Hawaii, therefore they had English names (April, Danielle, Lehua). There's also Viyuden (or Biyuden, Viyuuden, Biyuuden, v-u-den, etc). Junjun and Linlin are nicknamed as such because the management thought it would be too hard for fans to pronounce. Li Chun became Junjun and Qian Lin became Linlin.
Stage Names: Tsunku's real name is Terada Mitsuo. Li Chun and Qian Lin are Junjun and Linlin respectively, Honda Ruru was RuRu, and Miyoshi Chinatsu's real name is Tani Rumiko. Tsuji Nozomi changed her surname to Sugiura upon marriage, but she has stated that she will continue to use Tsuji. Similarly, Iida Kaori has continued to use her maiden name professionally. Ice CreaMusume's names are all nicknames.
Third-Person Person and Verbal Tic: 20-year-old Tanaka Reina usually refers to herself in third person (actually a common practice in Japanese culture), and occasionally splices her given name into everyday phrases, with results like "Ganbareina!", "Otsukareina!" and "Shitsureina!".
Token Mini-Moe: Not so token, most members of the major groups début at around 13 years old, some of the Eggs started at 10.
Token Minority: The Chinese (and half-Chinese) members, the Koreans (Jang Dayon and Shimmin) and Coconuts Musume (all American, save for Ayaka).
Tomboy: A few. Most notable is Yoshizawa Hitomi, who really played this up- in some Okajo segments she was even referred to as 'top boy' (Rika was top girl, see Shipping).
Up to Eleven: At one time Morning Musume had 15 members, and various Shuffle groups have had 11 or more members.
Vitriolic Best Buds (Type 2): Fujimoto Miki towards Matsuura Aya: observe. However it really went both ways and they are actually best friends. Similarly Yoshizawa Hitomi and Ogawa Makoto and Yaguchi Mari and Ishikawa Rika teased one another quite harshly at times.
Except for the first version the lyrics of Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari sometimes have an element of this as each verse from version 2 on is sung by the person it's about with other members of the group chiming in at the end.
Vocal Tag Team: "Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari," and many more. Special mention should be made of the track "Why" on 3rd -LOVE Paradise-, in which the lead vocal changes every syllable.