Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Where oh where have all the Eggs gone?

I interrupt my slew of encoding and download posts for an original piece about the current state of the most ignored members of Hello! Project - the Eggs. Don't worry, I'll have plenty more things for you to download in the coming days. Until then, I encourage you to read about what is probably the biggest change H!P has seen since the mass Elder Club graduation that most fans are unaware of.

With UFZS - a new group comprised of former Eggs - announced (more on them in a later blog post), I wanted to catch up with any current events dealing with the Hello! Project Eggs. I didn't think I would find much, but boy was I wrong.

Remember all of the Eggs that "completed their Egg training"? It turns out that was only the beginning.

Well known Eggs such as Kitahara Sayaka (MilkyWay girl), Okai Asuna (Chisato's sister), and Maeda Irori (popular loli) are no longer with the group and many others like Komine Momoka and Hirano Tomomi (the Egg that is older than Aichan) have randomly disappeared from the group.

That leaves me with so many questions, but the biggest is: why? Why did all of these Eggs almost suddenly leave?

Unfortunately I don't have a real, concrete answer to that question. Anything below this point is pure speculation, so take what you will from it.

So we all knew that Eggs were allowed to audition for Morning Musume's 9th Generation. Out of who knows how many auditioned, only one was chosen. If I were in charge, I totally would have picked more and I'd guess some of the Eggs agree. The answer could very well be as simple as them feeling like they won't have much of an opportunity in Hello! Project, so they decided to pack their things and leave. Morning Musume's 10th Generation is likely a long ways away from now and with Kikkawa Yuu debuting this year, I imagine the earliest a new act would debut is 2012. I can't say I blame them.

Some of them (such is the case for Okai Asuna and Tanaka Anri) were Eggs since the beginning (that's almost 7 years ago!) and have little to show for it. Others (Hirano Tomomi) weren't even given a chance (though to be fair, there isn't much you can do with a 27-year-old-trainee in a business where youth rules).

The real question now is: is life after being a Hello! Project Egg member a better situation?

Most of the graduated Eggs' current whereabouts are currently unknown, but a few of them have reemerged in the entertainment business.

Again, I'll talk about UFZS in more detail in another blog post, but they are a K-pop dance cover group comprised of former Eggs Furukawa Konatsu (YES!), Mori Saki (double YES!), Sekine Azusa, Arai Manami, and Satou Ayano. They, along with Sengoku Minami are still a part of UFA, just not with Hello! Project.

Kitahara Sayaka also (thankfully) is still with UFA. She is a part of the same record label that T-Pistonz+KMC (remember, they worked with Berryz with Inazuma Eleven) are under. If this means its soloist time for Saya-sama then I will jump for joy (though I question whether or not she is ready at this stage in her career).

The only other former Egg whose whereabouts are known is Maeda Irori. She is unfortunately no longer associated with UFA in any way and has joined some blatant AKB48 copy group called AKBN0.

Irori's case is the hardest to digest. She was (and still is) very young at 13 years old. She was one of the more popular Eggs. She even got some work as a member of the shuffle group (or sub-unit, whatever you want to call them), Shugo Chara Egg. I'm not saying she should have been satisfied with that - because it's still not much of a resume for having nearly 5 years on the job - but she did have more going for her than most of the other Eggs.

It's not even the fact that she left that bothers me - it's what she left for; AKBN0 is shady at best. Besides their name (an obvious copy of AKB48) they have a video series called AKBNGO, which is eerily similar (at least in name) to AKB48's TV show, AKBINGO.

AKBN0's AKB rip-offs aside, it actually gets worse. The zero in their name apparently stands for having no money/experience and the company decided that they would have the group's trainee members raise money by selling their personal stuff via auctions. lolwut?

Oh Irori, I hope you know what you got yourself into.

But anyway, with all of these Eggs gone, there are only 11 of them left. The most notable of the bunch is definitely Saho Akari of Aa! and Shugo Chara Egg! fame.

Joining her are:

Kaneko Rie (has danced for Manoeri singles)

Takeuchi Akari (Maimi's cousin and member of Shin Minimoni)

Miyamoto Karin (member of Shin Minimoni)

Katsuta Rina (has danced for Manoeri singles)

Tanabe Nanami (2nd Generation member of Shugo Chara Egg!)

Jang Dayun (H!P Korea Audition winner)

Kudo Haruka (joined in 2010, a part of Nakky/Chisato's 1974 Ikunayo play)

Takagi Sayuki (joined in 2009, was a part of Risa/Nakky's 3D horror movie)

Nagasawa Wakana (joined in 2010)
Kizawa Runa (joined in 2010; has danced in a Manoeri single)


Suddenly the Egg pool is the smallest its ever been and that bothers me. Being a back-up dancer may be their primary job, but that is not what defines them. They are idols just like their Mobekimasu senpai and are bound to the same rules as they are. I just hope that their patience will eventually pay off and that someday they are able to step into the spotlight just like S/mileage and many others have before them.

tl;dr: every egg except the 11 mentioned above are gone, some are still with ufa in some way, most have disappeared, one joined some weird akb wannabe group, i miss the lost eggs

11 comments:

  1. It's exactly what I thought would happen when you brought this qustion up 6 months ago. They finished there training yes, but most of them by UFA are to old now. If anyone can believe 16-19 is old. As soon as we found out the average age of the 9th gen we knew the older girls were out of luck.

    They can either go back to normal lives or as with UFZS apply what they have learned & hope to draw enough fans. Can't help, but feel for them. I wanted my Saho Akari! Oh well.

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  2. Kitahara Sayaka is the girl I'm most worried about. The thought that I might never hear her sing again tugs at my heartstrings. I never really followed the Eggs or even MilkyWay so I didn't get a real good listen to her sing until a few months ago, well after MilkyWay disbanded.

    There really isn't much that can be done with the older girls and it was inevitable after the end of the Elder Club. Chances are that there will be an Egg audition in the fall.

    I'm glad that Akari and the Shin Mini Moni girls are still around. Hopefully they'll get some kind of debut.

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  3. ; u ; AKARI NEED TO JOIN A GROUP NOW!

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  4. lolwut? What is this fail of a group called AKBNO? XD

    To be honest I don't really know much of the H!P eggs,except Sayaka and aside from the former eggs like the girls from Smileage and Kikkawa yuu. It's a shame cause some of the eggs really do look cute and looks like they have talent.

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  5. I have more then 10 eggs in my fridge.

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  6. @Cyane: all of the one's who completed their Egg training are still with the company. it's all of the other Eggs who literally left without so much as a goodbye that worries me. Some of them were even younger than that 16-19 age range.

    And about going back to their normal lives: that's the main reason why I'm sad about this. They obviously had the same dream as say, S/mileage (or else they wouldn't have joined), but weren't given the same opportunity. Sad.

    @Hidders: There probably will be an audition soon-ish, but like I said to Cyane above, that's not what bothers me. It's the girls who were basically kicked to the curb (or at least ignored for the past 7 years) and their future that I worry about. It's quite unfair (yeah I know, life isn't fair) to have them live the life of an idol all of this time with virtually nothing to show for it.

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  7. @Melisa: I want that too.. but there really isn't any group for her to join right now.

    @kyoshiro: shady group is shady
    and the Eggs with pictures in this post are the ones who are staying, so you still have cute girls to stare at

    @Raffi: okay, that made me laugh

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  8. @Chris: Oh I know that, I was just checking out some of the other missing eggs on youtube/H!O/etc.

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  9. at least your glasses girl is safe

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  10. This makes me really sad. I was an Eggs fan for awhile near the end of my more hardcore H!P fandom, but more importantly I'm a HUGE fan of AKB's kenkyuusei now. The kenkyuusei being so dear to me, it bothers me to see H!P's equivalent to them getting to do so little, when AKB kenkyuusei have had it better from the get go. I'm really happy whenever a kenkyuusei gets promoted to the group, or even when they just do activities now and gain more fans. I wish Eggs had the same opportunity for promotion within H!P.

    That said, I've always liked Morisaki, and she popped up on one of my favourite AKB girls' blog recently because of this show they're working on, or something like that? And then I saw that everyone on the show is doing a group blog, also including another AKB member and a graduated kenkyuusei. So I mean, she has something kind of cool going on! A Kpop dance cover group sounds so...well, even worse off than underground idols. Where do they think a cover group is going to go?

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  11. juchannel: Who cares about AKB?

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