First up, member promotions!
Despite happening all the way back in June, I wanted to report that both Michishige Saho and Yukino Yuria from HouPri YOUTH had been promoted to the Regular lineup. With their coronation held on July 12th (Maika's birthday), the two members are now fully integrated into the group, and will be a part of the up-coming single release.
I am delighted that Saho was able to come back to HouPri. After being demoted to Candidate status all over again, I felt very sore regarding where she stood in HouPri. That said, it was a good opportunity for management to have Saho lead what was then an entire new batch of YOUTH members, and it further allowed Saho to prove herself as an idol. She stuck it out, jumping hurdles and throwing herself into her work with a lot of passion and happiness. What could have been a dire situation was instead a positive one, and in the end of it all we see Sahochi standing in the Regular lineup once again. Whether she will be classed as a 6th generation member or an 8th, however, is to be determined.
The fact she's come back in time for a Kaguya themed single only makes this whole ordeal a little bit sweeter, because Sahochi's favourite princess is Kaguya, after all.
All in all, I'm glad, but I'm still annoyed with management for being a bag of dicks. Still, I'm happy to see Saho back as a full-time member. She is a good idol, and despite not being the strongest out there, she has a desire to perform and showcase the skills she does have. So, congratulations on your re-debut, Sahochi!
Along with Saho comes Yuria, a member who joined the group back in August last year. Starting out as a trainee, Yuria had originally auditioned for the group via the SHOWROOM Live and mail auditions and is the first of her generation of trainees to be promoted.
At 21 years old, Yuria will be the first 8th generation member to officially join the group. She is also the first fresh face to join the group since 2016, making her a welcome change of pace amongst the current lineup of members.
Right now there's very little to say about Yuria as a performer, though other Regular members have noted her presence on stage and how she moves. But, since she has joined, it feels like Yuria is a little more reserved with her peers, but I put this down to how little Houkago Princess actually seem to communicate with YOUTH members, as opposed to how they used to communicate way back in 2011 to 2014. Still, I hope she grows and showcases her skills the more she performs, and the better she gets to know her new team mates. Plus, with the newly added members coming up, I feel like Yuria will come out of her shell once her gen mates are by her side and performing alongside her.
Basically: I AM SO FARKIN' HAPPY THEY'VE BEEN PROMOTED >8U IT'S BEEN NEARLY TWO YEARS, DAMNIT!!!
But if one re-addition and one newbie wasn't enough, they had to go and do another promotion... kekeke... >o>
Say hello to the latest set of promoted trainees, Kohinata Nanase and Yamamoto Natsumi! Finally, there is a HouPri Lord watching over me!
The announcement for these two is actually very recent, with their promotion announced on August 12th, one month after Saho and Yuria's own coronation, as well as Shirosaki Himari's graduation live. It was a surprising announcement, one that will see the Regular lineup with 9 members once the girls are crowned.
As of right now, there is no set coronation date for these two members, but I have a feeling it will take place just before or maybe after the new singles release, all for the sake of not having to change covers or profile images too soon. Regardless, it's an amazing announcement despite how sudden it is after the promotion of both Saho and Yuria! But, with this announcement I also have my suspicions... but, more on that later.
Regarding the promotion of both members, I feel it's more surprising these two were promoted after Yuria, only because it seems like these two have a rather solid fanbase already. More than anything though, I'm happy to see Nanase debut! At 22 years old, she's one of the older members from YOUTH, but she's also really cute and endearing, and one of the few YOUTH members to go into the Gravure career like many of her seniors before her. So far, I find Nanase to be promising, and I anticipate how she will flourish as a Regular member in the future.
Nanase is one of my favourite trainees (I like most of them, honestly), but it's overwhelming to think that she'll wear a tiara soon! I loo forward to her debut, and I look forward to watching her transform on stage.
With Natsumi, I'm really delighted that she's been added into the lineup. I have a few friends who really love her, and of all the trainee members, I think that her Princess aura is the strongest. Though both she and Nanase fit the idea of a princess beautifully, Natsumi is someone I look at and think 'she's HouPri by nature'. The way she looks, how she presents herself... it all reminds me of old-school HouPri members, so it's really nice to know she'll stand on that stage soon with a tiara on her head. Natsumi will look incredible, and I can't wait for the day she curtseys in a dress made just for her! Ahhh, I'm so excited!
Congratulations to both girls! It's amazing to see that HouPri will grow even more and showcase such wonderful members. I look forward to their coronation and debut!
And now it's time for something else... How about the Auditions?
Houkago Princess will be holding new member auditions! I may need to write up a separate post on this one, but for now information regarding the audition states that Houkago Princess are looking for REGULAR members.
This is not your typical Candidate to Regular type Audition. This one is the real deal, it seems, and along with this announcement and the sudden additions of Natsumi and Nanase, I can only speculate that either Odagiri Nana or Maika are planning to graduate.
Houkago Princess has consistently run on an Apprentice -> Candidate -> Regular Member basis. The only time this rule hasn't applied was for the first generation, who underwent a year or so of training before their stage debut. Even in the groups early period the idea of being a trainee before becoming a full member was there, it just happened to be a lot easier to be promoted. After going Major (and then indies again), Houkago Princess switched it up and made sure members underwent a year or more of training before being allowed to have their full debut. It's always been apparent it's just that lately it's become more difficult to actually get into the group.
So, to suddenly announce a 'Regular' member audition raises a few alarm bells for me. Not only is it strange, but it's just not how HouPri works as a group. So, I have my suspicions, the main one being that one of the Top 5 are going to graduate, and I have a theory that it's going to be Nana, because that would call for a quick new member addition to keep fans happy, or to at least cushion the blow from Nana's loss.
I know it'd be alarming if this were the truth, but Odagiri Nana has been in the group for 7 years, which is actually a long time for a minor idol group member. She is the sole 1st gen left, but she is also 28. In February she will turn 29, making her one of the older idols out there in the Entertainment field. She has dedicated a lot to the group, she's insanely popular within the HouPri fan community, and she's adored by her fellow members. But, she also needs to think about herself, and I feel her graduation may come by next year. Hence, the audition for new Regular members.
Y'all gotta be cushioned for the fall, obviously.
That, or it's Maika leaving. I can't see Sasara going any time soon. Or, Saori and Miran are quitting to be lovers. Who knows? Whatever it is, I suspect a big graduation towards the end of this year or early next year, whether it's a single graduation, a double, or a trio.
And if there are duo or trio graduations, I'm not going to be surprised, and: I'M CALLING IT.
Okay... new single time!
A new single will be heeeeeeere soon, and I CAN'T WAIT >8U
Good grief, I've been waiting for this announcement. I've been waiting for this fuckin' theme to be picked up as well, so to finally have it - and when Saho is back for her re-debut, no less! - the Kaguya-hime themed single release!
Titled Kaguya ni Negai wo, the up-coming 15th single of Houkago Princess will finally tell a tale that hails from their country, Japan. Inspired by Taketori Monogatari, the members of HouPri will finally transform into Princess Kaguya, an unearthly figure whose beauty was so extraordinary that five princes fought for her hand in marriage, to no avail.
The song will make use of Japanese instruments, creating an image of traditional Japan. The title song will also be composed and produced by mafumafu, marking the groups first collaboration with him.
Kaguya ni Negai wo will be released on October 10th, 2018, and will come in seven editions, including five solo member versions and two other editions: Princess and Moonlight. There are four songs available, with the third track differing on certain editions.
Track List [Moonlight & Sekine Sasara versions]:
1. Kaguya ni Negai wo (輝夜に願いを)
2. Kaguya-hime Tsuki ni kaeru (かぐや姫月に帰る)
(plus instrumental versions)
Track List: [Princess, Odagiri Nana, Yamaguchi Miran, Kizuki Saori and Maika versions]:
1. Kaguya ni Negai wo (輝夜に願いを)
2. Kaguya-hime Tsuki ni kaeru (かぐや姫月に帰る)
3. Mangetsu (Mitsu-tsuki) no Encore (満月（みつつき）のアンコール)
(plus instrumental versions)
The covers are as follows:
(L: Princess ver. | R: Moonlight ver.)
(L: Odagiri Nana ver. | R: Yamaguchi Miran ver.)
(L: Kizuki Saori ver. | R: Maika ver.)
(Sekine Sasara ver.)
From a recent performance at Tokyo Idol Festival, it seems that the song is only performed by Team Twinkle members. That means only Nana, Miran, Saori, Maika and Sasara sing or dance in the song, though I don't know if that will change in the long run. If it doesn't, I'll hold the right to be fucking annoyed, but I'll wait until further performances (and the music video) come out.
Regardless, I'm happy about the single itself, and I like how the covers look themselves. The fact the members wear contacts to create a more unnatural look is quite nice, and I love how jarring Miran's hair looks against the darkness of everyone else's, creating a more unearthly sight in a way. Of course, of all the covers I have to pin-point a favourite, and they are Nana and Saori's. Of all members, Saori looks most like 'Kaguya', but Nana seems like a fairy this time around. Both are so fitting for this look and style, and I can't wait to see how they act in the up-coming music video (if it ever comes out).
So, it's a pretty looking single thus far, but the fact that only five members actually perform (Saho and Yuria were noticeably absent for this performance at TIF), I'll overlook that giant boil of shittiness for now, and focus on how nice this single could be.
... Let's pray, people. Let's pray that management wipe away their dick bag natures and make this a promising, fun release that won't leave me with a trail of burning CD's in my wake.
And as a quick update regarding all things HouPri, it was recently announced that Maika would be cast in an up-coming stage production! Titled Reirei Syusyu Tan, the production will run from February 16th until February 27th, 2019.
The play will be held at the New National Theatre, and further details will be announced at a later date.
And with that we come to an end! Hopefully the news from the Palace has sated your need for updates and all things sparkling, especially after a rather quiet year from the HouPri girls!
Well, not so much quiet on their behalf. More like I never update any more xD
Anyway, I hope this post has been informative and that you've learned a few things from it! Before I go though, please let me know which new member you're excited to see debut, and what sort of girl you would like to join HouPri in this up-coming audition! And please, don't hesitate to give me your thoughts on the new single, and any conspiracy theories about graduations you may have.
And until next time everyone, I will say take care, ja ne, ta ta and bye bye and wish you all well. Thanks for reading, and love your idols!