Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Introducing another Factory-Made Product, Tsubaki Factory!!!

All thoughts and opinions, and rants, are my own. Y'all have been warned. THANKS!

Oh Jesus Fucking Christ.

I'm pretty sure that, by now, everyone has heard the news already:

Hello! Project has a shiny new Kenshuusei unit! Yaaaaaay!!!

So why am I feeling slightly irritated?

I doubt I need to give any introductions to this group, as I am pretty sure you all already know about them, but please say a warm hello to Tsubaki Factory, the newest in new from Hello! Project! Hand-picked and named by Shimizu Saki (why am I not surprised?), these girls are the latest group to emerge from the pool of talent that is the Kenshuusei!

Currently consisting of six members, the girls within the group are: Ogata Risa (16), Yamagishi Riko (16), Niinuma Kisora (15), Tanimoto Ami (15), Kishimoto Yumeno (15) and Asakura Kiki (14), and they will all debut as Tsubaki Factory on May 4th during the next Hello! Pro Kenshuusei live concert.

... So what's the issue here?

Okay, so first off: I am excited that Hello! Project are debuting a new unit, because once again, it means fresh new blood has been spilled upon the UFP tiles, and also, possible new song styles (or re-invented ones from the good ol' past) as well as new talent being picked out from the girls who have been training since around 2012. That, I don't mind; we always need new faces in the roster, and it's always nice to see Hello! Project actually using their trainees rather than letting them go (see: Up Up Girls).

What I don't like is the name, and how Shimizu Saki refuses to stop beating the dead carcass that was Berryz Kobou.

We get it, you miss your group. But PLEASE stop forcing the name down our throats just because you've been given some form of power behind the fucking scenes. THANK YOU.

... Shit, I'm getting crabby. Ah, well!

(Note: This is actually Kobushi Factory)

I mean, when Kobushi Factory were announced I didn't mind so much that they were named after Berryz - sure, it was as if Saki was vicariously living through new blood because BK died, but it wasn't annoying or anything... in fact, this group is a successor to Berryz, so the name is understandable.

For Tsubaki, it isn't. Now it's just like Saki's fucking around or something.

THAT SAID... there have been speculations that, with this new group (and the name tie-in, too) both Kobushi and Tsubaki (even the first parts of their group names sound similar @.@) are going to be sister groups, similar to what C-ute and Berryz were meant to be, which also means this:

C-ute don't have long in terms of being around, and so H!P are making their move, and already replacing them with a group that will possibly be similar, or at least, fresh and new and ready to take over.
 Either way, the rumours that C-ute will be going, going, poof, gone! in a matter of months are there, and yes, I am scared, because currently C-ute are the most talented major group within the project.

Still, regardless of these valid reasons, I am annoyed that the 'Factory' label is there, because it does indeed feel like Saki is beating that pony no matter what.

... And yes, I know, I may be the only one who feels this way. Still, those are my thoughts on the group name. The group itself, I quite like the look of. I can't say what they're like talent-wise, however.

Now that my whining is over with, let's actually take a look at the members, shall we!?

First up is Ogata Risa, aged 16! Currently she's the member with the most longevity, being active since 2011 as a member of the NICE GIRL Project! Kenshuusei, however she was transferred to Hello! Project back in 2014. She is the oldest member of the group as well as the most senior.

Personal Thoughts...

She looks like a mom. Maybe it's the hairstyle (because we know H!P sucks with hair-styling sometimes), but yeah, she looks like she should be a housewife, as opposed to an Idol. Still, she does have a very fresh face, which is nice, and seems to have this air of maturity about her...

Actually, the more I look at her, the more I like her! Maybe I'll Oshi her? Who knows... it all depends on if I actually like the group!

Next up is Yamagishi Riko, who is also 16 and the second oldest of the bunch. Since 2012, she has been an active member of the Hello! Project Kenshuusei. Since joining, she has auditioned for Morning Musume's 11th generation, as well as participated in three stage plays.

Personal Thoughts...

With her hair styled this way, she looks like an Otsuka Aina x Miyamoto Karin hybrid, and I don't know if I like that... actually, I preferred her with long hair, it was cute! Still, this hairstyle does suit her (again, though, those Otsuka Aina vibes...) and she is a cute looking member, but it's the whole Karin look I don't find appealing here...

Her innocence, however, does feel refreshing. Maybe she has a hidden cheeky character, though?

NEXT UP IS... Niinuma Kisora, who is 15 years old and has one of the most intriguing names of the group! Kisora has been active since 2013, having joined Hello! Project Kenshuusei after failing the 12th generation Mirai Shoujo audition for Morning Musume during the final round.

Personal Thoughts...

Kisora also looks like a mom, however, she seems to be the one I am actually most drawn to right now. She has this mature look about her, but she feels mysterious, too. I've actually read all of the trivia on her wikia and want to know more about her, so I feel like if I chose anyone as an Oshi, it would actually be Kisora, because of them all, she's the one who intrigues me the most.

Also, she's pretty cute.

Now it's time for Tashimoto Ami, who is also 15 and a member of the Hello! Pro Kenshuusei since 2014! Ami was a part of the finals for the Morning Musume '14 Golden Auditions to find the new 12th generation, and whilst she did not pass, was added to the Kenshuusei late last year instead, and of course, now added to the new unit that we see today!

Personal Thoughts...

She's so new, there's barely any information on this girl! Still, she looks very cute, and quite traditional with her long hair and forehead showing. I actually adore how refreshing she looks, and how pure, too. I think, along with Kisora, she could easily become one of my favourites, more-so for her looks right now, and also because she has a very sweet vibe about her...

Now we have Kishimoto Yumeno, aged 15 and a member who has the third-most longevity of the group, as she has been a Hello! Pro Kenshuusei since December 2012. Formerly, Yumeno was a child actress under the agency NAC, and after that had originally auditioned for Morning Musume's 11th generation back in 2012, where she was a finalist.

Personal Thoughts...

I don't know why, but looking at this girl, I feel like she's a Stardust clone... maybe it's the ears, and the ponytail... and the smile.
 But damn, I do like her tanned legs!

Actually, I rather like the look of Yumeno, she doesn't look like a typical Hello! Pro member either, which is nice to see. I also rather like tanned members (I loved when Okai was really tan), and also, that smile! THOSE EARS!!! Them legs!!! Yumeno may just become a favourite, Kisora may even have a rival for Oshi... also, loving that they seem to be giving her a different style to others, what with the shorts and all that (probably to show off her legs, who knows?)

And finally, we introduce the youngest, Asakura Kiki at 14! Kiki joined the Kenshuusei in October 2014, and also participated in the Golden auditions for Morning Musume's 12th generation. She can also play the euphonium.

Personal Thoughts...

Upon first seeing her profile, I admit, her smile scared me. She looks angry. That said, after looking at her other profile images on hr wikia, she is cute, but I do prefer her with her hair down, as she feels quite traditional, as if she could be a Geisha. Still, the forced feeling behind her smile feels a bit awkward, too.
 I like that she seems talented in music, though, being able to play piano and the euphonium. Of them all, she may be the one to watch out for, talent wise... so, I look forward to that!


... And that is all I have to say about the group, pretty much, other than that Hello! Pro really need to stop Shimizu Saki from naming groups, if she's this creative *cough*not*cough*.

So, yeah, I do look forward to the group, despite their name, and I do anticipate how much I will like the members and what they bring to the Hello! Project plate. I also hope their music doesn't suck (looks at MoMusu '15) and that they're given some quality pieces to work with in the near future, and that they blossom to be an amazing group as time progresses.

So, with that said, what are YOUR thoughts on the new Kenshuusei unit, Tsubaki Factory? Do you like the name, do you hate the name, or are you just okay with it, and what do you think of the members?

As someone who does not follow the Kenshuusei greatly, I don't mind who was chosen, but if there were any members you could add, who would you put in the group alongside these girls? Who would you take out? Let me know!

Until next time though, I will bid you all adieu, and wish you a fine day!

Much Love,


Hello! Project Wikia (For profiles etc.)


  1. I wish they put Musubu in the future... a fangirl can dream ^^

    1. I honestly hope they use all of the current Kenshuusei, including Ruru and Musubu. I know these girls are loved, and that fans want them to debut!!! I will wish for this with you!

  2. Something tells me the lack of originality in name isn't all the fault of Saki and her wanting her group back but can't. I think management probably also played a hand in this. Or they're going to be sister groups? That'll be very interesting and I'd like to see that happen.

    I'm probably a minority (or the only one??) that doesn't really enjoy this speculation that the creation of Tsubaki Factory means C-ute may do a Berryz or graduate soon. Just because the Kobushi and Tsubaki Factories are reminiscent of the creation of Berryz+C-ute from wayyy back (and also in number of members) doesn't mean they'll go down the same path. I can understand where it comes from though, it's just how H!P works so it's the inevitable and common conclusion people arrive at.

    H!P seems to be working differently these days and experimenting with quite a lot of things actually, besides the music and promotion, so that's why I'm not ready to go on the "Oh no, C-ute's probably gonna graduate soon" boat. This is my personal opinion, but I think C-ute still have 2-3 years to go, and they still seem to have the drive to do more and achieve bigger things.
    Management may want to do something once Mai reaches 20, but who knows? I think it's too early to start jinxing it.

    Whoa this has gotten long... @@

    As for the girls, I'm really happy for Riko and Yumeno - they've been Kenshuseii's for a long while so I'm happy they're getting the chance to debut too. And Yumeno's always been on my radar given how tan she is (and those ears! Those eyes!). Her look is, as you say, very different from the girls H!P usually have, so it'll be fascinating to see what she can bring to the table.

    As for Riko, I've liked her quirkiness character from Happi Play, but in terms of her skills I really have no idea. And the rest of the other girls I know nothing about at all, so will have to wait and see!

    1. Yeah, I know that now, but my initial thoughts were pretty much what is written here... still, H!P need to be a bit more creative, even if they ARE to be sister units. Ah, well, it's similar to what MM did back in the day... (Country Musume, Coconuts Musume... urgh).

      Oh, I don't enjoy the speculation, either. I don't want C-ute to go, not when their game is so strong, and not when these groups are so new and not even debuted yet. I just hope that these groups will go down their own path and become their own group, as opposed to a carbon copy. Originality is so much better.

      Honestly, I actually do feel like C-ute have a while to go before they leave, it's just others who do - I put those comments about them leaving in there, only because it is the speculation of others (though I should clarify better). Also, they have the most longevity now and quite possibly the strongest fanbase, so why get rid of them when they're still trying to make MM... decent, and prepping the newbies?

      Long comments are fun, don't worry!

      ... You love ears, too? >3> We have something in common there, my friend, muahahaha! But yes, Yumeon looks different, and she looks unique to the group, but also, she is supreme in her cuteness! I hope they use her well, as opposed to push her to the back.

      For me, as I don't follow the KSS, it's all a game of waiting to see who I like, and who is talented honestly. I can't wait, however!!!

    2. Ahh, I see that now! No worries! ^^

      I agree, management can't afford to let C-ute go now that they're at their best in terms of popularity and sales.

      And yeah, I don't know what's worse, letting members pick a group name or letting a group of (semi?) old men come up with them. I lean more towards management doing the worst job as H!P's been naming groups that reek of (un)creativity ions ago.

      And making MM decent is an apt way to put it.... I think management's still only getting a hang of trying to manage some of these girls that they're relying on Riho 24/7. Granted she delivers (erm, most of the time), but I fear for her vocal cords and just a lot of expectations and pressure put on her since she was 13 (whoa it's been that long!?). That said, what do I really know, aha ^^"

      I've been talking about this with my sister since forever, but I'd like to see/hear other MM members once in a while. It's like they are not taking any risks by playing it safe with pushing Riho all the time. I can understand it from the Platinum Era with Ai and Reina, but now? When H!P seems to be doing a lot better? I think it's worth taking a chance, especially now that they've actually got girls with lots of different characters and potential to show off.

      But yes, back to these girls you talked about in your post! That turned into a semi-rant, dear me.

      Yumeno's ears and her tan were the features that really stuck out to me (other than those eyes, they're huge!). It made me remember her and it made recognising her in KSS performances a lot easlier, aha.

      While their reactions were not what you'd call tearful or excited like Kobushi, I'm always excited for new faces. These are some pretty exciting and changing times for H!P. It'll be a joy seeing them grow and how they fair once they debut :D

  3. I love this lineup. Its like Captain chose the most prettiest girls to make this group =D
    I'm with #TeamTsubaki, choose your side chiima!

    1. ... I choose #TeamTsubaki!!!

      TO TWITTER!!!

  4. I loooooove Yumeno! When i first saw her i was like "Who is this tan girl with cute ears!!??" And then i saw her talk and she has great stage presence, i can see her as the center.
    And the factory duo, i have a theory that they might be what C-ute and Berryz were SUPPOSED to be when the first came out. Like switching the girls between groups....but idk
    I doubt C-ute will be graduating any time soon. Unlike berryz, they have big goals set for themselves and don't plan on stopping until they're the best. Yes berryz got a budokan concert the same year as C-ute, but before then they didn't even mention where they wanted to be as a group. Captain was the only one, imo, that kept the group strong. Everyone else seemed to be loners.
    Since last year I've been talking to my friend and i mentioned that C-ute has been straying away from the typical idol sounding songs and seem more like a regular jpop group. My dream for them is that up-front graduates them from the idol world and lets them be a regular group. It'd be nice to see them get married or do other things and still be a group. *That was longer than expected*