ARTICLES Tsunku♂'s thorough analysis of the Hello!Pro Kenshuusei! Part 1


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Aug 6, 2019
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Tsunku♂'s thorough analysis of the Hello!Pro Kenshuusei! Part 1

After Tsunku♂'s interview with longtime Hello!Project fan Tower Records President Minewaki, he wanted to hear Tsunku♂'s thoughts on the current Hello!Pro Kenshuusei [trainees], so here he provides his in-depth analysis of them while watching the Hello!Project Kenshuusei Recital 2020 ~Summer Ability Diagnostic Test~.
(Text: Tsunku♂ / Editing: Ozawa Aya / Illustrations: Mizushina Takayuki / Translation: Lurkette)

The conversation with Tower Records president Minewaki has ended, but because there wasn't enough time that day, there was something we didn't get to talk about: the current state of the Hello!Pro Kenshuusei. As expected, he's familiar even with the trainees, and he knows much more about them than I do right now.
So I watched the Hello!Project Kenshuusei Recital 2020 ~Summer Ability Diagnostic Test~ and I learned some things, too. Seeing this for the first time, I had things I wanted to communicate to each of them, so I'm going to analyze them in order of their performances and express my thoughts. You can buy a Blu-ray of the event, but they uploaded a digest video, too, so please watch that. I think you'll get the gist.

I do wonder if people will say, "You're completely wrong!" or "She's not normally like that..." but please understand that today this is an analysis of where they were at the 2020 summer test. It's my first time seeing it and I don't know what the final results from the judges were. I'm going to go in order of seeing them. It's kind of exciting!
I don't know what sort of awards Hello!Pro gives out, generally, so I approached it with what sort of awards I would give out. There are girls in here who have already debuted by now, and it's possible there have been changes in the trainee lineup, but let's go ahead and watch the recital! I'll also do a comprehensive analysis at the end.

中山夏月姫(Nakayama Natsume) "Namida no iro"​

After all is said and done, she has a good name. Her parents really thought up a great one! Her looks are good, her figure has a nice balance. Her arms and fingers are long and beautiful, so she brings the performance to life with them. She has a good hold on the mic so it seems like she'll do well with live performances. Her vocal quality is fairly good, and her expressions when she sings are very cute.

<Room for growth>
When you have a solo performance like this, you're always holding the mic in one hand, so you only dance with one hand. The dance performance becomes uninteresting in those cases, so variation of movement in your free hand is important. If you're moving it, there needs to be some differentiation in there.
It's necessary for her to drill that 16-beat into her body when she's still at this early stage. It's not good to stop keeping rhythm at the chorus. Also, she tends to push her voice out so much so she gets short of breath. She can work on getting more stamina, but she should watch and learn from others to get better techniques when singing live. She's got a firm grasp on the pitch. Her expressions are really good~.

豫風瑠乃(Yofuu Runo) "Umaretate no Baby Love"​

This girl also has a miraculous name. She leaves this impression of being translucent, she right away gives me the sense of an honor student, but I wonder what kind of girl she really is? The fans would know more, surely (laughs). I feel like she's tough underneath, too, so I think she could go pro with this. She's also a looker and a singer. I'm excited to see more from her. Her voice is good, at any rate. The build-up and natural quality of her voice almost goes into a falsetto, which is quite pleasant. Yeah, her singing is really good.

<Room for growth>
Maybe it's because she's used to being a back-up dancer for her seniors and not singing most of the time, but when she starts singing, I can see parts where she dropped the rhythm of the song for some reason. That's a phenomenon that's not just limited to her. Her vocal build-up is good, so when she don't have the rhythm firmly in her body, the song frequently undulates with her head. This is a waste.
I dare say she'll be a vocal center of Hello!Pro in the future, so for right now I want her to acquire rhythm. She'll improve if she pays more attention to when the rhythm disappears in her singing and dancing during that instrumental break in the B melody!

橋田歩果(Hashida Honoka) "One Summer Night~Manatsu no Kesshin"​

She looks younger than she actually is, I wonder if that's on purpose!? Just talking about her looks, she's an early Hello!Pro type. However, as a singer she's more contemporary. It's easy to hear her voice coming through the mic. My ears drink it in. Normally it's easy to put too much space in-between your mouth and the mic when you use a stand, but she's got a good hold on it.

<Room for growth>
Since her voice carries so easily into the mic, from the standpoint of a recording director, she'd be easy to help lay tracks down. Well, that doesn't mean so much that it's useful, but rather that it comes in flat. Perhaps she isn't even aware of it. I get this flat feeling from that emotionless, simple way of singing, so to be more professional, she should leave this behind and not develop it in a strange direction.
Using both hands in this performance is the right way to go. She has the rhythm in her voice so she's easy to listen to, her enunciation is good, her rhythm is good. That said, just in that block of the lyrics of "Konya kimi ni~" the rhythm goes flying out the window. I want her to figure out for herself why that happened.

植村葉純(Uemura Hasumi) "Miss Love Tantei"​

Watching her performance, she brings it~. It's impressive that she can give this kind of performance at this age. This wasn't something she learned yesterday, this is something I bet she was brought up with, for her to have this kind of awareness from childhood. Her arms and legs are long, that balance is good. With the sense I'm getting from her, she might get some curious advice from other people, but it might be better for her to ignore that for the time being and try going the way she wants to.

<Room for growth>
In terms of the mood and performance, her voice is still childish, as a matter of course. I feel like it's right on the verge of changing. I expect she'll be a lot more stable in another year. With that in mind, it would be best for her to do singing drills for right now, so that she can be that stable when that time comes. She could also use some fine-tuning with the length of the notes, including with her tongue movements. Listening to her now, she goes a little long when she stops the notes. It's like a bike that doesn't stop right away when you hit the brakes. That's not good, so I hope she can get to where she can cut those notes off cleanly, more naturally.

米村姫良々(Yonemura Kirara) "Kiseki no kaori dance."​

What strikes me isn't just the name Kirara, it's that her very existence shines, this girl. Humans are quite mysterious, I think, beings of both light and darkness. Surely she is a natural star, but she really is light itself. This is a particular kind of talent. I want them to let her shine and pull Hello!Pro forward.

<Room for growth>
First of all, what I thought was disappointing was her mic hold. There was a gap of 1~1.5 cm between the mic and her mouth, which isn't quite right. A waste. Her voice is a little thing (not a bad thing, just a characteristic), so the key sounds high. So when she pulls the mic away, it can't pick up the low tones. It really is a waste. I expect her song choice is to some extent a reaction to her own singing, and that confidence overflows from her voice and expression. The fans should be all on board with her, so to grow that even further, I want her to please study up on how to sing and make the most of the capabilities of the microphone (how to hold the mic).
In the intro, she feels bouncy (temperament-wise) without forcing the rhythm in there. It's a shame that that seems to disappear once she sings the chorus. This is absolutely a spot to improve. Though, she's a natural at dancing (in terms of rhythm and bounce).

北原もも(Kitahara Momo) "Tokaikko junjou (2012 shinsei naru ver.)"​

She's such a Hello!Pro girl!? That's my feeling. She seems like someone to rely on, like an older brother, someone who will push themselves for you. In terms of looks, she shows lots of different expressions, and I could see her working as an actress in the future, too. She's tied up everything well between the choreography and the song (and the rhythm) and the lyrics, and she's a girl who can make that performance natural rather than thinking about it.

<Room for growth>
I feel like she's the type who can master anything if she puts her mind to it, so I want her to pull everything together to improve, including her expressions, her movements (performance-wise), her singing, and her character (be careful not to make it too tiresome). She could be the center of Hello!Pro with all of that. If she were to get put into a shuffle unit, for example, the vocal director would be at ease just because she's there. She has the makings of someone who could earn that much trust, so I want her to grow more. Putting all of it together is the key.

村越彩菜(Murakoshi Ayano) "Tabidachi no haru ga kita"​

She seems so pure~. Without a doubt, she'd in Japan's top 3 of "kids I'd want to be my grandchild," right? This is something you can't manufacture, so I want her to maintain it for as long as she can. What's great about her is that she is completely unaware of when she does something amazing. What is this sense of security I feel from her? It's that her performance is so stable.
There's also no sense of intimidation, like she's forcing something on you. It's not that she's being cutesy, either: she can dance well. Her one-handed performance is just like that of a Shouwa-era idol, and while that tends to be heavy on hand gestures, it's great that she doesn't go that way. Her singing and dancing are in sync. Her rhythm is good, too.

<Room for growth>
She'll gradually get better at those fine movements of her fingers or in dancing if she keeps at it like this, so what she needs to work is her singing. Each phrase of her singing is a little long. If that keeps up the whole time of any song, it gets tiring to listen to.
She should train her throat muscles to end the notes more naturally, so that she's not sharply cutting them off. In bicycle terms, it's not a bike that's too effective at braking and throws you over the handlebars, and it's not a bike with soft brakes that will go way past where you intended to stop. It's the feeling of innocently stopping right where you want to stop, even if you don't hit the breaks until the last moment. This is a professional technique, but anyone can do it. Do your best! The brake example is my word of advice to all the trainees!

西﨑美空(Nishizaki Miku) "Special Genera~tion"​

She left a really good impression on me with her ability to smoothly change how she was holding the mic while singing. She gives me a calm feeling, she's a healing type. It's this indescribable healing beam of light you feel from her singing and dancing. This is also a kind of talent. You couldn't learn it if you tried. So while she's in Hello!Pro, even as a trainee, it might be better for her not to aim for something different, but rather keep going forward in this same direction, right?

<Room for growth>
Trying to improve might run counter to that healing quality, but if I'm picking something to talk about, it's that she's quick to raise the pitch, I suppose. It gets a little high at times. There are some more minute things to say as a singer, but if I were to point those out, this "indescribable" quality she has now might completely be uprooted... No matter how many times I listen to her, I think how she is now is best, for the time being. If I get another chance later, that might be the time to point out these little details. Maintaining is difficult enough on its own, because everyone gets a little complacent.

小野田華凜(Onoda Karin) "'Hitori de ikiraresou' tte sorette nee, homete iru no?"​

Yep, she's been training a lot on rhythm, both feeling it in the song and in her body movements, and coupled with her natural ability, her current total score is high. I think she may also have confidence in that. For Hello!Pro to raise their collective skills, it's necessary to make a place for a girl like this.

<Room for growth>
Because she's got everything together, I'll look at her more severely, and one thing is that the rhythm stops completely when she holds notes. The rest are emotional arguments, but the greatest thing is when you sing in a way that makes people naturally want to hear more from you. If you try to force them to hear you, to grab their ears, if you're not careful it turns into a lecture and people will pull away.
Girls who are good at singing are forever a question. How to keep it natural, unforced? If you think about it for 24 hours, you'll find an answer popping up somewhere. I expect great things.
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