Here they are! The new members of Morning Musume: on the right we have Kaga Kaede and on the left we have Yokoyama Reina.
Yes. There is now ANOTHER Reina. Will she become Winky-squirrel, or will she rise above the previous one and NOT annoy the living hell out of me? Time will tell.
Kaede immediately appealed to me because I am a sucker for boyish idols (or boyish-looking anyway). She also happens to be cute-as-a-button.
Both of these girls were in (what will for me always be called) H!P Eggs. Kaga has been there four years (!), while our new Reina has only been around for two months.
That is one awkward senpai-kouhai situation, isn’t it? I mean they are the same gen now, but Kaede is still technically a senpai in the company. Then there’s the fact that Reina got in after two months while Kaede has been working hard for FOUR YEARS…
Oooh, this is going to be awesome.
My first impression of Yokoyama was “ah, she’s cute” then I laughed because she seemed quite unused to high-heels. She wobbled down the stairs smiling like her life depended on it. She couldn’t stop giggling the whole time.
Y: “Tee hee, how do you get down stairs in these things??”
Contrast this with Kaga who walked down and stood with great dignity and poise.
And then started to cry right away.
Adorable. She’s been working hard for so long and she finally made it. I don’t even follow the H!P Eggs (that’s what they are to me, forever; don’t even try to correct me). She pulled it together in an instant and with watery eyes, declared she wanted to surpass her senpai.
The members then started to tease.
Ayumin asks her, “What’s your impression of me?”
Kaga replies that her dancing is cool and she coos, “You really know how to move up in show business, don’tchya?”
Eri-pon says to watch out for scary senpai and Ayumin immediately shouts, “That’s you, isn’t it?”
“I’m not scary, right?” Eri-pon says this a little too sweetly. She looks at Kaga really closely and there’s a delightfully awkward pause.
I think Ikuta and Ishida are the scariest senpai, for many, many reasons. It makes sense these two would do the majority of the bullying. BOSS pointed out she won’t lose to another girl with a “short-hair-cut”, but it wasn’t scary at all.
Throughout all of this Reina just giggles.
Later on in the concert these two get an MC interview of sorts in which Yokoyama giggles some more and does a delightfully spastic jazz-dance (jazzu-dansu being her specialty).
Congrats Reina: You have committed Reina-Fail, which we’ve not seen for a while. (SAFETY PAAAAAANTS)
She ends it in a facepalm with everybody laughing, but I hope she’ll come through once they give her some routines. I know she’s very green, but if she has a dance background already, she could turn out like Riho (minus the Ace distinction – nobody has quite become Ace material yet). People already seem to love her; all I keep reading is “oh, Reina is so cute”.
So far, we’ve got dance potential and adorable looks. Seems promising to me. Her entire lack of speaking is probably just nerves.
At least I really hope so.
Kaede, on the other hand…
She does Kendo!!!
It might just be her short hair, but I am so happy that there is another boyish Musume. This is a completely different feel from the kabe-don variety we’re familiar with.
BOSS Kudou is passing from tom-boy into I-know-exactly-what-I’m-doing-to-you pimp territory. That’s all fine, but Kaede seems rather stoic and composed. I’ve read whispers of her being a “diva” because she wanted a better part in something-or-other and also that she’s a crybaby.
As for being a diva, I really don’t get that impression. Let me remind you of Riho’s beginnings: she was very quiet and stoic, but never missed a chance to remind people she wanted to be at the top. Everybody got over that and realized she really had the talent and she worked her arse off to prove it and keep her spot. That seems like Kaede to me, albeit more boyish and less Ace-like.
Plus she didn’t say, “get to the top”, she said, “surpass my senpai” which is what EVERY kouhai should want! It’s the way things are supposed to go in a group with a graduation cycle.
I have only seen Kaede in one performance. She got one of the only two solo lines. Her voice seemed strong and a bit deep and it made me so excited.
I want their new single now (post is in the works for their current single, folks!)!!
Overall, this two-person generation seems quite interesting: you have the cute one (Yoko), with little experience, who managed to get in with only two months of work; And you have the four-year veteran (Kaga), who knows her stuff, who has failed three auditions (two Angerme and one Momusu I think) yet kept on trying until she made it. One seems quite girly and music oriented, and one seems more tough and stoic, with a tender cry-baby heart underneath to soften her kendo-powered confidence.
I can’t wait to see more from them.
Bring on 2017!!