101016 (℃-ute) Daily Sports Kansai


℃-ute will win through

“We’re always forward-looking”, ℃-ute’s Nakajima Saki (left) and Suzuki Airi (right).

℃-ute (kyuu-to)

Yajima Maimi, born in February 7, 1992 in Saitama.
Nakajima Saki, born in February 5, 1994 in Saitama.
Suzuki Airi, born in April 12, 1994 in Chiba.
Okai Chisato, born in June 21, 1994 in Saitama.
Hagiwara Mai, born in February 7, 1996 in Saitama.
A five-member idol group, formed in June 2005. They had their indies debut with Massara Blue Jeans in May 2006. After four indie singles, they had their major debut in February 2007. In the same year, they were the winners of Best New Artist in Japan Record Awards.

The winner of Best Newcomer of Japan Record Awards, Hello! Project group ℃-ute, debuted with indies. Three of its members have withdrawed from the group, and the five current girls are now facing the stormy seas of “idol war times”. We heard the enthusiasm of Suzuki Airi (16) and Nakajima Saki (16).

Indies debut

℃-ute’s hardships started even before they debuted. In the 2002 auditions, fifteen “Hello! Project Kids” were born, and eight of them were chosen in debuted in Berryz Koubou in January 2004.
The seven leftovers added a new member, their line-up consisted of eight members, and so their major debut was postponed. Nakajima says her thoughts regarding that time “About indies, hmm, I wondered if we could become known”

Best Newcomer ’07 of Japan Record Awards

During a very active period of time, they performed on shopping malls where they held events. “I wrote my name in a drawing paper when I introduced myself… I wanted to debut quick. I had sad thoughts, but I thought it was good being in that position [of someone that didn’t debut yet]”, said Suzuki. While having dreams, they piled up perseverance.

That perseverance blossomed quickly. In February 2007, they had their major debut with Sakura Chirari, which suddendly acquired the #5 spot on Oricon charts. And in the end of the year, the same song made them win the Best Newcomer award in Japan Record Awards (t/n: this information is incorrect, they won for Tokaikko Junjou). “Due to a work law, we couldn’t appear on TV. We watched the TV in the backstage room, and in the moment that we won, I didn’t feel my back. Everyone fell down [from the surprise]. Without really understanding what happened, I cried…”, says Nakajima. “It was like ‘is this really happening’, I remember it very clearly” (Suzuki)

From the early days of being 8-nin to being 5-nin

They were on the correct way to become a top idol when they were 8nin, but new hardships appeared. In 2009, Arihara Kanna (17) was sick from bunions and had to withdraw. Also, Umeda Erika (19) graduated to become a model. In 2006, Murakami Megumi (18) withdrawed from the group. They lost three members that were there in the first stage of the group.

Without any member being replaced, they are currently a 5nin group. In that sense, the unity is strong. “Of course, everyone was an important member, and the fact that three members that left our group putted burden on us, so we want to offer/give good things. I’ve had worries in the past, but the members supported each other” , said Suzuki. While remembering the time when they were 8nin, they will stil continue their activities.

The five members have come far, coming through various walls even before they debuted. Recently, it’s “idol battle days”, where idols of both Japan and Korea participate. “That’s right. Yeah… but it seems that everyone is more fired up compared to before. I wanna do lots of challenges. For every individuality to grow, I want to do what I can do”, said Suzuki with a smile.

Singing, dancing and talking

The girls are aware that there are lots of rivals out there. Even inside Hello! Project itself. Suzuki said “AKB48… we’re aware of them, but I think everyone is cute”. Nakajima said with shining eyes “The quality of Korean (idols), like KARA, is too high… I was overwhelmed by them. Now I kind of want to become like KARA. In the sense of the same dance level and the lots of respect they gained”.

Even though the circumstances are intense, these girls have the experience of overcoming walls, which makes them look forward. “I want to discover/find what are what capable of doing”, said Suzuki. “I want to do my best in talking. In singing, dancing and talking”, said Nakajima with energy. [Writer: Fukushima Daisuke]


1 Comment »

  1. “The quality of Korean (idols), like KARA, is too high… I was overwhelmed by them. Now I kind of want to become like KARA. In the sense of the same dance level and the lots of respect they gained”.

    Nakky wanna DANCE :c

    Comment by Arche-JoIyO — 2010/10/18 @ 11:31 pm

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