The Spring 2017 Country Girls concert is the last full CG concert featuring Momoko Tsugunaga and it represents the group at their peak, before Momoko graduated from Hello! Project and before CG went into part-time mode, with two members reducing their activities with the group and the other three being split up among other groups in H!P. As such, it’s a document of just how perfect a unit CG was and how completely unique they were. Other than the four Country Musume songs performed in the concert, every other song was a Country Girls song and the kind of number that is best performed by Country Girls and no other group in H!P. Sure, other groups can attempt “Doudatate Ii No” and “Koi Dorobu,” and possibly succeed, but there’s a style and sound that CG has perfected that cannot be duplicated anywhere else in H!P. And I can’t imagine any group attempting “Peanut Butter Jelly Love.” Without Momoko doing the opening vocals, the performance is impossible to replicate.
Tag: Momoko Tsugunaga
I’ve got so much material on Momoko Tsugunaga, who recently departed Hello! Project after 15 years to teach Kindergarten, that I’ve decided to break it up into different parts. This first will be devoted to pictures I took of her: in New Jersey, Paris and Yokohama. I had a press pass for the first two trips, but not the third. I was fortunate to be able to see her and photograph her with all three of her H!P groups, Berryz Kobo, Buono! and Country Girls.
Eager to see the new girls in performance for the first time, I ordered the Hello! Project Winter 2017 concert and watched the first disc in the set, the “Crystal Clear” concert, recorded on January 8, 2017 at Nakano Sunplaza. Morning Musume had the two members of 13th Gen performing with them for the first time: Kaede Kaga and Reina Yokoyama. Tsubaki Factory had their three new members performing with them, the first time I’ve seen them with the group: Mao Akiyama, Saori Onoda, Mizuho Ono. (All three had performed with TF at the H!P Countdown Party on New Year’s Eve, just a week earlier. I’ll be getting to that concert soon.) Angerme had Momona Kasahara, although I believe I’ve seen her perform before. She just hasn’t registered strongly with me yet. Of these six, only Kaga and Akiyama are immediately recognizable to me. Both were very impressive in this concert. These are the most auspicious H!P debuts I’ve seen since Riho Sayashi in MM and Rikako Sasaki and Mizuki Murota in Angerme. As Maria Makino jockeys for the “ace” position in MM, I believe she’ll get serious competition from Kaga, who’s given one of the lead dance positions in “Oh My Wish!,” the first MM song in the concert. And Akiyama takes the lead in this concert’s performance of TF’s then-newest single, “Just Try,” already outshining her seven teammates, at least in my eyes.