The new S/mileage members were announced at today’s Hello! Project 2011 Summer ~Nippon no Mirai wa WOW WOW Live~.
The new members will take part in the new single to be released late September, and they will also take part in this fall’s concert tour.
The 5 new “sub” members are (thanks to Chinatsu @ H!O for the translations of the profiles):
S/milege’s first member from Kansai!
6/4/1997 14 years-old 2nd year Middle School
Special Skill: swimming, making funny faces
Imitations that your good at: a cat trying to intimidate things, a gorilla
HelloPro’s first Intelligent type in a long time!?
11/19/1997 13 years-old 2nd year Middle School
Special Skill: Karate movements, Tea Ceremony
Imitations that your good at: a person eating ramen, a cat
Energetic Girl (Genki Musume) from Hello Pro Egg
11/23/1997 13 years-old 2nd year Middle School
Special Skill: penmanship, bowling, sprinting, all sports
Imitations that your good at: Mickey Mouse, Stitch
Smiling Girl (Egao Musume) from Hello Pro Egg
4/6/1998 13 years-old 1stt year Middle School
Special skill: cartwheel, handstand forward somersault
Imitations that your good at: dogs, Maeda Yuuka-chan
10/30/1998 12 years-old 1st year Middle School
Special Skill: Room arrangement
Imitations that your good at: Synchronized swimming, goldfish
I expected to see about 3 new members but Tsunku has once again surprised us all by adding 5 new members into S/mileage, bringing the grand total to 9 members, the same number of members that Morning Musume has right now!
It will be very interesting to see just how S/mileage will manage with more than double the amount of members since the current members will most likely have to get used to the idea, although it’s still hard to believe that with Takahashi Ai graduating next month S/mileage will be the largest group in Hello! Project (until the 10th generation is added).
Akari joining the group was expected, Tamura Meimi as well since she has the looks and the talent (not the singing voice though), but Katsuta, Nakanishi and Kosuga are really big surprises since they didn’t seem to stand out that much during the auditions.
It seems that Jang won’t be able to join a group just yet which might be due to her trouble with Japanese, but hopefully as an Egg she can improve. Karin is also missing but I can expect to see her joining Momusu once the 10th audition winners are announced since she seems like the perfect member.
I look forward to finding out how they will fit in with S/mileage since it seems like there is quite a bit of different talent and interesting personalities with 5 new members and while we don’t have that clear of an idea about how they will improve the group for now there is a new S/mileage single currently planned out for late September so that should help is find out just how their voices will fit in with the group’s image.
All that aside, congratulations to Katsuta, Kosuga, Nakanishi, Tamura, and Akari!
EDIT: The 5 new members were confirmed by Yahoo with a group picture (at the top of this post), and as you can tell everyone but Takeuchi and Katsuta are wearing long skirts and there’s a reason for that: the skirts were cut short to symbolize them becoming S/mileage members, here’s a pic of the skirts after they were cut:
Also a very important detail has been released: they are Sub members, which means that they aren’t permanent members just yet (this has apparently been confirmed by the articles on Yahoo, but not yet on the S/mileage site).
Whether or not they remain in the group will be decided based on their performance on the new single and the fall tour, although we don’t know for sure if it’s just something to encourage them or if it’s a real strategy that they will use since that could mean that one or more of the new members might leave the group if they don’t improve.
I’ll update with more details once they are released.