Berryz Koubou

From left to right: Sudou Maasa, Tokunaga Chinami, Tsugunaga Momoko, Sugaya Risako, Kumai Yurina, Natsuyaki Miyabi, Shimizu Saki

Berryz Koubou (Berryz工房)

The name Berryz Koubou, which means “Berryz Workshop”, reflects the initial idea that the group’s line-up would change from time to time, with each of the Hello! Project Kids eventually participating in the group. However, this idea was apparently dropped and in 2005 and the other seven Hello! Project Kids ended up forming their own group, °C-ute.

Berryz Koubou debuted at a concert on March 3, 2004, where they performed as backup dancers for W’s promotional videos, although they were first announced at a Hello! Project Club Event on January 14, 2004. Prior to the band’s formation, some members worked with members of Morning Musume in such side projects as Aa! and ZYX, and in the Mini Moni movie Okashi na Daibōken.

Special Generation was released on March 30th, 2005 and ranked #7 on Oricon Charts. It’s their 1st single to get to be on the top 10 and the first to get more than 20k copies sold. At that time, members average age didn’t exceed 12 years.

On September 11, 2005, it was announced that Ishimura Maiha would graduate from the group and Hello! Project to focus on her studies. Her graduation took place on the last night of their fall tour on October 2, 2005, making her the second H!P member who had her own Graduation Concert outside MM (the first’s Heike Michiyo). Nowadays, she attends Shinagawa Étoile Girls High School, an elite private school in Tokyo.

Berryz Koubou has a weekly 15 minute radio show called Berryz Koubou Kiritsu! Rei! Chakuseki! (Berryz工房 起立! 礼! 着席!), roughly meaning Berryz Koubou Stand Up! Bow! Sit Down! as in a class honoring the teacher entering the classroom. It began on March 30, 2004 and airs on JOQR every Tuesday from 23:35 to 23:50. However, it ended on April 7, 2009 when Tsugunaga Momoko’s solo radio show took over the timeslot. As of April 8, 2009 a new podcast called Beritsuu! featuring Shimizu Saki, Tokunaga Chinami and Sudou Maasa airs weekly on Fridays on JOQR.

Around October, 2006, Berryz Koubou along with Morning Musume and WaT promoted “2006 VOLLEYBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS JAPAN”. Wat’s “Ready Go!” was the theme song for the Japanese broadcast, and they performed it before the matches.

On April 1, 2007, Berryz Koubou held a concert at Saitama Super Arena, becoming the youngest female group ever to perform there: members average age did not exceed 14 years (thereby dethroning Morning Musume, whose average was 16.3). The tickets sold out (a total of 20,000 seats) two months before the concert, and a few days before the concert it was announced that there would be extra seats available.

Berryz Koubou, along with °C-ute and Morning Musume, performed for the first time at NHK network’s 58th Kouhaku Uta Gassen on 2008 New Year’s. It is the most-watched show each year in Japan. However, they had performed several times since the 54th edition but only as backdancers. They sang Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi as part of a H!P special medley called “Special LOVE Mix”, which opened the show.

On March 12, 2008 they released Dschinghis Khan, their first cover song, which is currently their highest selling single, the one with most charting weeks and the single with most versions. However, their 21st single: “Watashi no Mirai no Danna-sama / Ryuusei Boy”, released on November 11, 2009 took away the position of the Berryz single with most charting weeks (a total of 9 weeks).

Berryz Koubou participated at the Asia Song Festival 2008 in South Korea representing Japan along with w-inds and Tsuchiya Anna. They performed two times on October 3rd (Eve Concert, where they sang Dschinghis Khan, Tsukiatteru no ni Kataomoi, Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance and Special Generation) and 4th (Main Concert: Dschinghis Khan and Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance), and also, they held a handshake event thanks to PonyCanyon Korea. Berryz won the Asia New Comer Award along with the SM entertainment group SHINee. During their stay in Korea, the girls visited “Lotte World”, an amusement park in Seoul which is the largest indoor theme park in the world, and ranked seventh worldwide in attendance.

They performed at Sharang Q’s 20th anniversary concert on December 12, 2008. The girls performed: Dschinghis Khan (with °C-ute), MADAYADE, and LOVE Machine (together with °C-ute and Morning Musume) at the Nippon Budokan (日本武道館).

The group visited the 41st Nippon Yuusen Taishou Ongaku Shoujushou Award Show on December 17, 2008 at Nakano Sun Plaza and were runners up for the “Wired Music Prize” Award, which prized the songs loved by people (the theme of that year was “Heart”). They performed their 16th single: Dschinghis Khan. The other nominees were Asami Chiyuki, Horuichi Takao and Sakurai Kumiko.

From March 24th, 2009 to March 30th, Berryz Koubou had their First Fanclub Tour in Hawaii in order to celebrate their 5th Anniversary, and like Morning Musume, they released their own AloHello DVD and Photobook. Although, the DVD didn’t include the five years memory letter reading corner and it didn’t give any signal about the banner that Tsugunaga Momoko drawn with all eight members to the fan club members.

During their spring concert ~Sono Subete no Ai ni~, the girls celebrated their 100th concert on April 25, 2009 at Tochigi night. In this, they showed a recap video with the song “Bye Bye Mata ne” counting up from their 1st concert to their 100th (the list didn’t include joint concerts).

The group has two trademark songs: “Special Generation” (the most performed song of the group, something like LOVE Machine for Morning Musume) and “Bye Bye Mata ne” (performed only in special moments like their 1st concert, Ishimura Maiha graduation, their 1st concert at Saitama Super Arena, their first fan club tour in Hawaii and to celebrate their 100th concert performance).

On June 3rd, Berryz released their 1st double a-side single: “Seishun Bus Guide / Rival” because it’s their 20th single and their 5th Anniversary. It was also the first time that a Berryz Koubou PV feat. a famous person outside of the group, in this case it’s Tv Tokyo Announcer: Ooe Mariko.

Even though there are exceptions (such as album songs) the lead vocals in Berryz Koubou’s main single songs are most often Natsuyaki Miyabi, Sugaya Risako, Tsugunaga Momoko and Kumai Yurina.

M-net and Up-Front works arranged a Berryz Koubou mini-concert in South-Korea on June 21st, 2009 at Yonsei University Auditorium, 4pm titled “Berryz Koubou MINI LIVE in Korea”. The Korean winner of the Hello! Project audition: “Meet Tokyo Girl”, Jang Da Yeon, was announced on stage by Tsunku. M-net also launched a special site for the event. This is their 1st concert outside Japan.

During August, Berryz was being featured in some Thailand Music Shows like Wake Club, A-Port and others (they even had an interview with the Host of Wake Club between the Hello! Project concert 2009 Summer ~Hello!Champloo~), all of this is because a domestic music company bought the copyright of the Berryz singles from Hello!Project, to be promote publicly. Their first release was Berryz Koubou Special Best Vol. 1.

Every month, Berryz were featured in a special corner of B.L.T Magazine called “Berryz Koubou no HAPPY HOMEROOM” (Berryz Koubou’s Happy Homeroom) since April 2005 with an article about Special Generation, however this collaboration ended on August 2009 in the 53th Volume of the corner with messages of the girls. For the last issue they did the same pose of the first volume.

Thailand fans gathered on November 14, 2009 in the “Hello! Project First Official Fan Meeting in Thailand”, in that event they announced who was going to held a concert among Morning Musume, °C-ute and Berryz. Eventually, Berryz Koubou got chosen to perform in Thailand’s Capital: Bangkok on March 27, 2010 at Indoor Stadium Hua Mak Sports Complex, 7pm. The concert is sponsored by Mainichi Academic Group, their members will have a ticket presale on January 5th, while normal people will be able to get their tickets on Thai Ticket Major on January 20. There’s an official website for the concert titled: “Berryz 工房 First Live in Bangkok” by HPLovers.com, and as the title said, this will be Berryz first concert in Thailand as well as the first Hello! Project group to held a concert in that country; it’s also their second concert outside Japan.

In order to promote Bangkok concert, Shimizu Saki, Tokunaga Chinami and Kumai Yurina traveled to Thailand on January 19th, 2010 to make the official concert announcement on January 20th. They had TV (like Channel V and many others), magazine and radio appearances, and also a press conference covered by Thai News. They had the opportunity to wear traditional Thailand dresses and went to greet Thailand’s king who was hospitalized at the time.

On March 3, Berryz released their 3rd double a-side single Otakebi Boy WAO!/Tomodachi wa Tomodachi Nanda! This single reached a peaking ranking of #3, making this their highest single ranking to date. With the end of this single’s second week, Berryz ranks at #9, which makes also makes this not just highest ranking second week, but the highest ranking second week through out all of Hello! Project since 2003.

Unlike the concert in Korea, where they arrived on the same day of the concert. For this performance, all Berryz members traveled to Thailand on March 25th, 2010 in order to hold a press conference on the same day. After the concert, they held another press conference, where the girls left their impressions, they were really happy to be able to perform outside Japan and wanted to have more free time to travel around the town, but went back to Japan on March 27th at 5 a.m. Although the concert ended, several channels in Thailand and Japan kept showing concert and backstage footages. Oricon even made a special site for this concert.

From August 25th to March 31st, 2010 Berryz is going to have their 2nd FanClub Tour in Hawaii titled “2010 Happy Summer Vacation ~Kono natsu wa nidotonai jikan de aru!~”.

Trivia

  • To announce their major debut, they held a press conference at Nakano Sun Plaza on January 14th, however they officially debuted on March 3rd the Japanese Doll Festival (雛祭り, Hinamatsuri), also known as Girls’ Day, which is held on March 3rd (the third day of the third month).
  • The girls didn’t know about their group name, Berryz Koubou, until day of its announcement to the public. They first saw the name on their costumes, but they couldn’t read the Kanji and were wondering what it was.
  • For their debut single, Anata Nashi de wa Ikite Yukenai, they spent a lot of time learning the choreography. Now they only need a few lessons for each new dance (approximately 4 or less).
  • Their goal for 2007 was to appear on Kouhaku Uta Gassen, and they achieved it.
  • Nozomu Iwao, a famous Japanese comedian of the duo “Football Hour”, is a fan of Berryz. He often talks about them in the shows he’s invited on (he even made a parody of Kokuhaku no Funsui Hiroba, in which he played Sugaya Risako, his favorite member).
  • Everyone in Berryz Koubou was born in Heisei Era, which is the current era in Japan (and began on January 8, 1989).
  • Their first performance together as Berryz Koubou was Morning Musume’s song Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~.
  • They are the only H!P group who have a “Captain” instead of a “Leader”.
  • The vocalist of the Japanese rock band “Base Ball Bear”, Koide Yuusuke, is a fan of Berryz Koubou; that’s one of the reason that they chose Kumai Yurina to be in their CM promoting (WHAT IS THE) LOVE & POP?, his group’s 3rd album.
  • Famous manga artist Arina Tanemura is also a fan of Berryz; her favorite member is Sugaya Risako. She once traded autographs with Tsugunaga Momoko.
  • They will be the first all-girl Japanese group to perform in Thailand.
  • Several steps of the famous dance “Hare Hare Yukai” of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu are taken from Berryz singles choreography, like Special Generation, 21ji Made no Cinderella, Gag 100kaibun Aishite Kudasai, etc.
  • Berryz have made cameos in the anime Gintama, one time they showed the girls with their Koi no Jubaku outfits in a handshake event.
  • In the first episode of the Lucky Channel segment (from Lucky Star anime), the first letter, asking about how much idols make, is from a fan calling himself “Berryko Daisuki-kko” (or “Berryko Lover”). A direct reference to Berryz Koubou.
  • Yanagihara Kanako is a Japanese actress, comedian, and tarento, who is also a fan of Berryz; her favorite member is Tsugunaga Momoko and she’s been a guest in Momo’s radio show.
  • Starting from May 24, 2010, Berryz members will have their own video blog section in Up-front official channel in Youtube; all the videos will have a duration of 1 minute and members can talk about anything they want, they will also upload concert clips.
  • Before every concert, Berryz, and sometimes staff members too, always shout “Berryz Koubou! (only captain)… Ikube! (all)”. For the encore part, fans also shout that (although it’s only Berryz Ikube).


  • Ishimura Maiha (Graduated from Berryz Koubou and Hello! Project on October 2, 2005 to continue her schooling full-time)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berryz_Kobo

http://j-ongaku.org/wiki/Berryz_Kobo

One response

1 08 2010
kymin

the Angel’s of H!P…XIII

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