While thus far Nantonaku in its entire lifetime has been about subbing things mostly with Morning Musume。 members in it, that doesn’t mean they’re the only group we like in H!P. I, InvisNantoka, would like to take this time, as we are approaching the end of the C-ute era to talk about my experience with them, and what they are to me. This is gonna have stories and stuff from my experiences so…it might be fun? (This will be multiple pages)
So of course this is gonna be a long one, so I guess I’m gonna break it up into parts so you can skip all the things that might be boring, cause I really just want to talk about them in whole. I don’t really have a community that I call “HOME” that I’ll talk about this stuff with, so since Nantonaku is currently my home, it’s where I feel most comfortable expressing this. If you’re gonna read this then thank you for not letting me just be an echo in a cave somewhere. That said, let’s start at the beginning.
When I first started watching Hello!Project I was enamoured with people my age I guess. I found myself gravitating to the Gorokkies or Morning Musume。 more than anyone else, perhaps just because they were close to my age in that sense.
My first time really exposed to C-ute in a way that lodged itself into my memory is from commercial promotions really. It was pretty much watching Hello!Morning and seeing the advertisements for 2008’s Namida no Iro. The little promos for the single were in every episode pretty much around its release, and even though I had been exposed to them before then probably, that was the first time they really hit my mind in a way that wasn’t just “Oh it’s another group.”
Even then at the time they were young, so much so I use to call C-ute and Berryz the young’uns basically and just kind of accept that they were a bit young for me to follow with the same kind of devotion I was giving Momusu. I mean it had nothing to do with attractiveness at the time, it was more about just when you’re dealing with young people you never know how they’re going to turn out as adults, right? I had been so uncertain of how they would grow up, especially given that I was still getting my wota legs at the time that I didn’t want to invest in something that could disappear just as easily. Even so my eyes on the group had started because of that. Though in actuality my draw started a little before that because of one member.
Powerful Draw: Yajima Maimi
Looking into the actual dates apparently my first actual draw to a member of C-ute came a couple of months before Namida no Iro, and from none other than current Leader of C-ute, Yajima Maimi. It was actually 16sai no Koi Nante, the duet between Yajima Maimi at age 16 and Abe Natsumi at age 26. There was certain charm to the song that’s probably hard to explain or understand. For the song itself there was something adorable about a 16 year old and a 26 year old talking about love and how things are different at their ages but in the end want the same kind of long lasting love. The PV for it with Maimi and Nacchi standing in a line together singing like a weird skit or a one off scene to a musical was great, and the songs catchiness made it really stick in my head. I remembered the song to this day and rewatching the PV as I was writing was nostalgic pleasure in itself.
Maimi was an unknown to me at that point really but her performance in the music video, and the live showing on things like Hello!Morning really got my attention. In a weird way looking back at it now, Maimi at age 16 reminds me in look of how I felt Mano Erina was in her first PV appear, there’s a charm and optimism to her smile that just hit me well.
In any case 2008 was also the year High-King was formed and with it was another opportunity and reason to notice a young’un while still holding onto my dedication to Momusu members, it was another time that Maimi got to be in the spotlight of my own personal watching. And Cinderella/Complex, much like 16sai no Koi Nante had a repetitive nature to that had me listening to it (and watching the PV on Dohhh UP!) over and over again.
With the exposure to Maimi in a singing/dancing capacity so present in my Wota life, it was natural that when asked and when looking into C-ute now and again my favorite would be Maimi, and even though they were still young’uns to me and hard for me to follow over Momusu, especially in the budding age of the internet Idol power as we were.