Now everyone’s certainly heard of “Where’s Waldo?” But how about a game of “Where’s Maimi~chan?” ^^
In light of Yajima Maimi’s latest shashinshuu release “Hitori no kisetsu”, which I’ve scanned and posted here just a couple of days ago… I thought it would be a fun idea to travel way back in time and reminisce Maimi~chan’s early idol days when she was a member of two notable Tsunku projects… oh and also to see if you can recognize her from way back then. =)
I mean you see her <~~~ all grown up today and I can’t help but think back to….. well let’s just go to the videos shall we =)!
“Hello! Project Eggs”… “Kenkyuusei”, it’s all part of the progression of yesteryear and today’s “who’s got idols’ next?”, and no matter how you say it, it’s all part of the grooming/ training grounds where the hopeful youth take their very first steps towards an idol career.
Now the first release I’d like to feature goes way back to January 29th of 2003 where Tsunku produced a “Koinu Dan Monogatari” (remember that oh~so~cute! Hello! Project doggie movie?! If not I do have the movie DVD in case anyone’s interested =)) tie-in single where he featured the entirety of Morning Musume with a chorus of Hello! Project Kids + Gotou Maki (a H!P soloist then). Now what’s really fun and uber~nostalgic about looking back at this particular single, oh and additionally of course the whole Yajima Maimi travelling back in time-relation thingy, is that these “Hello! Project Kids” were comprised of nearly the entirety of future Berryz Koubou and C-ute girls! Yup both yet to be formed groups in their idol “infancy” so to speak. (note: Arihara Kanna’s not present)
~Morning Musume to Hello! Project Kids + Gotou
Maki “Ganbacchae!” (MV)~
Okay so see if you can readily recognize each member of C-ute and Berryz Koubou here and in particular C-ute’s Yajima Maimi, I mean for fun scroll back atop or visit the “Hitori no kisetsu” complete scans post here and see if you can recognize tiny Maimi~chan in this music video where she’s oh~so little and adorable! =) And yet she looks soooooo different!! And “Ganbacchae!”, both the song and music video are soooooo adorable!!! I love how they were all grouped separately into these little singing choruses until the entire set became an idol playground =)! And extra thumbs up to Tsunku for writing a both memorable and catchy song for the idol ages!! So “Where’s Maimi~chan?” =)
And if you just aren’t able to find her in the “Ganbacchae!” music video above, here just below you can match all of the featured Hello! Project Kids faces to their names including Maimi~chan’s of course. ^^
(double click~* to exlarge image above!)
And the second Tsunku project I’d like to reminisce and feature here is his short lived =(! but soooo cute unit “ZYX.” =)! Of course they went onto a second generation group a bit later but since today’s all about reminiscing a most youthful and tiny Maimi~chan, we’re sticking to the original ZYX group.
Here I’ve dug up my two pv DVD singles (remember those?! The pv DVD single was a Hello! Project first as they were the first to launch this format for fans to enjoy both MVs and making of clips in a separate release from their counterpart CD releases.) ZYX’s first single “Iku ZYX! FLY HIGH” and their second “Shiroi TOKYO.”
~ZYX “Iku ZYX! FLY HIGH” (MV)~
The pv DVD single for “Iku ZYX! FLY HIGH” was released on September 10th, 2003 and here Tsunku went for a “toughened” up appearance for the girls’ wardrobes, mind you when I say “toughened up” one must consider the youthful ages of the group members back then with the exception of Marippe (Yaguchi Mari”) who was both the group’s leader and notably much older than her group-mates here. Although I must say that somehow Murakami Megumi long had this mature aura about her, for the obvious reason of course but I mean both her personality and “stage presence” as well had her seemingly leaps and bounds ahead of her group-mates… such a shame that she graduated from H!P so so soon. =( And yet little Marippe is so tiny! She fits right in doesn’t she! Also see: the “rules” of being a member of Mini-moni =D!
And despite Tsunku getting the girls all “gangsta~d up” and stuff =P “Iku ZYX FLY HIGH” is a purely fun and upbeat dance number with its chorus naturally being the main hook~♥ here, and what one really needs to consider is that the girls (with the exception of Marippe) were yet in their early stages of vocal/ idol development and while everyone would mature wonderfully on both talent fronts… this song remains as both a memorable and adorable landmark of idols’ youth~.
Now getting back to our game of “Where’s Maimi~chan?”… okay these releases are waaaaaay easier as there are just six girls in ZYX and Maimi~chan’s looking much more like “Maimi~chan”, a cakewalk really =P but still nostalgically fun to look back at Maimi~chan during her earliest of idol days~.
~ZYX “Shiroi TOKYO” (MV)~
Released on December 26th, 2003… ZYX’s “Shiroi TOKYO”’s pv DVD single is you guessed it! a Christmas time song =) and for sure Maimi~chan’s easily most recognizable in this music video out of these three. She still had many years yet to mature into the beautiful woman she is today, however her adorable factor is undeniable here! ^^* “Shiroi TOKYO” has a very sweet and slick production behind it and is much more mid-tempo compared to its predecessor, here capturing the holidays and hopefully your heart as well~. =)