The following is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect those of the other Selective Hearing staff and/or the site’s affiliates and partners.
The end is coming
Matthew 24:21-22:21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
So what does a biblical quote about the apocalypse have to do with Berryz Koubou? Well as of the writing of this article they have released what is believed to be their swan song single before officially going on “indefinite hiatus” next year.
Despite the politically correct and perhaps pandering term, most fans know the truth. And that is that the group is disbanding and will probably end up like similar kin in Hello! Project reuniting for special occasions and nostalgia trips and the like as the years go by.
That leads to pondering about who might have the best chance of surviving once the tears have been shed and group that was Berryz has started to fade from the memories of the fans.
So far the only one who has a real future post Berryz is Tsugunaga Momoko. With her posting as manager for the renamed Country Musume (a.k.a. Country Girls) steady work is guaranteed for the next couple of years at the very least. She also has a good chance at moving into variety television since her character tends to work well on that type of programming.
But what about the other members of Berryz? Are they to be forever sent to the eternal limbo that is post the Hello! Project world or is there hope that at least a few of them will be able to continue in the world of entertainment in some way?
I would think that Natsuyaki Miyabi will be able stick around since Buono! are not technically done for. But with Suzuki Airi engaged in studies at university and Tsugunaga Momoko re-assigned to babysit some noobs, there isn’t much to indicate that they will ever return to even part-time duties as a unit.
Which is really a shame since they are a great unit when they are active. It may be that Buono! will end up as collateral damage in the wake of the Berryz Koubou disbandment and just plain bad timing with other activities taking up two thirds of the members’ time. And honestly I can’t think of anything that Miyabi could do outside of Berryz otherwise.
The other member that I can realistically see even making some sort of impact outside of Berryz would be Kumai Yurina. But only because she’s tall, young, pretty and that makes her perfect fodder for modeling of some sort. There is precedence set with Umeda Erika and Kusumi Koharu also taking a similar path once they ended their tenures in their respective groups.
It’s either that or join a semi-pro basketball or volleyball team.
As for the others? As hard as I try I simply cannot think that there can be anything that Sugaya Risako, Tokunaga Chinami, Sudo Maasa and Shimizu Saki could even remotely do outside of maybe the typical stage plays that every former active Hello! Project member tends to gravitate to.
Although it seems that Maasa is already preparing herself for a career as a daycare worker beefing up the way she has. She makes AKB48’s Miyazaki Miho look thin. Perhaps she can form a unit with Momoiro Clover Z’s Sasaki Ayaka and make songs about various lower body injuries and eating cake or something.
Of course I’m just playing y’all. All you Maasa fans don’t get your panties in a bunch. You know she’s going to be a women’s pro wrestler when her time with Berryz is done.
But seriously two or maybe three out of seven who might be able to continue on after Berryz ends is not exactly the greatest potential success rate. Few nembers hold any appeal outside of the hardcore Hello! Project fan base. I mean if you ask any random person on the street who members of Berryz Koubou are most are going to answer with, “Who?”
It’s probably not what fans want to hear, but it is a harsh reality that has to be faced. On the flip side I’m not Japanese and I don’t live in Japan. Nor do I claim to be an expert in what Japanese tastes in celebrities are. So what the hell do I know right? I could be completely wrong and all the members of Berryz Koubou could go on to have successful careers in entertainment or in other industries.
With that said it’s best to enjoy the entire group as much as you can before Spring 2015 and hope for the best in the fallout of Berryz Koubou’s disbandment.