Hello! Pro Time episode 21 starts off with my hero (& yours) Tsunku going over the top 10 and the qualities he likes in each of them.
A lot of it is rather vague information that really doesn’t give anyone any specific insight into who he may or may not be leaning towards. But isn’t that always the case? Gotta keep the people guessing right? What I did notice right away in this episode though is that there’s another dancing machine in Tanaka Fuuka. Impressive she is.
Once the little recap is done we get into the meat of this episode starting with the dancing and singing lessons. The girls are all bubbly and happy at the beginning. Anyone who has watched a Hello! Project audition before knows that doesn’t last very long. Why?
Because of people like Natsu-sensei and Marron-sensei who put these girls through hell.
So we get to hear them sing Takahashi Ai’s solo song on her last Morning Musume single. Interesting.
The episode then goes back to the dance lessons and what is shown is quite revealing. You can see those who have previous dance training or natural ability are able to pick up the choreography quickly. There is a lot of focus on Kudo as she easily burns through the choreo as if it was nothing but a walk in the park to her. I guess that there egg training comes in handy after all.
We then get to see those who are not so good at doing choreography.
And the first signs of cracking begin as the girls are split into groups and are asked to do the choreography. Ishida and Hinako looked pretty flawless for the most part. Satsuki, Meru and Sato were pretty much were lost right from the get go. Not good from the look on Natsu-senei’s face.
She went a rant about making it into Morning Musume what kind of attitude is needed to succeed. Something to the effect of Yoda’s “Do or do not, there is no try.” but in a much harsher & bitchier tone. The finalists are then reassembled and they practice the entire routine to end.
When they are dismissed the waterworks start for some. While others are more stoic in the criticism of their lack of dance skills. I too would probably cry if I fucked up part of an important audition. But as we all know, it’s how you recover from screwing up that counts.
With their first day of real training done the girls are sent to their dorm, or apartment or whatever and they spend the rest of the evening practicing singing or dancing.
The second day is spent with Marron-sensei and right away she makes someone cry. While I feel bad for Sara, she didn’t sound that good either so.. Yeah. I don’t mean to sound like an asshole but we all know how this works right? EVERYONE who gets criticized by Marron-sensei cries.
But in the end we see some results. At least in the dance portion where those who failed the day before were at least able to complete the choreography without falling down or stopping. The singing, man. Just sadness. My favorite Iikubo cannot project at all. Her voice is so, weak compared to some of the other girls. Sato did not fare as well either as she sounded off and forgot more words than Iikubo.
I have to say that out of all the singers that were shown I am most impressed with Kudo and Sara.
This episode ends with the girls being told they are being issued a special challenge. What kind of challenge? God know what the hell Tsunku and UFA have cooked up for these girls but I guess we’ll find out in the next episode.
Personally I would love it if Iikubo would be able to survive this and make it into 10th gen but it’s looking less and less likely based on what I saw here. I’m not sure who else to root for other than Kudo, who seems to be the obvious stand out at this point in the audition process.
I think I’ll wait for the results of the challenge before I start picking who I think will make into the group for real.