For todays GETS!!! we’re going back to a time of milk and honey. A time when all was flowers and lollipops in H!P land.
First up: Petit Moni.
Ah, Petit (or Pucchi) Moni. The second subgroup (the first one being Tanpopo) created during the Golden Age of H!P. The singles pictured above are BABY! Koi ni KNOCK OUT! and Pittari Shitai X’mas!, the group’s third and fourth singles. These represent the best of the second generation of Petit Moni (Yoshizawa Hitomi took over for Ichii Sayaka after she left both Petit Moni and Morning Musume). I always found it to be a weird mishmash of members. I can understand Yoshizawa Hitomi, Ichii Sayaka and Goto Maki but I never understood why they added Yasuda Kei. Not that I’m complaining, her (in)famous intensity served the group well. Although the group went on to have a third generation after Goto Maki and Yasuda Kei graduated, they never released another single and become a pure concert/performance group.
Next up: Country Musume.
I often call Country Musume “the unit that never really had a chance”. They had an original concept. They were to be a more folksy kind of group. The idea was for them to have the image of “country girls from Hokkaido”. Unfortunately one of the original members Yanagihara Hiromi died in a car crash days before the release of their first single. After meandering for a while, being reduced to a single person unit, releasing a string of unsuccesful singles and somehow adding another member, their original producer gave direction of the group to Tsunku, the producer of Morning Musume. He revamped the group and introduced the idea of periodically rotating members of Morning Musume to sing with Country Musume. This resulted in Country Musume ni Ishikawa Rika (when Ishikawa Rika was rotated in) which gave us Iroppoi Onna ~SEXY BABY~ (first picture above) and Country Musume ni Konno to Fujimoto (when Fujimoto Mike and Konno Asami joined) which gave us Uwaki na Honey Pie (second picture above). With this rotation system, Country Musume was a lot more succesful and attracted two new members. The idea of “country girls from Hokkaido” largely dissapeared though. Looking back, you can see how Ishikawa Rika’s stint somewhat foreshadowed her time with v-u-den.
This GETS!! post seems to have scratched that retro-itch I’ve been having. Still, there’s more to come though, stay tuned!