Hello Project! Teens

I read an interesting post a few days ago on a forum regarding the fate of some of the Hello! Project Kids who aren’t really kids anymore. What started as one massive group of child performers splintered into two smaller groups of child performers, and now, many of these child performers have grown up somewhat, for instance;

Shimizu Saki (Berryz Koubou Captain): 16 in November
Tsugunaga Momoko (Berryz Koubou): 15 in March
Tokunaga Chinami (Berryz Koubou): 15 in May
Sudou Maasa (Berryz Koubou): 15 in July
Natsuyaki Miyabi (Berryz Koubou): 15 in August
Umeda Erika (C-ute): 16 in May
Yajima Maima (C-ute Leader): 15 in February

Thus as you can see from the above, seven out of the fifteen Hello! Project kids turn 15 or 16 this year. I think at a push 15 can still be considered in the kid category but certainly not 16. Indeed, all of the members mentioned above are either on par with or older than two members of Morning Musume. Definately not kids. The fate of these aging Hello! Project Kids is unknown, whether they will simply remain in their respective groups and produce more mature records or whether they will graduate and form something new in Hello! Project remains to be seen. What can be said for sure is that the Hello! Project Kids are becoming Hello! Project Teens. I think this year will be interesting in terms of graduations from these two groups, I can’t see that Umeda Erika will remain in C-ute for instance after 2007, she’ll be 17 next year afterall. However, with °C-ute’s first major single to be released next month and Berryz Koubou’s 13th single, the Hello! Project kids show no sign of stopping.