An Ayaka Rant.

Firstly, I realise that Coconuts Musume were never a particularly popular band within Hello! Project, on the contrary in fact, sales would support the idea that they had a very limited fan-base. However, that’s not to say they had no fanbase. Their limited popularity was in part I believe due to the promotion of the group. Looking at their first PV (Halation Summer) it’s clear that there wasn’t much money spent on the group, the video is pretty awful in terms of costume, setting and even camera. However, Halation Summer wasn’t a bad single, in fact I think it was a pretty good single and this is reflected in that Berryz Koubou did a cover of the single last year on their second mini-album. This pattern was repeated with their second and third PVs which again looked pretty poor in terms of quality, just who was doing Coconuts Musume’s makeup? Two original members departed simultaneously; April and Chelsea were replaced by Lehua Sandbo.

With this 4nin line-up Coconuts Musume released two further singles which like their second, sold pretty poorly. The best vocalist of the group, Danielle then also left the group leaving only two of the original five Coconuts Musume members plus Lehua. The group then released what I consider to be their best single, Jounestu Yuki Miraisen which sold better than their last four singles, but still very poorly. After this, a blank. Lehua left the group in early 2002 and the group became a duet, with Mika and Ayaka releasing no new singles and making sparse apperances. Mika had joined MiniMoni in 2000 which appeared to have become her main line of work, afterall Mini Moni was a very popular group. However, this left one question, what about Ayaka?

Coconuts Musume stopped getting new singles in 2001 and Mika left Hello! Project in 2004 after a succesful career with Mini Moni. However, as of 2007 Ayaka is still a Hello! Project and has still had little else to do since Coconuts Musume.As of 2001 Ayaka has been a member of the short live third generation Pucchi Moni and the one-shot group ROMANS. I can’t help but feel as a member of Pucchi Moni that Ayaka was somewhat of a “filler” member, next to Ogawa and Yoshizawa of Morning Musume it was unavoidable that the attention would not be on Ayaka. As a member of ROMANS, Ayaka had very few solo opportunities. Why? Ayaka is a reasonbly talented singer (by Hello! Project standards) and this is demonstrated by her concert performances.

It would seem that Ayaka is trapped in somewhat of a paradox, she is never given a central role as she isn’t a popular enough member of H!P and because she isn’t given central roles she can never gain popularity. Sure she has a fan-base, I’d say I’m a member of that, but it’s not a terribly big fan-base. Maybe Ayaka is happy doing radio work and making odd appearances on H!P shows (Uta Doki!) and at concerts with the Elder Club. However, I’d have liked very much (and I’m sure many other people would’ve too) if Ayaka had possibly released solo Coconuts Musume singles (Like Toda of Country Musume did).

Look forward to more H!P rants, the next one is also related to Coconuts Musume.

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