Erina Mano’s Final Single With Hello! Project Coming Out!

Erina Mano will be releasing a new single, “NEXT TO MYSELF”, on December 12th. The new single will be her last with Hello! Project.

The new single will come in 4 different versions: Regular Edition, a Limited Edition with only a CD, and 2 other Limited Editions that include a DVD.

Erina Mano will be graduating from Hello! Project on February 23rd. The singer will be holding a farewell concert titled “Erina Mano Memorial Concert 2013: OTOME LEGEND ~For the Best Friends” the same day. Tickets go on sale on January 26th.

Idol group S/mileage audition recruits chosen

The Hello! Project idol group S/mileage has announced the results of its recent audition for new members. Five new girls have been added, but they will start out as “sub” members rather than as official members.

The auditions started in June and roughly 2,000 people entered in the initial round. The field was narrowed down to 12 girls for the final round, and producer Tsunku selected five of the finalists to join S/mileage as sub-members.

The five new faces are Katsuta Rina (13), Kosuga Fuyuka (13), Nakanishi Kana (14), Tamura Meimi (12), and Takeuchi Akari (13).

The first single that the new members will participate on is “Tachiagirl” (タチアガール), scheduled for release on September 28. They are also expected to participate in S/mileage’s nationwide tour that begins on September 10. They will also appear with the four current official members in a new photobook titled “S/mileage 1″ that goes on sale on September 26.

Tsunku plans to wait until at least the end of October before formally announcing whether each of the new recruits will become an official member. If they don’t become part of S/mileage, he says that they may become Hello! Pro Eggs, debut as a separate group, or even leave Hello! Project completely.

“Gomennasai” horror movie to star Buono!

Hello! Project trio Buono! will star together in a movie for the first time. The movie is titled “Gomennasai” and is an adaptation of a popular mobile phone novel. Asato Mari (“Ju-on: Kuroi Shoujo”) is directing.

“Gomennasai” is a horror story set in a high school in the Kanagawa prefecture. The three main characters are Hidaka Yuka (Suzuki Airi), Kurobane Hinako (Natsuyaki Miyabi), and Sonoda Shiori (Tsugunaga Momoko). The story starts when Shiori is unable to beat the talented Hinako in a test, and she begins getting harassed about it. Hinako is later forced to write the script for a play that will be performed at the school festival, but from that point on, people around them begin to mysteriously die one by one.

The three members of Buono! will also apparently appear in secondary roles as themselves, addressing the audience about real-life horror stories.

The movie is scheduled to be released this fall. Buono! will also sing the theme song, which has not been given a title yet.

Yamada Nana to lead NMB48 no After School

The recently launched NMB48 idol group has just landed its first recurring television appearance. Starting next week, the members will have their own corner on Tuesdays on the live morning show “Ohayou Asahi Desu,” which airs on weekdays from 6:45am to 8:00am.

The new corner is called “NMB48 no After School.” The main host will be member Yamada Nana (17), formerly known as Nakayama Nana. She is also known for previously being part of the Hello! Project unit SI☆NA and for being the sister of NYC’s Nakayama Yuma.

Yamada will appear each time with two other members of NMB48, visiting various workplaces to experience them first-hand. For the first corner, on March 15, Yamada’s partners will be Watanabe Miyuki (17) and Kotani Riho (16). Together, they will go to the Takashimaya department store in Namba, dressed up in elevator girl uniforms, in order to study the essence of hospitality.

“Ohayou Asahi Desu” is a local show that has aired on ABC TV (Asahi Broadcasting Corporation) in the Kansai region since 1979.

Read the rest of the story: Yamada Nana leads NMB48′s first regular TV segment | Tokyograph.

Ai Takahashi to graduate from Morning Musume this fall

Morning Musume leader Ai Takahashi (24) will graduate from the group and Hello! Project at the end of Morning Musume’s fall tour, it has been announced. The news was delivered during the Hello! Project winter concert at Nakano Sun Plaza on Sunday.

Takahashi joined Morning Musume in August 2001 as a 5th generation member, which means that she has the most seniority out of the current members. She has also served as the group’s sixth leader since June 2007.

Morning Musume just added four members a week ago with its 9th generation, following the graduation of Eri Kamei, Junjun, and Linlin on December 15. Last summer, at the time it was decided that the three members would graduate, producer Tsunku told Takahashi that she should also think about the timing of her own graduation. As a result, she will continue her duties as leader while the new recruits ease into the group. At the end of Morning Musume’s fall tour, she will pass on the role of leader to Risa Niigaki (22).

Takahashi said that she plans to continue her music career, including stage shows and live performances.

Berryz Koubou’s Otakebi Boy WAO!

The official PV for one of the two a-sides from Berryz Koubou’s 22nd single titled Otakebi Boy WAO! has been released.

Members at time of release:
Shimizu Saki (Captain) (清水佐紀)
Tsugunaga Momoko (嗣永桃子)
Tokunaga Chinami (徳永千奈美)
Sudou Maasa (須藤茉麻)
Natsuyaki Miyabi (夏焼雅)
Kumai Yurina (熊井友理奈)
Sugaya Risako (菅谷梨沙子)