Hello! Project, the very epitome of Japanese idols. Since it’s creation in 1997, Hello!Project has held a number a significant number of well successful idols including Morning Musume, Matsuura Aya and Berryz Koubou. As of today many groups and soloists have come and gone; leaving us now with Morning Musume, Berryz Koubou, C-ute, S/mileage and Mano Erina.
From today’s selection, C-ute is arguably one of the most inconsistent groups. With it’s loss of members over the years and very unequal distribution of lines among members, many fans have lost faith in the group and shifted their attention to other idols. However despite all of this, C-ute still harbors quite a bit of talent within its remaining members. Although lead singers Suzuki Airi and Yajima Maimi garner the most attention on this front, there has always been one member who caught my attention the most: Okai Chisato.
During its earliest history, C-ute’s 3rd youngest member Okai Chisato never really stood out or received that much attention. She had a tomboyish image but that was about all most knew about her as she rarely took the spotlight or got any solo lines in singles. Most fans would get their first peak of her singing voice in C-ute’s 6th single (2008), Edo no Temari Uta II. It was all of two lines but it was enough to tell she definitely had a good voice and certainly was talented enough to be one of the lead singer in the group. However this didn’t happen and the singles of the rest of 2008 and 2009 would without any significant portions sung by Chisato.
2010… C-ute’s 13th single, Dance de Bakoon! was released. Dance de Bakoon! was no doubt a great song but it didn’t stop their, Chisato got a whole 4 solo lines. Although this may not seem like much, this was certainly more than the usual 1 line she’d get in an average single. Things were finally looking up for Chisato fans, it seemed as if Tsunku (Hello! Project’s producer) was finally acknowledging Chisato’s talent.
Fast forward to earlier this month (November 2010), C-ute opens it’s own channel on Youtube. Things started quite normally with a couple of video interviews and Music videos. But then came something that none of us could have expected….. In response to the large number of “dance-covers” to Hello!Project songs that various users had posted, C-ute’s very own Okai Chisato did her own dance-cover of Dance de Bakoon. The video soon became quite popular, with thousands of videos and many positive comments. As a result of the positive response and demand for more, Chisato would go on to also cover Ookina Ai de Motenashite, FOREVER LOVE and Massara Blue Jeans.
The fans, quite obviously, couldn’t get enough of these videos and the level of excitement just went up and up. Just when things couldn’t get any better Chisato released a full dance and singing cover of Matsuura Aya’s LOVE Namida Iro. This was just amazing, a full solo song sung by Chisato. But it didn’t stop their, the song was also released as a digital single on i-tunes, making Chisato the first member of C-ute to release a solo single.
With this digital single and her upcoming Photobook and solo DVD, Chisato is no doubt headed for success.