Continuing my posts all about currently active Hello! Project groups here I present to you the rundown on the Current Berryz Koubou members.
Saki Shimazu is a Japanese singer with the idol group Berryz Koubou.
Nicknames: Saki-chan, Sakitan, Saki, Captain, Sakicap, CapSak (H!P nicknames aren’t renowned for their originality).
Saki was born on 22nd November 1991. Within two days Klaus Kinski and Freddie Mercury had died. This isn’t really related except that several years later Saki would end up in a group with Tsugunaga Momoko. Momoko being every bit as bonkers as Klaus Kinski and every bit as entertaining as Freddie Mercury.
Shimizu joined Hello! Project as one of the fifteen Hello! Project Little Bastards Tykes in 2002. In 2003, she was chosen as part of the group XYZ, which consisted of five Hello! Project Kids and Yasuda Kei. Following a rather hefty bill for psychiatric therapy from the parents of the five kids Tsunku had a rethink and instead put the five members into a new group called ZYX. This time he included Yaguchi Mari as the experienced member. They apparently released two singles but I can only remember one. You know the one. It had a pv where they were wearing caps. Yeah that one. In 2004 Saki was one of the eight members of the H!P Brats Tsunku expected least from so he hastily put them in a group called Berryz Koubou. His theory (born out later by record sales) being that it would be better to take his time with the better members and have one good group than rush everything or mix the good and the bad and end up with two poor groups. The better members became the idol group C-ute and the rest is history. Their history. So back to Berryz Koubou…
Saki was chosen as Captain of Berryz because she was the oldest. She soon grew into the role (although she didn’t grow much) and became popular with fans despite never being given a photobook.
Saki stayed in Berryz until they split up in 2012 after their 36th single ‘Genghis Khan’s Monkey Dance with Cinderella’s Bus Guide Rival Scarlet’. Critics panned the release saying that Tsunku had run out of ideas. The single sold 1,235 copies (each fanclub member bought 50 each) and stayed at number one for one week. It was Japan’s 27th best-selling single of the year. Chew on that the next time you download a file from AKBOnline’s tracker. Following the break up of Berryz Saki moved to the parent company Up-Front Artists where she did nothing and after a year abruptly left to become a make-up artist.
Tsugunaga Momoko is a Japanese fruitcake, idol, singer, former child actress and insane person. She is a member of the Hello! Project Kids second-string group Berryz Workshop Still In Progress. More importantly she is also the leader of the probably now defunct supergroup Buono.
Nicknames: Momo, Momo-chan, Tsugu-chan, Moko-chan, Willthisdoasanickname-chan, Insanity Batshit.
Momoko was born to two escaped lunatics from an asylum in Chiba, Japan on 6th March 1992. On the same day the Michelangelo computer virus began to affect computers. Yes madness had arrived. Momoko was chosen as one of the 15 H!P Kids and joined Hello! Project in 2002. She immediately got the starring role in the Hello! Project movie ‘When is Another Momusu Member Appearing’ which was also released under the title ‘Koinu Dan no Monogatari’. In 2003 she was chosen for the aborted XYZ group and then put into ZYX. In 2004 Tsunku decided there should at least be one interesting member in second-fiddle kids group Berryz Koubou so he reluctantly abandoned plans to have Momoko in C-ute.
Following Berryz split Momoko successfully carved a career for herself as a tv personality. She became a standard fixture amongst celebrity gameshows as ‘that mad little one’. She retired from the entertainment industry in 2033 and formed the Batshit Insanity religion. The religion was a great success and now followers can be identified by their habit of always holding out their pinky and also by their habit of being completely batshit insane.
Chinami Tokunaga is a Japanese singer and idol with Berryz Koubou. A group that is better known as ‘the ones that aren’t C-ute’.
Nicknames: Chinami, Tokkuriina, Chinacchan, Chii-chan, Toku-san, Chinny-Chin-Chin, Oh Jimmy Hill, Nagger.
Chinami was born on the 22nd May 1992 to two parents presumed human. She joined Hello! Project as one of the H!P Kids and quickly became known as ‘one of the H!P Kids. Can’t remember her name. Not Maimi or Momoko or Airi though. One of the other ones’.
Chinami stayed in Berryz until they split and then retired from the entertainment industry. She used her savings to buy a shed and lived out her days dreaming of one day owning a house and a garden too.
Maasa Sudou is a Japanese former heavyweight boxing champion, probable lesbian and singer/backing dancer with the Hello! Project idol group Berryz You’d All Be Working In A Shop If You Weren’t Doing This.
Nicknames: Maa, Maasan, Mama, Suu-chan, Maasive, Sumo.
Maasa was born on July 3rd 1992. Her mother had been a Japanese national shot put champion and her father a sumo wrestler. Maasa joined the Hello! Project Kids as a minder in 2002 when she was 10 (years of age and stone). She was quickly drafted into the Mini Moni movie to keep Tsuji and Kago under control and was then put into Berryz Koubou as Risako’s personal bodyguard. In 2009 she won Japan’s WeightWatcher’s Slimmer of the year award and then coincidentally released a photobook.
Maasa made her adult acting debut (but not in the AKB way) in late 2010 in the movie Eating Light Lunches Isn’t Fun. Tragically her career and indeed life was cut short on Christmas Day 2011 when she was accidentally eaten by Risako at a Berryz Fanclub event in Hawaii.
Miyabi Natsuyaki was bred from Lucky Lady (a mare that had won several prestigious Japanese horse races) and a stallion called Speedy Boy (that had fallen at the first fence in several less-prestigious Japanese horse races). Miyabi was delivered by a vet on August 25th 1992.
Nicknames: Miya, Miyabi (WTF? How is that a nickname? I mean it’s her actual name. That’d be like calling every album by it’s release number…oh), Miiya, The Filly, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sexy Legs Long-Face, Sugar Lumps.
Miyabi joined the Hello! Project kids in 2002 where she kept the other young idols entertained by giving them horseback rides around the H!P offices. She then became one of Berryz Koubou and became known as ‘the one with great legs’. More importantly she was put into the idol supergroup Buono with Momoko Tsugunaga and Suzuki Airi.
Miyabi left Berryz Koubou shortly after Maasa was eaten by Risako. She cited the reason as being that Berryz had been booked for the 2012 Japan Expo in Paris and they eat horses over there. Clearly Maasa’s fate had played heavily on her mind. Miyabi retired to live a quiet life in the countryside where she owned a little farmhouse with stables. Sadly one day in 2016 she fell while cantering around a nearby field and was shot by the same vet who had delivered her all those years earlier.
Yurina Kumai is a Japanese idol, singer and holder of the Guinness world record for being Japan’s tallest person.
Nicknames: Yuri, Yurina, Kumai-chan (they don’t get any better do they), Beanpole, Mount Fuji.
Yurina was born on August 3rd 1993 to two Japanese basketball players. She joined the H!P Kids in 2002 and went on to be one of Berryz Koubou where she had to forever put up with being photographed standing next to Momoko by bored photographers who were doing it for the lulz.
Kumai left Hello! Project after Berryz disbandment and went on to become a highly successful supermodel. She became stinking rich and bought Hello! Project from Up-Front Artists in 2021. She then spent the next 20 years making Tsunku suffer for all the times she had to stand at the back to the side because Risako was getting all the attention again.
Risako Sugaya is a Japanese singer, former loli and cannibal. She is a member of Hello! Project idol group Berryz Koubou.
Nicknames: Rii, Risako, Sugu-san, Fatty Fat Fat Fat, Hannibal, Duck-Face.
Risako was born on April 4th 1994 and quickly became popular with males of all ages (but especially middle-aged ones). She joined the Hello! Project Kids in 2002 and was put into Berryz Koubou as punishment for getting bad results at school and answering back to her parents. She quickly became the really popular one amongst men with little imagination and released 87 photobooks in the next five years.
Risako continued to be popular amongst males possibly because of some mass-hallucination or maybe she’s been putting love potions in the water or something. Beats me as I really don’t see the attraction. In fact so great is her popularity that even when she accidentally ate Maasa Sudou while on one of her out of control food benders her popularity didn’t diminish. Risako married nine times (the first five times to older men and the next four to toyboys), had three children and became a virtual recluse.