Not what I came for but part of me wonders if being an idol uses drastically different muscles than being a figure skater because that would explain a lot...
Back to why I did come to the thread/this is going to be quite a stream of consciousness because I've been checked out of H!P for awhile so today's post will focus on MM. I think I'll just start generationally up and down since that might be easiest:
I've always been a fan. Next to Riho she was my favorite 9ki and probably my current second favorite, behind Masaki. What I wonder (and it's not really all that important because what I'd be proposing is a counterfactual (parallel world, hypothesized world... Economics term I can't remember if counterfactual is correct for)) is whether Mizuki would be a front-girl in any previous incarnation of MM? I hate to say it but i don't think she has the natural "It" factor that front girls like Riho and Reina had (say what you will about Reina's lazy performances but she still had "It"). I think in any other incarnation, Mizuki would've been a solid Kame-level B-Girl. Not pushed to the corners like 8ki but definitely not a consistent lead.
Gotta say, I'm impressed with how far she's come. She'll never be a lead girl (except maybe for her grad single?) but there's definitely technique (? I hate saying technique because I'm not educated in vocals but it's the only way I know how to describe it) to her singing now. She's also benefiting hugely from the idol transformation and physically looks like she could transition into a magazine model.
Still not really feeling her voice. She's easily the best dancer but her voice still lacks a layers (?) or depth (?). I can't explain it well but I will say her voice seems best suited to doing raps like in Jealousy Jealousy.
Most improved? Haruna really is a testament what day-in and day-out training can do. Some individuals might have inherent talent but I think Haruna shows that if you're committed (and consistent) that anyone can improve. I actually quite like Haruna's singing voice and watching her Brand New Morning recording session it was obvious that she tries very hard and that's always endearing to see as a fan.
I think Duu might (currently) have the most naturally pleasant singing voice in MM. right now. The issue I have is the opposite of what makes Haruna so endearing; I think Duu knows she's talented and more talented than the other girls. The girls joke anecdotally about how narcissistic Kudo is but I think she really might be. The best I can explain it is that during her recording of BNM she didn't seem to be "on". Granted it might just be how it was recorded but compared to how hard Haruna appeared to be trying that just didn't come across with Haruna.
It makes me sad that she's out but appreciative that UF* is letting her because they really don't seem to want to repeat Aika's situation. That being said, front girl material. Front girl charm. Front girl talent.
For the longest time the image of Sakura only being given lines to belt-out (Help Me!!, Brainstorming) that she seemed one dimensional. Lately though she seems to be taking on a lot softer (?) of lines which is changing my impression of her. Also, as of late, her styling has gotten tremendously better.
I don't get it. She seems to fade in the background. She looks exactly the same as when she joined.
Visually stunning, same issue as Akane.
I get why they're pushing her. She's gorgeous. That's all I really got though?
I'm torn. One one hand she seems to be the most talented 12ki but on the other I wonder if H!P is pulling a Mika Todd and exploiting Miki for her English skills. She definitely got lines in English in Jealousy Jealousy but I hope that's not all she gets. I also get the impression that Miki wants to be closer to the center and will do everything in her power to do so, which I like.
Not much to say yet but from first impressions it seems Yokoyama might be getting a little harder of a push than Kaga? Regardless neither seem green or amateurish. They blended right into the group.