Just last night, I was talking with a friend of mine about how hairstyles tend to be a rather… tricky issue in the idol world, especially, it seems, in the groups I follow– namely Hello! Project and AKB48. Sometimes their stylists are spot on with their choices, and sometimes, you just have to ask, ” … what were they thinking?!” And with the release of the full PV for THE Possible’s new single, “Kaze no Uwasa,” I figured there’d be no better time to jump in and share my take on some truly heinous hairstyles– and some really fabulous makeovers, at the same time. (Well, alright, the fact that I’ve finally got no homework and I’m finally getting better from being sick all week contributed to that, too, but let’s just pretend I planned this from the start.) So, just a warning, before I get started. This post IS going to be pretty shallow since I’m really only discussing a particular aspect of the following idols’ appearances, so you’ll have to forgive my lack of depth in this, but remember, this is by no means an attack on the girls themselves– hey, it’s probably some behind-the-scenes stylist’s fault, anyway!

 Hairstyles Gone Wrong

Now, as I mentioned, THE Possible’s new PV for “Kaze no Uwasa” is out, and a lot of people have been talking about the girls’ appearances. Now, I am by no means an expert on THE Possible. I’ve tried to sort out their names, and I think I’ve got them figured out for the most part, but I MAY be wrong in identifying some of the girls, so feel free to correct me if you see I’ve mistaken one girl for another! So, the first, most striking example I’m going to pick on is, in fact, one of THE Possible girls– Akiyama Yurika.

In the dance portions (and some close-ups) of the PV, I hadn’t noticed anything wrong with any of the girls’ looks, really, but when it came to this, er, glammed up close-up portion, I had a feeling that something was going to inevitably go wrong. And it went so, so wrong for poor Yurika. The way that they pulled back her hair completely– only leaving very thin, longer pieces to drape over the front of her shoulders– is not doing anything right for her facial structure. With the kind of cheek definition she lacks, it’s not the best idea to pull back all her hair like that– it only leaves the entire outline of her face exposed, and, to put it bluntly, it just does not look pretty. Not to mention that they REALLY pulled her hair back– so much to expose some kind of hairline on the left side of her head [on the left when you’re watching the PV, that is, not HER left]– it sort of cuts in on the left unevenly, when there isn’t that odd unevenness on the right! If they’d left more hair down to frame her face, I’m sure she’d look just fine. This was just a really, really poor choice of a hairstyle for her.

And from the same PV, Robin, featuring and her mullet! I honestly think Robin’s adorable. I’ve had a soft spot for her ever since I learned there was someone from New England in Hello! Project. Being born in Boston automatically wins her points. And really, she’s adorable to add to that, but they really… need to leave her hair alone. I believe it was in a previous PV, Shushoku = GOHAN no Uta, that they gave her this shaggy cut that just…. didn’t work. And here they are again, messing with her hair. Much like Yurika, she looked just fine in the regular/dance portions of the PV, but when we get to the segment where they glam up the girls for their close-ups, things just went wrong. It’s a mullet… that’s all I can say. Well, actually, they gave her a LOT of make-up, too, much more noticeable than all of the other girls’, and just… this close-up look was not working for her.

Some notes on the rest of the girls, in general– the others were tolerable, and I think that Morozuka Kanami looked the best out of the bunch (with Goto Yuki as a close second), but even the best hairstyles just didn’t work for me, overall. They had that really “plastered-on” look to me– like they seriously took GALLONS of hairspray to these girls’ heads, and it made everything really flat, too-slick, and almost fake-looking to me. Aside from those more “glamorous” close-ups, the girls looked fine in the PV! I just think it’s kind of ironic that, well, those extra close-ups were probably meant to make them all look amazing, and it just… didn’t work. For me, at least. Anyway, next up!

Oh, her expression says it all, folks. This was one of the ones I absolutely HAD to include– it’s really one of my favorite hair atrocities ever. Usually they make me wince in sympathy for the poor girl, but this one…. I always get a kick out of this one. Poor Mia Sainen. I don’t know if her stylist had a VISION going here, but if they did, I’m guessing they were drunk, or high, or… perhaps just half-unconscious at the time that they attained that vision. It just looks like she got in the famous fight with the lawnmower, and, well, needless to say, it took her out. I don’t even think I need to explain this one– it’s just a total mess.

I apologize for the awful quality of this little screencap, but you get the point. Ah, yes, who could forget the infamous hairstyles in the “Hare Ame Nochi Suki” PV from the days of Sakura Gumi? Poor Eri got stuck here with some kind of spiky mohawk– actually, it looks like some form of sea urchin in the middle of her head– that just… is all wrong. It doesn’t mess with her facial structure, at least, it’s literally just the top of her hair itself that looks awful. And speaking of mohawks…

 

Multiple views there just so you could really see how massive that thing is. Now, folks, THAT is what I call a proper mohawk. But WHAT is it doing on Aki’s head?! And while she’s PERFORMING?! It’s actually pretty amusing to watch Aki totally rock out with that mohawk right in the middle of her head. I’m kind of surprised it didn’t totally come undone while she was dancing! [Here’s a link to the performance], if you want to watch the mohawk in action.

So, let this be a plea to all idol hairstylists out there– no more mohawks!

Now going into the AKB48 realm, I couldn’t help but to bring up Oku Manami’s rather unfortunate profile picture. This is another one of those hairstyles that looks like it’s pulled back so tightly it HURTS. And I really think this is another one that really speaks for itself. The picture actually shows an aspect of ALL of Manami’s hairstyles that has really irked me– the fact that they only style HALF of her head! In every picture I’ve seen of her, she’s always got one side of her head with some kind of style going on, while the other half is down. This may work now and then, but when I keep seeing it over and over again, it just looks like the stylists totally lose all creativity… or they may just get particularly bored when they get to styling this child’s hair that they give up halfway and leave. I actually think Manami has a very pretty face, it’s just… her hair! It takes away from how pretty she could be.

And here we have Masuyama Kayano and her antennae. This falls into the category of “this hairstyle is getting old!” along with Manami’s half-finished hairstyles. I’ve heard this style compared to a cockroach, and I’d have to completely agree. I honestly think Kayano’s adorable, but, oh man, the antennae/cockroach hairstyle is getting really old. Luckily, the stylists seem to be moving away from this style more recently. Maybe they’ve finally learned that the look just detracts from her natural cuteness, and righted their wrongs!

Now, I could really go on and on with examples, and these are just some of the ones that really stick out in my mind, but I’d rather move on to providing some GOOD examples– hairstyles gone right! Whether they just appeared out of nowhere, or totally revamped a girl’s look– despite the failures in the hairstlye department, sometimes the stylists DO get it right!

Hairstyles Gone Right

 

I’ve never really noticed Noguchi Reina’s (of AKB48’s Team B) look before. Well, actually, that’s a lie. I did sort of notice her looks when I was browsing the pictures of the Team B girls when they were first released– which is where that first picture is from. And, in those early stages, a lot of the girls looked a bit… raw, to be a little harsh, especially Reina, with her rather flat, choppy hairstyle at that time. And then I stumbled across the second picture a few days ago, and just… WOW. I am speechless. When these stylists know what they’re doing, they can do SUCH a great job. Gussan looks absolutely stunning in that second picture. The small pieces of hair falling down around her face are just the perfect touches to a gorgeous hairstyle like that. She looks LEAGUES better thanthat early photo, and that second, more recent photo prompted me, for the first time, to think of Gussan as really beautiful.

 

Another Team B success story– this time we have Kikuchi Ayaka. In her early photo, she looked a bit like a feral child, but in the second, she has much softer hair and a much less choppy look, and she looks like an actual, polished lady who didn’t just spend a week living in the woods!

 

The last in my Team B series is Watanabe Mayu. Again, in her early photo, the hair was just not working for her. Fast forward to more recent photos, and she’s absolutely adorable. Her hairstyle’s softer, less choppy, and it just works so much better for her. Well done, Team B stylists!

Kamei’s second appearance in this post, but now on the GOOD side! Now, there were some mixed reviews about this haircut when the pictures were first released, but I was an instant fan. It’s not often that Eri will really grab my attention in a Morning Musume group photo, but with this look, she totally did. She really looks fantastic with this look, and, well, really eye-catching!

What’s this, now?! Audition pictures?! That’s exactly what they are– screencaps from Maiha’s audition. I think they make the kind of statement I want to make about Maiha– that she had it from the start. I remember stumbling upon the audition videos for the H!P Kids and just squealing at the explosion of cuteness until Maiha’s turn, when my jaw dropped. I have no idea how old she would’ve been at the time of the audition, but she was the most beautiful kid out of the bunch. Her hairstyle was perfect. She had this really pretty, soft look that made her stand out from the rest. And even beyond her audition, I don’t remember ever seeing Maiha with a hairstyle that I thought looked horrendous on her. She could pull them all off. She really could do no wrong.

All of this really makes me wish Maiha had stayed around. Not just because of her hair, of course. When I was first venturing into the world of Berryz, I remember watching a few videos of Berryz on Youtube and just falling in love with her character, and when I learned she’d graduated before I even got into their music, it was a little heartbreaking. I eventually got to see concerts and performances from when she was still around, but it’s like I completely missed her run with Hello! Project– like I was watching some kind of shadow in the idol world from the recent past. I really wish she’d stuck around– at least until “VERY BEAUTY” came out. That would’ve been her song, her PV.
She would’ve proved herself the most beautiful Berry of them all, I’m sure of it.

Advertisements