It’s a proven fact: idols are cute. In some way or another, they’re all cute. It’d be hard to find one that wasn’t! But I want to focus on two particular idols I’ve seen that have a really distinctive kind of look to them. They’re often overlooked in their respective groups, but I think they are really, really the epitome of what “cute” is, in its most stable form. I find it really hard to overlook these two, myself– I can’t figure out if it’s because of their talents, personalities, or looks, or a combination of all three, but for some reason, these two girls have grabbed my attention and struck me as real distinct cuties– enough so to make me do a little write-up on the two.

The first of the two that I want to focus on is Hayano Kaoru from AKB48’s Team K. I’m going to throw it right out that this girl does not havee the most fantastic profile pictures. I don’t know why, because in all the other photos I’ve seen of her she is just as adorable as you can get, but for some reason, her profile pictures haven’t always been the best. I’m not saying they were bad– I just really recall the first time I was researching H!P and I happened upon her profile picture at the time– she looked a little tired and a little bewildered (the one with the yellow background, if you’re so inclined to do some searching), but since then, her profile pictures have turned out a lot better. But still, don’t just judge her looks on those– she’s much, much cuter.

This girl first caught my attention when I was watching the performance of ‘Nounai Paradise’ from the DVD of AKB48’s Spring Conert 2007. She was dressed in that exact outfit and had her hair just like that, and she really impressed me with her dancing in that song. She really seemed to get into the song, and every time I think of that song, I end up thinking of Kaoru. In the following video (that said performance), you can see a fantastic close-up of Kaoru at 1:18, and at 3:08, you can see her doing peace signs at the crowd– probably my favorite random shot of the video– just Kaoru and the crowd. She shines throughout the whole performance, though, so the entire thing’s a good watch!

 

I thought, she just works very well with that song– until I started thinking about it more and realized that she works very well in almost any song! Nounai Paradise was a really fun song, and she just aced the mood of the entire thing. Then, later in the concert, she was in a smaller unit and was adorably silly in her performance of ‘Kurukurupaa.’ (Though I’m sure it’s hard NOT to be silly in outfits like this! And [here’s a link] to a performance of the song, if anyone’s insterested.)

 

She even worked well in a more intense song like ‘Hana to Chire!’ When I watched the DVD of Team K’s first stage, she absolutely blew me away in her performance in the song ‘Classmate.’ There’s no upload of it that I know of– I really wish I could share it with you all, because Kaoru has such charisma fitting for the song, but I have clipped the portion of the song where she got a nice solo verse. Because of that song, I learned that not only was she cute and a good dancer, she was a FANTASTIC singer. [Here’s her solo verse on Putfile, so you don’t have to download anything.] [Or here’s the file uploaded on Sendspace, since Putfile is acting a little wacky lately, if you still want to hear the song; the file is a little under 370 KB.] It’s really beautiful, I highly recommend giving it a listen.

This kind of versatility in talent is absolutely amazing; she has such idol qualities because of things like that. And as for her looks, I think she’s very versatile there, too. Kaoru can look like a really, really cute kid one minute:

 

And a real beauty the next:

 

Now, Kaoru isn’t an extremely popular AKB48 member (at least from what I’ve seen), and I can’t quite understand why– other than the fact that she’s not in any singles. That plays a, uh, pretty big factor. But still, just look at this girl. She’s got charisma, and a real sense of that classic cuteness that sets her apart from all the rest– she’s just so distinct that I couldn’t overlook her, even if I wanted to. And I swear, everything this girl does is cute. But I’ll leave you with one more example of just how cute Kaoru can be, from an MC segment– Kaoru’s turn is at ~5:55.

 

(Oh! And Happy Early 15th Birthday, Kaoru!)

The second ‘Classic Cutie’ that I want to talk about is Uchida Yuma (“Ucchi”) from TNX’s Canaria Club! Now, it’s really no surprise to be picking someone from this group, honestly. The members of the Canaria Club were selected from a group of 1000 girls trying to make it as models from the Spacecraft [Agency?]. And all of the girls are pretty. Riho, my favorite of the group, is one of the most stunning idols, looks-wise, that I’ve seen, bit she doesn’t have the certain… air to her beauty that Ucchi does.

I described in another post about the Canaria Club how I was pretty resistant to liking Ucchi at first. She’s a pretty shy girl, and because she’s one of the youngest girls in the group, I attributed that to her age. She seems pretty timid in most videos I’ve seen of the Canaria Club, but she always had an adorable smile that I noticed, and in PVs, even when she was clearly nervous (or came across that way from the ‘making of’ segments), she tried her very best to come off as though she’s having tons of fun in PVs. That spirit of trying hard eventually wore me down, and I looked at Ucchi a little more closely after that. She has a really loveable character– the other girls are always around being crazy, and she’s pretty chill, sometimes off on her own in the background, but when she needs help, lots of the girls always flock to her to help her out (in dance routines and such, so I’ve observed). And aside from everything else about Ucchi– I really can’t ignore her looks. She is such a cutie. Just like Kaoru, she looks so classic– her look, to me, is a real standard of timeless cuteness. She looks cute– all the time.

 

Ucchi didn’t start off with the most confidence– it was very easy to tell. She just seemed unsure of herself most of the time. But ever since the beginning of the group, Ucchi has progressed so much. She’s become much, much better in front of the camera, knows how to act on the spot when she needs to– and hell, even in recent pictures, she’s really starting to take on that full-blown classic look. She’s got a much more confident look in her eyes, and it does so much to amp up her physical presence in photos.

The one above is from one of their more recent promotions– for their first mini-album. The hands-on-hips pose makes her look so poised and confident– which is a huge step for timid, tiny Ucchi. Now this next photo I’m just going to leave a link to, since it’s so huge, but resizing it doesn’t highlight the look on Ucchi’s face quite as well: [this photo] is of the whole group, but just look at how stunning Ucchi looks! She’s the third person in, if you’re having trouble identifying her (she’s standing in the back row, leaning a little bit forward over one of the girls in the front). She’s got the most adorable mini-diva face right there! I love it! That smile just makes up for how tiny and pushed in the back she is there– she looks like a little, confident movie star or something!

 

Ucchi just turned 13 in early November, so she’s certainly got a lot of time ahead of her to continue growing in confidence and beauty. One of the most recent pictures I’ve seen of her is a profile picture, where she’s wearing the outfit for their upcoming single, “Faith!” And really, she looks amazing.

It’s such a tiny little picture, so I apologize, but it’s one of the fewI can find out of that outfit right now. The only other one of it is from a whole-group picture, and is also pretty small:

Needless to say, I really can’t wait until the bigger promotional pictures are released for this single– and the girls get their individual photoshoots in those outfits. I’m sure Ucchi will really stand out in those!

There’s really not that many Canaria Club videos out there to share with you all (aside from the Kokuchi-ch short videos that are always being added, but Ucchi really doesn’t make an appearance in too many of them), but I do want to share the PV for “Seishun Banzai,” where it really showed that she stepped up her game since the PV before that.

She has a close-up at around 1:17, and she just looks amazing there. So, so, so cute. Other notable Ucchi moments are at: 02:11– taking a big swipe at the camera and looking AWESOME at dancing (another HUGE improvement for her), from 02:17-02:22 (just a few seconds of absolute cuteness), and at 03:28 (a big peace sign right to the camera!) Of course, she looks great throughout the whole PV, but those were some of my favorite moments.

So for now, I’m eagerly awaiting their new release to see how Ucchi does, and just hoping that more people appreciate this Classic Cutie!

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Edit (12/10): And strangely enough, it’s the next day and the PV preview for FAITH! has been released! Here’s a [link] to that preview, and here’s a quick mini-review on what I saw (but I’ll still focus on Ucchi in a moment): The song has potential, I think. I didn’t mind it, at least, but I think it’s going to take a little time to grow on me. Ogawa Mana got a solo line in the preview, but mygod, that girl’s vibrato went crazy. Matsui Yurie also got a solo line (yay!), and she controlled her voice much better. ONE Riho close-up, which I’m disappointed about (and I could barely even find her in the dance portions). Speaking of that… the dance is a little silly in the very beginning, but it seems to get better as the song goes on. And that set… hello, SWEET&TOUGHNESS, take two! Plain white. Again. And a chair in some other random shots. Seriously, guys, with girly outfits like that, you need Kusumi Koharu-esque PV sets, not just… muted greys and blues and pure white!

And as for Ucchi… she was AMAZING! I had a good feeling about this PV for her before, and it looks like I won’t be disappointed! She looks absolutely natural in those outfits; her hairstyle is adorable, and she just looks beautiful in her close-up near the end of the preview! She’s gotten SO much more confident in front of the camera, and her dancing has definitely improved! I’m so impressed and proud of her! ❤

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