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2018年4月5日 - How many members for an idol group, how many groups in H!P and why I don't release my post about Up-Front just yet

Posted by keaine, 05 April 2018 · 237 views

I'll start by answering my third question: I've said previously that I would cover the four main idol productions and I started a while ago with AKS. The next in line of their importance should then be Up-Front. So what am I waiting to write my article about it? Well, in fact, I'm waiting for the situation to stabilise a bit. You know that Up-Front has known a lot of cration and disapperance of groups which makes an analysis quite hard to make, but I'd like to wait a few months to see how the current groups are doing.

So then, the rest of this post will be about something I'd have liked not to do a post about it, but I didn't find anywhere on the forum to say it, so I'll just leave it there.

How many members should an idol group have?

Well, the obvious answer is: it depends on the groups and its members. In my opinion, Hello!Project has two groups made for a large number of members: Morning Musume。 and Angerme, and four (before Ichioka's and Takase and Kiyono's one) groups made for a "small" number of members: Juice=Juice, Country Girls, Kobushi Factory and Tsubaki Factory (it's more like three and a half groups, but still).
No, the two real questions I wanted to ask is: how many members should any group have at least? and how many members should any group have at most?
The 48 groups have taught us that for the upper bound of members for an idol group, there's none. That said, what I think is true is that if you go over, say, 15 members, there's inevitably going to be left-behinds (that said, I think that between 12 and 15 members, balancing a group isn't easy either), but 48 groups play with it by making a competition to reach these 15-ish spots so that every member has to fight for it.
As for the other question, I'd say that nowadays, 5 members is a bare minimum. Groups with less than 5 members are really unstable in terms of members who could possibly leave or there's just not enough personalities to appeal to enough fans. But I'd say that even 5 members is risky. °C-ute made it with 5 members because the 5 members were really stable, no major sickness for example. That's quite of an exceptional situation: if you consider other 5-member groups, they tend to be less stable. For example 5-member Juice-Juice had Karin struggling with sicknesses and Tomoko has endometriosis which can be hard to cope with at times, so that when one or more member is missing, you immediately feel the gap in the performance. That's why I think 6 members is safer (and may be the reason why they added two more members, but that's just speculation).

How many groups should Hello!Project have?

The question's not easy as it depends on the groups at a certain point in time. As Tsubaki has managed to emerge as a real group in H!P, this leaves us with 6 groups in H!P at the moment (or 5 and a half if you consider Country Girls is now "half a group"*). I think that there's now room for one more.

*I like the group, but with the reorganisation of its members and being only a digital single group and such, I feel that Country Girls is only "half a group" nowadays.