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Hello! Project’s Battle of the Colors 20 Years Later

It’s March and that means two things: spring is upon us here in Japan and another battle! March is all about seeing gorgeous cherry blossoms. I can’t wait for these beautiful blossoms to bloom around my neighborhood!

What are you planning to do this March?

A Battle Full of Color

As I said in the previous post, March 8 is International Women’s Day.  This year, this day is super special for those who are fans of Hello! Project, a Japanese pop supergroup. 20 years ago on March 8, 2000, three color-themed shuffle groups put out their single in hopes to be crowned the best shuffle group of the year. What were these groups? They were Akagumi 4 (Red), Kiiro 5 (Yellow), and Aoiiro 7 (Blue).

It was part of a devious plan devised by the producer of a Hello! Project, Tsunku. The shuffle groups were very popular as they came on the heels of Morning Musume‘s huge popularity in 1999 (Morning Musume is part of Hello! Project). Also, the release was well-received by the public as the journey leading up to the groups’ releases was televised on a popular TV show called ASAYAN.

Battle of the Colors (2000) Hello! Project

As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of Hello! Project. I have been a fan of the group for about 16 years, first introduced to this mega-group by an internet friend. Since then, I have collected a lot of Hello! Project, been to many concerts, and met many members. There are many reasons why I love this group: the lyrics, how the music relates to my life, the members, the tunes, and yearning to be like a Hello! Project member.

But, who will win this “Battle of Colors”? Check out the songs after the brief history of Hello! Project.

(By the way, this used to be called “battle of the Songs” but I am thinking of renaming this segment as “Battle of the Bands” to go along with the other participants. Also, not to confused anyone. “Battle of the Bands” is a segment of my blog where I feature two battles per month. Each battle features two songs that I choose and readers can vote for their favorite. Check out the other participants down below!).

An autographed Morning Musume CD and me

The History of Hello! Project

Tsunku, Hello! Project producer

To understand the history of Hello! Project, you have to first go back to 1997. Japanese rock band Sharam Q, which Tsunku was the vocalist at the time, decided to hold auditions for the next female vocalist. The whole audition process was televised on TV, something like American Idol or Pop Idol. The winner was then 18-year-old Michiyo Heike. The end. Not quite!

Tsunku decided to give the five runner-ups — Yuko Nakazawa, Natsumi Abe, Kaori Iida, Asuka Fukuda, and Aya Ishiguro — a chance at being singers. The five girls formed Morning Musume and were given a challenge: sell 50,000 copies of their demo single (“Ai no Tane” The Seed of Love) in only five days. They actually did, with the last copy being sold right here in Nagoya. Morning Musume made their major debut in 1998 with “Morning Coffee”. They became more popular than Heike, who was the winner of the audition.

With Morning Musume and Michiyo Heike being active artists, their management decided to form the umbrella group called Hello and a fan club with the same name. Soon other acts like Yuko Nakazawa, Tanpopo, Coconuts Musume, and Taiyo to Ciscomoon were added to Hello. The umbrella group was renamed in 1999 as Hello! Project.

Hello! Project 2020
Hello Project as of January 2020

Over its 22-year history, Hello! Project has enjoyed huge success with members of diverse talents and backgrounds. Although the principal genre of Hello! Project is pop, the group has dabbled with such genres as country, folk, Enka, and R&B. Members also have come from diverse backgrounds and from different countries. As of 2020, Hello! Project members have come from Japan, China, Taiwan, the USA (Hawaii), and South Korea. And, the fanbase is not only in Japan but all over the world as there are countless fans in Asia, North and South America, Europe, and Austalia/Oceania.

The Original Battle

At the turn of the century, Tsunku had a brilliant idea: let’s shuffle all of the members in Hello! Project (at the time) into three groups and make a challenge out it. So, the members were split into three groups: Akagumi 4, Kiiro 5, and Aoiiro 7. Each group features members with diverse talents but also a unique tune.

But, there can only be one winner! That was the true purpose that Tsunku envisioned when he started the shuffle groups. Although the winner was announced twenty years ago (from the CD sales), it is time to revisit this first battle one more time to celebrate these shuffle groups.

Listen to all three songs and choose your favorite by commenting below. I added a translation of the comments made by the producer for each song instead of my own commentary. Enjoy!

Kiiro 5 – “Kiiroi Osora de BOOM BOOM BOOM”

The unit consists of Michiyo Heike, Abe and Yasuda from Morning Musume, RuRu from Taiyo To Ciscomoon, Ayaka from Coconut Musume. Normally, they are considered as the skilled vocalists in their own groups. By putting them together in one group, a competitive, energetic and stimulating atmosphere was created. This unit is about soul-classic dance music. In another words, I’ve combined the good quality of Morning Musume and Taiyo to Ciscomoon together. When you listen to their song, you’ll feel like having lots of fun. They have really good choreography as well.


Aoiiro 7 – ” Aoi Sports Car no Otoko

This group consist of Mari Yaguchi and Kaori Iida of Tanpopo, Sayaka Ichii who had a great breakthrough with Pucchimoni, Atsuko Inaba, who has sharp dance skills, from Taiyo to Ciscomoon, Miwa Komatsu who has come back from her hiatus, Mika from Coconuts Musume, and new member Lehua. These members are to be expected to grow a lot in 2000. I wanted to create a group with a sense of freshness and speed that included the color blue.

Although there was a large number of people, I wanted to create a song that popped out with a sense of energy and speed. I also had high expections for the members as I wanted them to convey the song in a digital punk style. They surely did it!


Akagumi 4 – “Akai Nikkichou

The youngest, Maki Goto, was matched with the wholesome American member Danielle and Miho Shinoda and Yuko Nakazawa who has had life experience. It’s an unexpected combination, but this group has various possibilites. Becasuse of this, preparation took the longest for this group. Yet, Goto learned a lot after being in this group.

For the song itself, there is a strong beat within a beautiful melody. I decided to make it a song that could answer immediately with “red” to the question “What was the song’s image?”, Yet, I think there is a unity of colors within the lyrics and arrangement. I guess I can call it “a tune that can express one’s feelings fully” for a long time, right?


The Winner For “It’s Getting a Bit Furry With These Two Pet Centered Songs

Thank you to all who voted in the Pets-themed battle between The Beatles and Queen.

The Winner of the Battle is…


It was a very close battle! Queen won by only one point! Wow!

Here are the results for anyone who is curious:

It's Getting a Bit Furry With These Two Pet Centered Songs

Who Will It Be?

Now it is your turn to vote! Who will be the victor? Tell me in the comments below! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

I am also part of the “Battle of the Bands” blog collection. After you vote, please visit the other battles:

🌞 Visit TOSSING IT OUT by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit MIKE’S RAMBLINGS’by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit CURIOUS AS A CATHY by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit ANGELS BARK by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit THE DOGLADY’S DEN by clicking HERE.

Pin This!

Battle of the Colors 20 Years Later (Hello! Project)


[1] “Kiiroi Osora De BOOM BOOM BOOM.” Hello! Project Wiki,


This Post Has 117 Comments

  1. Arlee Bird

    Not my style of music for the most part, but the first one in jarring yellow drew my in with its groove. I’ll vote for them.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  2. Cathy Kennedy


    Your battles are always interesting. I narrowed my picks between the first and third group. The first band’s song is a great tune to get you on your feet. I really liked that, too. But, I believe it was the sweet sound of the third band that won me over. Please give my vote to Akagumi 4 – “Akai Nikkichou” !

  3. Cyndi Buchanan

    I have never heard of any of these bands. Great battle to get music out there to people.

  4. Brandi

    What a fun idea! I haven’t heard of any of these groups. I do love listening to music throughout my day, though!

    1. aisasami

      What kind of music do you like to listen to?

  5. Mary

    It all sounds so interesting and fun, even though I’ve never heard of this group, you just did a really good job of creating an awareness for me.

    1. aisasami

      Thanks for stopping by! ❤️ Did any of the songs stand out for you?

  6. HiYa, AMY ~
    I hope you’re doing well.

    I kind of agree with what both of my fellow BOTBers already wrote above: It’s “not my style of music for the most part” [said Lee], and “I narrowed my picks between the first and third group” [said Cathy].

    In the final analysis, like Lee did, I also chose to vote for “Kiiroi Osora de BOOM BOOM BOOM”. I liked the level of energy of it, and it almost seemed to me like the sort of song / production one might have seen on one of the early 1970s American television variety shows. So, it almost had a slight nostalgic appeal for me.

    ~ D-FensDogG

    1. aisasami

      Thanks for the vote! Actually, as I told Arlee, the producer of the three groups, Tsunku, is a big fan of disco and post-disco. He credited D-Train ( as his inspiration for some of Morning Musume. songs. He also influenced by The Beatles (he had a cover album where he sang a lot of their songs), Queen, folk-rock, and etc. He was born in the late 50s, so his music is influenced by the tunes he grew up with. There was a special book to celebrate Hello! Project and it was interesting how he and other arrangers, lyricists, musicians, and composers made Hello! Project. It is an interesting read!

      You can check out the results and participate in the next battle here:

  7. Holly

    What an interesting battle. This music is definitely not what I normally listen to, but I appreciate being exposed to it.

    1. aisasami

      What kind of music do you listen to?

  8. Candice Rice

    The first reminded me a bit of ABBA for some reason! Maybe the clothes hahah. Second remind me of Bengals and the third was a bit sad! My pick is 2! How fun!

  9. Neely

    This is super interesting. Not something I’m really into but I liked reading about it

  10. Stephanie

    What a fun idea to take such a big super group of singers and divide them up for a battle. They are all great, but I think my vote goes with the red group on this one.

  11. Nati

    The muic is not quite my favourite style, but of the three I think I’ll vote for the yellow.

  12. Luna S

    This post is so much fun! Thanks for putting this together it was exciting to read.

    1. aisasami

      Glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by! ❤️

  13. Chad

    That is not 100% my music genre but I don’t mind it at all. My vote goes for the Yellow.

  14. Amber Myers

    I haven’t heard of any of these bands before. I will have to give them a listen for sure.

  15. Angelica Chacon

    I personally haven’t heard any Japanese pop music but I enjoyed reading your post! Great read!

    1. aisasami

      Glad you liked it!
      Thanks for stopping by! ❤️Did any of the songs above become your favorite?

  16. Marie Phillips

    I have never heard of this group. It is awesome that you have been able to follow along with them and keep up with them for so many years.

  17. Magen

    I’ve honestly never heard of these bands but I’m not a huge kpop fan. I’m always amazed those by how catchy kpop music is though!

    1. aisasami

      This isn’t Kpop, that is Korean music. This is Jpop, which is Japanese music.

  18. This is stepping out of my music comfort zone I am telling you! I am not familiar with that sort of music but always up to discover new tunes!

    1. aisasami

      Glad you enjoyed it!
      Thanks for stopping by! ❤️

  19. Krysten Quiles

    I’ve never heard of this and it’s not usually my type of music but I still love this post and appreciate you opening up my eyes. Thanks so much friend!

    1. aisasami

      Thanks for stopping by! ❤️ Did you like any of the songs above?

  20. Raksha

    I haven’t heard this kind of music before. But it was interesting reading your post and I enjoyed it. Maybe I should listen to the music now.

  21. Mark

    Music is something that gets me going all day but it’s the first time I’m hearing of these bands. Great songs

    1. aisasami

      Music is such a powerful thing. Which song did you like?

  22. Ting

    wow these bring back good ol’ days when I listen to Jpop and Japanese drama.

    1. aisasami

      Oooh, I love Japanese dramas. Which one do you like?

  23. Crystal Mendez

    I haven’t heard of of these songs before. Super interesting. My votes goes to Kiiro 5 – “Kiiroi Osora de BOOM BOOM BOOM”

  24. Monica

    I had never heard of Hello! Project. I’ll have to ask my kids if they’v ever listened to their music.

  25. Christa

    Visiting Japan to see the cherry blossoms is on my bucket list! What a beautiful time of year.

    1. aisasami

      It is definitely something you need to come and see! Thanks for stopping by! ❤️

  26. Shruti

    I have never heard of the Hello Project. But, I really like Angels bark. Thank you

  27. Neil Alvin

    Amazing. Your article is a very worthwhile read. I learned something from it. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Danielle Rice

    I’m not familiar with these groups. Gonna have to go on YouTube and do some research

  29. Unapologeticallymeblog

    I’d never heard of them. I’ll have to look them up. Thank you for sharing!

  30. Michele

    I have not heard of them. I listened to it and I like it. Thank you for sharing!

    1. aisasami

      Thanks for stopping by! ❤️ Which was your favorite?

  31. Kathy Kenny Ngo

    I’m a 90s baby and I’ve never heard of them. Their music is interesting though.

    1. aisasami

      Thanks for stopping by! ❤️ Which one did you like the best?

  32. Julia

    This is so cool! Love discovering new music 🙂

  33. Kylie

    I’ve never heard of any of these bands but wow, what a fun concept! My vote would be for the first!

  34. Jon Maldia

    I’ve never heard of these bands. Sounds pretty cool though.

  35. Chelsea Sauve - Wandure

    This is such fun! Thanks for sharing this dynamic crew.

  36. catherine santiago jose

    Honestly, I have never heard that group nor listening to their songs but dividing the group and doing a battle is really interesting!

  37. Renee

    Music is such a big part of my life. I really enjoyed reading this

  38. Amirah Ab

    Hi there, Music is something I really don’t pay much attention to, but I liked reading this post. Thank you

  39. I absolutely LOVE your posts! This one opened up new trends and existing ones, too.
    Isn’t it great how the Japanese groups collaborate?

    1. aisasami

      Thanks for stopping by! ❤️ And thanks a lot for liking it!

  40. I love the energy in this style of music. The only Japanese music I’ve heard before are a few Anime tracks. This almost heralds back to the Gloria Gaynor-esque disco era. Very cool!

  41. Claudia Blanton

    I wish I have heard of these bands before, but now I am watching all of the videos that you shared – thanks for expanding my horizon – blessings!

  42. Yes to cherry blossoms! I experienced the Sakura Festival in Japan a few years back and it was awesome. I haven’t heard about these bands but they look so cute and I can’t wait to listen to their songs. Thanks for sharing!

    1. aisasami

      This weekend is when the cherry blossoms are supposed to peak bloom. I am super excited. Thanks for stopping by! ❤️

  43. Michael

    I miss those charismatic MVs during those era.. Haha! What a time really.

    1. aisasami

      Hahaha, they were great back then! Don’t you miss how they made music videos? Thanks for stopping by! ❤️

  44. Maysz

    They all deserving I love their voices it’s hard to choose but I choose Akagumi 4 – “Akai Nikkichou” for this music battle 🙂

  45. Khushboo Motihar

    It was lovely to read about the history of Hello! Project. It is so fascinating! Kiiro 5 sounds amazing 🙂

  46. Bindu Thomas

    I hadn’t heard about these brands. This is very interesting

  47. Kristine Nicole Alessandra

    I’d give my vote to Kiiro 5. The song is very “disco-ey” and it makes you get up and dance. Love the beat and the girls really did a great job with the song.

  48. Ami Rose

    I haven’t heard of this group myself but it’s not really my genre of music! I’ll have to have a listen though!

    Ami xxx

  49. Autumn

    I love that Queen won the music battle! They are my favorite band of all time!

    1. aisasami

      ❤️ Glad you are happy with their win!

  50. Yemi King

    I have never listened to this type of music before but the yellow group looked really sweet. Though the Blue ones seemed pretty cool!

  51. Mariyam

    That was a close battle between Queen and Beatles because they’re equally amazing in their own ways. Also, I liked the concept of Hello Project. 🙂

  52. Trijit Mallick

    Music battle..!! OMG..!! That’s really nice. Though I have not heard about it before but I really enjoyed it.

  53. Ting

    I’m planning to stay home and practice social distancing this March. So this is good for me to listen to while I do that!

  54. Chirpybrains

    Wow. It was fun reading this. Keep sharing such content 🙂

  55. Lily

    Looks like a fun group. Love them I am gonna check out some of their music now.

  56. Trisha

    K- Music is a vibe in itself !! And this is such a great concept.

  57. Devin Phillips

    I enjoy the efforts you have put in this, appreciate it for all the great blog posts.

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