UPDATED Articles in various Japanese newspapers have revealed that Country Musume will be relaunching after all in the form of a new unit, dubbed Country・Girls (カントリー・ガールズ).
The unit features Hello! Project Trainees Yamaki Risa (17) and Inaba Manaka (16) as well as three new girls: Ozeki Mai (12), Shimamura Uta (14) and Morito Chisaki (14). All three non-KSS members of Country・Girls participated in Morning Musume’s recent 12th generation audition.
Both original Country Musume member Satoda Mai and Berryz Kobo member Tsugunaga Momoko will shepherd the group as GM and ‘playing manager’ respectively.
Momoko will be the “Playing Manager” of the new Country Musume。 ‘s members during 2~3 years to make them grow together and become adult, following the expectations of Mai and to pursue the history of the group.
Mai Satoda will be the “Supervisor” and fix, regulate the abilities of the group.
The group will perform for the first time at the upcoming 2015 Hello! Project concert tour. It will not be produced by Tsunku but will be part of Hello! Project.
This announcement comes as a surprise to many since the audition to find new Country Musume members was declared over with no winners back in August of this year.
The news also comes right after the announcement that Tanabe Nanami and Yoshihashi Kurumi are no longer part of the Hello! Project Trainees.