SweetS, pre-debut (2003)
Today marks ten years since SweetS’ debut. These five girls had just gone through training and already formed friendships that would last a lifetime. Their ages ranged from 11-13 and they still managed to feature killer vocals.
All five girls were blossoming stars with undeniable talent. While all had their strengths and weaknesses, even their flaws added charm point. They debuted during a magical time in the J-Pop world, when creativity, talent, and personality went a long way. Although they were together just under three years, SweetS made an impression on their most loyal fans that will never fade away.
Aki Kashiwagi, our fearless leader! She was always known for being very foregoing, for gentler words (read: she was bossy!). This girl was born with a boost of self confidence that was inspiring for her age group. She never faltered to chatter away in interviews and there wasn’t a second thought to correcting a fellow SweetS member. Despite her tough exterior, she was really very gentle at heart. Her closeness to each girl and how strongly she felt about her friendships made in SweetS shone through behind the scenes and especially today. Aki is currently thriving at EXPG, participating in auditions. She refuses to ever let go of her dream and she’s making sure she has fun while doing it!
Aya Yoshimura, the powerhouse vocals! Aya was always known for being the kind, shy girl, with random outbursts of her fearless personality. Although she tended to be on the quieter side and observe, she loved joining in on pranking her fellow SweetS members or go off with a hilarious story. She was sweet, gentle, and silly. Out of all of the girls, she was probably the diplomat. She always took her work seriously. The one thing we all know Aya for is her amazing voice. There wasn’t a line that she couldn’t deliver. ￥Aya poured her heart into every SweetS song. She’s currently pursuing a solo career and experimenting with what sound works the best for her.
Haruna Takewa, the heart of SweetS. What isn’t there to say about Haruna? She started off as your typical sweet girl — giggly, sometimes shy, but full of confidence. Haruna had attended Starlight Dance School previously so she was familiar with performing and dancing. What took everyone by surprise was her sweet, melodic, and powerful voice. Haruna was the complete package — vocals, dancing, cuteness, and personality. She was always ready to play with her fellow SweetS members, was the first to giggle at a joke, and handled every situation with adorable charisma. Haruna recently graduated from the cosmetology school of her choice and is working at her dream salon.
Mai Iwaswaki, our strong SweetS personality! Mai was the kind of girl that wore her heart on her sleeve. If Mai was feeling sad, you knew it. If Mai found something to be funny, her husky laugh would fill the room. Her expressiveness was endearing. She wasn’t afraid to stick up for herself and she wasn’t afraid to admit when someone hurt her feelings. She was a breath of goofy fresh air. Despite being honest with her emotions, Mai was like the class clown. She was always involved in the pranks. Her stage persona was that of the brave little toaster — she put her all into every performance, drawing on her training from Starlight Dance School. Her voice grew stronger over her years in SweetS even though she was never a front girl. She was the perfect piece to the SweetS puzzle. Mai is currently in school and appearing in local TV commercials.
Miori Takimoto, the spark that SweetS needed! Where to begin with Miichan? She’s the one that grew into a shinin’ star — and has truly been loved every step of the way. She was our shy wallflower that blossomed. She used to be so soft spoken and apprehensive about her actions. She never held back her talent, though. I think her voice was the most underrated of SweetS and that is partially due to her shyness. As time went on, she got bolder and she really shined in her solos. After SweetS, Miori decided to pursue an acting career… and actually succeeded! She’s become a very popular actress in Japan now, but we can never forget her amazing days in SweetS.
These five girls together really created the perfect unit, incomparable to any other. Where one member lacked, another had a strength. SweetS still remain in contact and are great friends even to this day, despite very busy schedules. Aya, Aki, and Haruna see each other frequently and all five girls keep in touch.
Even more, SweetS touched many lives of their dedicated fans. I’ve met so many amazing people through my fandom in SweetS and some of these will be lifelong friends. What did SweetS do for your life?
So, thank you to SweetS for being everything you were (and still, and always will be) to us! And thank you to all of the fans that still take the time to update yourselves on them. These five girls are loved, so very loved.