Name: プッチモニ (Pucchimoni or Petitmoni)
Date of debut:October 3rd, 1999
Record label: zetima
Disbanded:December 17th, 2003
Pucchimoni (sometimes called Petitmoni) was a Japanese girl group which debuted on the talent search show ASAYAN in 1999. They were signed to the agency UFA and managed by Tsunku.
ASAYAN was a tv show, aimed at producing new music artists. Morning Musume was formed through auditions on this tv-show, and they were frequent guests ever since they debuted in 1997.
On October 3rd, 1999 Tsunku announces his plan on creating a new unit. He wants to create another sub-unit (like he did with Tanpopo one year earlier) using members from Morning Musume. He reveals that the members will be Kei Yasuda, Sayaka Ichii, and Maki Goto. Rumors say that the choice of girls was because of Goto’s success in Morning Musume, and the fact that Yasuda and Ichii had sung a catchy song (Otome no Shinrigaku) as a duo on their second album.
While the unit’s name remains undecided, the members go ahead and start a new radio program called “Mo Musu Daiba/Diver!”
The following week, Tsunku announced that there will be no leading position within the group. (However, normally during music shows, Ichii acts as a leader. Later, on the “ASAYAN” website, Ichii is described as a member with “a leader-like quality”)
On October 17th, three possible names for the unit are announced; “Pucchimoni”, “Konmoni” and “Yanmoni”. Tsunku decides to go with the name «Pucchimoni». («Pucchi» meaning tiny and «moni» from the first syllables in Morning Musume).
At the end of October, their debut single is announced. It is titled «Chokotto Love» («A Little Bit of Love»). It was released on November 25th, and landed in 1st place on the Oricon charts, charting for two weeks. On February 7th sales reach 1 million. It also ranked as #1 on the Karaoke Chart. This record blocks the on-going record created by Morning Musume’s “Love Machine”, which had been ranked as #1 for 15 consecutive weeks. As an all-female trio group, this is the best domestic sales record historically and the record has not been broken yet (2010).
The toal sales for the single was 1.123.610 copies.
In May 21, 2000, Sayaka Ichii graduated from both Morning Musume and Pucchimoni.
Over the following years, new members would come and go, and the group ended up releasing 4 singles and 1 album (and 1 compilation album in 2008, despite being inactive for 5 years) before the group went on hiatus in 2003.
The group was revived shortly in 2009 (with all new members). Plans were probably to revive all the old groups (with slightly new names) to make profit from the nostalgia, but the idea seems to have been dropped, as they only released one song on a cover album. They performed songs at a few concerts together, under the name Pucchimoni V.