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As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, while I love compiling rankings of works released by Hello! Project, I refuse to give a subjective ranking of individual people, for various reasons. But Paul Thomas’s new poll is just so shiny I couldn’t resist…

So here is my objective ranking of Morning Musume, Berryz Koubou, and ºC-ute, using criteria that (I assume) no fan actually uses, consciously or not, to determine their favorites, though the near-perfect (except Kamei) spectral order of MoMusu is rather interesting and makes me suspect someone on the inside might be using a similar criterion to assign costume colors…

Sure, it might be a coincidence, but really, the probability of at least n – 1 out of n elements randomly appearing in a specified order is $\frac{n^2-2n+2}{n!}$.* In MoMusu’s case, n = 9, so the odds are about 1 in 5582.77. Hmm…

* I leave the proof of this formula as an exercise for the reader.