Hello! Project (ハロー!プロジェクト) is the umbrella name for all the female idol groups under contract with UP-FRONT GROUP Co., Ltd. and managed by UP-FRONT PROMOTION. Since its creation in 1998, the main producer and songwriter of Hello! Project was Tsunku, the lead singer of Sharam Q, until he resigned from his position as the general producer in October 2014. The current leader of Hello! Project is ANGERME's leader, Wada Ayaka.
Morning Musume (モーニング娘。), currently known as Morning Musume. '18 (モーニング娘。'18) is the flagship group of Hello! Project. The group was formed in 1997 on a talent show called ASAYAN. They quickly became one of Japan's top girl groups with a number of hit records and albums. Their combined CD and DVD sales exceed 22 million copies in Japan alone. Their producer, Tsunku, is responsible for the composition of the majority of their songs and lyrics, production of their CD-sleeve covers, designing of their costumes and make up and their live shows. The group is known for their ever-fluctuating line-up, with "graduations" and auditions held nearly every year. The current leader of Morning Musume is Fukumura Mizuki.
ANGERME(アンジュルム), formerly known as S/mileage (スマイレージ), is an idol group within Hello! Project. Originally started as an indies Hello Pro Egg unit in 2009, S/mileage was formed by four first generation members with the possibility that the line-up would be shuffled. The group graduated from Hello Pro Egg in 2010 and became full members of Hello! Project. The group changed their name in late 2014 to ANGERME to celebrate the third generation members and to signify a turning point in the group's image. The group is currently comprised of members across six generations. The current leader of ANGERME is Wada Ayaka, who is also the designated leader of Hello! Project.
Juice=Juice (pronounced as ジュースジュース) is a female idol group under Hello! Project. They were originally formed by five members from Hello Pro Kenshuusei and a soloist on February 3, 2013. The group currently consists of 7 members, one member having left in 2013, and two members being added in 2017. The current leader of Juice=Juice is Miyazaki Yuka.
Country Girls (カントリー・ガールズ), formerly known as Country Musume (カントリー娘。), is a female idol group within Hello! Project. The group originally debuted in 1999 as Country Musume, known for its concept of being a group of "country girls from Hokkaido". The group's activities became inactive when Satoda Mai became its sole member in 2007. On November 5, 2014, the group was revived with completely new members under the name Country Girls. The current leader of Country Girls is Yamaki Risa.
On June 9, it was announced that Country Girls would be switching over to a new system after Tsugunaga Momoko's graduation. Morito Chisaki, Yanagawa Nanami, and Funaki Musubu would simultaneously join another Hello! Project group for their main activities, while Yamaki Risa and Ozeki Mai will focus on their studies. Country Girls would mainly perform on school breaks and holidays due to the change. In addition to this, most of their singles from this point will be released in a digital format.On June 26, through a special episode of Hello! Project Station, it was announced that Morito Chisaki had joined Morning Musume, Yanagawa Nanami had joined Juice=Juice, and Funaki Musubu had joined ANGERME; all as concurrent members.
Kobushi Factory (こぶしファクトリー; Magnolia Factory) is a female idol group within Hello! Project. Debuted in 2015, the group was labeled as being the successor of former idol group Berryz Koubou, following a similar naming pattern as them (Koubou meaning "workshop"). Their sister group is Tsubaki Factory. The group originally debuted with 8 members, but has since been reduced down to 5 members. The current leader of Kobushi Factory is Hirose Ayaka.
Tsubaki Factory (つばきファクトリー; Camellia Factory) is the second "Factory" group from Hello! Project. Formed in 2015, they were primarily an indie idol group until their major debut in 2017. Being a "Factory" group, they are also considered to be a successor to former idol group Berryz Koubou alongside their sister group Kobushi Factory. The current leader of Tsubaki Factory is Yamagishi Riko, with the sub-leader being Ogata Risa.