Sunday, 29 December 2019

Of Album Releases and Graduations: Houkago Princess to Release 2nd Album as Three Members Descend The Throne!

On December 22nd 2019, Houkago Princess finally revealed the covers for their second studio-album release. Ttitled My Princess II, the album will act as a sequel to the groups first album, My Princess.

Two editions will be available to purchase, both in a Regular Edition form and a Limited edition release. The Limited version will include a DVD that contains the groups three most recent music videos. Both editions will come with 13 tracks from the groups latest releases, as well as three '2020' renditions of their more popular and recognisable songs.

Left: Regular Edition  |  Right: Limited Edition

Taking on the theme of My Princess, My Hero, My Princess II aims to showcase both the cute and strong sides to a Princess. By creating an expression of strength on both covers, whilst still maintaining the individual cuteness of each girl,  My Princess II is the groups representation of a Princess who will face adversity head-on and become her own type of Hero.

The Regular Edition cover features the groups most recent costumes from their single releases for Abrakatabu Luv!, Kaguya ni Negai wo and Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi. The Limited Edition, on the other hand, includes costumes from the groups major debut release Seifuku Cinderella up until Shin Jidai Princess, with the only costume missing being the outfit for Sayonara Duarena.

This will also be the last release for members Yukino Yuria, Yamamoto Natsumi and Takano Hiyori, who will all be graduating from the group at the end of the release events for My Princess II.

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Idols Of Advent: The Sparkling Snow's Illumination - SODA's 'ILLUMINATE☆SNOW' (Quick-Spam Review)

Sometimes it is just nice to watch it snow...

Merry Pic-Spam, and a Giffy New Year!

Corny? Yes, but it had to be done, because this is acting as my Christmas Eve / Christmas Day hybrid post, and also 'cause it includes a few gifs and pics in a smaller quantity than usual. Which leads me to my next bit...

This is a Quick-Spam, a brand new kind of post that I may never return to, because I am a one-off kinda gal with these sorts of posts. With that said, the reason for this being a Quick-Spam kind of post is mostly due to the fact that the PV in question - SODA's ILLUMINATE☆SNOW - is very short at only 1 minute and 40 seconds long. And I will be whizzing through this, so please don't expect a hefty post this time around.

My main reason for choosing such a short music video for review (which I never do) is mostly down to time, but also because I found this one pretty endearing. Sure, it doesn't have that much depth in terms of story line or editing, but it has charm. It's an easy video to watch as well, and the song is darned cute. So, yeah... I chose it because it's cute. What more do I need for Christmas Eve / Day? After all, it's a day that is about fun, spending time with others, eating food and spending stupid amounts of money on sometimes pointless presents.

And before I head into this Quick-Spam Review, SODA is a 3-piece Idol unit that was created for the purpose of singing for and promoting AppFreaks' smartphone game, Idol Girls. Each of the girls are voice actors for the game itself, which will explain their high-pitched, chipper tone of voices. Debuting just this year, ILLUMINATESNOW is the groups second single. They are managed by SubZero.

Now it's time to start the review. In order to celebrate Christmas, let's get into the spirit with something cute, fun and... foody! Are you ready to celebrate Christmas the right way this year by eating plenty of delicious food, just like the SODA girls? Or will you spend it watching Idol videos all day long, singing and dancing to the beat...

It's time to dig in and have a Merry Christmas!

Monday, 23 December 2019

Idols Of Advent: A Memory Of One Snowy Night... - 26ji no Masquerade's 'Snow Memory' (PV Review)

Winter is that one time of the year where everyone is expected to be happy. Eating delicious food, listening to and singing along with festive songs and spending time with those you love are a part of the winter appeal, and throughout the world winter and christmas is broadcasted as a fun, festive season that all can enjoy.

But what if the cold nights and gentle snow fall only bring you sorrow? With memories buried deep beneath a blanket of snow, each snowflake that drifts down from the sky pierces your thoughts until all of the memories you had buried away resurface, as fresh as newly fallen snow...

With time constraints galore, work taking over my life and tiredness engulfing me, I was originally going to forfeit writing any additional posts related to winter, snow and Christmas after posting my review of Nan kini!'s Snow Dome. I am just too tired... BUT! But, but but, I really wanted to review this music video in particular , firstly because it has 'Snow' within the title, and secondly because it's one of my favourite song and PV releases from 26ji no Masquerade.

It was with this strong desire that, despite my lack of sleep since 14:00pm yesterday afternoon and having worked all day, I sat myself down and began screen-grabbing and giffing the heck out of this music video, all with the intent of creating a smaller, more compiled pic spam related post.

Well, that never went to plan, because what we have here is another hefty, 83 piece set of images in one bulky ol' post. Condensing? Don't know her. Whittling down my content for efficiency? Who the heck is that? No matter what, I seem to forget all reasoning when it comes to these types of posts, because in my mind the lengthier it is, the better. After all, my pic spams are created for fun, to showcase the visuals of the PV and to create some weird commentary along the way. These posts were never meant to be about efficient reviewing or elegant script - it's all about the pictures, the commentary and the quick end-of-review that I tack onto the end of it all.

So, yes - this is a hefty post once more, though I managed to do everything in record time in regards to gifs and screen captures of the music video in question. Honestly, I just couldn't help myself; Snow Memory is extremely pretty. It is honestly mesmerising to watch, as well as a great track to listen to. And hey, don't let the gorgeous environment and well-edited shots fool you: This is an indies PV, and a mighty fine one that that!

Yet unlike the previous PV I reviewed - Snow Dome by Nan kini! - Snow Memory stands on the opposite end when it comes to what it portrays and the emotion it sets out to deliver. With a melancholy sound and even sadder story line, 26ji no Masquerade create a beautiful piece that depicts the sadness the snow can bring, as well as the bitter memories you had hoped would fade away in the years gone by.

No matter how much time has passed, no matter how much the snow melts away and the seasons change, these memories will stay with you. And even when you try and stop time to ease the memories you locked away, one way or another, the past will always come back to haunt you...

Times change, but even when you grow older you will always remember that Snow Memory you buried all those years ago...

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Idols Of Advent: Under The Snowy Dome - Nan kini's! 'Snow Dome' (PV Review)

... Oh crap, Christmas is four days away. *cue cheesy spiel*

As the night grows dark and the air begins to bite at your cheeks, with cotton gloves clinging to your finger tips, the scent of winter falls upon you. Crisp and fresh, a smile or a grimace might fall upon your lips. Like it or not, with the tell-tale signs of winter comes one thought:

"The holiday season is upon us."

And if you're lucky, this season will come with the magic of snow...

Let's get ready to celebrate~

Nan kini! are new to both this blog and myself, mostly because i discovered this PV last year and only happened to rediscover it in the run towards December, back when I was figuring out what PV's I would be reviewing for this year's set of festive posts. Immediately this one stood out for its name, look and sound, which happens to full under the category of: Very Christmas Idol.

Or something like that. It makes 0 sense, I know, but let's just go with that for now.

Anyway, I fell in love with this music video after watching it, and during my adventures in screen grabbing and gif-ing the heck out of this PV for the fun of this post, I decided to learn about the group in question whilst also checking up on the members themselves to see if my favourite from the video was still in the group. As it so happens, none of the members present within this music video are apart of the group, with all of them having graduated by April of 2019. To further that slight blow, I also came to learn that this video has also been unlisted, something that confused me at first... until I started digging, that is.

Here's a run down of the graduations and events, just to keep everyone up to speed before we delve into this adorable Christmas music video:

Inui Michiko, a second generation member, left in January of this year to pursue academics, whilst the other three - founding members Shiratori Yuuna and Nagisa Hoshino, as well as 2nd generations Chonan Mai - left the group in early May, however the groups activities had been suspended from April 27th, with all of their activities being cancelled up until May 10th this year.

The group has since been restarted with 7 members, and a CD debut is set for January 2020, however the sudden departure of the Nan kini! system that we see in this music video was not a happy one. With issues regarding how the management treated the members being cited as one of the reasons for the members' quick leave of the group, it makes sense why the video in question has been unlisted, especially as management are now 'restarting' Nan kini! as a whole with this new generation and single release. So,if you decide to search for this PV on YouTube, please be aware that you will have a hard time finding it thanks to its 'Unlisted' status.

As luck would have it, however, I had previously saved the link in a draft I keep specifically for Christmas videos, ultimately allowing me access to the video despite it being hidden from general viewing.

With that said, I didn't actually know it was unlisted or even find out about the drama behind the group until I had finished the task of screen grabbing and gif-ing the PV itself. Yet once I found everything out about the groups history and all that had happened, I was of two minds: scrap the review altogether, or go on with it. Given that I am currently writing this, you can see that I chose the latter, and it's mostly because I love the video itself, and I find the song charming in a cute-but-weak type of way.

What can I say, it charmed me.

Anyways, in regards to the song: Snow Dome comes from the groups first album, Boku no mado ni, kimi no kazegafuku, and may have been one of a few PV's from the album, which actually dropped on January 13th this year, and is still available to buy on Amazon Japan, as well as to listen to on Spotify.

Now it's time to watch a cute music video and get ready for the festive season! Snuggle up in your PJ's and get the hot chocolate out, because winter is coming and we need to keep warm!

As the nights get colder and the snow starts falling, you snuggle up all warm and cosy inside your house. And then when you put your favourite Idol winter songs on you can't but think "Ah, the festive season has finally begun...~"

Monday, 18 November 2019

The 9th Cake Day

Okay! Musume Time turned 9 today. It has been nine years since I started writing on this blog, yet despite the number of posts decreasing, I'm still here celebrating the life of this blog.

I have created a lot of memories here, most that are happy, weird and wonderful, and some that were stressful and a burden on my mental well-being. Regardless of the harder times though, I'm happy that this place has become a sanctuary for me in recent years. I'm happy that something I created when I was 18 has become a source of comfort for me.

It feels a little silly, celebrating the birthday of a blog and thinking of it in such an emotive way, but this platform is a big part of who I am. This is - and was - my way of keeping my love for Idols alive, sharing that same love, fuelling my desire to write, as well as a means of finding other people who loved the same groups as I do (and did). It also became a way to improve myself as a writer, vent and review, and it furthered my love of music videos and music. This blog is a big part of who I am, and 9 years since I started Okay! Musume Time I have grown alongside this blog as both a writer and an Idol fan, and you have all helped me to grow in how I think, how I see things and how I hear, too. Without everyone who commented, messaged or encouraged me, I don't think I would have improved in writing or in how I think.

I love this place and its readers with all my heart.

Last year I didn't celebrate Okay! Musume Time's 8th Cake Day. I was so caught up with this idea that I would shut it down and stop talking about Idols that I lost all sense of time. I don't believe in regrets, but I do feel sad that I didn't celebrate my blog's cake day like I usually do, which is why I wanted to do something this year, even if it was just in the form of a brief post.

Okay! Musume Time is special to me. It will always be a place of Idols and happiness, and I am proud that it has lasted this long. I think that the reason it stands at 9 years is because of the readers and my friends who encouraged me a lot, especially during the times where I thought I couldn't continue or that I was so bad at writing or talking about Idols.

I have wanted to quit many times, but there's always a pull that brings me back to Okay! Musume Time. So thank you to everyone who has read it for all these years and for those who have only recently started coming to the site. Even without words, you encourage me to keep going.

Thank you for letting Okay! Musume Time reach its 9th Cake Day. You are all wonderful.

Much Love,
Chiima / Kelly~

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Idol'ween: The Rise of Lucifer Bear - Summon Alongside Iketeru Hearts in 'Ziashou no Lucifer' (PV Review)

It's finally halloween, the evening of October 31st where children dress up in cute or terrifying outfits and roam the streets. Will candy be thrown into their bags, or are tricks littering the streets this horrifying night? Whatever it may be, the magic, mischief and malevolence is high in the air tonight, and Idol'ween is coming to a close. But before we say goodbye to our spirited Idols in their cutest get-up, let's take a look at the grand finale they have in store for us all tonight...

Tonight's offering: Idols who summon! Are you prepared for what these girls have in store for you this Hallows Eve...?


I have wanted to review Zaishou no Lucifer for a while now, ever since it first came out actually, however never got around to actually doing the review or the Halloween series itself until now. Procrastination is a bitch, but thanks to my desire to return to Halloween PV Pic Spams - and a major thanks to everyone on Twitter who voted for this Music Video to be reviewed - I am finally getting around to checking out Zaishou no Lucifer, the first and only PV to get me interested in the idol group Iketeru Hearts!

Not to say this group isn't interesting - pretty sure they are - but they have never really managed to capture me as a listener or a viewer. With all of their recent and past endeavours in music, I have been left unimpressed, often wondering just why others want me to check them out. I've checked them out plenty, often hoping for something unique, wonderful and catchy that will keep my eyes trained on this group, and more often than not the exact opposite happens. I just can't get into this group.

And yet Zaishou no Lucifer is the exception to the rule here, because this is an incredible masterpiece of a music video, as well as a wonderful song. Catchy, entertaining... it's everything I could have ever wished for from a group that rarely stands out to me, and I do continually wish that they would bring something this edgy and unique to the rest of their discography, but... alas! Tis not meant to be!

I am happy this exists however, because regardless of my feelings towards Iketeru Hearts, I love Ziashou no Lucifer a great deal, and it's thanks to the voices of Twitter (your votes), as well as this love I hold for the song and video that allowed me to get through this heavy Pic and Gif spam review today.

And without any further delay, let's sit our asses down and enjoy some Idol antics, sacrificial lambs, summoning Lucifer Bears and more. It's time to fall into our own cute Hell, Dear Readers, so prepare yourselves.

They might look cute and innocent, but if you step into their territory then your body and soul are up for grabs! In this atmospheric land of idols and Bears named lucifer, let's summon our Overlord together and go on an adventure. Now's the time to prove to the world that Lucifer truly exists...

Let the summoning begin!

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Idol'ween: The Simulation of Death - Fall at The Mercy Of JyuJyu in 'Noroi Hajime' (PV Review)

With magic, mischief and malevolence on the horizon this Hallows Eve, let's celebrate the day of tricks, treats and dress up with our very own Idol'ween where I will review a selection of PV's themed around magic, nightmares, dress up and horror! Whether it's cute or spooky depends on the group in question, but with a collection of cute idols, fun themes and one or two spooky PV's thrown into the cauldron, there will be something for everyone to enjoy!

Tonight we enter a simulation of death, one that is difficult to escape. With a lot of persistence, a little bit of knowledge and some evasive skills, you might just manage to get out of your little predicament. But be careful, because no matter where you run, no matter how much you hide, the members of JyuJyu will try their best to find you!

It's time to tip toe our way through the house and use our skills as Horror Game masters to get through this hellish nightmare that is JyuJyu's horrific PV. Are you ready to fight for your life, dear readers...?

Formed in 2014 and currently active with four members - Neu, Miori, Yurane and Chiyun -, JyuJyu are an alt-idol unit who focus on the cursed, the darkness, the absurd and jealousy. Toting one of the earlier 'dark themed idol groups' gimmick ahead of a few other groups, I was initially intrigued by JyuJyu some time ago, but never continued this interest in pursuit of my stereotypical 'cute' idols. Of course I try to keep up with them, however life gets in the way of that. Therefore, I watch their music videos every now and again, often stumbling upon hidden gems.

And boy oh boy is this a hidden gem. Perfect for the season of horror and malice, JyuJyu's Noroi Hajime creates a wonderfully hostile environment that creates fear of ones surroundings, fear of the unknown and more. Viewer discretion must be advised, however: This PV is violent and dark, with depictions of death and blood throughout. So for your sake I am leaving a trigger warning before the pic spam begins for those of you who do not like seeing violence or horror themes in your media.

With a quick revelation to add, the PV for JyuJyu's Noroi Hajime was released on October 29th, 2016. Without even realising it, I procrastinated this review until its third anniversary. So, Happy 3rd Anniversary, Noroi Hajime!

Now, for those of you who will take on JyuJyu's challenge of survival however, I hope you are prepared for what's about to come your way. What will you do in your moment of danger, and will you find a solution to your problem? Or will you perish like many others have done before? It's time to find out in this game of cat and mouse, so get ready.

Chosen your character? Good. 

G A M E  S T A R T!

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Idol'ween: Idols Suck (as Vampires) - Sink Your Teeth Into IZ*ONE's 'Vampire' (PV Review)

With magic, mischief and malevolence on the horizon this Hallows Eve, let's celebrate the day of tricks, treats and dress up with our very own Idol'ween where I will review a selection of PV's themed around magic, nightmares, dress up and horror! Whether it's cute or spooky depends on the group in question, but with a collection of cute idols, fun themes and one or two spooky PV's thrown into the cauldron, there will be something for everyone to enjoy!

Tonight's pick should create fear, however thanks to a few cheesy scenes and a complete lack of terror, horror or fear, the up-coming review is as cheesy and cheap in thrills similar to that of a tacky Halloween costumes with painted on blood drips. Still, it's a good time to sit back and enjoy some beautiful locations, editing and scenes.

regardless of what little threat they pose, the Vampire's stare will capture you as quickly as their descent upon your neck. Yes, they might suck as Vampire's, but when they're as cute as these idols you might just fall under their deadly spell.

Are you prepared to sacrifice your soul to the night?

Despite being third in my Idol'ween series of reviews, Vampire is the entire reason I decided to re-awaken my passion for PV reviews, as well as the reason behind resurfacing my desire to type up a Halloween-themed series. After seeing it for the first time I knew right away that I wanted to review it, and though I have certainly found some issues with the video itself, I still see this as a strong addition to the groups roster of music videos.

Speaking honestly here, I'm not the biggest fan of IZ*ONE. I have no issue with them - they have some decent songs, their PV's are quite beautiful and I even like a few of the members, it's just that I simply don't care to keep up with them at the same pace as some of my friends. I typically listen to their releases well after the release date, and I don't watch their PV's right away, but I do appreciate their presence, music and music videos. If anything I am a casual fan, one who can appreciate the songs I enjoy, as well as the beauty of their promotional videos.

And here I will try my best to appreciate the beauty of Vampire. Though it isn't scary, this is the video that inspired my Idol'ween series and made me want to look for other videos that fit with the spooky, Halloween-feel I was going for.

In their pic Spam debut - as well as the first PV related post for IZ*ONE on this blog - it's time to check out IZ*ONE's Vampire and see what the hybrid K-pop and J-pop group brings to the plate. With such pretty girls and stunning visuals there is sure to be something here that will please the viewers, but will they fall short and fail to ensnare us mere mortals, or will these vampire idols successfully put you under a trance and suck your wallets dry with the promise of photo cards, pretty PV's and cute music?

It's time to sink our teeth into something a little more chilling. Just be careful, you don't want to turn into a Vampire, right...?

Friday, 25 October 2019

Idol'ween: The Poltergeists Lament - Lay Awake with Dreamcatcher's 'Good Night' (PV Review)

With magic, mischief and malevolence on the horizon this Hallows Eve, let's celebrate the day of tricks, treats and dress up with our very own Idol'ween where I will review a selection of PV's themed around magic, nightmares, dress up and horror! Whether it's cute or spooky depends on the group in question, but with a collection of cute idols, fun themes and one or two spooky PV's thrown into the cauldron, there will be something for everyone to enjoy!

Returning with a few film references, more obnoxious commentary and a terrible review of the final product, I am back with my second entry in my Idol'ween series for 2019. With a focus on the malevolent side of Hallows Eve, this heavily pictured and gif'ed review will see you fall into the pit of nightmares.

For tonight's choice of music video there is a sweet lullaby to lure you into a nightmarish trance, one that few can escape from. So before you head to bed and rest that weary head of yours, remember to hang up a dreamcatcher and say a prayer, because without it you will surely succumb to the terrors of the night.

It's time to say Good Night. Have a pleasant slumber, my darling dreamers...

I first reviewed Dreamcatcher's Chase Me back in February 2017, fairly soon after my friend had introduced me to the group and music video. I was enamoured by the PV, loving every second of it and left entertained by the end. The video was dark, beautiful and fast-paced, delivering a nightmarish plot that didn't seem to fit with the groups name. I was in love, mostly because I like dark groups and horror themes, so the group was a perfect fit for me.

After that Dreamcatcher continued to release music videos and mini-albums and, whilst I followed them a degree, it was not to the extent most fans would. I love the group and their theme, don't get me wrong, but I am simply not a K-pop fan. Still, they're one of the few K-pop groups I actively like, even if my interest in them has waned slightly since I was first introduced to them.

Something that has not waned however is my desire to review a few more of their PV's, especially around this time of the year. Now that Halloween is pretty much down the road, why not check out another Dreamcatcher PV? In fact we should continue from where we left off well over 2 years ago and pick up the story line with Good Night, the sequel to the incredible Chase Me. Sure, my dialogue will be vastly different - so what? - but it's the fun of commenting on the scenery and everything else that makes these reviews so enjoyable for me. Plus, my friend wanted this reviewed instead of Fly High, so there we go.

She actually wanted both to be reviewed, truth be told, but I have a weird self-imposed 'no two reviews will share the same group' policy, so... yeah. There's that.

It's time to delve into the world of Dreamcatcher, a nightmare you need to escape before it traps you in its web of confusion and horror. It's creepy and it's spooky, mysterious and ooky... and you will be haunted all night long if you don't cover the mirrors and hide anything that can tempt the poltergeists,.

Tonight your nightmares are a playground for mischief and terror, so be sure to prepare yourself and hang up those dreamcatchers. If you don't, then you are in for a night of malevolence...

Good Night...~

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Idol'ween: Of Idols and Magic and Bears, Oh My! Experience The 'Ultimate☆MAGIC' with i☆RiS! (PV Review)

After a year and five months of PV silence, it's time to finally make a come back with my obnoxiously long PV Reviews filled with screen grabs, gifs and words galore. And what better way than to come back with a whole series dedicated to one of the most entertaining nights of the year?

With magic, mischief and malevolence on the horizon this Hallows Eve, let's celebrate the day of tricks, treats and dress up with our very own Idol'ween where I will review a selection of PV's themed around magic, nightmares, dress up and horror! Whether it's cute or spooky depends on the group in question, but with a collection of cute idols, fun themes and one or two spooky PV's thrown into the cauldron, there will be something for everyone to enjoy!

For tonights PV Review, there is a faint crackling of magic in the air. So get read to dust off that witch or wizards hat, hop on a broomstick and pull out that spell book, because we're going on an adventure together to find the Ultimate☆MAGIC.

Are you ready? If yes, then let's hop on our brooms and go!

Kicking off our Idol'ween festivities are the ever-incredible i☆RiS, a group of AniSong singers who also act as voice actresses. Most notable for singing the opening and ending theme songs for various PriPara seasons - as well as voicing the lead characters - i☆RiS have been active as a group since 2012 and are under the Avex label. Despite being one of Avex's few idol groups, they are not under the iDOL STREET label.

Made up of six members - Yamakita Saki, Serizawa Yu, Akaneya Himika, Wakai Yuuki, Kubota Miyu and Shibuya Azuki - i☆RiS have held a consistent lineup since their debut 7 years ago, and though I was initially disinterested in the group after their debut single, I have since found the way of i☆RiS and fallen in love with them since their adorable single Make it! was released 5 years ago! Since rekindling my love with them however, I have not featured the group on my blog with a review since... well, since they debuted.

Because I am that much of a fan, y'all.

In all seriousness though, i☆RiS - though prominent in my Year End song posts - have only featured in one PV review on here, way back in 2012. That doesn't mean I don't love the group of course - I do, they're a brilliant group and they have so many good songs in their discography - I just haven't really put much thought into reviewing their stuff individually on here.

Until today, that is. Because what better way to bring one of the most magical girl groups to the forefront of my blog than with a PV review that focuses on their charm, their cuteness and the magic that they hold within?

And hey, what better way to bring back my PV Pic Spam reviews, aye? Ayyyye! >o>

Now that Halloween is just around the corner and the idols are bringing out their PV's full of magic, mystery and mischief, let's dive into a world of alchemy and potion making, spells and enchantment in the beginning of the Idol'ween series! But what will we experience this Hallows Eve with i☆RiS? Will it be all cuteness and spell casting, or is something spookier lurking on the horizon?

It's time to take out your wand and cloak, little witches and wizards, for we are about to enter a world that isn't our own. Are you prepared to be spellbound, or are you immune to such trickery?

Bibbitty, Bobbitty... BOOF!

Monday, 30 September 2019

KYOKA - The Graduation Appreciation Post

For a lot of people, turning 21 means a turning point in their life. It means becoming an adult, perhaps settling down, or maybe finally figuring things out. For some it is just another day, but for KYOKA of LONDON BLUE it is both a celebration of her age and the day of her graduation.

Today on September 30th 2019, KYOKA stood on the stage as a member of LONDON BLUE for the last time to celebrate with her fans, and though her time with the group was shorter than former member KANA's, KYOKA has made her own impact within the group thanks to her energetic presence and kind persona.

Now she joins the other LONDON BLUE Alumni, but this does not mark the end for KYOKA. Like every graduation, there is a new beginning just around the corner. Whether her new pursuit is acting, singing, dancing or becoming a tarento, KYOKA is sure to continue her journey with an abundance of energy and positivity.

Before I say my goodbye to an Idol who created joy on stage, let's take a moment to appreciate KYOKA for all she has done. Sure, she was with the group for just a year and 3~4 months, but in such a short time she created so many members. So let's appreciate her together one more time as she leaves LONDON BLUE and the sparkling idol stage...

If you want an idol who is full of energy and delight, then look no further - that is KYOKA. The embodiment of joy and cuteness, KYOKA was initially one of the youngest and smallest members of LONDON BLUE back in June of 2018 when she debuted with the group, however she quickly came to be a prominent and treasured member of the group after the sudden graduations of her gen-mates, RINA and RINKA.

Yet still she persevered in showcasing a bright, energetic and bubbly personality to the fans and giving it her all on and off the stage. Whether she was singing and dancing, calling to the crowd or acting on another stage, KYOKA would always give 100% in everything she did. For someone who has a serious work ethic, it is pretty incredibly how easily KYOKA could put on a smile and create such a warm, fun environment for those who witnessed her performance.

She is a great Idol, and I am going to miss the KYOKA that I came to know.

Kenbishi Kunogi - The Graduation Appreciation Post

On September 28th 2019, Kenbishi Kunogi of NECRONOMIDOL celebrated a live show that brought together the joys of her birthday and the sorrow of her graduation. With 9 short months in the group, Kunogi fell into darkness alongside her peers and stunned the audience with her idol-like aura, but now she's ready to start anew with her solo activities and take a new path, one that is supported by her former management and group mates.

Though she only held a short tenure within NECRONOMIDOL, Kunogi had her own trials she faced during her time in NECRONOMIDOL and created lasting memories that she could not have captured if she had not been welcomed into the group earlier this year. Now she will move forwards, and though the decision for Kunogi to graduate was sudden for the fans - I can only guess that it's a different matter behind the scenes - it seems like Kunogi herself is confident in this new venture she is taking, but before her solo activities are fully in motion I want to take a moment to appreciate Kenbishi Kunogi.

Her time with NECROMA was short, but she will continue to be an idol. But for now, let's appreciate the Kenbishi Kunogi I knew, even though she has graduated and moved forward.

It's Graduation Appreciation time once more.

Kunogi is cute as a button, entertaining to watch and someone who has a true idol-aura on the stage, and perhaps a little shyness when she's off of it. A rather bewitching girl, I immediately clicked that Kunogi was the type of member I would like to follow when both she and Michelle joined NECRONOMIDOL back in January of this year, however that feeling flip-flopped a little before I eventually went on to meet the members in-person back in July of this same year when NECRONOMIDOL travelled to the UK. It was then that I realised how much I liked Kunogi and how she was my second favourite member within the group I had come to love since last year.

And then I learned of her graduation with the rest of the world, and I paused.

I saw the news on Twitter, a tweet sent from Kunogi's own account that I translated from Google, of course.

"I won't be able to meet you, and I will continue to do my best in solo and band activities..."

The comments below that told of the fans' sadness, as well as Kunogi's own English message herself apologising for making everyone sad was all I needed to know what this was about: Kunogi would leave NECRONOMIDOL despite still being so new within the group. I would be losing a member that I really liked, someone I wanted to see flourish in a group I adore. More than anything though, I wanted to watch her confidence grow.

So when I read the news, I cried.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

The Support Behind 6 Years Of History: "Because It's LONDON BLUE" - An Interview with Kiyoshi Hayashi (Manager of LONDON BLUE) (19/08/2019)

I would like to begin this post with my gratitude towards Kiyoshi Hayashi for agreeing to do this interview with me via e-mail, and for patiently awaiting its translation. I would like to further my thanks towards him for continuing to work alongside me with these kinds of interviews, and also for his continued hard work as the groups producer, manager and also one of their lyricists.

Beginning their activities on September 11th, 2013, LONDON BLUE have been singing cool & cute songs together for 6 years. Now, with KANA graduated and ending  5 year history within the group, LONDON BLUE has transformed and stands with one member who will continue the groups history on her own shoulders until another member joins.

But behind this history there is Kiyoshi Hayashi, the brain behind the group that brings J-pop and British music together. Whether he is acting as their manager, teaching them how to play an instrument or penning lyrics for one of their songs, Kiyoshi is always doing something, and today he has allowed us to have a talk with him.

But first, let's learn a little more about him before we talk.

(Photo courtesy of @londonblue2013)
CEO, manager, producer, guitarist and the occasional lyricist, Kiyoshi Hayashi seems like he has a lot going on, and you are probably right in thinking that. As the creator of LONDON BLUE - the cool & cute girls unit who focus on music that fuses British pop, rock and R&R with Japanese bubblegum pop - Kiyoshi focuses a lot of his time on his project that has spanned 6 years, and can only see them going further now that they have completed their 6th Anniversary One-Man Live.

But with a new member continuing the future of LONDON BLUE, Kiyoshi continues to envision all he can do with LONDON BLUE. Though he may be a busy man, - what with being the CEO of Birdland Music Entertainment and Fine Promotion, Inc. - the passion he holds for LONDON BLUE is burning brightly, and with a new era beginning, I thought that it would be as good a time as any to ask him a few of the questions on my mind regarding LONDON BLUE, their future and whether or not he will teach the new era how to play a few instruments...

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

KANA - The Graduation Appreciation Post

On this day, September 18th 2019, KANA will graduate from LONDON BLUE amidst the celebrations of the groups sixth anniversary. With 5 years under her belt, a leadership that lasted well over a year and a boatload of memories from her time as an idol, KANA has experienced a lot in her time as an idol.

From the indies trials to holding a major debut in 2018, learning how to play the drums and choreographing the groups dances, KANA has fulfilled her time as an idol and created a lot of memories along the way. Now it's time to create her last few memories on the stage before walking behind the curtains and creating new memories with the future of LONDON BLUE. But before she graduates and takes a step back to teach a new generation, let's take a moment to appreciate an idol I adore.

It's time to sit back and talk about KANA, an Idol I appreciate. It's that time again, everyone. Let's appreciate the Idols that we love before they graduate from our world.

Are you ready?

I learned about KANA back in 2016, sometime after discovering LONDON BLUE and asking if I could review their latest album for JaME. At the time I didn't know much about them aside from their names, a little bit of background info and the fact that they were created to promote the joys of both Japanese and British music. By 2017 I was no longer following them.

And then Hyper Japan Festival 2018 happened. When the schedule for who was performing was officially released I recognised a group - LONDON BLUE, except the lineup was different. KANA was now the leader, and three new members would be joining, but that was all it took: One familiar group name and my intrigue was sparked once more, but this time I was in it for the long run. Thanks to Hyper Japan I was able to become a fan of LONDON BLUE.

Now five years after joining LONDON BLUE, KANA is ready to graduate on the groups own 6th anniversary. With this, she will join her fellow graduates and friends on the sidelines, supporting LONDON BLUE in front of the stage she once stood upon.

As a fan I couldn't be prouder.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Walking Down The Graduation Crosswalk - An Interview with LONDON BLUE (19/08/2019)

I would like to start this post with my gratitude towards LONDON BLUE's manager, Kiyoshi Hayashi - also known as Rin Say - for allowing me this opportunity once again, as well as for allowing me to use images from LONDON BLUE's live shows via their Twitter page. I also want to thank both KANA and KYOKA for their hard work and for answering these questions despite being busy with practice, performances and more.

I would also like to thank ジュンペイさん, ヤウユ and ふしあな for allowing me to use their images in this post. Full credit will be given via each photo used.

Inspired by British music, UK fashion, Japanese pop and a cool n' cute vibe, LONDON BLUE are a J-pop Idol duo filled with energy and packaged in a cute burberry or plaid design. Styling themselves around UK fashion prints, the groups love for Britain - London in particular - is undeniable in both their look and sound, and with each performance the girls will wave a towel of white and blue above their heads with pride.

Created 6 years ago, LONDON BLUE has faced their fair share of hurdles as an indies idol group before finally making their major debut under King Records in 2017. Now that their 6th Anniversary is on the horizon, the group faces their biggest hurdle yet - the graduation of their current lineup, KANA and KYOKA. With this, LONDON BLUE will restart with the introduction of new members, girls who are ready continue the groups legacy whilst finding their own path to walk down.

(Photo courtesy of ジュンペイさん via Twitter)

With their graduations announced back in early August, KANA and KYOKA have since been preparing for their last few performances together before LONDON BLUE's September 18th One Man Live, which will see former members MISAKIKAORURIYOKAYANO and 3510 return to the stage with KANA one last time before she graduates. This special One Man Live will also act as the penultimate performance for KYOKA, who will go on hiatus from the group until her final Birthday Live on September 30th. She will not be participating in any live shows or events with the new members.

Their future's seemingly set in stone - KYOKA potentially walking down the acting path whilst KANA aims to stay behind the scenes as the groups choreographer - both members have an exciting time ahead of them. With the hurdles of the idol world soon behind them, the excitement and the memories that this path has brought them down, it's time to have one final chat with the girls before they go their separate ways and create a new road for themselves.

Before they both take the crosswalk towards a new career, let's talk a little about graduations and instruments, memories and new era's with KANA and KYOKA, the energetic idol duo behind LONDON BLUE...

Sunday, 25 August 2019

The Definition Of A Shoddily Promoted Single - 'Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi' by Houkago Princess (Single Review)

*Any and all mistakes made here are never intentional. If you find any mistakes, please let me know, because I try to own up to my mistakes and fix them if at all possible. Whether they are typos, fragmented sentences or terrible misspellings, any and all mistakes found and brought up are appreciation. Thank you.

**You can find the full single for your listening pleasure on Spotify.

In order to define a story, one must look back at the chapters already written. For Princesses who have come from a long line of royalty before them, it's time to walk down their own path and create their own tales without the help of their Queen, but before they can take those steps they must look back and understand those who stood before them.

With a new leader, a new lineup and a brand new single, Houkago Princess are ready to define their own era. It's time to step forward as we appreciate their past, so get ready for a new kind of magic. Are you ready?

Despite being around for 8 years now, Houkago Princess are ready to re-define themselves in Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi, a single that celebrates their past, present and future in this brand-new era of members!

And boy oh boy, was I excited for this single! After Kaguya ni Negai wo was released I couldn't help but feel ecstatic for what HouPri had up their new billowing sleeves now that a new generation had been introduced. Odagiri Nana is gone, Sekine Sasara is Leader and there are brand-spanking new members, so of course there had to be something amazing ready for the group to properly introduce everyone and showcase what this new lineup had to offer, right?


.... R.I.G.H.T?

I'm already using gifs. Make of that what you will, dear readers.

Well, I was excited for this single - as stated above - but when promotion didn't happen and a PV was never properly released, my confidence in this single waned considerably. I wanted to hear and experience it, but couldn't due to a lack of anything that wasn't a poorly constructed single cover. I wanted to sing along with the lyrics that were posted to the groups official website, but there were no songs to listen to because snippets weren't released, digital uploads were void and a PV wasn't readily available until weeks after the official single release.

It was getting a little frustrating, to say the least, and I was losing some form of hope until - thank the Lords - my friend managed to obtain her copy of the CD, meaning that I could finally sample the songs from this brand new release until my own versions came in the mail. I could finally listen to the songs for HouPri's new era, but was it all worth it?

A month after the single's official release and many listens later, it's time to finally sit down to listen to Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi, a single that is set to define HouPri's new era as a group. With a new generation, a new leader and a new chapter ready to begin, will this version of Houkago Princess live up to the standards set from past releases, or will it fall as quickly as the hype staff tried to create for this single, only for them to fail miserably with promotion?

Let's define Houkago Princesses latest release and listen to what this new era can deliver. Whether it's good or bad, generic or new, it's time to pass judgement on Shin Jidai Princess / Princess no Teigi in sound, style and tune.

So. Let's start~

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Defining A Decade: First Time Idol Lover - The 10-Year Nostalgia Bomb That Is 'Nanchatte Ren'ai' by Morning Musume (Single Review)

*Any and all mistakes within this Review are indeed the error of a human, and therefore I hope to be forgiven. If mistakes are made, if mistakes are seen, please let me know as soon as they are spotted, for then I can erase and correct them. Though I can not erase the errors of my past, please allow me to erase the errors within my post. Thank you.

August 12th, 2009 marked the 40th single release for Morning Musume, and with that release came the birth of a fan. 10 years later a lot has changed, with new faces joining the group and older ones leaving. With all these changes and my own love for the group null and void, has the moving melody of Nanchatte Ren'ai been replaced by the bitter tones of dismay, or will the single hold up and bring me back to a better time?

Taking a leap back in time, let's take a look at the song that birthed my fandom and allowed the Platinum Era of Morning Musume to be recognised for the iconic girls that they are today. With style and maturity, will Nanchatte Ren'ai stand the test of time, or will it be left in the dust of the dilapidated building the group danced in so long ago? 

Let's wipe off the cobwebs, press play and find out.

Morning Musume need no introduction here, mostly because this group provided a lot of my main content back when I started out blogging. In general though, a lot of people know of Morning Musume, and a lot of people are aware of how great the Platinum Era was. In fact, it's the Platinum Era that created a whole host of new fans, people who loved the group for its maturity, their vocals and the interesting sound that Morning Musume had in plenty of their A-sides. They were cool, they didn't have a kiddish or youthful aura, and their music matched that style and tone. It was an interesting time for the group, and though their fans were far and few between at that point in Morning Musume's career, the Platinum Era has to be one of the most recognised lineups of all time.

2009 was the time I became a fan of Morning Musume, and though my love for the group began when it was closer to the tail-end of the Platinum Era, I can't help but recognise 2009 as a key year for me when it comes to the group itself. This was my starting point with idols I guess, even if it was Koharu who brought me to the attention of Morning Musume. But without this group I probably wouldn't have stayed around for too long. At that point in time, I was still heavily invested in anime and manga and only cared for anisong opening and ending tunes.

The Morning Musume of 2009 looked and felt cool, the vocals were mesmerising and the music spoke to me, I suppose. I didn't understand it, but the way it sounded was something that hooked me. I was only 16 at this point in time, so I was very much a moody teenager transitioning from secondary school to college, and seeing this group in their dark but elegant clothing, the way they sang and the prettiness of their choreography spoke to me. I liked it, and I loved how it contrasted with the typical cutesy, annoyingly generic idol songs that I absolutely adored way back when. 

Morning Musume stood out to me. At that time I hadn't experienced such a powerful, moving song like Nanchatte Ren'ai when it came to Japanese music. So it spoke to me, and after that I became hooked.

And with that memory in place I knew that I had to talk about this single. Nanchatte Ren'ai was essentially my gateway into the idol community, and with its 10 year Anniversary comes my own decade-long experience as an idol fan. Even though it feels like the song was released three years ago at most, Nanchatte Ren'ai is already 10 years old and creating its own landmark. It's unbelievable but true, and now I can't help but feel both nostalgic and overwhelmed. How has it been this long since the singles release?

Now it's time to take a look back at Nanchatte Ren'ai, a song that was released a decade ago. For myself and many others this single was a defining moment in our fandoms, and for plenty of us it was the start of something beautiful. So without further ado, let's pull out that dusty CD player and crack open that ancient CD case containing Nanchatte Ren'ai. It's time to see what defined our fandom one decade ago.

Are you ready to fall into a pit of nostalgia?

Thursday, 8 August 2019

An Interview with Miura Ayme at Hyper Japan Festival 2019 (July 14th 2019, Sunday)

The following Interview was conducted at Hyper Japan Festival 2019 at the Kensington Olympia Exhibition Centre in London, England.

Acting as a representative of Selective Hearing, I would like to thank Miura Ayme and his translator for giving us their time and answering our questions. I would also like to extend my thanks to the Hyper Japan Team for for making the event itself happen, and I would finally like to extend my thanks towards both Mischa and one of Hyper Japan's own translators for making the opportunity to interview Miura Ayme a reality, and for helping to translate the more difficult questions and answers. Without any of these people this interview would not have happened, so thank you.

*This interview has been cross-posted from Selective Hearing, of which you can find HERE. Though the differences are not that great, I feel as if this interview is a little more raw in its edited form as opposed to Selective Hearing's more precise, tidier version. I have also included some questions / answers that were cut from the SH version.

With its 10th Anniversary weekend underway from July 12th until July 14th 2019, Hyper Japan Festival 2019 opened its doors to fans of Japanese anime, manga, food, film, music, travel and fashion in Kensington, London. With two floors to fill at the Kensington Olympia Exhibition Centre, Hyper Japan currently stands as the UK's biggest Japanese Culture convention.

What makes the event itself unique is not its copious amounts of anime, manga, plushies, food and cosplayers, however, but its use of the Hyper Live Stage. Set at one end of the Exhibition Centre, the stage acts as a platform for various performances, cosplay parades and talks throughout the weekend. Yet through the course of Hyper japan's decade-long run, the stage has since become a symbol of opportunity for Japanese artists, groups and performers who aim to make their stage debut in the UK regardless of how big or small they might be.

This year for their 10th Anniversary, Hyper Japan welcomed Visual Kei soloist Miura Ayme back to a bigger stage, two years after his first appearance at the event. Though the singer initially started out on the Hyper Live Street Stage - set on a square patch of cloth on the floor within the Exhibition Centre - 2019 marked a triumphant return for the singer as he stepped out onto the stage to a crowd of excited fans and listeners.

With activities for his solo project beginning on March 21st 2018, Miura Ayme - more commonly known as Ayme (pronunciation: I'm) - is a Visual Kei artist and cosplayer with a penchant for military style jackets. With a music style that leans more towards the rock and synth infused sound, Ayme has been steadily releasing original songs since his re-debut as a solo performer, starting with the track Kamisama Nante. Prior to his solo project, Ayme stood as the vocalist for Visual Kei band, Ecthelion under the stage name Miu. After leaving the group in order to walk down his own path, Ayme continued to perform and make a name for himself within the Western fan community, and made appearances at conventions such as JAPANicon in Poland (2017), JAPAN EXPO in France (2018), and Ani-mode in Taiwan (2019), as well as his first appearance at Hyper Japan Festival in 2017.

Now cutting a sharp figure on the coveted Hyper Live Stage this July, it became clear that Ayme had made it his mission to impress all who watched. Charismatic and stylish, Ayme enraptured his audience with powerful stances, a flare in his step and a moving voice that filled the Exhibition Centre during his Saturday and Sunday performance slots. Undeniably talented, watching Ayme take over the stage and make it his own was an experience in and of itself, and with every smile and each excited step, it became clear that being a performer was Miura's calling, and the happiness he delivered to his listeners only made this realisation a cold-hard fact.

With his final performance on the Sunday, Ayme held one last meet and greet with his fans before joining Selective Hearing for a one-on-one interview to discuss performing at Hyper Japan, music, style and a promise made back in July 2017.

Monday, 29 July 2019

An Interview with NECRONOMIDOL at Hyper Japan Summer Festival 2019 (July 14th, 2019 Sunday)

The following Interview was a part of Group Interview made up of Press from Selective Hearing, NerdOD, Bunkazilla and an independent Journalist, Erin.

On behalf of Selective Hearing, I would like to thank Derek, Ricky and the members of NECRONOMIDOL for giving us their time and answering our questions. I would also like to extend my thanks to the representatives for NerdOD and Bunkazilla, as well as Erin, for sharing their questions and allowing me to include them in this interview. Without their contributions, you would only see two questions on this page.

Finally, I would like to thank the team behind Hyper Japan who made the event itself happen, and I would also like to express my thanks towards Mischa for allowing these interviews to take place. Without her this interview would not have been a reality. Thank you.

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, Hyper Japan kicked off their first event of the year with their Summer Festival on Friday the 12th of July 2019. Held over the course of three days at the Kensington Olympia Exhibition Centre in London, England, Hyper Japan currently stands as the biggest Japanese Culture convention within the UK.

With two floors to fill, Hyper japan goes above and beyond when it comes to dedicating itself to showcasing the joys of Japanese culture. From anime, manga, plushies, snacks, films, tourism and travel booths, alcohol, art and music - as well as a dedicated food area - Japanese paraphernalia line the stalls for all to see. Attendees can also attend a maid cafe, take part in various workshops, watch showcases and even listen to and watch live music performances from Japanese groups and singers on the Hyper Live Stage, or listen to and watch performers and coverists on the Hyper Street Live.

This year, Hyper Japan's Live stage turned black with the appearance of NECRONOMIDOL. With performances held on the Friday and Sunday of Hyper Japan weekend, the group certainly made an intriguing entrance thanks to their chilling aura and Gothic attire, all tied together perfectly by the billow of smoke that encompassed the sides of the stage.

Made up of five members - Kakizaki Risaki, Imaizumi Rei, Tsukishiro Himari, Kenbishi Kunogi and Michelle - NECRONOMIDOL seem sombre upon first appearance, but soon erupt into an enigmatic and upbeat performance once the music begins. With an elaborate story to tell, NECRONOMIDOL create an almost theatrical, undeniably moving performance thanks to their emotive choreography and haunting vocals.

From the ground floor to the balcony above, NECRONOMIDOL lead their listeners into a chorus of chaotic energy song after song, before finally taking time out of their busy schedule to hold a meet and greet. Met with a rather impressive outcome, old and new fans alike came to meet the members of NECRONOMIDOL for a few brief moments before deciding whether or not they would partake in the cheki (Polaroid) shoot with the girls.

On Hyper japan's final day, Selective Hearing - as well as NERDOD, Bunkazilla and a student, Erin - were able to sit down and chat with NECRONOMIDOL before the groups final appearance on the Hyper Japan Live Stage. From their image to performing abroad and more, let's take a deeper look into the minds of those who make up NECRONOMIDOL.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Interview With Chitose Saki of 2& - Selective Hearing Interview

*This Interview has been cross-posted from Selective Hearing.

Back in April of 2019, 2&'s (DOUBLE AND) own Chitose Saki made her way back to the UK for a second round of performances after her previous stint in June of 2018 where she acted as a supporting act for NECRONOMIDOL. This time however, Saki stood centre stage as the headliner act and performed alongside fellow underground idols GARUDA and 14th Generation Toilet Hanako-san.

Since speaking with Saki for the first time back in 2018, 2& has undergone a few small yet significant changes, including Saki's recent change of her moniker from Saki to her full name, Chitose Saki, as well as the announcement that 2& has been signed under the label REDMusic. She has also been learning English since her first stint in the UK.

Now, more than a year after our first interview with talented and greatly adored Chika (underground) solo idol, Selective Hearing have reached out to talk with Saki once more about the April 2019 UK tour, 2&'s latest album released for the UK tour, and a little more.

All answers were written in English by Saki, with help from her English teacher. Thank you Saki for your time, and for answering everything in English!

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Diving Into The Catch Of The Day! - A Look at 'Jūnin to iro / Kingyo no Uta' by BANZAI JAPAN (Single Review)

*I am but a human, and though I try to check my errors and mistakes, I skip a few from time to time. So if you care to be so kind, please point out the errors of my post. I will be forever grateful. Thank you in advance~

It's time for the catch of a day, and with my reborn interest in reviewing music - not music videos, shock freakin' horror - today I have managed to fish out a little bit of BANZAI JAPAN from the sea for everyone to check out with me!

In their major debut single, BANZAI JAPAN introduce the world to their interesting mix of traditional sounds meet EDM and modern pop, but with this small collection of fun, interesting sounds, will BANZAI JAPAN successfully fish you out of the water and sink a catchy music hook into you, or will you be left flailing for something far more worthwhile?

In one of their biggest leaps since the groups first overseas performances in both France and England in 2018, BANZAI JAPAN are now taking a further step forward with their major debut single, Jūnin to iro / Kingyo no uta, a colourful release that will dazzle their current fans whilst reeling in a few new ones.

And hey, with a cover like Type A has, who wouldn't be intrigued by this group and what they have to offer? It's so entertaining and strange to look at that it seems quite... catchy, if you will. Ahem

Well, it isn't just BANZAI JAPAN's imagery that catches ones attention. From how they dress to the way they sound, there is no denying that BANZAI JAPAN as a group are quite intriguing as a whole. Maybe my own bias is showing here, but in terms of their sound and style, I find the group to be rather vibrant and refreshing, and though their schtick might not be the most original out there, this group has a goal that fans can appreciate, and in turn I appreciate their efforts as both individuals and a group.

Also, before I get into the history part of this opening, can I just say a huge CONGRATULATIONS to BANZAI JAPAN for tapping that #1 Oricon spot on their first day? Cause damn girls, that was something I didn't expect. Kudos to you, and thanks for being such amazing sports and working so damn hard on your major debut. What a damn milestone.

Okay, celebrations aside, let's do some brief diggin':

Made up of 16-members, BANZAI JAPAN was originally formed in May of 2014 as a project which would promote the culture of Japan through music, dance and idols. Auditions began in a month later in June 2014, with the first initial members of the group being revealed between July and August respectively. In November 2014, the first three members - Shinkai Yuna, Minamo Mizu and Hanasaka Saya - held their first live performance. In December that year, BANZAI JAPAN held their first 'real' live performance as a group.

Over the years the group has seen members come and go thanks to the 'revolving door' system that most female Japanese idol groups have adopted, however BANZAI JAPAN's mission has stayed consistent. With a goal to promote Japan's vibrant culture and various prefectures, BANZAI JAPAN aim to scout Evangelists, girls from various prefectures who will promote their hometowns and its charms to their audience. With each member representing their individual prefectures, it has become BANZAI JAPAN's goal to recruit at least one girl from each of japan's 47 prefectures into the group so that they can share Japan's culture with the world. The group also has a sub-unit, ASHIGARU JAPAN, which includes both trainees and full-fledged BANZAI JAPAN members.

There are currently 11 prefectures being represented by an Evangelist, with a total of 21 prefectures being represented in the groups history.

In April 2018, BANZAI JAPAN won the Tokyo Candoll 2018 contest, which allowed the group to travel to France, where a selected amount of members were able to perform at Japan Expo Summer 2018. The group then went on to attend Hyper Japan Winter 2018 in the UK, with 7 members representing the group.

Since the groups inception, BANZAI JAPAN have released 4 singles and one full-length studio album, with Jūnin to iro / Kingyo no uta being the groups first double A-side. As of 2019, the group are under Victoria Beats, a sub-label under Nippon Columbia. BANZAI JAPAN is managed by Cospanic Entertainment, a company which aims to promote the group not only around Japan, but the world, with the official website offering both Japanese and English descriptions. Some members of BANZAI JAPAN also know a decent amount of English.

With an aim to visualise Japan's magnificent culture to the world, BANZAI JAPAN will entertain you with their music and dance performances, which includes a mix of traditional Japanese and modern-era styles, with fan-waving being a key aspect in the groups choreography. Fan participation in fan-waving and para-para is also heavily promoted by the group

And with that, it's time to hook ourselves a catch in the form of BANZAI JAPAN's Jūnin to iro / Kingyo no uta! Are you ready to take the bait and leap into the BANZAI JAPAN fandom? With their catchy music, mesmerising choreography and super sweet personalities, how can you not entertain the idea of being fished by any of them?

It's time to dive in! Shall we? ;)