Wednesday, 4 November 2020

The Top 11 Female Idol Groups (According to Chiima)

*All groups listed in this here list are subject to my own terrible tastes and opinions. You do not have to like the groups that I have picked out, nor do you have to agree with my choices. This is, at the end of the day, a subjective list curated to my own taste, and therefore it will contain groups that I prefer. Please do not mistake it for a legitimate list that many others have voted on. Thank you for your understanding, and for not taking this post seriously.

The journey to celebrate Okay! Musume Time's 10th Cake Day continues, but it is still too early to debate whether or not this series of posts was a wise idea...


July Chiima here, and damn, this took way too long to complete. I started it at the beginning of July, and was mostly finished... and then stopped. Talk about procrastination! Also: my wrists hurt. Damn my desire to type too much!

Hell Cake Month continues, and today I will be subjecting myself to the fun that is my Top 11 Female Idol Groups. Of course, this is an extremely subjective post - much like the Top 11 J-Pop and Idol songs one - and basically contains a handful of Idol groups that I have liked since I became an idol fan. Some of these groups will be obvious (look at the banner above), and others may surprise you, but regardless of where they are placed, they have all made an impact to me as a fan one way or another.

I will also include disbanded groups in this list because whilst they may not be around any more, their music is still out there and my love for these specific groups is unwavering. I also want to pay my respects to the groups that made my Idol fandom so joyful and basically write about why I like them, or how they make me feel, etc.

All in all, this was a relatively easy list to create, at least compared to the Top 11 songs list. I guess that's because, when it comes to my favourite Idol groups, I am pretty stubborn in who and what I like, and even when they have disbanded, I continue to look back on them with fondness, and will go back to the music every now and again. Of course I won't share all of the groups I have ever liked in this list, but the ones that made the Top 11 are those that I consider incredibly important either because they were my favourite, or because they shaped my fandom one way or another.

So, let's get into this list of my Top 11 Female Idol Groups, and see who made the cut. Will your favourites be included, or will it be a list of complete nobodies?

It's time to continue read on and find out~

11
Doll☆Elements

Despite their disbandment back in 2017, Doll☆Elements is one of those groups that I look back on with fondness. Though I was not a fan from the very beginning, I did start to enjoy their music and concept around the time of their major debut, and would quickly become hooked. From their doll concept to their catchy music, and finally their beautiful PV's, it seemed like this group was 'made' for me as a fan. They basically embodied a lot of what I liked already, and enhanced it further with their costumes and music.

Though my love for Doll☆Elements petered off towards the end of their time as a group, I do think about them a considerable amount, and will always consider them one of my favourite Idol groups.

10
Cheeky Parade

I will forever be salty that, of all the groups Avex had to axe, Cheeky Parade was one of them. Though I would never consider myself their biggest fan, I really did love their music, especially later down the line. Eventually, I simply considered them one of the stronger Idol groups around, and was devastated when Avex pretty much threw them out.

Ah, I'm still a little bitter. Can you tell?

Cheeky Parade are by no means my favourite group, but I do consider them one of the best groups to debut within the Idol world. I wish they could have lasted a little longer and truly made a statement, but it was not meant to be. Instead, we were crushed, and we lost an amazing group in the process.

I miss the group and their music a great deal, and whilst I am fully aware of how the Idol world operates, I will continue to be mad about what happened to Cheeky Parade. They had an amazing 6 year run, and I know that I am not the only one who remembers them with a mix of fondness and bitterness.

9
Kobushi Factory

I swear, this list is not solely made up of disbanded groups, nor is it one of bitterness over unfair departures and the like. It just so happens that some of the groups I consider to be some of the best or more memorable have since ceased operations, and Kobushi Factory is one such group that has recently joined the ranks.

Similar to other groups, I became a fan of Kobushi Factory a little later on, just before they started their activities as five members. Prior that I didn't care for them or their music, but it was their Ee ja nai ka single that gave me a reason to follow them, and after that I just seemed to like their music a lot more, and thought they were stronger than ever. Sadly, Hello! Project seemed to stop caring about the group after three members left within months of one another, which ultimately put Kobushi into a short period of scandal.

Kobushi Factory's reign was fairly short-lived for a Hello! Project group, and I already miss them. I may not have been a fan for long, but I did value them for as long as I was a fan, and considered them a strong and wonderful group. I just wish that they had been given more, and that H!P had allowed them to flourish as they were.

8
=LOVE

Having followed the group since their debut, I can safely say that I adore =LOVE, and have some sort of bias towards the group an their music. Sure, I am not a fan of everything they do, but I have enjoyed most of what they put out since their made their debut, and find their songs pretty varied in terms of sound. I also really enjoy the music videos they put out, and think the members are super charismatic in all they do.

I feel like this decision to have =LOVE in this list might be contested by others, but I just happen to think that as a group, they have been consistent in their production and music quality from the get-go, and are downright lovable and memorable. Their music is catchy and appealing, and whilst they may not appeal to everyone, they certainly stick out seem to have a lot of fun with everything they do. Because of that, =LOVE was quick to become one of my favourite groups, and I do follow them a little more closely than a few others, simply because I enjoy all that they do.

They aren't the newest Idol group out there, but they have one of the shorter runs on this list, having been active for only three years. Still, in the three short years that they have been around, =LOVE have made a statement, and continue to produce content that is not only fun, but memorable as well. I adore them, hence why they are in this list.

7
Fudanjuku

Despite following to them a lot less than I should, I knew right away that Fudanjuku would be on this list. Firstly, I think that they are one of the top cross-dressing Idol groups out there, as well as the group that truly started that trend (despite their little brother unit, THE HOOPERS, being one of the most popular cross-dressing units out there during their tenure). Their 13 year run as a group is also commendable, and their music is as fun as the groups concept is.

I have plenty of fond memories in regards to Fudanjuku. I obsessed over them at one point, enjoyed some extensive research on them - I'm fairly sure I made my first introduction post about them - and right now, I enjoy following them in a casual manner. It has been so long since I found out about them, and whilst I may not be the most dedicated fan these days, I still consider them one of the best idol groups out there; I always have, and probably always will.

Fudanjuku will not be everyone's cup of tea, but they are group that helped me to branch out back in the day, and one that I continue to think highly of, regardless of how many groups I fall in love with or the years that go by.

6
℃-ute

If there is going to be any group on this list that will have a majority of readers agreeing with me, it will be℃-ute. With a long tenure of 15 years behind them, as well as some of Hello! Projects strongest members in terms of dancing and singing, it's pretty obvious why I consider them to be one of the Top Idol groups out there.

Though the group has since disbanded, ℃-ute's legacy continues and fans still think about them. Heck, I think about them frequently and consider ℃-ute to be a group of importance, as well as a group that helped to shape my fandom and love for idols. I have a lot of good memories of this group, from dancing to their music, covering their songs, and watching them perform live in Paris in my very first Idol live experience. Meeting the members is also one of my treasured memories, and I still cry when I think about how amazing it was to experience a high-touch event with them.

℃-ute were a talented group, their music was amazing and they were honestly at the top of their game, and one of the most memorable units produced by Hello! Project. They had an amazing run, and disbanded only when they were ready, and I'm glad that I could experience even a small part of their career as an Idol group. They are incredibly important to me, and I will always love ℃-ute and the happiness they brought me. I am so glad that they could be a part of my Idol fandom, and this list would have never been complete without them.

5
i☆RiS

I probably don't talk about i☆RiS enough on here, but when I think about my favourite Idol groups, this is one of a few groups that immediately comes to mind. I may not have been receptive of their sound right away - I was not keen on their earlier music, aside from their first official release - but by the time they became representatives of the PriPara franchise, I was hooked and found love with i☆RiS. Since then, I have not looked back, and have since considered i☆RiS one of my top tier Idol groups.

i☆RiS is here purely out of my love for them. I know their music is not the best - it's generic AniSong trash, but pretty, generic Anisong trash - and they are generic as they come for an Avex produced group, but I can't deny my adoration for them, and I think that they certainly have a presence in the Idol world, even if it's a small presence. Still, they are amazing to me, and I think that a group is pretty damn great if they can continue to hook me on their music, even after years of recycling very similar themes, genres and styles, for the sake of keeping up PriPara-related appearances.

I just really, really like i☆RiS, and knew that they would be perfect for this list. The only reason they are so high, however, is because of my clear bias towards them; I just love i☆RiS and their cute, recycled Anime theme songs!

Viva la i☆RiS!

4
Bump.y

As one of my favourite groups of all time, it makes sense that Bump.y would find themselves in the Top 5. I would be annoyed with myself if I put them any lower, because I have a lot of love for Bump.y, and miss them dearly to this day. Of course, regardless of whether they are disbanded or not, I will never forget them, and continue to look back on my adoration of the group fondly.

Bump.y was one of my earlier non-H!P loves, and I simply loved their concept and music style. Though they had initially been branded as a youthful group with a sisterly bond, the music style would eventually mature with the members themselves, showcasing their diversity in sound and genre. This group did not shy away from doing something a little different, and were even one of the first Japanese Idol groups to jump onto the K-pop sound bandwagon that became pretty popular around 2011-2012.

They disbanded in 2014, and whilst I do think their departure was at a good time for them - it seemed like a mutual decision - I continue to miss Bump.y with each passing day, and think about them a great deal more than the other groups on this list. They were a strong, amazing group, and I will never forget them. I love Bump.y, and I am glad that I could have been a fan of them for even a small part of their tenure.

Bump.y is important to me, and Bump.y will forever be one of my Top Idol groups of all time. No one can take this love I hold for them away from me, and I will never think of them as anything less than one of my ultimate groups from my time as an Idol fan. They were simply incredible, and irreplaceable.

3
NECRONOMIDOL

One of my more recent favourites, NECRONOMIDOL is a group that I consider to be at the top of their game performance wise, and also one of the best musically, as well. I simply love everything about them, and will openly admit that they are probably my favourite group when it comes to their live performances thanks to how intense and atmospheric they are. If you want a group that truly captures your attention, then NECRONOMIDOL is that group. I love them.

NECRONOMIDOL is a group that simply intrigues and excites me. Whenever they release something new, I can't help but anticipate it, and when they announce an overseas performance, I know that I have to go if I am able. I prioritise this group, and I honestly think the world of them. NECRONOMIDOL are incredible, and I am so happy that I was able to fall in love with them as hard as I have.

I already knew that NECROMA would be in my Top 3 when I was making this list, because they are simply that important to me. I consider them to be one of the top Idol groups there in the Underground circuit, and I just adore their music, concept and videos. They are powerful, and even when they have periods where it looks like the group is falling apart at the seams, they manage to piece themselves back together again as an even stronger group. I just can not fault this group, and I love NECRONOMIDOL with all my heart.

From their live shows to their music, and more, I can not help but think that NECROMA are amazing. They are my 3rd favourite group of all time, and I honestly haven't even been a fan for that long. I'm just happy that 2 years ago, I listened to their album for the sake of a review, and came out of it a fan. Without NECRONOMIDOL, I probably would not appreciate the underground Idol circuit as much as I do now, so they are important to me not only because they are great, but because they enlightened me, and made me a better fan. I sincerely appreciate and adore NECRONOMIDOL, and believe that they are fully deserving of the #3 spot.

2
Houkago Princess

No, this is not a mistake. And yes, I am fairly certain that this is the right spot for this group, even though it is slightly weird to acknowledge that, of all the groups I adore, HouPri is not my #1 on this list. And I get it, because it would be expected that this group would be #1 after following from the beginning, supporting them with all my might, loving and adoring them from afar, and more. Of course, I think very highly of HouPri, but after recent events, I came to the realisation that they simply aren't my #1 group, though they are close.

But, my feelings for Houkago Princess remain, and I continue to regard them as highly as I did before.

I just love HouPri. I love their music, their image and the members. I love the happiness that they give me, and I love supporting them even when I live so far away. I love learning even more about them, and I enjoy sharing my passion for the group with those around me. I simply love Houkago Princess, and though they may not be the best group to some - I know others don't care for them, or their sound - they are one of the best groups to me, and that is all that matters.

After watching them grow for this long, I feel nothing but love and pride for Houkago Princess. What was once an unknown group, is now a full-fledged top-tier Idol group with a Princess theme that allows these Idols to live out their own long-lived dreams of becoming real-life Princesses, whilst also inspiring others to follow their own dreams of becoming Idols who wear tiara's, and transform into fairy tale and historical figures that we all know and love. Sure, they may not have the most interesting sound for some, and they may not branch out as much as people would like, but what they do have is hope, magic and a dream, and I am glad that I could see Houkago Princess transform from what they once were, into the Idol royalty that they are today.

I am so thankful that I found Houkago Princess during their debut, and I am glad that I stuck around and fell deeper into the rabbit hole that is their world of music, dresses and transformations. I love Houkago Princess, and I will forever and always consider them one of my favourite Idol groups.

But if Houkago Princess aren't the #1 group on this list, then who is?

1
LONDON BLUE

London who? LONDON BLUE!

Still relatively unknown to both the Western and Japanese Idol fans, LONDON BLUE is one of those groups that I just happened to stumble upon back in 2017, resulting in me harvesting a small interest in them. Of course, as interests have a tendency to do, my interest dipped and for a year, the group was put to the back of my mind to make room for other groups I was pursuing at the time.

And then Hyper Japan Summer 2018 happened, and LONDON BLUE were back on my radar with a greater force than I had anticipated. I followed them with a great deal more dedication, started to research the group, and basically posted even more about them on this blog. I also think that they have some incredible music within their small and select discography, and basically love this group to the point where I will support them to the best of my abilities.

Which is a little difficult right now, given that LONDON BLUE has gone into a hiatus period as of September 2020 with the graduation of NOA. It's incredibly sad and hit me hard, and I feel like the future of LONDON BLUE is uncertain. Of course I can only hope that they return one day and deliver their music to us once more.

I feel incredibly lucky to have seen this group live, both at Hyper Japan in 2018, and in January-February this year during my trip to Japan. I watched NOA's debut, and followed the group to all of their live performances

This group is incredibly hard-working, and though they only have two members right now, I think that right now is the strongest this group has been in terms of performance ability. Even before NOA joined, AILI was working hard by herself as the groups sole member because she did not want LONDON BLUE to stop its activities. It's thanks to AILI's efforts that LONDON BLUE could be the group that it was up until September this year, and I am so glad that I could witness such a change as a fan and ultimately experience the birth of the LONDON BLUE that I love and support as a fan right now.

If I hadn't witnessed them live back in 2018 I don't know what my feelings would be towards them, but because I took that chance and saw them perform in London, I reignited my love for them as a fan. Now I consider them my favourite group, and I couldn't be happier with my choice. I adore LONDON BLUE and will look forward to giving them my never ending support in the future when they hopefully return from their current hiatus period.

The group you love does not have to be big or well known, and they don't need to have an extensive discography. As long as you like what they do and support them with all your might, that is enough. Never forget that, and never let anyone tell you otherwise.



And with that my Top 11 list of Idol groups comes to an end! Of course, this is not a fact type of post; these are simply the groups that I have loved and obsessed over in the past 10 years, or the groups that I considered important to me as a fan. Please do not take this post personally, but instead use it as a way to think about your own Top 11 - or Top 10 - Idol groups of all time, and see who comes out as your #1! You may be surprised with the results.

Honestly speaking, I never considered that i☆RiS would make it as high as they did! I was aware that they would make it into the list - unlike =LOVE, who I thought would place as an Honourable Mention - but, I thought they would be in the lower half of the list, as opposed to the Top 5.

I'm happy with the results of course, and though my own choices will not directly reflect yours, I do hope that you go ahead and create your own lists, or think about your favourite groups. Whatever you do, please continue to look back at the groups you have loved and lost, and cherish the ones that continue to perform and work hard today, because you never know when they may halt their activities and cease to release music.

To wind down this post, I hope that you have all enjoyed, and I hope that you check out some new groups and gain a few favourites! If you like, please share your own #1 group with me, or everyone else! After all, sharing is caring and will give everyone else a chance to check out your favourite group!

Now, before we come to the end of this lengthy list-like post, let's take a look at the Honourable Mentions, or the groups that didn't exactly make the cut!

Honourable Mentions

Morning Musume. '20

Buono!

Dreamcatcher

Country Girls

Guardians4

READY TO KISS

Juice=Juice

ange mignon

Babyraids Japan

Wasuta

GEM

StylipS

And now I am done. Please take care of yourselves, stay happy and healthy, be safe and think of those around you, and please continue to love your Idols. Good day, and thank you for sitting through this post.

Sweet Dreams and lots of Love,
Chiima~

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