Kanna Hashimoto reminds everyone why she’s the “once in a millennium” idol with new ads 【Videos】

Nearly two years ago, a single photograph of a young wannabe idol appeared online. It ignited a fire amongst idol otaku so large that it reached the mainstream press in Japan in the same day. The pictured girl, one Kanna Hashimoto, was soon after crowned “beyond angelic” and dubbed a “once in a millennium” idol for her natural looks and youthful energy.

Since then, there have been many challengers to Kanna’s title, like the “once in 4,000 years idol” whatserface, and the “once in 2000 years” idol…um you know, the one with the hair. They’re probably all nice girls and I wish them well in their careers, but seriously they had no place stepping up to Hashimoto’s star quality.

Having already appeared in commercials for SoftBank and Cup Noodle, Kanna is now hawking Lip Baby brand coloring lip balms. Although not as big a brand as the others, these commercials have woken up Japanese netizens and reminded them who the real once in a millennium idol is.

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Beauty queen and “too cute to be true” Japanese model Ami Takeuchi released her first idol DVD on May 17 at a handshake and photo event for fans. Takeuchi’s DVD is not only the model’s first – it’s also being touted as the first ever idol DVD by a “new half” – the Japanese term for a trans female.

And at the launch event, Takeuchi spoke of the need for change, and her hope that Japanese society can become a place where it is easier for trans people to come out.

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Meet Hikari Takiguchi, the “once-in-2000-years” twin-tailed idol 【Photos】

Remember Twintail Association Japan, the pro-cute organisation dedicated to all things adorable and pigtail-related? Last year they launched the idol group drop, a four-piece girl group who add “pigtail-wearing” to the usual idol skill-set trinity of singing, dancing, and smiling for the camera.

And one group member in particular has been attracting attention online for her doe-eyed smile and pigtail-wearing skills. Hikari Takiguchi has even been called a “once-in-2000-years idol”! (We’re going to assume that sounds a bit snappier in Japanese than it does in English).

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Little Maria! One of the finalists for the AKB48 draft this year is just 11 years old

Japan’s 140-member supergroup AKB48 is holding its second annual draft next month, in which sub-teams will choose new members from a draft of 48 young hopefuls. And among the finalists is one of the youngest potential members the group has ever seen.

Unlike the rest of AKB48’s members, who are in their teens and early twenties, 11-year-old candidate Maria Imamura is still in elementary school. But that hasn’t held her back in reaching the finals of the draft, a huge event which will be televised on May 10th.

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Tochiotome 25 invite you to a unique onsen experience in the music video for “Yu”! 【Video】

Tochigi local idol group Tochiotome 25 have once again released a music video showcasing the charms of their rural home town with “Yu” (release date: April 22). This one’s… a little different.

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Momoiro Clover Z dress up as Dragon Ball Z characters in trailer for new track, “Z no Chikai”

On April 13, a trailer video for J-pop group Momoiro Clover Z‘s new track “Z no Chikai” was released. In the video, all five members of the group are made up as characters in the infinitely popular anime Dragon Ball Z. See which ones you can regcognize!

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Seven examples of truly lame merchandise that even hardcore fans don’t want

For hardcore fans of a certain band or TV show, part of the fun is amassing a collection of tie-in products designed to meet your exact needs and interests. Nowhere does this ring true more than in Japan, where geeking out over a variety of goods relating to your most beloved anime or music group is basically all part and parcel of fandom.

But sometimes the companies who produce these products tends to go a little too far, attempting to dupe devoted fans out of their hard-earned cash in exchange for, well, a heap of junk. Read on to view seven of the worst offenders!

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Ladybeard makes music debut as lead member of pop idol trio Ladybaby (no, seriously!)

Oh, Ladybeard. Your antics have given us so much joy over the years here at RocketNews24. Who could forget the time you gracefully modelled the boob shirt for our viewing pleasure? And your collaboration with Sailor Suit Old Man was a thing of pure joy.

But we always knew you were destined for even greater things, Ladybeard. And now you’re making your pop debut with your very own idol unit “Ladybaby”!

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Super-skilled girl band 5572320 reveals music video for “Hanseiki Yuutousei”, but not their identities

Mysterious, skilled girls’ rock band 5572320 (pronounced: go go nana ni san ni rei) have appeared out of nowhere with a music video for their song, titled “Hanseiki Yuutousei” (Half a Century Honor Student). Their debut single is due for release on March 25, but the identities of these young ladies remains a complete mystery.

Check out their video after the jump.

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Sakura Gakuin Welcome an Ewok from outer space as a transfer student in the MV for “Aogeba Toutoshi ~ from Sakura Gakuin 2014~”

Sakura Gakuin have released a short version of the highly anticipated music video for “Aogeba Toutoshi ~ from Sakura Gakuin 2014~“.

Sakura Gakuin makes a new friend from a far away land as they prepare to bid farewell to Yui Mizuno, Moa Kikuchi, Hana Taguchi, and Yunano Notsu (members graduate from Sakura Gakuin when they graduate from middle school). As they are about to start practicing “Aogeba Toutoshi” which is the traditional song that is sung at a graduation ceremony, a spacecraft crashes into the ground outside of their school building…

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Netizens get creative with ice cube trays shaped like BIGBANG singer’s nose and mouth

Idol and boy band merchandise comes in many forms, and some if it is downright weird. Take, for example, this official ice cube tray set shaped like the schnozz and kisser of K-pop vocalist and BIGBANG member Daesung, aka D-LITE in Japan. No, we’re not making this up! In fact, this particular piece of plastic pop memorabilia has really got netizens excited, with many taking to Twitter to showcase the “creations” they have made through the use of certain materials in tandem with the ice cube tray. Join us for a variety of disturbing flared nostrils and pouty lips after the jump!

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Former AKB48 idol’s crowdfunding campaign includes date rewards

The former AKB48 idol Anna Mori is crowdfunding her first photobook after recently turning 20 years old (the “age of majority” in Japan, similar to turning 18 in the U.S.) and quickly raised 2,000,000 yen (about US$16,957) with a little help from some unique backer rewards. Mori offered threedates for backers who paid 200,000 yen (US$1,695).

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Beautiful guitarist in new female J-rock band LoVendoЯ captures netizens’ hearts

With the Japanese pop idol market in over-saturation thanks to a certain 48-member strong girl group and its related splinter and regional variants, the pop-music loving public are starting to get restless. Pretty girls singing sugary-sweet J-pop in unison is all well and good, but how about a little more musical talent to go with the eye candy? Enter LoVendoЯ (pronounced “Lavender” or, in Japanese, “rabendaa”), a girl group with actual musical instrument playing skills! Okay, so only two of them play instruments (the guitar). And one of these guitarists, Marin Miyazawa, (far right) has managed to snag a huge percentage of the fan adoration away from frontwoman and ex-Morning Musume member, Reina Tanaka (no mean feat!). So, why does everyone love her so much? Well, she’s not only super-pretty, she also plays the guitar quite well. Beautiful women doing things hype!

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Bizarre otaku dancing catches on as Wotagei spreads around the world【Videos】

Wotagei, Japan’s unusual form of otaku dancing, is spreading across the seas and capturing the hearts of foreign idol and anime fans, causing them to contort their bodies in strange but rhythmic formations. Read on for more about this unique performance art and watch some videos of afficionados in action.

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Hatsune Miku performs “live” on David Letterman! We love it, not sure he does though…【Video】

Hatsune Miku made her American TV debut on Wednesday night, performing on none other than the Late Show with David Letterman. Miku, of course, is a vocaloid, a super-famous Japanese idol who just happens to be virtual. The turquoise-haired star surprised viewers by performing an English song, “Sharing the World”.

Mr. Letterman, meanwhile, looked a little nonplussed.

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Plus-size idol group “la BIG 3” made a music video, and they do a lot of eating in it【Video】

Japanese idol group la BIG 3 are the latest manifestation of this year’s chubby trend, which has seen the phrase “marshmallow girl” embraced (by some, anyway) as an alternative to other, less complimentary names for bigger girls. The trio released their first music video last week, an upbeat little number called “Pochative ~ Body mo Heart mo Glamorous”, a celebration of chubbiness that encourages women everywhere to – wait for it – “be positive!”

It’d be nice if the video wasn’t all about food, though. Was it really necessary for them to be gazing at fried chicken, and using ice-cream cones and sausages as microphones?!

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All insolvent idol group “The Margarines” to debut, total debt of all members: 127 million yen

Debt is a major problem facing people of all ages today. Many young graduates head out into the world already handicapped by a shrinking job market and crippling student loans while their parents have to deal with drying pensions and stagnant real-estate market. It’s a heavy burden that requires a combination of luck and hard work to pull oneself out of, but with some sensible fiscal planning it is possible.

Or, you could do what the nine young women in The Margarines did and pursue a career in the pop idol industry. Their mission is to sing and dance their way out of a combined 127.7M yen (US$1.17M) of debt in an already heavily over-saturated entertainment industry. How could it possibly fail?

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Swimsuit idols that you can date and marry

Pop idols exist in this strange space between reality and fantasy. While they are living, breathing individuals, they are set on a pedestal and rarely get to interact with people one on one. While groups like AKB48 may be tied to a certain location to serve as a symbol of pride for one area’s people, outside of meet and greet events, fans cannot really get to know them. Of course, the biggest taboo of all is for a pop idol and a fan to begin dating. But one brave group has decided to step forth from the binds of their image. Meet the members of the idol group Happening Girls. These four lovely ladies depicted here are unique in the idol community because they are allowed to foster relationships, date, and even marry their fans.

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Pop idols’ management demands 8 million yen in damages after two members caught dating fans

It’s a long-standing rule in the pop idol industry in Japan: performers should never become involved in romantic relationships. Doing so would, apparently, tarnish the reputations carefully designed to make these entertainers appear “accessible,” reducing them to the status of “regular people.” And that’s no life for an idol.

We’ve seen this rule lead to instances of head-shaving and weird YouTubers before in Japan. However, one idol management company is taking this rule to a new level and demanding compensation for damages as a result of performers fraternizing with fans–to the order of US$75,000.

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Live out your secret idol fantasies with Dolly Kanon for 3DS

We’ve seen plenty about virtual girlfriends, fun little apps that provide you with all the charms of an attractive girl (well, almost all) without the inconvenience of having to deal with a real person. Well, what if you’ve been waiting for the crossdressing male version…?!

In Dolly Kanon, the newly announced Nintendo 3DS game from Happinet, you can take on the role of musical producer as you manage your secret cross-dressing boyfriend’s career as a music idol!

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