Meet the group that cosplayers and fans are falling in love with.
SMAP, one of Japan’s most famous pop boy band groups, have announced they will disband at the end of this year.
With its most famous idol groups being popular with both young girls and middle-aged men, Japan’s idol culture is a curious thing, There’s a juxtaposition at work here, with the young girls in these groups cultivating an image of purity and innocence while at the same time prancing around in bikinis and mini-skirts that so bewitch adult males.
Haruka Momokawa, one of Japan’s hottest new idols, has got this art down to a T, putting her adorably youthful look to coquettish use despite already being the ripe old age of 20.
The robot revolution is coming, and when it arrives, they’ll have an awful lot to be mad about, like making them dance for our amusement. But that’s still a long way off as far as we can tell, so we might as well get as much enjoyment out of our synthetic minions as possible now!
DMM is one of Japan’s most well-known technology companies, and considering everything they do, it’s easy to see why. From steaming video services to retail to friggin’ robots, they have a lot of thumbs in a lot of pies. But the pie that’s sure to infuriate our future roboverlords the most is probably DMM’s new Premaid AI—robot idols that will do dance whatever dance you want on the tabletop of your choosing.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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!
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”!
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.
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…
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!
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).
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!
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.