Ah, Himeri. If you follow underground idol news closely, you may have seen Himeri Yuuki’s name floating around recently. She made a YouTube video that went pretty viral in December and a few days ago, she made a blog post that got over 2,400 retweets, a really high number for a girl in a relatively small group. Himeri is definitely saying and doing things that many consider taboo or scandalous and she’s been getting both positive and negative attention for it.
Before I get to talking about her viral video and blog post, you may be wondering who this girl is exactly. Himeri started her idol career by joining Alice Project under the name Himeri Araki. She joined Kamen Joshi’s trainee unit Slime Girls in April 2014 and was promoted to their cadet group Pa-Ken! in April 2015.
In August 2015, she got the opportunity to be considered for Kamen Joshi, but she declined, stating that she didn’t have confidence in herself and Yuuka Kojima, Maki Kitamura, and the now graduated Koume Ume ended up being promoted. She took the next opportunity to be considered for Kamen Joshi in June 2016, but Nana Katayose was chosen instead (who never actually debuted in Kamen Joshi because she disappeared from Alice Project shortly after). Himeri was really upset, abruptly announced graduation, and graduated from Pa-Ken! and Alice Project five days later.
After this, she disappeared from the entertainment industry for about six months and then reappeared as a SHOWROOM streamer and photo event model under her current name Himeri Yuuki. Shortly after, she became the leader and one of the founding members of a new group, No Plan (yep, that’s really their name).
She was the most popular member, but the group’s fanbase wasn’t (and still isn’t) very big and in August 2017, she graduated for a second time. Her fans didn’t have to wait for very long, though, because in September, she was one of the three new members to join DISDOL, a hard rock themed idol group. In October, it was announced that all of the members besides Himeri and the two other new members were graduating and that five band members would join. DISDOL’s band only seems to join them at major performances, but I still think it’s a pretty interesting setup.
Now that you know her background, let’s get to the drama. Himeri started a YouTube channel a few months ago, which I was pretty excited about, since I always enjoy seeing idols make their own YouTube channels. Her first couple videos were pretty normal and didn’t get very much buzz, but that all changed with her most recent video. Himeri starts the video by telling the viewers that she thinks idols having personal connections with fans is uncalled for and then proceeds to lead a staff member from her agency to one of the other idols from her agency having a secret private Christmas meeting at a restaurant with a few fans, where they ate food together and gave the other idol gifts. She censored the idol’s face and name with a K.I., but anyone who is familiar with Himeri’s group can tell that the idol she exposed was Kyouko Isshiki, a former member of DISDOL still doing idol activities with Himeri’s agency. Kyouko got dismissed from the agency immediately and Himeri goes on to act proud of her actions and tell the viewers that if they know of any idols having private relationships with their fans to email the information to her. This post got some positive buzz from idol fans who loved the fact that she had the courage to speak her opinion and post this, but it also got a lot of negative buzz for being in bad taste and downright mean. Here’s the video so you can watch for yourself:
Next, her blog post. A few days ago she made a blog post where she explains that at a DISDOL live, one idol fan fell asleep in the front row. She tries to think of valid reasons why the person could be sleeping in the front row of her live, but can’t find any. Himeri goes on to say that she hates people who stay in the front row without participating and that idol lives are not a place for sleeping, using your phone, or not paying attention to the group that is performing, if you’re not going to participate, you should leave or go home. She really lets her feelings out and says that fans that aren’t paying attention or aren’t participating like that are disgusting, rude, and she hates them. The blog was pretty harsh and not idol like at all, but she seemed to get an overwhelmingly positive response of idol fans agreeing with her and saying they liked seeing a more real side of idols like this. You can check out her post here.
Now, what do I think of all of this? Well, I became a fan of Alice Project a couple weeks before Himeri’s graduation from Pa-Ken. She wasn’t my favorite Pa-Ken member, but I had a good impression of her; I thought she had a cute face, a nice smile, and a unique and adorable voice. I was there the day that Nana’s promotion was announced and Himeri completely fell apart. She was bawling like crazy, couldn’t keep it together at all, and Kamen Joshi’s leader, Nodoka, had to help her. I thought it was sad but at the same time, some of the other members who had been cadet members even longer than her and weren’t promoted were doing a better job of staying composed and I thought that she was being a little overdramatic. That might sound heartless of me to say, but it’s how I felt at the time. I also thought it was a bit childish to quit right after promotions, especially since it was clear that there would probably be more Kamen Joshi promotions not too far ahead. Still, I liked her voice and appearance and everyone I knew who met her said that she was super friendly and great at interacting with fans, so I was a little bit sad that she was leaving.
When she joined No Plan, I was pretty happy and I decided to go and see her. I saw No Plan a few times and thought she was as cute as ever and seemed like a good leader. I also met her for the first time and she was really nice, easy to talk to, and good at fishing me in. After No Plan, I wasn’t surprised that she was joining a new group, as she made it clear that she was continuing in the entertainment industry, but I was surprised that DISDOL was the group that she’d be a part of. If you’re not familiar with Pa-Ken!, it’s a very cutesy group with fluffy dresses and over the top adorable songs. No Plan didn’t have quite as “cutesy” of an image, but their songs and outfits were very orthodox idol. DISDOL, on the other hand, is a hard rock themed group with cool black outfits and fairly intense music. Here’s my personal favorite of their songs:
The group was so different from anything she had done before and she’d always gone for a cute style and image, so I couldn’t picture her in DISDOL at all, especially since they said they were getting a band to try to make DISDOL known both as idols and artists. I haven’t seen DISDOL live, so I’m not really sure if she makes it work, but I do know that she is the leader, most popular member, and center. I’ve liked DISDOL for a while, though, so I was also kind of excited and I’m hoping to see her perform as a DISDOL member next time I go to Japan.
When Himeri released her video, I was initially surprised, but not too surprised. I liked Himeri, but she always seemed pretty unstable. She couldn’t handle her failure to get promoted, often posted things that were a bit dark on twitter, and on days where not many fans came to see her, she’d complain and ask why they weren’t there for her. Watching the video, I have to admit that I kind of enjoyed the drama, but I also agreed with the fans that said it was in bad taste. Though I was a fan of Kyouko Isshiki in DISDOL, I think having a private meeting for fans to give you gifts is a violation for which it’s worth dismissing an idol. However, the circumstances should have been kept private.
I also thought it was a little bit ironic for Himeri to be so against such a thing when she had a bit of a scandal herself. Between her time in Alice Project and No Plan, pictures of Himeri with a guy in bed were released and spread quickly around the Alice Project fandom. I’m sure she lost a few fans, since some idol fans can’t handle the thought of their favorite idol having a boyfriend, but at the same time, I don’t think it was too big of a deal to a lot of people since she was a “normal person” at the time and as far as I know, he wasn’t a fan. You might say that Himeri didn’t do anything wrong in that scenario and I’d agree, but I still think it’s kind of heartless for an idol who’s had a scandal herself and continued in the industry to get an idol dismissed for scandalous behavior. I lost a little bit of respect for Himeri, but mostly, I lost respect for the agency that allowed Himeri to film the whole event and make a YouTube video about it. I guess BELL AGENCY (the agency that manages DISDOL, Tokyo Illuminati, and the upcoming group COLOR’z) think that any publicity is good publicity.
Regarding the blog post, I agreed with pretty much everything she said, but I didn’t think she had to be as harsh about it as she was. I did think it was a pretty good post though and it made me reconsider some of my actions. I’ve never been one to hog the front and I’ll always move back if it’s a group that I don’t know well but sometimes, I’ll just stand in the back on my phone and barely pay attention to the idol group performing. Idol lives can get long, there’s usually no re-entry, and the area where idols are doing pictures and handshakes can get really busy. Also, if you’re standing around on your phone in the buppan area (where merchandise is being sold and you can meet idols from different groups), lots of idols will give you a flyer and try to get you interested in their group. That can be fun, but sometimes, I just want to be left alone, so I’ve found that half watching in the back of the venue while messing on my phone is the best way to kill time before the group I’m there for comes on.
Or is it? I’m not nearly as bad as the people in the front who are obviously ignoring the group, but the idols can probably still see me ignoring them while they’re doing their best to put on an entertaining live. I usually went to lives after a full day of work, cheering for a lot of groups can be exhausting, and it’s hard to participate when you don’t know the group well, but what I was doing was probably pretty rude, even though it’s very common. Himeri’s blog could have been a bit more tactful, but it’s nice to see an idol take a stand for what they think is right.
While I don’t agree with all of Himeri’s actions, I’d still consider myself a fan. She’s kind to her fans, fun to talk to, pretty, and a good performer. What do you think about Himeri? Do you think her actions were in the wrong or do you think that it’s good to see an idol be “real” like this? Let me know!