Most idol groups have a YouTube channel where you can view music videos, lives, and maybe announcements. Obviously, I think this is great, but want to know what I enjoy even more? When idols branch out and make their own YouTube channels, whether it’s to show behind the scenes footage of events, let fans see a more personal side of them, branch off and try something new, do vocal/or dance covers, explain how they do something they’re good at, or just for fun. In this post, I’ll talk about some current and ex-idols that have made their own YouTube channels, both mainstream and underground. I’ll be going by subscriber count, so if you’re more interested in underground idols, you may want to scroll to the bottom (but not necessarily, because some have gotten a pretty big following!)
Akarin is probably the most famous case of an idol who decided to become a YouTuber. Her decision to start YouTube has gotten her a lot of new fans and made her popularity within the group increase considerably. I think she’s also been the inspiration for a lot of other idols to start YouTube. Akarin mostly does makeup videos, but she recently started a new channel here for more behind the scenes and personal content.
Yuko was one of the original members of HKT48 and although she wasn’t an idol for long, she’s become really popular as a Youtuber. She mostly does makeup videos, but she tries to do some more general content, too. I think she’s really cute; it’s too bad she isn’t still an idol, but she probably enjoys this more, has more free time, and is doing better financially as a YouTuber.
Group: Kamen Joshi (Alice Juban)
Erina is becoming more and more prominent in the mainstream, in part because of her YouTube channel. She’s very active and her content mostly consists of her own takes on popular trends and silly comedy. Recently, she also started a gaming channel here where she plays games like Ao Oni and Monster Strike. Clearly, Alice Project does all the editing for Erina, but she’s gotten so popular that it’ll be interesting to see if she tries to keep up her YouTube presence after graduation.
Subscriber Counts: 216K
After her career in Nagoya idol project BSJ, Yunchan became a quite popular YouTuber. She mostly focuses on beauty and fashion, but she also has comedy and vlog type videos. Rumors started going around that Yunchan used to be in SKE48, which were sort of true: she was one of the 16 preliminary members of the 5th generation, but she was one of the three that didn’t debut.
Sakino Niki (Sakino Kiyoshi)
Group: Ex-Kiyoshi Ryujin 25
Kiyoshi Ryujin 25 was an interesting group, huh? It’s not around anymore, but if you aren’t familiar with it, it was an idol group made up of the male producer Ryujin Kiyoshi and seven other girls who were referred to as his “wives”. It was actually better and less creepy than it sounds. Anyway, Sakino started a YouTube channel post Kiyoshi Ryujin 25 and she’s gotten a lot of attention. Her channel is beauty themed and focuses on makeup tutorials, hair tutorials, and recommended products.
Pink Crackers (Misa Kubota, Mayu Kusunoki, Mana Sakamoto, and Yuuka Kojima)
Group: Kamen Joshi (Alice Juban and Armor Girls)
Alice Juban members Mayu, Mana, and Yuuka and Armor Girls members Miishan and Maki teamed up to make a YouTube channel together under the name Pink Crackers. Maki recently graduated, so it’s continuing on with the four of them, although they might get a new member later. They mostly do comedy videos, competitions, and pranks. I think it’s a good way to get to know a lot of the Alice Project members, if you’re interested in learning about Alice Project.
About a year after her graduation from AKB48, Akicha decided to make a YouTube channel. Her content seems to be all over the place, but hey, that means there’s something for everyone? Most of her videos seem to be focused on comedy, popular YouTube trends, and collaborations. She recently did a video with Kamen Joshi member Erina Kamiya, which I thought was pretty interesting.
This isn’t one member, but the entirety of KissBee. KissBee has a main channel where they post things like music videos, CMs, and new songs, but they made another channel to post videos unrelated to those topics. I felt a bit uncomfortable posting this, since they post a lot of videos that are kind of suggestive and the members are all high school students, but they’re really active, they’ve gotten a lot of attention, and there are some good videos that introduce the members well.
Miorin doesn’t seem to have much of a theme, but she has a wide variety of content, including comedy videos, viral trends, dance videos, nail videos and makeup videos. Whether you like beauty or just idols being silly, you can probably find something.
Sakura recently started a game channel and so far, she’s been playing Splatoon 2 and Undertale. I’m a fan of Undertale and it doesn’t seem like the type of game idols would usually go for, so I think it’s pretty exciting. I’ve also heard that she’s actually good at Splatoon. I wouldn’t know, but if you play a lot of Splatoon, you might have fun watching her channel for that reason.
Groups: Ex-KRD8, Ex-Saishuu Mirai Heiki mofu, Ex-Gekijouban Gokigen Teikoku
I’m not too familiar with Kazuki, but it seems that she’s been in a lot of different idol groups and at the end of last year, decided to focus on YouTube and her solo career as an artist. She posts lots of different content, some of it including video game let’s plays, ASMR, videos about what it’s been like being an idol, gravure, and more. I have a feeling her channel will continue to grow.
Okosama Plate is an idol group that uploads YouTube videos every day at 8 PM JST. From what I can tell, they’re completely focusing on being net idols and are just doing things like YouTube, SHOWROOM, and LINE LIVE instead of having standard live events. Still, they upload every day and seem to interact with fans to some degree, so if you want to see cute girls do funny, entertaining, and sometimes a bit perverted videos, check them out.
Kaotan doesn’t post very often, but the videos she posts are a must see for SKE48 fans. She mostly posts long behind the scenes videos of big SKE theater shows, particularly graduations. In 2016, she made a whole hour and a half long documentary about the sousenkyo and the SKE members in it. She’s doing great work and I hope she keeps it up.
Miyu is known for being one of the best singers in 48G as well as a great piano player and she proves it on her YouTube channel. Her channel consists of vocal covers of many different songs, including some 48G ones, and she often plays piano accompaniment while singing. Miyu’s really nice to listen to and I hope she continues to sing even after she graduates from AKB.
Mio recently started a YouTube channel and is focusing on makeup, hair, fashion, and beauty. She’s very cute, so I’d definitely recommend your channel if you’re into these topics.
Shinsei YouTuber Kenkyuukai BYS (Pour Lui)
Pour Lui decided to become a YouTuber after leaving BiS and she seems to be focusing on crazy ideas and challenges. She has guests in pretty much all of her videos, including Maison Book Girl’s Megumi Koshouji, soloist/ex-BiS member Tentenko, BILLIE IDLE’s First Summer Uika and Nozomi Hirano, GANG PARADE’s Saki Kamiya, ex-BiS member Rio Michibayashi, the Charisma Brothers, and probably others I’m leaving out, so if you’re a fan of WACK, you’ll probably love her channel.
Chocomeshi (Nanaka Kawamura and Hitomi Momose)
Group: Kamen Joshi (Alice Juban and Armor Girls)
Chocomeshi started as Alice Juban member Nanaka’s personal channel for doing workout videos and feats of strength, but eventually, Armor Girls member Momomin joined to form Chocomeshi. The two of them do comedy videos, pranks, and generally ridiculous things.
Anchu hasn’t been posting much recently, but she’s uploaded a bunch of videos of her playing Dragon Quest. If you’re a fan of Dragon Quest or Let’s Plays, you might like her channel.
SoraMahi Channel (Sora Nomoto and Mahiro Hayashida)
Sora and Mahiro from Fairies decided to make a YouTube channel recently. They haven’t done much, but it looks like they want to focus on silly videos and challenges.
Group: Kamen Joshi (Armor Girls)
Armor Girls member Moa was the first Kamen Joshi member to make a YouTube channel. She started by doing makeup videos, but then decided to also do some voice-acting and anime related content, since she wants to be a voice actress. She does a lot of moe or confession themed lines, so if you think Moa’s cute, you’ll probably love her videos.
I don’t know Lovetan that well, but apparently she’s a massive Koreaboo because her content is almost all Korean themed and in her videos, she discusses Korean food, makeup, and the Korean language. If you like learning about Korea and Korean things, you’re in luck.
Up Up Girls (YouTuber)
Up Up Girls has a normal channel where they post things like music videos and live performance videos, but they also have a “YouTuber” channel where they showcase their personalities playing games, answering questions, and more. Lately, they’ve been mostly focusing on games, specifically Splatoon 2, Fortnite, Monster Strike, and Bleach Brave Souls.
Group: Iketeru Hearts
Yuyu speaks English pretty well, so I linked a video of her speaking English, but most of her other videos are in Japanese. She’s very active and mostly does videos related to food and Disney, but she makes a bunch of different content.
Group: Ex-Kamen Joshi (Steam Girls)
I think Satsuki’s super cute, but her YouTube channel is mostly made up of her playing the mobile app Monster Strike. The game really doesn’t interest me, but if you’re a fan or you just want to see Satsuki’s cute face, you should watch her videos. Every once and a while, she’ll release a dance video or some other type of content, so I like to keep an eye out for those.
Group: Kamen Joshi (Easter Girls)
Kamen Joshi’s Osaka unit Easter Girls also has an active YouTuber! Satsuki mostly posts very short dance videos and gravure off-shoots. I think they’re pretty low effort, but if you like seeing idols do cute dances or seeing Satsuki in a bikini, check her channel out.
Ex-PALET members Yuka Habara and Hazuki Tanda and ex-Puti Passpo members Hinata Yagi and Yuna Yamamoto recently formed Nankini Pepper, an “iTuber” (idol x YouTuber) themed group. Their videos include contests, pranks, Q&As, and more.
Miomio started a YouTube channel recently and is fairly active so far. She’s mostly been focusing on hair, makeup, and skincare tutorials, but she also makes videos about other things, like fashion and movies.
Miyabi just recently graduated from AKB48, but she’s still pretty active on her YouTube channel. Her channel is mostly makeup and beauty themed, but instead of tutorials, she seems to mostly be doing product reviews. If you like Japanese beauty products, her videos are a good introduction.
Player Aichan (Ai Negishi)
Passpo’s Aipon has recently restarted her YouTube channel. She mostly plays video games like Monster Hunter, Fortnite, and Dead by Daylight, but she also answers questions, makes videos about food, and more.
Maokyun recently made a channel to upload clips of her doing different voices, since she wants to be a voice actress. She’s uploading a new video every Saturday at 10 PM JST.
Maarin (Maari Watanabe)
Group: Ex-Kamen Joshi (Alice Juban)
Maari recently started a channel focused on beauty, specifically makeup tutorials, hair tutorials, and product reviews. She’s done a few videos related to baking and food, too, so if you’re not too interested in the beauty side of things, you might still be able to find a video you like.
Shi-ta has recently started to be active again on her old YouTube channel, where she used to post dance covers. Now, she talks about Majiban events, voice acting, and other things that interest her. Shi-ta’s said that in 2018 she wants to be an active YouTuber, so I think she’ll keep posting more and more as the year goes on.
Remitasu (Remi Ogata)
Group: Hachimitsu Emperor
Remi’s channel goes through periods of high activity and inactivity, but she’s one of my favorite idols, so I enjoy watching her videos when they’re released. She mostly does makeup videos, but she does some behind the scenes footage and dance videos too. If you’re interested in learning more about Hachimitsu Emperor, you can check out my podcast with Lucas here, where we talk about the group and his favorite member, Sana Takeshita.
Solo idol Fumimi Hoshina has recently gone from just posting live videos and music videos to posting videos about Disney, dieting, singing/dancing, and herself.
Himerhythm (Himeri Yuuki)
Himeri expressed a desire to be a YouTuber for a while and finally made it happen with her own channel. She’s not very active so far, so I can’t really tell what kind of content she’s going for, but one of her recent videos, where she exposed a fellow member from her agency having a secret meeting with fans, got a lot of attention. I talked about it here if you’re interested in learning more.
Those are all the current and ex-idol YouTubers that I’m aware of – which are your favorites? Do you know of any that I don’t? Let me know!