Information about AKB’s next sousenkyo is out, GEM and Puti Passpo disband, Airi Suzuki’s back, Yui Oguri is centering an AKB single, Natsuki Kojima announces graduation, a unit called HOT DOG CAT debuts, Emi Arisaka holds a memorial concert for a fan, and more!
This Week’s Releases
Bakusute Sotokanda Icchome – WOI!
BILLIE IDLE – P.S.R.I.P
Chuning Candy – Dance with me
Chu-Z – Gonna be alright!
Clef Leaf – Everlasting First Kiss
MyDreams.jp – MyDreams.ep
RY’s – Seishun 1 2 3
Sanspo Idol Reporter (SIR) – Nanatsu no Mirai/Samurainer
Idol Kyoushitsu (Idol Class) – Donna Osushi Demo Kamawanai
Oyasumi Hologram – BAND DEMO vol.2
Last Week’s Oricon Rankings
1st: AKB48 – Jabaja – 1,115,843 (NEW)
3rd: Keyakizaka46 – Glass wo Ware! – 55,357 (down)
4th: Perfume – Mugen Mirai – 44,213 (NEW)
9th: X21 – Friday Night Party – 16,909 (NEW)
13th: Yui Ogura – Shiroku Saku Hana – 10,964 (NEW)
14th: Yumemiru Adolescence – Sakura – 10,194 (NEW)
16th: Tokyo Performance Doll – TRICK U – 7,956 (NEW)
21st: SKE48 – Muishiki no Iro – 5,848 (down)
32nd: STU48 – Kurayami – 4,037 (up)
33rd: Nogizaka46 – Itsuka Dekiru kara Kyou Dekiru – 3,527 (up)
37th: TEARS – storia – 2,636 (NEW)
38th: Fairies – HEY HEY ~Light Me Up~ – 2,483 (down)
44th: Party Rockets GT – NON STOP ROCK – 2,013 (NEW)
19th: Moso Calibration – Moso Douchuu Hizakurige ~moso traveling~ – 3,484 (NEW)
22nd: Earphones – Some Dreams – 3,099 (NEW)
47th: Keyakizaka46 – Masshirona Mono wa Yogoshitaku Naru – 1,340 (down)
Major PV and Song Releases
NGT48 released the PV for their upcoming single Haru wa Doko kara Kuru no ka? on 3/19. The song is fairly generic, but the verses are in a lower register than a lot of 48G songs and I think the chorus is pretty catchy. Apparently the PV will only be up for a limited time, so check it out now if you’re interested.
Kobushi Factory’s lead A-side off their new single Kore kara da! had its PV released on 3/19. It’s decent, but I haven’t been feeling their stuff for a while. It might grow on me, we’ll see.
BiSH’s PV for their new single PAiNT it BLACK was released on 3/23. It’s the new opening for the anime Black Clover, which is a pretty big deal for BiSH since it’s one of the most popular anime airing right now. It’s definitely not one of my favorite BiSH songs, but it’s alright.
sora tob sakana released the PV for the lead track Lightpool off their major debut EP alight ep on 3/23. They have a very unique sound, so I encourage you to give Lightpool a listen if you haven’t heard any of their stuff before.
The PV for Ayaka’s Sakura starring ex-AKB48 member Rina Kawaei was released on 3/22. It’s a long, drama focused PV so if you’re a fan of Ricchan’s acting, give it a watch.
Chuning Candy released a choreography video to COLOR on 3/23, the B-side to their new single Dance with me. It’s not as good as the A-side, in my opinion, but it’s still pretty fun and I think people who like dance pop groups like Fairies and GEM will like it. You can watch it here.
BESTIEM released a PV for their upcoming single Hanky Panky Funky Punky! featuring rap vocals from RHYMEBERRY’s MIRI. Both members of BESTIEM are former members of Idoling!!!, so if you were a fan of that group, like RHYMEBERRY, or like funk/disco songs, check it out here.
ONEPIXCEL released a choreography video to Howling on 3/25, the B-side to their new single LAGRIMA. Member Nanami Tanabe used to be a member of the Hello! Project Kenshuusei and Shugo Chara Egg. If you like EDM influenced idols, check them out here.
Underground PV and Song Releases
SHINGEKI’s Rainy was released last year, but the PV was released on 3/23. I highly recommend checking it out, both because Rainy was one of my favorite songs last year and because it’s a good PV, especially if you’re a fan of yuri/shipping idols.
Philosophy no Dance released the short version of Logic Jump on Soundcloud. It’s not a favorite, but I think their songs are all pretty great.
The PV for Zekkyou Suru 60do featuring The Heana Cat’s new song Gokiburi was released on 3/22. I’ve never followed Zekkyou, but I think this is pretty good.
To commemorate the graduation of Mio Tetsudo, a solo song and PV of the Hakoiri♡Musume member was released on 3/21. It’s a cover of Yuki Saito’s 1985 hit AXIA ~Kanashii Kotori~.
KINDAI GIRLS released the PV for their new song Free Your Imagination! on 3/21. It’s sound produced by Tsunku, so if you’re a Hello! Project fan, I think you’ll like this.
The short version of Asterisk’s Get Wild EDM Remix was released on 3/19.
The PV for Bakusute Sotokanda Icchome’s new single WOI! was released on 3/19. It’s also written by Tsunku and it’s probably pretty good, but it’s blocked in America, so I haven’t seen it yet. If it’s not blocked in your country or you want to put on your VPN, you can watch it here.
The new song Way You Hope by QUEENS, a new rock idol group with a dance focus, was released on Soundcloud on 3/22.
Ex °C-ute member Airi Suzuki will be releasing her first solo album on 6/6. It will be titled Do me a favor.
Hiragana Keyaki, a sub-group of Keyakizaka46, will be releasing their first album on 5/23.
The recently disbanded group Idol Renaissance will release their self-titled last album on 5/4, the day they were formed. It will include 2 CDs and a Blu-ray with all of their songs, a new song, and their last live.
In commemoration of her 30th birthday, Negicco member Nao is getting a solo single. It will be titled Nanohana and released on 4/11. An accompanying PV will be released on the same day.
SAKA-SAMA will be releasing a new single in late May. It will be produced by popular solo idol Risa Satosaki.
Ex PALET members Yuka Habara and Hazuki Tanda and ex Puti Passpo members Hinata Yagi and Yuna Yamamoto are forming a new unit called Nankini Pepper. The unit’s concept is high school girls that are idols and YouTubers.
I-GET (READY TO KISS, SAY-LA, and BABY TO KISS’s agency) debuted their new unit HOT DOG CAT on 3/19. All six members were previously members of BABY TO KISS and Ai Aoi was formerly a member of Steam Girls under the name Aina Hoshi.
Ex-Himeniwa (Princess Garden) members Iyu, Yura Momose, and Hinata Hoshino debuted in the new unit Secret3 on 3/25. It’s a limited time unit where the members will perform Himeniwa and CANDYIISTRIPE_NEO songs.
GCE (Chu-Z, Tokyo CuteCute, Amorecarina Nagoya) debuted their new unit #Shuwashuwa on 3/25. They are a Nagoya based three member unit. Hirari Yumeno was formerly a member of Hachimitsu Emperor under the name Hirari Tachibana and Yuki Amano was formerly a member of Amorecarina Nagoya. My friend went to their debut since he was a fan of Hirari in Hachipera and said they were a good group and their live was really fun, so I’d recommend checking them out.
Kiyoki Sakura no Gotoku (KSG) debuted on 3/25. They are a Yamaguchi based idol group formed from Actors School Yamaguchi students. They are aiming to perform at the 2020 Olympics and they are an eight member group with an average age of 16.7. That’s a lofty goal that sounds impossible to reach, but groups that come out of an entertainment school tend to be better at singing and dancing than average, so they’re maybe worth watching.
Playballs U-18 members Urara Ookuma and Kokoro Ookuma, as well as Playballs trainees Miho Kuroki and Nana Matsui, will become Zettai Chokkyuu Joshi! Playballs members on 3/29.
Hiyori Takagi debuted in HAPPY♡ANNIVERSARY on 3/25.
Hikaru Shiota was announced as a new member of And More on 3/24. She has been a member of Ato 3 Senchi for a while and will now be a concurrent member of both groups. She has done a lot of gravure work and was formerly a member of Katamomi Joshi and Yanchan Gakuen Ongakubu
Yuri was announced as a new member of Tamayura. She will be the white member, she likes Kamen Rider (particularly 555), idols, Showroom and other streaming services, meat, beer, and sushi. She says her ambition is to get married to all her fans. Yuri will debut on 4/1.
It was announced that Hina Oono and Momona Ayase will debut in Slime Girls on 3/26. Hina is from Kanagawa, nineteen years old, likes eating and idols, and it’s her dream to be in Alice Juban. Momona is also nineteen years old, from Tokyo, is often called eccentric, and likes Love Live, comedy, Disney, and Youtubers. She’s also a fan of idols; her oshimen is Alice Juban’s Anna Tachibana and she really likes Momoiro Clover Z.
It has been announced that Cupidolic will get new members on 5/12.
Promotions and Transfers
Rena Yamamiya debuted for a second time in Slime Girls on 3/20. She was promoted to OZ, but decided to demote herself because she didn’t think she was skilled enough for OZ yet.
Reina Oosaki debuted in BABY TO KISS on 3/19. She was formerly a member of SAY-LA but demoted herself to their agency’s trainee group.
GEM disbanded on 3/25. I wasn’t a huge fan, but I loved their music and it’s sad to see them go.
Puchi Passpo disbanded on 3/21. It still makes me sad they weren’t able to make it to the Olympics…but if you’re a fan of Hinata or Yuna, they just started their activities in a new unit with two of the ex-PALET members.
Ishikawa prefecture based idol group Shinsei Oyayubi Princess is disbanding on 4/1.
Monochrome themed rock idol group Tsuioku no Monochrome is disbanding on 4/14.
Futari Opposite went on indefinite hiatus on 3/19.
All of the members of Senritsu Melodies graduated on 3/21. They will restart in the future with new members.
Hoshikage Asterhythm stopped their activities on 3/25.
All of the members of Mi-II graduated and the group went on hiatus on 3/25.
Kimi ni Toritsukitai is ending its activities on 4/4.
Both members of Oshikura Manju are graduating in April and the group is going on indefinite hiatus. Honoka will be continuing as a solo artist and Yuuri will be joining a new idol group.
on and Go! is disbanding on 5/5.
BASEBALL☆GIRLS is going on indefinite hiatus in June so the members can focus on their individual activities.
Graduations, Withdrawals, and Dismissals
Mika Ijima and Yuuka Takamura graduated from X21 on 3/25.
Sakura Gakuin members Aiko Yamaide, Megumi Okada, and Momoko Okazaki graduated on 3/24.
Kotone Suzuki, Yuna Sakamoto, and Mitsuki Suzuki graduated from FES☆TIVE on 3/25. Kotton was one of my favorite idols and I met her countless times over the course of a year. It really hurts to lose her and to not be able to properly say goodbye; I’ve been meaning to write a post about it, but I guess it’s still a little hard.
Ayame Mizuki and Kaho Onomura graduated from Zettai Chokkyuu Joshi! Playballs on 3/25.
Hono Katsushika graduated from Tokyo 23ku Girls on 3/19. She just entered high school and wanted to focus on her education.
Woltanative member Futaba Imai was dismissed from the group after management found out that she was privately contacting a fan.
Runa Himeno graduated from Poison Rat on 3/20 to go after her dream.
Mio Tetsudo graduated from Hakoiri♡Musume on 3/21.
Miria Oki left Shibusan Blue Class on 3/21 to focus on getting work as a model and talent.
Tera Palms member Kuko Uzo graduated on 3/21.
Aoi Yoake, Utau, and Mayu Yumesaki graduated from Attraison D’etre on 3/21.
Houpri Youth member Ayame Serizawa ended her activities with the group on 3/22.
26ji no Masquerade member Shion Asakura graduated on 3/23.
Rika Konishi graduated from PLC on 3/23.
clipclip member Sayaka Kanade graduated on 3/24. She plans to continue in the entertainment industry.
Kana Yamamoto graduated from Jekyll to Hyde on 3/24.
Meiai Help! member Miina Hoshino was dismissed from the group on 3/25 after failing to contact management about unexcused absences.
Fuuka and Miki graduated from Minyo Girls on 3/25.
Reina graduated from C;ON on 3/25.
asfi member Yuna Arisugawa graduated on 3/25 to focus on school and future activities.
Graduation, Withdrawal, and Dismissal Announcements
AKB48 member Natsuki Kojima announced graduation on 3/19. She is the last remaining 11th generation member of AKB48 and has never been in an A-side, but she was the center of Bara no Kajitsu along with Nana Okada and Mako Kojima.
Ex Stella☆Beats/current Fresh Vegetables member Mana Hoshino is retiring from the industry on 7/16. She feels that her job as an entertainer is to make everyone happy and when she’s having worries about recovering medically, performing while having medical issues, and her aging family, she shouldn’t continue to appear on stage. Mana is an idol (artist? She’s not exactly an idol anymore even though I’m listing her, but you can get chekis with her like an idol) that I really admire and have met a number of times. It’s sad to see her retire, especially for the reasons that she’s retiring, but I hope her recovery goes well and she succeeds in whatever she does next.
PPP! PiXiON and TOKYOPiXiON member Erika Suzuki is graduating from both groups on 5/19 to focus on her acting career.
Hina Asaoka is graduating from N-FlavoR on 3/31 to focus on school.
Nana Kishibe is graduating from Kajyuu 100% on 4/3.
Kyouka is graduating from Sarukani Banashi in April. New members will be joining the group in May.
Nogizaka46 member Hinako Kitano returned from her four month hiatus on 3/24 by appearing on Nogizaka46 46-Hour TV.
TPD DASH!! member Sarika Kidd came off hiatus on 3/24.
AKB48 Team 8 members Nanami Sato and Yuri Yokomichi went on hiatus on 3/23. Nanami’s hiatus is because of poor health and Yuri’s because she wants to focus on school.
The group Kajyuu 100% is going on a short hiatus starting on 4/3 to prepare the new members for debut.
The group Sakura doll will be going on a short hiatus starting on 4/4 to prepare for future activities.
Other Mainstream Idol News
AKB48 has released details for their next Senbatsu Sousenkyo. It will be titled The 10th AKB48 World Senbatsu Sousenkyo and girls from all of the Japanese groups, as well as JKT48, BNK48, and TPE48, will be able to apply. 20 new ranks will be added, meaning 100 girls will rank. The girls who rank 81st-100th will be a part of 10th AKB48 World Senbatsu Sousenkyo Kinen Waku. Girls can announce their candidacy from 3/23-3/27, the voting period will be from 5/29-6/15, and preliminary results will be announced on 5/30. The event will take place on 6/16.
The lineup for AKB48’s upcoming single has been announced. AKB48 Team 8 member Yui Oguri will be center, marking her first time as center of a title track. AKB48 members Seina Fukuoka and Mizuki Yamauchi are entering senbatsu for the first time and HKT48 member Nako Yabuki is entering AKB48 senbatsu for the first time.
Nogizaka46 member Rina Ikoma will graduate at Nippon Budokan on 4/22.
Rie Kitahara’s NGT48 graduation live will take place at the NGT48 theater on 4/18.
The Yoshimoto members who have passed the first round of evaluations for Yoshimotozaka46 have been announced. Ex-NMB48 members Riho Kotani (now going by Riho Miaki) and Yui Takano have both passed. I hope Ripopo makes it in, I’d love to see her as an idol again!
Tokyo Idol Festival is holding an event in Bangkok from 4/27-4/29 and they have announced that NGT48 will be participating. The participating members will be Aina Kusakabe, Anju Sato, Miharu Nara, Fuka Murakumo, Noe Yamada, and Maho Yamaguchi. The other groups performing there are JKT48, BNK48, Manekikecha, Lovely☆DOLL, Akishibu Project, Task have Fun, Necopla, Papirosier, and Milcs Honmono.
Yoshimotozaka46’s first TV show has been announced. It will start on 4/3 and will be titled Yoshimotozaka46 ga Urerumade no Zenkiroku. It will feature Nogizaka46 member Sayuri Matsumura. I didn’t realize they were starting up activities so quickly but hey, cool.
AKB48 member Anna Iriyama will be starring in the upcoming movie Ai Ai Gasa, adapted from a stage play of the same name. It will be released in theaters in October. Isn’t she going to Mexico for a year? When’s she filming?
Nogizaka46 member Mai Shiraishi will be starring in the upcoming drama Yaretakamo Iinkai, based off the manga of the same name. It will start airing on 4/22 on MBS and 4/24 on TBS.
Ex-AKB48 member Rina Kawaei will be the best friend of the main character in the upcoming movie Sensei Kunshu, based off the shoujo manga of the same name. The movie will be released on 8/1.
Morning Musume ’18 member Maria Makino will have a guest role in the Major 2nd baseball anime.
Ex °C-ute member Airi Suzuki, Kobushi Factory, Negicco, Batten Show-jo Tai, BiSH, Maison book girl, Yurumerumo!, and a selection of girls from Last Idol will be performing at the VIVA LA POP festival at Saitama Super Arena on 5/6.
Ex-°C-ute member Airi Suzuki’s website has been released. You can find it here.
Ex-AKB48 member Rina Kawaei will be the new assistant MC on talk show A-Studio starting in April.
The members of Hiragana Keyaki will be starring in a stage play called Ayumi in Tokyo from 4/20-5/6.
Kobushi Factory had a LINE LIVE broadcast on 3/19 to promote their new single. It has been archived and you can view it here.
SKE48 will debut in 3D at avex 360°3D Theatre, Japan’s largest 3D theater, in Aichi on 4/22.
SKE48 members Rara Goto and Natsuki Takatsuka announced that they will not be participating in the upcoming general election. Rara said that her reason is because she wants to focus on school.
Ex AKB48/SDN48 member Kazumi Urano has quit her agency Ogi Pro and launched her own website here.
AKB48 will have a new mobile game released on 4/10. It will be titled AKB48 DICE CARAVAN and will be a RPG x Sugoroku game.
Other Underground Idol News
Solo idol Emi Arisaka had a 55 year old fan nicknamed Okkyan who went to almost all of her lives for the past ten years suddenly stop showing up to her lives in 2017. She was especially worried when she discovered that he had stopped updating any of his social media accounts, was able to find his address, and checked to see if he was alright. Unfortunately, his neighbors informed her that he had passed away in August 2017 because of an aortic dissection. She also found out that he had no close family or relatives and no funeral had been held for him. Emi was deeply saddened by the news and decided to hold a memorial concert for him on 4/11. She has also recruited Flowered Gem, another idol Okkyan was a fan of, to be a part of this concert. It’s really nice of Emi to do this and most idols definitely wouldn’t go through so much effort to find out if a fan was okay, much less hold a memorial concert for them. Still, it’s really sad to think that he went so many months without anyone knowing except his neighbors.
Ehime based idol group Enoha Girls member Honoka Oomota died on 3/21. She was only sixteen years old. The official statement from management said that she was taking a break because of various circumstances, but several sources came forward and said that she committed suicide on 3/21. One source claiming to be a good friend of Honoka’s said that before her death, she was “betrayed” by the head of her group’s management, which people are speculating to mean some kind of power harassment or sexual harassment. This is so sad to hear and so far I haven’t seen any kind of English posts about this, so I’m planning on making one in the next couple days.
Alice Juban member Erina Kamiya started up a second YouTube channel called Kamiya Erina games on 3/21. So far, she has played Monster Strike and Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy. In her videos up until now, she is joined by either Armor Girls member Moa Tsukino or Misa Kubota. I’m really not interested in watching anyone play (in my opinion) shitty mobile games like Monster Strike, but it’ll be fun to see what she’s up to and hopefully Monster Strike videos won’t make up the majority of her channel.
The first wave of idols for Tokyo Idol Festival have been announced! The groups/soloists that have been announced are amiinA, Osaka☆Shunkashuto, Shine Fine Movement, Jewel☆Rouge, Junsui Cafe Latte, Aozora Sorano, Task have Fun, Nanaland (formerly drop), Nankini!, 26ji no Masquerade, Parfait, Pandamic, PiXMiX, and monogatari (formerly Harajuku Monogatari). It is Shine Fine Movement, Jewel☆Rouge, Nanaland, Nankini!, and PiXMiX’s first appearances at Tokyo Idol Festival. These five groups will also be part of a competition with three other new units that haven’t been announced yet to get the chance to perform on the main stage.
Adolfiina from JaME World interviewed Broken By The Scream in English. You can read the interview here.
That’s it for this week, as always let me know if I missed anything, if you have any questions, or if you learned anything!