Cheeky Parade’s disbanding, Fuuko Yagura graduates from NMB48, Rie Kitahara has her NGT48 graduation concert, NGT48’s Team G is formed, Produce 48 members are revealed, STU48 gets a ship, NECRONOMIDOL, Yanakoto Sotto Mute, and 14Generations Toilet hanakosan are performing in America, and more in this week’s news!
This Week’s Releases
22/7 – Shampoo no Nioi ga Shita
Beboga! – Be!
Karen Koizumi – Kawaii Kana?
Karen Koizumi – Ueno Giant Panda
Momoiro Clover Z – Xiao Yi Xiao
Nao☆ (Negicco) – Nanohana
NGT48 – Haru wa Doko Kara Kuru no ka?
Nurse House – Harewatare!
Zankyou Symmetry – Soreto, Drink Bar de!
EMPiRE – THE EMPiRE STRiKES START!!
Qumali Depart – Qumali Depart 2
SPARK SPEAKER – Meaning of Life
Tokimeki Sendenbu – Tokiotome
Last Week’s Oricon Rankings
1st: NMB48 – Yokubomono – 193,740 (NEW)
3rd: Dempagumi.inc – Oyasumi Polaris Sayonara Parallel World/Girametasu Dempa Stars – 33,125 (NEW)
5th: Jewel☆Neige – Shiroi Yuki to Marguerite – 13,680 (NEW)
6th: Keyakizaka46 – Glass wo Ware! – 13,164 (up)
9th: SKE48 – Muishiki no Iro – 5,812 (same)
17th: AKB48 – Jabaja – 2,773 (up)
18th: STU48 – Kurayami – 2,590 (up)
21st: Zenbu Kimi no Sei da. – Tonari Kore Arata – 1,967 (NEW)
26th: NMB48 – Warota People – 1,254 (up)
29th: Perfume – Mugen Mirai – 1,098 (up)
38th: Kobushi Factory – Kore kara da!/Ashita Tenki ni Naare – 944 (down)
41st: Keyakizaka46 – Kaze ni Fukaretemo – 880 (up)
3rd: AKB48 – Bokutachi wa, Ano Hi no Yoake wo Shitteiru – 24,963 (up)
9th: HKT48 – 092 – 8,824 (up)
Major PV and Song Releases
HKT48 released the PV for their upcoming eleventh single Hayaokuri Calendar on 4/9. It’s a release I’d recommend all around; the song is really cute and charming and the music video is also really cute and stylish. One thing I thought was interesting is that the dance scenes seems to be at the same place LinQ shot their Harehare Parade music video.
Nogizaka46 released PVs for Against and Tokitoki Mekimeki this week, B-Sides off their upcoming single Synchronicity. They’re blocked in America, but if that’s not a problem, you can view them here and here.
Juice=Juice released the PV for Vivid Midnight off their upcoming single SEXY SEXY/Naite Ii yo/Vivid Midnight on 4/9. The sound, dance, and look are all very K-Pop inspired, but I think it’s a total jam, so check it out!
=LOVE released the PV for their upcoming third single Teokure Caution on 4/9. The dance and style remind of Keyakizaka46 and the song reminds me of HKT48’s Doro no Metronome. It’s definitely different from the other stuff =LOVE has done and it’s cool to see them trying new things.
EMPiRE released a PV for MAD LOVE, a track off their recently released album THE EMPIRE STRiKES START, on 4/11.
SUPER☆GiRLS released the PV for their upcoming eighteenth single Kirakira☆Sunshine on 4/14.
Up Up Girls (2) released the PV for Tte Iu Hatsukoi no Oyakusoku off their upcoming single Tte Iu Hatsukoi no Oyakusoku/Happiness LOVE♡ on 4/14. It took me a few times to actually listen to this song because I couldn’t get over how short the girl’s pinky was at the start, but I think this is a really fun song.
Good Tears, the Tetsuro Oda produced Last Idol group, released the PV for Thrill, a B-Side off the upcoming Last Idol single Kimi no Achoo!, on 4/9.
22/7 released a dance video for Junkan Bus, a B-Side off their recently released single Shampoo no Nioi ga Shita, on 4/10. It’s blocked in America, but if you can get around that or it’s not blocked for you, you can watch it here.
i☆Ris released a PV for their upcoming sixteenth single Changing point on 4/13.
Moso Calibration released a PV for Gosenfu, a track off their recently released album Moso Douchuu Hizakurige ~moso traveling~, on 4/13. It’s blocked in America, but if that’s not a problem for you, you can watch it here.
Underground PV and Song Releases
Kamen Joshi released two PVs for ISUMI ~Shikisai no Machi de~, off last year’s single Kamen Tairiku ~Personia~/ISUMI ~Shikisai no Machi de~, on 4/13. Okay, not only do they have very few members appearing in these videos, they have some members that weren’t even a part of this song because they were trainees and a member who isn’t in the group anymore featured. I wish they’d put more effort and care into their PVs.
STARMARIE released a PV for Tsuma wa Hyde ni Atte wa Ikenai, a track off their recently released album FANTASY WORLD IV, on 4/14.
KissBeeWEST released the PV for RE:GAME off their upcoming single 2kaime no Kokuhaku/RE:GAME on 4/15.
KOTO released a live video for DEAD or kawaii on 4/12.
Broken By The Scream released a live video for Do Do N Pa!! on 4/10.
Fleurette released the PV for Mikansei Girls off their upcoming single Mikansei Girls/Sambaing on 4/14.
Daidaidai released a live video for Kenihhi Kenihhi on 4/12.
mikicco released a new song on Soundcloud titled Ending Note.
Nao Yoshino released her seventh single Tenshi, Hakuri./Under The Deep Sea on Soundcloud on 4/15.
PINK CRES will release their second album on 6/27. It will be titled Etcetera and will contain ten songs.
FES☆TIVE’s seventh single will be titled Yamato Nadeshiko Sunrise. It will be released on 5/23.
The label codomomental is releasing a free mix CD with songs from Shounen ga Milk, Zenbu Kimi no Sei da, Gauche, Yukueshirezutsurezure, and Kaqriyo Terror Architect in select stores nationwide on 4/20. It will titled Mental Kodomo, contain 34 songs, and be part of their label’s pamphlet, codomomental MOOK.
Yanakoto Sotto Mute is releasing a second album titled MIRRORS. It will get a nationwide release sometime in June, but you can get it before then on their tour starting 5/6.
amiinA will be releasing their fifth single Jubilee on 5/23.
Malcolm Mask McLaren are releasing their third single Light up on!! on 5/15.
Fresh Vegetables will be releasing a CD a month until Mana Hoshino retires in July.
Minna no Kodomo-chan will be releasing their first full album Kabe no Nai Sekai on 5/23.
You Yanase is releasing her fourth single Hanami Kouji no Sono Saki de on 5/10.
hy4_4yh will be releasing their 22nd single in July.
Yumemidoki debuted on 4/15. The concept of the group is the story of dreaming girls and they want to start a new story by meeting and connecting with their fans through dreams. One of the members of the group, Momo Narumiya, is also the producer, lyrics writer, and composer. Momo is a solo idol, gravure model, and former member of Kawagoe CLEAR’S. I’m not familiar with Momo and the other members all seem to be new, but it’s cool to see an idol taking such an active role in her group.
G-COMPLEx debuted on 4/15. The group’s concepts are speed, sprinting, and grooviness. They officially inherited GALETTe and GIRLS4EVER’s girls’ funk sound. All four of the girls have been in previous groups; Kasumi is a former member of N-FLavoR and GIRLS4EVER, Kurumi is a former member of GIRLS4EVER, Yu-ka is a former member of Mary Angel, and Mika is a former member of Fairy Girl Frejya.
i☆Ris member Azuki Shibuya will be joining The Hoopers for the period of their currently untitled ninth single.
Mari Yoshino, Saria Seira, and Harumi Osuzu joined Area Girls on 4/9. They are now all members of Pa-Ken!, Kamen Joshi Kouhousei, and Area Girls.
Fue Mizuno joined Slime Girls on 4/15. She is 22 years old, from Kyoto, has been dancing since 8th grade, is confident in her dance skills, wants to be an actress, and likes the Powerpuff Girls, South Korean things, and Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku. Fue’s color is red.
Emily debuted in Seishun Youth Academy, Seishun Gakuen’s Canadian sister group, on 4/14. I couldn’t find any pictures of Emily on her own, but she is second from the right with the blonde twintails in this picture.
Ruru was announced as a new member of Datekko. She will debut with the group on 4/19.
Cheeky Parade announced that they are disbanding on 7/31. Marin Yamamoto and Mariya Suzuki, who are currently on hiatus from the group and studying abroad, will come back to perform for the final live. It’s not particularly clear why they are disbanding, but from what we’ve heard from the members, it sounds like it was a management decision and they didn’t have a part in it. Well, I don’t think this surprised anyone that much with the recent disbanding of GEM and the state of Cheeky Parade lately, but I know it’s made a lot of people upset. It kind of seems like Avex just wants to put all their budget towards Wasuta and get rid of the other Idol Street groups.
DISDOL is ending their idol activities and becoming a band on 4/24. Currently, DISDOL has five band members who perform at major lives and three idols. All of the current DISDOL band members will stay with the group, but two of the idols, Himeri Yuuki and Haruna Kurosaki, are leaving the group. The other idol, Sakura Mashiro, will stay on as the vocalist. Himeri will be joining a new idol group and Haruna will focus on other activities. Sakura is also going to join another idol group, so she will be both an idol in a new group and the vocalist of the band DISDOL.
Monochrome themed rock idol group Tsuioku no Monochrome disbanded on 4/14.
Niigata based danso idol group Bokunaki went on indefinite hiatus on 4/15.
Graduations, Withdrawals, and Dismissals
Rie Kitahara had her graduation concert on 4/14 at Toki Messe in Niigata. Her last stage as a 48G member will be on 4/18 at the NGT48 theater.
Fuuko Yagura had her last theater live, graduated from NMB48, and retired from the entertainment industry on 4/10.
Orie Cho graduated from STU48 to focus on her studies on 3/13.
Ichigo Himesato graduated from Kamen Joshi Kouhousei WEST on 4/15 because of her panic disorder and adjustment disorder.
It was announced this week that Yuiki Miyashita was dismissed from Needs on 12/31 last year after they discovered a serious contract violation. Yuiki released a statement saying that before their debut, Yuiki hacked into her fellow group member Riona’s Twitter account and wrote things that damaged her reputation. She said that she did it out of jealousy and apologized for tormenting Riona and remaining silent for nine months. Needs’ management apologized for taking so long to announce this information and said that they waited to be cautious and further discuss matters with Yuiki and her family. So…this is pretty wild for a few reasons. At least she owned up to it, I guess? Or so it seems, maybe management forced her to confess and apologize.
Natsu Ono withdrew from HIGH SPIRITS on 4/9. Management found out that she had seriously violated the rules of her contract and while they were trying to figure out what to do about it, she decided to leave the group.
Airi graduated from Needs on 4/10. She had been on hiatus for medical reasons since last October.
Nao was dismissed from Shio Vanilla on 4/11 because she missed too many performances for health reasons.
Itou withdrew from fixxxer on 4/13 because of various circumstances.
Yuina Nishino graduated from Sakura Cinderella on 4/14 because of family reasons.
Azumi Fujita and Airu Hasebe graduated from Shibuya Dominion on 4/14.
Eto Ayane graduated from YIP Shiny Color’s on 4/14.
Emi Shibuya graduated from Tink on 4/15.
Anna Tsuzuku left Gifu Thanks Kenkyuusei on 4/15 because of family reasons and to focus on school.
Graduation, Withdrawal, and Dismissal Announcements
Mao Yamamoto announced graduation from HKT48 on 4/11. Mao is a 1st generation draft member and has been a part of the group for about four and a half years. She is a member of Team H. Mao was part of HKT48’s senbatsu once for Hikaeme I love you! and recently got a center position in the B-Side Kiss ga Tosugiru yo. She will graduate on 5/21 in the HKT48 theater. Mao wants to study abroad and change her environment.
Emi Kurita is graduating from Tenkou Shoujo Kagekidan on 4/28. She chose to graduate because of poor physical health.
Sakurako Iida, Saki Shinguu, and Anyu Kobayashi are graduating from Tokyo Performance Doll on 4/19. Anyu has been on hiatus since last November.
Yura is graduating from Hissatsu Emomomomo!! on 4/22.
Isuzu Ookuri is graduating from Tink on 4/24.
Risa Takanashi is graduating from Gunma CLEAR’S on 4/29 to focus on school and take a break from entertainment activities.
Junna Hashimoto is graduating from Twinkle☆Stars on 4/30 to focus on dancing.
Anri, chimu, Tsukihi, Hatsune, and Mozuku are graduating from @17 on 4/30.
Asuka is graduating from MPF☆B on 5/5. She wants to focus on a different path now that she is about to graduate high school.
Yuuka Yamashita is graduating from hitomebore on 5/8 because of personal reasons.
Kano Oyaizu is graduating from Zankyou Symmetry on 5/13 to focus on school.
Chinami Masaki and Miho Kojima announced graduation from HIGH SPIRITS. Their dates haven’t been announced yet, but they will be sometime in June.
Risa Tatsuno and Aeri Miyaguchi announced graduation from Sakuyakonohana. Their dates haven’t been announced yet, but they will be sometime in June.
Saya Nishikido announced graduation from Papimache in order to pursue her singer songwriter dream. Her date hasn’t been announced yet, but it will be sometime in August or September.
Slime Girls member Manatsu Ogawa returned to stage after five months of hiatus for academic reasons on 4/14.
The group Gunma CLEAR’S is going on hiatus starting on 4/29.
Other 48/46G News
A lot of information about the AKS x MNET reality show Produce 48 has been released. The participating 48G members flew to South Korea on 4/10 and filming started on 4/11. The show will start airing in June, the final group will promote in Korea and Japan with Korean and Japanese music, there will be twelve members in the final group, and they will be on a contract of two years and six months. The Japanese trainee list is as follows:
Team A: Moe Goto, Ayana Shinozaki, Erii Chiba, Miho Miyazaki
Team K: Manami Ichikawa, Mako Kojima, Tomu Muto, Shinobu Mogi
Team B: Saho Iwatate, Yuki Kashiwagi, Juri Takahashi, Miyu Takeuchi, Chiyori Nakanishi
Team 4: Nanami Asai
Team 8: Hitomi Honda, Erina Oda, Serika Nagano, Ikumi Nakano, Miu Shitao
AKB48 Kenkyuusei: Minami Sato
Team S: Jurina Matsui
Team E: Yuka Asai
Team N: Kokoro Naiki, Cocona Umeyama
Team M: Yuuka Kato, Miru Shiroma
Team BII: Sae Murase, Azusa Uemura
Team H: Natsumi Matsuoka, Nako Yabuki, Miku Tanaka
Team KIV: Mina Imada, Aoi Motomura, Sakura Miyawaki
Team TII: Sae Kurihara, Amane Tsukiashi, Bibian Murakawa, Misaki Aramaki
Team NIII: Noe Yamada, Rena Hasegawa
So…this is a weird list. I imagine people like Yukirin, Jurina, Miru, and Sakura were included just to bring viewership to the program, because they’re pretty important to their respective groups. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how it goes and I’ll definitely be watching.
Kaori Inagaki, who fractured her skull at the AKB48 concert on 4/1, was released from the hospital on 4/11 and seems to be recovering well.
Ex-AKB48 member Mariko Shinoda has been cast in the live action adaptation of the crime manga Gangoose. She will be playing the subordinate and love interest of one of the main characters.
Ex-AKB48 member Rina Kawaei has been cast as the voice of Lisa, one of the main female characters who uses Eevee, in the new Pokemon movie. The movie will be titled Gekijouban Pocket Monsters Minna no Monogatari and will be released on 7/13.
Ex-AKB48 member Nana Owada will be modeling in SAPPORO COLLECTION 2018 on 4/28 and FASHION LEADERS – 2018 SPRING & SUMMER on 5/20. I always thought she was cute, so it’s good to see her getting work.
AKB48 had a new mobile game released on 4/10 titled AKB48 DICE CARAVAN, a RPG x Sugoroku game.
Ex-SKE48 member Kumi Yagami announced that she is retiring from entertainment on 4/30. She got married last year and intends to focus on her family.
Ex-SKE48 member Miki Yakata announced that the reason she has been on hiatus is because she recently she discovered she had breast cancer and had to have her left breast and lymph node removed. She will be returning to entertainment on 4/16 by appearing on the show Subculture Kingdom. It’s awful to hear she had to go through this, but I’m glad she seems to be recovering well.
Sore~Sore ga Yattekitara…, a horror movie starring ex-SKE48 member Kanako Hiramatsu, was released on 4/14.
NMB48 will have a week at their theater from 5/14-5/20 where they will be doing ten special stages. Akari Ishizuka, Yuuri Ota, Yuuka Kato, Karin Kojima, Nagisa Shibuya, Rika Shimizu, Yuzuha Hongo, and Rina Yamao will have solo stages and Konomi Kusaka, Mao Mita, and Queentet (the unit of Akari Yoshida, Sae Murase, Yuuri Ota, Nagisa Shibuya, and Azusa Uemura) will be designing stages.
The title and release date of Miori Ichikawa’s graduation memorial photobook have been announced. It will be titled Naritai no, Watashi and released on 5/17.
The covers for HKT48’s new single Hayaokuri Calendar have been released. You can see them here.
Marina Yamada’s graduation date has been announced. She will graduate on 4/19 in the HKT48 theater.
A shuffle was announced for NGT48 on 4/13. The formation of Team G was announced and Minami Kato was announced as the new captain of Team NIII (replacing Rie Kitahara). Yuka Ogino will remain as the vice-captain of Team NIII. Tsugumi Oguma, Riko Sugahara, Rika Nakai, Rena Hasegawa, Hinata Honma, Fuka Murakumo, and Maho Yamaguchi will be transferred from Team NIII to Team G. Reina Seiji, Mau Takahashi, Nanako Nishimura, and Aya Miyajima will be promoted from kenkyuusei to Team NIII and Yuria Kado, Aina Kusakabe, Ayuka Nakamura, and Miharu Nara will be promoted from kenkyuusei to Team G. These changes will take effect at the end of July. Team G’s captain and vice-captain will be announced at their first stage.
Instead of Noe Yamada, Nanako Nishimura will be going to TOKYO IDOL FESTIVAL in BANGKOK COMIC CON with fellow NGT48 members Aina Kusakabe, Anju Sato, Miharu Nara, Fuka Murakumo, and Maho Yamaguchi.
STU48’s ship for their theater has been finished. It’s 77.8 meters long and 12.5 meters wide and is named Mikasa. They plan to have their first theater performance in it this summer.
Nogizaka46 is putting on a Sailor Moon play that will rotate between two casts, Team Star and Team Moon. Sayuri Inoue and Mizuki Yamashita will play Sailor Moon. The other parts will be played by Miria Watanabe, Ranze Terada, Minami Umezawa, Kana Nakada, Riria Ito, Kazumi Takayama, Ami Nojo, and Hina Higuchi. The play will be performed in Tokyo from 6/8-6/24 and 9/21-9/30.
Minami Hoshino’s first solo photobook, Itazura, was released on 4/10.
It has been announced that Rina Ikoma’s last Nogizaka46 handshake will take place on 5/6.
Ex-Nogizaka46 member Mai Fukagawa has been cast in the theater play Eiji wo Aishita Onna. It is based off the 1963 novel Sabu by Shugoro Yamamoto. The play will be performed on 6/16 and 6/17 in Tokyo.
Yurina Hirate will be playing the main character in the upcoming live action movie adaptation of the manga HIBIKI. It will be her movie debut. The manga is about a high school student who submits a novel transcript to a rookie contest. It doesn’t meet the conditions and is thrown in the trash, but an editor named Hanai picks it up by chance, thinks it’s a revolutionary novel, and tries to track Hibiki down. I think Yurina has a lot of potential as an actress, so I’ll probably give this one a watch.
Yuuka Sugai is getting her first solo photobook. It will be released on 6/5 and it was shot in Paris.
Other Hello! Project/UFP News
Ex-Morning Musume member Haruka Kudo released a photobook titled Haru Camera on 4/11.
PINK CRES/Ex-Berryz Koubou member Miyabi Natsuyaki’s new Nico Nico Live show, Natsuyaki Miyabi no Girls Scream, started on 4/12.
ANGERME released the covers for their upcoming single Nakenaize…Kyoukan Sagi/Uraha=Lover/Kimi Dake Janai sa…Friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.) this week. You can see them here.
Ex-ANGERME member Meimi Tamura will hold two solo lives on 5/12 at shibuya duo MUSIC EXCHANGE in Tokyo.
Tsubaki Factory’s first concert tour started on 4/15.
Kobushi Factory, Tsubaki Factory, Up Up Girls, and Up Up Girls (2) will be performing at a live event in Tokyo with GANG PARADE, Tokyo Girls’ Style, Negicco, and WHY@DOLL on 6/4 and 6/5. The event will be titled T-Palette Records Presents Live Meets Palette and it will be held in Tokyo at Ebisu Liquid Room.
Other Mainstream Idol News
=LOVE will be performing at Japan Expo in Paris, France on 7/7.
=LOVE members Maika Sasaki and Iori Noguchi have been cast in voice acting roles for the upcoming Friday the 13th: The Game (Japanese ver). Maika will be voicing Jenny Myers and Iori will be voicing Vanessa Jones. The game will be released on 7/13.
On 4/14, Last Idol Season 3 started airing and twelve tentative 2nd generation members were announced. They range in age from 14-22 and have no current affiliation with entertainment. The preliminary center, Nozomi Shinohara, auditioned for the first generation of Last Idol and made it to the final round of 22/7 auditions, but ultimately failed both.
@JAM EXPO will be taking place on 8/25-8/26. Solo idol and ex-BiS member Yufu Terashima will be chairing the festival and Dempagumi.inc member Mirin Furukawa will be the friendship ambassador. The first wave of performers was also announced. Appare! Harajuku, uijin, Kamiyado, SUPER☆GiRLS, Yufu Terashima, Dempagumi.inc, Niji no Conquistador, Negicco, PASSPO, and FES☆TIVE will be performing.
Other Mainstream/Underground Idol News
Japanese idol acts Yanakoto Sotto Mute, NECRONOMIDOL (with the NECRONOMIDOL band), and 14Generations Toilet hanakosan will be performing at the East Meets West Music Fest in Anaheim, California on 8/18-8/19. It is Yanakoto Sotto Mute and 14Generations Toilet hanakosan’s first times performing abroad. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it, but if you’re in the area, definitely check it out! Tickets are $40 for one day or $70 for both days. There are also VIP options that include a bunch of additional goods and perks. You can find more information about the event and buy tickets here. I’d love to see more festivals like this in America in the future, so I hope it does well.
The second block of performers for Tokyo Idol Festival have been announced. The new groups are Nidaime HAPPY Shoujo, Akishibu Project, Up Up Girls, =LOVE, Kamiyado, Kyushu Joshi Yoku, Junjou no Afilia, sora tob sakana, Tsubaki Factory, Niji no Conquistador, PASSPO, Happy Kurukuru, FES☆TIVE, Fudanjuku, Fleurette, predia, Mazerunakiken, Manekikecha, Lovely☆DOLL, and ………. It is Kyushu Joshi Yoku, Happy Kurukuru, Mazerunakiken, ………., and Nidaime HAPPY Shoujo’s first times performing at Tokyo Idol Festival.
Other Underground Idol News
On 4/11, Kamen Joshi/Steam Girls member Tomoka Igari was walking on a sidewalk in Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward when a signboard collapsed because of the strong wind and directly hit her. She was transported to the hospital and it was reported that the sign hit her back and caused injuries. She went through an emergency surgical operation and is currently in the ICU under complete bed rest. Kamen Joshi management has not been able to talk to Tomoka, but they talked to her family, who said that she was seriously injured. I wrote two posts here and here about the situation if you would like to learn more.
Solo idol Emi Arisaka’s memorial concert for her fan Okkyan was held on 4/11. If you’d like to learn more about it, A-to-J Connections wrote up a great article here.
Kamen Joshi will be performing at Japan Expo 2018 Sri Lanka on 4/21-4/23. They will be collaborating with solo artist Umaria Sinhawansa on 4/22. The participating members will be Anna Tachibana, Nanaka Kawamura, Yuuka Kojima, Mai Mizusawa, and Mayu Kusunoki.
JPopRocks released English video interviews with 14Generations Toilet hanakosan and NECRONOMIDOL this week.
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!