Milky’s back, Cheeky Parade has their last live, Manaka joins Juice=Juice, TIF performers announced, Erina Ando announces graduation, BURST GIRL is crowdfunding, and more in this week’s idol news!
This Week’s Releases
Hakoiri■Musume – Etoile wo Yume Mite
Namennayo Harajuku – Tokonatsu Nyansemble
Yoyogi Joshi Ongakuin – 〇xSummer
Hello Pro Kenshuusei Hokkaido feat. Manaka Inaba – Hankouki!/Ice day Party
Idol College – AKATSUKI
Zenryoku Shoujo R – Zenryoku Sensation
Warera ga Puwapuwapuwapuwa – The End of Earth
Negicco – MY COLOR
BsGirls – ONE ROAD
Hello Pro Kenshuusei – Rainbowx2
Kanden! Perspiration! – Dawn of Adventure
Morning Musume ’18 – Engeki Joshi-bu “Pharaoh no Haka ~Hebi Ou Sneferu~” Original Soundtrack
Last Week’s Oricon Rankings
1st: SKE48 – Ikinari Punchline – 240,126 (NEW)
2nd: HKT48 – Hayaokuri Calendar – 32,475 (up)
3rd: BiS2nd – Don’t miss it!! – 17,442 (NEW)
4th: BiS1st – Don’t miss it!! – 16,838 (NEW)
6th: NMB48 – Yokubomono – 10,706 (up)
18th: Morning Musume ’18 – Are you Happy?/A gonna – 3,371 (up)
19th: NGT48 – Haru wa Doko kara Kuru no ka? – 3,271 (up)
20th: WT☆Egret – Muteki Dancing! – 3,211 (NEW)
25th: ANGERME – Nazenaize…Kyoukan Sagi/Uraha=Lover/Kimi dake janai sa…friends (2018 Acoustic Ver.) – 2,139 (up)
26th: =LOVE – Teokure caution – 1,884 (up)
35th: Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku – Dekadonden – 1,372 (up)
17th: Hiragana Keyakizaka46 – Hashiridasu Shunkan – 4,668 (down)
20th: BILLIE IDLE – BILLIed IDLE 2.0 – 3,519 (NEW)
31st: Zenbu Kimi no Sei da. – NEORDER NATION – 2,285 (NEW)
Major PV and Song Releases
The close up version of Produce 48’s PICK ME was released on 7/12.
Tokimeki♡Sendenbu released a PV for Otome no Glorious on 7/12. It was a track off their first album Tokiotome, released 4/11.
predia released a PV for their 8th single, Curtain Call, on 7/13. The single will be released on 8/22.
Sakura Ebis released the PV for their new song Lindbergh on 7/10.
Former Idol Renaissance member Maina Minamibata starts in the new CRCK/LCKS PV titled No Goodbye.
Underground PV and Song Releases
PIKOTARO released a PV for his new single, Can you see? I’m SUSHI, on 7/12. The members of Chubbiness are featured in the PV.
Zenryoku Shoujo R released a PV for their new single, Zenryoku Sensation, on 7/11. The single was released on the same day.
KissBee released a PV for Kimi Haji on 7/14. The song is a track off their 2nd album Pop Honeycomb that was released in May.
Wagamama Rakia released a PV for The Reason on 7/13. It is to mark their second anniversary as a group.
Warera ga Puwapuwapuwapuwa released a PV for their new single, The End of Earth, on 7/13. The single was also released on 7/13.
Fullfull Pocket released a PV for Romijuli on 7/15. It will be a song on their upcoming mini-album, to be released in September.
Q-pitch released a music video for their new song Own on 7/9.
Machida Girls Choir released a music video for Summer Line on 7/12. It is a cover of the 1999 SCUDELIA ELECTRIC song of the same name.
Mew Mew released a music video for their new song Lemon Soda on 7/10. It will be released as their first single on 7/16 at member Aya Natsume’s birthday show. The group wrote the lyrics themselves.
Shinsekaisen released a live video for Doui☆Doui on 7/11.
QUEENS released a lyric video for Never Ending Song on 7/10.
Nijiiro Gensoukyoku ~Prism Fantasia~ released a live video for their new song Shichiten Battou ~Soy!Soy!Soy!~ on 7/10.
Junsui Cafe Latte released live videos for HiBaby and Treasure on 7/13.
Yoyogi Joshi Ongakuin released a live video for their new song, Kiseki, on 7/15.
Dream Me? released videos for their new songs Watashi no Uta and Secret Dream.
143~ released a new song on Soundcloud titled Geki Natsu.
Kimi to Boku, Tokidoki Melancholic released a new song on Soundcloud titled the last.
NGT48’s 4th single will be released on 9/26. The title has not been announced.
Kobushi Factory & Tsubaki Factory will be releasing their cover of Hyokkori Hyoutanjima digitally on 7/17.
ANGERME will be releasing a new single Natsu Shogun digitally on 7/21.
Iketeru Hearts is releasing their first album Lovely Hearts on 9/11.
PassCode has confirmed they will release a new single sometime this year.
Kaqriyo Terror Architect will be releasing their first mini-album on 9/5. The title is yet to be announced.
A limited time idol group called Nijiiro no Hikou Shoujo will be formed to promote the upcoming 7 x 1 theater play in October. The unit is comprised of idols/former idols Kanako Hiramatsu (ex-SKE48), Miyu Aisako (Lovely☆DOLL/ex-AKB48 kenkyuusei under the name Mizuho Katono), Natsumi Yamagishi (ex-NMB48), Shion Asakura (ex-26ji no Masquerade), Chihiro Sakura (Wonder Weed), and and Kana Usami (Ikoku no Palpitante). The group will debut on 7/22.
Ex-Stereo Tokyo members Misa Saionji and Chihana Kishimori are forming a new two person EDM themed idol group called ReLIeF. It will debut on 7/27.
Kunikuni debuted on 7/15. It is an idol unit made up of two identical twin sisters Kunika and Kuniho. The group is under TOY PLANET, the same agency as Kirameki☆Unforent, Star☆Fiore Nerd, and Marie (37). Kunikuni was previously active under the name My Girlfriends as a Fukui prefecture local idol group, but they disbanded, moved to Tokyo, and reformed with a new name and agency.
Kamisama no Uso debuted on 7/15. It is being produced by a former idol (Oyasumi Twintails’ Reatan) and the group aims to cross the boundaries of yume kawaii and yami kawaii. They are based in Osaka.
Nagoya based group Berry Choco debuted on 7/14. Both girls, Yumena Natsuno and Aoi Sanada, are former members of Kyanpare.
Manaka Inaba debuted in Juice=Juice on 7/14. She was formerly a member of Country Girls and the Hello! Project Kenshuusei.
Mikuna Koshimizu joined Namennayo Harajuku on 7/15. Her color is purple, she is 15 years old, and she is a former member of Negaigoto under the name Miria Koshimizu. She likes Disney, romance movies, and English songs and is good at swimming and doing the matrix.
Tokyo CLEAR’S SMILE will be getting two new members on 8/9.
Mina Saeki, Yuyu Tsukishiro, and Haru Fukudo debuted in TEARS on 7/9. Mina’s color is purple, she considers herself an idol otaku, and she loves Keyakizaka46. Yuyu’s color is green, she goes by the nickname Yuyuchi, says she has a round face and is Kirby’s younger twin sister, is trying to grow out her hair, and likes dancing, salad, and cooking. She says she is a novice, but will do her best. Haru’s color is red, she goes by the nickname Harushan, says she has a baby face, and likes Winnie the Pooh, idols, dancing, stars, eating, and secondhand clothing. She is 21 years old and the shortest member of TEARS. Before joining TEARS, she was active as a theater actress.
Hina Hinata joined Miniskirt Police on 7/10. She will debut in the group on 7/28. She is an H cup and before she joined the group, she worked as a maid at Mikeneko Cafe, streamed on SHOWROOM, and was a winner of the Moe Queen Contest.
Ramune Mizumi joined Niconico♡STREET on 7/14. She is an official AtelierFuwary model and a concurrent member of Ouka no Kiseki. Her color is green and her dream is to become an elegant cat. She says she is studying to become a cat and is 0 years old in cat years.
Maika Haruna and Haru Kirishima joined No Plan as kouhousei (cadets). Maika says she has a limited vocabulary and is 148 cm (4’10”) tall. Haru wants to be called Harurun, her favorite color is sky blue, and she loves tomatoes more than anyone. She is a participant in the Miss FLASH 2019 gravure competition and does song covers on nana music here.
Nagisa Otsuka and Rumina Sasakura joined Ikinari!? Minarai Megami-sama. Nagisa’s color is green and she doesn’t smile in pictures. Rumina’s color is blue and she likes Winnie the Pooh, sushi, and snacks that go with alcohol. Both of them also work as waitresses at a Japanese style Taisho era themed maid cafe in Akihabara called Romantei.
Sera, Hotaru, and Koeda joined Tenkuu Island on 7/15. Sera says she is often called weird and loves music and South Korea. Hotaru is inexperienced at dancing and says she is bad at communicating and avoids people but she will do her best as a member of the group. She likes pandas and bubble tea. Koeda is always smiling, loves to laugh, and says she’s an alien. She likes watching idols, sleeping, and listening to music.
Rara Rukawa and Himeka Asahina joined Astraia on 7/14. Rara’s color is yellow and she is 18 years old. She likes sunflowers, Disney, and eating. Rara is also the tallest member of the group. Himeka’s color is purple and she is the best singer in the group. She likes Disney, bears, chicks, macarons, and the clothing brand Honey Cinnamon. They will debut in the group on 7/25.
Sakura Natsukawa debuted in LIMITED on 7/15. She is 15 years old and in her first year of high school. Sakura’s specialty is her Pikachu impression.
Cheeky Parade performed their last live on 7/12 at Mynavi Akasaka Blitz.
Playballs U-18 disbanded on 7/11. They will all be continuing as normal Zettai Chokkyu Joshi! Playballs members.
Minna no Kodomo-chan announced on 7/10 that they will be transitioning from an idol unit to a band.
All of the members of Tochigi based idol group Sakura Peace☆ graduated on 7/15. They will continue in their main groups, Lovin&S and ViviD★RinG. Sakura Peace is recruiting for new members.
Jiyuu na Otome (Freedom Maiden) disbanded on 7/12 because they determined it was difficult to continue activities after Mona Izumi’s withdrawal from the group.
Graduations, Withdrawals, and Dismissals
Mariru Mayoi graduated from Gyakushuu no Operettas on 7/14.
Yuzuka Itou graduated from Ikinari!? Minarai Megami-sama on 7/9. She does not plan to return to entertainment.
Nana Miyata’s contract with Fukuoka based idol group Chikuhou Idol Smile was cancelled on 7/11 after a contract violation was discovered.
Aya Hinata and Kisara Itou withdrew from Fukuoka prefecture based idol group Ai Dream on 7/15.
Graduation, Withdrawal, and Dismissal Announcements
Erina Ando announced graduation from NMB48 on 7/10. She will not be participating in the upcoming group tour and plans to graduate in August. Erina is graduating to focus on her studies.
Momo Mashiro will be withdrawing from SHINGEKI on 7/17 because her chronic health issues are worsening and she wants to devote herself to treatment. It sucks seeing all of these SHINGEKI members go. I was a big fan of the original lineup and now half of them are gone. Oh well, at least Kotono’s still around.
Sayu Aikawa will be graduating from Diamondollfy in September. She is an original member of the group. Sayu wants to graduate to take her next step in life and does not plan to continue with idol activities in the future.
Tenkou Shoujo* kenkyuusei (trainee) member Heri Chiba will be ending her activities with the group on 7/26. She will be joining a new idol group in August.
Reina Kannagi is graduating from Nagoya based DEARSTAGE unit Cocolomoyowo in September.
Yumina Kanzaki will be graduating from Innocent Lily in July. She wants to retire as an idol and continue as a solo artist.
Mafuyu Shimatsuki will be graduating from Sakki no Onnanoko on 8/10.
Comebacks and Transfers
Hinako Kitano will be returning from hiatus to Nogizaka46 in August. She has been on hiatus since December 2017 because of poor health. Hinako has been participating in some events since March, but she will fully return to the group for the 21st single and all activities surrounding it.
Rubu Kurusu will be transferring from Sakki no Onnanoko to Astraia on 7/30.
Other 48/46G News
The first teaser for former member Mayu Watanabe’s drama Itsuka Kono Ame ga Yamu Hi Made has been released. She is playing the main character, Hikari Morimura, a girl who wants to become a musician, but her life is changed when her brother becomes a murder suspect. It will start airing on 8/4 and is her first acting role since graduating from the group.
Former member Atsuko Maeda will be playing the lead role in the upcoming movie To the Ends of the Earth. She will be playing a TV show host whose cautious and introspective nature is tested when she goes to shoot a travel variety show in Uzbekistan. The movie will be in theaters in 2019.
Jurina Matsui will not be participating in the AKB48 Group General Election Fans Thanksgiving Festival on 8/2 due to poor health.
AKB48 has announced the SHOWROOM Senbatsu for a coupling song on their upcoming single, Sentimental Train. NGT48’s Rika Nakai will be center. The other members in the senbatsu are Akari Fukuda (STU48), Ayuka Nakamura (NGT48), Nanase Yoshikawa (Team 8), Mitsuki Imamura (STU48), Miki Nonogaki (SKE48), Rira Miyazato (Team 8), Rurina Nishizawa (NMB48), Shion Hori (NMB48), Maria Shimizu (Team 8), Ayaka Hidaritomo (Team 8), Izumi Nakamura (SKE48), Suzuha Yamane (AKB48 kenkyuusei), Chiho Ishida (STU48), Yuri Torobu (STU48), and Yuka Oki (STU48). I have a feeling there will be mixed opinions on a Rika center in this day and age…
Yuki Kashiwagi will be holding two solo lives in Shanghai on 8/4 and 8/5. She will be also be holding a solo live in Fukuoka’s Aruaru City on 9/9. I wish she’d release more music too!
Billboard Japan has announced that AKB48 is the best-selling artist of the first half of 2018, bringing in 5.5 billion yen worth of sales. Nogizaka46 is second with 2.8 billion yen.
Team 4 will be having a joint stage at the AKB48 theater with HKT48 Team TII on 7/23. They will be performing the Te wo Tsunaginagara stage together.
A new Majimuri Gakuen poster has been released that features the members of Arashigaoka Student Council. The show will start airing on 7/25.
Former member Miyuki Watanabe announced that she is coming back to the entertainment business after a two year hiatus. She will be holding two lives for her 25th birthday, one in Tokyo on 9/19 and one in Osaka on 9/27. She has also opened an official website and official fan club.
Akari Yoshida was appointed a member of the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit Logo judging committee. She participated in a meeting at the Prime Minister’s mansion on 7/9. Wow, that’s a really big deal. It’ll be interesting to see what Akarin’s future holds.
Ayaka Yamamoto is one of the 21 finalists for the Seventeen magazine modeling competition Miss Seventeen 2018. You can vote for her here.
Former member Marina Yamada has joined Kleissis, a voice actress idol group. Their first single is being released on 8/22, titled Kleissis Chaos.
Miku Tanaka threw out the first pitch for the SoftBank Hawks at Tokyo Dome as part of the Hawk’d Festival 2018 in Tokyo Dome on 7/9.
Erena Sakamoto will be performing in a special unit at Tokyo Idol Festival 2018 on 8/3. Gachinko☆ is made up of Eretan, Tacoyaki Rainbow’s Mai Haruna, and Hachimitsu Rocket’s Maika Kimino. Dang, I wish I could see this in person, I’m a fan of both Eretan and Maimai. At least it’s from TIF so there will probably be video footage.
The HKT48 theater will be closed from 7/16-7/31.
Team TII will be having a joint stage at the AKB48 theater with AKB48 Team 4 on 7/23. They will be performing the Te wo Tsunaginagara stage together.
Team H will be performing the Theater no Megami stage at the AKB48 theater on 7/24.
NGT48 will be performing at Nippon Budokan on 9/15.
STU48 has postponed the release of their second single and the opening of their theater because of flooding in the Setouchi area.
Nogizaka46’s new single, Jikochu de Ikou!, was performed for the first time on Ongaku no Hi on 7/14.
The CD covers for the upcoming single, Jikochu de Ikou!, have been released. You can see them here.
The first trainer for Yurina Hirate’s upcoming movie, HIBIKI, was released. She plays Hibiki Akui, a 15 year old genius with outstanding literary talent that an editor tries to track down in order to contact her about her manuscript. It will hit theaters on 9/14. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be watching!
Hiragana Keyaki will be performing at Tokyo Idol Festival on 8/3.
Hiragana Keyaki member Yuuka Kageyama made a surprise appearance in the encore of the final day (7/10) of the Hashiridasu Shunkan National Tour. She has been on hiatus from the group since June because of her studies.
Hiragana Keyaki members will be starring in an upcoming Madoka Magica stage play. The play will be titled Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record and it will run in Tokyo from 8/24-9/9.
Other Hello! Project/UFP News
Former °C-ute member Chisato Okai will be forming a special unit for TIF 2018 called Cattivo! with Kobushi Factory member Ayano Hamaura and Tsubaki Factory member Kiki Asakura. Cattivo! means disgusting in Italian and is a play on the former unit name Buono! (which meant delicious in Italian). The group will perform on 8/3.
Hello! Project will be releasing several new songs with all of its members. One is called Hello! History and will be produced by Hyadain and Shoichiro Hirata. Another is called YEAH YEAH YEAH and will be produced by Tsunku and Kaoru Okubo.
Country Girls are getting a new song titled Matenai After Five.
Hello! Project will be having their first ever autumn festival event from 10/20-10/21 in Saitama. All of the groups will be participating, including the two unnamed new groups and the kenshuusei. Several OGs will also be performing, including Melon Kinenbi.
Kobushi Factory will be having a bus tour from 9/9-9/10 in Saitama. It will include talking with fans, handshakes, getting to take pictures with the members, a special live, and several other special activities (last time, they had dodgeball and apple picking).
Kobushi Factory will be having a fanclub event on 8/24 and Tsubaki Factory will be having a fanclub event in Tokyo on 8/21.
The two unnamed new units will be having a fanclub event in Tokyo on 8/20.
Kobushi Factory have released the covers for their upcoming single, Kitto Watashi wa/Naseba Naru. The single will be released on 8/8. You can see the covers here.
Morning Musume ’18 will be releasing a second print edition of their 20th anniversary official book. It will have a special cover.
UP-FRONT will be setting up donation boxes at all H!P and UFP events, as well as at Hello! Project shops, for the victims of the recent floods in Japan.
Other Mainstream Idol News
PASSPO☆ and Fudanjuku will be joining for a collaborative stage on 8/3 at Tokyo Idol Festival.
Other Mainstream/Underground Idol News
Bed In, Kirameki☆Unforent, and Gachinko☆ will be performing at Tokyo Idol Festival 2018. Gachinko☆ is a special unit made up of Tacoyaki Rainbow’s Mai Haruna, Hachimitsu Rocket’s Maika Kimino, and HKT48’s Erena Sakamoto.
The first wave of participants for the Tokyo Gravure Idol Festival, running concurrently with Tokyo Idol Festival, have been announced. The idols and ex-idols that will be participating are Aika (Needs), Shion Asakura (ex-26ji no Masquerade), Yuina Iwase (ex-Lolisyn REBOOT), Mizuki Saiba (Kyueens), Saemi Shinohara (ex-Ebisu Muscats), Marina Nagasawa (ex-Houkago Princess), Shoko Hamada (gra-DOLL), Puni Mochizuki (Kimi ga Watashi Dake no Ouji-sama Dattara), and Chika Yuuki (ex-Miniskirt Police).
The 7th wave of @JAM EXPO performers have been announced. TPD DASH!!, Dorothy Little Happy, Nankini!, pax puella, Hakoiri♡Musume, Himekyun Fruit Can, WHY@DOLL, Mirai Skirt, Yamakatsu, Lovelys, RYUTist, and Luce Twinkle Wink☆ will be performing at the event on 8/25-8/26.
Other Underground Idol News
BURST GIRL has started a crowdfunding campaign on Muevo for a national tour. Depending on how many people donate and the amount of money that is donated, they will have a bigger and bigger tour. They have already met their first goal and I think their second goal. Their first goal is Tokyo, Hokkaido, and Okinawa, their second goal is Oita, their third goal is Sendai, their fourth goal is Ishikawa, their fifth goal is Shizuoka, and their sixth goal is to be determined. There are 48 days left and there’s even a free plan, so get participating! Here’s what you can get:
0 yen: A thank you movie message from BURST GIRL, an exclusive phone background, and updates on the tour
3000 yen: Everything included in the 0 yen plan + an original wristband and signed photos of all the members
6000 yen: Everything included in the first two plans + an original T-shirt (sizes S-XXL)
10000 yen: Everything included in the first three plans + a live DVD of the tour, a behind-the-scenes DVD of the tour, and a board signed by all the members
15000 yen: Everything included in the first four plans + either:
-A personalized 2-3 minute video from your favorite member. You can choose what you’d like her to talk about.
-An invitation to a BURST GIRL practice and a souvenir photo with all of the members after the practice. The rehearsal will take place in Tokyo in September. (SOLD OUT)
20000 yen: Everything included in the first four plans + either:
-BURST GIRL will personally teach you their choreography at their rehearsal studio (in Tokyo sometime in September).
-You can personally attend BURST GIRL’s post-tour review meeting (sometime in Tokyo) and get an assortment of souvenirs from the tour (with a message card from the members).
30000 yen: Everything included in the first four plans and either:
-A handmade original racing jacket made by the members (SOLD OUT)
-An invitation to a private 1 hour studio live (in Tokyo sometime in September).
50000 yen: Everything included in the first four plans + BURST GIRL will go anywhere in the country to perform a live or other event of your choice. If it’s past Tokyo and its neighboring prefectures, you have to also pay for transportation and lodging.
100000 yen: Everything included in the first four plans + BURST GIRL will perform at your house. If it’s past Tokyo and its neighboring prefectures, you also have to pay for transportation and lodging.
If you’re interested in participating, the folks at Alternative Idol Podcast wrote a handy English guide here.
Because of Twitter’s recent crackdown on fake followers, many Kamen Joshi related accounts have lost massive amounts of followers. Erina Kamiya lost 455,387 followers (39.1%), Anna Tachibana lost 279,954 followers (71.3%), the official group Twitter lost 182,209 followers (27.3%), Moa Tsukino lost 178,186 followers (39.7%), Sara Kurose lost 143,626 followers (66.3%), and Kanon Mori lost 125,716 followers (63.1%).
SAY-LA was participating in the SHOWROOM Road to TIF 2018 competition, but decided to withdraw in order to raise their performance level and hold more lives. Some fans were happy with the decision, but many were mad at management, saying they paid money in the SHOWROOM competition to get them to TIF and they wanted to see them at TIF.
Nijiiro Gensoukyoku ~Prism Fantasia~ member Karen Nishimori’s private Instagram was discovered, where fans found her boyfriend’s Instagram and Twitter accounts with many pictures of them together and details about their relationship, which had been going on for over half a year. Karen made an official statement apologizing to fans and will be staying with the group.
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!