Weekly Idol News: 7/16-7/22

46G single info, Meimi Tamura and Riona Hamamatsu are going solo, Ayaka Okita announces graduation, a Momoclo bullet train and marriage announcement, Pour Lui reveals her salary in BiS, and more in this week’s news!


This Week’s Releases

Singles:

7/17:
Electric Ribbon – COLOR*COLOR
Kobushi Factory & Tsubaki Factory – Hyokkori Hyoutanjima (digital)

7/18:
hy4_4yh – Ningen Kousaten Gozen 10:40
my rabbits – Lovelywave/Motto Suki ni Naru.
Nakaitabashi Hesorincho! – Haikei, Koko wa Nakaitabashi desu
Nana Toume – Nanairo Smile
Tsubaki Factory – Date no Hi wa Nido Kurai Shower Shite Dekaketai/Junjou cm/Konya dake Ukaretakatta

7/20:
Mammoth Gakkyuu – Mammoth Rotation

7/21:
ANGERME – Natsu Shogun (digital)

Albums:

7/21:
Bonnou Paradox – Ichirentakushou


Last Week’s Oricon Rankings

Singles:
6th: Idol College – AKATSUKI – 11,668 (NEW)
8th: NMB48 – Yokubomono – 11,154 (down)
11th: SKE48 – Ikinari Punchline – 10,388 (down)
20th: NGT48 – Haru wa Doko Kara Kuru no ka? – 3,082 (down)
21st: Morning Musume ’18 – Are you Happy?/A gonna – 3,019 (down)
25th: Zenryoku Shoujo R – Zenryoku Sensation – 2,794 (NEW)
33rd: Hakoiri Musume – Etoile wo Yume Mite – 1,600 (NEW)
36th: Yoyogi Joshi Ongakuin – 〇xSummer – 1,464 (NEW)
41st: BiS2nd – Don’t miss it!! – 1,268 (down)
45th: BiS1st – Don’t miss it!! – 1,172 (down)
50th: Nogizaka46 – Synchronicity – 1,007 (up)

Albums:
17th: Negicco – MY COLOR – 3,874 (NEW)
23rd: Hiragana Keyakizaka46 – Hashiridasu Shunkan – 2,857 (down)


Major PV and Song Releases

Nogizaka46 released the music video for their upcoming single, Jikochu de Ikou!, on 7/19. The single will be released on 8/8.

Momoiro Clover Z released a lyric video for Tengoku no Namae on 7/20.

Yui Ogura released the PV for Love Me x Love Me on 7/17. It is a B-side off her upcoming single, Eien Shounen, which will be released on 7/25.

Niji no Conquistador released a live PV for in(door) the Summer on 7/17.

Up Up Girls (2) released a live video for Zenbu Seishun! on 7/21. Tsunku wrote the lyrics to, composed, and produced the song.

A live video of Up Up Girls (2) member Aya Kajishima’s solo song Short Cut ni Kataomoi was released on 7/19.

AOP released live videos for Jitenshi ni Hana wa Mau, Kimi-shi Ayauku mo Chikau Yore, and Another World this week.


Underground PV and Song Releases

ONEPIXCEL released a PV for their upcoming second single, Sparkle. It will be released on 8/8.

SHINGEKI released a PV for Jiko Tsugou Shugi Metamorphose on 7/17. I’m really not enjoying this year’s SHINGEKI releases like I did last year’s. I mean, their new songs are okay and are probably fun live, but I can’t strongly recommend them like I can all of their early releases.

hy4_4yh released a PV for their recently released single, Ningen Kousaten Gozen 10:40, this week.

Daidaidai released a PV for their digital single ZZ Allin on 7/20. You can buy it now on iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Google Play Music, or stream it on Spotify.

Pandamic released a PV for their upcoming single, Tomaranai BGM, on 7/19. It will be released in September.

TOKYO ROCKETS released a PV for SHA LA LA on 7/21. It is the title track off their album ANGEL NOIZ, which will be released on 7/25.

YENA☆ released a 360° VR PV for their new song Issho ni, ne! on 7/22.

Lein released a PV for Zutto Issho! on 7/16.

THE BANANA MONKEYS released a lyric video for My hair is Jinsei on 7/19.

Reina Aitani from Wagamama Rakia’s solo song, Prism no Naka de, was released on 7/19.

QUEENS released dance videos for way you hope, Flagship, and Believer this week.

wyenra released a live video for Sayonara wo Oshiete on 7/17.

THERE THERE THEREs released a live video for Hornet ’98 on 7/22.

AIBECK released a live video for FLASH BACK this week.

Sakuya Konohana released a live video for Shabondama on 7/20.

OS☆U released so many live videos that I don’t want to link them all here. If you’re interested, check out their channel.

Jekyll and Hyde released a lot of songs on their YouTube channel this week.

Yumeoi Shoujo released a lot of live videos this week, which you can watch here.

NEO JAPONISM released a new song, My Hope, on Soundcloud.

GARUDA released a new song, Mou Sugu Yuki da, on Soundcloud.


Release Announcements

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The title of Keyakizaka46’s 7th single is Ambivalent. It will be released on 8/15 and Yurina Hirate will be the center (surprise!).

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Former ANGERME member Meimi Tamura will release her debut single Kagayaite ~My dream goes on~ on 9/26 in stores. It will be released digitally on 8/22. I hope Meimi’s solo career takes off!

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Former AKB48 Team 8 member Riona Hamamatsu will be releasing her first single Never Give Up!! on 8/29. While it will be on sale in stores on 8/29, you can get it early at her Tokushima and Nara lives on 7/21, 7/27, and 7/28. Huh, didn’t expect Riona to go solo. I’m actually not even sure if she can sing, I thought she was more of a dancer? She’s definitely pretty, speaks English fluently, and is a fun and sweet girl from what I’ve seen of her, so if she can sing too, I think she could be pretty successful.

TipToe and ……… are releasing a split single together titled Tokyo Sentimental on 8/15.


New Groups

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The limited time unit made for the theater play 7 x 1 comprised of active and graduated idols, Nijiiro no Hikou Shoujo, debuted on 7/22. I wrote about them in my last news post; they have a few ex-48G members, so if you’re a 48G fan, you might want to check them out.

uijin has announced that they are making a sister group with the same producer. They are currently auditioning for members (girls not attached to an agency from the ages of 15-25).

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Tokyo rhapsody debuted on 7/16. The concept of the group is fashionable, shining, neon girls in Tokyo play music freely. Despite this colorful sounding image, the girls dress in all black. Picchan used to be a member of Hauptharmonie.

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Omoide to Present debuted on 7/18. They want to give you a present of a lot of wonderful memories. Nanase Tsuji was a former member of Romance Chuuihou under the name Nanami Tsuji. They are under Olive Entertainment, the same agency as Mew Mew and the former group Hanakotoba wa Innocence.

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Hitokakera no Sekai debuted on 7/22. They describe themselves as a future generation electro x rock idol unit. The group is jointly managed by Waseda Idol Management and FreeK. FreeK manages KATA☆CHU, chuLa, and Necopla.

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smashcake!!! debuted on 7/22. They are an energetic and noisy group made up of teenagers based in Akihabara.

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The ultra orthodox group PHYVE debuted on 7/22. They aim to be a fun group that brings smiles and energy to their fans. Rina Hirasaki and Yui Mitsuki have been active as models and gravure idols. Kinda weird they have a group name that looks like five when there’s four members.


New Members

Reina Mochizuki, Mayu Hayashi, and Miyu Iwashita debuted as HIGH SPIRITS members on 7/17. All three girls were finalists in the recent Akishibu Project new member auditions. Reina’s member color is yellow, she is 18 years old, and her nickname is Retan. She is training to be a nursery school teacher,  loves twintails, is always smiling, and has squishy cheeks. Retan was formerly a member of UProach and an Alice Project apprentice student under the name Reina Ooba. Mayu’s member color is purple, she is 22 years old, and her nickname is Mayumayu. She is a fan of Disney and used to be a member of Smile Kaizokudan. Miyu’s member color is blue, she is 18 years old, and her nickname is Miyuyun. She goes to beauty school and loves idols.

Three support members joined SHINGEKI this week: Miyuu, Kaname, and Kiko. Miyuu was born in Hokkaido, but raised in Nagoya. She is 17 years old, in her 2nd year of high school, and her special skill is naming the 47 prefectures in 15 seconds. Kaname’s nickname is Mepii. Kiko is 22 years old, from Osaka, and likes pool, dancing, going on trips, and sleeping. She is good at searching for things and describes herself as laid back. Kiko is taking cooking classes and studying languages. All three girls were finalists in the recent Akishibu Project new member audition.

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HiNa joined Hyakka Ryouran AXIS as a dance member on 7/17. She was previously active as a member of Hachimitsu Emperor and is also performing as a soloist under the name Hinaki Arisugawa.

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Oshiko joined Hissatsu Emomomomo!! on 7/22. Her member color is purple and people say her looks and personality are completely different.

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Maika Haruno debuted as a No Plan Kouhousei on 7/21.


Disbanding Groups

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Tokyo CLEAR’S will disband sometime this year. The date hasn’t been announced, but it will continue until at least mid-August.

Mag☆Mag is disbanding on 7/28.

Liliumove is ending its activities on 8/13.

JUMINY is disbanding on 7/28.


Graduations, Withdrawals, and Dismissals

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Chiharu Saito and Iori Sagara had their last event as Nogizaka46 members on 7/16. Their last event was a Synchronicity handshake at Makuhari Messe in Chiba.

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Mana Hoshino had her last live with Fresh Vegetables on 7/16. Mana was previously a member of Stella Beats. I’m pretty sad I couldn’t make it to her last live. Mana was an idol I went and saw her quite a bit both in Fresh Vegetables and Stella Beats and when I left Japan, she made me promise I’d go see her again. Well, it sounds like she may still show up at some events as staff in the future, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep that promise.

Momo Mashiro withdrew from SHINGEKI on 7/17 because her chronic health issues are worsening and she wants to devote herself to treatment.

Reina Oosaki left BABY TO KISS on 7/16.

Megumi Yasui was dismissed from Asterisk on 7/21. The circumstances around this were kind of ridiculous; basically, she was dismissed the day before her birthday show, didn’t find out until the morning of her birthday show, and when she messaged them, they just said to read the blog post. I kind of want to do a whole post about it.

Yuna Yuihara graduated from Senritsu Freesia on 7/17. She had been on hiatus for a long time and hoped to come back, but wasn’t able to make that happen.

Meru Mochizuki was dismissed from Meiai Help youth! on 7/20 because of a severe contract violation.

Juna Kagura graduated from LUSTEDEN on 7/18 because her health was making it difficult for her to continue with activities.

Hikari Shindo graduated from pretty☆monster on 7/17 because her health is continuing to worsen and she wants to take time to recover.

Neiro graduated from #Ichigo no Heta desu Koro-bu on 7/16.

Usako Kurusu graduated from rainyMelt on 7/22.

Nanami graduated from C;ON on 7/22.


Graduation, Withdrawal, and Dismissal Announcements

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Ayaka Okita announced graduation from NMB48 on 7/20 in the NMB48 theater. She plans to graduate at the end of September after the NMB48 National Tour Hiroshima concert. Aapon decided to graduate because she feels like she has done everything she wanted to as an idol and has no regrets. She is from Hiroshima and is a 1st generation member of the group, joining in 2010. Aapon was a senbatsu member for Amagami Hime, Boku wa Inai, Boku Igai no Dareka, and Warota People. She ranked #25 in the sousenkyo in 2016, #48 last year, and didn’t participate this year.

Iroha Sakuragi is graduating from Seishun Gakuen on 8/12. She wants to focus on finding a new path and wants to graduate at her best like Sayumi Michishige and Momoko Tsugunaga.

Sara is graduating from DD Princess on 8/1 because of a management change.

Yuria Nishino is graduating from Kuusou Moment on 9/9 to focus on her studies.

Rito Yoshida is graduating from Senritsu Freesia on 8/31.

Harune is graduating from Live Pro Kenkyuusei on 8/16 to focus on university entrance exams.

Yuri Shirasaki announced that she will graduate from LUSTEDEN on 9/9 to focus on her studies.

SACHI is graduating from AdFicTioN on 7/31 because she started feeling uncomfortable and unhappy performing in the group recently.

Nanase Nakanishi is graduating from Yomosue on 7/31 to pursue a different career after college.


Hiatuses

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AKB48 member Yui Hiwatashi went on hiatus starting 7/21 to focus on her studies. It is not yet certain when she will return, but I’ll keep everyone updated.


Other 48/46G News

AKB48

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Former member Rina Kawaei will play the lead role in the upcoming movie Naita Akaoni. The film is based off the short novel Sensei by Kiyoshi Shigematsu and will be released in 2019.

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Former member Mayu Watanabe will be in the TV drama Meibugyou! Tooyama no Kinshirou SP that will air on 8/13.

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Minami Minegishi has joined the cast of the sengoku musical Futari Okuni. The play will run in Tokyo from 3/29-4/15 next year.

Team 8’s play, KISS KISS KISS, ran from 7/19-7/22 at The Galaxy Theater in Tokyo. The play consists of many short romance stories and the members pair off and kiss each other. Team 8’s songs play a role in the story.

SKE48

The covers for Akari Suda’s first photobook were released this week. It will be released on 8/23 and is not yet titled.

NMB48

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Former member Rina Kondo returned to the entertainment business after a two and a half year hiatus. She has been appointed as the image girl for the Kyoto Townhouse Hotel Chain Rinn and introduced the chain on the KBS TV show Kyo bizX on 7/20.

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Rino Sashihara will be playing KNIVES OUT on YouTube Live, LINE LIVE, and Periscope on 7/28.

Nogizaka46

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The Mahou Sensei Negima! Okochama Sensei wa Shugyouchu! stage play starring former member Rina Ikoma will air on Fuji TV TWO/TWOsmart on 9/30.

Nogizaka46 will be performing Heigh Ho from Snow White on 2018 FNS Music Fes in Summer on 7/25.

Mai Shiraishi will not be participating in the Fukuoka and Nagoya concerts on 7/22, 8/26, and 8/27 because of schedule conflicts.

Keyakizaka46

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Yui Imaizumi will be joining the cast of Koi no Tsuki, a live-action TV drama based off the manga of the same name. She will be playing Satoko Sakaki. The drama will start airing on 7/26 on TV Tokyo.

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It has been announced that Yui Kobayashi will be an exclusive model for the fashion magazine with, starting with the upcoming September issue that will be released on 7/28.


Other Hello! Project/UFP News

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Hello! Project Kenshuusei Hokkaido were guests at Wasuta’s live this week.

UP-FRONT announced some changes to their YouTube channels starting this August. Hello! Project Station and Upcoming will no longer be presented in their one hour format, instead, they will be split into short individual segments. tiny tiny will retain its original format, but the time will change to Fridays at 7:00 PM. UP-FRONT also released an Omake channel with fun bonus clips. You can subscribe here.

Morning Musume ’18 is having a fan club event in Saitama on 9/14.


Other Mainstream Idol News

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Former Momoiro Clover member Akari Hayami revealed that she is engaged to a salaryman in his early thirties. They have known each other for five years and have been dating for four. The two of them plan to get married sometime this year. Akari currently works as an actress. Good for her? The age difference sounds a bit iffy given how long they’ve been dating (it doesn’t meet the classic half your age plus seven rule!), but as long as they’re happy, I guess.

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In honor of the 10th anniversary of Momoiro Clover Z, a Momoclo Shinkansen (bullet train) was established on 7/17. It traveled from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo and was completely full, with 1,017 people on the train. When the train departed, it played the Momoclo overture and the members made the in-train announcements. The girls interacted with the passengers a bit and in each car, one lucky passenger won a picture with a Momoclo member. I’m not really sure how easy it is to meet Momoclo anymore, so it sounds like a pretty sweet deal for Momoclo fans, especially if you wanted to travel around Japan anyway.

Former BiS and current BILLIE IDLE member Pour Lui revealed her salary earlier this year as a BiS member. She only received about 110000 yen a month. Shockingly low, huh? It’s so low that I’m sure it’s not the full story. She was pretty popular in early 2018, so she must have gotten more money from solo activities. They also might have provided her with housing. That doesn’t really matter, though, what matters is that it’s obvious Pour Lui didn’t get paid what she deserves and WACK doesn’t pay their idols well.

Yui ga Dokuson (from GANG PARADE) and SAiNT SEX will be performing in Tokyo Idol Festival as part of the WACK presents DREAMLIGHTS in TIF set. SAiNT SEX was previously made up of BiSH’s Aina the End and Ayuni D, GANG PARADE’s Saki Kamiya, Yua Yumeno, and Miki Yamamachi, and BiS’s Pour Lui and Aya Eight Prince. Since Pour Lui has graduated from BiS, she will be replaced with Gozeela.

Wi-Fi-5’s performance at Tokyo Idol Festival 2018 has been cancelled because of the members’ poor health. Huh, sounds like some serious things might be going on behind the scenes if they’re cancelling a major event over a week out due to poor health.


Other Mainstream/Underground Idol News

The Slope Club released an interview with Derek Vasconi about the East Meets West Music Fest on 8/18-8/19 in Anaheim, California. He answers a lot of questions that people had about the festival, so it’s a good watch/listen!

Tokyo Idol Festival has announced a collaboration with the Summer Sonic music festival. On 8/18 and 8/19, Tokyo Girls’ Style, Last Idol, Tacoyaki Rainbow, Yurumerumo!, Maison book girl, Philosophy no Dance, Osaka☆Shunkashuto, and Inkey Oops will be performing in Chiba as part of Idol Sonic.

The second wave of girls for the Tokyo Gravure Idol Festival 2018 (a festival within Tokyo Idol Festival) has been announced. The idols and ex-idols include Hinari Aoba (FES☆TIVE), Aimi Ikenaga (Ato 3 cm), Yuri Ikenaga (dela), Misaki Izumi (Ato 3 cm), Saori Itou (ex-Honey Spice), Fuune Kanda (dela), Raimu Kumada (Shibu3 Project), Saeko Kondo (FES☆TIVE), Hikaru Shiota (Ato 3 cm), Ruriko Dokou (FES☆TIVE), Ayana Toriumi (LIT), Aya Natsume (Mew Mew), Marika Minami (FES☆TIVE), Meiri (ex-Afilia Saga/ex-clipclip), and Ami Yokoyama (ex-PPP!PiXiON).

QunQun, Spindle, Puca, Jewel☆Neige, Underbeasty, and Harajuku DREAM MATE have been announced as winners of the Road to TIF2018 ~LAST CHANCE~ competition. They will all be performing at the festival. I’m glad Underbeasty made it! If you’re going to Tokyo Idol Festival, I definitely recommend checking them out.

It has been announced that five idols will participate in a quiz contest at Tokyo Idol Festival. They were chosen from a number of idols because of their scores on a preliminary test. The five idols are Anna Asano (Magical Punchline), Yurina (Necopla), Yuma Iida (Junsui Cafe Latte), Yufu Terashima (soloist and ex-BiS member), and Julia Tomita (Idol College).


Other Underground Idol News

2& released her full London live on YouTube on 7/18.

It was revealed this week that Tenkuu Island member Karen is the daughter of Sharam’s Q’s guitarist and leader, Hatake. Sharam Q was a famous band in the 90s and their most well-known song is Single Bed. The founder of Morning Musume and Hello! Project, Tsunku, was the vocalist of Sharam Q, wrote their songs, and gained his initial fame through the group. Karen confirmed that the gossip was true and used the publicity to promote her group’s upcoming one man live.

It was announced this week that Slime Girls members Rena Yamamiya and Fue Mizuno will both be promoted to Kamen Joshi Kouhousei and OZ on 8/12. Rena was previously promoted to OZ, but demoted herself back to Slime Girls because she felt her skills were lacking. It’ll be nice to see Rena back in OZ! She’s a really fun idol.

On 7/18, Yanchan Gakuen Ongakubu member Nariko Enomoto was brought to the hospital by ambulance from the Twinbox GARAGE venue in Akihabara, Tokyo. After inspection, they discovered that she had passed out from heatstroke because the air conditioning in the venue wasn’t working. She quickly recovered and is performing lives like normal.


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!

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