For those of you who do not know, this upcoming weekend, two idol groups (NECRONOMIDOL and Yanakoto Sotto Mute) and one solo idol (14Generations Toilet hanakosan) will be coming to America as a part of the East Meets West Music Festival in Anaheim, California. While I unfortunately can’t make it, I’d like to write an introduction to each of them for those of you who are going or just any English speaking idol fans who might be interested in learning about them. If you haven’t read my Hanako-san introduction post, check it out here.
This time, I’ll be talking about Yanakoto Sotto Mute!
History & Concept
Yanakoto Sotto Mute was announced in March of 2016 as a new idol project started by BELLRING Shoujo Heart (now There There Theres)’s record label, Cream Soda Insatsu. They are managed by DCG Entertainment and produced by composer/arranger Hiroaki Taniyama, who is also MIGMA SHELTER’s sound producer and has composed songs for BELLRING Shoujo Heart, Lovely☆DOLL, Doll☆Elements, Flap Girls’ School, Luce Twinkle Wink☆, Ange☆Reve, Jelno!, Chu☆Oh!Dolly, and Jewel☆Neige. The group debuted in June of 2016 with members Nadeshiko, Mani Mamiya, and Ichika Minami and in September, Rena was added as a new member. 2017 was a big year for Yanamyu, with their first tour and one man in March, their first album in April, their first Tokyo Idol Festival appearance in August, and their second one man live and first band set in December. This year, they released their second album in June and will be performing abroad for the first time at the East Meets West Music Festival in Anaheim this upcoming weekend.
Yanakoto Sotto Mute means something like “gently mute the unpleasant things” and their concept can be roughly translated to, “While gently muting the unpleasant things in everyday life might not solve anything, for the time being, let’s sing rock with a sorrowful melody”. The genres they use to describe their music are grunge, shoegaze, and alternative rock. So no, they don’t exactly sound like your typical idols. The girls are often told that their live sound is more explosive than other idol groups and have intense vocals and dances to match. You could even say that they sound more like a rock band than an idol group and since their first band set, they seem to be doing shows with a live band semi-regularly.
While idols usually use standard black microphones, Yanamyu brings their own white microphones to match their white outfits. The group color is white and while most Yanamyu fans don’t use penlights, some fans choose to light up white for them and white glowsticks are used for special events. Their first time performing abroad is a very special event, so please, if you have a penlight, light up white for Yanamyu! If you don’t, maybe you can go to a party store or something similar and buy white glowsticks that you can crack open during their live performances. That’d be pretty cool!
The group has technically released three albums: BUBBLE, STAMP ON, and MIRRORS, but STAMP ON was a venue exclusive release in 2017. They also have three EPs: 8CM EP, Sealing EP, and STAMP EP, as well as a venue exclusive single, echoes. Despite having all of these releases, I believe if you just buy BUBBLE and MIRRORS, you will have all of their studio recorded songs. Both albums are really good and worth listening to, but where do I think you should start? Let’s start with the opinions of the members!
Off their new album MIRRORS, both Nadeshiko and Rena like Louvre no Sora the most. When it is performed live, all four of the members sing together and fans raise their fists with the members. Nadeshiko likes the sense of unity this brings.
Mani and Ichika like Phantom Calling the most. Ichika particularly likes it live.
Mani likes performing Awake live because it gives her the opportunity to act.
How about off their first album? Well, Ichika likes No Known the most. It’s also Nadeshiko’s favorite to listen to.
Mani likes Morning the most and it’s Nadeshiko’s favorite to perform live. They both like being able to wave their hands in unity with the audience.
Which songs are my favorite? Well, I should start by clarifying that although I’ve seen Yanamyu live videos online, I haven’t seen them live in person, which could change my opinion. As of now, I’d have to agree with Nadeshiko and Rena: Louvre no Sora is my favorite song off MIRRORS. My favorite Yanamyu song overall is a track off BUBBLE: Lily. I made a call guide video for it, too!
Besides Lily, I also really love Kanaderuha. I bet it’s absolutely amazing to watch live.
Videos & Live Performances
While I linked all live videos, Yanamyu also have MVs for Horoscope, Lily, Any, AWAKE, HOLY GRAiL, and Louvre no Sora. They’re all beautifully shot, but I’d have to say their most recent MV, Louvre no Sora, is my favorite.
One thing that’s really unique about Yanakoto Sotto Mute is that at all of their lives, you’re allowed to film and take pictures. Both of these things are banned at most idol lives in Japan, so this is really rare. Almost all of their shows are uploaded on YouTube by someone and I think this makes them a lot easier to follow from abroad. Even special shows, like one man lives and birthday shows, are usually uploaded. Not only can you see their songs live, you can also watch their MCs and get to know each of the members better. Just search “ヤなことそっとミュート” and you’ll find a ridiculous amount of live content. Some cool shows to watch are their puddle tour final, as well as all of the members’ birthday shows. Here are links to their most recent ones:
Now that I’ve covered the group’s history, concept, members, and lives, let’s talk about the members!
Birthday: 12/27/1996 (21 years old)
Height: 155 cm (5’1″)
Charm point: Ability to convey strong emotions with my eyes
Manga that changed your life: Litchi Hikari Club (Lychee Light Club)
Favorite movies: Indiana Jones, Silence of the Lambs
Novel that left an impression on you: Yoru wa Mijikashi Aruke yo Otome (Night is Short, Walk on Girl)
One thing you’d bring if you were stranded on a deserted island: Soap
The most unpleasant thing in the world is?: Hunger
Nadeshiko is the main singer of the group and very professional, both on stage and off. She seems to answer questions very seriously and does a great job of promoting the group. She is probably the most experienced member of the group, since she went to a performing arts high school and was a member of the lolita themed idol group Meltia from October 2014 to November 2015 under the name Nadeshiko Mizuki.
Nadeshiko’s voice is very impressive and she also has an amazing stage presence. I think she looks a bit like an early Nana Okada on stage, which is a very good thing. She is also the biggest idol otaku out of all of the members and has been a fan of Hello! Project and idols in general for a long time.
Nadeshiko decided that if she didn’t end up in a new idol group by the time she was twenty years old, she’d quit being an idol, but fortunately, she made it into Yanamyu nine months before that happened. Nadeshiko likes to eat, sleep, and sing and in her free time, likes to shop, go on walks, and watch let’s play videos. Her favorite foods are yakiniku and ice cream. Nadeshiko is a fan of yuruchara (Japanese mascot characters), particularly Funasshi, and Winnie the Pooh. She’s a fan of idol music, but she also likes Urbangarde and Elephant Kashimashi.
A couple more interesting facts! Nadeshiko is apparently her real name and when she was in high school, the guys made a fan club for her. I thought that was just an anime thing, but apparently it actually happens! I guess that shows you how charming Nadeshiko is. Finally, despite not being all that short for a Japanese idol, Nadeshiko is the shortest member of the group.
Birthday: 4/24/1996 (22 years old)
Height: 169 cm (5’6.5″)
Manga that changed your life: Narutaru (Shadow Star)
Novel that left an impression on you: All of J.D. Salinger’s works
Food you dislike: Foods that get my hands dirty, organs
One thing you’d bring if you were stranded on a deserted island: Pesticide
Where you like to go out: I don’t like to go out
The most unpleasant thing in the world is?: Cavities
Mani Mamiya is the oldest member of Yanamyu and the dancer of the group, having been trained in jazz dance since she was young. She is also the otaku of the group and loves anime, manga, anime songs, Vocaloid, and games. Mani prefers staying in to going out and generally spends her days off at home. Lately, she’s been really into Splatoon 2 and aside from her otaku hobbies, she also likes to read novels. While she doesn’t really like to go out, she does enjoy shopping and is into fashion. As well as being an idol, Mani is also a college student. Mani originally didn’t want to be an idol, but loved Yurumerumo! and thought that being an idol might be a good way to change her life.
Before applying for Yanamyu, Mani applied twice for the Takarazuka Revue theater troupe and she seems to like acting. Although Mani is an otaku and likes to stay in, she’s quite good at talking and I’d imagine she’s great at interacting with fans. Mani is also pretty tall for a Japanese girl and the tallest member of Yanamyu.
Birthday: 8/13/1996 (22 years old)
Height: 161 cm (5’3.5″)
Favorite motto: Even the patience of a saint eventually runs out
Manga that changed your life: Ranma 1/2
One thing you’d bring if you were stranded on a deserted island: Chickens
What country you’d like to try living in: Outer space
The most unpleasant thing in the world is?: Packed trains
What will you be doing in ten years?: Living the life of a retired bachelorette
If you can’t tell from her profile answers, Ichika is probably the most eccentric member of the group and often says and does some pretty funny things. She was initially shy and had a bit of trouble with things like MCs and variety appearances, but she has since opened up more and gotten more used to performing and being an entertainer. Ichika decided to pursue a career as an idol because she was having a hard time finding a normal job, but she has been a fan of idols and had the desire to become an idol since junior high. Ichika’s favorite idol group is Keyakizaka46 and she also likes the rock band The Back Horn. In her spare time, Ichika likes to paint, draw, and play ball sports, particularly volleyball. Ichika is also into smells and eyes and talks about the members’ eyes and wanting to smell new places.
Birthday: 5/1/2000 (18 years old)
Height: 165 cm (5’5″)
Manga that changed your life: Sugar Sugar Rune
Favorite movie: Coraline
One thing you’d bring if you were stranded on a deserted island: Seeds to grow food
The most unpleasant thing in the world is?: Introducing yourself at school
Favorite motto: Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today
Favorite artist: Michael Jackson
Rena is the youngest member of the group, the only member that was added after the group’s debut, and the only member that is still in high school. She’s also the only member that isn’t from around Tokyo (she’s from Shizuoka prefecture). Not only is she from Shizuoka, she still lives there and has to travel to Tokyo for lives. Between high school, Yanamyu, and travel, Rena is a very busy girl. Before Yanamyu, Rena was in 3776, an idol group based around Mt. Fuji, under the name Rena Mochizuki.
Rena is pretty quiet and honest. If you ask her a question, she’ll probably be straight to the point and say exactly what she thinks. However, she opens up as you get to know her more and is a very sweet and funny girl. Rena is really into Michael Jackson and often mentions her love of his music.
How to Support Yanakoto Sotto Mute
So, if you’re interested in the members, the music, or the group as a whole, what can you do to support Yanamyu? Obviously, you can go see them in Japan. Or you can go see them at the East Meets West Music Festival!
As it says on the poster, the East Meets West Music Fest takes place on 8/18-8/19 in Anaheim, California and they are also performing with Japanese idol group NECRONOMIDOL, Japanese solo idol 14Generations Toilet hanakosan, American acts, and Japanese-American acts. Tickets are $40 per day or $70 for both days in advance or $100 for a VIP ticket that includes entrance for both days, entrance to the meet and greet, and an unsigned poster and photo set. Higher VIP tiers include things like T-shirts, penlights, signed items, exclusive unique items from each group, a signed large framed photo of the idol of your choice, and a personalized thank you video. With the higher VIP tiers, you can get an exclusive special item from Yanamyu! You can buy tickets here.
Can’t make the event or fly to Japan but you still want to show your support for Yanakoto Sotto Mute? Well, you can pay $40 for a livestream ticket and watch the livestream of East Meets West while also supporting the event. You can also get the $400 VIP livestream ticket, which includes a signed poster, penlight, cheki set, and signed framed autograph picture of the member of your choice. That’s pretty expensive, yeah, but it’s exclusive stuff that you can’t get anywhere else and whenever I’ve seen framed autographed pictures of idols, they’ve gone for a lot of money.
Aside from that, you can buy some of Yanamyu’s goods online. You can buy MIRRORS and STAMP EP directly from CDJapan and BUBBLE and STAMP ON through CDJapan’s proxy service. Some other Yanamyu items they offer through their proxy service are a Yanamyu photobook and DVD, Yanamyu’s second one-man official booklet, and their echoes tour live Blu-Ray. You can see their full list of proxy products here, which also includes member specific versions of the Sealing EP, T-shirts, towels, and a sweatshirt.
You can help support the group even more by buying their goods through their official store, however, they do not ship internationally. You will need to use a proxy service that provides you with a Japanese address. I’m sure everyone has their own recommendations, but Tenso has worked well for me. They mostly sell the same things I mentioned above, as well as coin purses and clear files. You can check out their store here.
Another way to support the group is by buying their music digitally. Yanamyu’s music is available on a number of digital streaming services, such as Apple Music, Amazon, and Google Play. You can also stream their music free on Spotify. Another way to support them for free is by following the girls on Twitter and sending them supportive tweets. The girls can’t follow back or reply, but they do read everything and will usually like tweets. They’ve mentioned multiple times seeing the support of international fans online and how it makes them happy, so you can help make them even happier!
Links and Additional Information
You should also read my interview with Yanakoto Sotto Mute here! I mentioned some of what they said in this post, but there’s a lot more that I didn’t mention, particularly about the international fandom, how they feel about coming to America, and where they want to perform next.
JPopRocks also did a really informative video interview with Yanakoto Sotto Mute, which is a great way to learn more about them.
I think Yanakoto Sotto Mute is a very professional group with impressive live performances and a unique sound that stands out from other idol groups. The members are also really charming and I hope to meet them one day.
Have you seen Yanamyu live before? Are you going to East Meets West? Do you know anything about Yanamyu that I don’t? What do you think of them? Who’s your oshimen? Let me know!