Hey everyone – it’s time for the second part of my five part series of my favorite idol songs of 2018! If you didn’t read part one, you can check it out here. Let’s get into it!
40. Kobushi Factory – Kitto Watashi Wa
In my opinion, Kobushi Factory’s 2018 songs were decent at best with one exception: Kitto Watashi wa. It’s a refreshing and positive song with rap segments and a general style that reminds me of Morning Musume’s Watashi no Dekkai Hana, one of my favorite Morning Musume B-sides. With verses that remind me of a B-side I love and a catchy, anthemic chorus, Kitto Watashi wa had to make the list.
39. EMPiRE – Buttocks beat! beat!
EMPiRE failed to initially make an impression for me, but that all changed with the song attached to their second MV release, Buttocks beat! beat! Whether you like it or not, it’s definitely memorable. I happened to like it quite a bit and remembered it for positive reasons: I think the song is catchy, hilarious, well-produced, and full of personality. I’m sure most of you are familiar with EMPiRE already, but if you’re not, they are definitely a group to keep on your radar.
38. Niji no Conquistador – Zutto Summer de Koishiteru
If there’s one thing Niji no Conquistador does well, it’s summer songs, and this year was no exception. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the group has a lot of cute girls, but the songs themselves also tend to be high quality. Zutto Summer de Koishiteru was one of this year’s higher energy summer songs and it’s great for putting a smile on your face and making you want to get up and dance. Good luck getting the chorus out of your head!
37. NGT48 – Whatcha Gonna Do
So, NGT48. As I’m sure you know, there’s been a lot of controversy involving them lately. It’s hard to forget that when watching this music video, particularly when Maho and two of the members allegedly involved in her assault are included in this senbatsu. While it’s hard to push that aside and I wouldn’t blame you for avoiding this song and even all of NGT’s discography, Whatcha Gonna Do, one of the B-sides to Haru wa Doko kara kuru no ka, was one of the most unique and well-done mainstream releases of 2018. Even if you’re a big fan of 48G, I’m sure you can agree that a lot of their B-sides and album songs kind of blend together, so it’s nice to see them take a risk and put out a track that I could best describe as Perfume inspired but with a cooler and sexier sound.
36. Yumemiru Adolescence – Melon Soda
Yumemiru Adolescence got some new members in 2018 and decided to celebrate that by featuring one of their new members and the youngest member of the group, Saya Yamashita, as the center for their single Melon Soda. It wasn’t a song that grabbed me right away. I mean, it’s a fairly generic idol song and if your tastes lean more towards the alternative side of things, Melon Soda might not interest you at all. However, I found that the more I listened to it, the more it grew on me. Saya is adorable and the song has one of the cutest choruses of the year. As I said earlier, it’s a fairly generic idol song, but it’s a little more rock oriented than a lot of similar songs by other groups. Overall, it was one of my favorite feel-good songs of 2018 and it brings me back to feeling the excitement about summer that I did back when I was in school.
35. TEARS – storia
I’ve sort of followed TEARS since they debuted in 2016. storia has been their main live song ever since they debuted, but since it didn’t get an official release until this year, I’m still counting it. When I saw TEARS for the first time, I thought they seemed pretty boring and generic until storia played. Suddenly, I was happy to be in the venue and wanted to hear it again and again. Luckily, I did, since TEARS performs at every idol event ever. I think hearing the recorded version of the song doesn’t quite capture how fun the song is live, but even so, it’s easily one of the best underground idol songs of the year, particularly if you’re interested in more “orthodox” idol groups.
34. predia – Hotel Sunset
predia’s management knows the group’s strengths: the sexiness and strong vocal capabilities of the members. Unfortunately, they’re so eager to showcase these two things together that a lot of their songs end up sounding pretty similar. Hotel Sunset, the lead track off their recent album Fabulous, really impressed me by managing to show off the group’s sexiness and impressive vocals while still sounding unlike any other Japanese idol song I had heard. It mixes their “standard sound” with a bit of EDM, jazz, and bossa nova to make something truly great and I hope to see predia continue to try new things.
33. Qumali Depart – Are? Romantic
I’d previously heard of Qumali Depart, but I didn’t know anything about the group and never really listened to their songs. Well, apparently I should be paying more attention! Are? Romantic is a zany, high-energy song that’s just plain fun and will make you want to sing along. There’s some pretty big names behind this song, namely Seiko Oomori who wrote the lyrics and ARM from IOSYS who arranged it. Hopefully they can work with Qumali Depart more in the future! I also love the dance and I’m sure it’d be a blast to furicopy along with this song live. If any fans of Qumali Depart are reading this, let me know if any of their other songs are as good as this one.
32. =LOVE – Kiara, Tasuke ni Kita zo
=LOVE had a good 2018. I don’t think there were any of their songs I didn’t like this year, but my favorite was definitely one of the B-sides to Teokure caution, Kiara Tasuke ni Kita zo. I can’t say I knew who Kiara was before this MV, but this tribute to the youngest member of the group is fun as heck. I mean, Hyadain composed and arranged the song, so I had a feeling it would be good, but I enjoyed it even more than I expected. Kiara, Tasuke ni Kita zo really plays up the charms of Kiara and the other members and I love how it’s simultaneously silly and epic. Definitely check it out if you’re a Hyadain fan!
31. eyes – E Y E S
Have you heard of eyes (the idol group, not the body part)? I hadn’t until I came across this song. Apparently, they’ve been around since November 2017, so they’re pretty new, but not as new as I initially thought. They seem to be a K-Pop influenced group that focuses heavily on dancing and one of their members, Rio Oomori, is a concurrent member of Last Idol/Love Cocchi. If you’re a fan of K-Pop or J-Pop dance groups like E-girls, give E Y E S a listen. Personally, I’m just a casual fan of both, but I’ve always enjoyed catchy, danceable pop songs and E Y E S is definitely one of them. It’s also got a lot of English in it, which makes more accessible and easy to sing along. If your K-Pop loving friends are curious about Japanese idols, eyes might be a good group to test out on them.
What do you think of my list so far? Let me know and stay tuned for part three!