So many idols so little time

TIF

It’s blatantly obvious to anyone that stops by and reads my blog for 5 minutes that I am a gigantic idol fan. But you’d have to be a daily reader of my blog, or someone who just stumbled upon it and reads more than one post, to really get a grasp of just how many idol groups I follow. I cover somewhere in the range of 17 different idols/ idol groups on my blog, not counting sub-groups. Of those 18 I’m extremely dedicated to around 14 of them give or take. Sorry, I just can’t seem to bring myself to be anything more than a casual fan of AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, or HKT48. I actually do follow a few more groups, but as I’ve said before I prefer to only cover major idol groups over indie ones. Mostly because indie groups like Up Up Girls don’t release PVs, so what am I really going to blog about?

You can tell which idol groups are my favorite because they are the groups I blog about the most. And despite promising my readers to cover nearly every idol group out there I only end up covering the groups I have a real attachment towards. That’s why I haven’t really made good on my word to cover Kanjani8, Sexy Zone, Fairies, or AAA. Maybe one of these days I’ll have a KAT-TUN moment with them when I go, “No, this group is amazing now. Their music has gotten heaps better, I’m officially a fan now.” But then again, who knows? I actually do like Fairies, but I seem to always forget about them. Maybe I should stop doing that? On the other hand, things seem pretty grim when it comes to Sexy Zone. I almost like Sexy Zone’s Real Sexy, but then I hear Bad Boys, and after I’m done cringing it pushes me 8,000 feet away from the fan side of the invisible line that separates fans of the group from people who could care less.

So, if I make a post about an idol group on this blog it’s serious business. No, really it is. I think the main reason I’m so critical about idol groups is because I follow so many already. You might think it’s an easy task, but it actually isn’t. I’ve seen idol fans out there who literally follow just about every idol groups there is. Which is just mind boggling to me since there’s 30+ idol groups if not more. I’m actually not sure since I don’t keep proper tabs on indie groups. I seriously cannot fathom how people do it. Since I follow so many idol groups following them evenly has become something of well oiled machine. Where I go, “Ok, I’ll watch this DVD magazine now, and save those variety shows for another time. I’ll watch this TV apperance now, and save this one for later. This idol group has a new concert so I’ll watch this today and wait to watch this drama later.” Ironically, I even give up idol time to blog about idols.

But it’s not only that, I feel like I can’t really consider myself a true fan of the group unless I know absolutely every thing about each member’s personalities, know all of their songs, and can recall the entire groups history from memory. But I blame that 100% on blogging. I feel like if I don’t know all of that about a group I have no business blogging about them, which is maybe 85% of the reason I don’t blog about the 48 groups that often. I also feel my readers, as well as potential readers, will write off this blog off entirely if I don’t know enough about the groups. After all I’m blogging about them so shouldn’t I have all of this knowledge down pat?

Since I have so many idol groups I follow it’s always tricky to start listening to new ones. I have to make sure they are idol group I really want to follow, because I can’t just add any old group to the chunk of time I have dedicated to idols. Sadly, I don’t have 24 hours in a day to dedicate to idols, so I get my idol time whenever I can. It’s a sporadic mess really. So, I then think, shaves off a little Arashi time for this groups. A little less Morning Musume attention now so I’ll have time for that group. And I start thinking if I have the time, or want to spare the time, for this group. Which is another reason why I can’t imagine how people follow like 30 groups at a time. Where do they get the time? It feels like I’m drowning in my 14 or so groups sometimes. So, any new groups has to be pretty special.

And that’s really what this blog post is all about. I can confidently say I think I found a few new special groups. And they are special because my interest was sparked in groups like Sakura Gakuin, Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku, LinQ, Dream5, and BiS, and I decided I don’t have time for them now and can go back to them later. It is sad because I’m participatory fond of all of them, but I simply do not have the time to follow every idol group in existence.

That being said, the first group is Fudanjuku.

Fudanjuku

Now Fudanjuku are hardly a new group, or hardly a group no one knows about. I mean, I’ve been aware of them for a few years now. I even made a blog post about them a couple years ago saying that I was fooled and thought they were men and also saying that I didn’t really get the appeal of a danso group, and didn’t really undestand what type of fans were fans of Fudanjuku.

Well, it’s safe to say that I do get the appeal now. I’ve always been meaning to give them another shot coming from a more open minded mindset since I always see people mention them on twitter, tumblr, and idol blogs. And after listening to songs I was suggested on twitter, everything just started to click. For one, their music is good. I mean really really good. So, good that I honestly regret not listening to them sooner. Kaze Ikki is slowly becoming one of my favorite idol songs of all time.

And two, they are seriously one of the best male idol groups without even really being a male idol group. A lot of the time they make everything I want Johnny’s to make but don’t. I like that some of their songs have this gruff/tough sound to them. Don’t get me wrong I do prefer happy upbeat idol music regardless of the gender, but sometimes I do want to hear a tougher, sexier song from Johnny’s. KAT-TUN and Kisumai are in charge of that, but with both groups there’s always a 50/50 chance that their songs are gonna end up being good.

Thirdly, girl crush overload. I guess it’s because they got better wigs and better outfits, but I get their danso appeal now. Because I have such a girl crush on 2 of the members because of how boyish they are. It’s the same girl crush on have of f(x)’s Amber. And probably the reason I’ve been so into Sudou Maasa lately. My interest peeked a lot after her danso H!P Time episode.

I have to say that Akazono Kojirou and Seto Koki are my type, and if they were actually guys I’d probably be a way bigger fan of them. Especially Seto Koki, I probably wish she was a real guy more than I should. Koki also apparently likes conspiracies which makes him (is it better to refer to them as him when they’re in danso?) go up a few points.
I also really appreciate the Onaji Jidai ni Umareta Wakamonotachi PV. Where they are all scruffy and dirty running through dirt and water. It’s a PV I wish Johnny’s would make. Because honestly it’s a lot manlier than a lot of the PVs that come out of Johnny’s.

Also, props to them for being able to sing like men and still sound amazing. I’m a terrible singer with my natural voice, so it’s basically sorcery to me that they are able to sound good singing in both types of voices.

The second group is Cheeky Parade.

CheekyParade

Cheeky Parade is another Avex idol group that debuted right after SUPER GiRLS on their idol sub-label. So, it makes absolute perfect sense why I’m so attached to them already. I absolutely love everything about SUPER GiRLS I think they are a perfect idol group. If you’re an idol fan and aren’t a fan of SUPER GiRLS all I have to say is, “Why not? And you’re really missing out.”

What I like about Cheeky Parade is that they are similar to SUPER GiRLS, but at the same time they are completely different. While Cheeky Parade is a very cutesy idol group image wise, musically they have a more mature and polished sound to them. And I am completely impressed at how talented the girls are at singing. And the girls have a deeper tone compared to most idol singers. Which gives them a very distinct, unique, and maybe even a little harder sound. Which makes Cheeky Parade’s songs this combination of cutesy idol songs with a slightly harder edge. And they are such a joy to listen to.

Out of all the girls I am most impressed with Marin. Let’s be honest she’s like the goddess of Cheeky Parade. She’s absolutely gorgeous and she has the best singing voice in the group, in my opinion. Her voice is just pleasant to listen to and like butter to the ears. It’s hard to decide if I’m captivatedby the perfect idol that is Marin or if I’ll completely fall into the spiral of cuteness of that is Yuria or Seran.

What else is great about Cheeky Parade is that they’ve only released 3 singles, and no album, so it’s incredibly easy to catch up to them. And even easier to follow them.

The third and final idol group is Dempagumi.inc.

DempagumiInc

I’m still not 100% sure how I discovered Dempagumi.inc in the first place. I guess there one of those idol groups that I just stumbled upon. Bit however I did come across them I’m glad I did because they are just so weird, over the top, and ridiculous. And I love every last second of it.

You know how I love the weirdness that MomoClo throws our way, it’s that same weird spirit that draws me to Dempagumi.inc. Their outfits are very elaborate and each PV by them just looks like a hot mess of crazy.

The only real draw back of them is that their singing isn’t exactly that great, even for an idol group. Sometimes their singing is so bad it’s almost hard to listen to. But I’m hoping that their crazy antics and costumes make me overlook that.

It’s really difficult to really find anything on this group. But so far I seem to be drawn to Mirin because of how adorable she is.

Come on a release a new single already Hey! Say! JUMP

HSJ

I think I speak for the entire fandom when I say, “what’s going on with Hey! Say! JUMP?” I mean seriously. Unless you’re a new Hey! Say! JUMP fan you’re probably aware of the fact that Hey! Say! JUMP haven’t released a new single in over a year. The last single they released was Super Delicate on February 22, 2012. Well, even if you’re a new fan you’re probably painfully aware of this. But you probably won’t know the anger and overall annoyance that comes along with not releasing anything in over a year.

Now, this isn’t exactly a new thing for Hey! Say! JUMP. I became a fan of them back in 2009 during their first unexpected, and for no good reason, year long hiatus. Back then I honestly did not care. Since I was a new fan the hiatus gave me enough time to catch up to the group. Watch concerts, memorize the members names, get a feel for their personalities, and get really familiar with the music. It was fun. It’s obviously easier to catch up on an idol group in their downtime, but it’s honestly just as easy to catch up with them in real time. Mostly because most idol groups don’t have year long hiatuses. Do you realize that even NEWS didn’t miss a year in between release? Well, of course right before the members left they did. But before that they didn’t.

Another reason I was content with the hiatus was because despite not having physical releases they were still making new music. They would perform them on Shounen Club or they were songs used as volleyball support ssongs. If you recall they had so many unreleased songs that when they released their first album fans were saying that there was going to be a BEST and 7 version of the album with a rumored track list just because they had enough songs for it. I still think that would have been a brilliant idea, and will never understand why they didn’t do that.

They also have so many unreleased songs that they are still including them in their recent releases. And they have more unreleased group songs like Shin-Gi-Tai and Tobira no Mukou. As well as pretty ancient Hey! Say! 7 songs Brave Story, Nounai Dance, and Kawaii Kimi no Koto da Mono. I actually think all of Hey! Say! BEST’s stuff was released. But I could be wrong.

Also, do you remember Hey! say! JUMP’s Tengoku concerts from 2009? You know the concerts that didn’t get a DVD release. Which I am STILL not over to be honest. And the reason that I, and no doubt JUMP fans everywhere, were angry about this is because this was the concert where nearly every member of JUMP got a special solo. Even Keito and Inoo. Poor Ryutaro only got a dance solo. Chinen and Yuri had a duet. But that’s fine because my beloved Yuto still has his unreleased Uruwashi no Bad Girl solo. So, there’s 8 unreleased songs still! It’s 8 because Ryosuke sang Asia no Yoru. That’s pretty much an entire album worth of unreleased solos. That honestly will probably never get released or see the light of day again. Because they haven’t been preformed since those Tengoku concerts back in 2009.

During this hiatus we’ve gotten nothing really. Ok, we did get a new album and a concert DVD. But I guess I’m a greedy fan because that’s not enough. But you know what, no, that’s not greedy at all. It’s not unreasonable at all to want a new single in a year. I know that male idols don’t match the pace of female idols that release about 4 singles a year. But male idols usually don’t go more than 7 months between a single release without a reason. Hey! Say! JUMP doesn’t have one.

Now, this entire impatient ranting post was fueled by the fact that Hey! Say! JUMP do have a new song. It’s called Come On A MY House and they’ve been promoting it a lot lately.

In their new Vermont Curry commercial.

On School Kakumei.

News reports even showed them performing it at the Johnny’s World Thanksgiving concert.

But I’m angry because despite this, there has been no confirmation about this being a new single. Even though all of these promos started airing on March 30th or 31st. Which was obviously 4 or 5 days ago.

However, I do think that this song isn’t going to be an A-side. I’m willing to bet it’s the B-side to some upcoming new single. Because 1. if it was an A-side they would have made it perfectly clear by now and would have announced it as such during the Johnny’s World Thanksgiving concert. 2. I think they’re gonna pull a Kagayaki Days. Remember how Hey! Say! 7’s Kagayaki Days was used in Hey! Say! 7’s Lotte Fruitio commercial before Hitomi no Screen was even announced? So, it makes sense to do it with this song also. And 3. I don’t want it to be an A-side.

No, seriously I don’t. The song just isn’t good enough. It’s cute and idoly, and a little bit catchy I suppose. But it’s a little more immature than I expected. Coming off of their really mature last single, Super Delicate, this just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s more suited for a fun B-side.

I’m honestly kind of fed up with how they have been treating JUMP. It’s pretty obvious they never really knew what to do with JUMP once they started getting older. It was easy for them to be the young, cutesy, childish group when they were that age, but once they started getting older they honestly didn’t know what to do. They started giving them more mature music, but quickly took that back and gave them cutesy music again. It’s obvious whoever handles JUMP within Johnny’s doesn’t really know what they’re doing. I certainly hope it’s not Julie because she’s can’t even handle JUMP properly, yet she’s set to take over the whole company.

I’m sick of Johnny’s still treating Hey! Say! JUMP as the youngest group. They’re not anymore, Sexy Zone is. It’s really easy to have a song that’s cutesy and fun with a fresh vibe without it being too silly and childish. Arashi and NEWS have always done that beautifully.

I guess I’m just waiting for Johnny’s to get it together and give Hey! Say! JUMP a clear path. And at least pretend they know what they’re doing. I didn’t just spend $50 on a Hey! Say! JUMP calendar that’s only really worth $20 at most, for them to just dissolve as a group.