Idols bring us hope, happiness and a drive to continue with our daily lives, no matter how mundane a day might be, or how weary we feel after the work has been done. Come rain or shine, the joy that an idol creates is second to none, and a core point of our fan journey.
Looking back at my own journey as a fan, there is one group that comes to mind when I think about the love I hold for Idols and Japanese music, and the role they have played in my life as an Idol fan.
On November 1st, 2021, LONDON BLUE revealed in a surprise announcement that the group would make a return to the stage after a year-long hiatus. What was more surprising was the member reveal, with current member AOBA – also known as Harumi Aoba – being the groups sole successor after the dissolution of her former group, Ever! BE Mayowanaide!! just a day before.
Now AOBA begins her journey with LONDON BLUE, and after holding her first mini one-man live at Ikebukuro MONO on November 13th, she is ready to take on the groups 8 year legacy with the support of her seniors and a never-ending smile.
It is time to celebrate LONDON BLUE’s return to the Idol world, so Beyond Senpai would like to welcome both AOBA and LONDON BLUE’s manager, Kiyoshi Hayashi, to talk about the groups revival, AOBA’s strengths and LONDON BLUE’s future goals.
Since beginning their activities as Ever!BE Mayowanaide!! over a year ago, the charming duo made up of Natsukawa Aoba and Momoha Airi are moving forward after wrapping up their tour to promote their debut EP, #Ebimayo.
In the midst of the worlds current issues and its slow repair, both Aoba and Airi have continued to work hard as idols to create hope for their fans, whilst also taking on their own challenges as performers. Be it writing their own lyrics for the first time or preparing the choreography for their music, Ebimayo’s Aoba and Airi are starting a journey that will hopefully lead them to success the more they pursue this path they have undertaken.
Now after the successfully wrapping up their first CD release tour, Beyond Senpai were lucky enough to have a chat with the members of Ever!BE Mayowanaide!! to get to know the idols behind the music, and to find out what it was like working alongside the cute noodle loving mascot, Udon-Nou.
It has been a decade since Houkago Princess made their debut as idols, and like many that came before them, they started out small and relatively unknown. With seven members making up the original lineup, the group would open up their own live house in Ikebukuro, standing on a checkerboard stage that could barely hold the entire group. Backed by a team of industry newbies to help with recording, set design and promotion, Houkago Princess was a group as green as they come, but they were just as determined as any other idol group out there, and they were ready with a debut single before they even hit the stage.
Filled with the sound of sparkling techno beats and cute vocals that hold a gentle cadence, the up and coming duo unit known as Ever!BE Mayowanaide!! – or Ebimayo – have armed themselves with the sound of energetic and catchy music in their major debut single, #Ebimayo.
Bright and ready to draw you in, #Ebimayo is a release that will bring in fans who enjoy music from performers and composers such as Toriena, KOTO, CY8ER, Yunomi and early Perfume. Jam-packed with six wonderful tracks – as well as two instrumentals – this single is sure to throw you into the sparkling world of Ebimayo, one way or another.
Pop, rock, pop-punk, idol and J-Pop are some common descriptions of self-produced Tokyo-based artist Saki Chitose, best known as Double And, stylised as 2.
Since her debut Double And album back in 2015, Saki has gone on to release a number of singles and EPs. She is well known for her dynamic and fun live performances and her distinct vocals that keep all the intensity with tightly choreographed dance routines.
After being given a chance to stand on stage as performers once again, the recently formed unit known as DEARDEVIL are ready to take on the music scene under their new label, Devil Margin Inc. Made up of three members – RISA, AKANE and ARARA – the creation of DEARDEVIL has become a symbol of hope and rebirth for the girls, all of whom were a part of the now disbanded idol unit, Toumei na Kankei, 3-by 30byou.
Hot off their first one-man live and the release of their highly anticipated debut album, MANACLE have been catapulted into the alternative idol universe, much to the delight of fans both in Japan and internationally.
With their dark and heavy electro sound, MANACLE have certainly made their presence known in the underground scene since their conception not even a year ago. And now with the release of the incredible debut album LIBERATION and fantastic new music video for ‘Look at Me’, Risaki, Ray, Hina and Maon found time in their busy schedule to chat with the Beyond Senpai team.
There is a new group in town and they are here to share their music with the world. Kelly and Tom were honoured to interview this new and exciting group, so lets learn who and what DEARDEVIL are all about.
A personal reflection on the idol group KissBee by guest writer Toby Hagen.
For the last few years I have been a huge supporter of an idol group that seems to have gone largely unnoticed by the international Japanese idol fandom. Whenever I would bring them up in conversation, the response was always the same; “Who?”
When Beyond Senpai approached me to write an article for them ahead of their online live show on September 8th 2020, a concert with huge significance for the group and their fans, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to introduce them. So read on and allow me to introduce you to one of the hardest working, musically diverse, and socially outgoing idol groups ever… KissBee!