10 Breakthrough First Time Performers at Tokyo Idol Festival 2017

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10 Breakthrough First Time Performers at Tokyo Idol Festival 2017

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In addition to many of the superstars of the Japanese idol scene and groups that have been around for years, Tokyo Idol Festival 2017 was also the event where several groups appeared for the first time! Among those “rookies” were some that became a hot topic of conversation while others had already made a name for themselves before venturing onto the stages of the largest idol festival in the world.


amiinA, the duo of ami and miyu flew in like a pair of valkyries arriving at their first Tokyo Idol Festival and performing at 4 different stages throughout the weekend. Armed with their eclectic mix of post-rock, folk music, electronica, and shoegaze, they seemed to have more in common with a group at a rock festival instead of the world’s biggest idol event, especially when they had the crowds singing along with their hands in the air to “Canvas”.

Photos by Kai Okudara

amiinA Official site:


The retro rock quartet of BILLIE IDLE® had long proclaimed that they were “not idol” but their appearance at Tokyo Idol Festival 2017 shouldn’t be much cause for concern, especially with TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE returning after a 3 year absence. BILLIE IDLE® is BILLIE IDLE® and they do things their way, which includes causing “anarchy in the music scene”!

Photos by Kai Okudara

BILLIE IDLE® Official site:


Photos by Kai Okudara

CY8ER, the 6-member yume kawaii electronic music group assembled by the enterprising Ichigo Rinahamu, made their Tokyo Idol Festival in a flash of pastel colors and infectious tunes. The group formerly known as BPM15Q! has bounced back from the departure of nicamoq with the addition of Pochi Koinumaru (ex-DJ POCHI) and Mashilo (ex-DEEP GIRL) in January and Anna Fujishiro (ex-BELLRING Girls’ Heart), Naatan Coromushi, and Yamiyume yAmmy in April, creating an even stronger supergroup heading for their biggest one-man live yet at Ebisu LIQUIDROOM on September 8th.

Photos by Nathan Gey

CY8ER Official site :

Maison book girl

Even though Maison book girl has been around since late 2014 and winning fans from the world of idols and “serious music” with their unique art-rock sounds, made their major label debut on Tokuma Japan in 2016, and sold out Akasaka BLITZ for their recent image tour final “Solitude HOTEL3F”, 2017 was their first year at Tokyo Idol Festival. Given their impressive list of accomplishments heading into the event, their popularity was unsurprising, their performance at HEAT GARAGE providing a small preview of what should be in store for Solitude HOTEL 4F at Zepp DiverCity on December 28th.

Photos by Kai Okudara

Maison book girl Official site:


The new group of former BELLRING Girls’ Heart member Kanra (now named Yoneko), MIGMA SHELTER may have only officially performing since April but they have steadily been drawing crowds with their “Brain Destruction Music”, their name for the psychedelic trance they perform. Their choreography toes the line between rigid precision and reckless abandon in a non-stop mix of mesmerizing global sounds and hypnotic vocals.

Photos by Kai Okudara

MIGMA SHELTER Official site:

Sin Sekai Sen

Pamper Revive People received an update, returning as Sin Sekai Sen. Armed with a handful of songs of destruction by Dr. Usui and laser-focused choreography, Dear Stage’s futuristic electronic quartet drew a large crowd despite the soaring afternoon temperatures at FESTIVAL STAGE.

Photos by Kai Okudara

Sin Sekai Sen Official site:

Task have Fun

Riding on the breakthrough success of their 4th single “3WD”, Task have Fun made it well worth waking up early to get down to SMILE GARDEN on the second day of Tokyo Idol Festival 2017. With heated performances at FESTIVAL STAGE, SKY STAGE, and DOLL FACTORY also checked off their list, it wouldn’t be unusual to see them on the timetable for HEAT GARAGE or possibly even HOT STAGE in 2018.

Photos by Kai Okudara

Task have Fun Official site:

The Idol Formerly Known As LADYBABY

While it was not technically the first time for the duo of Rei Kuromiya and Rie Kaneko to appear at a Tokyo Idol Festival (They performed during the Miss iD stage for Tokyo Idol Festival 2015.), is was their first since the departure of LADYBEARD and their return as The Idol Formerly Known As LADYBABY. Continuing their efforts to smash the rules of society, Rei and Rie showed maturity and power during their time at the DOLL FACTORY stage which had fans packed from wall to wall.

Photos by Kai Okudara

The Idol Formerly Known As LADYBABY Official site:


The protégées of the seemingly invincible athlete idol group UPUPGIRLS (KARI) arrived at their first Tokyo Idol Festival after an incredibly busy spring and summer, appearing at various events, being the opening act for the ∞ Lives Change& Evolution tour, and appearing in their first music videos. Trading in their white “(2)” shirts for their first stage outfits and promoting their debut single “Sun!x3/Ni no Ashi Dancing”, UPUPGIRLS (2) looked to be ahead of schedule to inherit the samurai spirits of their predecessors.

Photos by Kai Okudara

Yanakoto Sotto Mute

Having made their debut in June of 2016, Yanakoto Sotto Mute has been incredibly productive, releasing 2 EPs and an album as well as selling out Shibuya WWW in March, “Yanamyu” has already put their indelible “STAMP” on the indies idol scene. Combining powerful vocals with a sound distilled from an eclectic palette of alternative rock genres, Yanakoto Sotto Mute is doing more than just drowning out the unpleasantries of daily life.

Photos by Kai Okudara

Yanakoto Sotto Mute Official site:

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Kai Okudara

Writer, researcher, photographer, foodie, KSDD

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