Negicco & Dorothy Little Happy: Feel-Good Groups From Tokyo Idol Festival 2015
With so many different idols from all over Japan performing at stages scattered throughout Odaiba during the two days of Tokyo Idol Festival 2015, it was truly an overwhelming event. Even if you were smart enough to make a plan and limit yourself to just a few groups that you truly wanted to see, the heat and humidity was fairly overwhelming, especially during the day. For those times when it felt like it was impossible to go on, Negicco and Dorothy Little Happy, two groups who have found a special place in the hearts of true idol fans all over the world, were there to keep your spirits up!
Negicco are seasoned veterans in the idol scene, established as a temporary group to promote leeks grown in Niigata back in 2003 (probably before some of the idols at Tokyo Idol Festival 2015 were even born). They were the center of attention in January as the formation of NGT48 was announced, with many “experts” fearing their demise. With no disrespect intended towards the empire of idols that Yasushi Akimoto has brought into the world, there is simply no way that Niigata prefecture’s ambassadors will be defeated so easily!
With their countryside charms and catchy songs that make people want to dance, Negicco is all about having fun, which is perfect for a big event like Tokyo Idol Festival. How can you not want to own a penlight that looks like a leek? When the group performed at an event that prohibited the audience from using them, some ingenious fans actually got real leeks and used those instead! Even if you aren’t deeply knowledgeable about their songs, the learning curve for Negicco is quite kind to newcomers. Just about every song in their discography manages to fit a “N-E-G-I-C-C-O” chant somewhere in it.
Songs like “Attoteki Na Style” where the members of Negicco and the audience link arms and kick up their feet like a chorus line is just one of the highlights of their performances, especially at a place like the Smile Garden stage where they closed out the second day of Tokyo Idol Festival 2015. Just thinking back to that amazing final performance, the prospect of going to their upcoming one-man live at Hibiya Yaon on August 16th might just outweigh the fear of how much hotter and humid it will be in Tokyo by then.
5:20pm – 5:50pm Hot Stage
9:10pm – 9:30pm Heat Garage
2:20pm – 2:35pm Sky Stage
7:35pm – 8:00pm Smile Garden
Dorothy Little Happy
Dorothy Little Happy
After the departure of the callme members (Ruuna Akimoto, Mimori Tominaga, and Koumi Hayasaka) at the July 12 finale of their 5th Anniversary tour at Nakano Sun Plaza, there may have been doubts as to what would become of Mari Takahashi and Kana Shirato as they moved forward with Dorothy Little Happy as a duo. It was heartbreaking to see just the two of them when the artist photo for their appearances was revealed. However, just as their slogan goes, “If you listen to us, your body will start to dance; everyone who watches us will fall in love with us.”, those fears were proven wrong! Dorothy Little Happy is one of those groups that one cannot help but want to support.
The 2 members of Dorothy Little Happy had a super busy weekend with Mari Takahashi also performing with Magical☆Dreamin’ and Kana Shirato helping out her Step One juniors Party Rockets during their Festival Stage live. In addition to 4 performances as Dorothy Little Happy, they were also part of a collaboration performance with Afilia Saga, and participated in the Idol Summer Jamboree and Grand Finale.
Despite performing right in the middle of the day on August 2nd, the Hot Stage was packed until the concession stands with idol fans of all different groups, chanting out “Ore mo!” (I do too) in response to each and every “Suki yo!” (I love you) during their classic “Demo Sayonara”. Emotions seemed to be running high on the stage as well as Mari Takahashi seemed to emphasize the lines where she sang “samishii, samishii” (I’m lonely, I’m lonely) and “shinjiru yo!” (I believe), a heart-piercing detail in a song about sad farewells.
The audience seemed to be even louder than the previous year as they continued with “Jump!” Mari Takahashi tried to fan down the hundreds of fans inside the Hot Stage tent before introducing their backup dancers. Continuing with the playful “Story” and the encouraging “Akiramenaide” that had the audience bouncing along, a loud “Oooooooh!” of anticipation echoed throughout the venue as the members moved into position with hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them, signaling that the final song of the performance would be “Koi wa Hashiridashita”. Fans in the standing area could be seen doing the “running in place” dance even as the harsh midday sun beat down upon them.
10:20am – 10:40am Enjoy Stadium
12:05pm – 12:15pm Hot Stage (Magical☆Dreamin’)
2:15pm – 2:45pm (Afilia Saga x DLH collaboration stage)
4:35pm – 4:50pm Festival Stage (Kana Shirato as Party Rockets support member)
4:45pm – 5:25pm Smile Garden (Idol Summer Jamboree Acoustic)
6:45pm – 7:00pm Sky Stage
10:40am – 10:50am Smile Garden (Magical☆Dreamin’)
12:50pm – 1:15pm Hot Stage
6:15pm – 6:30pm Festival Stage
7:30pm – 8:00pm Hot Stage (Grand Finale)
8:25pm – 8:55pm Smile Garden (Idol Summer Jamboree Encore)
Dorothy Little Happy Official site: http://dorothylittlehappy.com/
Negicco Official site: http://negicco.net/
Photos by Kenji Harada and Keiichi Takagi
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