Despite some lingering rain storms, July was just the beginning of the hot, sticky summer in Japan, a situation further complicated as the number of events began to pile up. Otome Shinto bid farewell to their “tou-in” (fans) at TSUTAYA O-WEST and UPUPGIRLS (KARI) checked off another venue on their path the Nippon Budokan at Zepp Diver City, and that was just one day out of the month! We’re still catching up but Tokyo Idol Festival 2016 is right around the corner!
While the month took a little while to pick up speed, July roared to a close with a flood of releases and so quite a few of them had to be left out again. Sorry. Here are the honorable mentions for July 2016.
ROCK A JAPONICA – “KYOUKA SHOCK!” (release date: July 6)
Kiyoshi Ryujin 25 – “Adventure Shiyouyo♡” (release date: July 13)
PiiiiiiiN – “Shiny Days” (release date: July 19)
E-girls – “E.G. summer RIDER” (release date: July 20)
Party Rockets GT – “Manatsu no Maji☆Rocket” (release date: July 20)
Magical Punchline – “Magi kayo!? BiliBili☆Punchline” (release date: July 20)
DIANNA☆SWEET – “Superhero” (release date: July 27)
Namie Amuro – “Hero” (release date: July 27)
X21 – “Natsu dayo!!” (release date: July 27)
notall – “Maji” (release date: July 30)
Here are 13 of our favorite MVs for songs released in July of 2016 listed in chronological order according to their release date.
manaminorisa – “Manatsu no April Fool” (release date: July 5)
Adding a dose of playfulness and sexiness to their smooth choreography and vocal harmonies, manaminorisa aren’t joking around when it comes to delivering a performance sure to heat up all the summer festivals! The puppet scenes may be a bit startling at first but, eventually become pretty adorable, no? At the very least, the part at the end is sexy, right? On top of that, the song is inescapably catchy!
manaminorisa Official site: http://mamiri.jp/
Musubizm – “Mae wo Muke!” (release date: July 5)
After little more than a year since their debut, it was finally time for the rest of the world to see how Musubizm’s efforts of “tying together” (musubu) the world with cute culture have been paying off and it was worth the wait! A cheerful and optimistic song combined with a playful Lupin The 3rd-like heist-themed MV came together for a debut single that should stick in the minds of many for the months and years to come.
Musubizm Official site: http://musubizm.asobisystem.com/
lyrical school – Summer Foundation (release date: July 6)
Following up on their major label debut single “RUN and RUN” with its innovative smartphone MV, lyrical school light up the summer night skies in perfect sync with the fireworks display of Hyogo prefecture’s Aioi Peron Dragon Boat Festival in “Summer Foundation”! With millions of yen exploding behind them, the timing had to be just right or everything would have ended in vain. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for the next one!
lyrical school Official site: http://lyricalschool.com/
Shida Summer Arai Summer – “Shakunetsu Summer〜SUMMER KING × SUMMER QUEEN〜” (release date: July 6)
Hitomi Arai from TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE and Yuumi Shida from Yumemiru Adolescence team up for a special summer unit Shida Summer Arai Summer and frolic on white sand beaches surrounded by colorful tropical flowers. Set to distinctly “avex-like” music, they reign over the hottest season of the year in style. It’s not all glamour and glitz as the two face off in a showdown straight out of the textbook of Japanese competition shows with an ending you must see!
Shida Summer Arai Summer Official site: http://avex.jp/summer/
Hauptharmonie – “Kidnapper Blues〜Hitosarai no Yuutsuu〜” (release date: July 12)
Combining jazzcore with some morbid “yami-kawaii” imagery and live performance footage, Hauptharmonie’s second full-length album “Herz über Kopf” should be up there with some of the must-have albums of 2016. Being one of the rare groups to combine so many underused musical genres together is one thing but, to also create something compelling visually makes them one of the groups to keep watching for sure.
Hauptharmonie Official site: http://hauptharmonieidol.wix.com/hauptharmonie
Yurumerumo! – “Summer Bokan” (release date: July 13)
Previewing the MV for the lead track from their mini-album “WE ARE A ROCK FESTIVAL” at the end of the graduation lives for Mone and Chibo at Shin-Kiba Studio Coast on July 10th, the ending of “Summer Bokan” will hit fans particularly hard. With director Mani Kato behind the camera, the prelude to heartbreak is full of wacky antics and hot, wet summer fun.
Yurumerumo! Official site: http://ylmlm.net/
GANG PARADE – “WE ARE the IDOL” (release date: July 19)
With emotional lyrics by Yua Yumeno, music by Kenta Matsukuma (BiS, BiSH, Shiina Pikarin) and visuals showing the ups and downs of being and idol, it seemed that GANG PARADE, the group formerly known as POP (Period of Plastic 2 mercy) had finally found a stable direction for themselves, highlighted by their sold out live at Shibuya WWW on the eve of their new single’s release. Coincidentally enough, the same night that the MV was released (July 7, 2016), Pour Lui, the leader of Saki Kamiya’s former group BiS also released one for “BiSBiS” a bold statement announcing to the world that BiS would be returning once again!
GANG PARADE Official site: http://www.gangparade.com/
Idol Renaissance – “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari” (release date: July 26)
Idol Renaissance make a deep impact with their MV for “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari”, as they continue to film as comets streak through the sky all around them. While they have already gained a reputation for their impressive performances that provide a fresh perspective on beloved J-pop classics, this may be the first time that they have provided such a compelling storyline as well.
Idol Renaissance Official site: http://idolrenaissance.com/
Kobushi Factory – “Samba! Kobushi Janeiro” (release date: July 27)
Kobushi Factory gets a head start on the impending Olympic fever that will be sweeping the globe in just a few short weeks with the help of samba dancers, percussionists, and some wildly colorful costumes. With their 3rd single also being a triple A-side, it was difficult to make a choice as for which one to pick. The baseball-themed “Bacchikoi Seishun!” or Crayon Shinchan theme song cover “Ora wa Ninkimono” were definitely considered as well.
Kobushi Factory Official site: http://www.helloproject.com/kobushifactory/
PASSPO☆ – “Bachelorette wa Owaranai” (release date: July 27)
PASSPO☆ toast their captain Ai Negishi and throw her a surprise wedding in “Bachelorette wa Owaranai”, providing a possible glimpse into the future of the group as they enter their 7th year. Emphasizing to “passengers” (fans) that even if they became grandmothers, they would always want to be PASSPO☆, this is something a lot of groups will be facing as the careers of idols have become much longer than they used to. There’s also a dance version and the live MV for the coupling song “7’s Up”, which was filmed during their May 10th free flight at Yoyogi Park’s Outdoor Stage.
PASSPO☆ Official site: http://passpo.jp/
Sayuringo Gundan (Nogizaka46) – “Hakumai-sama” (release date: July 27)
While “Hadashi de Summer”, the lead track for Nogizaka46’s 15th single, had by far one of the group’s most expensive-looking and polished MVs, there was just something about the absurdity of the Sayuringo Gundan’s love letter to white rice “Hakumai-sama”! Unfortunately, the “limited time full version” of the MV and the other songs are now gone but, if you get a chance to see it, you will not be able to unsee it (in a good way)!
Nogizaka46 Official site: http://www.nogizaka46.com/
Yumemiru Adolescence – “Leadership” (release date: July 27)
While the visual effects in “Leadership” are pretty easy to understand once you see the reveal at the end, it’s another unforgettable MV from Yumemiru Adolescence! It also helps that the music and lyrics for it (and the lead track “Love for You” were provided by veteran dancehall/reggae artist MINMI. Unfortunately, for some reason, the MV for “Love for You” was uploaded to GYAO, which is only viewable in Japan. It’s too bad since there are bikinis in that one.
Yumemiru Adolescence Official site: http://yumeado.com/
Girls’ Band Category: SCANDAL – “Take Me Out” (release date: July 27)
Even as they approach their 10th anniversary, SCANDAL keeps growing and changing, surprising many fans with an abrupt shift in musical direction from the “American girls’ rock” that they had been favoring previously. Can SCANDAL record an entire album like this and release it as soon as possible? Please! On top of that, they have a woman doing karate in the middle of Shibuya in the MV!
There’s at least several more weeks of summer up ahead but at the moment, our main goal is to survive being in Odaiba in 3 days for Tokyo Idol Festival 2016! It will be a lot of fun but at the same time, we’ll be working to bring you as many great pictures and coverage as possible, as well as helping those of you who will be there with us. Most days in August are hard enough to deal with standing still in the shade so imagine how hot it will be out in the sun and surrounded by several hundred/thousand idol fans! Help! As mentioned at the beginning of the article, there were quite a few MVs we might have missed the first time around but, if you think there was anyone else we might have missed left us know!
MAGNOLIA FACTORY MUSUBIZM lyrical school Idol Renaissance Nogizaka46
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