Tokyo Idol Festival 2017 Up and Coming Group Recommendations!
Are you going to be visiting Japan soon and love idols? Tokyo Idol Festival 2017 might be over, but you can still make sure you do not miss out on these fun-filled groups! Here are some recommendations on who to look out for during your trip!
Zettai Chokkyū Joshi! Playballs
Zettai Chokkyū Joshi! Playballs, or “Playballs” for short, has probably been one of the rising stars of the indie idol scene for the past few months, and the crowd that gathered for each of their performances at Tokyo Idol Festival 2017 was proof! The baseball-themed group never disappoints with their crazy energy and catchy tunes. Aside from their concept and music style, their charm point stands in the presence on stage of the two “Ball Boys”, putting on quite a show and making sure all the fans have the best time with their hilarious dance moves and facial expressions! Their most iconic song “Diving catch” is a must-see, with all the fans joining in on the fun by strutting together during the chorus. Playballs is definitely one of the trendiest indie idol groups this year, so make sure you keep an eye on them.
08/04 – Sky Stage Live – Setlist:
01 Super Summer
02 next batters circle
03 Diving Catch
Zettai Chokkyū Joshi! Playballs Official site: http://www.playballs.jp/
Zettai Chokkyū Joshi! Playballs Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/playballs_info
Zenryoku Shojo R
Zenryoku Shojo R, who are also known as FPG (Full-Power Girls), may look like a brand new group, but they are actually quite experienced in the idol world! The unit was born from the fusion of the groups Ru:Run and Shooting Star Girls in 2015, and is led by Haruka Momokawa, who has been active as an idol for the past seven years. Zenryoku Shojo R stands out not only because of their extremely catchy and upbeat songs, but more especially thanks to their sharp dancing skills and slick formation choreography. The group’s crazy energy makes it easy for the audience to dance along with and jump into the tornado that is Zenryoku Shojo R. Fun fact, two of their members have rather famous siblings! You might know Erika Sato’s older sister as former AKB48/SDN48 member Yukari Sato, and Kanon Hirokawa’s older sister Nanase is currently active as the leader of idol group Wasuta. Zenryoku Shojo R just released their first album “Zenryoku Shojo” on August 2, 2017 which features several brand new songs, with the super sharp and dynamic “Parallel Girl” as one of the highlights.
08/04 – Sky Stage Live – Setlist
01 Aa! Odore hanafubuki
02 Vibes Summer Soul
03 Tokoton Natsu
Surfing on the PPAP wave and introducing themselves as “Pikotaro’s sister group” recently, marshmallow-soft body unit Chubbiness was back at Tokyo Idol Festival 2017 after being absent in 2016 due to performing in another festival in Niigata. The concept change did not seem to take anything back from their usual energy and joy, as Chubbiness appeared on stage wearing summer festival happi coats… and giant floaties! Chubbiness keeps up with the catchy tunes and body-positive humorous undertones, proving to be always full of surprises. After dance leader Kotomi Yaegashi introduced herself as one of the regular guests on the FujiTV show “Sukatto Japan!”, the group ended their performance near the channel’s headquarters taking their happi off to reveal the words “FujiTV is the best!” drawn on the backs of their shirts. If you are looking for a fun and cheerful family-friendly show, make sure you drop by a Chubbiness live!
08/05 – Festival Stage Live – Setlist:
01 Puruntto Heart
02 Koi no Emotion
03 Odoru Ah!Hooo
Pinky! Noora & Petra
As the remaining members of Dempagumi.inc are currently on a break to dedicate themselves to their individual projects, Ayane Fujisaki, also known as Pinky, is keeping herself busy with new units! After starting her duo NiaPin with Nia Hoshino (Moso Calibration), she joined forces with Finland-born sisters, Dear Stage cast members and YouTube dancers Noora and Petra for a brand new creative project. Pinky! Noora & Petra provide us with Finnish folklore-inspired ethereal music and aesthetic, supported by all three members’ experimented slick dancing. Their debut single “Aurora to Peace” is scheduled for release on August 23rd, featuring three original songs and two MVs. Noora and Petra have been fans of Dempagumi.inc. for years, proving that hard work and passion can make the craziest dreams come true – like debuting in your own idol unit side by side with your oshimen! Moi!
08/05 – Doll Factory Live – Setlist:
01 Aurora to Peace
02 Koisuru Helsinki (backdancers: CYNHN)
Serena Kozuki has been a regular in Tokyo area idol events and festivals for the past three years, and 2017 was her second in a row in Tokyo Idol Festival, in which her “power pop” style is definitely a great fit. “Serechu” delivers energetic performances with a bright smile, and always does her best to interact with her audience. Her repertoire is full of upbeat original songs and covers with a fun twist on the fans side, from holding each other by the shoulder to swing on the rhythm of “VISION.” to running from the back to the front of the audience on “Tenchimuyou!”! Serena Kozuki’s live performances are a balanced mix of happy pop music and idol fan-targeted beats and dance moves, making her great to see live if you are just a rookie in the idol world. Plus, she is known for being a “live monster”: she performs often all over the Tokyo area, making it super easy for you to drop by!
08/05 – Dream Stage Live – Setlist:
02 Daisuki Switch (short ver.)
03 Japanese Culture (short ver.)
04 Saikyou Melody 2
05 VISION. (short ver.)
Iketeru Hearts, sister group to Junjou no Afilia, has been a Tokyo Girls’ Update favorite for quite some time, as the group is one of the most active abroad, with performances in France, Singapore and Taiwan. Iketeru Hearts took a break in their national tour to drop by Tokyo Idol Festival 2017, making this year their first participation as an official guest! Wearing their new costumes, beautiful white dresses decorated with flowers, designed by former Afilia Saga member Yukafin Doll, the 7-member unit attempted to steal everyone’s hearts out on the open-air Dream Stage with three very different songs. From the sweet “Dreaming Love”, to the more up-tempo and dramatic “Lumica Jane”, and the catchy upbeat “Sekai he habatake!”, Iketeru Hearts’ repertoire seems to be constantly expanding, enabling the members to showcase multiple faces of their colorful personalities on stage. Iketeru Hearts will undergo some serious changes at their tour finale on August 19th, as a change of producer, a new costume and even new members have been announced, following the group’s recent popularity boost. From Stand Up! Records trainees to full-fledged multi-faceted idols in a little less than three years, Iketeru Hearts never stops evolving, and we are looking forward to witnessing this new chapter in the group’s history!
08/06 – Dream Stage Live – Setlist:
01 Dreaming Love
02 Lumica Jane
03 Sekai he habatake!
Photos by Nathan Gey
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