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Rival Schools Dance Battle Showdown! Meiji University’s Copia Wins UNIDOL Winter 2014-15

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Rival Schools Dance Battle Showdown! Meiji University’s Copia Wins UNIDOL Winter 2014-15

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University students, friends, family, and idol fans from all over Japan gathered at Zepp Diver City Tokyo on February 12th for UNIDOL 2014-15 Winter “Valentine made Zutto Issho ni♡” to see the best university idol copy dance teams perform. As the biggest event in UNIDOL’s history with teams from Kansai, Kyushuu, and Kanto, competition was fierce!

MCs Kei’ichi Shizuka (Summit Club) and You Kikkawa

MCs Kei’ichi Shizuka (Summit Club) and You Kikkawa

Here is a summary of the teams that made it to the finals and the songs they performed:

Ritsumeikan Hello Pro Kenkyuukai (Ritsumeikan University)
Ritsumeikan Hello Pro Kenkyuukai won the first slot in the finals after getting the most votes through CircleApp. They flaunted their Kansai charms and made several costume changes while running through many beloved Hello! Project classics. As Valentine’s Day was approaching, they tossed candies into the crowd at the end of their set.

Aya Matsuura – Momoiro Kataomoi
BUONO – Ren’ai Rider
THE POSSIBOOOOO – Do Me! Do!
Berryz Koubou – Dakishimete Dakishimete
Morning Musume – LOVE Machine


Momo Kyun (Waseda University)
One of 5 teams representing Waseda University, Momo Kyun made it to the finals by placing 3rd in the preliminaries. While they had a high-energy set list and looked cute in their tartan outfits, there seemed to be some hesitation in their performance, or maybe it was just fatigue from having danced their hearts out twice in one day?

AKB48 – Shonichi
LinQ – Chime ga Owareba
Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku – Uretai Emotion
SUPER☆GiRLS – Ganbatte Seishun


kimowota☆7 (Hosei University)
kimowota☆7 placed 2nd in the afternoon preliminaries and went with a diverse mix of songs which reflected their self-proclaimed idol otaku identity.

Afilia Saga – Kiyoshi Naru wktk no Hoshi
Lovely★DOLL – Aoi Sora wo Nozomu Nara
Doll☆Elements – Kimi no Heart ni Tokihanatsu!
HKT48 – Onegai Valentine


Ag+♡ (Aoyama Gakuin University)
Ag+♡ upped their production values since Summer 2014 by adding high quality video to their performance and structuring it in a similar fashion to AKB48’s Request Hour. While it was nice to see them keeping with the theme of Valentine’s Day by giving out chocolate in the video, it was a little difficult to focus on everything that was going on.

Tsuyogari Sensation – Sensor wa Center
S/mileage – Suki-chan
AKB48 – Kimi No Koto Ga Suki Dakara
iDOL Street Street-sei – Kira Kira☆Holiday
Cheeky Parade – BUNBUN NINE9′


Wasejo Nante Yobanaide (Waseda University)
Wasejo Nante Yobanaide (Don’t call me a Waseda girl!) was extremely energetic and seemed to have improved their dancing in only their 2nd appearance in the UNIDOL finals. Also, their sparkly outfits were a vast improvement over the green tracksuits they had worn for UNIDOL 2014 Summer. The hard work paid off as they won one-year passes to Tokyo Joypolis.

Dream5 – Youkai Taiso Dai-ichi
Momoiro Clover Z – Z Densetsu~Owarinaki Kakumei~
℃-ute – Tokaikko Junjou
Morning Musume. – Wagamama Ki no mama Ai no Joke
Cheeky Parade – Cheeky Fighter


Pumpy☆*s (Hosei University)
Hosei University’s other group in the finals, Pumpy☆*s, had an introduction video that rivaled those of many professional idol groups and even had special poses they did when introducing themselves. Their performance of ” Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo” was spot on, with cartwheels and other acrobatics, even if it seemed like no one wanted to be Momoka Ariyasu. Pumpy☆*s went home with the Circle Up award for getting the most votes through online voting and custom yukata/obi from Ondine.

Afilia Saga – Watashi☆love na☆Otome
Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku – Karikeiyaku Cinderella
℃-ute – Love take it all
Momoiro Clover – Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo


SPH mellmuse (Sophia University)
Grand champions of UNIDOL Summer 2014, SPH mellmuse gave two flawless ℃-ute performances and even had a fan so excited that he was lifted head high in the middle of the audience but, it seems that it wasn’t enough as they failed to win any prizes this time. An honorable mention goes to SPH for choosing the underrated Morning Musume. song “Mikan” to close their set but, perhaps they should have closed with AKB48’s “Juuryoku Sympathy” as they usually do?

℃-ute – Midnight Temptation
NMB48 – Oh My God!
Bakusute Soto-kanda Icchome – Seishun Chronicle
℃-ute – Kiss me Aishiteru
Morning Musume – Mikan


winK♡ (Kitasato University)
winK♡ momentarily made UNIDOL feel as if the audience had come to an idol concert as they bid farewell to their graduating members with their final song. Members as well as classmates were brought to tears by the emotional conclusion to a wild and raucous performance.

PASSPO☆ – Hello
Links – Amai Mint
Juice=Juice – Watashi ga Iu Mae ni Dakishimenakya ne
Dempagumi.inc – Demparade JAPAN
Sakura Gakuin – My Graduation Toss


Tomboys☆ (Toyo University)
Tomboys☆ had outfits that looked like the ones worn by AKB48 at their 2014 Tokyo Dome concerts and professional looking visuals. Opening with a declaration similar to the one that opens SUPER☆GiRLS’s performances, they sparkled brightly as pixelated space aliens and beatmania-style spheres floated on the screen behind them.

LinQ – for you
iDOL Street Street-sei – Koi shite YES~Kore ga Watashi no Idol-dou
Cheeky Parade – C.P.U!?
SKE48 1! 2! 3! 4! Yoroshiku!


Q-dol (Kyushuu University)
Q-dol’s visuals were a bit inconsistent but they packed an amazing 7 songs (including Kyushuu groups LinQ and HKT48) into their 10-minute performance, proving that not all rural people like to do things at a slow pace. As the representatives from one of the centers of idol culture in Japan, Q-dol made a lasting impression in their first UNIDOL appearance.

S/mileage – Watashi, Choito Kawaii Urabanchou
LinQ – Wessai!! Gassai!!
Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku – The Tissue~Tomaranai Seishun~
S/mileage – Uchouten LOVE
HKT48 – Kimi no Koto ga Suki Dakara
Momochi (Momoko Tsugunaga featuring Berryz Koubou) – Momochi! Yurushite Nyan♡ Taisou
Momoiro Clover – Chai Maxx
Berryz Koubou – cha cha SING


CottonCandy (Kyoto Women’s University)
CottonCandy, returning finalists from Kansai actually brought cotton candy to give out to the audience and gave what might have been the third best ℃-ute performance of the evening. Compared to last summer, when they had been more aggressive in showing their Kansai pride, they let their dancing do the talking.

AKB48 – Kanojo ni Naremasuka?
℃-ute – Dance de Bakoon!
Watarirouka Hashiritai – Kampeki Gu~no ne
E-girls – Mr. Snowman
NMB48 – Kitagawa Kenji


Dorukura☆ (Nihon University College of Art)
Dorukura☆ won 2nd place for the second time in a row at UNIDOL and was rightfully disappointed. They had one of the most powerful performances of the evening, which had the audience moshing and crowd surfing to their high-energy performance. As they expressed their feelings about not winning 1st place again, one of the audience members shouted out “You’re still #1 in our hearts!”, which is something important to remember no matter what you do in life.

Lovely★DOLL – Nagare Boshi
PASSPO☆ – LA LA LOVE TRAIN
ALL OVER – Sekai de Ichiban Natsu ga Suki
SUPER☆GiRLS – Mirakuru ga Tomannai!
AKB48 – Ponytail to Shushu


Copia (Meiji University)
Copia won their second UNIDOL championship with a set list that had the audience in the palm of their hand the entire time. As the results were partially determined by audience voting, this was probably one of the deciding factors in their return to the winner’s circle. Those who came out to Odaiba early that day might have even seen them doing some last-minute practice outside Zepp Diver City Tokyo.

Nogizaka 46 – overture
Cheeky Parade – Mugendai Shojo ∀
LinQ – Calorie Nante
Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku – Houkago Getabako Rock ‘n’ Roll MX
Morning Musume. – Ren’ai Revolution 21


Wako! Project (Waseda University)
Wako project, 1st place finisher at UNIDOL Winter 2013, took the top spot in the afternoon preliminaries to get the last spot of the evening. Adding a flawless rendition of 9nine’s “re:” to their repertoire of Hello! Project songs, they were rewarded with a 3rd place finish.

9nine – re:
℃-ute – Massara Blue Jeans
Morning Musume. – Say Yeah Motto Miracle Night
Morning Musume. – One Two Three


With °C-ute and SUPER☆GIRLS among the previous guest performers and UNIDOL in its biggest venue yet, expectations for the secret guest were high, perhaps too high? While Team Makenki (You Kikkawa, UPUPGIRLS (KARI), and THE POSIBOOOOO) is a pretty formidable group, there is no way that they are bigger than ℃-ute at the moment. It probably did not help that UPUPGIRLS (KARI) was missing Akari Saho, Konatsu Furukawa, and Manami Arai either but, as always, they did their best and got the crowd excited.

_img_UNIDOL_W2015_Makenki

UPUPGIRLS (KARI) – Zenryoku! Pump Up!!
THE POSIBOOOOO! – Zenryoku Banzai
Team Makenki – Mugen Fly High

Sophia University’s SPH mellmuse being shut out of the awards ceremony was surprising but, teams that had made past UNIDOL finals like LolliPop (Musashi University), U/nileage (Tsuda University), and MayBe (Saitama Prefectural University) did not even manage to make it out of the preliminaries this time. Waseda continues to be a strong source of groups, represented in the 5 teams that performed that day and the awards given to Wako! Project and Wasejo Nante Yobanaide. What if they were to unite and make one big super group? Hosei University looks to be a school on the rise after the impressive debut of Pumpy☆*s.

UNIDOL Summer 2015 will take place at Zepp Diver City Tokyo on August 28, 2015 so expect to see even more impressive performances by some of the brightest university students in Japan!

Results

1st Place – Copia (Meiji University)
2nd Place/Oceanize Prize – Dorukura☆ (Nihon University College of Art)
3rd Place/Freo Prize – Wako! Project (Waseda University)

Circle Up Prize – Pumpy☆*s (Hosei University)
Job Sense Prize – Tomboys☆ (Toyo University)
Furisode Ondine Prize – Pumpy☆*s (Hosei University)
Tokyo Joypolis Prize – Wasejo Nante Yobanaide (Waseda University)
Cheers for the Dreamers Prize – Copia (Meiji University)

UNIDOL official site: unidol.jp
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unidol7
Twitter: @UNIDOL_EXCO

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Author
Kai Okudara
Kai Okudara

Writer, researcher, photographer, foodie, KSDD

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