Tokyo Idol Festival 2012 Part 11

TIF happened! I’m jealous of anyone who gets to go! There was livestreaming over Nico Nico Douga, but I’m still Since I still have a ton more groups to profile I’ll carry on.

INK 1 2 3 Girls

When I first searched for this group I was a bit confused; all the information was related to TIF and there was not much about the girls themselves. Then, reading the TIF description a bit more closely, I realized that they made their first appearance at TIF!! They’re three girls chosen/promoted by the extremely famous ex-wrestler Antonio Inoki, so they come from kind of an interesting background. Since they debuted at TIF I don’t have a lot to say, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens with them!

Cheeky Parade

This is the other group to hail from Avex’s idol label, Idol Street, and as such is kind of a little sister group to Super Girls. Cheeky Parade is a nine member idol unit that has ages that range from 12 to 17, so they’re a younger group than Super Girls. They were formed this year as the second group from Idol Street.

Probably the biggest thing that happened this year was that Cheeky Parade had a sales goal, much like Morning Musume’s famous “sell 50,000 copies of Ai no Tane” goal; only Cheeky Parade’s didn’t have a time limit, and it was only to sell 5000 copies of their first single, Cheeky Dreamer; when they hit that limit they could then hit their major debut. Admittedly this was a bit less exciting than MM’s goal, but it definitely got people passionate about getting Cheeky Parade to that goal.

Cheeky Parade is really strong at dancing in particular; the choreography is pretty unique, but they’re all good at it. They also have a unique style in their costumes and performance; kind of a mixture of cute and almost rock style. Even though I initially had misgivings about their name (since cheeky has implications of being disrespectful and somewhat rude), they really are a high quality group. It’ll be really interesting to see where their career goes, because right now they’re feeling really strong. I especially like the youngest member, Mariya (who has the lightest hair), but they all seem like strong idols!

Team Syachihoko

This is another Stardust 3B Junior group (MomoClo, Ebichu, etc) but one I’m less familiar with! I’ve seen some people point to Team Syachihoko as being the next group that Stadust pushes, so if you like MomoClo and Ebichu they are already a group to follow! Team Syachihoko is made up of six middle school girls from Nagoya. So far they’ve released one single.

But like I said, this is really possibly the next big Stardust group. They haven’t really done much outside of Nagoya, from what I can tell, and I can’t find any PVs for their first single, Koibito wa Sniper. But they’re really cute and Stardust does tend to go for quality, so I know I’ll try to follow them. The thing I noticed watching a video that seems to be from TIF (confirmation? Not sure which stage this is!) is that they’re really going for a younger MomoClo feel. Whereas Ebichu has been both the younger sister group of MomoClo and their own group, this feels a lot more like Momoiro Clover. One of the girls even does an intro that’s a lot like Tamai Shiori’s “Shiori no shi…” introduction, and another does a Momoka-like intro.

Still, even though they do seem to be aiming for Momoiro Clover level, they are really cute and energetic, which is something that always draws me to an idol group. I really hope they find an image of their own or something of their own because they are really strong performers as well. If Stardust does well (which I hope they do!) Team Syachihoko should really come into their own as an idol group soon!

choice?
This is my favorite idol group name at TIF. I’m serious; ever since I saw choice? as an idol group performing at TIF the name really struck a funny bone. According to the blurb, it’s referring to the fact that they’ll have to make a choice of what to do in the future and how uncertain it is. So does choice? get the award for most philosophical idol group name? Possibly.

The group was formed in 2009 to be a fresh (read: no experience) girl group, currently with five members. They are a product of Finolia Factory, who also produce the unit Survive-Zero I’ve also profiled, and the solo artist Rizumu. choice? doesn’t have their own site, but the TIF blurb noted that they released their first album “First Step Choice” last year, so that seems to mean they’re fairly active. Actually, according to Wikipedia, they’ve released fifteen singles, which is a lot more than most artists in their situation, so they’re pretty busy! There are also solo/unit releases/songs, so if you want an indie idol group but you don’t want just one or two original song, this group is definitely for you.

I’ve listened to a couple of their songs so far and while I definitely appreciate how active they are, the songs themselves aren’t the greatest. Mostly I’d say they’re harmless; not terrible, but not particularly catchy or interesting. The girls are cute and fun, but the group is sadly kind of forgettable except for their fun name. The girls themselves are cute idols, so give them a shot (my favorite is the member in blue, Watanabe Kurumi).

Chocole
This is a group I wasn’t familiar with, but they’re Idoling!!! related! Chocole is a three member group under Avex formed in 2011. Member Hashimoto Kaede was already a member of Idoling!!! when she joined Chocole, but then the other two members of Chocole, Takahashi Kurumi and Tamagawa Ramu became members of Idoling!!! as well, so it’s a side project for these three members. Their aim is to deliver energy with a smile, like chocolate.

They’ve so far released two singles, and have a cuter image. Their production values are good (as expected by being an Avex project) and while I’m sure Idoling!!! fans are well aware of Chocole, if the large numbers of Idoling intimidates you for whatever reason maybe Chocole could be for you. The vocals are pretty good, for idol standards, and would be a good group to follow if you like cuter stuff but want the three members.