In just about a week I will have the pleasure of seeing Momoiro Clover Z live at the Microsoft (previously Nokia) Theater in Los Angeles. I will be flying out for all of Anime Expo (Wednesday through Sunday) so if you happen to be going as well, please say hi! While waiting for the concert I’ll be wearing a pink A~rin Robo shirt as well as an A~rin creampuff headband, as well as a purple Team Syachihoko muffler towel.
Since it’s a week before I see Momoiro Clover for the first time, I thought it would be fun to do a week of posts about Momoiro Clover Z. After mentioning this on twitter, I was reminded by fellow-blogger Garry (who, among other things, writes the stellar This Week in Music on New School Kaidan) that Momoiro Clover Z has been around in one form or another for about seven years. So I’m going to try and roughly base these seven posts around the seven years of Momoiro Clover Z. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll make of this week of posts, but it will be a nice way to focus some of my thoughts as I think of a week from now.
I think the origin of a lot of idol groups is interesting, but Momoiro Clover had a pretty interesting start. Formed in 2008, I’m not sure that anyone involved knew how big they were going to be. They performed in Yoyogi Park and other VERY small street lives; MomoClo moved up int he world from being a very tiny indie act.
Watching early, 2008 era MomoClo videos is kind of interesting, because they are so not the Momoiro Clover Z we know today. Before settling on a fairly stable lineup of girls in 2009 (with only one addition, Momoka, and one graduation, Akari), Momoiro Clover had different members moving in and out of the group. Another thing that’s completely different was the image and theme of the group – Momoiro Clover Z originally performed in outfits inspired by traditional Japanese yukata and kimono, and they have that influence in the group’s sound, as well. Even up through Ikuze Kaitou Shoujo the group wore modified yukata for many performances. Honestly, while I think the group has thrived after abandoning that, I do think it’s a shame that they no longer have that kind of an image because I personally really liked it.
The other thing that has changed is their interaction with fans. Early Momoiro Clover used the slogan “idols you can meet right now,” a take on AKB48’s “Idols you can meet.” However, they’ve pretty much stopped any and all fan meet events and have for some time, and AKB48 has become much easier to meet. It makes sense; Momoiro Clover Z is so immensely popular that even coming close to meeting all their fans would take up way too much time and effort. But it does show how much things have changed for the group.
Thinking about my origins with Momoiro Clover, it did not start in 2008 (a year where I had no idea they existed and instead focused much more on Hello!Project); it started in 2010 with the release of Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo. It was a song and PV I found exhilarating, and it’s still a song I hold up as being one of the best idol songs of the current idol boom.
While I had liked idols for some time at that point, I credit Momoiro Clover with being the group to help me break out of my Hello!Project shell. While I was a pretty casual 48 group fan at the time (AKB48’s River came out and blew me away in fall 2009), Momoiro Clover hit me in a big way. It lead me to explore lesser known idols and indie groups in a way I hadn’t before they showed up. They were my favorite idol group from 2010 – 2012 (when a certain sister group of MomoClo caught my attention), and for that I will always carry a lot of affection for Momoiro Clover.
Momoiro Clover was also the origin of Stardust Promotions as a major idol group power, which lead to the formation of 3B Junior groups like Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku, Team Syachihoko (my favorite idol group), Takoyaki Rainbow and others that are just starting to debut. All of these groups have a lot of great music and great creativity which has influenced the idol industry in really positive ways.
Momoiro Clover has done a whole lot in the seven years it’s been around, and has had a huge influence on the idol industry in Japan. Further, the group has had a tremendous impact on me as an idol fan and enthusiast, in the roughly seven-eight years I’ve been an idol fan.