A while ago I was looking at my old posts on the old Happy Disco, and I noticed how completely out of date my old top ten idols blog post was. It has been quite a while since I wrote it, but in that time my tastes have almost completely changed, most notably with my current love for the assorted AKB groups as well as Momoiro Clover. So I thought that with this new blog I have the perfect opportunity to make another list of my top ten idols and why.
10. Hirajima Natsumi (AKB48/Watarirouka Hashiritai 7)
This might come as a surprise to some because I don’t spend as much time actively being a fan of Nacchan’s. However, I kind of feel like I have to include her, mainly because every time I watch something with AKB48 or Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 she really catches my eye. A lot of my other idols on this list caught my eye all of a sudden and became fast favorites; however, my love for Nacchan crept up on me, and her energetic personality won me over.
I think one thing that I like the best about Nacchan is her dedication to AKB48. She’s not pushed and is far from the most popular member (though she does consistently rank at #26 in senbatsu, so she’s not too bad). However, she has stuck through AKB48 from the very beginning, the least popular member who’s been there from the start. She’s helped form Team A and Team B from the start of both teams, and has done over 800 (!!!) stage shows. The fact that she still approaches the job with such enthusiasm says miles to me about Nacchan.
Also, she’s really really cute. Seriously, one of the most adorable idols. I want to hug her.
9. Mitsui Aika (Morning Musume)
This is probably the most controversial idol on this list. Some people (like me) adore Aika. Others think she’s ugly and the worst decision H!P has made ever. However, despite the people who hate her, I really really like Aika.
I really just think she’s a fantastic girl. From all the ‘behind the scenes’ stories we hear about the various idols, she seems like one of the sweetest idols. The best was once JunJun said that Aika helped translate between what JunJun was trying to say and understandable Japanese, and made the language barrier easier. Another anecdote I’ve heard is that when picking boxed lunches, Aika waits until the end so everyone else gets what they wanted.
She’s a sweet girl who always seems to be happy to be doing what she’s doing, so I love watching for her in everything, and is consistently my favorite current Morning Musume member.
8. Matsuura Aya (soloist)
Ayaya is probably one of the two girls who got on my favorites list originally based off of talent. Or mainly based off of talent. Vocal ability doesn’t affect my choice in favorite idols at all; if anything, vocal talent or dancing talent is a neat personality quirk that might be an added bonus for an idol, but Ayaya’s voice has drawn me to her. Occasionally I get in a mood for her slower music and so I listen to Double Rainbow a couple of times. She has a beautiful voice that I love.
However, other than that, Ayaya is a great idol. She has some of the best stage presence of any idol , and can easily fill up a stage with only her presence. So this makes her concerts extra fun (Aya The Witch is one of my favorite idol concerts ever, bar none). She also has a really fun personality that she showed off on variety shows back in her prime. So with all of her various traits, Matsuura Aya is definitely a great idol.
7. Natori Wakana (AKB48 Kenkyuusei)
As a whole, I try to avoid attachment for trainee members, like the Hello!Project Eggs or the AKB48 Kenkyuusei. I know there are plenty of people who love them most, and I do enjoy watching less-experienced/newer members a lot. I just try to avoid getting too attached, because I don’t want to deal with being disappointed when they leave. Occasionally, though, there are idols that are too great for me to ignore for this list. One is the ex-Egg Sekine Azusa, who just barely didn’t get on this list. However, I had to include the wonderful Natori Wakana.
Once I became aware of Wakanyan, an 11th generation kenkyuusei member who debuted not all that long ago, I looked her up and was enamored. She has a very natural stage presence and performance skills; her performance of Romance Kakurenbo (the kenkyuusei opening number to the current Team B stage) was excellent, and that was the first thing she did with AKB! She’s a great singer and performer, and is absolutely a treat to watch on her own and in group performances, to the point where she’s already subbed in for Kashiwagi Yuki, arguably the most popular member of Team B.
She also has a great personality, as seen in the 11th gen kenkyuusei special on Ariyoshi AKB Kyokuwaku. Basically, they had to do all sorts of challenges to “prove themselves” as idols. One was picking up snakes and putting them back into their boxes. Wakana was obviously frightened, but managed to pick one up and it bit her! She finished the job, smiled, gathered up courage and got another of the three snakes. She won the title of being a brave idol, and through it all we got to see a cute personality. I adore Wakanyan, and I really hope she gets promoted, and soon!
6. Yajima Maimi (C-ute)
Oh, Maimi. She’s one of the few reasons I stick around H!P nowadays, but what a great reason to stick around. She’s, in my opinion, one of the best leaders Hello!Project has had, and one of the best idol leaders in general. The best example I can give for this is when the Berryz vs. C-ute concert came out, and all of the members had a talk, and most talked about their days as H!P Kids together. Kanna, since she wasn’t a H!P Kid, seemed kind of left out, when Maimi specifically asked for her opinion.
Maimi looks out for all the members, and I really appreciate it. I also really like her sunny personality (she seems like she’s almost always happy), her enthusiasm at being an idol, and her performance skills (I love watching Maimi dance and perform). She balances the maturity it takes to be a leader and the enthusiasm/humor it takes to be a great idol, and I love that about her.
5. Watanabe Miyuki (NMB48)
This is one girl I’m pretty positive I haven’t mentioned in my blog as of yet, so if you read my blog you might be going “NMB girl at #5? What is this?” The truth is, while I haven’t written much about it, I’ve had this whirlwind thing where I’ve totally and completely fallen for NMB48. They are my —48 group of choice, and I support them wholeheartedly. Their first single, Zetsumetsu Kurogami Shoujo was FANTASTIC, and while I wasn’t a big fan of their first stage, Dareka no Tame ni, before they did it, they were REALLY good. For being such a new group, the idols are all remarkably polished.
One of the reasons I think I’ve gotten into NMB so easily is because their front girls, especially Miyuki, are great. I’ve been watching their their shows and things, and I have to say that Miyuki is really a natural idol. She has a great presence on stage and off, and really seems super happy to be doing what she’s doing. She’s one of those girls who is being pushed like crazy in NMB, but I’m going “No, keep pushing, I love her!” Basically, while I’m now an NMB oshi, I’m especially a Milky oshi.
Also, she’s a fan of Ishikawa Rika and Yoshizawa Hitomi. Any ishiyoshi wota is a friend of mine (or an oshi of mine).
Plus, her voice sounds exactly like my next pick…
4. Sasaki Ayaka (Momoiro Clover Z)
If this was a longer list, I’m sure it would eventually involve all the members of Momoiro Clover (at least, the ones Momoiro Punch and newer; I’ve seen older vids, but not enough to have favorites). I love Momoiro Clover Z, and when ranking members I have a hard time because they’re all great. However, one must come up on top, and it’s Sasaki Ayaka, AKA A~rin.
I love everything about her; she’s a really fantastic performer, she’s really cute, she’s really fun to watch. However, one thing that strikes me is how natural of an idol she is. I mean, granted, she was a child talent before being an idol (she was on Oha Star regularly for a while) but she’s really good at her job. Another thing that I love is how she doesn’t seem to take herself too seriously. This is pretty apparent if you hear her solo song from Battle and Romance (Datte A~rin Nanda Mon!) and see her interacting with fellow members about her old catchphrase, “A~rin da yo!”
3. Iwasa Misaki (AKB48/Watarirouka Hashiritai 7)
If you told me a year ago “Oh, you’re going to be a huge fan of a fairly unknown AKB48 girl whose main claim to fame is her voice” I’d be like ‘haha, I doubt that very much.’ This year later, oh, never mind, because Wasamin is amazing and you should all love her like I do!
To be honest, I never really noticed Wasamin all that much until I saw the news about Watarirouka Hashiritai becoming Watarirouka Hashiritai 7. I admit, at first I was kind of apprehensive; would this reduce screen time for Lovetan and Nacchan? However, I didn’t actively dislike the girls, and was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked Komorin and Wasamin. And yet, my fandom for Wasamin grew. Seeing her perform enka with so much enthusiasm is really a treat.
I realized that she is honestly one of the sweetest idols, personality wise, ever. In every clip I’ve seen of her she seems really happy, even if she is near the bottom with popularity. I honestly also discovered a lot more about her through CK’s blog Chuo Dori, specifically THIS blog post. His detail, especially with his experiences with meeting Wasamin, make me really want to meet her as well. She’s also a fan of my #2 idol ever, who is…
2. Oota Aika (AKB48/Watarirouka Hashiritai 7)
A good part of me wants to go “just look at her. How can she NOT be a favorite of mine?” because she is quite adorable. However, despite how cute she really is, that’s not why I love her. One of the things that I think is most appealing in a person is passion. In what, I don’t necessarily care. I just think that liking something a lot makes you a lot more appealing, and Lovetan’s love of anime does that. I really became her fan when I started looking for her and saw her blog entries and how much joy she found in anime. I’m not even a big anime fan myself, but just her passion for the subject was fantastic.
She has just too cute of a personality for words. She always looks like she’s enjoying herself immensely on stage, which is really a plus. Her blog also has information about her proclaimed title of being the “tsundere princess” which amuses me greatly. Also, on her birthday show, Wasamin had written her a letter. The letter stated that Wasamin was a Lovetan fan before she joined, and that Lovetan really made her feel more welcome in AKB (since Wasamin was a kenkyuusei) by saying that Wasamin didn’t have to use formal Japanese around her (thus being more casual). This is really sweet and says a lot about Lovetan as a person.
She’s a sweetheart, a nerd, and a perfect idol all in one.
1. Ishikawa Rika (ex-Morning Musume/ current Dream Morning Musume).
Basically, unless you just found me for the first time, this was the obvious answer. While I love all the other idols on this list and (with the exception of Aya) they’re all more current than this one, Rika is my eternal number one idol. I’ve explained it before (Day #1 of the 30 Day Idol Challenge, I believe) so I’ll keep it brief. Rika is one of the sweetest, most caring members ever. She has a great personality that is fun and funny, but she’s also serious when the time comes for it. She has a great stage presence and is a great performer. There is honestly nothing about Rika that I would change even a little, because she’s just the best.
Honorable Mentions: Nakajima Saki (c-ute), Ikuta Erina (Morning Musume), Yoshizawa Hitomi (ex-Morning Musume), Sekine Azusa (Up Up Girls/UFZS), Abe Natsumi (ex-MM), Ishiguro Aya (ex-MM) Yagami Kumi (SKE48), Matsui Jurina (SKE48), Minegishi Minami (AKB48) Takahashi Minami (AKB48), Maeda Ami’s eyebrows, All of Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 ALL of Momoiro Clover Z, All of NMB48. Yes. I do love my idols.