This was a surprise, recent announcement! Last year SKE48 showed up at TIF, and now HKT48 has been announced. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but here’s a bit about HKT.
HKT48 is the most recent addition to the Japanese 48 group. They hail from Fukuoka, with HKT48 coming from HaKaTa. Their most notable member is Sashihara Rino, who was transferred there after a scandal, though they had more members rank in this year’s AKB48 Senbatsu Election. They’ve released one single so far, Suki Suki Skip, though they’re set to release their second one soon. They’ve gotten some notice for their appearance on variety shows, such as their own HaKaTa Hyakkaten.
I really think this is a good move. Having a 48 group appear at TIF seems a bit odd, but at this point HKT is really only known for Sasshi, especially for people who don’t follow the 48 groups. SKE48 felt a bit odd as a TIF group, but this feels a lot more in line with the goals of TIF.
HKT48 is personally my favorite 48 group. One of my oshimen is there (Oota Aika), the members are all really entertaining and amusing, and they’re really fun to watch perform. If you aren’t into 48 groups, I’d suggest giving HKT48 a try. They’re really fun, and since they’re new a little easier to get into than the others.
Seira (or Seila or Seilah) is a soloist who fans of Stardust groups ought to know; she’s the one idol soloist in their Section 3B with MomoClo, Ebichu and Syachihoko. Seira is a 20-year-old singer who seems a lot more like an artist than an idol, since she plays guitar. She’s been active since 2008. Last year I noted that her last video was from 2011, so she hadn’t been doing all that much. However, since last year, she’s gotten an updated website and she put out her debut single this spring. She’s also gotten some magazine and radio work, and is doing more events. Since the only thing Seira had before was a live-only single and some Youtube videos, it’s great to see she’s gotten promotion.
Her first single, Amelia, is the theme for the TV Tokyo show Piramekino, so I’m happy to see her get some more exposure. Seira totally deserves this exposure. She has a lovely voice, she’s very pretty, and has a good presence. It’s great to see guitar-playing idols or female artists, so I’m glad to see her.
If you’re interested in Seira, unfortunately there’s not THAT much about her online. There’s her Amelia PV and some older things from years ago. So you’ll just have to enjoy her older stuff and Amelia. I really hope TIF this year can help propel her career further, because I like her a lot!
I don’t know much about Southern Cross except for their name! They’re a Kyushu idol group, located in Kagoshima, and I know them because this is the same island as Fukuoka, where a lot of idol groups I like are. Southern Cross was formed in 2011, and now consists of 10 members. They are also from Stardust Promotion, something I didn’t even know until now.
The group has been on one compilation CD and has released one single, “Chest! Genki no Shirushi,” which came out sometime in 2011. In addition, they have two other original songs, “I Will” and “Nagareboshi,” and they also cover AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, Momoiro Clover Z and Super Girls.
Despite being around for around two years, they’re still fairly new, and there’s not that much out about them. However, hopefully since they’re a Stardust group, TIF can get them more exposure and they can start doing more. They seem to be a fun, energetic group, and while I wasn’t initially impressed by their performance of “Chest Genki no Shirushi,” I really liked their performance of “I Will” that I saw. They’ve improved in that year, and hopefully they’ll improve even more.
OK, I love this is romanized as “The Possibooooooo.”
The Possible was originally a six member group comprised of girls from the Hello!Project eggs, who were formed into a group (my favorite member, Ohse Kaede, has sadly left). For a while The Possible was a part of Hello!Project, but then they were brought over to be the flagship unit of Tsunku’s Nice Girl Project on his TNX label. They put out a lot of really great music (Love Message is my favorite, but I love Kaze no Uwasa too), and while their sales were alright, I doubt they were as good as Tsunku hoped. Around 2009/2010 their activity slowed, and I thought that they were done.
However, in 2012, they suddenly started releasing new stuff, putting out a new album (2 Shiawase no Akashi) and a new single (Nanja Korya). Suddenly, The Possible has been getting a lot of promotion. Recently they put out another single, “Zenryoku Banzai! My Glory!” and their sales have increased dramatically from Nanja Korya to Zenrokyu Banzai. While I thought that Nice Girl Project was pretty much over (to be fair, NGP doesn’t really have much beyond The Possible and the NGP trainees), The Possible seems to be shaping up. I’m not a big fan of Nanja Korya, but Zenryoku Banzai is actually a pretty good song.
Can The Possible become a big group? Not too sure. They’d have to work a LOT to make that happen, and I’m not sure that Tsunku can pull it off. However, they seem to be doing a lot better than I thought they would. They’re performing a lot, just released a solid single, and are appearing at TIF again this year. Personally, I don’t know how much I’ll follow them; I really liked Kaede, but now she’s gone I don’t have a personal attachment to the group. However, they’re all pretty good performers with nice voices. If you like Tsunku’s music and style a lot, you really should check out NGP stuff.
Sanspo Idol Reporter
Sanspo Idol Reporter is another idol group with an interesting gimmick. They were created by the newspaper Sanspo, specifically for the pachinko information magazine. All the girls thus had to be both idols and working as reporters for the Sanspo magazine. Thus, they had a radio show and that kind of exposure before they started their music career. Last year I thought they reported on idol groups, but now I think it’s more about pachinko. Still, it’s a pretty fun gimmick, even if I have no interest in pachinko.
Last year they hadn’t released much; however, now it seems they’ve released a few singles, a mini album, and now a bit single/PV “Power Chance Call” to promote pachinko. Despite being just a promotinal song, I actually really like it. The girls are really engaging in the PV, the song’s fun and catchy (with a bit of an epic feel), and I really like the PV in all its pachinko glory. All the videos I’ve sen of these girls show them to be interesting, fun and engaging idols.
They’re still fairly new; while they’ve released a decent amount in Japan, Power Chance Call is the only PV I’ve seen. However, if you like the gimmick, you ought to check them out. I love Power Chance Call a lot, and I’ve been convinced to watch out for them in the future!