Naaboudoufu @ Nana
Oh hey, Chiima covered Nana! Everybody go read Chiima’s post. Nana might be familiar to some Hello!Project fans because she was the opening act at last summer’s Hello!Project concert. And no, she isn’t a Hello!Project idol. Nana was discovered because she posted dance covers on Nico Nico Douga. She’s a big Hello!Project fan, so that’s part of how she got discovered by H!P. Her first single, Kunekune Bravo was actually written by Tsunku, but she’s put out one more single, Magical Lip Kiss since then. One of the things she’s known for is being flexible.
I really love the idea of idols doing dance covers before they became idols. Mirin and Pinky of Dempagumi.inc were both net idols before becoming pro idols. There’s just something really appealing to me of idols who are fans of other idols, or like other idols. So right off the bat, I’m happy she’s doing well.
That said, she doesn’t have the best voice. Both singles are clearly autotuned and she’s still not sounding very good. Vocal skills aren’t all that important for idols, especially in groups. However, not sounding very good is a lot harder when you’re a solo act, and that’s what Nana is. I wish the PVs showed off a bit more of her dancing, since that was her original thing, or even some stretching to show off her flexibility. This would make her stand out a lot more.
Still, Nana’s cute and I’m happy for her; this must be a dream come true for an idol fan. I can’t say I’m won over, but she’s definitely interesting.
Nice Girl Trainee
Sometimes I sit and think “You know, I wonder what’s going on with the girls in Nice Girls Project? And then I think about the Nice Girl Trainees and get a little sad. Nice Girl Project is the TNX idol project created by Tsunku as an official rival to Hello!Project back when H!P was still the dominant idol collective (remember that time that is now long gone?). It contains The Possible… and not much else anymore, after Canary Club and Ogawa Mana left. Though The Possible have been making an incredibly unlikely comeback of sorts, I still feel for the trainees of the project that keep shuffling in and out. How much do they have to do, anyways? Is there any hope that anything will come of being a trainee in a close to inactive idol collective?
However, I’ve seen the trainees appear solo more and more, and they’ve started to do their own solo lives (at small venues of course). So I think they’re trying to do the whole small, indie idol thing. Still, these girls are officially trainees and haven’t made an official debut, yet, so it remains to be seen whether they’ll be an actual idol unit or just doing small performances until they fade into obscurity. So… yeah. None of the girls really pop out to me, personally, and I find it hard to start following them, given the circumstances. However, if you really love The Possible you might be interested in them.
9Nine is one of those groups that should make you reconsider naming your idol group after the number of members. The group originally had nine members, but, after some graduations, auditions, and even more graduations, the current five member line-up has been pretty stable. 9Nine was formed in 2005, but has since become active in 2010. They’ve put out four albums, 14 singles, and a bunch of digital singles.
Unfortunately for us non-Japanese idol fans, following 9nine is a bit harder. Their PVs are region-locked, so you can’t watch them on the official Youtube and finding PVs elsewhere on the various video sites is near impossible. So this is a heads up, if you think you might like the group; being a fan is going to be more difficult than a lot of other groups. The reason I’m saying this is because, while 9nine seems like a cool group, it might be tougher for you to follow them.
That said, they seem like a really good group. They focus a lot on having a cooler image and being a dance/performance unit. They definitely give me Tokyo Girls’ Style vibes, except without quite the level of vocal talent. The members seem talented and I like the music I’ve heard so far, and I can see people really liking them. Personally, they don’t stand out enough to me that I would go through the effort of following them, but I would watch them perform if they showed up on a livestream of something.
Na-Na is a five member group from Esse Academy, home of Caramel Ribbon, making them the younger sister group to Caramel Ribbon. The members range from being in middle school to being in their last year of elementary school, so they’re pretty young. One of the members is named Yuzuki, so you know where my bias is. According to the group bio, they’re cute but have real talent.
The group seems to have one original song, Candy Machine ni Notte, though I don’t think this has been released on a single. The group is fairly hard to find info on (their official site is VERY sparse), but I think they were formed in 2011 and have been doing stuff with Caramel Ribbon since. The girls all seem cute and happy, and I’m inclined to like them despite the difficulty of being their fan. That said, finding any more is really tough. These girls definitely have potential, though, and if you’re a Caramel Ribbon fan you should definitely try to follow Na-Na as well.
This is a very new unit, formed in May of this year. However, you might know a lot of the members! That’s because this is a group of seven former SDN48 members, formed just over a year after SDN48 disbanded! SDN48 was the older, more mature unit of the 48 family before they were disbanded in March 2012, which was a sad moment for a lot of fans. So it’s really great to see that seven of them decided to form their own unit, which has been signed to Avex.
Unfortunately, not much has been put out, yet. They don’t have any singles or PVs and they don’t have too much on Youtube yet. However, since they’re an Avex group, with some former 48 members, I imagine that they’re going to have some ogod stuff coming out very soon. If you liked SDN48 or if you just like idol groups with older members and a more mature feel, it’s probably worth it to keep an eye on this group! I’m excited to see where they go from here!