List Friday: My Top 20 Idol Groups/Acts of All Time

Welcome to my new feature!

So basically, when coming up with my current blog release schedule, I made fridays TIFriday. I plan to continue that with TIF 2014, but last week was my last TIF post of the year, sadly. So I needed to figure out something to keep me occupied on Fridays. So I decided that instead of TIFriday, in the meantime I would do List Fridays. Because the internet loves lists, and so do I. It’s a good way to get to know me and a good way to share a lot of opinions in a fairly condensed matter.

Recently I found a collection of lists, from the book Music Listography, which is a journal that you can write lists of music you like in. So I’m going to be doing most of these lists in relation to idol acts. The first one is my top 20 bands idol acts of all time. (We’ll see if I can make it to 20). This is roughly in order from favorite to least favorite.

1. Team Syachihoko

If you know me at all this should be no surprise. I’ve been enamored with Team Syachihoko for about a year now, and my fandom has only grown. They have a ton of energy, lots of personality, and their music is consistently excellent. They are the only group that I buy every single release for, and I never regret it. Their concerts are excellent, their PVs are excellent, everything is great.

Tonight I put off writing this post because I was watching a Ustream event. This event didn’t even feature Yuzuki, my Syachihoko oshimen. This shows how strongly I adore this group.

2. Rev.from DVL

This is a group that I wouldn’t know unless I was a twitter user. One day, all of a sudden, Miki from the Fukuoka idol group Rev.from DVL followed me. I still don’t know why she followed me, but I tend to follow a good number of indie idols and I occasionally tweet said idols in (poor) English. But I decided, since she followed me, that I’d watch one video for them. That was a performance of Love Arigatou, and I was instantly hooked. The song is great, which really helps, but all the girls are talented dancers and singers, and have a lot of fun. Honestly, I don’t know why I love them so much, but every single girl appeals to me (though Miki is still my favorite). There’s something really special about local indie groups, and rev. is my fave.

Recently, Rev got a lot of national notice because one of the members, Kanna, is super cute. While that’s true, I really hope this allows people to learn a bit more about Rev, because the rest of the members are fun and cute.

3. Dempagumi.inc 

In most of my favorite groups, I end up having a very clear favorite. Nothing wrong with that, but I tend to care strongly more for one member than the rest. Dempagumi.inc is the one group where I legitimately adore every single member, to the point where even after months of being a fan I have a hard time choosing my favorite. (Right now it’s a tie between Mirin and Eimi). The six girls have a really great dynamic going on, every member is unique and special, and they’re all really fun. Aside from the members, lately they’ve had some of the best PVs in the idol business, and their music is superb. W.W.D II/Not Bocchi… Natsu is my top single of the year. They get a lot of music from my favorite, Maeyamada Kenichi, so that helps. Honestly, they’ve become one of the most interesting idol groups out there, and one I’m proud to be a fan of.

4. Matsuura Aya

OK, I said idol acts when I started. So Ayaya counts. Even though I haven’t mentioned her all that much lately, Matsuura Aya is one of my favorite idol singers of all time. In fact, I’d place her right after Ooguro Yuzuki (Team Syachihoko) and Ishikawa Rika in that regard. While she has a fantastic personality and did very well in some of her variety and acting bits (Sukeban Deka is legitimately underrated), Aya’s forte is performance. She has one of the best voices among Japanese idol singers. Period. She also has immense amounts of stage presence, emotes well with her performing, and always looks like she’s having a blast doing so. Aya’s albums are some of the best Hello!Project had to offer, and Aya the Witch is my favorite Hello!Project concert ever. Aya is a very talented woman, and will always be one of my favorites.

5. Aso Natsuko

Sometimes I wonder if Nacchan would be one of my top idols ever if I hadn’t had such a wonderful experience meeting her. Seeing two Nacchan lives and then getting an autograph and then getting a picture, all the while she’s being completely amazing is a memory I won’t soon forget. She is a lovely person, with a beautiful voice and personality. I was a fan of hers before the events, but seeing Nacchan live sealed the deal for me. She is very talented, and all of her music is very good (her two albums, Movement of Magic and Precious Tone are two of my favorites).

6. Rhymeberry

I do not like rap. I have zero interest in hip hop. I don’t mean any disrespect, just for the most part it doesn’t do much for me. Yet somehow I found a lot to like in Rhymeberry. Their music is inventive, fun, and makes me appreciate hip hop a lot more. The girls are all very talented, and are very fun to watch perform.

7. Ongaku Gatas

UFA: Hey, let’s make a group strongly featuring Ishikawa Rika and Yoshizawa Hitomi. We can add other Gatas Brilhantes H.P. members, some cool Eggs, and have a group. They can perform funky songs plus a lot of upbeat songs. While they’re not one of the main groups, let’s give them one of the best H!P albums ever.

Seriously, how could I not love Ongaku Gatas?

8. Def.Diva

UFA: Hey let’s take the three strong soloists, add a strong team player who is generally kind of the greatest, and have them bring all their amazingness into one group.

Again, how could I not love Def.Diva?

9. KAGAJO☆4S

This is a new group that could become one of my top favorite idol groups. The only reason they’re this low is because they’re so new, but they have a lot of promise. They’re a Stardust Promotions group, but are probably the most “normal” Stardust group out there. They’ve started out their career performing instruments live, which gets me excited for future lives. The members all have a lot of personality and energy, that get me excited. As a fan of Team Syachihoko first and foremost, I’m really interested in how Stardust is going to promote their latest indie idol group. This could become one of my all-time top favorite groups, at the rate they’re going!

10. Babymetal

Much like with Rhymeberry, metal is not a genre I particularly care much about. Yet Babymetal makes me care. Suzuka’s voice is so strong, and while Yui and Moa don’t sing much they provide a lot of energy and enthusiasm. They’re a very interesting and fun group, and have made me enjoy metal more than I ever thought I would. Their music is all very good, and they make me excited for every release.

11. Watarirouka Hashiritai (7)

Even though they haven’t put out anything in a while, I’m really sad that Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 is breaking up. While they weren’t the first unit of AKB nor the last, the group was really something special, getting a lot of the cuter/younger (at least when it was formed) girls of AKB into one unit. While the group went through many lineup changes, they always had cute and catchy songs. This song is pure cuteness, and I love it.

12. AKB48

I guess this envelops the entire 48 empire. I love all of the 48 groups a lot, but ultimately AKB was the one to start it all. Simply put, AKB brought back the idol boom, and a lot of the things that AKB popularized became main facets of the current idol boom. As a big idol fan, this makes me grateful to AKB more than anything. But beyond that, AKB is always interesting. Even when my interest in members waxes and wanes, and even when I don’t care for all their songs, they’re always interesting.

While I really enjoy SKE48, NMB48 and HKT48, I’m putting AKB on this list because they’ve set the standard for idols currently. (Plus I was in the KFC fan version so I kind of have to love AKB most 13. Morning Musume

And this is the standard for the previous generation of idols! My interest in Morning Musume has been all over the place, and I really love certain eras more than others. However, that said, despite Momusu having its lows, it has brought a lot of fantastic idol songs and has introduced the world to some really great idols. Their longevity is something to be admired, and I’m constantly impressed by Morning Musume’s current return to fame. MM is really doing well, and I’m happy to have been following them.

14. Matsuda Seiko

Aaaand the standard for 80s idols. There was a lot of great idol music in the 70s-80s, and in terms of fame, relevance and influence I could have easily put Yamaguchi Momoe, Pink Lady or Onyanko Club down here. However, Matsuda Seiko is absolutely my favorite. Part of it is her longevity; it’s so interesting to see the career of an idol lasting so long, when she’s SO famous. Anyone else see that episode of Bones she costarred in?

But seriously, watching her (mostly older) stuff, she has a real charisma and stage presence. Her music is consistently very good, and some of the best idol songs of all time have been her songs. While I don’t enjoy every thing she’s ever did (and, tbh, I haven’t heard every single/song she’s done, not by a long shot), she really deserves to be known as one of, if not THE top idol of all time.

15. MMJ

MMJ started out as MMJ48, an AKB cover group. They dropped the 48 and started releasing their own music, but this shows where they’re coming from. This is a very unknown idol group comprised of older (23 and older) girls who love idols. And that’s why I really love them, and why I love indie groups. The members have day jobs and being an idol is what they do for fun, on the side. And it really shows. All the members are enthusiastic, and are super fun to watch perform. Their original songs (especially Renai Agenda) are pretty good, and they have a lot of energy while performing. This group isn’t about money or fame, it’s about being an idol for fun, which is why I’m a fan.

16. S/Mileage

While most people tend to categorize themselves as a first-gen S/Mileage fan, 2nd gen is when I really gelled with S/Mileage. While a lot of their early music is fantastic, S/Mileage’s 2nd gen has proven that the group can handle graduations and auditions and still maintain quality. Sure, a lot of people will disagree with me, but while I liked Yuukarin and Sakicchy a lot, I’m grateful that the second generation has allowed Meimi, Kana, Rina and Akari to be in a group together. Their music has been great, for the most part, and I love what they’ve done lately. They’re energetic, fun, and have quickly become one of Hello!Project’s most interesting groups.

17. Dancing Dolls

I just found out about Dancing Dolls this summer, and I’m already a big fan. While their origin story is great and I love that there’s a pair of twins in the group, their talent is where Dancing Dolls really shines. The group is already a very strong dance group, and the vocalists are very talented. While I don’t mind following groups without as much talent, it’s nice to see a group that has a lot of skill. Add to that some catchy songs and Dancing Dolls has quickly become a group I look out for.

18. Momoiro Clover (Z)

Ahh, Momoiro Clover. Two years ago and they would have been at the top of this list. While I consider early Momoiro Clover to be one of the best groups of all time, and I do think they’ve done interesting things since then, a lot of the magic has been lost for me. While I’ve been pretty open about my frustrations with Momoiro Clover Z, this doesn’t change the fact that early Momoiro Clover is a group I really loved, and a group I will always care about, even passively. I still pay attention to them a lot; they do a lot of interesting things! But they have lost a lot of their appeal, which made them slide this low.

19. Taiyou to Ciscomoon/T&C Bomber

This is a group that a lot of people overlook in H!P’s history, but it’s one of the best groups. First off, the vocals are stunning. Inaba Atsuko is an unsung hero of Hello!Project history, and RuRU is possibly the strongest vocal in H!P (it’s somewhere between her and Ayaya). Their music is classic Hello!Project at its best, and songs like Gatamekira and Magic of Love have become legendary H!P songs. If you want great vocals and wonderful songs, T&C is a really great bet. If I want to listen to some older H!P, I usually don’t go back to early Morning Musume, I listen to Taiyou to Ciscomoon’s first album.

20. LinQ

LinQ is a new favorite, which is why it’s at the bottom. Frankly, I’m still very new to the world of LinQ. However, I like what I see. Their first album is wonderful, and the couple of live concerts I’ve watched have been energetic and great. It’s kind of uncertain how my LinQ fandom will turn out, but I do know that they are a spectacular group and worthy of being up here.

Thoughts? Want me to do a specific list next week? Leave a comment below or on the Happy Disco Facebook page and I’ll take your suggestions for a future week!

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