Idols

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AKB48 performing on stage

Idols are a musical and cultural phenomenon born in Japan during the 70s that conceptually and gradually changed throughout the years with the Japanese society. While musically there’s no significant difference with normal J-pop acts, today Idol groups have a sweeter and thoughtless mood in their songs and welcome influences from several genres, other than being different conceptually and in the way they convey messages to the audience, with lyrics usually referring directly to the listener.

While normal J-pop acts are usually singers and dancers with a precise talent whose career is focused on, today Idols are mainly stage performers, even though there are several groups and individual members showcasing great abilities in different fields. Still, more than real singers or dancers, Idols are considered as icons and performers, and their career is mainly focused on their personality than on their stage skills: They get songs wrote for them (both music and lyrics) as well as choreographies, and they frequently appear on commercials for well known products and TV shows. Gravure photo books and DVDs are also a constant, and from these products fans can get a wider idea of the member’s personality. Because that’s their main role: To represent the perfect stereotype of the cute and innocent girl while still keeping their own personality.

Based on this concept, Idol groups don’t have to share details on their private lives: You will never know if a member is dating someone because that would break the Idol concept and act like a “betrayal” to the fans, so it’s definitely not a good thing for their image to be seen dating someone, and if that happens the group’s agency needs to give a clear explanation in time to avoid problems or “scandals” that could damage the Idol’s status. This doesn’t mean they can’t have their own private life or that there’s a written rule who deny them to have relationships (except for the groups of the AKB48 family) but it’s a common thing to avoid spreading private informations: It’s a matter of respect towards the artist itself and the fans.

This might lead to the idea of random cute girls or boys put on a stage singing someone else’s song on a choreography that’s not theirs while hiding from paparazzi and tabloid magazines, and while that’s not completely wrong, at the same time it’s the worst ideology to face the Idol world. And you know why? Because you’re here for the music. And while the Idol phenomenon surely goes beyond it, there are tons of great units and solo idols who offer quality music and impressive stage performances. We know they’re not the minds behind the music and the show, but honestly, does it really matter in the end? I think it’s important not to get negatively influenced by the Idol concept, but instead accept it and listen to the music and enjoy the visuals without prejudice. As stated above, there’s tons of good music and acts that are worth following: Give it a try and you may find very good surprises.


Momoiro Clover Z

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Recommended Albums: Battle and Romance / 5th Dimension
Recommended Songs: Pinky Jones / D’ no Junjō / Mugen no Ai / LOST CHILD / Rodo Sanka / NEO Stargate / Naitemo Iindayo
Best PVs: D’ no Junjō / Rodo Sanka / Mugen no Ai
Website:http://www.momoclo.net/
Year: 2008 – Active (previously known as Momoiro Clover)

Morning Musume

Morning Musume モーニング娘。 '14 Toki wo Koe Sora wo Koe 時空を超え 宇宙を超え Password is 0 (1)

Recommended Albums: 4th Ikkimashoi / AI No Dai 6 Kan / Sexy 8 Beat / Platinum 9 / 13 Colorful Characters
Recommended Songs: Love Machine / Kimagure Princess / Ooki Hitomi / One Two Three
Best PVs: Mr. Moonlight / Maji Desu ka Ska! / Kare to Issho ni Omise ga Shitai!
Website:http://www.helloproject.com/
Social:https://www.facebook.com/morningmusumefanclub?ref=ts&fref=ts
Year: 1997 – Active

AKB48

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Recommended Albums: Kamikyokutachi
Recommended Songs: River / Sakura no Shiori / Hashire! Penguin / Ponytail to Shushu / Iiwake Maybe
Best PVs: Choudai, Darling! / Ue kara Mariko / Iiwake Maybe / Heavy Rotation
Website: http://www.akb48.co.jp/
Social: https://twitter.com/AKB48
Year: 2005 – Active

Tokyo Girls’ Style

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Recommended Albums: Limited Addiction / Yakusoku
Recommended Songs: Kodou no Himitsu / W.M.D.A. / Rock You! / Limited Addiction / Yakusoku / Partition Love
Best PVs: Kodou no Himitsu / Limited Addiction / Partition Love / Juujika
Website: http://tokyogirlsstyle.jp/
Social: https://www.facebook.com/TokyoGirlsStyle?fref=ts | https://twitter.com/TokyoGirlsStyle
Year: 2010 – Active

Curumi Chronicle 

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Recommended Albums: Curumi Chronicle
Recommended Songs:午前11 , MAKE NEW WORLD, Prismic Step, Seventeen, FLIGHT, Touch Me
Best PVs:午前11
Website:http://curumichronicle.tumblr.com/
Social:https://www.youtube.com/user/CurumiChronicle
Year: 2013 – Retired

Lyrical School

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Recommended Albums: Date Course / SPOT
Recommended Songs: Sorya Natsu Da, Ribbon o Kyutto, PARADE, DEMO, p.s.
Best PVs: Parade
Website: http://lyricalschool.com/
Social: https://twitter.com/lyri_sch
Year: 2010 – Active

Sakura Gakuin

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Recommended Albums: Sakura Gakuin 2010 Nendo-Message
Recommended Songs: Verishuvi / Yume ni Mukatte / Fly Away / Please! Please! Please! (Twinklestars sub-unit) / Brand New Day (Scoopers sub-unit)
Best PVs: Verishuvi / FRIENDS
Website: http://www.sakuragakuin.jp/
Social: https://www.facebook.com/SakuraGakuin12?fref=ts (Unofficial)
Year: 2010 – Active

Ayami Muto

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Recommended Albums: Eien to Shunkan / I-POP
Recommended Songs: Sora / A.Y.M.
Best PVs: Sora
Website: http://www.mutoayami.jp/
Social: http://instagram.com/mutoayami
Year: 2012 – Currently on hiatus

Negicco

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Recommended Albums: Melody Palette
Recommended Songs: Idol Bakari Kikanaide / Sayonara Music / Tokimeki no Headliner
Best PVs: Idol Bakari Kikanaide
Website:http://negicco.net/
Social:https://twitter.com/Negicco_info
Year: 2003 – Active

Dempagumi.inc

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Recommended Albums: World Wide Dempa (WWD)
Recommended Songs: World Wide Dempa / Future Diver / Orange Rium / でんぱれーど JAPAN / Dempari Night / Bali 3 Republic
Best PVs: W.W.D. (World Wide Dempa) /  Chururi Chururira / Bali 3 Republic
Website: http://dempagumi.dearstage.com/
Social: https://twitter.com/dempagumihttps://www.facebook.com/dempagumi.inc?fref=ts
Year: 2011 – Active

°C-ute

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Recommended Albums: Cute Shinseinaru: Best Album / 8 Queens of J-pop
Recommended Songs: Kono Machi / Kiss Me Aishiteru / Abiru Hodo no Ai wo Kudasai
Best PVs: Dance de Bakoon! / Love is more Innovative / Adam to Eve no Dilemma
Website: http://www.helloproject.com/c-ute/
Social:https://twitter.com/Cute_upfront
Year: 2005 –  Active

Berryz Kobo

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Recommended Albums: Berryz Mansion 9kai
Recommended Songs: Rock Erotic / Loving you too much / Piriri to Yukou!
Best PVs: Want! / Be Genki (Naseba Naru!) / Heroine ni Narō ka! / Kokuhaku no Funsui Hiroba
Website: http://www.helloproject.com/berryzkobo/
Social: https://twitter.com/Berryz_kobo
Year: 2004 – Active


MALE ACTS
SMAP

Recommended Albums: SMAP 016: MIJ / We are SMAP!
Recommended Songs: Bang! Bang! Bakansu! / This is Love
Best PVs: /
Website: http://www.johnnys-net.jp/j/artists/smap
Social: /
Year: 1988 – Active

Arashi

Recommended Albums: All the Best! 1999 -2009
Recommended Songs: Troublemaker / Truth / One Love / Wish / PIKANCHI DOUBLE
Best PVs: Troublemaker
Website: http://www.j-storm.co.jp/
Social: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arashi/155947819037?fref=ts
Year: 1999 – Active

Hey! Say! JUMP

Recommended Albums: Jump World
Recommended Songs: Aino Arika / Shinku / Beat Line / Bouken Rider
Best PVs: Super Delicate / Arigatou Sekai No Doko Ni Itemo / Your Seed
Website: http://www.j-storm.co.jp/
Social: https://www.facebook.com/HeySayJUMP.World?fref=ts
Year: 2007 – Active

Kis-My-Ft2

Recommended Albums: Kis-my-1st
Recommended Songs: Everybody Go / Ai no Beat / S.O.S. (Smile on Smile) / Zutto -You are my everything / Girl is mine
Best PVs: She Her Her
Website: http://avex.jp/kismyft2/
Social: https://www.facebook.com/KisMyFtNation
Year: 2005 – Active