Japan’s newest idol group, KBG84, hails from Okinawa, has an average age of 84

KBG84

RocketNews 24:

Japan’s idol world is quite…expansive, for lack of a better word. Even with the wide variety of groups running around, it can be hard to really tell them apart–though we have to say there was no mistaking Osaka’s Obachaaan for any other group. In fact, the “old lady” idol group is still going strong–perhaps thanks in part to the dearth of elderly competition. But it looks like Obachaaa and AKB48 are about to face some new rivals: KBG84, Okinawa’s own geriatric idol group!

KBG84, the newest idol group making headlines, is commonly described as “Japan’s idol group closest to heaven,” which seems like a cruel way to say they’re all super-old. Though we like to imagine that it’s actually a reference to the fact that they live on an island paradise!

View image on Twitter

That said, the group’s members certainly aren’t young–in fact, you apparently have to be 80 years old or older to join and the average age is 84! And if you think that’s nuts, the central figures of the group are Miki Hanashiro, who is a mere 90 years old, and Tomi Menaka, who is 91. Say what you will about idol groups, but if we make it to 90, you can believe we’d rather be in an idol group than sitting around watching daytime TV. If you’re champing at the bit to get into the group, though, they will let people in their 70s or younger in as trainees, but you’ll likely face some competition: the group already has roughly 40 members!

As for the group’s name, the “K” is for Kohamajima, the “B” is for oBachan (old ladies), and the “G” is for “Gasshodan,” or “choir.” And, of course, the 84 is for their average age. We’re not sure if that means they’ll be adjusting the name of the group every year or not, but it’s good enough for now!

▼Kohamajima, part of the Yaeyama Islands

kohama

And, yes, this is an active idol group–in fact, they’re a “dance and vocal” unit, though we somewhat suspect that their dancing isn’t quite as energetic as some other idol groups. They recently recorded their first track, titled “Come and Dance Kohamajima,” and it has a planned release date for sometime around June. The group has also apparently filmed a music video which featured Menaka standing and dancing–which in most other contexts might not seem impressive, but definitely is here! There are even plans for KBG84 to come to Tokyo where they will perform a show at Shinagawa Prince Hotel’s Club eX towards the end of June.

Cross-dressing cosplay idol group a huge hit in China

RocketNews 24:

In Asia, female idol groups are a dime a dozen. These days it seems like anyone with a pretty face can throw on a skirt, get up on stage and call themselves the next Kara Generation 48.

That’s why we’re always happy when unique acts like Chinese idol unit Alice Weiniang Group are able to make it into the spotlight. You see, in addition to having style and looks, the members of Alice Weiniang Group have something no other Asian idol girl group does: a penis.

That’s right, every member of the 200-strong idol team is male. Weiniang literally means “fake lady,” or cross-dresser, so we might better refer to them as “Alice Cross-Dresser Group.”

The group was formed in October 2009 and is based in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei in central China.

The idea for an all-male cross-dressing idol group came to the founders, a group of college students in a Japanese anime club, when they were stuck having to perform a mixed-gender cosplay show at an anime convention while female members happened to be away. Several of the male members decided to play the females roles on stage and, to their surprise, the costumes were a huge hit with the crowd.

After that, they began organizing cross-dressing cosplay shows for money. While there were only about 20 members at the time of the group’s founding, their ranks have swelled to 200 over the past three years and now they even have their own choreography, make-up, stage and photography team.

Most members are college students, but there are also a few working adults in the mix. In order to be admitted to the group, you must have a feminine face and long, slender legs, so it’s natural that most the guys are in their late-teens or early-twenties.

Alice now has a sizable Chinese fanbase and are frequently asked to perform at anime, comic and game conventions and cosplay festivals. Several of the boys have made modeling debuts and one of the most popular members, 20-year-old Haoge, is said to have nearly 14,000 followers on Chinese Twitter-like service, Sina Weibo.

Despite the overwhelmingly positive reception they’ve received over the past few years, those with more conservative opinions criticize the group of being “morally corrupt” and “a danger to Chinese boys.”

However, the members of Alice stand their ground, saying:“There are some people in their 20s who
still leech off their parents, and there are some who are not only financially independent, but support their parents as well. We are the latter group.”

 

▼ Reminder: all the people pictured below are male

▼ The popular Ms. Haoge

▼ Rehearsal

 

Rock band KISS collaborating with Sailor Moon Crystal’s Momoiro Clover Z

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RocketNews 24/Anime News Network:

The U.S. rock band KISS is no stranger to merchandise collaborations with Japan, but the masked glam rock band is marking its first time working with a Japanese musical artist with a new single next year. KISS and the Japanese pop idol group Momoiro Clover Z are set to release a new single together on January 28, 2015.

The first announced track is “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina,” composed by Paul Stanley and Greg Collins, with lyrics written by Yuho Iwasato. Momoiro Clover Z are performing the song with KISS providing background vocals and instruments. It will be released in two versions via iTunes in 120 countries. A music video with both bands was already shot in Las Vegas.

KISS is releasing their own new song titled “Samurai Son” on the band’s “Best of KISS 40″ CD and the KISS version of the “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina” single. KISS will launch their 40th anniversary tour with Momoiro Clover Z, performing with the band at their last stop at the Tokyo Dome.

KISS first announced they were working with Momoiro Clover Z last month.

 

Momoiro Clover Z previously performed themes for the Pokémon anime series, Bodacious Space Pirates, and Joshiraku before rising to prominence as the singers behind the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal anime series.

Link

Members of Japanese pop-idol group AKB48 attacked by saw-wielding “fan” at meet-and-greet event

 

RocketNews24/Asahi Shimbun:

 

At 4:55 p.m. today, the company behind many of Japan’s larger idol groups, AKS, released a statement regarding an attack on members of AKB48 and event staff during a handshake event in Iwate Prefecture this afternoon.

Members Rina Kawaei (19) and Anna Iriyama (18), as well as a male member of the venue staff, are said to have been injured, with a 24-year-old male taken into police custody.

 

The incident took place at one of the group’s many meet-and-greet, or “handshake events,” this time being held at Takizawa City, Iwate Prefecture. According to reports, a 24-year-old man was waiting in the line to meet the girls when he suddenly pulled out a serrated blade and started slashing at the young idols.

Management company AKS released this statement on the AKB48 website, blog, and other sources.

 

“Today, Takizawa, Iwate: At a handshake meeting in Iwate Sangyo Bunka Centre Apio for the 33rd Single Electric Heart and 35th Single Mae Shika Mukanee, AKB48 members Anna Iriyama and Rina Kawaei along with one member of the organizers’ staff were attacked by a blade-wielding fan. They suffered injuries to their hands. 
Currently, Iriyama, Kawaei and the staff member are being treated in hospital.
None are in a life-threatening condition.
We deeply apologize for any concern this may have caused to fans. As soon as Iriyama, Kawaei, and the staff member’s conditions are known in more detail we will report again.”
(AKS)

 

AKB fans have taken to the various news sources’ comments sections demanding to know the name of the assailant, which is currently being withheld. Police have only said the man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Other fans were also keen to learn the name of the male staff member who was injured in the incident, assuming that he was wounded when trying to help the girls.

Still details are highly sketchy at the moment and we’ll report more as it becomes clear.

 

Check out this link:

 

Members of Japanese pop-idol group AKB48 attacked by saw-wielding “fan” at meet-and-greet event

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Link

Korean TV network bans pop song for using Japanese

 

Korean TV Network Bans Pop Song for Using Japanese

Kotaku:

Crayon Pop, the popular South Korean idol group, was banned from broadcasting its latest track on one of South Korea‘s biggest networks. The reason? It contains the Japanese word “pika.”

Crayon Pop is perhaps best known for their song “Bar Bar Bar,” which racked up over 15 million views on YouTube.

According to Yonhap News, the issue with the new song, which is titled “Uh-ee“, is that it contains the Japanese word “pika” (ピカ) as in “pika pika” (ピカピカ), which means to “glitter,” “flash,” or “sparkle.”

Of course, “pika” is also famous for the Pokémon character “Pikachu.”

Yonhap News reports that Korean government-funded television network KBS deemed the song unfit for broadcast because of the Japanese term. The group removed the Japanese phrase and replaced it with its Korean equivalent for the network’s approval.

Other Korean television networks did not appear to raise objections regarding the song.

On 2ch, Japan’s largest forum, people seem baffled by KBS’s stance. “Is only Japanese not allowed?” wrote one 2ch commenter. “What about English and Chinese?” That does raise a good point: Does the network not allow any other language to be mixed in with Korean songs? Others said this showed the two countries could never get along.

This decision appears to be a poorly thought out move on KBS’s part. I imagine that Crayon Pop fans in South Korea are equally miffed.

 

Check out this link:

Korean TV network bans pop song for using Japanese

Link

Japanese amateur wrestling champion finds fame online for his taste in nerdy hobbies

RocketNews 24:

The man pictured above is Tomoyuki Oka basking in the glow of winning the All-Japan Sambo Championships. Having excelled in the Russian grappling sport, he exhibits all the features of supreme manliness: a square hair-lined jaw, steely and dominant glare, burly muscles that dwarf his first place trophy (the Putin Cup), and a half-hearted effort at those “V” fingers that Japanese people usually pose with in pictures.

But wait a minute… What’s that under his sambovka?

Why, those appear to be the characters from the popular manga, anime, and game seriesLove Live! School Idol Project. In fact, in the accompanying message to his Tweeted photo, Oka acknowledges his fandom of the animated idol group.

“I won the All-Japan Sambo Championships!
Now, I’m not so angry I had to blow off Love Live! at SSA.
And of course the T-shirt I’m wearing, it’s Love Live!!”

Um… right! Well, Oka has good reason to be a little regretful, live Love Live! performances such as the ones on February 8 and 9 featuring the voice actors from the series are few and far between. The ones held at Saitama Super Arena (SSA) were sure to be a smash.

Good thing the gals were there with him in spirit through his T-shirt. Love Live! follows a group of schoolgirls who form an idol group. Viewers are able to vote online for their favorite characters which influences how they’re arranged and styled.

Luckily, after going back a little on Oka’s Twitter feed we learned that he was able to attend the Sphere concert only a few days earlier.

Sphere is another idol ensemble made up of voice actresses.

Oka is also a part of Bushiroad, a training ground for soon-to-be members of New Japan Pro-Wrestling. NJPW was purchased by Bushiroad a couple years ago. Bushiroad also puts out several trading cards games and video games such as Love Live! School Idol Festival. It’s unclear whether Oka’s love of Love Live! and other anime came before or after his relationship with Bushiroad.

Oka’s bittersweet victory earned him the love of netizens who retweeted his message about 4,000 times as of this writing. One commenter wrote, “I would have felt strange bumping into that guy at SSA [during a Love Live! event].” Others simply laughed.

I’m not sure why. Schoolgirl idol themed anime is the epitome of masculinity. And if you disagree, go talk to Tomoyuki Oka… because I’m too scared to.

Source: Twitter via Hachima Kiko (Japanese)

Check out this link:

Japanese amateur wrestling champion finds fame online for his taste in nerdy hobbies