I have no idea why, how, or why, but Doll☆Elements have become my favorite group.
[That’s great, but who the f-junk is Herman Kobabowitz?] Oh, he’s just someone I met at last week’s Doll☆Elements Addicts Anonymous meeting.
[Isn’t it supposed to be anonymous?]
Yeah, it is. We’re just really stupid.
Incoherent Doll☆Elements Story
*brews a pot of chamomile tea* It all started last week when I was watching the Tokyo Idol Festival special that featured GEM. For some reason, instead of watching and re-watching GEM’s performance, I found myself watching and rewatching Doll☆Elements (who happened to be included in the same broadcast). I’ve known of them for a while, but only by name–technically I saw them at TIF 2012, but to say that I “saw” them is a total exaggeration. PASSPO and predia had just finished their night performance at Sky Stage and I was planning on getting out of there asap in order to bypass the queue that was guaranteed to form at the elevator. However, since I was in the front row (a fact I have to mention because evidently being in the front row for predia makes me a total pervert *sigh*), I couldn’t escape the stage area before someone affiliated with Doll☆Elements (maybe their manager?) handed me a flyer and frantically asked anyone who would listen to stick around for their performance. Back in 2012, they were still relatively new and I felt bad because all the PASSPO/predia fans were leaving. So I reluctantly went back to the stage. I had no intention of staying too long though–I’m nice, but I’m not that nice. So I watched them for a minute and then I very secretly moved further and further away from the stage until the next thing I knew I had gone down the lift and was at a completely different stage. [Wow, a whole minute] I also still have the flyer. [Well, that’s predictable considering you never buy goods, so stuff like concert streamers, promotional flyers, ticket stubs, and anything else that is handed out for free which most normal people either decline or promptly throw away become your souvenirs.] Please don’t tell my readers that the free stuff that everyone else throws away are my treasures!! [Umm, I didn’t use the word treasure.]
Anyway, *sips chamomile tea* for this year’s TIF I saw Doll☆Elements at Hot Stage and Smile Garden. I was pretty close to the stage for both performances (you can see me in the broadcast at both stages. But don’t look too closely because evidently being close to the stage makes me a total pervert! *sigh*). I thought they were good, but they didn’t leave a lasting impression. It wasn’t until the TIF footage that everything suddenly clicked and ever since I’ve been scouring the internet for new Doll☆Elements treasures. Unfortunately, they only have a few concert clips online, so I’ve been continually watching them on an endless loop. Which reminds me *checks watch* we should probably start watching them again, I’m experiencing withdrawals. [Sorry, but I don’t have time for that. I have like ten kids!] Ten kids? I thought you were just one of my sassy split personalities. [Hey, what I do with my free time is my business!]
Unfortunately, they really don’t have a lot of videos online, probably because they haven’t done that many one-mans (only six in their two year existence), and the few concerts they have done haven’t been released on dvd. Their official youtube channel has clips of most of their recent concerts though. The following video doesn’t include their best songs (imo), but the video quality is better than the others. The third song 空の向こうへ (Sora no Mukou he) is amazing though and even a blind brain surgeon would think the choreography is cute. I would literally kill to see it performed live. Oh, yeah you’re right. I would figuratively… and literally kill to see it performed live.
The key to becoming a hardcore fan of a group is finding a favorite member. Without an oshimen (or oshiGEM), I think it’s difficult to become more than just a casual fan of a group. The Doll☆Elements lineup is amazing and I dare anyone to get to know the group and not become obsessed with at least one of the members. Personally I like all six of them. More accurately though, I like all the members equally, just some more equally than others.
Form left to right: Natsumi Gonda, Rika Tonosaki, Haruka Koizumi, Runa Kojima, and Yukino Komori. (If you compare this current photo with the flyer from 2012, you’ll notice there’s been two lineup changes. In the flyer, the girls 3rd and 4th from the left graduated and were replaced by Haruka and Yukino).
If the world was going to end tomorrow and you had to choose an oshimen today:
Natsumi (Gonchan) – the leader and anime/otaku type. She also has perfect legs, I mean, if you’re into that. Which I am, because evidently I’m a total pervert.
Rika (Rikapyon) – the sophisticated member who does gravure.
Haruka (Izumi) – the super hot former member of YGA who is now the super hot current member of Doll☆Elements. She’s also the center.
Runa (Runapon) – the super-genki, super-long kawaaiiiii, adorably-funny miracle member.
Yukino (Yukinon) – the youngest and most-genki, who is also considered the “funny” member.
If they are awesome and perfect why are they so unpopular? (edit: I didn’t intend this “reason” to be controversial, so I rewrote it a little. But the idea is the same.)
Despite having an almost perfect lineup and great music (they recently released their first album which came in two versions, each with completely different tracks), Doll☆Elements literally has zero overseas fanbase (which is strange considering even fringe underground idol groups typically have a few fans). I think it’s mainly because they are the younger sister group of Lovely★Doll, who I consider to be mediocre. If fans aren’t interested in the flagship, then they probably aren’t going to be motivated to get to know the sister groups. I think this is a pretty common phenomena with agencies who manage multiple groups. Any feelings you have for a group like AKB48, SUPER☆GiRLS, or PASSPO, will either positively or negatively influence your perception of their sister groups. I think their affiliation with Lovely★Doll has unfortunately limited Doll☆Elements potential fanbase.
If only they could be sister groups with SUPER☆GiRLS and GEM!
Idol News Update #1
After a 20 year hiatus Misa is back!
The last time we heard from Misa she had just been rejected by PASSPO and was spending her summer at her grandma’s strawberry farm to recover. But that was two years ago, which is an eternity in idol years. On 8.31 Misa updated her blog and she announced she joined a new indie group called Stereo Tokyo. Reading some of her tweets they seem to have some sort of relationship with the group Yumemiru Adolescence. They haven’t released anything, but in simultaneously sad and hilarious news, one of the members graduated after just one week.
Idol News Update #2
After a 7 million year hiatus Nene is back!
Nene Sakuragi rejoined Houkago Princess on 9.17. She left the group earlier this year to focus on school, but she didn’t technically graduate, allowing for a potential return. This is relevant because she’s hot and probably the second most popular member. <Is hotness and popularity the only thing you care about? You disgust me!> No, an idol’s political ideology is also important!
Nene is in the middle row on the far right (above) and fifth from the left (below). Interestingly they let her participate in the promotional material for their latest single despite her not appearing in the video or performing at their 3rd anniversary concert last month. Looking at the above photo, the group would be a lot stronger as six members and dropping the trainees. But Houkago Princess has had more member turnover than any group I have ever followed (not counting AKB).
Sutorigu 3’s opening ceremony was on 10.11, so now I have an excuse for updating my Street-sei ranking.
Team champion Nagoya (runner up Sendai)
Concerts are streamed on showroom (or you can do what I do and subscribe to https://www.youtube.com/user/kchipmunk and https://www.youtube.com/user/nagelibre12 since these channels record the shows)
Fans can vote at the following website: https://map.pigoo.jp/ (please vote for Hazuiki)
Unfortunately, Sutorigu 3 is pretty much pointless since any potential iDOL Street group that will emerge from this Street-sei class is doomed.
But even though the 4th group is doomed, everyone knows I’m still a huge Doll☆Elements fan.