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Is the world ready for the next iDOL Street group?

29 Mar

Last night during the Street-sei finale concert, the next iDOL Street group was unveiled. The group’s name is The World Standard (abbreviated as わ→すた or “Wa Suta”) and they will join SUPER☆GiRLS, Cheeky Parade, and GEM as the fourth group on the iDOL Street label. TWS consists of five Street-sei members: Hazuki Sakamoto (16), Miri Matsuda (15), Nanase Hirokawa (15), Ruka Mishina (14), and Ririka Kodama (14).

The above images were included in iDOL Street producer Higuchi-P’s blog and the color-coding matches their Street-sei team. They slightly messed up Haachin’s photo though, because her color should be the same as Miri, and unlike every other member, her age wasn’t shown. Unless those are also their TWS colors, in which case they assigned Haachin a non-penlight color. Unforgivable! I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that they weren’t attempting to hide her age though, something they did with Saori in SUPER☆GiRLS, because it would be unreal if they considered 16 “old.”

Practically nothing was explained during the reveal (their producer wasn’t even present), but considering each iDOL Street group has a distinct style and image, their concept should become more clear after their debut performance at the iDOL Street Carnival on April 29.

My Thoughts
My initial reaction was total disappointment–pretty much the exact opposite of how I felt when GEM was announced. I disagree with Higuchi and his increasingly lame idol preferences, which seem to be based primarily on age, rather than talent. If you are going to be superficial at least base it on looks or cup size! Although iDOL Street makes it completely obvious which girls are being pushed, the inclusion of Miri is shocking. Choosing Miri is like playing an RPG and choosing an extreme niche character like a bard or geomancer. I don’t even know what a geomancer is, which is exactly the point. It’s like a prisoner who is about to be executed choosing a jar of mayonnaise and one of those disgusting giant pickles from Disneyland as their last meal. And don’t even get me started on Nanase and Ririka. *grumble grumble*

TWS resembles the iDOL Street spinoff Hanarichu a lot more than SUPER☆GiRLS, Cheeky Parade, and GEM. It’s going to be difficult for them to compete with their sister groups, let alone the hundreds of other established groups, like AKBN0 and Chubbiness. When Chubbiness was asked about their newest rivals The World Standard, they replied, “The World Strawberries?” When corrected, they were like, “The World Sausage?” and proceeded to lick their lips and salivate uncontrollably. 

Even though The World Soup hasn’t debuted yet, I don’t think it’s too early to judge them, because the members have been performing in Street-sei for years, and to the fans who have been paying attention, their strengths and weaknesses are obvious. The lineup lacks a definitive ace and there are two members who can’t sing. For a major label group with only five members, those are significant handicaps. I doubt idol fans in general will care too much about them, but I am curious how the i-Street fandom reacts. GEM was designed around multiple aces from a stacked talent pool, and despite their skill, it took more than a year for them to catch on. Although there are a lot of great five member groups like Doll☆Elements, 9nine, TOKYO GIRLS STYLE, Dorothy Little Happy, and HimeKyun, those groups either have a complete lineup of comparable talent (Doll☆Elements, 9nine, and TGS) or feature a true ace who can compensate for the more specialized roles of the other members (DLH and HimeKyun).

It takes a special idol name to ANGERME
The World Standard is a horrible name that makes no sense and the Japanese abbreviation of “Wa→Suta” is ever weirder. “Suta” is more commonly associated with “star,” and if anything, World Star would have been a better name, because then at least the gimmicky “わ→すた” (“me”→star) abbreviation would have made sense. This is going to be like Girls Entertainment Mixture all over again, when the GEMbers didn’t know what “Girls Entertainment Mixture” meant or how to spell it.

Or maaaybe, the name is so lame that it’s actually cool, like when a movie is so bad it becomes a classic. Like The Garbage Pail Kids Movie and Citizen Kane.

One thing I like about the group is the similar ages of all the members, since it makes the group more cohesive. This is one of the basic premises for why kids progress through school with peers of the same age, despite having completely different abilities. The previous iDOL Street groups have significant age differences, and even though they get along, the generation gaps are obvious. It becomes really visible in the 48 groups, but it exists in smaller groups as well. At the very least, they won’t be able to call the leader “obaachan” or make a big deal about whoever happens to be the youngest. 

So let’s all give The World Standard a chance! 

Because if they suck, at least GEM is still cool.

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In 24 hours the Fourth Group’s lineup is going to be unveiled. Everyone, buckle up and put on your safety helmet. [But I don’t have a safety helmet!] Do you have a giant ramen bowl and string? [No, but I have a porridge bowl and rope.] How big is the porridge bowl? [About yea big] Oh, that big? Yeah, you should be fine.

27 Mar


You know you’re a huge iDOL Street fan when you’ve been writing about the non-existent “fourth group” since December 2013, and acting like it was a completely normal topic. Fourth Group is like the idol equivalent of the Fountain of Youth. Everyone is obsessed with it, but no one knows anything about it. [Which would make you the internet version of Ponce de Leon.] Ooh, I like that! Well, except for Ponce de Leon brutally murdering thousands of people and stealing their land and treasure. [I bet he stole their llamas also.] Oh, he most definitely stole their llamas. That was their treasure.

According to a helpful iDOL Street fan in Japan, Higuchi P (i-Street’s producer) will be announcing the fourth group’s lineup this Sunday during Street-sei’s final concert, which will be live streamed on niconico. Originally, the plan was to reveal the lineup next month at the iDOL Street Carnival on April 29, but with Street-sei officially ending this week, it probably made more sense to unveil the lineup immediately and allow the members who weren’t selected to mass-graduate with dignity and pride… and bitterness. In which case, it could be the most traumatic concert ever for iDOL Street fans. Since half of my favorite members are complete wildcards, this could get brutal. One of my favorites, Riko, already graduated last week, and she was the best vocalist in Street-sei. If you are going to watch, this is my advice: Prepare for the unexpected and assume that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. [Cool, those cliches were very helpful.] And don’t forget to buckle up, because it’s going to be a hell of a ride. [You really like buckles, don’t you?] Not as much as I like helmets.

I’ve mentioned my favorite Steet-sei members before, but since these rankings are continually changing based on integral factors like kawaiiness, genkiness, cup size, talent, three sizes, and “overall” kawaiiness, I’m going to allow one final ranking to last all of eternity… or until I get bored of idols and I delete this blog.

My picks for the Fourth Group


If the above six girls are in the next group, I promise to stop complaining about pointless stuff like “Idol skirts aren’t short enough!” and “Did my oshimen recently gain a pound?” Everyone is sick of it!

SUPER GiRL Talk: Vol. 7

3 Mar

This week two things occurred in iDOL Street that were interesting enough for fans to start making crazy predictions and engage in completely unsubstantiated speculation and rumor mongering. [Umm, I’m pretty sure it’s just you making crazy predictions and causing trouble. Everyone else on the internet is completely normal. And I don’t know what rumor mongering means, but it sounds weird.] I don’t know what it means either, but I thought it would make me sound smart. [You thought using the word “mongering” would make you sound smart?]

Anyway, as I was saying, this week two things occurred in iDOL Street that were interesting enough for fans to start making crazy predictions and engage in completely unsubstantiated speculation and rumor mongering. First was the dismissal of Ayaka Kawai, a member of Street-sei‘s Nagoya team. This literally, figuratively, and literally came out of nowhere and is shocking because she was a front-runner for the fourth iDOL Street group. I had to punch someone in the face to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. The second was a teaser video that aired at Gocchan’s graduation concert two days ago, which according to a fan who attended, seemed to imply that a new member will be joining SUPER☆GiRLS.

The current Street-sei front-runners
I previously ranked the ten members who I think are considered by the producers to be the most likely candidates (Reminder: these aren’t the members I necessarily like; they’re just the girls I think are on the fast track to make the group). [In other words, you don’t like some of them!] I removed #9 and 10 though, because I forgot why I included them. Hey, no one’s perfect. [Speaking of rankings, didn’t you previously lock Misa-misa for PASSPO?] You’re bringing that up again? Don’t forget that immediately after Koume graduated from Party Rockets I predicted that she would join SUPER☆GiRLS.* [No you didn’t! You predicted that she would join DLH or Street-sei and only later predicted she would join SUPER☆GiRLS.] My prediction was still accurate though and several months in advance. [You also predicted that Mano Erina would “reverse graduate.” That’s not even a real thing.] It is a real thing! It just hasn’t happened yet. Anyway, I also predicted Sara would join GEM, two months before she was even added as a candidate member. [Ok, you win! That was GEMazing!!!]

The current Street-sei front-runners

If my rankings are accurate, Ayaka was in a good position to make the group, or at least make the “starting lineup,” assuming they repeated what they did with GEM. (Before GEM officially debuted, they had 13 “starting” members competing for a spot. A few months later, three more Street-sei members joined the unofficial lineup, before the final lineup was chosen).

You may be thinking, “This is boring! Where are the CraAAaZYY predictions and rumor whatever-you-called-it?” Well, this is where it get’s interesting, because even though Ayaka Kawai was probably a front-runner for the group she is *wait for it* totally mediocre! She can’t sing, and is average in practically every idol category: looks, personality, and talent. I’m going to play devil’s advocate and argue that her being terminated is actually a GOOD THING for the fourth group! Why? Because a slot just opened up for someone that isn’t her!

The reason Ayaka was a front runner in the first place was because she was (1) popular with fans and (2) the second-longest tenured member of Street-sei [technically tied with Saku, who is the only other remaining 3rd gen member. Haachin (Hazuki) is 2nd gen and has been in the group the longest]. Popularity and tenure aren’t exactly logical reasons for anyone to be included in anything, but they were the type of reasons that could force the hand of the producers. Which meant there was already going to be at least one average member in the lineup. I have no idea why she was let go, but it certainly provided them a convenient way to resolve the dilemma of including her in the group. 

Most importantly, every single talented, yet unpopular Street-sei member instantly increased their odds at making the group. This includes members like Riko, Narumi, and Fuka. [AKA members you like!] Yeah, I like talented members. [Oh. Yeah, so do I. *grumble grumble*]

Baseless speculation on the new SUPER☆GiRLS member
Even though I haven’t watched the teaser video which evidently hints at a new member, I’m going to allow myself to speculate on Gocchan’s replacement. I mean, what else is there to write about? [The Chubbiness articles you were supposed to finish last month?] These are my candidates, which I admit are extremely unlikely, but what else is there to write about? [That research paper that’s due on March 9 that you haven’t started yet?] Oh yeah. I’ll start that once I finish the Chubbiness articles.
1. Saori
Two words: reverse-graduation!

2. Rihona
Two words: reverse-graduation! There have been a lot of graduations so far this year, but I’d rather remember this year as the year of the “reverse-graduation.” The potential for her to reverse-graduate is much higher than Saori’s, but obviously Saori would be a better fit for the group. [Umm, that was 49 words.]

3. Haachin
I’m going to include her in every prediction until she joins a group.

If any of them joined, my interest in SUPER☆GiRLS would be completely resuscitated. Is there some sort of idol god that I need to sacrifice a goat to in order to make this happen?