Playing Catch Up with Cheeky Parade – “Cheeky Dreamer”

Who the hell is Cheeky Parade, and why am I devoting so much time to them? As of writing, I still do not possess a great understanding of the group. When I originally began looking into the Cheekiness, they were promoting their terrific “Together” mini album. An upcoming performance in New York City put the group in select the company of the few idol acts to break out of Japan. “Together” made such a grea impression on me that I included it in my “ 2014 Single of the Year” story. So, this is the genesis of this set of articles. I need to learn more about this group, and I’m taking you with me.

Before we start, I need to tell you that I’m no expert on anything here. I will get something wrong, and when I err it’s your responsibility to correct me.

Firstly, the group took shape in 2012. The popular mythology of the group, or at least my favorite mythology, is that rejects from the Super Girls auditions comprise the group we know as Cheeky Parade. This theory seems somewhat plausible given the two-year gap between SG and CP debuts. Giving the theory more legs, Suzuki Mariya can be (allegedly) seen in the 2010 Super Girls audition footage. The footage I’ve seen of Cheeky Parade witnessing Super Girls events shows a mixture of admiration and envy that supports this theory. Whether or not they are actually “rejects” is anyone’s guess. If this proves factual, then we can consider Cheeky Parade to be the “C-ute” to Super Girls’ “Berryz Kobo”.

Let us consider Cheeky Parade’s first indie release “Cheeky Dreamer” to begin things. The group released this initial foray in early 2012 when the girls aged between 12 and 17 with an average age of 14.5. That’s young! As an indie release, I do not believe Cheek Parade released a promotional video attached to the song. Cheeky Parade brings a high-energy performance to the song, which proves to be a point of distinction for the group. The song provides a great introduction to the group, and after watching one performance, you really understand what Cheeky Parade is all about.

Cheeky Parade choreographs the song in ways that we do not see very often. An urban toughness informs a lot of the dance, although I wouldn’t say urban dance characterizes all of their choreography. The girls jump and kick much more than normal for an idol group. Unique body positions and postures with a penchant for small group maneuvers fill out their dance repertoire. Sometimes silly, sometimes irrelevant: cheeky. OK, I suppose we know where their name points.

Tumbling runs? What is this?!

More than anyone, “Cheeky Dreamer” belongs to Yamamoto Marin. Visually, the girl is cute as a button. The pink tones of her single outfit highlight her prettiness. As the main voice in the song, Marinko sings with a pure, consistent voice. After listening to a dozen live performances of the song, I have yet to hear the girl falter in her solos. A reliable singer, I look forward to seeing her growth.

The song contains many of the qualities that I found so appealing with “Together”. The chorus cheers leave room for the audience to participate. See, they cheer for us at the same time we cheer for them- the symbiotic idol/wota relationship. The melodies build upward and give the impression of reaching to a goal. A common goal. When I watch the Cheeky Parade, I get a feeling of teamwork that surpasses most idols on my radar. And, remember that Berryz/C-ute allusion I made earlier? As the “little sister” group and as the group of “also-rans”, Cheeky Parade puts a chip on its shoulder in a way that reminds me so much of C-ute. And, we all know how that turned out, right?

I strongly recommend you watch this performance of “Cheeky Dreamer”

Profile pictures for educational purposes

Watanabe Asami ( 渡辺亜紗美)

Sekine Yuna (関根優那)

Shimazaki Rino (島崎莉乃)

Suzuki Yuriya (鈴木友梨耶)

Mizorogi Seran (溝呂木世蘭)

Miyamoto Marin (山本真凜)

Nagai Hina (永井日菜)

Kodakari Momoka (小鷹狩百花)

Suzuiki Mariya (鈴木真梨耶)

You can buyGood luck finding Cheeky Dreamer!
You CAN buy Cheeky Parade’s “Cheeky Parade I” at CD Japan.

Image sources 1 2 3 4

5 responses

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  2. I’m glad you’re checking out Cheeky Parade. They started off well, but their constant improvement (as well as the unusual talent of some of the members) has made me a huge fan of them. There’s something oddly addictive about their live performances.

    Regarding their history, all of them made it to the third round of the Super Girls audition, except for Kodakari Momoka (I’m not sure if she auditioned at all or not). Sekine Yuna and Suzuki Yuriya were finalists. Yuna wasn’t seen that much, but Yuriya was featured more. Ruka (now the “singer” of Super Girls) and Yuriya considered each other rivals at the time.

    A year after Super Girls was formed, 15 girls were revealed as iDOL Street Street-sei (which are like H!P KSS). This included all the current members of Cheeky Parade (except for Kodakari Momoka, who joined a few months later).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Firstly, thank YOU for your comment 🙂

      Just as important, thanks for the info! I really needed the confirmation about CP at the SG auditions (it validates my comparisons just a little bit). The dearth of information on the group is appalling. Hopefully, I’m doing something to correct that.

      You’re right, I find their performance very addictive. I can’t wait to continue this series or articles, but I should probably write about “M.O.N.St@r” sooner rather than later.


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  4. Pingback: Cheeky Parade “Bunbun Nine9′” | the number 244

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