iDOL Street Carnival 2016 ~RE:Я|LOAD~

I marked June 25 on my calender months ago for some very good reasons. That was the date of iDOL Street’s “iDOL Street Carnival 2016 6th Anniversary ~RE:Я|LOAD~”, which would be a day of tremendous change for the AVEX backed idol conglomerate. Five girls would be leaving on this day, and fans were promised a shuffle of the iDOL Street units. Nobody knew what this meant: maybe new girls, or maybe girls switched from group to group, or maybe both would happen.

Five different girls left iDOL Street as I watched the events late at night (or early in the morning) this past Saturday on the NicoNico Live stream. In particular, my much loved Suzuki Mariya from Cheeky Parade took her hiatus for further study in Los Angeles along with group mate Yamamoto Marin and GEM’s Takeda Maaya. SUPER☆GiRLS’s Arai Reira and Katsuta Rino left the idol life for good on this morning.

The night began with performances from all of iDOL Street groups. For this first part of the Street Carnival, the groups performed with the lineups to which I learned and grown accustomed. The iDOL Street Students, The World Standard, GEM, Cheeky Parade, and SUPER☆GiRLS took the stage in turn. The final three groups (GEM, ChikiPa, and SG) delivered particularly emotional performances: these few songs were their last performances with their current lineups.

The World Standard

GEM


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Suzuki Mariya in TokyoIdol.net


Through tweets and downright confession, I reveal my favorite Cheeky Parade member as Suzuki Mariya. Imagine how delighted I was to discover a Mariya photo feature in Tokyo Idol http://www.tokyoidol.net/?p=12988 . This is probably one of the largest sets of photos I’ve seen for an idol at an online resource, so be warned. There’s a lot of Mariya here! Hopefully her youthful spirit come through in this set.

(In a related note: why do my favorites always get styled with a hat?)
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Cheeky Parade “Chekera” [PV]


I admit it (again). I’ve left my series on Cheeky Parade promotional videos hang without any progress for too long now. Well, I’m sure you know I’m not exactly getting paid for my thoughts here- so plans change, things stay fluid, and ideas may occasionally get abandoned. Well, I’m not abandoning this series!

Cheeky Parade have recently been rocked by the announcement of two hiatus members. Both Yamamoto Marin and Suzuki Mariya will take a two-year absence from the group to study abroad and hone their craft. I’m skeptical about their plans to return, but I can only take their word at face value at this point.


Back in 2013, things were looking up for Cheeky Parade Continue reading

Cheeky Parade – “Mugendai Shoujo ∀”

This is a second reminder: you can see Cheeky Parade live in the LA Area this weekend October 16-18. Details here, tickets here. This is the (not so) hidden agenda for all of these Cheeky Parade articles in the past few weeks. Real talk: we’re not going to get many idol events outside of Japan, let alone the Los Angeles area. $15 for an idol event is worth a look if you know nothing about Cheeky Parade or are even lukewarm on Cheeky Parade. I hope I see you there.


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Cheeky Parade – “C.P.U!?” [PV]

I think I should start out with a reminder: you can see Cheeky Parade live in the LA Area this weekend October 16-18. Details here, tickets here. Real talk: we’re not going to get many idol events outside of Japan, let alone the Los Angeles area. $15 for an idol event is worth a look if you know nothing about Cheeky Parade or are even lukewarm on Cheeky Parade. I hope I see you there.

Let’s take a good look at the second release from Cheeky Parade, “C.P.U!?”. Oldsters like me recognize CPU as “Central Processing Unit”, but in the case of the Cheeky, they mean “Cheeky Parade Understand!?”. The hyperactive song fills itself with guitars, big beats, and retro-gaming sounds. The girls chip in with vocals that flit from member to member in a way reminiscent of Momoiro Clover. In fact, the wackiness of the whole thing once gave the (incorrect) impression of Cheeky Parade as a bit of a MomoClo knock-off brand.

Running, jumping
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Cheeky Parade “CPGB – Cheeky Parade Gallery Bomb”


Sharing with you : photos of Cheeky Parades visual book “CPGB – Cheeky Parade Gallery Bomb” which documents their trip to New York in 2014. These aren’t professional scans. Me + Cheeky Parade + iPhone = preview post. I don’t know how much you’ll mind- I don’t see any scans of this book anywhere.

Hopefully these photos will entice you to attend Cheeky Parade’s visit to Los Angeles on October 16-18. I see three dates: October 16 at UTB Hall in Hollywood, and October 17-18 at Japan Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. More information.


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Cheeky Parade “Bunbun Nine9′”

Are you ready, OK?

As the second part in my “catching up” series, we get Cheeky Parade’s debut from 2013, “Bunbun Nine9′”. As a major debut, the song did well on the weekly charts, placing fourth with roughly 22K sold. Distinctive for many reasons, the song remains a staple of the girls’ setlist. This marks the first song I heard from the group- right around the release date. I remember being struck the strangeness of the choreography and the young fresh look of the girls. So, of course, it took me 3 years to write about the song. My bad.


The song sets the tone for the group’s musical output early. In the first 30 seconds, “BUNBUN NINE9′” goes from a bratty cheer to a synth led melody accented with hyperactive drums and electric guitars. The only thing missing from the Cheeky Parade instrumental palette is the 8-bit sounds that persists in their later output. I don’t want to mislead; I know when I hear about guitars I immediately think about a rock arrangement. “BUNBUN NINE9′” is an upbeat idol dance track all the way through. The bass pounds a bit heavier in the song than you’ll find in future Cheeky Parade releases- which may irk new listeners to the group. The sound rings unique to my ears, and provides an off-beat backdrop for this offbeat group.

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