Hey, Senpai!

Momoiro Clover and Tokyo Girls’ Style Make Their Major Debuts

Posted on: May 8, 2010

Spring is a time of beginnings in Japan. The new school year begins and graduates head off to pursue their new careers during this time of renewal – but this year, spring also heralds the major debuts of three young idol groups. Two of those groups debuted this week, and here’s how they’re looking so far:

Momoiro Clover

If you’ve ever had “Ai~n Dance no Uta” stuck in your head, the beat of “Ikuze! Kaito Shojo” will resurrect familiar feelings. From the often-silly choreography to a male-backed rap section, this single will remind longtime fans of the wackier days of Hello! Project. Check it out:

My favorite portion is the bridge of the video. Are those luchadors or Kamen Rider Shocktroopers? Is there even a difference?

As I begin to talk about the reception of this single, I feel it necessary to point out that Momoclo isn’t really “new”, so to speak. They have graced the pages of UTB since 2008. They’ve been releasing indies singles for the past year, a strategy Hello! Project fans are all too familiar with, and much like S/mileage, they have already charted on Oricon. Finally, they spent the month of April making a staggering number of appearances in Akihabara and Shinjuku.

That said, the group’s initial sales figures reflect Stardust’s two year long efforts to build their fanbase. While the single officially streeted on 5/5, they entered the Oricon charts as a daily #1 on the 3rd with 15,556 copies sold. Daily ranks since then have been as follows:

5/4 – 14
5/5 – 12
5/6 – 8
5/7 – 17

I expect to see them continue to chart well at least through their tour final on the 9th. Their sales put them in the neighborhood of no3b and C-ute’s recent releases, a feat that’s pretty impressive for a new group – but then again, like we said, they aren’t new.

Tokyo Girls’ Style

This group out of Avex is unmistakably new. Their formation was announced back in January and they’ve been making several appearances since February – though far fewer than Momoclo – including one notable appearance on the AAA tour. They’re younger, and their inexperience shows, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the road to their debut and the bumps along the way, including the pain of leaving behind classmates and the anxiety of navigating a huge, unfamiliar city, are featured in the PV for their debut single, Kirari☆:

I’ll say this for TGS: There are some darned impressive singers in that group. The song itself is a little more laid back than the other two groups’ releases and with its theme of “new beginnings” fits wonderfully with the season.

Without a large, established army of wota, TGS is struggling a bit more with their numbers. They hit the charts on the 4th at #21 and proceeded to hit #14 and #25 on the 5th and 6th respectively. They dropped below the top 30 for the 7th but the weekend may herald an uptick in sales. TGS’s second single streets on the 19th, and it’s possible that the dual release strategy will help keep this single on people’s minds a little longer.

We’ll be keeping an eye on both groups throughout the month as S/mileage, the new group from Hello! Project, prepares for their major debut on the 26th.

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1 Response to "Momoiro Clover and Tokyo Girls’ Style Make Their Major Debuts"

[…] Momoiro Clover and Tokyo Girls’ Style Make Their Major Debuts (Hey, Senpai!) […]

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