Long before it was cool for western artists to collaborate with Japanese idol singers – pre Momoiro Clover Z vs. KISS, or hypo-guitar shredders Sam Totman and Herman Li of Dragon Force uniting with BABYMETAL – there was one all-girl troupe already leading the way; Idoling!!!
The idol unit, with three exclamation marks planted at the end of their name, teamed up with French electro / house producer Martin Solveig and Canadian synthpop trio Dagonette on their hit 2011 single Big In Japan, which managed to get in the charts in Belgium and Canada, as well as reach 21 in the UK Dance Chart.
Ironically, Big In Japan didn’t live up to its name in Japan, where it failed to get an official release. Instead, Idoling!!! released their own single around the same time entitled Don’t Think. Feel !!!, and that really was big in Japan. So big that it reached number three in their charts and featured as the eighth ending theme to fantasy-comedy anime series Fairy Tail.
Even without the tie-in with anime, Idoling!!! had had a strong presence on television. After all, the group were created by a bunch of media moguls from Fuji TV. They figured out that by appealing to two of Japan’s more dedicated entertainment fangroups, idol fans and TV junkies, that they could be on to a winner.
In 2006 Fuji TV held the first auditions for the group. They were looking for nine girls who could not only sing and dance, but could also be up for TV-based challenges through a planned variety-style TV series around the girls.
Since their creation, the member-count of Idoling!!! has more than doubled and although a total of 35 ladies have been part of the group so far, the current line-up stands at 21 members – two of which were part of the very first generation of Idoling!!!, from those 2006 auditions.
To date, Idoling!!! have had over a thousand episodes of their series aired and sold more than 500,000 singles. Some if its former members have also elevated the idol world and moved on to star in films and plenty of glamour magazines.
Phongchi, one of the group’s original line-up, and part of its sub-group Pocchari Dohmei (‘Axis of Chubby’… yes, really, it consisted of Idoling!!!’s three heaviest members), left to pursue a career as a talent. She graduated from the group at the same time as her ‘Chubby’ buddy Erika Yazawa, who is now a comedienne.
One of the biggest names post-Idoling!!! is Morita Suzuki from the group’s second generation. As well as continuing her career as a gravure model, she has also been a regular in the Super Sentai tokusatsu series, as well as Kamen Rider and other over the top super hero shows.
As far as anime’s concerned though, the group also has a track in Katekyo Hitman Reborn, but Fairy Tail is the only series so far released here to feature their music – make sure to check it out in part 9!
Fairy Tail Part 9 (episodes 97-108) is out on UK DVD courtesy of Manga Entertainment from 23 February 2014.
The most powerful wizards in Fairy Tail travel to a remote island rich in magic - and history. There, they compete against one another to see who among them deserves to be given the title of S-Class. But where these wizards go, chaos is sure to follow. Their trials are interrupted when the most powerful of the dark guilds - Grimoire Heart - shows up in search of a legendary wielder of black magic. Once they find him, they'll use his skills to bring death to every corner of the world. As magic forces converge on the island, one of Fairy Tail's former masters makes an unexpected appearance. If the guild is going to stop Grimoire Heart's devious plans, they'll first have to face their own past. Contains episodes 97-108. Special Features: Select Episode Commentaries, Textless Opening & Closing Videos, U.S. Trailer, Trailers. Spoken Languages: English, Japanese, English subtitles.
Matt Kamen is your guide to the world of Fairy Tail!
Welcome to Earthland, where magic runs rampant and professional wizards sell their talents to the highest bidder! Populated by all kinds of mystical creatures, it’s a place of wonder but also one filled with peril.
Mystic action abounds in the second thrilling collection of Fairy Tail, as flame-spewing Natsu, ice-mage Gray, summoner Lucy and the rest of the gang take on sorcerous threats across the world of Earthland. The series is based on the long running manga by Hiro Mashima, and as the anime closes in on its 150th episode in Japan, it’s clearly shaping up to be the next Naruto or Bleach, delivering ongoing adventure to a devoted audience. Unlike a certain orange ninja or black-garbed grim reaper though, Fairy Tail’s roots do not lie in the pages of the famous Weekly Shonen Jump anthology.
It’s been said that two’s company, three’s a crowd. But for Japanese electro-pop duo AIRI and Koshiro, two is more than enough to party – to MAGIC PARTY! At least if the cutesy name of the pair’s musical project is to be believed.
Unlike a number of the bands featured on the Manga UK blog, W-inds haven’t had much of a history with anime tie-ins despite their massive success. In fact, in 14 years they’ve only ever done two anime themes; their first in Akira Amano’s Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, and more recently with Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail, where their 29th single Be as One became its sixth ending.
Following its remarkable success in UK cinemas last Autumn, Manga Entertainment is thrilled to announce that the home video release of Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' debuted last week in the Official UK Home Video Chart Top 20.
Andrew Osmond rolls up for the fun of the anime fair…
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An important change to the Psycho-Pass DVD/Blu-ray release
For all of you looking forward to the release of Psycho-Pass we have some news for you. Today we can confirm that due to high demand we will be combining the upcoming Part 1 and Part 2 releases of Psycho-Pass into one Complete Series Collection!
Andrew Osmond on an anime classic, available at last in the UK
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Amber Lawrence on the top ten ways to perfect cosplay without ending up on a snark site.
The most important thing anyone needs to know about cosplay is that it’s all about putting on a silly costume for a day, hanging out with your fellow geeks and revelling in geekish joy. But if you combine the increasing numbers of people getting into cosplay and the speedy and anonymous nature of the internet, you end up with a lot of websites out there dedicated to showcasing “Cosplay Fail”. So, if you want to have some costumed fun for the weekend but are worried about faceless internet critics nitpicking at your efforts afterwards, here are our survival tips…