Reporting Live: Yufu Terushima Brings a Nonchalant Vibe to Nagoya with “Watashi ga Chiru”

Whenever I hear the name “BiS”, I think of these words and phrases: punk, rock, rebellious, and in-your-face. So when I stumbled across an announcement about an in-store event with former BiS member Yufu Terashima, I wondered if it would be a thirty-minute concert of punk rock music. But the realization was the exact opposite when the singer sang the opening lines to her first song.

Terashima — who prefers fans to call her “Yuffy” due to the complexity of her first name — always dreamed of being an idol. The singer yearned after Morning Musume. when growing up, and she was a “live idol” — an idol who performs at primarily live events —when she went to Waseda University. Yet, she wanted more: she wanted to be a full-time idol.

Yuffy’s dream came true when she joined the pop-rock idol group BiS in 2011. But, it was short-lived as the group disbanded two years later. This lead the way for the idol to start a solo career. She made her indies debut in 2014 with the single “#Yuufuraito”, then making her major debut with EMI Records a year later.

Japanese idols in today’s world seem to have either a concept or a color scheme going on; Morning Musume has a rainbow scheme, AKB48 has the whole “Idols You Can Meet” idea, and Yuffy has “Yurudol” — a blend of “Yuruchara” and “Idol”. Mascot characters from various cities, prefectures, and companies meet idols. Now, that is an interesting idea. Too bad I didn’t notice it when she came to Nagoya last week.

Instead, what I saw was a concept of a beautiful fairy-like princess decorated in pure white and baby blue, flowers adorning all over her. I felt guilty when I glanced at her while she was heading towards the stage. I was an older woman with stubborn acne sprinkled across my bare “no make-up” face, looking like I traveled to hell and back, wearing nothing too fancy while Yuffy was flawless. I felt guilty being underdressed and looking like a banshee. Oh well.

Yuffy started at 2 pm sharp, performing a set of songs featured on her latest album Kimi ga Chiru ”You Will Fall”. Her first song had technical difficulties as the sound technician kept playing the wrong song three times in a row. They fixed it soon after, letting her settle into the ambiance mood of the atmosphere and perform her mini-concert without further hitches.

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Listening to the songs featured on Kimi ga Chiru makes me feel ambivalent and nostalgic. The songs are something akin to late Showa/early Heisei idol music — which would be from 1985 to 1993 for those who are not familiar with the Japanese calendar. The chorus and the melody that introduces the song inflicts a nostalgic feeling. Also, Yuffy’s bright vocals and the nonchalant instrumentation brings a peaceful spirit to each track. It is refreshing in today’s musical scene to hear something like Kimi ga Chiru as EDM suffocates today’s music scene: heavy synthesized music that seems too generic.

Although my pre-live expectations of Yuffy being a punk rock idol were shot down while listening to her live, I did become a fan afterward. The songs on her latest album are serene, amusing, and likable. Not to mention that she is cute, a trait that I sometimes yearn for. I can’t wait for her next release to see what kind of music she will perform next. Will she keep that cute style? Or go another way? Only time will time.

You can listen to the title track from her newest album below:

Reporting Live: J☆Dee’Z’s “Daisuki” Single Promo Event at Tower Records Sakae (May 22, 2015)

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J☆Dee’Z has become the newest addition to the list of Japanese groups that I like. When I first watched their new single’s music video, I really like them because they are enjoying performing a lot in everything they do and it shows. Also, they are pretty talented too!

Formed in 2010 when the company DANCE STYLE KIDS were looking for a new dance team for their public relations, J☆Dee’Z first started with five Generation Z-ers; Meik, MOMOKA, Nono, AO, and Moe. The group’s concept was simple; be sexy and wild while being backup dancers for popular artists like BoA and Mai Kuraki.

The group experienced a little setback a year later when Moe decided to leave the group when she successfully passed the audition to be a trainee for AKB48. AO would also leave the group in 2012 when she became a backup dancer for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu while making a major debut with the group TEMPURA KIDZ. But, that didn’t stop J☆Dee’Z as their manager decided to add a member from the dance school Dance Studio TRAX, ami, before AO’s departure.

The girls became regular guests on the Sunday morning show “Pokemon Get☆TV”. They released a collaboration single with the show, titled “Pokemon de Odorou”, on July 23, 2014. The title song was used as the first and second endings for the show “Pokemon XY”. They made their debut two months later with the single “Beasty Girls/Let the music flow”.

To promote their second single “Daisuki”, the group decided to do various promotional events around Japan. One of their stops was at Tower Records in Sakae, Nagoya. How I found out about this information was on the store’s website. I was randomly browsing on the site one day and noticed that they were making an appearance on May 22. I asked myself “Who are these girls?” as I searched Youtube for their music after spotting their names on Tower Record’s website. Once I found the music video for “Daisuki”, I decided that I wanted to go the event and support these girls.

However, getting to the event was a bit tricky. I arrived in Sakae early enough to have time to chill at the local Starbucks while charging my phone. Once it reached fifteen minutes before show time, I began to head to the event location, entrusting that Google Maps would take me to the right direction.

However, it didn’t.

Welllll, it led me to the place in a roundabout way that caused me to get lost and waste twenty minutes trying to find the location. If I only followed the maps at the subway station… Also, I didn’t read the event page correctly and decided to go the store on the eighth floor first than the actual location (the event space on the first floor). I barely made it to the event, arriving when they sang their last song. 😦

I don’t really know the set list because I arrived late and no one has even posted it anywhere. The only song that I was able to see them perform was their new song. After that, the girls went off to the “green room” to take a break while the staff got the stage area ready for the second part of the event. I decided to buy a single so I could take a picture with the girls.

After buying a single, I jumped into the line. It wasn’t really long, which make waiting less frustrating because I didn’t have to wait for a long. The girls came out soon after and said a few words to start the event.

The photo above is the result of the said event. After handing my phone to the staff, I quickly jumped in the center. I said a couple of words like “Oh, you guys are so cool and cute”, “I found you guys out on the website”, and “I really enjoyed the live”. The girls said thanks and we chatted a bit. The girls even wished me a Happy Birthday because I said I was all dolled-up because it was my birthday the day after. I swear ami couldn’t stop looking at me because she kept on smiling and saying how pretty I was. But, in truth, her makeup and everything about her style made her prettier than me.

J☆Dee’Z is still a new group that is slowly getting some attention. The girls are really cute, they seem like they are having fun, talented at dancing, and don’t have really bad singing voices. I feel like this group is the Tiny Tim (from “The Christmas Carol”) of dance/singing/idol groups in Japan. Their fanbase is small and they are so young. However, they are full of determination and spirit that might make them brighter stars in the future.

Check out their music video for “Daisuki” here:

Did you know “Daisuki” is a cover of the same-titled song by Okamura Yasuiyuki. Released in 1988, the song\s PV has Okamura obsessing over girls, a woman who has a chocolate bar, and big blueberry.