2013 Top Idol List: 10-1

So, the second half of my delightful, glorious list that stands as a monolith raised to honour the idols, false goddess if you pay attention to such things but walking beams of radiance if you don't, that have impressed me (and hopefully, the rest of you) in the previous year.

Some of you of keener eye and sharper intellect may have noted the apparent dearth of H!P girls in the first half and wondered if I'd kept them all for this half. Well, wait and see. You might also have noticed the abundance of NMB girls and wondered if I'd exhausted the supply of them. Again, wait and see.

Others will wonder that with so many newcomers in the ranks already whether the second half will be a little more familiar to you. Time will tell.

To recap, 20-11 were laid out thus:

20. Shiroma Miru
19. Yogi Keira
18. Kodama Haruka
17. Kudou Haruka
16. Hirota Aika
15. Miyawaki Sakura
14. Ikoma Rina
13. Kashiwa Yukina
12. Ichikawa Miori
11. Momota Kanako

Another quick look at the rules:

1. I define idols as current members of a current group who currently release idol music, or solo singers who do the same and are generally defined as idols.
2. If a former member of an idol group redebuts under a different name or as a solo singer, or both, and is still primarily known as an idol, they qualify.
3. However, members of retrospective groups that merely take the limelight away from current members do not.

And onwards to the bit you've been waiting for...

10. Suzuki Airi

Once again, her voice has improved to the extent that she's now basically the only person Tsunku trusts to do harmonies in H!P. And how! She impressed me a lot in Paris, with both her vocals, cuteness and dat belly. But I digress. She did a good job acting in just about everything that's come her way, which is good. Piece is boring but at least Airi makes it somewhat watchable. Shame I can't say the same about Suugaku Joshi Gakuen. Don't think even Epic Grin (Ayase Haruka) herself could have made that not be shit. Another plus point for Airi in the last year is holy fucking shit those photoshoots, in both photobooks and magazines. She's now like the perfect meeting of cuteness, beauty and sexy all in one. And it kills me. Like the image above. Who could ever have imagined the day when Airi would be playing the sexy teacher to Riho? But she did, and did it so admirably I tented for about a week. Damn you Airi. Damn you to hell! (just kidding, love you really) But yes. Another wonderful year for her. Only reason she hasn't ranked higher than this is because frankly, UFA need to push her onto some more variety shows to show her insanely weird character off. That might have pushed her above some of these upcoming young upstarts. But still. Maybe this year eh.

9. Iriyama Anna

Annin is fucking beautiful. Moreso than I think any idol I've ever seen (including Maimi, who's basically the goddess of physical perfection herself), she has a face that is basically perfect. If I had to design a perfect face, it'd probably be mostly similar to Annin's. And that mostly is only because I suck ass at drawing. And of course, the rest of her ain't bad either. Pretty much perfectly proportioned everywhere. I think Maimi's going to have to move over. Or at least accept polytheism. Anyway, besides the physical perfection lark, why is Annin this high? Well, there was Majisuka 3, in which she was one of very few characters I didn't have to suffer through (others being played by Kuumin, Yuria, Juri, Aanya and Non, hence their mentions in the last post) due to her being gloriously malicious. Her appearances on XX were nice and silly, and the rest of the AKB shows she's been on haven't been too bad either. She's not been the most outspoken character, certainly. But unlike certain pushed girls she doesn't just sit there and look bored. That's one plus point at least. She participates. And when she tries she is actually quite funny. But yea, hopefully will see her in more stuff this year.

8. Ariyasu Momoka

Ah, Momoka. This is really a case of what could of been. Still undoubedly my Momoclo oshi, still adorably tiny and in person even more cute than in pictures, but if only you had done more variety that I'd seen! Still what she did do has stood out, and her singing and dancing were still improving until she got nodules or something she needed surgery to remove, so she won't be singing again for a month or two. But with those cleared, maybe she'll gain some more control over her voice and start singing well consistently, instead of just sometimes. Still, hopefully her randomness will continue and grow and become even more terrifying.

7. Iwata Karen

Karen still amuses me. She's still a bit derpy and her voice acting in the new season of AKB0048 isn't amazing, but she's been a while out of practice. Her recent performance of Hana wa Saku on Music Japan (or whatever bloody programme it was), is proof that she's going to be the best singer in AKB now Yuka's gone. Just a matter of smoothing out inconsistencies now, she's got the range and technique down already. And she's only 14. Aside from the singing, which is amazing, she's also one of the best of the new boke characters ready to take over from the old guard. From her old silly gymnastics to her epic failures in making giant origami, Nemousu was pretty much her show this year, showing her to be basically Takamina reborn. A leader, but a bit dense. Good at performing and raising people's mood, but completely bombs every joke. Yep, she's awesome. New AKB oshi definitely.

6. Yamamoto Hitomi

Hitomin has an incredibly cute face. In fact, it's remarkably similar to Aiai's (Hirota Aika) from Ebichuu. But no, she's in NMB. And is she ever as nutcase as the rest of them. There is not a thing she will not try and do a one shot joke about. Could link about thirty, but I'll leave with this. Honestly, she reminds me of a Suzuki Kanon that didn't suddenly become self-conscious. Hitomin doesn't give a fuck if no one laughs. She doesn't give a fuck if she looks stupid. She will turn anything into a building block to make a one-shot joke. Even on Geinin, where they were supposed to be doing different types of comedy, for her it was always oneshots. One has to appreciate such devotion to her art.

5. Watanabe Miyuki

Milky disturbs me greatly. Not only is she pretty much the complete opposite to the type of idol I usually like, she's also the master fisherman. Apparently one cannot withstand a handshake with Milky without falling for her. Of course, I didn't even make it that far. AKB to XX has been kind to Milky, keeping her on as senbatsu for two seasons, and then giving her a segment for herself, her silly Shodo thing. But it works. As seen here. Her boke potential is off the charts, she gives a clueless look at just about anything. But underneath she is a damn good strategist, damn good troll, and everyone loves her so much that not one but two scandals have blown straight over her and she just dropped out of NMB senbatsu for one single. Then ranked in the next election. Her chapuchapu catchphrase pretty much took the whole of the 48 family by storm. No longer does anyone really actually use the word 風呂 on G+. But yea. Her trolling is legendary. Her appearance on Hakata Hyakkaten basically raised the bar, and considering the bar was already pretty damn high that's impressive. She even left Sasshi in the dust more than once at her random goings off in peculiar directions, sabotaging the show and generally doing muchaburi crap to anyone, then randomly making up random rules at the end and giving out two badges, and trolling Aanya in doing so. She was good in Geinin too, and is active as fuck on G+, and on the 48 stock trading game she's always one of the most expensive (inexplicably, the other is Yamada Nana...) but I digress. It's been a spectacular year for her, and continuous scandals or not, I can't see her popularity wane ever. Her photobook destroyed Sayanee's, and I can't see her making out of the next election lower than 10th. We'll see how my prediction holds eh.

4. Ishida Ayumi

Honestly, Ayumi still confuses me. She's definitely my Momusu oshimen now, but I don't think she's particularly special in any way. Sayu's still the cutest. Reina still the best singer, until she leaves and then it probably will be Orange Goblin. Fukumura's still the most beautiful. Eripon's the most insane, and at times Riho, Kuduu, Sato, Iikubo and Norks still amuse me the most. Ayumi's probably the best dancer, but as I have no fucking clue what constitutes good dancing I can't really judge on that. However, there's just something about Ayumi. Her face certainly isn't the most stunning (her nose is weird, she has teeth like a great white shark) yet her eyes, man. They always sparkle with a hint of mischief, a hint of burning desire to be the best, a hint that she finds the world around her so amusing. Sometimes it breaks the levee and flows onto her face, where she lights up with the most radiant smile that's usually punctuated by fits of giggles. She's also got a nice body, for someone under five foot tall. Any more work and she'll have a 6pac. It's passing odd that I find it easy to ignore an outie too, but somehow for Ayumi I can do it. She also has wonderfully straight black hair and nice feet, two more things I find really attractive. So yea, this year she's impressed me a lot. Even in the most boring things H!P do now, she stands out. Even in Momusu's weird techno songs, she stands out. I can't explain my love for her, but it's just there. And as a particularly voracious sesquipedalian, that inability to decourously delineate the virtues of her caliber is decidedly vexing.

3. Kawashima Umika

Well, I did say last year her downfall was mostly as a result of a lack of photobook. Most assuredly, this year that was assuaged. Twice. Along with some extra eyecandy in the form of YS Web pictorals too. Add to that 9nine's relative newfound competence and their usage of instruments, and we get pretty high. Umika's return to form in drama, led by Papadol (another Johnny's vehicle, this time for Kanjani8's psycho bloke Nishikido Ryo), and along with Hao Hao Kyonshi Girl! (which was actually pretty funny, and involved Umika stabbing her boyfriend who got turned into a Chinese zombie, which was hilarious) and some random drama with 9nine and Hirano Aya about becoming idols (obviously, Hirano Aya is the worst choice in human history to ask for help with that... scandals are one thing, but Hirano Aya level scandals quite another) led to some amusing moments. She's also enrolled in Uni and once again levelled up in being another of those Airi-like-girls who can manage cute, sexy and beautiful in one. She's also such a fucking tease. She is glorious.

2. Kimoto Kanon

Still going strong, Non is nearly unstoppable. On a sliding scale of 1 to Non, even the most adorable thing on earth is only a 10. Except Non. She's as weird, cute, silly and evil as ever, as proven by the numerous times this year she's ended up in the evil villain role. Magical Radio 2, villain was Non. She even invaded Wakabayashi and Yamachan's program to pull out some more glorious evilness. In Majisuka 3 there was so much buildup to Yuria's face-heel turn I thought they were going to randomly swerve and have it be Non instead, but oh well. Luckily, at the end of the year in Eien Pressure she got to be an evil witch who caused lots of pain to Paruru, so I got over it. Maybe this year we'll see some more development from her as an actress, and continue being a right sadist to everyone on variety shows. And maybe some more AKB senbatsu appearances... yea, not happening :P

1. Kinoshita Momoka

Well, what can I say? She's insane. She'd murder me if I didn't put her up here... But yes. Kimoshita. Since impressing me to all shit in all manner of things throughout the year, from her complete attitude of not giving a single fuck what it means to be an idol to her hilariousness in Geinin, she's impressed me. Her lack of control is insane. In Geinin she smashed her head into a table at full speed and it just seemed to amuse her. She got banned from the AKB art exhibition for making a severed head with blood flowing out of it. She gives not a toss about rules and regulations. Since Jo Eriko left most other girls have been saying, "ah, talked to a friend" or if they're feeling creative, "JE" or something. Momoka just comes out and uses her full name, not a single fuck was given that day. Or any day, in the life of Momoka. This video sort of sums it up. She disturbs the hell out of me, but that's a good thing. I like girls who stretch my limits. Plus I have a thing for crazy girls, even if it usually does end terribly.

And now, I'm going to break my own rules because I forgot to add someone I should have, and as it's now too late to go back and do the last post all over again...


Yes, above number 1 comes Murashige Anna. She has basically ruined the entirety of the 48 empire. If there is screentime, she will take it. No prisoners. No mercy. She is having your screentime and you will accept it, or she will molest the shit out of you. Aanya is basically Takamina plus Miichan on crack. Thinks she's funny. Actually is, a lot of the time, but funny in the way Takamina is funny. Her jokes aren't funny, but her reaction to them bombing is priceless. She's also half-Russian, so she gains many many points from my helpless halfie-lover side. Her role as Jovijovich in Majisuka was damn good. Apparently she also worked as a translator on the first series of AKB0048 for some of the Russian stuff. She's basically been the sole reason behind HKT's early successes after the scandals. Sasshi's transfer brought with it the spotlight, and Aanya was there to steal it. HKT episodes of AKBingo are successful due to her. Hakata Hyakkaten's crowning moments are when she's involved. They sent her away for almost the entirety of the last episode and then forbade her to speak when she returned, and she still stole the damn show. She has the greatest boke potential I have ever sensed in an idol. Fuck, it's better than most professional boke. She's entered the R-1 Grand Prix for aspiring comedians this year (along with Nakanishi Chiyori, as well as NMB's Ogasawara Mayu/Kishino Rika combi, who got to the third round last year). I hope she beats Maachun's record. Shit, if a comedian as pathetically useless as Sugichan can come second, Aanya can get to the final. And then, when I finally took some time to escape from her insane world of hyperactive Russian pre-vodka-discovery mania, I discover she's also got the potential to be a perfect (if halfie) Yamato Nadeshiko. Seriously, how can one person hold so much awesome? It's weird, but I don't know.

Anyway, that completes my list for this year. Next up I'm not sure yet. I suppose I could drop the next of my top idol body parts. I also have some reviews I should do (I think Berryz' new album is out soon so I can flame it), and I might attempt a new stupidly long Top 50 list, though of what I don't know yet. So anyway, until next time.

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