2015 Top Idol List: 20-11

It's February. Time and beyond for top idol lists. Usually I do it in January but this year I had to move to Japan so that's occupied me rather a lot, trying to find a job and not spend all my money. Last year I gave top spot to Oota Aika, expecting her to achieve some modicum of extra popularity and impetus to spur HKT on to greater heights. Needless to say, that hasn't really happened. However, since last year I've spent rather a lot more time attending indie idol events, meaning that this year's list will see quite a massive change. Goodbye, one longtime mainstay of this list. Etc etc.

The rules, as usual:
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.

Last year's list (and previous ranks in parentheses):

20. Yogi Keira (-/-/-/19)
19. Ego Yuna (-/-/-/-)
18. Tani Marika (-/-/-/-)
17. Shiraishi Mai (-/-/-/-)
16. Jonishi Kei (-/-/-/-)
15. Kimoto Kanon (-/-/1/2)
14. Shiroma Miru (-/-/-/20)
13. Murashige Anna (-/-/-/God)
12. Nakamoto Suzuka (-/-/-/-)
11. Nabilah Ayu Ratna Azalia (-/-/-/-)
10. Suzuki Airi (9/8/3/10)
9. Ariyasu Momka (-/-/7/8)
8. Ishida Ayumi (-/-/-/4)
7. Nakagawa Haruka (-/-/16/-)
6. Akiyoshi Yuka (-/-/-/-)
5. Kawashima Umika (-/1/8/3)
4. Michishige Sayumi (12/10/17/-)
3. Motomura Aoi (-/-/-/-)
2. Okada Nana (-/-/-/-)
1. Oota Aika (-/-/9/-)

So, firstly, to the people who dropped out of the list.

-Yogi Keira ruined everything when she graduated from NMB. Her impish smile will be missed.
-Michishige Sayumi fulfilled all my hopes for her tenure, probably ended as Momusu's best leader ever (no matter how ridiculous that may sound) and left Momusu in a vastly improved situation than when she inherited it.

Fall Out of List:

-Ego Yuna is still cute as a really cute thing, but she seems to keep getting pushed to the side in lieu of Ryoha (who is less attractive, less interesting and in general just a bore) and other than a few appearances on Ebi Calcio she's not been in anything I've seen.
-Tani Marika got exiled to SKE, promptly evolved not one iota and is still loud, obnoxious and funny. Unfortunately the SKE crowd (Suda and Matsumura aside) are a bit more serious than HKT, and so her attempts at doing things tend to come off as overblown. Despite the relative success of her and Matsumura's hitchhiking trip from Wakkanai to Nagoya and their prize-winnings lifestyle things on the Ebi series, and MCing Zero Position, she drops out.
-Shiraishi Mai (and a lot of Nogizaka actually) just coasted through the year, content in their relative success.
-Jonishi Kei, despite winning AKB Shirabe's "most delightful breasts" award (it had a better name but I've forgotten it) has really not done a whole lot of standing out this year.
-Ditto for Shiroma Miru, even though she became a centre.
-What happened to Murashige this year? She disappeared or something. She's done about one thing I found interesting, and that was on Odekake about two weeks ago.
-Nakamoto Suzuka, despite still being awesome, and despite seeing her live, and despite being in the top tier of idol singers, has not really had any exposure at all beyond lives, which considering the amount of promotion and shit Mutou Ayami gets, strikes me as Amuse not having a fucking clue what to do with Babymetal other than live concerts.
-Nabilah impressed me so much in 2013 that I had high hopes for her in 2014, and they didn't materialise. However, she seems to have some stuff lined up for this year, including a film, so maybe she'll be back on next year.
-Suzuki Airi *shock horror gasp*. Despite being on this list every year since its conception, she has finally dropped off. Why? Actually, it's because of Berryz. This list is more a "idols I expect to see a lot of in the coming year" than an oshi ranking, because Airi would still be my #1 in H!P. And because Berryz have been put on a bus, and with H!P giving us more and more units, I'm thinking that the time may not be far away from the bus coming back for C-ute to embark as well.
-Ariyasu Momoka. Honestly, Momoclo haven't really impressed me at all this last year. Momoka's still a glorious ditz and gloriously cute, but one can't stand still forever. Having positioned themselves as an A-tier group along with the 48 Empire, Momoclo are falling into the trap of coasting along with minimal effort.
-Harugon has impressed me again, but it was just not quite enough to attain ranking this year.
-Motomura Aoi disappeared until like really recently, but it wasn't enough to retain her position.
-Oota Aika does some things. Not enough to repay my faith in her when she obtained captaincy.

Nearly Made It:
-Yamada Nanami from Team 8 was quite hilarious on AKBingo. One to watch.
-Mukaichi Mion (Team 4) getting quite some attention, most of it good.
-Moriyasu Madoka (HKT) gradually getting closer to being epic.
-Tashima Meru (HKT) also impressed me with the fact that centre was taken from her and she's not really changed at all. I think a lot of people had the feeling that Meru was like a super-entitled girl who felt she had a right to be at the front, but she's carried on as she was beforehand and not seemed in the least upset. Might be that she just takes things as they come. Of course, with HKT's documentary out this year I might be completely wrong.
-Akimoto Manatsu and Nakamoto Himeka from Nogizaka. Akimoto is really cute. Himetan is also really cute and can sing. They're both pretty amusing. Possible for next year if Nogizaka start doing fun things again.
-Kikuchi Moa from Sakugaku and Babymetal. Now firmly established as my SG oshi (until she graduates too), she's taken on the mantle of student council president and done it well. She's also damn amazing in Babymetal concerts.
-Tamura Meimi from ANGERME. Honestly, she was right on the verge of getting in. Lilium gave me a greater appreciation of her voice, of her weird as hell looks, of her skills... then she cut her hair and started to look a bit like a slightly overweight Johnnys' Junior member. Maybe if she grows it out.
-Steam Girls' Koyanagi Tomoe and Asakura Ayaka. Tomoe has long been my Alice Project oshi. Until, you know, I actually started going to shows and she was never there. At Kamiya's birthday show I finally got to see her in action, but she buggered off before buppan. And now she's just quit so yea, fucked. Ayaka is cold as anything, but when she grins it's just really cute. So I say true but ridiculous things to make her grin. This pisses off Dean.
-Kubota Misa and Amaki Jun from Armour Girls. Jun is cute and funny, but she missed out on the top twenty for two reasons, both of which are attached to her chest. Misa is also stupidly cute, and has a real possibility of stealing my Armour oshi title from Jun.
-Megu from Tsuki to Taiyou. Dat scream.

So once again, a shitload of new entries to the list. Hooray.

20. Nakano Ikumi (AKB48)

So, Team 8's centre has been impressing the hell out of me all over the place. Despite being that cute she's quite big, which is an interesting point which propels her up with Natsumikan as a really tall but still underage girl. I think the standout moment was where she randomly came out and confessed to Yamada Nanami in a single motion on AKBingo after Iwata Karen's somewhat joking coming out of her own. I don't know what the plans for Team 8 are, whether they're a permanent team or just going to build up to a 47 prefecture tour and then disband, but I'm hopeful for Nakano's future.

19. Okada Nana (AKB48)

A bit of a fall for Nana, but it doesn't matter because she's still brilliant. As one of the members who basically give me some hope that AKB's variety talent won't fade soon, she's again had a pretty strong year at being serious business and meanwhile having a bit of a laugh as well. She's also (as you can see above) incredibly cute and so I hope for many very pleasant gravure spreads in the coming year.
18. Ogata Haruna (Morning Musume.)

So, the (to me) outstanding talent of Momusu's 12th generation. Why? Of course, it's because of Henkka. When the hell isn't it? This delightful thread gave me shivers of anticipation. It's been far too long since Kemekosomeone in Morning Musume has been willing to make a complete tit of themselves before they even have an established character. And I can't really count Aichan or Aika because that's how their faces actually looked like. And Norks evidently doesn't like doing the silly faces, so now it's Fuckface's turn. Plus, when she's not doing stupid faces, she's a figure skater and pretty damn cute, and she's from Osaka. Perfect.

17. Owada "Anything That Has A Pulse" Nana (AKB48)

So, apart from being cute as a really cute thing, what does the latest AKB "Next Generation Ace" (gotta be about thirty of those already, seriously...) have that sets her apart from the rest? Well, acting for one. Major role in that Sailor Zombie thing they had going for a while, now a supporting role in the latest Majisuka Gakuen. But there's something more. A quick search of AKB's Yuri Detector Tumblr yields that she's in more "pairings" than just about anyone ever. Very good at giving wota fanservice then. I expect a lot from her.

16. Ichino Narumi (SKE48)

That picture probably best symbolises Naru for me. She's only really recently come to my attention, in some swimming themed episodes of the SKE Zero Position show where she randomly tried swimming whilst dressed in a kappa kigurumi. Considering she nearly won despite the handicap, that was quite amusing. Apart from that, she's sort of been a loli character for a while, though she's now approaching 16 and SKE has a few members younger than her. She also looks a load like someone a bit higher on this list, and is really cute, so yes. Here.

15. Tomomi (Tsuki to Taiyou)

Tsuki to Taiyou are a group of quite young, quite fresh idols with a producer who called himself AkeyP and is full of really... really mental ideas. Like trying to get them to be mascots for the World Cup in 2018 in Russia by making them do 100 keepie-uppies each. At the moment the best score by one member is like 4. Good luck. Music-wise as well they're all over the place. Pop, metal and stuff that mixes the two. As for why Tomonya, well, she's just... cute. Even though she does have a pretty weird looking face. She's also really not put off by anything. I turned up to a show covered in (fake) blood once. The other members were all like "shit, what happened!?" Tomonya was just getting pissed off at me for not pronouncing cheki as "cheke", as only ever happens in AkeyP produced idol groups. For that, she gets here.

14. Akiyoshi Yuka (HKT48)

So, Akiyoshi. She's grown a lot over the last year. Gone from making cute faces and looking in awe at the world as if she's never seen anything before to being one of HKT's go-to-girls for MC skits, most notably in partnership with Tanaka Natsumi in the Mikan Sisters combi. Mikan sisters because Natsumikan is Natsumikan and Yuka just really... really fucking likes oranges. Notable in that the height difference is also pretty extreme. But it's always fun to watch. Of course, with the rise of NakoMiku, and lately Aramaki and Jaws Aika Eretan, Akiyoshi has been free to find her own niche that doesn't rely on being the token loli character. Her development into the world's best idol with a pentagonal face has just begun.

13. Kimoto Kanon (SKE48/HKT48)

There have been a few plus points that Non has had this year that helped her regain some ground in this list. The first is that she's turned into a fucking stunner. Secondly, despite Ebishow/Calcio/whatever this year being a bit pedantic and featuring frankly not enough Non, when she did appear, she shone. Thirdly, HKT. Good move. Sort of reinforced KIV as probably my favourite team in 48. Fourthly, she had her own entire corner on the otherwise frankly woeful Arubaito Theatre. As that corner consisted of her going to a lot of different places and then slowly removing her shoes and socks to the glorious accompaniment of Chopin's Nocturne Op9No2, and then going barefoot, the millions of foot fetishists that seem to frequent this site (based on the #2 most popular post ever on here, anyway) no doubt cried out, and then were suddenly silenced. Either way, more Non this year please, 48.

12. Matsugami Yuko (Slime Girls)

Matsugami Yuko, if you didn't know, is Alice Project's resident wristslitter. Well, we surmise that simply from the fact that she always has a bandage, or sleeve, or long glove, or a load of flowery wrist decorations, that go over her arm. But considering Alice Project... I wouldn't put it past them. But yes. Wristslitter. Yuko is cute. She is usually quite happy to talk to anyone. Recently she stopped showing up but it was because of a family loss or something, not because she did something stupid. Unlike that other girl...  Either way, one of the few beacons of hope for Alice Project.

11. Ishida Ayumi (Morning Musume.)

The hardest part of this post (yes, even harder than those black jokes in the entry before this) was deciding whether to use a cute Daaishi pic, a sexy Daaishi pic, or a pic full of Daaishi Feeling. That I even worried before I decided shows how much Ayumi is worth. Honestly, Daaishi Feeling is so strong in some pictures that I save them even though I have limited space. My poor HDD is overflowing with them. So I went for a cute one. Just because. So, why has Ayumi impressed me? Photobook. Being cool. Being funny in Lilium. Being full of Daaishi Feeling. And she's just so bloody adorable. And this year I think she's going to knock off Riho and steal the crown for herself. Fakjea.

So, part two of this post, with the top ten, will probably be posted. Eventually. If rabid Alice Project fans haven't ripped my entrails out.

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