2015 Top Idol List: 10-1

So, we come to part two of this year's late as fuck list. This is where half of you will likely sigh, give up, and go back to your mainstream idols in a fit of frustration, no doubt moaning that I simply "don't get it". Well, fuck it. Having experienced both sides of it in the past year, I'm happily in the underground camp now. So this list will likely include a bunch of idols you may not have heard of before. If you haven't, I highly suggest you check them out. Most of them have an internet presence, even if their activities exist almost entirely in playing live houses 3-6 times a week. Expand your world.

So before that, I'll go into a quick offshoot list of girls who did something to impress me this year, even if they're not really idols I like, that I have any hopes for, or usual contenders for this list.

-Yoshii Kanae from 9nine. Kanchan is a really good singer, and she really went gung ho to fish me when I was attending all those 9nine events last year. Shit, it was nearly a year ago. How time flies. She is also one of only two idols who can pronounce Krv with no difficulty whatsoever. And she does it incredibly sexily.
-Nishiwaki Sayaka, also 9nine. Again, went over the top in trying to get me to oshihen from Umika. Also just really happy. All the fucking time.
-Kumada Kanae, also known as Hatsukoi Cider. What the actual hell drugs she's on I don't know, but they're hilarious. She abuses the hell out of her fans. She's 139cm tall and looks about ten years younger than her 18 years old. Or is she 19? I can't remember. Either way, when she performs Hatsukoi Cider, she will blow your mind. Simply because she does it five or six times. Or, as I went to her birthday show... 12 on her own, once with Eren, once with Lolisyn, and then once in a metal arrangement with Lolisyn. Not counting the little play that happened with members from another group, and every time one of them fluffed their lines, Hatsukoi Cider. YES TIGER!
-Eren. Speaking of, Eren is awkward and amusing enough to warrant an honourable mention.
-Buchou from Death Rabbits. A 37 year old man in an idol group with a few 13 year olds. Really only getting a mention because of him being weak as hell. Beaten to shit in a Zekkyou moshpit. Beaten to shit in a Lolisyn moshpit and used as a climbing frame. For someone wearing armour and a good 6ft tall, he sure does get beaten up a lot.

Anyway, a recap of the 20-11 list:

20. Nakano Ikumi (AKB48)
19. Okada Nana (AKB48)
18. Ogata Haruna (Morning Musume)
17. Owada Nana (AKB48)
16. Ichino Narumi (SKE48)
15. Tomonya (Tsuki to Taiyou)
14. Akiyoshi Yuka (HKT48)
13. Kimoto Kanon (SKE48/HKT48)
12. Matsugami Yuko (Slime Girls)
11. Ishida Ayumi (Morning Musume)

So, onwards to the top ten.

10. Komiyama Haruka (AKB48)

Komi has impressed me, and I hope to see some more impressing. She reminds me of how Mayu used to be before she got all plastic-y and boring. Her lyric writing is hilariously poor, but the cutesy "Oh no!" in the middle made me laugh too hard. She's aiming for a black-hearted fishing-genius character, like Milky or Suda, so as those two both amuse me a lot I'm keeping my eye on her.

9. Kawamura Nanaka (Kamen Joshi/Alice Juban/Prism/Idol Youkai Kawayushi♥)

Wonky eyes, check. Stubby legs, check. Stupidly overexcited dancing, check. Yaeba, check. Fun to talk to, fun to meet, and she's not really that popular. So if you do find yourself at a PARMS show for any reason, I'd suggest finding the white glowsticks in Alice Juban and stand behind them, and watch how she plays the audience like a pro. She's also pretty funny on their new TV program, going to some rather underhanded lengths in order to win ¥10000. She's also pretty forthright with her views on twitter. Definitely the only one left worth supporting now Tomoe's gone.

8. Tanaka Natsumi (HKT48/SKE48)

Natsumikan is basically now HKT's MC Boss. Hyakkaten 3 is a perfect example, as they do an ANNEX with no Sasshi. Almost half the time Boss has to step in to get some of the more shy (or inexperienced) members to do what they're supposed to. Also her comedic MC duet with Akiyoshi in live shows is brilliantly hilarious. Her height is continuing to get bigger and bigger. She's evolving into the Tsukkomi of all HKT, and it's brilliant. Truly living up to her title of Boss.

7. Mai (Next Shoujo Jiken)

Next Shoujo Jiken were, to me, the spark that lit the fire. Attracted by the rumours of three girls running around barefoot stabbing each other and just laying down during performances and not being fucked to move, I decided last March to go and see what all the fuss was about. Before I went, the girl called Shuri looked the cutest, but after seeing them perform, Mai was the one who sold it all best. Shuri was like a force of nature, Nono was a bit too calm. Mai was just gloriously indolent. After the show I spent far too long talking to her and Nono. And that was that. Even through to the present, she's the one constant in Next Shoujo Jiken (Shuri disappeared one day, Nono graduated in December). Another constant is her hilarious inability to spell Krv. I've had Krb, Calb, KARV and nothing at all. All very dojikko moe. Until she starts growling. Hell yea. Plus she wants to play at Fuckingham Palace. Fuck yea. And Fuck You, because that's their motto.

6. Kai (Zekkyousuru 60do)

Ah, Kai. The English-speaking, skateboard-riding, crowdsurfing, cosplaying prime masochist of the idol world punk girl. That's a lot of boxes to tick as an idol. She really just does tick pretty much most boxes though. Cute as hell, sweet as anything to talk to, she has far too much energy live, is somewhat hilariously timid at times, and all in all is the perfect foil to her more boistrous colleague.

5. Kawashima Umika (9nine)

So, yet another good year for Umika. Her photobook did well, she was in another couple of pretty good dramas, she managed to fight off the damage done by Kanchan and Chapon to retain her status as my 9nine oshi, and in general just did everything right again. Not to mention the Takoyaki Apocalypse, which, btw, I finally ate on Tuesday night, marking nearly 350 days since she told me to eat the bloody thing and me actually doing it. Also, it fucking sucks. But hey, can't rank her down for having weird tastebuds.

4. Hiro (Gouhou Lolita Syndrome)

We're moving closer to the sharp end of this, and we come to one of the sharpest idols around. Hiro is fun. But she's also gloriously brutal. Her headbanging is for all intents and purposes the greatest in the idol world, to the extent that it's hard even for me to keep up. Her singing is good, she avoids the growling that Halu can pull off but makes up for it with an incredibly intense live performance. I'd be remiss if I didn't link (again) to Croissant. It's also fun when Hiro stands on you. Or stands on the edge of a table that the other edge is crushing your neck. Yes. Fun.

3. Montero (Zekkyousuru 60do)

Oh Montero, hypersadistic idol of ultimate proportions. Her atrocities grow with each passing week. The two most recent chekis I've had with her, for an idea: jumping off the top of a railing onto me, and putting her entire bodyweight on my face. Luckily she's not that heavy or my jaw would likely have broken. She's mental as fuck live, she's hilarious to talk to, and she'll do wonderful, terrible things to your helpless body. What the hell isn't to like?

2. Saki (2&/Guso Drop)

Saki had been leading this race until very recently, when #1 just edged ahead. Saki has pretty much everything an idol needs in a neat little package. She's cute, she's a good singer, she can dance, she does gymnastics that somehow fit into her performance, and she's utterly illogical. Seriously, read her tweets. No one has a fucking clue what she's on about half the time, least of all her producer. Still, she's fun to talk to, and you never know what you're going to get. Also, her secret hidden identity as Guso Drop's Saki, which is really only ever acknowledged on Twitter and very very occasionally during live MCs as being "separate entities", is the worst kept secret in idoldom. She will happily talk about it and 2& stuff when with Guso Drop during the communication time. Still, with her album out next Wednesday and Guso Drop going from strength to strength, I think the time to challenge the establishment will soon arrive.

1. Shion (Guso Drop)

Ultimately, it had to be. Basically, since I got to Japan I've been fighting a losing battle. I've been trying to keep myself neutral in Guso Drop, declaring myself Hako-oshi, but I've been increasingly drawn to Shion's more and more violent performances. When I first went to see them, back in November, she was pretty normal. The best of the lot at headbanging, but other than being the long, black-haired classical Japanese beauty of the group, she was pretty normal. Then I came back in February. She's covered in blood and bandages. She's brutal as anything. I've always gravitated towards those that have the most tempestuous stage presence, just see Nanaka from Alice Juuban. But Shion takes tempestuous stage performance and throws it up about three hundred levels. When the other girls are raising their arms up and down, Shion's looks like it's about to tear out of the socket. When the other girls are wandering around the crowd high-fiving people, she's hitting them. When the others throw things into the crowd, Shion throws them at the crowd. Or just spits water in their face. Wait, she does that anyway. She's taken to bringing 4L bottles of water, just to drench herself and the crowd with. She's also delightful to speak to, really cute and fun. Chekis are always amusing. And then Tuesday happened. Their last day at Shinjuku Red Nose, the members of the fanclub were invited to bring along cameras. So I did. And Shion broke her ribs. I think I caught the moment on camera. The floor was slippery, everyone fell over. Not only did she finish the performance, she came out and did chekis and communication time as well. And then, far from taking a break, or giving up, she's been performing in a wheelchair. Not your Mitsui Aika sit alone on the side of the stage wheelchair live either. She's rolling herself on (in fact, the first time she did she banged her leg into the barrier on the edge of the stage), dancing in the chair and causing havoc with waterpistols. And her "injuries" are also getting more extreme. She's taken to bandaging up and applying fake blood to her legs, her arms, pretty much everything except the part that's actually injured. And now, thanks to the efforts of another gaijin fan, the term Wheelchair Cheki has entered the wotaku vocabulary. Here's mine.

So yes, for her valour, her fortitude, her epic stage presence, her cuteness, general awesomeness and all around brilliance, Shion is my number one pick for who is going to light my world on fire this year. She's already made a damn good start.

Have some more pictures for good measure.

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