5 Reasons Why I Love Nishioka Kengo from MAG!C☆PRINCE

Nishioka Kengo is the lead singer and centre of this month's featured group, MAG!C☆PRINCE. He also happens to be one of my absolute favourite idols of all time. Here's a list of a few reasons why I love him and hopefully you'll come to love him too!

1. He's the Idol Prince.

If you love idols what's better than an idol who also loves idols?! Kengo in fact became an idol himself because he was such a big fan of both female and male idols alike. In particular he likes Sexy Zone who were actually the first male idol group I became interested in myself so they hold a very special place in my heart.

2. He was an odorite.

Once upon a time I used to make Jpop dance cover videos on YouTube. Although that's not something I do anymore, I remember those times fondly and still like to perform on occasion. I was very excited to find out that this is something Kengo used to do too before he became a member of Magipri. In the past he uploaded a few videos of himself dancing to songs from popular idol groups such as AKB48 and Morning Musume.

3. He's very 'otomen'.

It's not uncommon for people to mistake Kengo for a girl what with his soft feminine features, his high voice, and his somewhat girlish interests. This may not be to everyone's taste but I absolutely adore this about him; it was what attracted me to him in the first place. I don't know why but I've always been more into guys who have a rather evident feminine side and even better if they aren't ashamed of it.

An Introduction to MAG!C☆PRINCE | Group of the Month June 2018

Hey there, idol fans! As of today a new "segment" will be added to this blog. This is an idea I've been toying with for a while so do let me know what you think of it. This new segment will be called Group of the Month and well, the name is pretty self-explanatory.

There are a lot -- and I mean a lot -- of Jpop boy groups out there and I've barely grazed the surface on this blog so far, so I thought this new segment would be a fun way to regularly introduce you to some new groups that you may not have heard of.

So here's how it will work: On the first Friday of every month I will have chosen a group and I will publish a brief post to introduce you to this group. The chosen group will also do a little "takeover" of the blog and my social media sites. Every time a new Group of the Month post is uploaded it will be sent out as part of the monthly e-mail newsletter so if you want those alerts don't forget to sign up!

If there are any groups you'd really like to see me cover -- either so you can learn more about them yourself or so you can make more potential fans aware of them -- feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments. This series will definitely be a lot more fun if it isn't just about groups that I'm personally a big fan of already!

Anyway, let's get started with this month's group! For our first ever edition of Group of the Month, I've chosen one of my personal favourite groups; MAG!C☆PRINCE.

MAG!CPRINCE (also called Magipri or Majipuri for short) is a 5-member male idol group from Watanabe Entertainment. All of the members were born and raised in the Tokai Region of Japan and were chosen via an audition. They made their debut in December 2015 with the single "Zettai☆Aishiteru". Magipri's fans are referred to as "CHEERS". They have two "younger brother" groups called Nine Stars (debuted January 2018) and Tokai School Boys (who are still in the audition stage).

The music video for "Zettai☆Aishiteru", MAG!C☆PRINCE's debut song

The meaning of MAG!CPRINCE's name is:
M – Mie
A – Aichi
G – Gifu
! – To give you energy
C – To cheer you on
☆ – Mie, Aichi, and Gifu boys aim to be stars
PRINCE – Handsome boys you’d want to be your son


Nishioka Kengo

Member Colour: Pink

Date of Birth: 22nd October 1997

Hometown: Aichi

  • He's a total idol fanboy; it was the reason he became an idol himself. He particularly likes Sato Shori from the group Sexy Zone.
  •  He's often mistaken for a girl. Even during his audition for the group the staff weren't completely convinced he was male.
  •  Kind of a tsundere. He can be a bit cold to the other members but cares about them all deep down. 

Abe Shuhei

Member Colour: Green

Date of Birth: 22nd October 1997

Hometown: Aichi

  • He shares a birthday with fellow member, Kengo. The two are also best friends.
  • He decided to audition for Magipri when he saw the advertisement in a newspaper. His parents' love of the entertainment world was one of his main influences.
  • The other members (especially Kengo) initially mistook him for a stuck-up rich kid since he always appeared calm and composed and spoke very politely, but he was eventually able to show his real self; a huge dork who likes to mess around with the other members and make everyone laugh. 

Tokyo Candoll -BOYS- 2018 Entrants | Who Will We Be Seeing At This Year's Japan Expo?!

Japan Expo just recently made the announcement that the group BANZAI JAPAN were the winners of this year's Tokyo Candoll -- an annual competition for upcoming female idol groups -- and thus they would be taking the stage at this year's event, just as groups such as notall and Yuigadokuson have done in previous years. But if you're anything like me, that would've led you to wonder "What about the boys?!" I'm a little impatient when it comes to idol boys, okay?

Just last year the first ever edition of Tokyo Candoll -BOYS- was held which from the name you've probably already guessed is pretty much the same thing but for male idols. Last year's winners were the group EPIC STAR and Japan Expo was lucky enough to see a very succesful performance from them.

But you don't want to hear about last year, right? You want to know about which cute idol boys will be gracing the stage at this year's Japan Expo. The winner of Tokyo Candoll -BOYS- has not been properly announced yet but from some snooping around online I do have reason to believe that the winner is the last group on this list so if you just want to know about the winner then you can skip straight to the end. However, there were a lot of interesting groups competing this year so if you'd like to learn about some new groups along the way then let's get started! Please note though that most of these groups are indie groups who have only recently made their debut -- some don't even have a website yet -- so there likely won't be a huge heap of information about them online but I'll share what I can find.



TOONBOYS is a 4-piece male idol group, with the members having an average height of 180cm. They released their first single "Toon leads love" in February of this year.



ENVii GABRIELLA is a 3-member self-produced boy group. All of the members are gay men who previously worked as soloists in different fields. They debuted in 2017 with the single "High Heels".



FEARLESS is a 4-member male idol unit under the agency MovingFactory (also responsible for competitor group MAUVE) that debuted in 2017 with the mini album "Buzzin' People". All of their releases thus far are available on iTunes and Spotify and let me just warn you, they're catchy as heck.

Agency Website
Agency YouTube

Talking to the Producer of COLORFUUUL | Japan's First All-Foreign Male Idol Group

Hey all! Some of you may remember a while back I did a blog post about Guyjin48; a male idol group made up solely of foreigners living in Japan. I've been following them since then, but understandably since they were just getting started things were a bit quiet on their end for a while. Just recently though they unveiled that they have now changed their name to COLORFUUUL and are getting ready to release their first single, "Rock'n Roll Guy" (which is a total jam by the way). Plus just a side note that I was pretty happy about myself: that blog post I wrote has actually been featured on the group's new website.

As you can imagine, I'm very keen to support this project so expect to see quite a few posts about them as things start to unfold. I also did a reaction video about them just last week (My first ever YouTube video -- yikes!) so check that out below if you're interested.

Recently I was in contact with the owner/producer/possibly overlord of COLORFUUUL, James Collins and I was lucky enough to be able to ask him a few questions about the group:

DIG: What initially gave you the idea to start an idol group? 

JC: Well when I first moved to Japan 5 years ago I was looking for any way possible to study Japanese. I was teaching English so even though I was living in Japan I was using my native language English most of the day. I decided to check out Japanese music so I could listen and practice Japanese in my free time. That’s when I first came across Japanese idol groups and I immediately thought how interesting it would be to have a group of all foreigners doing the same thing! Of course at first I didn’t know that I would actually go through with the idea 4 years later, but for some reason I kept thinking about it, asked a ton of people what they thought of the idea, and even presented a speech about it in my Japanese language school I started attending a year later. Finally one day I thought that if I were to actually make this happen it would be now or never so I published my first ad looking for members in December of 2016. 

My Top 5 Most Handsome Jpop Boys

Hi all! Partially inspired by the video below (you should also check out this person's other videos; they've made a few good ones about Jpop and Kpop and the differences between how the two genres are perceived overseas) I thought I'd put together a list of my top 5 most handsome Jpop boys.

This list is of course my own opinion so if you disagree feel free to let me know in the comments or make your own list! I'm sure most of you know I love me some cute idol boys too so I'll probably do a seperate post at some point about my top 5 cute Jpop boys. But anyway, let's get started!

5) Fujita Mahiro from MAGiC BOYZ

I hate to admit it but back when Mahiro was just the DJ of MAGiC BOYZ I didn't pay much attention to him. He wore those big glasses all the time too so regretfully I didn't really notice his looks either but now I definitely think he's the most handsome (and talented!) member of Majibo. I often find myself spamming "Mahiro is so cool!" in the comment section of Majibo's videos, haha. That face just gets to me!

4) Ogasawara Kai from Bullet Train

 I think very few people would disagree with this decision. Kai has a very attractive and somewhat mysterious face. He's often praised for looking like an anime character and I would definitely agree, especially when he has his hair dyed blonde. 

Upcoming Jpop Boy Group Releases for January 2018

Release Date: 2018/01/01

What better way to kick off 2018 then with this best album by GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE? Check out the music video for "BIG CITY RODEO" above.

FLASH on CDJapan
 Release Date: 2018/01/09

On the 9th, Nine Stars - (formerly known as Kyushu Boys) younger brother group to MAG!CPRINCE - will release their debut single "FLASH".
Release Date: 2018/01/17

On the 17th, Da-iCE will release their 13th single "Tokyo Merry Go Round". The single also includes the coupling track "Waruguchi" which was used as the theme song for the drama Hana ni Kedamono.

Epic Quest on CDJapan
Release Date: 2018/01/23

Otaku male idol group Shin Seiki EPIC STAR Kami will release their first physical single on the 23rd titled "Epic Quest".

Sexy Zone Is A Real Band?! | A Guide for Curious 'Fuller House' Fans

Recently, the Japanese boyband Sexy Zone made a guest apperance on the American Netflix series, Fuller House. The members appeared as themselves and did a short live performance of their self-titled debut song "Sexy Zone". Because of this you can imagine there have been a lot of fans of the show asking questions.

Are Sexy Zone a real band? Where can I listen to their music? What kind of ridiculous name is 'Sexy Zone' anyway?! So since I was/kind of still am a pretty big fan of Sexy Zone, I thought I'd put together a little guide that answers these questions and more.

Who Are Sexy Zone?

Sexy Zone is a 5-member Japanese boyband that debuted in 2011 with the self-titled single, "Sexy Zone". They are part of Johnny's Entertainment; a Japanese agency that is famous for producing boybands. According to the agency's CEO, Johnny Kitagawa the group's name came from "Michael Jackson's sexiness" (you can see a bit of Michael Jackson influence in a lot of their earlier songs such as "Lady Diamond" and "IF YOU WANNA DANCE") and the members were chosen based on the concept of "the sexiness of men". They are currently the youngest group to ever debut from Johnny's Entertainment. The youngest member, Marius was only 11-years-old at the time of their debut.

Sexy...Zone? | Thoughts on Sexy Zone's 'Fuller House' Cameo

A few days ago, the episode of Fuller House that features our precious baby Marius Yo was released on Netflix. I spent a few days catching up on the series since I was a little behind and now I was finally able to watch it. So here is a brief review kind of thing with a focus on Sexy Zone's apperance. If you want to watch the episode yourself it's season 3 episode 10.

Marius' first apperance happens when characters Ramona and Jackson are exploring the streets of Harajuku. Ramona is upset that her ex-boyfriend Popko is already seeing other girls and carelessly walks out into the street. A motorcyle is speeding towards her but just at the last minute Marius jumps in and saves her from getting hit. For the two it's love at first sight and Marius invites her to meet him at Tokyo Dome later that day without even telling her his name. Lucky girl!

Later, Jackson and Ramona arrive at Tokyo Dome but Ramona's true love is nowhere to be found. That is until the concert starts and she's surprised to see him on stage. It made me laugh how Jackson said "Sexy...Zone?" because I remember when I was a huge fan of them and people would always have that confused reaction to hearing the group's name for the first time.

The Majibo Experience | Thoughts on MAGiC BOYZ' "Dai Ichi Ji Seicho Ki ~Baby to Boy~"

Now, MAGiC BOYZ do have a bit of a reputation for being weird. When they first debuted I thought they were pretty funny in a cute way. These adorable, seemingly innocent Japanese schoolboys rapping to some sick beats didn't seem to fit right at all and that's what made them so entertaining. Yes, I did in fact just say 'sick beats'.

But then they got older, members graduated, and new members joined. It stopped being cute and just got kind of awkward. I was constantly asking; how are they still going? What audience are they even targeting? Who is even buying their CDs?! They're like a bad parody of hip-hop, but at the same time it seemed like they were actually legit trying sometimes? Someone help them.

As objectively terrible as Majibo are, I still fell for them. Their songs are catchy as heck and the members are all lovable dorks. Their concerts look like so much fun too. Basically, I am Majibo's target audience; someone who just loves male idols regardless of how weird and whacky they are. Sure, the members might not be the most talented but it's their imperfections and the bond they share with their fans that keeps me coming back for more. I've bought several of their CDs and I'm only a little ashamed.

On August 30th of this year, Majibo released their first album. I had been putting off buying it for a while since it was quite expensive but much to my surprise, I recently discovered that it was up on iTunes. MAGiC BOYZ' releases did used to be put up on iTunes for overseas fans to buy but for some reason they stopped after their 3rd single. It's nice to see that their label has remembered the overseas fans again, and buying the album on iTunes obviously turned out to be much cheaper than getting the whole physical CD shipped from Japan.

The Number One Otaku Male Idol Group | A Brief Introduction to EPIC STAR

I’ve mentioned in a few previous posts that earlier this year, Japan Expo in France was lucky enough to see the debut overseas performance of energetic rookie male idol group, BREAK☆THROUGH”5D. At the same event, dansou (girls-dressed-as-handsome-boys) group THE HOOPERS returned to Europe for round two after their performance in London last year. But they weren’t the only idol boys to crash Japan Expo this year. 7-member (now 9-member) group EPIC STAR also put on a great performance where they enthusiastically introduced themselves to their French fans for the first time.

EPIC STAR refer to themselves as an “idol-style otaku group”. They received the privilege of performing at the large event in Paris after being declared the winners of the first ever edition of Tokyo Candoll -BOYS-, an annual competition for up and coming male idol groups. The female idol equivalent - Tokyo Candoll - has been active for 3 years and this year’s winners - notall - were also able to perform at Japan Expo.

Upcoming Jpop Boy Group Releases for December 2017

Ano Hi no Yume to, Ima no Boku. on CDJapan
Release Date: 2017/12/12

On December 12th, BREAKTHROUGH”5D will release their 7th single “Ano Hi no Yume to, Ima no Boku.”. Check out the music video for the title track above.

Release Date: 2017/12/13

On the following day, EBiDAN group EBiSSH will release their 2nd single “My Friend / Kimi de Ippai”. "My Friend" is the ending song for the anime "Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head".

Release Date: 2017/12/13

On the same day, "otome" group ARSMAGNA will release their 4th album "Arsrottle".


Last year I was lucky enough to be able to see THE HOOPERS live and also meet them afterwards at Hyper Japan Christmas Market. Since this year's Hyper Japan Christmas Market is coming up I thought now would be a good time to share my experience. I won't be attending the event this year mainly due to the fact that there aren't really artists I'm interested in performing but you best believe I'll be spamming their feedback form with requests as always, haha.

I'd bought THE HOOPERS' penlight and album especially for the event. I also slaved in front of my TV screen for many days watching their concerts to get the hang of the wotagei routines, haha. Turns out they weren't signing though so I wasn't able to get my CD signed but it was still awesome to have it and I would have bought it anyway.

I Dreamt of This Day Too | BREAK☆THROUGH"5D Release MV with English Subs

On December 19th, 4-member boy group BREAK☆THROUGH"5D will release their 3rd major single. Its title is "Ano Hi no Yume to, Ima no Boku" (A Dream of That Day and Who I Am Now). It will be released in 3 editions and if their previous releases are anything to go on, it should be available to purchase on iTunes for those of us overseas as well.

This will be their second release since their debut overseas performance in France back in July (the music video for their last release was filmed in Paris) and they recently uploaded the music video for the title track on YouTube.

I like this MV. It's nothing we haven't seen before but it's still pretty cute. The song isn't bad either and I love the costumes and the choreography. But the MV itself wasn't what caught my attention. Because, what's that below the video? Japanese subtitles...and English too?!

BREAK☆THROUGH have always been a pretty decent group in terms of overseas accessibility but this has me a tad excited. Since - as I mentioned already - this is one of their first releases since their performance at Japan Expo, could the English subs be a hint to more overseas activities in the future? Or at least them making more of an effort to target fans abroad? This is the first music video from a Jpop boy group I've ever seen that actually has English subs done officially (rather than being a fansub), not to mention that they actually read as if the lyrics have been translated properly rather than just run through Google Translate or something. They just might be taking this seriously.

I'm not expecting BREAK☆THROUGH to start doing world tours or anything. Afterall, they're a pretty small group in terms of popularity and it's only early days. But as a smol overseas fan who annoyingly has very specific tastes in groups and sometimes has to go to the most ridiculous lengths just to buy one little CD, I appreciate each and every step that Japanese artists and their agencies take to get a little closer to their foreign fans, no matter how small.

How do you feel about this news? Are there any Japanese artists who you wish took more notice of their fans abroad? 
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