A Boyband Without Boys

I am positive that most people know at least one thing about Japan’s booming idol industry: it’s unique. From abnormally large groups to underage girls singing heavy metal, it seems like Japanese idols can literally do anything.

Today, I am going to introduce to you my favorite Japanese band, The Hoopers.

Members from left to right: Haruki, Sena, Makoto (leader), Mirai (vocal leader), Yuhi (sub-leader), Mizuki, Cecil and Tsubasa – fourth single, Jyounetsu ha Kareha no You Ni

 

The band’s concept is simple: イケメン女子 (ikemen joshi). Ikemen is a slang term for handsome or cool men, while joshi means girl. Basically, they are a boyband consisting entirely of girls that look and dress like beautiful boys, and to be entirely honest, they look better than most of the boys I know.

However, being handsome, crossdressing girls is not their only selling point. They are also acrobatic, with more than half of the members capable of doing cartwheels, and two of them – Makoto and Sena – capable of doing backflips.

Sena tries, and fails, to do an acrobatic kabedon

In case you aren’t sure what a kabedon is, here are multiple demonstrations from The Hoopers.

Originally, the band had seven members, but between their third and fourth singles, the sub-leader Yuhi fell sick and had to take a break to recover. The company brought in Cecil as her temporary stand-in, but when Yuhi recovered enough to return, they decided to keep Cecil and expand into the eight-girl group that The Hoopers are today.

Their third single, Go! Go! Dance ga Tomaranai, has serious Saturday Night Fever vibes

 

The Hoopers’ music is a little old school, strong and beat-heavy, and focuses on heartbreak and the pain of love. Despite that, their dances are energetic, exciting and acrobatic, with a focus on special, fluid formations using all members. In every single music video thus far, they have had at least one backflip, and in Itoshii Koishi Kimi Koishi, one part had them literally cartwheeling into position, because walking is too mainstream.

My favorite song of theirs is Ame wo Oikakete. You can check out the shortened version here:

Their tomboy, semi-punk style has won them the hearts of thousands of girls – their official Twitter has more than 14,000 followers, and more than 3,000 viewers showed up to a live broadcast of Sena and Yuhi trying out different brands of cup ramen. (I have no right to judge – I was one of them.)

So if you’re looking for some new music to listen to, or a new group to obsess over, why not give The Hoopers a shot? The lack of English translated content on them might motivate you to work harder at Japanese than before :3

 

– Glenis