Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Idol Resurgence in Singapore Continues! Rie Yunohara and You Yanase Enthrall at STGCC's First Idol Showcase!


Kyoto and Tokyo. One is the keeper of tradition while one is a modern metropolis. They hail from two distinctively different regions of Japan yet what they do is very much alike. Idols You Yanase and Rie Yunohara were in Singapore to perform at STGCC 2015 last month. Each bringing their unique brand of music, they enthralled a strong crowd at the pop culture convention's first-ever idol showcase.


Opening the hour-long idol showcase was Tokyo pop idol Rie Yunohara, better known by her nickname RieCho. She had attended STGCC last year together with her producer haLRu, who was an invited guest, and made an appearance at the convention's annual Cosplay Runway.

Riecho on the Cosplay Runway at STGCC 2014 (Source)

Launching off her performance with "NEW GIRLS ORDER", her fourth single from her mini album, "#FR", Rie captivated the audience straight from the start. A catchy dance-pop song, it is characterised by strong electronic beats popular in modern music, which had many moving along to it.

Local fans, many of whom had been following her activities since she visited STGCC last year, were no stranger to the song, cheering along ecstatically to it. The song, together with the mini-album was previously debuted at her performance at Japan Expo 2015 in Paris earlier in July.

Jumping straight into her second song, "Yureru Yumemiru Koi no ROUND 揺れる夢みる恋のROUND", which bore the same electro-dance melodies distinctive of her songs, she rallied the crowd to even greater heights. "I need you! I want you! I love you!" the crowd clapped along excitedly as she belted out the chorus to her first single.

The audience whooped excitedly as they waved their lightsticks fervently to Rie's performance of  "Hoshikuzu DRIVE 星屑ドライヴ", another original song of hers, on stage next. "This is my second time in Singapore," she addressed the crowd in Japanese midway into the song.

"I LOVE SINGAPORE!" she declared in English next, which was greeted by roars of delight from avid fans who had watched her growth from a year ago.

Finally, she wrapped her segment on a high with a breathtaking performance of legendary idol anthem "Romantic Ukare Mode ロマンティック浮かれモード". "Riecho! Riecho!" shouted the crowd ebulliently as they threw their hands in the air and followed her dance steps on-stage. "Urya oi! Urya oi!"


Following Rie's performance, You Yanase took to the stage next. Born and bred in Kyoto, You is the perfect embodiment of tradition and modern pop culture. Having her roots in the heart of Japan's rich cultural heritage, she aims to spread "Wa (harmony)" music through her performances as an idol to the world.

She performed four songs at STGCC, launching off with a magnificent rendition of the all-time favourite "Senbonzakura 千本桜". The much-loved Vocaloid song has spawned many covers, including one by popular rising Japanese musical act Wagakki Band.

Spinning her wagasa (traditional umbrella made from bamboo) as she made her entrance onto the stage, she rallied the crowd with a loud "Hai! Hai! Hai!" as the local wotas (idol fans) cheered along at high volume enthusiastically.

Following her energetic first song was "Getto gen'ei 月都幻影", her second and latest single, a song which incorporates traditional Japanese wind instruments together with electric guitar chords and drums in its melody. The crowd was still on fire as they clapped along high-spiritedly, in synchrony with the music.

The crowd soared to fever pitch when she transitioned to her third song, "Kyouran Utage Mai 京乱宴舞". Her first single, one which charted her debut as an idol, was a fast and intense song. "Yanase! Yanase! Yanase!" chanted the audience ardently as she swung her sensu (traditional Japanese fan) rapidly and mustered the audience to follow along.

Seemingly familiar with the lyrics, the audience echoed them passionately as she belted out the chorus. Her first single, with its unique stringed melody and high energy, was a huge hit among many in the audience, including us.

"Jump! Jump!" Yanase beckoned as she started into her final song, "Make My Day!". The animated crowd heeded her as they leapt into the air and exhorted her along with their fiery cheers. For the unfamiliar, the catchy anisong-like tune is actually one sung by Japanese pop singer Piko, who was incidentally in Singapore for STGCC 2012 too.


After the performance, Rie shared that she had wished so hard to be able to perform live at STGCC after attending the convention last year. She was overjoyed that she managed to realise her dream and exclaimed that it was "SO SHIOK! (Singaporean slang for "feels so good!") to the rapturous cheers of the audience.

When asked if they would like to see her perform in Singapore again, the audience responded in affirmation overwhelmingly.

You expressed her deep gratitude to the audience next, saying that it was her first time performing overseas. She was feeling really nervous initially but was so thrilled to see everyone today because of their unbridled enthusiasm. She added that would really love to come back to Singapore, eliciting a loud and gleeful response.

Responding to a question about which place she would like to visit in Singapore, You said that she would like to scale the Supertree at the Gardens by the Bay, which was just behind the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre but she was afraid of heights. The emcee joked that maybe a fan could go along with her.

Rie then revealed that she could only make it for the first day of the convention as she had a performance with her idol unit scheduled for the day after, to the disappointment of her fans. However, sorrow soon turned into joy as they expressed their staunch support for her, desiring to see her again next year.

Lastly, both idols expressed their heartfelt thanks to the fans for their relentless support and invited them to the Little Akihabara booth as the special showcase wrapped.


Over the two days, the amiable idols spent most of their time at the Little Akihabara booth where members of the public could talk to them, take a cheki (polaroid) together and purchase their goods. By the afternoon of the second day, most of their goods were sold out.

The XDantheManX Online team certainly had a fantastic time with both idols and enjoyed every minute with them. It was no doubt interesting to watch an electro-dance-pop idol sharing the same stage with a culturally-inspired idol. We look forward to seeing both of them again in the future!

If the showcase at STGCC and BPM15Q's performance at Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival are any indication of things to come, we may be seeing more Japanese idols hitting our shores in the near future.

In fact, the next group of idols who will be performing in Singapore has already been confirmed! Idol group Stand-Up Hearts! will be having their second overseas performance in Singapore!

Stand-Up! Hearts with their senpais (seniors) from idol group Afilia Saga

They are coming together with idol-voting app CHEERZ, who invited BPM15Q along the last time and will be having a presence again at the upcoming Anime Festival Asia in November. Look forward to it!

Stand-Up! Hearts' first overseas performance at Japan Expo 2015 in Paris


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Article and Videos by XDantheManX Online
Photos by XDantheManX Online, Nakitty Channel and Eugene Chua

Tanoshii World is a new collaboration project between XDantheManX Online, Nakitty Channel, Roaming Dog and REASONATE:Visuals. We will continue to bring you the same high-quality coverage of Japanese pop culture events in Singapore.