The first Singapore-Malaysian idol group to debut in Japan31 October, 2011 by Chad
SEA☆A (pronounced Sea A) is a four girl idol group that debut in Japan earlier this year. It is notable for consisting mostly of members from Singapore. The group was born out of maids from the Moe Moe Kyun Maid Cafe, an annual makeshift cafe that operates out of the Anime Festival Asia.
Sea A consists of (from left to right) Beryl, Valerie, Wynnie and Estelle. The members are touted as four anime-loving girls from South-East Asia. I am told that Wynnie, the only member hailing from Malaysia used to be a fervent cosplayer under the alias Sakana Sashimi.
It is apparent the direction Sea A is taking and it is no surprise, especially with their affiliation to the Maid Cafe. Their official website writes about all the girls’ love of Ramen, Anime, Sushi and everything else “Japanese”. We’re also told how much they want to visit Akihabara, Tokyo’s geek paradise. Honestly, I can’t help but find it cliched and the extent somewhat insulting. How the local populace will take to it remains unknown.
Unsurprisingly, Sea A’s first forway into the music industry is a theme for an anime. They are being produced by Lantis, which manages a generous number of successful ani-artists as well as the Nagoya based AKB48 spin-off SKE48.
What is surprising though is that their first single, Dream Shooter is actually pretty good (at least by idol standards).
Sure, the girls being new to their entertainment scene still tend to over compensate with over exaggerated expressions and it definitely unnerves me to hear Singaporean English being spoken in their video. But these are nuances that might possibly attract a niche audience.
Ignore the visuals of the blatantly poppy music video though and you’d realize that Dream Shooter sounds more than decent for a first attempt. The sound is a clean, no-frills pop song that follows a pretty standard structure.
It’s not revolutionary by any means, but it definitely holds its ground with other idol pop songs being released in Japan. In fact, I might even go so far as to say Dream Shooter sounds better than songs released by some of the other Lantis artists.
Sea A will release their second single next month on the 23rd of November. Unfortunately, while their new single will be featured as the ending theme for the popular Torigo anime, Deli-Deli Delicious is a significant downgrade from their debut single when it comes to listenability.
Deli Deli Delicious is everything wrong with idol and ani-songs compressed into one sickly sweet package. The already disorienting tune is merged with heavily synthesized versions of the members voices. It doesn’t help that it is presented in a tacky blue screen music video reminiscent of the 90s.
While Sea A as a group does show great promise. Their niche market that provides them a purpose will ultimately be their greatest limitation. Unless they manage to break out of this mold, this will be about as much as we can expect from Singapore’s first foray into the idol market. Let’s hope that isn’t the case.Click here to search CDJapan for Sea A and other related items.