Girl group dance and sing their way into local hearts09 October, 2012 by Mus
Tokyo Joshiryuu (東京女子流), more commonly known as Tokyo Girls’ Style, paid Singapore a visit this past weekend. In conjunction with Takashimaya’s 19th anniversary celebration, the group were there as part of Japan Travel Fair. While some fans believed it to be a rather simple affair with the girls appearing and speaking about Japan, it turned out to be quite radically different.
Much to the delight of the fans, the avex trax group had other plans. The girls came prepared with a magnificent set-list, and in 4 performances spread over 2 days, they performed a total of 9 songs from their discography, twice.
The first day of performances also coincided with the opening of the fair on Friday. After an opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony, TGS were the opening act, hyped up to the crowd as an introduction to Japanese pop. Armed with a translator, master of ceremony Andrew gave a short introduction to the group, rattling off some trivia about the group, as well as mentioning the girls’ upcoming debut in Budokan in December.
As soon as that was done, he called out the group to rapturous applause from the fans; the general audience was as sparse as a crowd on Friday afternoon could be, but it was well made up for by the sheer amount of fans present. That was also the precise moment that fans realized they were in for a treat, as the girls came out decked out in full costume.
To some amusement from fans, the girls introduced themselves twice; first in Japanese with the translator present, and another time in (well-rehearsed) English just before they kicked off the show.
The first session had them performing Kodou no Himitsu, Limited Addiction, Liar, LolitA☆Strawberry in Summer and Onnaji Kimochi. These songs characterize the sound of Tokyo Girls’ Style, and definitely showed off both their singing and dancing ability. At the end of the 5 songs, Andrew was back, this time armed with questions about the group’s name, their thoughts about being able to perform in Budokan, and their recommended places to visit in Tokyo.
We left the venue for lunch after the performance, and came back to a crowd that was at least twice the size, and the second floor being filled with bystanders as well. Micstands on the stage brought up some wise cracks about them doing Heavy Rotation, but everyone cheered when the girls came out with flowers on their hands, signalling the performance of Himawari no Hoshikuzu.
Besides Himawari, the rest of the setlist was recent single Rock You, Love Like Candy Floss, Onnaji Kimochi and Ganbatte Itsudatte Shinjiteru. While a change in direction from the earlier songs, the use of props in the second session made for a fun ending to the day as the audience clapped along to the beat, led by the girls.
The end of the day saw the girls giving out flyers promoting the group, with the flyers containing information about the group and their activities. Also listed were the group’s social networking sites, a crucial area of web promotion that many other groups fail at but TGS does verywell. The second day was more of the same, but one could easily see the size of the crowd watching them increasing in size rapidly, with many more people present on the weekend.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the experience of seeing TGS, with the girls teaching the Onnaji Kimochi dance to the public and fans even joining in a mass dance to it. Many members of the public seemed to enjoy the performances, and even the kids present were happily following the simplistic dances for some of the songs.
Hopefully, the response to this event will be seen as favorable and TGS will decide to hit Singapore for a stop should they ever venture overseas again. As far as this writer is concerned, it was probably the best introduction to J-pop one could possibly get.
More photos of TGS can be found on our Facebook page
Writer who also doubles as the photographer during event coverage. Mus' interests in Japan lie in the language, literature, popular culture and underground rock bands. Having an academic background in Japan, Mus is also particularly interested in the study of Nihonjinron.