Negicco and I

The truth is, Negicco are an anomaly in the Idol scene: in thirteen years they could have reached any milestone a standard Idol group dreams of, but at the same time, as local idols, they reached a national (and also global) fame that no other group in their category ever achieved, dancing, singing, crying and smiling for thirteen years, something that most of the Idol groups out there can only dream of. And despite their conservative, sometimes rebellious approach towards the Idol scene, they probably represent the most natural and human form of it, something that after all these years, judging from the tears they shed everytime they’re in front of their ever-growing fanbase, is finally starting to pay off.

– Alex Shenmue,

Negicco: (from left to right) Kaede, Nao☆, Megu

Negicco is an idol group from Japan. There’s a lot of idol groups in Japan, so what makes Negicco different from, let’s say, the famous AKB48 and its family? I like the way tokyogirlsupdate compares Negicco with the newly announced NGT48. In short and my own way of rephrasing the article, 48 group is like McDon*ld’s, a multi million dollars restaurant chain with well-known reputation, expanding to many regions and yes, a lot of people loves it, and they know what to expect from a McDon*ld’s restaurant. On the other hand, Negicco is like a famous local restaurant, it’s a local favorite, and tourists come from many regions to eat there; the restaurant makes the town famous and the town supports the restaurant.

That’s Negicco. Negicco is a local idol group from Niigata and its members: Nao☆, Megu, and Kaede live and grow in Niigata; almost all locals, from kids to elders, have known them or at least have seen them. Negicco was conceived to promote local product, Niigata’s green onion to be exact  (“Negi” means “green onion leek”, “Negicco” roughly means “green onion leek girls”), and for more than 10 years (born on 2003) Negicco has never stop using negi as it’s symbol or promoting Niigata. You saw it right, more than 10 years! That’s a very long journey of an idol group, not to mention without backing of huge agency.

I stumbled upon Negicco on Youtube.

I guess that video really moved me. I tried to search more for Negicco on the web after that and listened to their songs. Their story is what affects me the most. Look at the facts facing them in the past and you will agree that this group is nothing but a joke. Starting with their name;“People won’t take you seriously when you’re dancing with vegetables,” one of the girls said in an MTV81 Interview. Then don’t forget that they were contracted for a month and never really meant to stay longer than that. Many years without huge popularity gain, performing almost solely on small stages, and a member quits; seriously, disband sounds better than continuing the humiliation of this harsh reality. But here they are; standing strong for more than 10 years and getting a nationwide coverage. With the youngest member is well above 23 years old, Negicco is refuting one of idol culture’s most seemingly unshakable beliefs; idols have to be high school girls, and Negicco is gaining vast ground in what was supposed to be a young girl’s game. In 2010, Negicco won the local idol award U.M.U; in 2011, they joined T-Palette, Tower Records’ indie label; in 2014,  they got 5th place in weekly Oricon ranking (daily 1st place) for their single “Hikari no Spur”; and in 2015, their second album “Rice & Snow” received critical acclaim, with one writer calling it one of the best albums of 2015.

They have pierced the shroud of improbability with their never-give-up attitude and now they are shining so bright.

Their light touch me. I want to write again. I know that Anton World has been around for 6 years and it has not been getting better at the very least. I know it has not been receiving update regularly, in fact, more than one long hiatus have plagued this world. I know my posts quality has not been improving. I know I have been too lazy to write and making a lot excuses not to write. But Negicco has inspired me to continue. Negicco has inspired me to hope for a bigger stage. Now, I want to write to inspire, like Negicco. I will become a better writer. I will write more. Even if it So, please, whoever you are reading this, please accompany me in this journey; give me your advice, counsel, comment, and criticism. And to my future self, if you are reading this post again, I hope you are not giving up, and I hope this post will give you a spark of courage to face whatever you are facing in your time.

“People won’t take you seriously when you’re dancing with vegetables,” one of the girls said in an MTV81 interview, and Negicco’s rise has been as inspiring as it is completely improbable. That they started out as “local idols” yet their latest music video was shot all the way over in Finland is just one of many wholly unlikely details that have come to characterize Negicco’s career, and so the fact that they’ve been positioned as the spearhead of an unexpected Shibuya-kei revival is perversely unsurprising – when everything about the group’s history has been completely absurd, it only makes sense that they would be put in such a far-fetched situation. After all, if a group has survived for 12 years since being started for the express purpose of selling vegetables, isn’t anything else trumped by default?

“Isn’t anything else trumped by default?”

Bonus clip:

They look so cute and innocent, are they not?

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