I have this strange but accurate method that always works whenever I take an interest in a new Japanese idol group. Sometimes I will download a video or torrent such as a TOKYO IDOL FESTIVAL just to watch a couple of my favorite groups, but will come across a group I’ve never heard before that really captures my attention. Other times I will randomly select a video on YouTube for a group I’ve never seen before and take an immediate liking to them, and start watching more videos of that group. There are also times when I will see a photo in an idol magazine I bought and discover a group I never knew anything about and go on the Internet to look them up. And there are a few times when I’ll make friends with a Japanese person who mentions the name of a group he or she follows, and I will look that group up. Sometimes I find a little bit of information about these groups in English, but more often than not there isn’t any information. This starts me on a mission to find whatever I can, hopefully a Japanese website or blog with photos and YouTube links. The groups that I discover through these methods are usually the ones that I love and support for months and years to come. The groups people suggest I listen to are the ones that I will listen to on occasion, but very rarely.
This brings me to the group I am writing about today. Last year I received an idol book as a gift from a friend. The book was about the 2011 U.M.U. Award and included several idol groups categorized by district. Included in that book was a group of girls dressed in martial arts clothes which I discovered was named Hmj Hime tsu Musume 5. There were four girls in the group despite the “5” in their name, and they all appeared to be in middle school or junior high. I thought the martial arts outfits was something unique for an idol group, so I was interested in looking them up. Of course, I didn’t have the Internet in my home at the time so I had to postpone my investigation. When I got the Internet again back in November of this year I set out to look them up, but ran into a problem when their website address (in the book I had) appeared to be old and discontinued. Flash forward to over a month later, when something told me to try again. I’m glad I did.
Finding information for this group is pretty hard. It took me a week to put all the pieces of this puzzle together, and I’m still missing a few pieces. It seems that Hmj Hime tsu Musume 5 are alternately referring to themselves as Himekko 5, and they formed on January 30, 2011 with five members. Around 2012 Reona (whose family name and birthday I don’t have) left and they became a quartet. The four member lineup consisted of….
Imazu Kurea - Born on December 9, 2000.
Katou Kana - Born on April 13, 2001.
Yamamoto Saki - Born on May 9, 2001.
Katou Minami - Born on November 10, 2002.
At some point Kurea left and they became a trio. They kept the name with “5” in it despite two members leaving. (Hey, if it works for 9nine….) I guess all this change led to them ditching their old website address and getting a new one in the year-and-a-half since I received the book. Himekko 5 also had their song “Shuriken Shu Shu” appear on the five disc compilation release “Japan Idol File”, as well as releasing it as part of an eight track CD. There are videos on YouTube of Himekko 5 performing this cute and catchy song, which I think is one of the best songs of 2013. So, I am now officially hooked on this idol trio!
Himekko 5’s gimmick is “cute ninjas”, as one can see from the pink (and sometimes black) ninja clothes worn by the members sometimes on stage and in many publicity photos. Their original ninja outfits were different, as seen in the four member photo, complete with headbands. Sometimes, though, the girls perform in school uniforms, as seen in the video I’m linking. The live performance of “Shuriken Shu Shu” was originally uploaded on May 16, 2013, but it was re-uploaded with a special animated - and English friendly - introduction on November 17. This is the best introduction I can think of for this cute ninja idol group!
Special thanks to Yacchan for translating and additional info.