In December 2013 Sony Music decided to celebrate their 40th Anniversary by creating an idol group! They started with twelve candidates. The name Sony chose for this group was Idol Renaissance. Is this a revival of old fashioned idol groups? A brand new start to a new wave of idol groups? Those are the questions that the group's name brings to mind. Interviews with the candidates of Idol Renaissance began appearing on YouTube in January 2014. The official YouTube channel was created in March. A nine member version of Idol Renaissance made their live debut on May 4, 2014 (although originally it was meant to be ten members until one candidate became ill). The candidates blog became the group's official blog on May 7. Idol Renaissance performed at TOKYO IDOL FESTIVAL 2014 and @JAM EXPO 2014 among their other regular live performances. By this time they had been reduced to their final lineup of seven members. Idol Renaissance's first single, "17 Sai" ("17 Years Old"), was given a limited release on July 6, 2014, and the official music video debuted on YouTube on the same day.
Now here's the bad news. All of Idol Renaissance's videos except one are (as far as I know) blocked from all countries outside of Japan. That two track limited release CD and other merchandise can only be purchased from Rocket Express's website, which I believe requires a Japanese address. There is some good news, however. While I have had the official website and blog bookmarked for a few months now, and I been following Idol Renaissance on Twitter for the same length of time, I didn't take notice of their official Facebook page until today. When I clicked on the Facebook page link I figured I'd find the usual things; i.e, lots of Japanese text that I can't read, photos of the group and links to YouTube videos that I can't watch. While I did indeed find all of this, I also noticed that pinned to the top of the page was the official music video. I clicked on the video and to my surprise it actually started to play! I clicked on the HD which made the picture so much better! So this video may be blocked on YouTube, but I believe anyone can see the video on Facebook. And see it you should, as "17 Sai" is a fantastic rocker that is already on my list of the best idol songs of 2014.
Some trivia for you. Hashimoto Kana is the only member of Idol Renaissance that is actually 17. Momo-oka Koyoi was previously in B Flat, the same Step One Sendai group that Dorothy Little Happy and Party Rockets came from.
The only video on their YouTube channel that overseas fans can watch is an interview with Minamibata Maina.
Hashimoto Kana - Born on December 5, 1996; Blood Type: B; 152 cm
Arai Noa - Born on January 17, 1999; Blood Type: A; 158 cm
Minamibata Maina - Born on February 21, 2000; Blood Type: O; 150 cm
Higa Nanako - Born on February 26, 2000; Blood Type: A; 152 cm
Ishino Riko - Born on October 29, 2000; Blood Type: A; 155 cm
Miyamoto Marin - Born on April 23, 2001; Blood Type: AB; 155 cm
Momo-oka Koyoi - Born on April 30, 2001; Blood Type: A; 156 cm
"17 Sai" ("17 Years Old") (July 6, 2014)